Coots Soil Mix Explained

About 11 years ago I got a medical card under the rules of OMMP (Oregon Medical Marijuana Program. Not to grow per se but to get access to the 'strain of the week' through some of the groups like Oregon Green Free and a couple of others which no longer exist thankfully.

At the time Fox Farms Ocean Forest was the big deal for reasons that still boggles the mind with prices that were not consistent with the quality of the product. A tradition that lives on today in the cannabis scene - sub-standard soils with boutique prices.

So I began to test these soils out and it was clear that there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between this or that soil. More of a matter of style over substance or maybe form over function.

Having owned and operated a commercial nursery grown different cultivars of Japanese Lace Maples for landscape architects in their resort, restaurant and commercial buildings. For this you have to grow the plant in large containers for a massive root mass which is spelled out in the contract.

This meant that you had the plants on your property for 4 or 5 years. This made the soil mix all-important vs growing annual plants for the retail market - Home Depot, Lowe's, Target, Walmart as well as the independent nurseries across the country meaning low-profit plants as you can imagine.

I decided to go for a soil that would meet the needs for growing one of the highest dollar plants - weed. After a few changes this is what I came up with...the Clackamas Coot Soil Mix...

Clackamas Coot Soil Mix

By volume mix the following...

1/3 Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss (CSPM)
1/3 Aeration - I use 3/8" pumice (aka volcanic glass - completely inert)
1/3 Vermicompost

When it comes to CSPM it does not matter one iota as far as the brand as long as it's designated as CSPMA (Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association) which is a partnership between the handful of authorized harvesters and the Canadian government. CSPMA sets the harvest limit and not market demands.

You should ind this at Home Depot and Lowe's in 3.8 cf bales and if it is not available at your local stores then order it online ( and have them 'ship to store' at your store of choice. No charge for shipping and handling!

A cubic foot is about 7.20 gallons or 115 cups...

To this I add the following amendments to each 1 cubic foot..

1 cup kelp meal
1 cup neem meal or an equal amount of neem & karanja mix
1 cup of limestone or more exactly Calcium Carbonate CaCO3 so Oyster Shell Powder/flour can also be used as it is also a pure Calcium Carbonate material
1/2 cup Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) available at all DIY stores but you must get the material in the garden section and not in the home remodel section. There are 2 forms of gypsum so make sure you get the one for soil and not walls...

Finally there is the rock dust which I recommend 3 cups of either basalt or granite. Only these 2 materials are 'paramagnetic' which is an integral part of the CeC discussion (Cation exchange Capacity).

Rock dusts like Azomite, bentonite, zeolite and others are called 'colloidal minerals' - alumina-silicate. For example Azomite is a brand name. A geologist would know it as "Hydrated Sodium Calcium Aluminosilicate" and it's known as "Montmorillonite clay"

This clay has been used in France to built ceramic bread ovens which look like a bee hive. They have a small door in the front of the oven where loaves of bread are move in and out using what is called a peel.

While it makes a great ceramic oven I can't find much to cause me to recommend it in a true living soil that is supposed to last 'forever' if taken care of using organic methods.