Is Kañamu Pacha "Hortisol" a fertilizer or a soil?
Our "Hortisol" is clearly a living soil full of nutrients, which makes it unnecessary to use additional fertilizer.
Is the addition of additives necessary? Can I add plant-strengthening additives?
There is no need to add additives to our soil. Everything the plants needs is already present in the substrate. Of course you can use natural remedies such as silica, compost tea or plant manure, but also here restraint is recommended, since the soil already contains everything that the plant needs. In addition, excessive use of additives can interfere with microbiological soil life.
Which water should I use? Is osmosis water necessary?
If possible, we recommend the use of rainwater, soft to medium hard tap water can also be used easily. Our "Hortisol" can very well complex lime with the contained humic acids and other organic compounds, thus preventing calcification of the substrate. The use of osmosis water is also possible, but not necessary. However, anyone who has very hard tap water and anyway operates an osmosis system for decalcification can use this water without hesitation.
Can the earth be moldy?
Yes, our earth can almost mold and that is also wanted. Since our soil contains many naturally occurring soil fungi and microorganisms, it can also happen that some of these fungal mycelia reach the surface and form fruiting bodies there or organic components are decomposed on the substrate surface. However, this is usually only an indicator that the substrate has been kept too moist and threatens overhydration. As a countermeasure you should pause with the watering until the surface feels dry and you can feel in about 1 to 2 cm depth, the soil-moist substrate. In addition, it should be checked whether the pot has sufficient drainage capacity to prevent waterlogging at the bottom of the pot.
What do I do if I have poured too much?
Basically, you stop watering. It would be ideal to allow the substrate to dry until the surface is dry and to feel the substrate at a depth of 1 to 2 cm. However, if the plants already show signs of overhydration, you can assume that already have used digestion processes. Here it is recommended to allow the substrate to dry completely. For this purpose the plants must be monitored very intensively. As soon as the leaves of the plants are limp, the point is reached for a moderate watering and it should be started carefully again with regular watering.
Do I have to check pH or EC values?
No pH or EC value needs to be checked. Our substrate is completely self-regulating. The pH of the substrate is always buffered to an optimum value between 6 and 7. The measurement of an EC value is also unnecessary, since there are no dissolved salts, which can damage (burn) the plants at too high a concentration. The nutrients are in complexed, plant-available form.
How can I tell how much I need to water?
The amount of water depends on many factors. The most important are the volume of the pot, the size of the plants as well as temperature and humidity. Generally speaking, when watering, we recommend that you approach the optimum amount of water by first watering less to avoid possible digestion processes due to overhydration. This procedure is quite straightforward, since most plants can deal much better with a shortage of water than with waterlogging. Here just the lack of water is indicated by a limp appearance. After watering, the plants usually return to their original shape after a few hours. Please keep in mind: the bigger the plant gets, the more water it will use and you will have to slightly correct the amount of water upwards.
Can I use the soil a second time? When do I have to fertilize?
That depends on the choice of plants. Strong-consuming plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, cabbage, squash, melon, zucchini, sweetcorn or medicinal cannabis are adequately supplied for a complete season. Then the soil can either be composted or used for flowers and kitchen herbs. Medium to low starving plants such as strawberries, carrots, kohlrabi, Swiss chard, parsnips, pea bush beans, radishes and almost all herbs can also be grown in the substrate for two seasons. Herbs can usually stay in our soil for two to three years, then they should be repotted and the substrate renewed. An optimal utilization of the substrate is achieved if the earth is used in the first year for heavy tasters and then in another season for weak-eaters. After that, if possible, the soil should be composted or disposed of in the biowaste for recycling. Theoretically, a re-fertilization is possible, but it comes through the natural degradation processes during use to structural changes in the substrate. The strength of these processes is influenced by many factors, which makes it very difficult to accurately restore the necessary raw material ratios.