'Super Soil' is a blend of soil and amendments to building a growing medium with enough nutrients for the life cycle of the plant. Several super soil recipes require you to compost or cook your new soil for 4 to 6 weeks. This allows the amendments and minerals to break down and allows your soil to create its own beneficial bacteria to create a living organism that coexists with your plant's root system.
Building your own super soil will have lasting effects on your garden. Not only will it make garden maintenance simpler, but your plants will be healthier and you'll be able to recycle your soil eliminating the need to buy or build more soil from scratch. Below you will find a few different super soil recipes that I have used in the past. The goal of the super soils is the same, get your plant through the entire grow cycle. I hope you find these recipes useful and keep this page as a resource for your future super soil builds.
New 'Super Soil' Recipe by Subcool - Makes ~12 ft3
- 8 – 1.5 ft3 bags of high quality base soil
- 1 – 33lb. bag of Worm Castings
- 2.5 lbs. Fish Bone Meal
- 5 lbs. High Phosphorus Bat Guano
- 5 lbs. Blood Meal
- 2.5 lbs. Bone Meal
- 3 cups. Oyster Shell
- 3 cups. Kelp Meal
- 3 cups Alfalfa Meal
- 3/4 cup Epsom Salt
- 1 cup Dolomite Lime
- 2 cups Azomite
- 2 TBS powdered Humic Acid
Original 'Super Soil' Recipe by Subcool - Makes ~12 ft3
- 8 – 1.5 ft3 bags of high quality base soil organic potting soil with Mycorrhizae
- 1 – 25-50lb. bag of Worm Castings
- 5 lb. Steamed Bone meal
- 5 lb. Bloom Bat Guano
- 5 lb. Blood meal
- 3 lb. Rock Phoshate
- ¾ cup Epsom Salt
- ½ to 1 Cup Dolomite Lime
- ½ Cup Azomite
- 2 tbs. Powdered Humic Acid
Organic Soil Recipe
This system was constructed for those that want to have a birds-eye view of the entire process from start to finish. Many people want to grow naturally and just don’t trust that it will work. Some are doing it now but they are missing some key element and it’s not coming out quite right. Once you get the full picture and understand how flexible this super soil system is you will be able to create your own system that works in your garden.
The ultimate goal is to use nothing but homemade compost that has been created with all of the nutrients built-in. If you can get to the point where your soil is so alive and healthy that all you have to do is plant a seed and add water, then you have arrived. Having the best soil doesn’t have to take forever and in the meantime, there are many Compost teas, Botanical Teas, and fertilizer inputs that you can add to Build-a-soil for long-term production.
The modern way is to use chemistry to make NPK and several micro-nutrients available to the plants through the use of plant ready water-soluble nutrients. The PH of the nutrient supply will heavily affect the outcome of the plant. This is the "Feeding the plant" Paradigm.
The organic way is to build a compost based on the plants that are high in nutrient content and to utilize organic amendments that work with the plant and the soil. Combine premium compost materials with diverse minerals and utilize biology along with science. We are constantly testing soils. We want diversity and we want it all in the soil. The nutrients aren’t immediately available in the organic system, we will rely on the biology of the soil to naturally produce nutrients for our plants based on it’s growing needs.
Rules of Thumb
- Don’t try to grow a plant, instead build a soil that does that for you: Use Premium inputs and get premium results. Your goal is to build the best soil possible and keep it as a pet. Keep it moist and alive as best as you can input more than you take out and the soil will last forever as it continues to evolve and become more blessed with life.
- Learn to make your own compost and your own Earthworm Castings: You would be surprised how small of a space you can make quality compost in. Search our website for "indoor compost" and you will see what I mean. But if you really can’t do the whole compost or worm bin thing, then I suggest you learn to find a really good source for local compost that is affordable. If you can’t find compost local then use our pure worm castings. The shipping keeps the price a little high, but my goal is to make this as affordable as possible for everyone to benefit from.
- Use premium quality compost or earthworm castings, preferably homemade. Yes, I said this twice. It’s that important.
- Don’t be tempted to go back to the bottled nutrients: Even if they say organic because nothing will be as good as your own soil. The big bottled nutrient companies buy ingredients in bulk and often use soy and cotton that are GMO and full of pesticides. Get this right and your garden will be more productive and more nutritious than ever before. Don’t worry about growing plants, focus on building soil!
- Avoid ingredients that say they are organic but really aren’t good for the environment. The Organic Label is slowly selling out in the marketplace depending on who is doing the certification. Don’t worry if it’s not organic as long as you know where it came from and that it is good stuff. Think about each ingredient in the products you purchase. Just because the nutrients at the grow shop have cool labels and high prices do not mean that they will grow better plants.
- No matter what else you do, make sure you MULCH. If you skip Mulching you are missing the boat.
- 15% Vermicompost
- 15% Compost
- 30 – 40% Sphagnum Peat Moss or Homemade Leafmold
- 20 – 30% Small Lava Rock, Perlite, Buckwheat hulls, rice hulls, etc. something for aeration
- 5 -15% Topsoil (You can skip this if you are unsure of the quality of your topsoil)
*Don't worry about being exact, just get a good mix together and lightly moisten it all and add your soil amendments and then let sit for 2-4 weeks before planting into it. You can mix it up on a tarp and then wrap it up in the tarp until it’s ready or you can scoop it all into a trashcan or just simply into a huge pile in the garden. with all these premium ingredients it would best to keep this soil mixed up and covered. This will allow it to heat up and break down any of the ingredients that require more composting before you plant into it.
Living Organic Soil Recipe
- 1 Part Worm Castings
- 1 Part Sphagnum Peat Moss
- 2/3 Part Pumice
- 1/3 Part Rice Hulls
- *(Optional) 5% Pre-Charged Colorado Bio Char
Modern Mix V2.0 Soil Recipe
- 2ft3 Sphagnum moss
- 1ft3 Pumice – Lava Rock
- 1ft3 Biochar – Charged – Modern Beginning
- 1ft3 Rice Hulls
- 2ft3 Humus – 1/3 Compost(Malibu Compost / Oly Mountain) and 2/3 Earthworm Castings
- *If on hand throw in a few handfuls some probiotic herbs – comfrey, nettle, dandelion, etc..
Soil Recipe #1
- 5 parts Sphagnum Peat and/or Coco Coir
- 3 parts Perlite
- 2 parts Earth Worm Castings or Malibu Compost or Home Made Compost
- Powdered (NOT PELLETED) Dolomite Lime @ 2 tablespoons per gallon or 1 cup per cubic foot of the soilless mix.
Soil Recipe #2
- 6 parts Pro-Mix HP / BX -or- Sunshine Mix #4 -or- Fox Farm – Ocean Forest or Happy Frog
- 2 parts Perlite
- 2 parts Earthworm Castings
- Powdered Dolomite Lime @ 2 tablespoons per Gallon -or- 1 cup per cubic foot of the soilless mix -NOT Pelleted
Used Soil Recipe
This soil recipe will help you recondition your used soil like a pro. Don't let all your work go to waste, reuse your Super Soil over and over again.
- 40 gallons used soil
- 4 cups alfalfa meal
- 4 cups bone meal
- 4 cups kelp meal
- 4 cups powdered dolomite lime
- 30 pound bag of earthworm castings . . .
- 4 cups of Greensand
- 4 cups of Rock Phosphate
- 4 cups of diatomaceous earth
Tips For Building Your Own Super Soil
pH in organic gardening is not as big of an issue as it is when gardening with synthetic nutrients and other mediums.
While growing organically, you settle most pH issues in the growing medium or soil. A growing medium rich in humates (humus) is the best place to start. Humates are a natural buffer for most amendments or additive supplements that you may be adding to your medium throughout the cycle.
Humates come from compost, worm castings, and bottled humus. If you use a peat-based medium, you can use dolomite lime to raise the pH of the acidic peat. Dolomite should be used in any soil or soilless medium to provide magnesium and calcium. But since we are talking about pH here, I’ll mention dolomite lime’s pH correction benefits.
A medium of coir has a pH near neutral (or 7.0). But humates are still needed to allow uptake of organic nutrients that are outside a near-neutral pH range.
An active medium rich in humates you can pour in nutrients like Pure Blend Pro, Earth Juice, and guano teas way outside the optimum pH range without worry. The hummus will allow the nutrients to be taken up through the roots, even at such an extreme pH reading.
So throw those pH meters away folks and enjoy the ease and safety of organic gardening.
Chlorine tap water
Just a word of caution for you organic gardeners out there...
If you are using tap water that uses chlorine to kill bacteria in the water, it’ll do the same thing to the beneficial bacteria and living ecosystem that is your organic soil/growing medium.
The best way to improve your water and remove additives in your water supply is to fill a 5-gallon bucket, place an air stone connected to an air pump and aerate the water for a full 24 hours before using it in your garden.
Initial Time Investment
When you first make the commitment to start creating your own soil or super soil it can seem like a lot of work. Once you have completed your first batch, it is smooth sailing so long as you have made enough.
Read our tutorial post - Growing with Super Soil
You can continue to reuse your super soil and 'recondition' it with each season. You can also improve your old soils using one of our organic compost tea recipes. Happy gardening!