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Black Swallow Living Soils
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Custom Blended Mixes

Our own soil mix is one that is broadly used these days, and is commonly known as the Clackamass Coot mix. Clack is a retired nursery owner in Oregon who has worked extensively with soil and plants throughout his nursery career. His formula is one that can reliably be used in a 'no till' or 'probiotic' approach to your own gardens.

We also will make up any custom soil to your own recipe, using our inputs. If you have a formula that you prefer, or have a top dress mix that you want to use, give us a call and we can quote you on any quantity.

Black Swallow Soil Mix

Black Swallow Soil Mix

This is our original Black Swallow mix. This is a variation on a soil blend that is quite popular in California, Oregon and Washington these days. This mix relies on sphagnum peat, but relies on rice hulls for the aeration. For the humus content, we use an excellent fish compost that we are very partial to, along with our aged leaf compost and worm castings. In addition to this, we add kelp meal, crab meal, gypsum, fish bone meal, alfalfa meal, Wollastonite, Zeolite, soft rock phosphate and a range of balancing minerals. This is a very well rounded mix that has been revised a few times over the three years that we have been making it available.

The Black Swallow mix will give you the flexibility to ‘tweak’ your plants nutritional needs through the use of inoculants, compost teas, foliars and drenches. This mix provides far more than a ‘medium’ that you can grow a plant in. We rely upon our fish compost, leaf compost and worm castings to deliver the diversity of biology to the mix that any comprehensive living soil must contain. Without these kinds of inputs, it really is not a true ‘living soil’!

Black Swallow Soil Mix With Pumice

Black Swallow Soil Mix With Pumice

This is our original Black Swallow mix, but with the addition of pumice as part of the aeration component. This is a variation on a soil blend that is quite popular in California, Oregon and Washington these days. This mix relies on sphagnum peat, but relies on pumice as well as rice hulls for the aeration. For the humus content, we use an excellent fish compost that we are very partial to, along with our aged leaf compost and worm castings. In addition to this, we add kelp meal, crab meal, gypsum, fish bone meal, alfalfa meal, Wollastonite, Zeolite, soft rock phosphate and a range of balancing minerals. This is a very well rounded mix that has been revised a few times over the three years that we have been making it available.

The Black Swallow mix will give you the flexibility to ‘tweak’ your plants nutritional needs through the use of inoculants, compost teas, foliars and drenches. This mix provides far more than a ‘medium’ that you can grow a plant in. We rely upon our fish compost, leaf compost and worm castings to deliver the diversity of biology to the mix that any comprehensive living soil must contain. Without these kinds of inputs, it really is not a true ‘living soil’!

KIS mix blended soil

KIS mix blended soil

If you have listened to any of the podcasts on our website, you will have learned of Tad Hussey from KIS organics. Tad is based in the Seattle area, where he runs KIS Organics, a company that sells soil mixes, amendments and compost tea brewers to Washington State. Tad has grown up pursuing and studying the science and practice behind a living soil approach to regenerative gardening and has an exceptional understanding and depth of experience which becomes apparent through his podcasts.

Tad has been working with us to develop a new mix that we wanted to add to our line up. Our new KIS mix differs from our current Black Swallow mix in that it was designed to have a greater overall nutritional content. The Black Swallow mix was designed with a slightly lessor nutrient base allowing the gardener to have greater flexibility to customize or ‘spoon feed’ the nutritional requirements of the specific the genetics they are growing. We have upped the nutritional ‘punch’ with our KIS mix.

Consequently, this is a mix for someone who is new to growing in a living soil, or who is not yet confident of using the teas, foliars and drenches their plants might require. With Tad’s guidance, we have worked up a mix that will allow a new gardener to achieve a successful harvest without the addition of too many other inputs.

This powerhouse of a mix is a blend of sphagnum peat, perlite, fish compost, leaf compost, worm castings, biochar, blood meal, kelp meal, crab meal, feather meal, Dead Soldier fly frass, fish bone meal, gypsum, soft rock phosphate, alfalfa meal, oyster shell flour, Wollastonite rock dust, Volcanophos rock dust, and Huplaso basalt.

1 cubic foot $22
cu/yard $425
Reamendment/Nutrient Packs

Reamendment/Nutrient Packs

We have been asked for a nutrient pack continuously by people who have found their soil mix lacking, or by those who are using their soil over a number of cycles and simply want to reamend their soil in between cycles. We've also had a number of folk who want to use our mix, but because of the prohibitive shipping costs, have asked instead for a nutrient/mineral pack that will allow them to use their own peat, compost and aeration, but achieve a mix that wil keep their plants healthy and happy for up to 6 months. So we have worked with Tad to put together our Nutrient pack that can handle all three tasks.

These packs are made of the same rock dusts, meals and frass that we use currently in our very successful soil mix. All of these inputs are permitted for organic production. This includes alfalfa meal, kelp meal, crab meal, blood meal, fish bone meal, blood meal, feather meal, insect frass, gypsum, soft rock phosphate, oyster shell flour, Wollastonite rock dust, Volcanphos rock dust and Huplaso basalt.

We offer these in two sizes- the regular pack size, which will reamend 1 yard of soil, or make 4 cubic feet [30 gal.] of soil, while the large will reamend 3 yards of soil or make 12 cubic feet [90 gal.] of soil.

Regular Pack $76.50
Large Pack $179.50