Best Soil For Cannabis Seeds

If you have an indoor cannabis grow set-up, you need the best soil for growing weed indoors. Our guide dives into what factors to consider and the best ones. What is Good Soil For Growing Cannabis? When it comes to growing cannabis in soil, unless you’re using a brand that is known for making soil that is specifically cannabis-friendly, there are a If you’re growing cannabis in soil, you have about as many options to try as there are strains of marijuana to grow. Growing in soil is great if you like the idea of a somewhat forgiving substrate or don’t want to have to learn all the details of hydroponics growing. There are a lot of different ways to grow in soil and a lot of debate in the industry about what makes the best soil for growing marijuana. One of the most misunderstood and overlooked additives to a marijuana soil mix is worm castings. What does it bring to the table and is it a part of the best growing soil? Figuring Out the Best Dirt for Growing Weed When you’re trying to grow cannabis, a lot of different factors play into the decision of what to add to your soil. Are you growing indoors? Out in a field? In a pot on the back porch? Is the plant going to be in direct sunlight all the time? What strain are you trying to grow? Is it autoflowering or photoperiod? Confused yet? Making Super Soil Simple with Worm Castings If all these questions are making you feel like you need a hit, you’re not alone. It almost feels like you need a PHD in soil science to be able to grow a damn weed plant these days. Luckily, there’s a simpler way to achieve substantial plant growth without a lot of hassle and effort. Hands-Off PH Management One of the battles that most cannabis growers deal with is maintaining the PH level of the soil (or liquid in hydroponics) throughout the grow. One of the amazing things about adding the right amount of worm castings to the soil is that it will help you manage the PH level at an optimum range for marijuana growth. The generally accepted range that many growers try to stay within is anywhere from 6.0 to 7.0. Cannabis plants grow best when the PH level is just slightly acidic, meaning the number is just below 7. The pH level of pure earthworm castings is roughly 7.0, or neutral. When you add a rich black peat dirt or compost that has a more acidic PH, the worm castings help get the whole mixture into that optimal range of 6.0-7.0. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to not have to mess with the PH level of your soil every day? Adding chemicals and other additives to get the PH into that perfect range? With the right amount of worm castings mixed in, you won’t have to do much. Mix at least 20% castings into a good soil or compost mixture at the beginning before you plant, test the PH and then leave it alone. Depending on what exact mixture you’re using, you might only have to add more castings once a month or once every couple of months. They will help regulate the PH and keep it at that perfect growing range throughout the grow. What’s the Right Percentage When Mixing Soil for Marijuana? So how much worm castings should you use when making soil for marijuana? There isn’t really a 100% correct answer for every situation. You could grow in 100% worm castings if you want. There isn’t a ton of scientific research out there to show what the exact percentage should be. One study found that a mixture of up to 80% earthworm castings and 20% dirt was the most effective for growing cannabis. We would recommend running some tests with the strain of marijuana that you’re using, with any other additives that you plan to include and see what works best for you. Anywhere from 20% worm castings up to 80% will have a positive impact on the plant. Mixing with Other Supplements When making your perfect weed super soil, there are many different amendments or growing mediums that you could throw in. Some of the most popular choices are perlite, bat guano, and coco coir. Perlite is often used to help the growing medium with drainage. This is beneficial because it doesn’t allow water to build up in the soil and create rot in the roots of the plant. Some experts recommend a mixture that contains up to 30% perlite. However, if you’re adding in a higher concentration of worm castings to the mixture, you can reduce the percentage of perlite you use. Worm castings are great for aeration and water regulation in the soil. Therefore, you get some of those benefits from the worm castings. Coco coir is a popular base for growing marijuana in because of its ability to provide aeration and drainage. It is lightweight, cheap, and easy to use. The percentage that you use of coco coir can also vary, depending on your preference and needs. Many growers recommend using between 30 and 50% or more. Again, if you’re using a larger concentration of worm castings, you can scale back on the coco coir because of the benefits that the castings provide. Making Living Soil with Worm Castings The big benefit of using worm castings when making soil for cannabis is that it improves the microbial life substantially. High quality worm castings can provide microbes like nothing else. If you’re trying to grow marijuana in an organic manner, you really can’t beat it. The microbes help break everything in the soil down to an easy-to-digest format for the plants. They soak up all the good stuff and get a constant stream of nutrition throughout the grow. Common Misconceptions Cost – Throughout the weed growing community, there are some common misconceptions pertaining to worm castings use. One of the most common is that you should sparingly use worm castings because they are expensive. In reality, they’re not that expensive compared to a lot of the commercial super soil mixtures and other supplements or chemicals. You can actually increase the percentage of worm castings in the mixture without having a big impact on the overall cost of the grow. If you’re already using a commercial super soil mixture, you won’t really notice a difference on the cost by increasing the worm castings percentage. You will, however, notice a difference in how easy it is to grow cannabis and the yield of the plant. All Worm Castings Work the Same – One of the biggest misconceptions in the growing community is that all worm castings are the same. Nothing could be further from the truth. Pure earthworm castings (not vermicompost from red wiggler worms) has a much higher microbial count and nutritional density. Simple Grow worm castings are produced in a controlled environment with a controlled, premium diet for the worms. This creates the finest castings with consistent nutrition for the plants. If you’re used to using cheap, generic worm castings from the big box store, you’ll be shocked at the difference in growth you get from Simple Grow castings. Not all castings are created equally. Water Management If you’re growing in draught conditions or simply don’t want to use as much water, worm castings will help a lot! The structure of the castings absorbs water instead of letting it all flow through and drain out. By mixing in worm castings at a 20% or higher threshold, you’ll be able to get water to the roots of the plant when needed. If you forget to water once in a while, this will bail you out! Regardless of whether you’re growing indoors or out, using a quality living soil for your grow can produce some of the highest quality buds. Adding a higher concentration of premium organic worm castings can make your life as a grower easier, while growing better plants at the same time.

Best Soil For Growing Weed Indoors

If you have an indoor cannabis grow set-up, you need the best soil for growing weed indoors. Our cannabis soil guide dives deep into the factors to consider when shopping for soil for pot plants including its drainage, water retention, and texture.

In addition, we list our favorite potting soil products for cannabis, so you can grow big and bountiful yields time after time.

Choosing the Best Soil for Indoor Cannabis Gardens

When shopping for the best potting soil for cannabis, there are few factors to consider. First, how many plants are you intending to grow? This will help determine the amount of soil you will need.

Above all, you want soil with plenty of nutrients, proper drainage, and good water retention. Here are some factors to consider when buying the best potting soil for weed.

Texture

The best soil for growing weed indoors includes an optimum mixture of silt, sand, and clay soil, known as loamy soil. Ideally, the mix should have about 40% silt, 20% sand, and 40% clay.

Make sure your plants get a loose and light soil texture to help with root growth and ensure oxygen gets to your roots.

Drainage

Cannabis potting soil requires proper soil drainage. When watered, the soil should not hold the water too much to where it pools on the top. If you have bad drainage, your plants can be vulnerable to root rot and mold.

Water Retention

While you want soil with proper drainage, you also don’t want the water to completely flush through without allowing the roots to take in water and nutrients.

See also  Cannabis Seed Laws Australia

Water retention refers to your soils ability to hold water. The best soil for growing pot indoors has balanced drainage and water retention properties.

PH refers to how alkaline or acidic solution is. Cannabis thrives in a soil pH range between 5.5 and 6.5. Deviating slightly from this range won’t cause too much damage but if it goes well beyond the range, you can get stunted growth, lower yields, and dead plants.

Nutrients

Nutrients are your cannabis plants life force. Most ready-to-use and organic soil mix for weed is packed with nutrients for your cannabis.

Keep in mind, the nutrients in your soil mix don’t last forever. At most, they can last a few weeks and require you to keep a close eye on any nutritional deficiencies or signs of overfeeding.

Best Soil for Growing Weed Indoors

1. FoxFarm Happy Frog Potting Soil

FoxFarm’s Happy Frog Potting Soil is ready-to-use for indoor and outdoor applications. Happy Frog potting soil features soil microbes such as mycorrhizae and humic acid to improve root growth and nutrient uptake.

Other goodies include bat guano, aged forest products, and earthworm castings. Keep in mind, this soil is designed for container planting.

Learn How To Grow Cannabis!

2. FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil

FoxFarm’s Ocean Forest Potting Soil features a robust blend of ingredients from the “earth and sea.” Its powerful ingredients include fish emulsion, aged forest products, earthworm castings, crab meal, and sphagnum peat moss.

Its sandy loam, aged forest products, and sphagnum peat moss give this soil a properly aerated texture that is sure to improve nutrient uptake. This soil is also designed for container use.

3. Super Soil Organic Concentrate

From Nature’s Living Soil, the Super Soil Original Organic Concentrate comes in a 1, 5, or 10 lb. bag. All you need to do is add your preferred organic potting media to complete your mix. It contains all organic ingredients that your plant will need to thrive.

Full of helpful microorganisms and fungi, this concentrate can produce the best-looking and tasting buds around. Ingredients include organic earthworm castings, bat guano, blood meal, bone meal, azomite, epsom salt, coconut water powder, kelp meal, alfalfa meal, and so much more.

4. FoxFarm Coco Loco Potting Mix

FoxFarm’s Bush Doctor Coco Loco is a coconut coir potting mix meant to recreate the tropical jungle floor. Light and airy, it does this by incorporating layers of exotic coconut palm humus which can hold more than its weight in water while still retaining great drainage characteristics.

Its ability to hold onto water will mean you wont need to water your garden as often. Water every few days for best results.

5. Big Rootz All-Purpose Potting Soil

Big Rootz’s All-Purpose Potting Soil features a professional-grade composition at a budget-friendly price. This cheap soil for growing weed is meant for indoors or outdoor gardens and has been Certified Green Clean (CGC).

A team of weed growers developed this high-quality formula that combines rapid-release amendments with medium and slow release for an optimal performance.

6. Roots Organics Rod Original Potting Soil

Roots Organics Original Potting Soil is ready-to-use for your indoor garden. Its formula is perfectly designed for aeration and water retention so you can feed your plants frequently for fast growth.

Plus, the soil bags can be used as pots. Simply cut off the top, add in your plant, and you’re set. Ingredients include coco fiber, perlite, peat moss, pumice, composted forest material, bat guano, worm castings, fish bone meal, and much more.

There are over 300,000 jobs in the cannabis industry. CTU trained me for one of them!

What is Good Soil For Growing Cannabis?

When it comes to growing cannabis in soil, unless you’re using a brand that is known for making soil that is specifically cannabis-friendly, there are a few things that you need to consider before starting a grow.

What should you look for in good cannabis soil?

I think most growers agree a good cannabis soil should look dark and rich, with a loose texture that drains well and can hold water without getting muddy (you want wet soil, not dirt-batter!). But beyond that, what do you look for?

The following video shows the soil texture you want (this is Coco Loco, an excellent soil for growing cannabis)

Some growers choose an amended and composted “hot” soil that slowly releases nutrients over time. With this type of soil, you typically just add water or natural supplements like worm tea from seed to harvest. Other growers prefer a lighter potting mix so they have more control, and give nutrients in the water once the plant roots have used up the nutrients in the soil. But which brands can you trust?

Some popular soil examples that I’ve used with good results include:

  • Almost any organic soil potting mix – If you can’t order special soil online, ask for the best soil at your local gardening store. You can use almost any organic soil potting mix to grow cannabis. I say “organic” because that cuts out a lot of potentially problematic ingredients like slow-release chemical nutrients (which often cause nutrient issues in the flowering stage by delivering too much Nitrogen). If asked what you’re using it for, say tomatoes. You should plan to start adding extra nutrients in the water by the time a plant is a few weeks old as the roots will quickly use up everything. Try to look for soil with a rich and dark but loose texture. It’s a good sign if you see little white pebbles mixed in (this is perlite, which makes soil drain better). If a soil looks like dirt or mud, it’s no good!
  • Roots Organics Original – This was the first soil mix I ever used to grow cannabis and I had a great experience. I’ve moved on to Fox Farm products because they were available at my local hydroponics store, and now I’m hooked on Coco Loco. But Roots Organics Original soil has been around for a while because it works great. As with most soil mixes, you will need to supplement plants with additional nutrients after a few weeks.
  • Fox Farm Happy Frog soil– This soil mix is relatively light on nutrients so it’s great for seedlings. It’s also suitable if you plan to give nutrients in the water from seed to harvest. If you don’t add extra nutrients, your plants will use everything in the soil up quickly.
  • Fox Farm Coco Loco soil– A coco-based soil mix with enough nutrients to last your plants for a few weeks. With Coco Loco, you should start supplementing with extra nutrients once plants are 2-3 weeks old. I personally like Coco Loco the best of any soil mix I’ve used. You can use it by itself and it’s also my favorite base potting mix for a “just add water” super soil grow. I feel like plants tend to grow happy and healthy while being more resistant to over or under-watering compared to the other soil mixes I’ve tried. It’s great soil for other types of crops too.
  • Fox Farm Ocean Forest soil– A “hot” soil mix with lots of nutrients packed inside. You can start seedlings directly in this mix though they may show signs of nutrient burn at first until they get adjusted. Ocean Forest has enough nutrients to last your plants quite a while, though you likely should still give extra flowering nutrients once your plants start making buds in order to get the best yields, density, and bud quality. Cannabis plants need a surprisingly lot of nutrients in the flowering stage and you don’t want to starve the plants right as buds are forming.

Recommended soil nutrients:

    – These 3 bottles include everything your plants need from seed to harvest. The FF trio produces superb weed with any high-quality soil.
  • Learn about other cannabis-friendly nutrients

Important Cannabis Soil Considerations

  • Texture
  • Drainage Ability
  • Water Retention

Although that list looks vague and complicated at the same time, the requirements you want to meet are actually pretty simple; let me break it down!

Texture, Drainage & Water Retention

It’s easy to get caught up thinking about what nutrients and amendments are in the soil, and those are important, but perhaps the most important aspect of any soil is actually its texture, ability to drain, and overall water “holding” ability.

In order for a cannabis plant to grow and thrive, it needs a good mix of both water and oxygen at the roots at all times! Too much water and the plant roots can’t get enough oxygen (lack of oxygen at the roots is why plants get droopy from overwatering) but on the flip side if there’s not enough water retention the roots can be injured from drying out too quickly!

What gets the best results for growing cannabis is a soil with a light texture that is good at retaining water…but not too much!

Note: Don’t worry, there’ll be examples of good and bad soil in just a bit!

Signs of Good Cannabis Soil

  • Appears dark and rich
  • Loose texture
  • Drains well (doesn’t make a pool on top of your soil for more than a couple of seconds and doesn’t take forever to drain out the bottom)
  • Holds water without getting muddy (you want wet soil, not dirt-batter)

Example of “Good” Cannabis Soil Ingredients

Note: You’ll likely never see any soil mix with ALL those ingredients, but I wanted to share examples of common cannabis-friendly ingredients and amendments that often appear on the label of good soil

See also  Illinois Cannabis Seed Laws

If you get the soil part right, you have almost everything you need to get to harvest! With the correct texture, drainage and water retention, you’ve got a perfect base. Add good soil cannabis nutrients, especially in the budding phase, and you should get to harvest with great results!

Example of happy marijuana plants in good soil!

More About Common Amendments to Alter Texture, Drainage & Water Retention of Soil

Perlite

    Perlite is one of the most common soil amendments. It is highly recommended for any soil mix that doesn’t have some already.
  • Very light, airy white “rocks” that feel almost like popcorn and add oxygen while increasing overall drainage ability.
  • Add perlite to the mix (10-40% of the total volume). Use less perlite if you want better water retention and don’t plan on using a lot of extra nutrients. This is because a lot of extra perlite can cause the nutrients leach out faster from the soil. Add higher levels of perlite if you want to use a lot of added nutrients or supplements without burning your plants (since perlite helps prevent nutrient buildup).

Vermiculite

    Vermiculite “lightens up” heavy soil and improves water retention.
  • Some growers use perlite and vermiculite interchangeably, though they’re not exactly the same. Vermiculite holds water much better than perlite, but is not as effective at adding aeration and drainage.
  • Some growers use a little bit of both. If you go high with vermiculite, you don’t want to go as high with perlite and vice versa. Together, perlite and vermiculite should never make up more than 50% of your soil!

Coco Coir

    Coco coir is made from coconut husks. It can be purchased as loose coco coir, in an amended potting mix, or as coco bricks which needs to be rehydrated before use (learn how to re-hydrate coco bricks). Sometimes you’ll find a “soil” mix that is pretty much all coco plus amendments, and these can be a great choice for cannabis. Coco has some unique properties that make it a good supplement for cannabis soil mixtures.
  • Coco improves water retention, but doesn’t make soil heavy.
  • Roots tend to develop faster and plants are less likely to suffer from overwatering in coco coir.
  • Some growers grow in pure coco, but if you’re adding it to a soil mix as an amendment, you might add 10-30% coco coir.

Worm Castings

    Worm castings is a nice way of saying worm poop, and cannabis plants love it!
  • Improves texture, drainage and moisture retention
  • Add a natural source of nutrients that breaks down slowly
  • Usually contains high levels of beneficial micro-organisms due to going through a worm’s digestive system
  • Add up to 30% worm castings in your soil (although it contains nutrients, it’s gentle enough that it’s unlikely to burn your plants even if you add too much)

Now here are a few examples of good and bad cannabis soil so you can see the texture you’re looking for!

Good Cannabis Soil
Rich and light composted soil. Since this soil doesn’t have a lot of perlite, it’s a good choice for a grower who doesn’t want to add a lot of extra nutrients or supplements in the water.

Good Cannabis Soil
Another light, rich soil mix with great drainage. Although there is a wood chip in this picture, for the most part the mix is completely composted and broken down. It’s normal to see some wood pieces in composted soil, but you don’t want to have to wait for a lot of wood to break down while your plants are growing – you want all that rich nutrient goodness to be readily available to your plant roots

Good Cannabis Soil
This soil has quite a bit of perlite, which is a good choice if you plan to feed heavily with nutrients and supplements since the extra perlite prevents nutrient buildup in the soil

Good Cannabis Soil
The plant is growing in organic, composted “super soil” which has enough amendments to last your entire grow, so the only thing you do is add water!

Here’s organic “super” soil up close

Bad Cannabis Soil
This soil is muddy, clumpy and waterlogged. It retains too much moisture, which makes it really easy to overwater your plants.

Bad Cannabis Soil
Cannabis soil should not have a whole lot of big visible wood chips in it. That means the soil hasn’t been fully composted, and all the nutrients and goodness in that wood is mostly unavailable to your plants.

Bad Cannabis Soil
Although this seedling is over a month old, it has stayed tiny. Its growth is stunted by the thick heavy soil that holds way too much water and not enough air. Note how some of the soil looks like one solid object.

Bad Cannabis Soil
Don’t use dirt from outside! It almost never works, especially if it looks like this!

Suggested Brands for Cannabis Soil

Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil

Fox Farm has been around for over 30 years and makes some of the most common types of “cannabis soil” (at least in the US). They have several great soil mixes, including “Happy Frog” which is a great choice for seedlings and clones.

Their Ocean Forest soil mix is “hotter” soil (higher levels of nutrients) that contains ingredients that cannabis plants love, including earthworm castings, bat guano, fish meal and crab meal. The nutrients contained in the soil will provide everything your plant needs for several weeks. Although it might give young seedlings just a touch of nutrient burn at first, they can be started in Ocean Forest soil and will soon be able to use the nutrients and start growing quickly. Some growers might put a little big of Happy Frog on top of a container of Ocean Forest, just to make it a little more gentle for seedlings the first week or two.

If you are willing to keep transplanting to bigger pots as your plant uses up the nutrients in the soil, you don’t need to supplement with extra nutrients. However, even if you grow in the same pot from seed to harvest, Fox Farm offers a complete nutrient system that is also formulated for plants like cannabis and goes perfectly with their soil to make sure your plant is getting the right levels of nutrients throughout its life.

This plant is growing in Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil

Kind “Super” Soil (Living Soil)

When cannabis growers talk about “super” soil, they’re usually referring to soil that has been amended with slow-releasing organic nutrient sources, and then composted for several months (learn more about super soil).

The composting process creates a “living” soil that is full of microorganisms in the rhizosphere (area around the roots). Properly composted soil has nutrient sources that slowly break down over the course of your plant’s lifecycle. It very closely mimics what happens in nature.

Super Soil has a colony of micro-organisms living in the soil which form a symbiotic relationship with your plant roots. They deliver nutrients to your plant, and in return they eat the sugars that get secreted by your roots!

The “micro-herd” in the soil delivers nutrients directly to your plants. As long as you’re using decent water, you usually don’t need to worry about pH or other things that can disrupt nutrient absorption in regular soil.

However, when growing with Super Soil, it’s a good idea to avoid watering too much at a time, as extra runoff waterwill drain away some of the nutrinets. Try to give just enough water to saturate the soil with very little extra coming out the bottom. Since you won’t be adding more nutrients through the grow, you want to conserve what’s in the soil!

Nugbuckets is a famous organic soil grower! Check out his plants!

Organic Potting Mix

This is what kind of soil to get if you don’t have any “good” soil available, but want something that is known to work for growing cannabis.

Generally, anything labeled as an “organic potting mix” will work. This type of mix hasn’t been amended with chemical slow-release nutrients, which is one of the main things you want to avoid with soil for cannabis. I know it sounds like heresy, but even the Miracle-Gro version of “organic potting mix” will work okay, because unlike their original potting mix it doesn’t contain chemical nutrients (though it still has poor drainage and moisture retention – almost any other type of organic potting mix is better!).

Usually an organic potting mix does not have enough nutrients to last your plants for more than a few weeks, so it’s a good idea to always supplement with cannabis-friendly nutrients, especially in the flowering stage when your plant is making buds and needs lots of extra Phosphorus and Potassium.

Espona Organic Potting Mix is found in many stores in the US, and works for growing cannabis!

What to Watch Out For With Any Soil Mix At the Store

  • Look At and Touch It If You Can! You already have an idea what soil should look and feel like, but here’s a test: If you form the soil into a ball, it should stick together loosely, but it should also easily fall apart again if you squeeze it.
  • No “Time Release” Chemical Nutrients in the Soil – These types of soil slowly release nutrients over the course of months, which provides too much Nitrogen in the flowering stage and could possibly impair overall bud growth.
  • Soil Should Appear Dark and Rich – Pale, crumbly or sandy soil usually doesn’t have a lot of nutrient content that the plant roots can get to.
  • Soil Has Little White Rocks In It (Perlite), if you see white, almost fluffy rocks dispersed through the soil like popcorn, that is usually a good sign because it means this potting mix was intended to have good drainage.
  • Soil Isn’t “Heavy” – Cannabis grows best in soil with a light airy texture and great drainage, which may seem almost fluffy when it’s dry.
  • Example of “Good” Soil Ingredients – Composted forest humus, sandy loam, sphagnum peat moss, coco coir (sometimes labeled coco fiber), perlite, earthworm castings, bat guano, fish meal, crab meal, bone meal, blood meal, Azomite, pumice, kelp, dolomite lime, mycorrhizae and leonardite. That’s not everything, just examples of cannabis-friendly ingredients you see the most often
  • Examples of “Bad” Soil Ingredients – You don’t want to see wood or bark on the label if it doesn’t say it’s been composted first. Also if you see just the word “fertilizer” in the ingredients that’s often code for slow-release chemical nutrients, which you don’t want!
See also  Old School Cannabis Seeds

Try to get soil that looks like this!

I hope this soil tutorial helps you find the right soil for your cannabis setup!

Best Soil For Cannabis Seeds

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100% Pure Worm Castings – All Natural Soil Supplement in 5 lb., 12 lb., and 25 lb. bags ideal for gardens, planters and lawns.

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Natural Soil Mix for Cacti and Succulent with Simple Grow Worm Castings to provide drainage and nutrition.

If you’re growing cannabis in soil, you have about as many options to try as there are strains of marijuana to grow. Growing in soil is great if you like the idea of a somewhat forgiving substrate or don’t want to have to learn all the details of hydroponics growing.

There are a lot of different ways to grow in soil and a lot of debate in the industry about what makes the best soil for growing marijuana plants. One of the most misunderstood and overlooked additives to a marijuana soil mix is worm castings for cannabis crops.

What does it bring to the table and is it a part of the best growing soils?

Figuring Out the Top Dirt for Growing Cannabis

When you’re trying to grow cannabis, a lot of different factors play into the decision of what material to add to your soil. Are you growing indoors? Out in a field? In a pot or container on the back porch? What about moisture in the air? Is the plant going to be in direct sunlight all the time? What type are you trying to grow? Is it autoflowering or photoperiod? Confused yet?

Making Super Loam

If all these questions are making you feel like you need a hit, you’re not alone. It almost feels like you need a PhD in soil science to be able to grow a damn weed plant these days. Luckily, there’s a simpler way to achieve substantial crop yields without a lot of hassle and effort.

Hands-Off PH Management

One of the battles that most cannabis growers deal with is maintaining the pH level of the soil (or liquid in hydroponics) throughout the grow. One of the amazing things about adding the right amount of worm castings to the soil is that it will help you manage the PH level at an optimum range for marijuana growth. The generally accepted range that many growers try to stay within is anywhere from 6.0 to 7.0. Cannabis seedlings grow best when the PH level is just slightly acidic, meaning the number is just below 7.

The pH level of pure earthworm castings is roughly 7.0, or neutral. When you add a rich black peat dirt or compost that has a more acidic PH, the worm castings help get the whole mixture into that optimal range of 6.0-7.0.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to not have to mess with the pH balance of your soil every day? Adding chemicals, minerals, fertilizer, and other nutrients to get the pH into that perfect range?

With the right amount of worm castings mixed in, you won’t have to do much. Mix at least 20% castings into a good soil or compost mixture at the start before you plant the seed, test the pH and then leave it alone. Depending on what exact mixture you’re using, you might only have to add more castings once a month or once every couple of months. They will help regulate the pH and keep it at that perfect growing range throughout the grow.

What’s the Right Percentage When Mixing Dirt for Marijuana?

So how much worm castings should you use when making soil for marijuana? There isn’t really a 100% correct answer for every situation. You could grow in 100% worm castings if you want.

There isn’t a ton of scientific research out there to show what the exact percentage should be. One study found that a mixture of up to 80% earthworm castings and 20% dirt was the most effective for growing cannabis.

We would recommend running some tests with the strain of marijuana that you’re using, with any other additives that you plan to include and see what works best for you. Anywhere from 20% worm castings up to 80% will have a positive impact on the development of the plant and root growth.

Mixing with Other Supplements

When making your perfect weed super soil, there are many different products or growing mediums that you could throw in. Some of the most popular choices are perlite, bat guano, and coco coir.

Perlite is often used to help the growing medium with drainage. This is beneficial because it doesn’t allow water to build up in the soil and create rot in the roots of the plant. Some experts recommend a mixture that contains up to 30% perlite. However, if you’re adding in a higher concentration of worm castings to the mixture, you can reduce the percentage of perlite you use. Worm castings are great for aeration and water regulation in the soil. Therefore, you get some of those benefits from the worm castings.

Coco coir is a popular base for growing marijuana in because of its ability to provide aeration and drainage. It is lightweight, cheap, and easy to use. The percentage that you use of coco coir can also vary, depending on your preference and needs. Many growers recommend using between 30 and 50% or more. Again, if you’re using a larger concentration of worm castings, you can scale back on the coco coir because of the benefits that the castings provide.

Make Living Earth

The big benefit of using worm castings when making soil for cannabis is that it improves the microbial life substantially. High-quality worm castings can provide microbes (such as helpful bacteria and fungi) like nothing else. If you’re trying to grow marijuana in an organic manner, you really can’t beat it.

The microorganisms help break everything in the soil down to an easy-to-digest format for the plants. They soak up all the good matter and get a constant stream of nutrition throughout the grow. Don’t be so caught up with the NPK ratings (which talks about the rate of phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium in a supplement), the microbes more than make up for the difference.

Common Misconceptions

Cost – Throughout the weed growing community, there are some common misconceptions pertaining to worm castings use. One of the most common is that you should sparingly use worm castings because they are expensive. In reality, they’re not that expensive compared to a lot of the commercial super soil mixtures and other supplements or products.

You can actually increase the percentage of worm castings in the mixture without having a big impact on the overall cost of the grow. If you’re already using a commercial super soil mixture, you won’t really notice a difference in money by increasing the worm castings percentage. You will, however, notice a difference in how easy it is to grow cannabis and the yield of the plant.

All Worm Castings Work the Same – One of the biggest misconceptions in the growing community is that all worm castings are the same. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Pure earthworm castings (not vermicompost from red wiggler worms) have a much higher microbial count and nutritional density. Simple Grow worm castings are produced in a controlled environment with a controlled, premium diet for the worms. This creates the finest manure with consistent nutrition for the plants.

If you’re used to using cheap, generic worm castings from the big box store, you’ll be shocked at the results you get from Simple Grow castings. Not all castings are created equally.

Water Management

If you’re growing in drought conditions or simply don’t want to use as much water, worm castings will help a lot with water retention! The texture of the castings absorbs water instead of letting it all flow through and drain out. By mixing in worm castings at a 20% or higher threshold, you’ll be able to get water to the roots of the plant when needed. If you forget to water once in a while, this will bail you out!

Regardless of whether you’re growing indoors or out, using a quality living soil for your grow can produce some of the highest quality buds. Adding a higher concentration of premium organic worm castings can make your life as a grower easier, while growing better plants at the same time.