Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why do you recommend fabric pots and what is Air Pruning?

Beneficial soil microbes require aerobic conditions to thrive, howevery they also need constant moisture. If soil is allowed to dry out too much, much of the microbial population will begin to go dormant and even die off. Our favourite fabric pots are Grassroots Living Soil Fabric Pot due to a balance of both waterproof section to encourage even moisture retention and breathable lower fabric strip for root pruning and breathability. Fabric pots promote an aerobic environment through a breathable fabric. When roots hit the edge of the pot they grow new shoots instead of circling around the pot and becoming root bound.

My mulch layer is getting moldy, is this OK?

Clusters of mycelium can be seen when your soil is first used and mulched or when organic nutrients are applied.  This mycelium becomes visible in the mulch layer from beneficial microorganisms in your soil breaking down organic material.  This is a good sign and totally normal.

Is there an ideal temperature for cultivation in living soil?

Evidence shows that the right microbes perform best at temperatures that your favourite plants favour.  Keep temperatures between 20 to 27 degrees for best performance and nutrient cycling. Cold temperatures with heat loving summer annuals will slow down calcium uptake and trigger various nutrient deficiencies. Winter crops can also be grown in Living Soil but try to expose plants to as much sunlight as possible.

My Easy As Organic Soil will be in storage for a long period, how do I keep my soil alive?

Sell it to a friend and change their lives forever. Or tip into some heavy duty wheelie bins or food grade storage tubs.  Poke a few small holes in the lid for ventilation as you do not want the soil to become anaerobic. Make sure the soil does not completely dry out. Or you can plant some cover crop seeds and leave outside with a very occasional watering. tip into some heavy duty wheelie bins or food grade storage tubs.  Poke a few small holes in the lid for ventilation as you do not want the soil to become anaerobic. Make sure the soil does not completely dry out or you will need to re-hydrate with Aloe prior to planting.

Where does my Easy As Organic Soil’s ingredients come from?

All soil ingredients are sourced locally whenever possible.  We pride ourselves on being a socially conscious and environmentally ethical and sustainable company and will support our local organic industry as much as we can.

Where do the worms come from?

Easy As Organics Soil Blends are mixed with worm castings which contain many cocoons and the occasional worm.  The cocoons will hatch and worms will mature. These are extremely beneficial to the overall health of a living soil food web.

I’m a total beginning gardener, do I need anything other than my soil to have great harvests?

No! You can have a successful harvest with only our soil, a 15 gallon pot and fresh water!  When you see how easy this is we can help you step up the performance of your organic soil with teas and topdressings.

Do I need to flush my plants in Easy As Organics soil blends?

No.  All nutrients are stored in the soil due to a high cation exchange capacity and high levels of microbiology.  You do not want to flush these out!

Do I need anything special for the different phases of the plant’s life from seed to harvest?

Plants grown with the soil food web are in control and have a huge bank of all nutrients and minerals needed to thrive.  No special timing for plant cycles are needed as the plant will determine its own physiological and metabolic changes as it needs. Only watering frequency is adjusted to maintain even moisture as plant matures.  However we can assist these changes with topdressing and or botanical teas prior to flowering.  Please contact us for more information about no-till gardening.

Should I use additional fertilisers or nutrients with my Easy As Organics Soil Blends?

Do not use any synthetic liquid fertilisers.  Synthetic liquid fertilisers will only harm soil microbiology due to salt content and are counterproductive to the ultimate goal of creating a living soil food web in your container or raised bed.  We want to leave the job of feeding the plant up to the soil biology.

What organic liquid extracts can I use as additives to boost plant and soil health if needed?

A number of organic teas and additives can be used to enhance growth by feeding microbes, adding natural growth promoting hormones and providing enzymes for microbes to efficiently break down nutrients in your organic soil. Aloe contains many beneficial enzymes and plant hormones that boost immune health and soil life.  Fish Hydrolysate is in excellent fungal food and natural chelating agent and can also be used to boost nitrogen levels if needed.  Silica builds cell wall strength, improving photosynthesis and overall robust plant health.  Pure neem oil is useful as a weekly foliar for pest prevention due to countless limonoids that inhibit pest feeding and breeding.  Many liquid extracts can be used, as long as the extract is natural and designed for organic gardening.

Can I transplant from a synthetically fertilised container into my Easy As Organics Soil Blends?

No.  You will see incredible results when planting a seedling, clone or even germinating your seed directly into your final container.  A plant grown with artificial fertilisers will not be used to attracting microbes for food on it's own and will have a difficult time adjusting to a new and living, soil food web.  Further to this, the salts from the original fertilised root ball may harm living organisms in your soil which could be detrimental to the health of the soil biology as well as the plant.  Finally, the soilless rootball will still require liquid nutrients to feed the plant as it will not be able to access the organic, plant available nutrients from the surrounding living soil until it’s roots begin to spread.  This will potentially kill your plants. Try to minimise transplants to avoid disturbance of the soil food web organisms. Roots, fungal hyphae, bacteria, nematodes, protozoa, earthworms and soil mites have been building soil structure to create a perfect ecosystem for your plant to grow in and access nutrients every second of every day.

Do I need to cut down my Cover Crop?

Depending on the crop you are growing, you may have to chop if it becomes tall and dense enough to start shading your main plants.  Covercrops tend to work best as fertiliser if chopped before becoming too mature as the carbon to nitrogen ratio will be perfect for microbes food at a medium level of maturity.  If growing larger, fast growing annuals you will find that it will naturally die off in the shade of the canopy. Your cover crop is storing valuable nutrients within its biomass and will add these to the soil as a mulch once dead.

When do I plant my Cover Crop seeds?

Cover crop seeds should be planted in between or even at the beginning of a crop cycle to fix nitrogen and feed soil microbes via their root exudates.  Cover crops such as clover, lucerne, fenugreek will greatly improve soil structure and fertility and actually add nutrients back to the soil when chopped down as mulch. They can also fix atmospheric nitrogen in the soil with special bacteria present in your Easy As Organic Soil Blends.

I just planted into my Easy As Organic Soil for the first time, and my plants don’t look very healthy… what could be the problem?

9 times out of 10, any issues will be related to moisture levels in soil from either under or over-watering.  Ensure you have completely hydrated soil and use a horticultural liquid or powdered aloe extract in your irrigation water for it's hydrating effect.  Check to see you have not overwatered by lifting the pot and looking for excess moisture at the bottom of pot. If environmental conditions are good and the pot is heavier than when you first watered, most likely this is the problem.  Leave alone and wait a couple days for the soil moisture to reduce to optimal levels. Living organic soil thrives and functions optimally as an aerobic ecosystem. The microbes in Easy As Organic Soil Blends prefer a healthy, oxygen-rich environment to effectively break down organic matter and exchange nutrient ions with your plant. If you starve your soil of oxygen, these microbes cannot do their job effectively and will even begin to encourage harmful anaerobic bacteria which will invite pests and disease.

How do I ensure my Easy As Organics Water Only Soil is completely hydrated before planting into it?

Easy As Organic Soil Blends are slightly more dry straight out of the bag than what is recommended for plant growth.  When you first fill your pot with your organic soil, it should be evenly and slowly watered to penetrate all dry pockets before planting anything.  Allow 24 hours prior to planting to allow moisture to completely hydrate soil to optimum levels. Use this same technique for re-hydrating and re-using your soil that has been left to dry out for too long.  Watch this excellent video by Jeremy Silva of Build-a-Soil that demonstrates in detail how to properly water your new soil.  He uses a yucca extract to penetrate soil that may have become a little hydrophobic in bag, however our Aloe product also contains huge levels of saponins to deliver a similar hydrating effect.

Will this work for all of my plants?

Our soil blends are designed for fast growing, annual crops.  All vegetables and herbs that produce dense fruit and flowers will grow to their full potential in this soil mix.

Can I put seeds or clones directly in my Easy As Organic Soil?

Yes, there are no “hot” components or artificial fertilisers in our soil blends.  You can successfully germinate seeds, plant seedlings and clones and grow all the way to harvest in the same soil!

What type and size of container should I use with my Living Soil?

For use in containers we recommend a minimum of 50L volume for each fast-growing annual plant.  If you exceed the number of fast-growing annuals per 50L pot by more than 1, less than satisfactory performance may be observed.  This is due to not enough soil biology necessary to meet the demands of your plants. Set yourself up for success from the start and if planting nutrient-hungry, fast-growing annuals, ensure there is at least 50L of soil to meet plant needs.  Success in no-till organic growing is directly relative to the volume of soil you have to work with. Try to use the rule above as a minimum and bear in mind that as you increase this volume, so too will the performance of your crops. We recommend fabric pots which encourage an aerobic environment in the root zone.  The microbes we want in the soil food web thrive in aerobic environments so when using containers this is a no-brainer. We like to use GeoPots or Root Pouch as they are very high quality and will last for years.

What time of day should I apply an IPM foliar spray to my garden?

At sundown or when your lights switch off indoors.  Do not spray your plants under direct light with neem oil as they will burn.

How often should I apply an IPM foliar spray?

Once per week for prevention and every 3 days for an outbreak.  Make sure you’ve covered every square centimetre of foliage with your IPM solution.

We recommend in a foliar spray solution consisting of 5L clean water, add:

  • 18ml Cold-pressed Organic Neem Oil emulsified with a few drops of Dr. Bronner's Soap or liquid silica
  • Powdered Aloe at only .5 tsp

Thoroughly spray both sides of leaves, ensuring every square centimetre of foliage has been covered.  Do not spray once plants begin flowering.

What does IPM mean and why is it beneficial to the plants growing in my Easy As Organic Soil?

IPM or integrated pest management is a process you can use to build plant resistance against pests and disease while minimising risk to people and the environment. It encourages beneficial microbes and predatory insects while inhibiting pest’s ability to eat and breed. It’s a strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage and promotes an ultimately balanced, living organic eco-system.

How can I tell if I am under watering my Easy As Organic Soil?

Growth will slow down and even stop. The top layer of soil will be dry and crusty with minimal microbial activity noticeable.  This will lead to a hydrophobic soil that will be difficult to re-hydrate and water will simply drain right out of the bottom of the pot. Under-watering can harm microbes which might require topdressing of worm castings or an organic fertiliser amendment and watered in. This will stimulate bacteria and fungi critical for nutrient cycling in a living organic soil eco-system.

How can I tell if I am over watering my Easy As Organic Soil?

Over watering is common during early stages of planting.  This mistake is usually made when watering in young seedlings or clones into fresh soil.  You will notice drooping leaves and slow, to no growth. To minimise seedling stress from over watering, ensure you pre-hydrate your soil as soon as you’ve filled your pot before planting anything into it.  Lightly and evenly water until pot feels heavier. If in a fabric pot, a good indicator of perfect soil hydration is when the bottom of the pot just starts to feel moist but not wet, on the back of your hand and container feels heavier when lifted. Once you have evenly hydrated your soil, plant seedling or clone and only lightly water for the purpose of settling rootball into new soil. Wait for healthy new growth and increase watering. Aim for even moisture and minimal to no run-off.

What is the best type of water to use on my Easy As Organic Soil?

Plain water from the tap or clean rainwater.  Plain tap water works best if bubbled with aquarium air stones in a reservoir overnight before using.  This will aerate your water and remove any chlorine via evaporation. If your water is filtered than you are good to go!

How much and how often should I water my Easy As Organic Soil?

Keep soil evenly moist throughout plant cycle when watering. If there is runoff you have watered a little too much or the soil has actually become hydrophobic due to not watering enough.  Once plant looks established, aim for even moisture throughout soil by using enough water per pot and adjust watering frequency to suit water consumption and environmental conditions. Don’t over water to the point of runoff. Mulch will help lower water usage and encourage beneficial microbes to cycle nutrients contained in your soil.

Is it true that I only need to water my Easy As Organic Soil?

Yes. Our indoor soil blend contain all nutrients, minerals and microbes required for natural plant growth.

Is it true that I only need to water my Easy As Organic Soil?

Yes. Our indoor soil blend contain all nutrients, minerals and microbes required for natural plant growth.