Thursday, March 26, 2015

Make Your Own Dirt

Okay, I give. Yesterday I was out on a walk and I saw the neighbor's lilac bush starting to bloom. And another neighbor's dogwood popping out its little pink blossoms. So what can I do but throw up my hands and admit that spring has indeed sprung, despite the fact that it's still March, for heaven's sake.

As anyone knows who has lived here for any length of time, all it takes is a few days of temperatures hovering in the 60s and hints of sun peeking out from behind the clouds for Oregonians to put on their shorts and Crocs and head out into the garden. So with spring insisting that it's sticking around for the foreseeable future, I thought I'd share my friend David Kobos' recipe for making your own dirt!

David uses it as a seed starting mix and for potting soil, and swears it's not only cheaper than buying the stuff at the store but that it's miles better, too. He also makes his own organic fertilizers, and if his insanely prolific garden is any example, those work incredibly well, too. Many of the ingredients can be purchased at Naomi's Organic Farm Supply, Concentrates or other farm supply stores.

Seed Starting Mix
From David Kobos of Kobos Coffee (and so much more)

Use a 2-gallon bucket for measuring:
3 buckets peat moss
3 buckets steer manure
1/2 c. dolomite lime
1 bucket perlite
1 bucket vermiculite
2 c. organic fertilizer (see below)

If not using sifted peat moss and steer manure, dump buckets onto 1/2" framed screen (photo, top) and sift by hand to remove debris. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly using a shovel or garden hoe. Using bucket, dump into 50 lb. seed bags. Makes 2 1/2 cubic feet.

* * *

Organic Fertilizer Mixes
From David Kobos

Mix #1:
4 parts seed meal (cottonseed, soybean, linseed, etc.)
1 part dolomite lime
1 part ground phosphate rock (or 1/2 part bone meal)
1 part kelp meal

Mix #2:
1 part ground phosphate rock
1 part blood meal
1 part greensand

Read the original post here.

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