Want to know more about best soil for cannabis? Check out our guide to get started with expert recommendations. What is the best soil for cannabis growing and is it easier/cheaper to make it yourself or buy it? Read on to find out more about the best soil The best soil for cannabis plants depends on a variety of factors. Learn how to find or make the best soil for growing marijuana!
10 Best Soil for Cannabis in 2022 – Buying Guide & FAQs
Finding the right soil for cannabis planting is never easy. You never know what to get with such a sensitive plant.There are hundreds of soil products on the market. As a result, finding the right one can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for.
I researched the best soil for cannabis and found that FoxFarm Ocean Forest Soil Mix is the best overall option.
But depending on your preferences and grinding needs, you may want something different. If my #1 option is not for you, there are nine other soils on my list. Read on to find out which is the best soil for cannabis for you!
10 Best Soil for Cannabis Review
#1. FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix
The FoxFarm Ocean Forest is a garden potting soil mix that is ideal to use for cannabis plants.
Each bag contains everything your cannabis plant needs for high growth and germination. It consists of a blend of earthworm castings, sea-going fish and crab meals, moss, bat guano, forest humus, and more. All of these mimic the properties of the highest quality naturally occurring soils.
The soil mix also has sandy loam and hints of clay and silt. With this particular composition, the soil mix allows proper water drainage. Make sure it reaches all sections of the soil to ensure adequate germination.
This is good soil because it has been pH adjusted such that its pH lies between 6.3 and 6.8. What this means is that the soil enables maximum uptake of fertilizer. This also encourages strong branching, leading to healthy and rapid growth.
The only problem you may run into is when you use this for autoflower cannabis strains. It’s not recommended for that kind of cannabis. But for all others, it’s a good choice.
- Diverse composition for effective growth.
- Features loam that guarantees proper germination in all sections.
- A mix of the highest-quality fertilizers.
- pH-adjusted for maximum fertilizer uptake.
- Encourages growth.
- Ideal for most types of cannabis.
- Not for autoflower cannabis strains.
#2. FoxFarm Happy Frog Organic Potting Soil
Fox Farm Happy Frog Organic Potting Soil is the ideal choice for bringing nutrition to your plants. It comes in a ready-to-use form straight out of the bag and it provides all the nutrients that your marijuana plant needs to thrive.
This is a bag of 51.4 dry quarts or 2 cubic feet of soil. The potting soil is meant for container planting, whether growing a Ficus or a geranium. It contains mycorrhizae which enhances water absorbance and reduces the need for fertilizer. Additionally, this soil contains humic acid. As a result, it increases nutrient uptake and accelerates cannabis seed germination. In other words, your cannabis plants will thrive in this soil.
And that’s not where it ends. The soil is ideal for both outdoor and indoor cannabis plants. The only catch is that the plant must be a container plant.
The best part is that this cannabis organic potting soil comes with a pair of Pearsons Protective Gloves included. Use these gloves to protect yourself when handling any harsh chemicals.
- Perfect for growing marijuana indoors and outdoors.
- Reduces the need for fertilizers.
- Enhances nutrient uptake.
- Ready-to-use out of the bag.
- Accelerates seed germination.
- Only for container plants.
#3. Coast Of Maine Stonington Blend Organic Growers Mix
The Coast of Maine Stonington Blend is an organic mix of soil and fertilizers. It is a complex soil made especially for promoting plant growth in pots and containers.
This soil has a diverse composition. It’s made from fish bone meal, endomycorrhizal fungus, worm castings, and perlite. It also contains dehydrated hen manure and Coco fiber that has been reinforced with lobster compost.
You may think that that’s just a random blend of the best fertilizers. However, it’s actually quite balanced. This blend provides the perfect balance between soil texture, drainage, and water retention. All of these factors stack up to promote the healthy growth of cannabis plants in containers.
What’s more, this blend is OMRI Listed. This means that it follows certain standards for organic fertilizers set by the OMRI.
One major issue with this soil, which you will notice right off the bat, is that it’s only for potted plants.
- A complex blend of fertilizers.
- Promotes healthy and rapid growth.
- Best for potted plants.
- Authentic organic fertilizer.
- A perfect balance of growth factors.
- Only for potted/container plants.
#4. Super Soil Autoflower Concentrate
If you’re on the hunt for the best natural soil for growing autoflower seeds, then this is for you. The Super Soil Autoflower Concentrate is a 5-pound bag of soil that promotes autoflower growth.
Just one 5-pound bag of the soil contains everything your cannabis plant will need from seed to harvest. This is living soil. This means that it contains fungi and microbes that encourage growth. And they symbiotically provide nutrition to the plant.
One thing to keep in mind is that this is a concentration. It should be mixed in a certain ratio with regular potting soil and shouldn’t be used on its own.
What sets this concentrate apart from the rest is that it’s an all-in-one blend. This is not only a top feed but also a soil amendment, compost tea, living soil, super soil, and potting soil.
Be warned, however, this is only for autoflower cannabis and other autoflower vegetables. It would still work for regular seeds, but not so well.
- Ideal for auto flower cannabis seeds.
- Promotes growth and provides nutrition.
- Also doubles as a super soil.
- Suffices the plant from seed to harvest.
- Includes fungi and microbes.
- Only for auto flower seeds.
#5. Purple Cow Indicanja 1 Cubic Foot Bag Organic Living Soil
The Purple Cow IndiCanja is an all-in-one ready-to-use organic soil. This soil is used by many professional farmers and horticulturists as well as hobbyist gardeners.
This is not living soil. It is a mix of compost from various plants containing all the essential nutrients for your plant.
But the manufacturers didn’t just mix in any random combination of compost and organic matter. Instead, the formula was scientifically designed to provide the maximum benefit. This formulation is water-only, meaning you just need to water it after you dump it in the pot.
Moreover, this compost-based solution has been grown and cultivated “cleanly”. This means that it won’t affect human health.
However, you may run into a fungus gnat problem with this soil due to its unique composition. Plus, it’s targeted toward cannabis plants that need to retain a lot of water. Hence, you must be careful not to overwater it.
- A mix of all essential nutrients your plant needs.
- Made with scientific input.
- Only need to water regularly.
- Cultivated cleanly.
- Retains a lot of water.
- May cause a gnat problem.
- Easy to overwater.
#6. Foxfarms 733266 Soil, Strawberry Fields Potting
FoxFarms Strawberry Fields Potting is a special potting soil. This has been designed to promote blooming and fruiting in plants. This potting soil is ideal for all types of flowering plants, including container gardens, house plants, and trees and shrubs.
This potting soil mix is available in many sizes, including a 1.5 cubic-foot bag. You can also get the 27 and 55 cubic-foot totes for larger gardens.
The FoxFarms Strawberry Fields potting soil is mainly coco coir-based. This is what allows it to retain less water and provide for better water drainage. It doesn’t contain a lot of peat, which means that it must be watered frequently.
It’s highly recommended for mature plants that need to flower, meaning it’ll be by your side when your cannabis is ready for harvesting. The soil pH is about 6-7, which is ideal for growing weed.
However, this soil is strictly for flowering plants. It’s not good for small plants as it simply won’t be as effective.
- Highly recommended for mature cannabis.
- Available in 3 sizes.
- Better water drainage.
- pH is perfect for growing cannabis.
- Ideal for flowering plants.
- Must be watered frequently.
- Not good for small plants.
#7. Roots Organics Original Potting Soil
The Roots Organics is a potting soil ideal for fast-growing plants that require a lot of care and nurturing. It’s the best choice for cannabis due to its high level of water retention.
To begin with, this mix is made from perlite and coco fiber, two of the best components for plant growth. Additionally, it features pumice, peat moss, and composted forest material. These ingredients lead to better water retention and reduce the need to water the plant.
Roots Organics also doubles as living soil. It contains living mycorrhizal fungi that enhance your plant’s ability to take up water through the roots.
What sets this organic potting soil aside from the others is that it comes ready to use right in the bag. Simply cut the top of the bag and plant your seeds. You can also dump the contents into a container garden.
You might, however, notice some fungus gnats, which are common with the composition this soil has.
- Promotes healthy plant growth.
- Enhances nutrient uptake ability.
- Comes ready-to-use in the bag.
- Retains a lot of water.
- Best for cannabis plants.
- May cause a fungus gnat problem.
#8. Brut Super Soil – 30 Lb
The Brut Super Soil is an organic soil concentrate designed for plants that require extra nutrients. It contains all the nutrients that your cannabis plant may be lacking.
For starters, it’s loaded with bacteria and enzymes that provide all the necessary nutrients your plant needs. On the organic side, it includes Brut worm castings, mycorrhizal fungi, composted cow manure, and kelp. These ingredients help enhance the nutrient uptake ability of your plant.
On the inorganic side, you get elements like magnesium, potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. These are required for healthy plant growth.
Keep in mind that this is only a soil concentrate. It is to be mixed with regular potting soil. What’s more, the Brut Super Soil contains peat moss which helps it retain more water. For cannabis plants, this is crucial as they require a lot of water.
What’s more, this soil concentrate is completely non-toxic and odor-free. So it won’t create an unpleasant and unhealthy environment in your garden.
- Enhances nutrient uptake.
- Provides all the essential elements.
- Perfect for cannabis and other plants.
- Retains a lot of water.
- Highly organic.
- Must be mixed with regular potting soil.
#9. Big Rootz All Purpose Potting Soil
Big Rootz is an all-purpose potting soil ideal for growing cannabis and other plants. It has been carefully formulated so that it offers maximum plant growth and helps in nutrient uptake.
This formulation is backed by research and increases plant vigor to lend it strength and sturdiness. This is a blend of peat and triple-washed coir. The peat-based formula indicates that it retains more water and doesn’t need to be watered very often. This is more than ideal for cannabis, a plant that needs a lot of water.
In addition to that, the Big Rootz All-Purpose Potting Soil contains worm castings and compost. Both of these provide essential nutrients such as Nitrogen to the roots of the plant.
This potting soil has been pH-adjusted to provide maximum results and increase the water uptake. However, you may run into a fungus gnat infestation.
- Backed by research.
- Retains a lot of water.
- Provides essential nutrients to roots.
- A balanced pH for maximum growth.
- Helps in water and nutrient uptake.
- May lead to a fungus gnat infestation.
#10. Mother Earth Terracraft Potting Soil
If you want potting soil that is recommended for all types of plants, then Mother Earth Terracraft is the way to go.
This soil consists of Sphagnum peat moss as well as processed forest fertilizer. These ingredients help the soil to retain more water than regular potting soil. In the long run, this means you waste less water and also less time watering your cannabis.
In addition to that, the Mother Earth Terracraft Potting Soil has moderate aeration which further helps it retain water. The blend is made from 8 ingredients, some of which include seabird and bat guano, and earthworm castings.
The Mother Earth Terracraft potting soil has a balanced pH with a traditional buffer. So adding new soils won’t change the pH much. This helps it retain more nutrients and helps the plant take up more water.
However, it’s not meant for autoflower cannabis.
- Retains more water.
- Doesn’t need to be watered frequently.
- Enhances nutrient uptake.
- Balanced pH with buffer.
- A unique blend of 8 ingredients.
- Not for autoflower cannabis.
Buying Guide of Best Soil for Cannabis
Stand-Alone Or Supplement-Based?
Stand-alone soils do not require to be mixed with other ingredients such as fertilizers or amendments. But supplement base soil can be adjusted with fertilizers and amendments accordingly.
Organic Or Inorganic?
Organic soils are best for cannabis as they are safe for the environment and many times include living organisms. Inorganic soils are cheaper and may be useful in some cases. Inorganic soils are usually better if you want to keep track of what and how much nutrients your plant is getting. They state explicitly what minerals they use and in what proportions.
Living Soil or Not?
Living soil contains microorganisms like bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi. So, living soil is ideal as it forms a symbiotic relationship with your plant. The bacteria and fungi allow your plant’s roots to take up more nutrients and water. However, they can give rise to fungus gnats and other insects.
The Number of Plants
Lastly, consider how many plants you have and buy the right size of potting soil accordingly.
General Features of The Best Soil for Cannabis
Nutrients And Amendments
The most commonly used amendments for growing cannabis are:
- Bat guano.
- Bone meal.
- Soft rock phosphate.
- Shrimp meal.
- Crab meal.
- Seabird guano.
- Fishbone meal.
In addition to that, cannabis plants require a lot of Potassium, Nitrogen, and Phosphorus.
Drainage & Water Retention
Most cannabis plants require a lot of water. Hence, you should look for soils that have a lot of water retention. These don’t need to be watered often.
The pH should stay between 6 and 7. You should look for soil that acts as a pH buffer, meaning it resists changes in its pH to some extent.
What is the Best Soil for Growing Cannabis?
Four basic types of soil can be used for marijuana growth. These include loam, silt, clay, and sand. And each of these has its pros and cons when it comes to gardening marijuana.
Sand is more root growth permeable, but it doesn’t hold fertilizer or water that well. Whereas clay is just the opposite to that. It can become pretty hard when dry and hot, and roots find it tough to penetrate it.
During this time, clay doesn’t drain very well and becomes hard to cultivate. However, it is rich in natural nutrients and minerals.
On the other hand, Silt has plenty of minerals and can also retain moisture pretty well. But it becomes too compacted and tough in various conditions.
It also tends to form a crust that makes it difficult for nutrients and water to get to the roots of marijuana plants.
Loam For Growing Cannabis & Other Crops
Loam is the best option of all four types for growing marijuana and many other types of crops. It is a mix of silt, clay, and sand, and it brings the best qualities of all types of soils while reducing their negative traits.
The pest composition is to go for 20 percent clay, 40 percent silt, and 40 percent sand. Most people think that the pH of 6.0 is ideally suitable for cannabis plants.
However, the acceptable range is between 5.8 to 6.3. as pH levels remain close to neutral, loam is the best option to consider when growing cannabis plants.
There are different test kits available for measuring acidity in your soil. You can also take a sample of your solid to your local extension agent.
If it doesn’t feature proper acidity levels, you can use various soil amendments to increase or decrease the pH levels. Your local extension agent, garden store, or nursery can help you make the correct AdSense according to your requirements.
Loam is the best option for containers, and you can use it for outdoor growing. However, it is also the most expensive soil available on the market.
Nevertheless, if you are interested in growing the best possible plants, quality loam can reward you long-term.
You can even make your loam mixture and add some organic matter. Then, if you have your separate compost bin, you can use it to improve your soil. It might take a lot of your time, but it can also produce magnificent results.
What is a good potting soil for cannabis?
The best potting soil for cannabis plants is loam, as it is for various other plants. It is a mix of silt (40 percent), clay (20 percent), and sand (40 percent). Its pH level remains between 5.8 to 6.3, and it can retain moisture and nutrients pretty well. This soil is also the most expensive type.
Can you plant cannabis in any soil?
You can plant cannabis in any soil, but there will be different implications, and each soil type has its pros and cons. Therefore, the best option to go for is loam soil, as it is a mix of all other soil types while amplifying their advantages and diminishing their drawbacks.
What kind of soil do Autoflowers need?
Autoflowering strains are similar to those photoperiod variations as they also prefer morse acidic soil slightly. You should go for the soil with pH levels between 6.2 to 6.5. But make sure that the soil is suitable based on its acidity.
How To Make Your Own Organic Super Soil?
You can make your organic super soil by using 8 large bags of coco fiber and mycorrhizae-rich cannabis soil. Add 25 to 50 pounds of earthworm castings to it. Now, take:
- 5 lbs. steamed bone meal.
- ¾ cups Epson salt.
- ½ cup sweet lime.
- 3 lbs. rock phosphate.
- 5 lbs. Bloom bat guano.
- 5 lbs. blood meal.
- ½ cup azomite.
- 2 tbsp powdered humic acid.
Add all these together and you have your very own organic super soil!
How To Grow Cannabis in Soil?
The first thing you gotta do is fill up ¾ of your container with potting soil. After that, gently place the plant and carefully add more soil to cover up the roots.
The rule of thumb here is to not fill it too compact. These roots tend to thrive from the nutrients within the cannabis soil and from the air pockets within the soil. the tiny roots will prevent the roots from rotting.
Therefore, it is important to refrain from pressing down too much on the soil mix. If you are using soil that already has its pH level adjusted, you can simply add water. Let the plant satisfy its thirst before you add more water to prevent overwatering symptoms.
All the soils on the review list are top quality, and Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil Mix is the overall best soil for cannabis. Not only because it has sandy loam and hints of clay and silt, but also it has good water drainage and pH value.
Whichever option you choose, make sure it suits your plants’ needs and your budget.
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Hey there! My name is Umer, and I am a garden enthusiast. I discovered the power of the gardening in my 30s. Now five years later, that critical connection with nature continues to improve my life. My goal is to empower you with the advice you need to grow your home garden.
How to choose the best soil for cannabis
Growing your own cannabis in soil is regarded by many as one of the easiest ways to produce high quality crops of delicious tasting buds. But what is the best soil for cannabis indoor growers? What about the best type of soil for outdoor cannabis? The best soil for cannabis combines excellent nutrition and good water retaining properties along with good drainage and an optimum pH.
What are the main traits of the best soil for cannabis?
The best soil for growing cannabis has several important functions to perform in order to allow healthy growth of the cannabis plant and the roots. There is a huge range of options from cheap supermarket soil to expensively blended specialist soils. Not all of these are ideal for growing cannabis. Here are some of the most important features for anyone seeking the best soil for cannabis growing:
Cannabis doesn’t grow well in heavily compacted, dense soils. The best soil mix for cannabis tends to be light and airy. This allows good levels of root oxygenation, especially when combined with air-pots or porous fabric root sacks. Healthy cannabis roots will thrive in a light, aerated soil.
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A perfect soil mix for cannabis allows good drainage. Waterlogged soil results in poor root health and subsequent slow growth. If you water your plants and notice surface water forming in pools it is an indication that your soil may have poor drainage.
The best soil for cannabis has good drainage qualities but at the same time it is able to retain some moisture for the roots to absorb.
The best ph for cannabis in soil around 6. Some growers ask ‘how to test soil ph for cannabis?’ You can buy specialist kits which measure soil pH, though many soil growers have never worried about testing pH. To some extent soil is self-buffering, meaning that soil growers need not worry about e.g. pH-adjusting their nutrients in the way that many hydroponic growers have to. Using a larger plant container with more grow medium enlarges the buffer zone and is the preferred approach by many soil-using cannabis growers.
Most soils contain a reasonable level of nutrients. These eventually become depleted, requiring the grower to use perhaps a bloom nutrient as the plant flowers. Nitrogen (N), Potassium (K) and Phosphorus (P) are the main nutrients, but there are plenty of other important trace nutrients which are also required.
Some growers like to avoid having to feed a bloom nutrient. Instead they try to make the best organic soil for cannabis which can feed the plant for the bulk of it’s life.
This can be done with slow release organic nutrients from companies such as BioTabs. Simply mix the slow release organic nutrients into your soil mix. One tip is to use a large initial soil container (e.g. 50 litres or more). With such a large reserve of nutrients in a large container of soil you may be able to avoid the worry of bloom nutrients for much (or even all) of your grow.
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Organic soil vs soil mix
A good organic soil is often produced with generous levels of compost, peat and slow release nutrients which are broken down in the soil by beneficial bacteria. Some of these specialist soil can cost upwards of €/£/$ 50 per 50l bag and are said to contain sufficient nutrition for (almost) the entire grow.
The best soil mix for cannabis is often produced by blending several starting ingredients. The ingredients may include additives that are proven to be useful, such as bat guano, worm castings, dolomite limestone (contains Calcium & Magnesium), coco fibre, mycorrhizal bacteria as well as a high grade nutrient-rich soil/compost.
Many growers have found good results with peat based soils which don’t contain wood products. The absence of wood minimises potential problems later on with fungus gnats which thrive in a warm indoor grow room.
Lightmix is a blended soil type which is often used in the cannabis growing community. It contains a mixture of ingredients together with added perlite to make the medium more aerated. It also contains a small amount of nutrients, sufficient for the first weeks. Lightmix soil preparations are a good starting point for inexperienced growers.
The best soil for cannabis seeds and seedlings
Note that the best potting soil for cannabis seedlings and seeds is often a very light mix with low nutrient levels. Young cannabis plants and roots are easily burnt by soil which contains too many nutrients. The best soil for seedlings allows rapid root growth in the light, aerated soil. For young seedlings, nutrition is not as important as it is for mature plants in full bloom. In fact, a light mix with few nutrients is great for seeds and seedlings. Special soil types optimised for seedlings are available, such as Terra Seed Mix from Canna.
Photoperiod vs autoflowering cannabis soil
A good quality cannabis soil will give equally impressive results whether you are growing autoflower seeds or photoperiod feminised seeds. Don’t worry about making or purchasing different soil types. The cannabis roots have to absorb the same minerals and nutrients. There is simply no need to source different soils for your autoflower seeds and your feminised seeds. The best cannabis soils work well for both.
Best indoor vs outdoor soil for cannabis
Indoor cannabis growers are spoilt for choice when it comes to soil options. Many of the top brands do a great job. Some indoor growers are reluctant to change from their preferred soil choice once they feel settled with a particular soil recipe which works well for them. As well as trying to grow in the best soil for cannabis, indoor growers also try to fine-tune and improve their grow room conditions.
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Many outdoor cannabis growers simply use the existing outdoor soil. Sometimes this can be supplemented with well-rotted manure and other additives. Experienced outdoor growers will test the soil with specialist test kits and amend the soil accordingly. If the outdoor soil is simply too low in nutrients/quality (e.g. too sandy) then it can be supplemented by high quality soil form the grow shop. Remember cannabis has been growing outdoors without human intervention for hundreds of thousands of years. Cannabis can grow well in many outdoor soil types.
Outdoor growers can grow their plants in the ground or in containers. When growing in containers avoid dark coloured/black containers which can get very hot in direct sunlight and ‘cook’ the root ball. This can slow growth rates or even kill the plant.
When growing cannabis outdoors in hot, dry regions some growers add water absorbing crystals to the soil. These are water retaining polymers (as used in babies nappies) which can greatly increase the water retention properties of your soil.
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Store-bought vs homemade cannabis soil
Many less experienced growers find it convenient to buy ready-made soil from their grow store. The more professional ‘living soil’ blends can be very expensive. That’s why some growers like to save some money and create their own soil blend themselves.
Note that there is not a single, definitive ‘best soil recipe for cannabis’. Cannabis grows well under a wide range of conditions and substrates. But if you want to know how to make your own soil for cannabis you may find the following recipe a good starting point. But remember you can vary the ratio of ingredients and even add your own supplements until you reach a blend that works well for you.
Basic cannabis soil recipe
Your choice of ingredients is quite wide. You can lighten the soil mix with coco coir, perlite, vermiculite or even sphagnum moss according to your preferences. Here is a suggested mix.
• 1 part coco fibre
• 1 part perlite
• 2 parts compost
• 1 cup of worm castings
Note. Other popular additives include small amounts of blood meal, dolomite lime, fish meal, bat guano, peat, bone meal etc. Mycorrhizal and other beneficial bacteria are also great at breaking down the soil and gradually releasing more nutrients. They are highly recommended to create a healthy ‘living’ soil.
Steps to follow:
• Sieve the compost to remove/break down any large lumps
• Place the sieved compost in a large mixing bucket and add the other ingredients
• Using your hands, ensure that all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed together.
Remember you can modify your recipe as you gain experience. But not everyone has the time to manually prepare and fine-tune their soil mixtures. For some people it’s easier to buy a proven brand of soil mix from the grow shop. For some growers the best cannabis soils are simply the easiest grow medium in which to produce the finest tasting organic cannabis.
What is the best soil for cannabis growing?
If you’ve thought about growing, you’ve probably already thought about the best soil for cannabis.
You likely didn’t give it that much thought, though, because who takes time to think about soil?
Well, the soil that you grow your marijuana in is very important, so if you want to grow the best weed possible, you should pay some attention to it.
This guide will cover everything you need to know about the common growing medium.
How to choose the best soil for marijuana plants:
The basics of using soil for marijuana grows
Plants typically need three things to survive: water, light, and soil.
Soil may seem obvious, but nowadays, with soil alternatives and hydroponic growing, even that is optional.
However, for most growers, especially those who are new to growing marijuana, growing in soil is the best option.
Soil growing (instead of growing in nutrient-infused water) is one of the easiest and most familiar methods of growing.
Plus, attempting to grow hydroponically the first time you are growing marijuana is almost guaranteed to be a recipe for disaster.
Soil is simply the natural way to grow, but it is still important to start with a good quality soil.
After all, it provides the plant’s nutrients and helps the plant form stable roots.
High-quality soil is especially important for outdoor plants who could face potentially harsh winds and other environmental conditions.
Why grow marijuana in soil?
Great soil can help your plants thrive, so it is essential to first understand what soil is.
It is definitely more than dirt.
Advantages of using soil
The soil is the most natural medium for growing almost all kinds of plants. It means that most people already are familiar with or have experience in doing it.
In effect, it is easier and less stressful to use than other modes of planting, which requires a learning curve.
Another advantage is its simplicity in making it work. Just watering the soil is enough for most plants to grow.
Also, the supplies needed are few compared to using other costlier mediums.
Natural soils are made up of mineral particles, air, organic matter, water and biological organisms.
Disadvantages of Using Soil
Since soil is an organic material, it is natural for bugs to live in it.
Therefore, the plants are more prone to suffer from pest infestations.
There is also the issue of slower growth.
In contrast, marijuana grown using hydroponics enjoys explosive growth due to faster and more efficient nutrient absorption.
Nearly 25% of soil is air that exists in a gaseous phase –not quite liquid or solid.
Water is known as soil solution, a liquid made of water, and ions from dissolved salts, and chemicals.
These ions are unable to attach to minerals in the soil.
Water also makes up nearly 25% of soil. The mineral particles in soil consist of sand, clay, and silt.
These inorganic particles can significantly impact a soil’s quality.
These tiny fragments of rocks and hard minerals (such as quartz) do not carry any nutrients, meaning large amounts of it in your soil is a bad thing.
Soil with lots of sand is arid;
however, small to moderate amounts can improve drainage and aeration as well as increase tilling quality.
This mixture of sand and minerals has some nutrients, but not many.
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It is is beneficial for soil, as it can include the important nutrients of K, Ca, Mg and Fe- making soil fertile.
Clay is aluminum-silicate and has negatively charged ions that attract these nutrients to it.
However, if there is too much clay, it will be hard to till the soil, and there will also be poor drainage.
Soil also includes a variety of organic matter and substances such as:
- Decomposing plant and animal particles
- Organisms and microorganisms living in the soil
- Substances produced by roots and microorganisms
These exist in smaller amounts, typically around 5%. Although there isn’t much organic matter in soil, its presence highly influences its quality and the eventual yield of your plants.
The particles and substances are also known as humus, whereas organisms may include earthworms and other beneficial creatures.
How to recognize the best soil for cannabis
Now that you understand what soil is, it is much easier to recognize good soil when you see it.
Marijuana soil has some specific requirements, so unless you are buying soil that is specifically designed for cannabis, you’ll want to learn to pay attention to certain things.
Good soil will have the correct texture, drainage ability and water retention for marijuana. It will look dark and rich, with a loose texture that isn’t muddy.
Good marijuana soil also drains well – you should be able to pour water on it and have it drain out within a few seconds.
The soil should retain enough water for the plant to thrive, as the roots need that water, but it shouldn’t be so much that the roots cannot get enough oxygen either.
This is why both proper drainage and water retention are essential aspects of good soil.
Good soil also has good ingredients. Of course, soils that include some form of organic matter (humus) are great for marijuana because they provide plenty of nutrients.
Some examples of organic matter to look for in a good cannabis soil include:
- Earthworm castings
- Bat Guano
- Blood, fish, or bone meal
- Sandy Loam
- Dolomite lime
If you purchase soil that has any of these ingredients in it, there’s a good chance it might provide great nutrition for your plants.
You’ll still want to make sure that it has the right nutrients for your plant’s particular stage in its life cycle though.
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Choosing soil for your marijuana plants
With an understanding of what you are looking for, you can now start to select the right soil for your plants.
The first thing to remember is that soil is highly dependent on the stage of life that your plant is in.
While it is still sprouting, it is best to use peat plugs or something similar to that.
These ready-made blocks of soil provide everything that a budding seed needs to make its way into the world.
If you can’t find, (or don’t want to use) peat plugs, an organic potting soil will also work.
Organic soils will not have any added ‘slow-release’ chemicals, something you’ll want to avoid when growing marijuana.
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While potting soils do not have the right type of nutrients to support a growing marijuana plant, they will have enough to support a seedling for its first couple of weeks.
After that point, you’ll want to supplement with nutrients that are specifically designed for marijuana plants – especially once you reach the flowering stage.
Another reason why it is okay to use potting soil (at least at first) is because you’re likely going to end up moving your plants after they are about a month old anyway.
The roots will be too big for their first home, and you should place them in a bigger container or move them outdoors.
That is the perfect time to switch out your soil for something more suitable.
If you used peat plugs, you can simply add the plugs to local dirt or grass mulch to make a suitable soil outdoors.
Not only does this provide a better texture over the natural earth, but it also offers ample room for young roots to move around and increases the nutrient value in the soil.
You can also move your seedlings into either sterilized potting compost or a “living soil.”
If you opt for sterilized soil, it should include some form of amendment (such as perlite), that makes up at least 20% of the soil.
This additive will help increase the amount of air present in the soil, which helps marijuana plants grow faster.
Living soils, on the other hand, are composted soils.
They are useful because they include microorganisms that create an ecosystem similar to the best natural scenario.
The roots directly absorb the nutrients produced from these organisms, and the results are often noticeable in the flavor and scent of the harvest.