The right soil is essential for growing any plant, especially marijuana.
In fact, having the right soil is one of the most important factors for successful and healthy growth even when you’re growing it at home for personal consumption. Many first-time growers make the mistake of overlooking soil, which they then have to learn about the hard way. Of course, there are other factors that play an important role such as acidity levels, water, air, sunlight, and drainage.
However, when it comes to soil as a growing medium, there are many different kinds available.
Types of Soil Best For Cannabis
Generally speaking, always opt for dark-colored, rich soil that’s loosely packed because it ensures more efficient drainage. In addition, light soil will help roots grow properly while ensuring that oxygen reaches the roots.
There are four varieties of soil out there: clay, loam, sandy, and silt. Then again, many soils are made by combining two or more of these at various ratios.
Here’s what you should know about each of these soils, so that you can determine which would be best for your cannabis grow:
Clay soils: Clay is an excellent organic soil for cannabis. It’s made from fine mineral particles that are heavy and too compact for working with your hands, but these are a potent source of minerals and nutrients that support the growth of organic cannabis. While clay does a good job with water retention, it’s poor in drainage.
If you decide to work with clay soil, you can use rice hulls to expand and create air pockets for improved drainage. It’s also good to keep in mind that clay is suitable for cannabis plants that are already well-developed and mature as opposed to younger plants that still need to
Loamy soils: Loam is the product of combining clay, silt, and sandy soil with other organic compounds. For many cannabis growers, loamy soils is the best out there because of excellent drainage and water retention. Loamy soil is also a potent source of oxygen and nutrients.
Another major benefit of loamy soil is that it’s ideal for use with potted cannabis, which is convenient for growing marijuana at home. Many growers favor loam even for growing other types of plants, so if you have a green thumb and want to grow others at home, this is highly recommended. The ideal balance of all three kinds of soil, its high calcium levels, and high pH makes it suitable for marijuana grows.
Loam can be identified through its dark color, and its crumbly but soft texture when held by hand.
However, it isn’t good for water retention. When watering sandy soil, it’s inevitable for valuable nutrients includingnitrogen to wash off with it too. On the other hand, many cannabis growers like working with sandy soil because it’s easy to work with given that it has high oxygen levels and keeps the soil airy.
Some cannabis growers still use sandy soil but adjust the planting hole using moisture-retaining products such as peat moss or coir beneath the plant. When this mixture is strategically placed around the plant, keep in mind that it’s important to feed it with slow-release nutrients more frequently.
Water retention is good with silt soil, as well as drainage. In fact, silt is one of the most fertile types of soil for cannabis or any other plant, particularly when they are still in the seedling stage. Frequent irrigation also ensures that the growing season is lengthened significantly when this soil type is used.
Tips To Keep In Mind When Buying Soil For Cannabis
It can get overwhelming and tempting to buy lots of garden tools when growing your first cannabis plant. While there are many options in garden stores, remember that your cannabis growing experience can be different from what you expected so avoid purchasing soil or other items in bulk; none of these will ensure quality or thick buds with potent THC levels.
That’s why it’s so important to understand the foundations of good cannabis soil, and what makes it ideal for growing. The nutrient content, drainage abilities, water retention, and pH levels are the most critical especially if you want to grow cannabis with rich trichomes and cannabinoids. As a grower, it is also your responsibility to ensure that the cannabis plants have access to the right ratio of water and oxygen at all hours of the day, because even if you have the best soil, these conditions can make or break a good grow.
The best soil for your cannabis should be dark and rich, with a loose texture as this helps with drainage. It should also be able to hold adequate water in without the risk of getting muddy.
In many cases, natural soil is never 100% perfect for growing cannabis particularly in the beginning. You may have found many ideal qualities yet it has poor texture or drainage.
Thankfully, there are solutions to this n the form of soil amendments, which you can easily find in your local garden store.
Coco coir: Also known as coco fibre, this amendment is effective for lightening compact soil and helps to retain water. You can also use a pure coco substrate formulated with nutrients. Around 30% coco coir is good for soil amendment but the amount you put should be based on the existing soil composition.
Clay pebbles: Clay pebbles are commonly used in hydroponics but they are also excellent with enhancing soil structure. When clay pebbles are added underneath raised beds, they help with drainage and also prevent water from compiling at the base.
Perlite: Perlite is easily the most popular soil amendment out there. It’s made from light rocks that are efficient in improving soil airiness and drainage. Another great aspect of perlite is that it helps retain water well. Around 10-15% of perlite addition to your soil is usually suitable; anything more than this can cause nutrients to spill out.
What are your favorite ways of using soil to grow cannabis at home?