It goes without saying that here at Living Soils have a massive interest in soil!! Getting your substrate right by developing and sustaining a strong, healthy microbial population is key to successful organic cultivation.
Soil or coco?
We recommend using soil as your base, rather than coco - our products do work in coco but, as we are all about using the power of microbes to feed your plant, and as coco contains little or no microbes, it means you have to work harder to get the same result. Another advantage of using soil for our products is that it's better at retaining nutrients than other media’s.
Helping your roots
In order for your plants to grow and thrive they need a good mix of both water and oxygen at the roots at all times: too much water and the roots can't get enough oxygen but if there's not enough water they can be injured from drying out too quickly. What gets the best results for growing your plant is a soil with a light texture that is good at retaining water - but not too much!
What also really helps with getting oxygen to the roots of your plants is using a breathable pot (see here for our page explaining the benefits of these compared to standard plastic pots).
Avoid "time release" fertilisers
There should be absolutely no "time release" chemical nutrients in the soil – these types of soil slowly release nutrients over the course of months, which provides too much nitrogen in the flowering stage and could impair overall bud growth.
The importance of a light mix
Our products should be added to a light mix soil (I.e one that is not heavily pre-fertilised) as you want maximum control of fertilisation levels using our organic inputs. Also you don’t want the initial mix to be too ‘hot’ for seedlings to settle into, so you have to wait 2 weeks before planting seedlings/ clones or to germinate seeds in.
Create your own soil mix?
If at all possible, we would recommend mixing your own base soil using something like 25% peat free ericaceous compost, 25% coco coir, 25% perlite and 25% wormcasts. Even better if you can add a small amount of your own compost, and/ or some malted barley powder.
You won't have to worry about mixing anything else into this other than our products.
Ready made soil mixes
If you would prefer to purchase soil mixes from the internet or hydro shops, we think those below are some good options:
No nutrients have been added to Promix, only worm castings. The worm castings stimulate the growth of soil organisms and activate the organic fertilisers which have to be added as from the first day. This makes Promix the perfect potting soil to fertilise organically according to your own judgement and choices.
The addition of various types of fibre and perlite results in a very light and oxygen-rich substrate. Only a minimal amount of nutrients have been added to Plagron's Lightmix.
BioBizz Light-Mix is an ideal potting soil for organic gardeners who want to have control over the growing process through the application of dry amendments. With a low dose of fertiliser, it ensures a fast development of roots and vigorous new growth. The soil composition is ideal for optimum drainage throughout the medium, which is essential for usage with automatic watering systems.
Many potting soils come pre-fertilised to levels that are often too high for younger plants, causing over-feeding issues and stunting growth. Seed Mix is much gentler and won't burn young plants! You can then have complete control over fertilisation levels, administering nutrients as and when you need them.