Making Amazing Cannabis Soils, Great Results
Have you ever wanted to know how you can make your own awesome cannabis growing soils from scratch? If you are done paying hundreds of dollars for pre-made cannabis growing soils this guide will help you use regular soils to create a growing soils medium that is full of nutrients.
Your plants are going to be living in this soil for months, having a great soil for the roots to grow into is paramount to growing healthy thriving cannabis plants. On the other hand, poor soils can cause all sorts of problems for you and your plants. Whether you get your soils from outdoors, or buy it, not all soils are created equal. In this guide we will review creating an organic, sustainable, reusable soil for your garden. If you have ever wanted to save money on cannabis soils this is the article for you.
What Makes an Amazing Cannabis Soil?
Some of this will of course depend on where you are growing your cannabis plants. Some growers will be growing in soils outdoors, while some will be using potted cannabis soils. Either way cannabis growers will be amending their soils for the best results. Some soils will need more work then others to become great soils from just average or below average soils. There are a few things that make an average soil great for cannabis.
Nutrient and Mineral Content
Great cannabis soils need to be able to have, hold and contain a supply of nutrients for your cannabis to grow. Without a soil mineral test it will be hard to know exactly what is in your soil if you are growing outdoors. Indoors you can buy many types of soils that will list nutrients in them as a baseline. The soil needs to be able to have and hold the nutrients that the plant will require as it grows from vegetative growth to flowering.
Nutrient Holding Capacity, What is it?
Not only does your soil need to contain nutrients for growing, it also needs to be able to contain them so they do not “run away”. Another name for this is “soil runoff” ; this means that the nutrients will not just wash away each watering. Any soil that the grow uses will need to supply and contain nutrients that are present in the soil as well as any that will be added to the soil during the growing cycle.
Cannabis needs a well draining soil in order to grow well and prevent root rot. Your soil should not hold water for more than a few days. If it stays wet too long it will not allow the roots of the plant to breathe correctly. When this happens in the soil it will essentially drown the roots of the plant. Once this happens it will cause numerous issues with the growing plant, leading up to plant death. When watering the plants check the majority of the water is running out the bottom of the pots. Your cannabis growing containers should have good drainage holds in the bottom for this. Water should not be sitting in your soil for days at a time, if this is the case you will need to replace your soil with better draining soil.
How to create well draining Cannabis Soils?
If you have a soil that is draining poorly you can add amendments to it that will increase the drainage. Here are a few things that growers can add to increase the soil drainage either in pots or outdoors.
- Perlite (no recommended unless it’s all you can find)
- Lava Rocks (recommended)
- Clay Pellets
- Sand (free)
All these things will help to increase the drainage of your cannabis soils.
Soil PH Values
For cannabis to take up nutrients from its root system, it must have a PH in range of the PH scale. For the best nutrient uptake, we recommend that the PH for soil be in the range of 6.0 to 6.5. This will allow for the absorption of nutrients from the soil for a healthy growing cannabis plant.
If your soil is not in the correct range you can move it into this range by using Dolomitic limestone. The powder versions work best and fastest, in your soil. Be careful not to add too much as you don’t want to use so much that it brings it out of your optimal PH range. If you would like to read more about PH values and what they mean to growing plants we recommend this article.
Water Holding Ability
So the exact opposite of cannabis soil drainage is the soil’s water holding ability. Just like growers do not want soil that holds too much water, you also don’t want cannabis soils that don’t hold enough water and dry out far too quickly. With any soil you want it to be able to hold water for 2 to 3 days before needing more water. If your soil is drying out after only a few hours from watering then you will need to add amendments that will help the soil hold water for longer.
When the soil gets overly dry the plants will also die very quickly, as fast as overnight in some cases. If your soil does not hold water well such as clay, adding something like peat moss will increase the water holding abilities.
Texture of Soils Light vs Heavy
There are two types of soils, light fluffy soils and heavier denser soils. Cannabis enjoys growing in a light, fluffier soil as opposed to a heavier type of soil such as clay soils. Cannabis growers will generally run into heavier soil when cultivating cannabis outside. There is no need to worry however as you can fix these types of soils. Adding things like, sand, or coco coir or peat moss will help to create fluffier soils that cannabis can thrive in. By mixing these things in with the soil it will create a better soil for cannabis to grow in.
Creating your own Amazing Soils
Since cannabis has been grown in pretty much any part of the world and is a weed, you can also create your own soil mixes for cannabis cultivation. The safest bet when starting out making your own mix is to buy soils from a growing store. This way you know what you are going to be starting with as a baseline mix. However if you are on a budget, and have good outdoor soils you can also use that for potting mixes as well.
Never bring outdoor soils into the indoor grow space unless you first realize it. You never know what kind of pest you may bring inside that will damage your plants once they are growing in it. If you bring soil indoors for potting use, be sure to cook it in the oven for 2 hours. Make sure that the middle of the soil reaches at least 175 F to kill any pests or microbes that may harm your plants in the future. You can use a meat thermometer to check the center of the soil. It can be baked in turkey tins covered with tin foil for the results.
Amending Soil with Organic Nutrients
Once you have your base cannabis soil for growing either making your own or buying it from a shop you are ready to add nutrients for your plants. While there are no limits to the amount of different organic amendments that you can add to your soil we will list a few of our favorites.
- Blood Meal – Great source of nitrogen for your plants will release slowly keeping your cannabis plants nice and green in vegetative growth.
- Ground Egg Shells – Excellent slow release of calcium for growing big plants and cannabis buds. Can be broken up by hand for slower breakdown of calcium.
- Bat Guano – A great source of potassium for flowering cannabis plants.
- Rock Dust – Amazing source of micronutrients for your growing cannabis plants will not have to worry about micronutrients when using this cannabis soil amendment. Can grind your own for free.
- Worm Castings – They call these “Gardeners Gold” for a reason they are an awesome soil amendment, if you can get some we highly recommend them for your soil, indoors and outdoors. Just as good at adding amazing smells and taste to your cannabis buds and any bottled additives.
This is a very basic list you can read all about our favorite organic growing amendments in this article.
You can mix these amendments either in your container soil or with our cannabis soils outdoors.
Putting it all together for the best cannabis soils
Following this guide you should now have a great base soil in order to grow your favorite cannabis plants in. Some growers, after mixing everything together, like to let the soil sit for a few weeks to allow for the organic nutrients to break down for the plants. This happens even faster if you add worm castings to the soil mix. They will contain microbes to the soil that will eat the organic amendments breaking them down quicker for your plants.
With some good soil and amendment it is very easy to create a good quality budget friendly cannabis soils for growing. We hope this guide will give you some tips and ideas, and to understand what goes into a great growing soil for cannabis plants.