Good Soil For Weed Seeds

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The best soil for cannabis plants depends on a variety of factors. Learn how to find or make the best soil for growing marijuana! Growing cannabis outdoors offers many benefits. Firstly, it can be very affordable. You do not need to provide a structure like a greenhouse or high tunnel. In addition, artificial light is not necessary if you place it in the right spot in your yard, because your plants can benefit from the sun’s abundant and free energy. In addition, you do not necessarily have to provide costly soil for your plants outside. But for the best results, you want good marijuana soil that will help your plants grow healthy and happy. DripWorks is here to offer you a few simple tips for finding and creating the best soil for growing marijuana outdoors. Soil Types Four basic soil types exist: sand, clay, silt, and loam. Each has its pros and cons for gardening. Sand is easily permeable for root growth, for instance, but it does not hold on to water or fertilizer well. Clay is just the opposite. When it’s hot and dry, clay can become hard as a rock, making it difficult for roots to penetrate. Clay drains poorly and is hard to cultivate. On the plus side, it is rich in minerals and natural nutrients. Silt soils have lots of minerals and retain moisture well. Like clay, however, this type of soil can become compacted and hard in certain conditions. It can also form a crust, making it difficult for moisture and nutrients to reach plants’ roots. Loam for Growing Marijuana & Other Crops Of these types, loam is by far the best soil mix for growing marijuana plants and many other types of crops. Loam is a mixture of clay, sand, and silt, bringing forth the best qualities of these disparate types of soil while minimizing their worst attributes. The optimal ratio for loam is 20% clay, 40% silt and 40% sand. Most folks think a pH of 6.0 is best for cannabis, with a range of 5.8 to 6.3 being acceptable. With a pH close to neutral, loam is typically in that zone or close to it. Test kits are available to measure your soil’s acidity, or you can take a sample to your friendly local extension agent. If your dirt does not have the proper acidity, soil amendments are available to lower or raise the pH level in your soil. Your local nursery, garden store or extension agent can make some suggestions. Loam is ideal for containers as well as for outdoor growing. Unfortunately, it is usually the most expensive soil to buy. But if you are interested in growing the best plants possible, it can pay big dividends in the long run. You can also build up your own loam soil by adding organic matter to it. If you have a compost bin, you can use the compost to improve your soil. This will be a time-consuming and ongoing process but with grit and persistence will pay off in the long run. Water, Light and Nutrients You will want to provide the proper amount of light and water to your plants, of course. A drip irrigation system can cut your water bills while improving the health of your plants. Kits are available that give you everything you need to get started. If you prefer, you can start from scratch and obtain separate components to put them all together. Just like humans, plants need the right nutrients. The most important ones for your cannabis plants are nitrogen (N), potassium (K) and phosphate (P). These make up the ratios you will typically see on fertilizer labels. The right balance is essential for healthy growth. Many pre-mixed marijuana fertilizers are available, making your job easier. But if you prefer, you can also formulate your own. 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

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.

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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

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
  • Kelp
  • Mycorrhizae
  • Perlite
  • Pumice
  • 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.

The Best Soil for Growing Marijuana Outdoors

Growing cannabis outdoors offers many benefits. Firstly, it can be very affordable. You do not need to provide a structure like a greenhouse or high tunnel. In addition, artificial light is not necessary if you place it in the right spot in your yard, because your plants can benefit from the sun’s abundant and free energy.

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In addition, you do not necessarily have to provide costly soil for your plants outside. But for the best results, you want good marijuana soil that will help your plants grow healthy and happy. DripWorks is here to offer you a few simple tips for finding and creating the best soil for growing marijuana outdoors.

Soil Types

Four basic soil types exist: sand, clay, silt, and loam. Each has its pros and cons for gardening.

Sand is easily permeable for root growth, for instance, but it does not hold on to water or fertilizer well.

Clay is just the opposite. When it’s hot and dry, clay can become hard as a rock, making it difficult for roots to penetrate. Clay drains poorly and is hard to cultivate. On the plus side, it is rich in minerals and natural nutrients.

Silt soils have lots of minerals and retain moisture well. Like clay, however, this type of soil can become compacted and hard in certain conditions. It can also form a crust, making it difficult for moisture and nutrients to reach plants’ roots.

Loam for Growing Marijuana & Other Crops

Of these types, loam is by far the best soil mix for growing marijuana plants and many other types of crops. Loam is a mixture of clay, sand, and silt, bringing forth the best qualities of these disparate types of soil while minimizing their worst attributes.

The optimal ratio for loam is 20% clay, 40% silt and 40% sand. Most folks think a pH of 6.0 is best for cannabis, with a range of 5.8 to 6.3 being acceptable. With a pH close to neutral, loam is typically in that zone or close to it.

Test kits are available to measure your soil’s acidity, or you can take a sample to your friendly local extension agent. If your dirt does not have the proper acidity, soil amendments are available to lower or raise the pH level in your soil. Your local nursery, garden store or extension agent can make some suggestions.

Loam is ideal for containers as well as for outdoor growing. Unfortunately, it is usually the most expensive soil to buy. But if you are interested in growing the best plants possible, it can pay big dividends in the long run.
You can also build up your own loam soil by adding organic matter to it. If you have a compost bin, you can use the compost to improve your soil. This will be a time-consuming and ongoing process but with grit and persistence will pay off in the long run.

Water, Light and Nutrients

You will want to provide the proper amount of light and water to your plants, of course. A drip irrigation system can cut your water bills while improving the health of your plants. Kits are available that give you everything you need to get started. If you prefer, you can start from scratch and obtain separate components to put them all together.

Just like humans, plants need the right nutrients. The most important ones for your cannabis plants are nitrogen (N), potassium (K) and phosphate (P). These make up the ratios you will typically see on fertilizer labels.

The right balance is essential for healthy growth. Many pre-mixed marijuana fertilizers are available, making your job easier. But if you prefer, you can also formulate your own.

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:

Texture
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.

Related:
Cannabis roots. The importance of root health for cannabis growth

Drainage
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.

Water retention
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.

pH value
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.

Nutrients

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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Related:
A visual guide to cannabis nutrient deficiencies

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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How to grow cannabis indoors
Optimising your grow room conditions

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.

Main ingredients:
• 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.

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