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Old June 5, 2017   #11
RayR
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Cheektowaga, NY
Posts: 2,372
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What's Espoma Sure Start? Do you mean Espoma Bio-Tone Starter Plus?

Organic fertilizers are not a problem in soil-less growing media as long as there is soil life to mineralize the insoluble components. Your Espoma dry fertilizers contain 3 Bacillus species to help with that, but that's not enough in my book for a kicking organic container growing environment. The worm castings are good also assuming they are biologically active with bacteria. I would recommend strongly inoculating your medium with a wide variety of beneficial bacteria, mycorrhizal fungi and trichoderma fungi. There is a lot of good products out there for that like MycoGrow Soluble from fungi.com, Great White from Plant Success, Myco Madness from Humboldt Nutrients.
Adding a little good quality compost is good for adding more beneficial organisms which hopefully be protozoa, soil mites, nematodes and other members of the Soil Food Web
Ina closed system like a SIP it's best to try to add these higher organisms yourself with compost or an Alaska Humus product. In my standard containers it's amazing what shows up entering through the drain holes. Earthworms and all kinds of critters.
In addition to your dry organic fertilizer, it's a very good idea to supplement any containers with a little liquid organic fertilizer every week or two.
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