When you first start growing, the costs can add up quickly. So, I always look for ways of lowering those costs and one thing that helps save a decent amount is reusing soil/coco coir. When I purchased soil for my first grow, it cost me about $75-80CAD. It doesn’t seem like a huge cost but if you’re buying fresh soil/coco coir each time, it can certainly add up. Since I was already using Gaia Green Dry Amendments, I decided to try re-amending the soil with nutrients and reuse it.
You will want to purchase or repurpose a large storage tote, large container or use a wheelbarrow to mix the growing medium. This will reduce the mess that you’ll make when mixing it all together. I repurposed an extra storage tote that I had. It worked well because I kept the soil that was left over in the tote until it was needed.
Prepping the growing medium
Before you re-use and re-amend your medium, I recommend you go through it and pull out any bigger masses of roots in the soil or coco coir. The smaller roots that are left behind will break down into nutrients for your plants so don’t worry about getting all of the roots. You’ll also want to break up any clumps in the medium for a smoother mixture. After removing the roots, you may feel it’s necessary to add some more perlite to the medium before amending it with the nutrients. You want to aim for about 10% – 15% perlite in the growing medium to improve the drainage.
Amending your growing medium
This step differs slightly depending if you’re growing photoperiod plants or autoflowering plants. Regardless of exact amounts, you simply add the desired amount of dry amendments to the medium, making sure to break up any clumps in the fertilizer. This will help to prevent “hot” spots of nutrients in the medium. Then, carefully mix the growing medium and nutrients until you’re satisfied with the mixture. You want to make sure you really mix it up so that the nutrients are evenly distributed throughout the medium.
- Add 4 tbsp per gallon of medium (70/30 All Purpose 4-4-4, Power Bloom 2-8-4) Ex. 14 tbsps 4-4-4, 6 tbsps 2-8-4 for 5 gallons
- Add 2 tbsp per gallon of medium of All Purpose 4-4-4. Ex. 10 tbsps of 4-4-4 for 5 gallons
I am currently on my third cycle of re- amending my soil. So it has saved me roughly $150-160CAD so far. Now that money can go towards nutrients, other miscellaneous gardening items, or towards saving for a light upgrade. I definitely enjoy saving that kind of money on supplies when I can and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too!
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