Plants generally need these three things to survive: water, light, and soil. The importance of soil may seem obvious, however, with the many alternatives to soil and hydroponic growing, even soil is optional these days. Most growers, especially those who are new to growing marijuana plants tend to grow in soil, it happens to be one of the easiest methods of growing. Soil growing is one of the most natural ways to grow any plant
The most natural way to grow is simply growing in soil but it is still very important to start with good quality soil, this provides the plants with the correct nutrients and helps the plant form stable roots. Outdoor plants need High-quality soil because they could potentially face harsh winds and other environmental conditions.
If you use high-quality soil this will ensure your plant's survival. It is essential to understand what soil is. Soil is made up of mineral particles, air, organic matter, water, and biological organisms.
Air: Roughly 25% of soil is the air that is in a gaseous phase, this means it's not quite liquid or solid.
Water: Also known as a soil solution, this liquid is made of water and ions from dissolved salts and chemicals.
The mineral particles in soil consist of silt, sand, and clay. These particles can impact a soil’s quality.
Sand: Sand comprises of fragments of rocks and hard minerals however they do not carry any nutrients, therefore large amounts of sand in the soil are a bad thing however small amounts can improve the drainage and aeration quality of the soil.
Silt: A sand and mineral mixture which has some nutrients but not a lot.
Clay: Comprises of important nutrients such as K, Ca, Mg, and Fe- making the soil fertile. If your soil contains too much clay, it will be hard to and have poor drainage.
Soils include a variety of organic matter and substances such as decomposing plant and animal particles, and organisms living in the soil. The presence of organic matter in the soil does influence the quality and the yield of your plants.
Recognizing quality soil
Marijuana soil has some specific requirements. A high-quality soil will have the correct texture, water retention, and drainage ability for the marijuana plant. The soil should look dark and rich and will have a loose texture that isn’t muddy.
A high-quality marijuana soil drains well and should retain enough water for the plant to thrive, this allows the plant to get the correct amount of oxygen.
High-quality soil contains good ingredients. Soils that have some form of organic matter are wonderful for the marijuana plant as they provide plenty of nutrients.
These are some examples of organic matter you should look for in a high-quality cannabis soil
- Earthworm castings
- fish, or bone meal
- Sandy Loam
- Dolomite lime
Choosing the correct soil for your plants:
It would be best to use peat plugs or something similar while your marijuana plant is still sprouting, They provide everything that a budding seed needs to prosper. If you can’t find peat plugs or don’t want to use them, organic potting soil will work perfectly.
Organic soils do not contain slow-release chemicals, this would be something you would want to avoid when growing marijuana.
Potting soils do not contain the correct nutrients to support a growing marijuana plant, it will suffice for the first couple of weeks. After that point, you will have to supplement with nutrients that are specifically designed for marijuana plants. After the first couple of weeks, your seedling will need a bigger container to expand its roots, this is the perfect time to switch from general potting soil to something more suitable. You could move your seedlings into either sterilized potting compost or a living soil. If you choose to use sterilized soil, it should include some form of the amendment (such as perlite), This will help increase the amount of air in the soil, which helps marijuana plants grow faster. Living soils are composted soils. They include microorganisms that create an ecosystem, this creates a natural scenario. The roots absorb the nutrients that are produced from the organisms. Living soils don’t require any additional nutrients since microorganisms provide all the nutrients your plant requires. You should re-pot your plants just before flowering if you use this type of soil.
Making your average soil better
Some of the best soil amendments are easy to obtain and make a huge difference to your soil quality. You can try some of the following ingredients to make your soil even better:
You can add perlite to any soil that doesn’t already contain it. These light airy ‘rocks’ will add oxygen and increase its drainage ability.
Coco coir is made from the husks of coconuts this improves water retention and does not make the soil heavy and reduces the chance of overwatering. This is a great soil alternative.
Vermiculate will lighten your soil if your soil is too heavy. It is very good at improving water retention.
Worm castings are used to improve the texture of your soil, moisture retention, and drainage.
Making a Super Soil
If you have the time you can make a special kind of homemade soil called super soil.
This super soil contains slow-release nutrients and then it is composted for months. Once you have composted the soil it then becomes a living soil in that it has microorganisms. With super soil, you will not need to worry about nutrients or the pH level of the soil because nature will do all the work.
Super soil does have some benefits, such as a better taste and smell in your harvest.
There are a few downsides to super soil, it is expensive and time-consuming to make, so it’s not economical for your everyday grower. If you create super soil you are creating an optimal environment for your plants. All you need to do is to water your plants.
With the correct soil, your amount of effort significantly decreases as your quality of bud increases.