Soil Solutions

Soil Basics

When it comes to cannabis soil, its all about the feel, how it feels in your hands and how it feels to grow in. Everyone has got their own opinions, time to find yours. We will discuss standard hardware store soils, formulated cannabis specific brands and homemade soils.

Anyone that has grown cannabis will know how fast it can grow and in order to double growth, instead of yellowing leaves, in a matter of days, the right soil is required.

With the wrong soil you will run into numerous problems. Dense soils restrict the development of roots and does not drain properly, lack of drainage will cause root rot. Soils that drain too quickly are naturally lacking in nutrients and will lose nutrients via extensive water runoff. A balance between these factors is key.

Cannabis is said to do best in a light, fluffy and aerated soil mix that is rich in a wide range of amendments. The ultimate aim of a soil mix is to promote optimal root and shoot growth for as long as possible without the addition of fertilizer.

Store Bought VS Homemade

Store bought soils are quick and simple, all the hard work has been done for you. Open the bag, pour into a pot; and you’re good to grow. There are different soils to choose from, normal potting soil mixes from a local hardware store are usually high in organic composts which can work well, however take special care as they tend to retain too much water, the addition of sand or coco-coir can increase drainage.

Specially formulated soil brands have their own formulation of base components (coco-coir/peat moss/soil) and amendments to best suit the growth of cannabis. The most commonly used base substrate is coco-coir, it is the correct texture and provides good drainage as well as retaining moisture. The only downside is that it is naturally very low in organic nutrients. For this reason the addition of amendments and composts are encouraged.

A homemade soil can be more time consuming but allows growers to fine tune and dial in everything, reducing the need for additional fertilization. Some strains naturally require heavier feeding than others, making soils suited for your strains could yield more promising results than store bought soils.

Easy homemade soil recipe:

  • one part coco-coir,
  • one part vermiculite/perlite,
  • two parts compost,
  • one cup worm castings,
  • one cup sand.

A very basic mix that can be amended further with products like bone meal, volcanic rock dust, diatomaceous earth, bat guano and seaweed extracts. Additional amendments are important as they are not found in standard potting mixes and will boost growth and reduce the need for future feeding.

Its is important to adjust the pH of any homemade soils to between 6 and 6.5, this can be achieved with the addition of dolomitic limestone (increase pH) or aluminum sulfate (decrease pH), all found at a garden store.

Freedom Farms Formula 1

A high quality, fluffy and nutrient enriched substrate; making use of finely shaved coco-coir and perlite as a base. The addition of amendments provides a boost in development and sustains plants throughout the vegetative growth stage. The use of this soil in addition to a liquid fertilizer is recommended.

Just Cannabis Craft Soil

Formulated with the addition of NPK, calcium and worm castings, this brand makes use of coco-coir as a base with the addition of perlite. Soil pH of between 6 and 6.5 to ensure nutrient availability.

With the addition of amendments, plants will stay healthy and grow vigorously throughout the vegetative phase, however the addition of blackstrap molasses and epsom salts is recommend for the flowering stage for optimal results.

Nitty Gritty

Store bought soils are perfect in the hands of a new grower, follow the addition of blackstrap molasses and epsom salts as recommend during flowering and do not expect any major issues. However I extend a word of warning here, the use of store bought soils and no additional fertilizers is not recommended.

The use of homemade soils, amended to the nines, offers a unique experience, only achievable with patience, trial and error. Those that embark on this quest will be met with unbelievable results compared to store bought soils. A great idea is to take a freedom farms or just cannabis soil and add your own additional amendments as desired, this is my approach.

Thank you for the read and if you have further questions or would like us to expand on a topic, please comment down below.

1 thought on “Soil Solutions

  1. […] can also cut costs by using old buckets with sufficient added drainage, make sure to use the correct soil. If you do not have access to feminized seeds, seeds from friends and bag seeds have the chance of […]

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