BuildASoil (BAS) is a well-known Western Colorado company offering organic living soil and organic soil amendments. BuildASoil owner, Jeremy Silva, takes pride in sourcing his materials carefully to find the cleanest and purest local, certified organic ingredients.
The BAS Craft Blend-Nutrient Pack is the result of tests and trials to create the most effective living soil organic amendment with budget-friendly materials. It is recommended for vegetables and flowers as the base for nutrient tea and top dressing, and to re-amend no-till soil.
About the BAS Craft Blend-Nutrient Pack
Specifically, the BuildASoil Craft Blend-Nutrient Pack is a balanced blend of nutrients mixed to offer your plants everything they need during all growing phases when used as top dress or nutrient tea. BuildASoil also offers the recipe for using the blend to re-amend recycled soil (especially no-till soil). Because the blend is created to be used as a top dressing, it is not very hot and you don’t risk burning your plants using it, as long as you respect the recommended dosage for every use. Indeed, there are remarkably few reports of damage with the BuildASoil Craft Blend-Nutrient Pack, compared to other, stronger nutrients.
The BuildASoil Craft Blend-Nutrient Pack is ready to use straight out of the bag—you only need to add water if you are preparing a nutrient tea. It is available in various packages, for all sizes of gardening projects (3lb, 12 lb, 25 lb bags, 50 lb bucket, and 1-yard sack). The 12 lb bucket is priced at $40, which can seem expensive. However, the quantities you need to amend your soil are rather small (half to one cup for 5 gallons of water for a tea or as a top dress, and 1-2 cups per cubic foot of old soil) and the result is unanimously impressive, so it is well worth the price.
Base and Composts
The BuildASoil Craft Blend-Nutrient Pack is an amendment that you add to your own soil. The blend works with any organic soil bases, like sphagnum peatmoss, coco, leaf-mold, etc. With new soils, it is used mostly as a nutrient tea or top dress. However, it can also revitalize old organic soil by mixing a small quantity of the nutrient pack to your soil (1-2 Cups Per Cubic Foot). To be effective, the mix also requires a soil rich in high-quality compost.
The BuildASoil Craft Blend-Nutrient Pack is estimated to be a 4-4-2 NPK mix. The company insists on “estimate” as right now they are waiting for the final lab results.
The blend is rich in premium minerals, especially calcium. Calcium helps maintain chemical balance (pH) in the soil, reduces soil salinity, and improves water penetration, while it plays a critical metabolic role for the plant cells. The nutrient pack contains CalPhos™, an environmentally safe natural source of soft rock phosphate and calcium. CalPhos™ provides the benefits of calcium and phosphorous in a safe, non-toxic, and non-corrosive way.
The pack also includes premium montmorillonite calcium bentonite, a nutrient-rich clay that slowly supplies the plants with soluble nutrients. These include more calcium, magnesium, and potassium, along with over 50 beneficial trace elements.
Bentonite and gypsum are also included in the mix. These improve the soil structure and enhance water and fertilizer retention. Oyster shell flour works as an additional pH conditioner that provides a steady release of calcium to help regulate pH levels and promote healthy cellular structure in the plants, while it can help create habitats for soil microorganisms.
Sul-Po-Mag (also Known as K-Mag or Langbeinite) is another fantastic amendment included in the BuildASoil Craft Blend – Nutrient Pack. Sul-Po-Mag is a mix of sulfur, potassium, and magnesium, often used to recondition soils before or after the growing season. Along with the other materials, this makes the BAS Craft Blend ideal for revitalizing old soil.
Finally, micronized basalt rock dust, derived from lava flow, is one last mineral ingredient high in trace elements. It is also paramagnetic, adding to the soil’s natural low magnetism. Increased paramagnetism is considered to increase water retention and microbial action, which in turn help the plants thrive.
BuildASoil’s Craft Blend-Nutrient Pack is a “superfood” for your plants, containing a rich array of natural fertilizers that deliver to the plants nutrients necessary during their life-cycle. It includes organic materials of vegetal (alfalfa meal, camelina meal, karanja cake, soybean meal, malted barley) and marine origin (kelp meal, fish and fish-bone meals, crustacean meal). All those meals and cakes are superb fertilizers but also function as natural bio-pesticides and organic bug-repellents. You can see traces of all these meals and cakes in the amendment, as it is not ground into fine dust—some of the materials come in visible chunks.
On the vegetal origin side, alfalfa meal—produced by fermented alfalfa seeds—is included to boost earlier blooming and blooming duration. Camelina meal, which is what is left over after the wild flax seeds are cold-pressed for oil, is a rich source of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Similarly produced from the residue of seed kernels pressed for oil extraction is karanja cake, which not only is rich in nutrients, but also helps the earthworm population to thrive in your soil, while acting as bug defense. Soybean meal, a byproduct of cold-pressing soybeans, is rich in protein and thus constitutes a meal of choice for microorganisms who turn the protein molecules into amino acids, then into ammonium ions, and, finally, into nitrate ions. Soybean meal is, therefore, an excellent long-term source of nitrogen, since ammonium and nitrate ions are the most palatable nitrogen forms to plants.
On the sea origin side, the blend contains premium kelp meal that provides plants with micronutrients (mainly potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen) and growth hormones. Crustacean meal (crab and/or shrimp meal) brings into the mix slowly-released calcium, magnesium, and nitrogen. More importantly, they add chitin, a natural bio-pesticide and bug repellent. The mix also contains fish meal, a mild nitrogen booster, and fishbone meal.
Finally, professionally sprouted, dried, and milled grains of organic malted barley constitute an exceptional source of enzymes and microbes (namely lactobacillus and yeast). Microorganisms like these are essential to create a living soil and to achieve efficient organic growth without constant amendments to the soil. They grow symbiotically with the roots of the plant, helping to grow the roots zone, breaking down the soil and nutrients, and helping the plants absorb them.
Quick Summary—Pros and Cons
- Made by a company dedicated to organic living soil and organic growing. BuildASoil sources its materials with extreme diligence.
- Contains a great range of organic and natural fertilizers, enzymes, microbes, and bio-pesticides.
- It is ready to use straight out of the bag. Ideal for top dressing or nutrient teas.
- Use a mask when using it, as it can release dust (and odor) in the air.
- A few customers have reported delivery problems. Even so, it’s best to shop directly from their website, as their products are sometimes out of stock on major online shops.