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! Soil is the root of all plant life. Plenty of high-quality cannabis soil preparations are now available for growers with all different cultivation styles 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.

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.

Digging into the dankest dirt: the best soil for growing cannabis

Soil is the root of all plant life…because it literally feeds the roots! Sure, you could use hydroponics to grow cannabis, but despite the extra work, hydroponic systems don’t appear to improve cannabis plant growth or potency over soil which is the tried and true growing medium for marijuana. Despite soil’s relative lack of precision compared to hydroponics, it remains the preferred medium for numerous seasoned cannabis cultivators – and is obviously the way nature intended, as cannabis was growing wild long before humans started domesticating it. 1 2

While many home-growers admire soil, few cultivators can agree on the best soil for growing cannabis. Finding the perfect balance of nutrients, aeration, and water retention can take some time for new and even professional growers to figure out. Not to mention the numerous variables that can influence which soil is ideal, including watering and feeding patterns, types of grow-container used, and even the origin of the variety (or strain) being grown. Thankfully, plenty of high-quality cannabis soil preparations are now available for growers with all different cultivation styles.

Ocean Forest Potting Soil

  • Suitable for potted plants that are moderate to heavy feeders
  • Indoor or outdoor
  • Price: $16.99 – $700+, depending on size

Happy Frog Potting Soil

  • Suitable for potted plants
  • Indoor or outdoor
  • Price: $16.99 – $700+, depending on size

Fox Farm “Bush Doctor” Coco Loco

  • Suitable for potted plants
  • Indoor or outdoor
  • Price: $16.99 – $700+, depending on size

Nature’s Living Soil Autoflower Concentrate

  • Specialized for autoflowering seeds
  • Indoor or outdoor
  • Price: $24, $43, or $68

Purple Cow IndiCanja Organic Living Soil

  • Suitable for potted plants
  • Indoor or outdoor
  • Price: $35.00

Roots Organics Formula 707

  • Suitable for large-container plants
  • Indoor or outdoor
  • Price: ~ $40 – $75

Mother Earth Coco Plus Perlite Mix

  • Suitable for potted plants
  • Indoor or outdoor
  • Price: ~ $75

Ocean Forest Potting Soil

  • Suitable for potted plants that are moderate to heavy feeders
  • Indoor or outdoor
  • Sizes: 12 quart, 2 cubic foot, 27 cubic foot tote, or 55 cubic foot tote
  • Not organic
  • Price: $16.99 – $700+, depending on size
  • contains additions like fish emulsions and crab meal for high nutrient density
  • one of Fox Farm’s most nutrient-dense potting soils
  • full of rich soil amendments like bat guano, crab meal, and fish emulsions

Of Fox Farm’s many best-selling mixes, Ocean Forest usually ranks as the company’s best potting soil for cannabis. This soil formula is more nutrient-dense than Happy Frog, which makes Ocean Forest less reliant on supplemental nutrients. While this could pose problems for young plants, it will help vegetative plants grow to their full potential.

Ocean Forest gets its name from its high concentration of amendments like fish emulsion and crab meal. Ocean Forest’s formula makes nitrogen deficiencies nearly impossible with plenty of earthworm castings and bat guano.

You may need extra nutrients during flowering, but it’s essential to have a light hand when using supplements. Ocean Forest is “hotter” than other potting mixes, so it’s best to cut your recommended feeding schedule by at least half.

If cultivators find Ocean Forest is too hot to handle, they may want to dial it back with milder formulas. For instance, many people enjoy combining Ocean Forest with Happy Frog. Once people learn to use Ocean Forest, they often rave about its performance.

Happy Frog Potting Soil

  • Suitable for potted plants
  • Indoor or outdoor
  • Sizes: 12 quart, 2 cubic foot, 27 cubic foot tote, or 55 cubic foot tote
  • Not organic
  • Price: $16.99 – $700+, depending on size
  • well-balanced
  • mild potting soil ideal for beginners

One of Fox Farm’s “less hot” potting soils, ideal for delicate seedlings.

Excellent soil for beginners who don’t mind adding supplemental nutrients.

Makes it easy to avoid overfeeding and “nutrient burn.”

The Happy Frog Potting Soil is considered one of Fox Farm’s “weaker” soil formulas, but that’s not a criticism! Unlike Ocean Forest, Happy Frog focuses on the beginning stages of growth when plants can’t handle excessive nutrients.

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Many cultivators use Happy Frog to give their seedlings a safe space to mature. While Happy Frog has additions like earthworm castings and bat guano, you’ll need to add nutrients as cannabis gets into the vegetative stage.

The allure of Happy Frog is in its simplicity. New growers often have the best time with this soil because they can easily follow their supplemental nutrients’ guide.

Anyone who fears they’ll “overfeed” their cannabis plants should start with a bag of Happy Frog. As you gain more experience with cultivation, consider mixing Happy Frog with more fertilizer-rich formulas during flowering.

Fox Farm “Bush Doctor” Coco Loco

  • Suitable for potted plants
  • Indoor or outdoor
  • Sizes: 12 quart, 2 cubic foot, 27 cubic foot tote, or 55 cubic foot tote
  • Not organic
  • Price: $16.99 – $700+, depending on size
  • rich traces of coco coir provide high-quality pest resistance and water retention
  • high coco coir formula with plenty of nutrient-rich amendments
  • superior water retention and pest resistance

As its name hints, Fox Farm’s Coco Loco formula largely consists of the inert medium coco coir. Unlike plain potting soil, coco coir only has noteworthy traces of potassium. In fact, coco coir is often viewed as a “stepping stone” medium for those transitioning from soil to hydroponics.

While not every grower is a fan of coco coir, it has many excellent features like water retention and pest resistance. Plus, since Fox Farm’s Coco Loco adds ingredients like kelp, bat guano, and earthworm castings, there’s less need to fear nutrient deficiencies.

With Coco Loco, you get the benefits of growing in coco coir without having to significantly adjust your feeding schedule. You may, however, need to tweak your watering schedule, especially if you don’t add perlite which aids in aeration, allowing more oxygen to get to the roots. Coco coir retains moisture more than other mediums, so please resist the urge to overwater!

Nature’s Living Soil Autoflower Concentrate

  • Specialized for autoflowering seeds
  • Indoor or outdoor
  • Sizes: 1 lb., 5 lbs., 10 lbs.
  • Organic
  • Price: $24, $43, or $68
  • rich collection of amendments and microorganisms well-suited for autoflowering plants
  • includes high quality additions ranging from bat guano to bone meal
  • easy to add to regular potting mix for extra root support

Want to create a “super soil” in the shortest amount of time? Try adding Nature’s Living Soil’s Autoflower Concentrate to a generic potting mix.

This well-reviewed soil amendment is so potent you only need to add one pound per five-gallon container. Nature’s Living Soil promises its signature product is “pre-cooked” and contains dozens of beneficial bacteria for autoflowers.

Cultivators are impressed with the wide array of extra compounds like organic earthworm castings, fishbone meal, and kelp. The company also puts beneficial fungi in its formula, which may even give it a slightly “moldy” (but harmless!) appearance.

While Nature’s Living Soil’s Auto Concentrate may seem too hot (or nutrient rich), it’s recommended for all stages of an auto’s life cycle. So, if you want to give your autos a boost, it may be worth your while to mix in this unique concentrate.

Purple Cow IndiCanja Organic Living Soil

  • Suitable for potted plants
  • Indoor or outdoor
  • Sizes: 15 pounds
  • Organic
  • Price: $35.00
  • organic, compost-based “super soil” mix
  • premade “super soil” with dozens of beneficial microorganisms
  • ultra-green organic formula made with compost

Purple Cow may not be as famous as Fox Farm, but it’s gaining attention with fans of “super soil.” This organic soil mix relies on compost to give it higher traces of bioavailable nutrients and bacteria.

According to Purple Cow’s founders, you won’t need any supplemental nutrients when planting your cannabis in this “living soil.” That’s right; just water your soil, and watch your plants grow! While IndiCanja Living Soil may be too intense for seedlings, it should be all you need for mature plants.

Experienced cannabis growers who are curious about “super soils” may want to experiment with Purple Cow’s Living Soil. While IndiCanja may not replace a DIY super soil, it’s far more convenient to try at home.

Roots Organics Formula 707

  • Suitable for large-container plants
  • Indoor or outdoor
  • Sizes: 3, 10, and 20-gallon bags
  • Organic
  • Price: ~ $40 – $75
  • less nutrient-dense formula tailored for advanced growers
  • low-nutrient potting soil that’s ideal for growers who enjoy mixing DIY formulas
  • formula 707’s packaging doubles as a pot

Forget about the ingredients for a second; Roots Organics’ Formula 707 has one of the most fascinating packages. These large container bags could double as your cannabis plant’s pot. Simply cut off the bag’s top and put your plants in. Talk about convenience!

But Formula 707 is way more than its unique container. While this soil mix has fewer nutrients than other formulas, that’s on purpose. Roots Organic intended this formula to accommodate advanced planters who like to make DIY mixes.

You should have some experience adding fertilizers and amendments like perlite before opting for Formula 707. While this may not be optimal for beginners, it’s a worthy choice for cannabis cultivators who crave control.

Mother Earth Coco Plus Perlite Mix

Suitable for potted plants
Indoor or outdoor
Sizes: 27 lbs.
Not organic
Price: ~ $75

  • pre-mixed formula of coco coir and perlite helps balance out drainage and water retention
  • high coco coir formula that gives home-growers optimal control
  • pre-mixed with 30 percent perlite for improved drainage

Like Fox Farm’s Coco Loco, Mother Earth’s Coco Plus Perlite Mix is an excellent choice for coco coir cultivation. This formula has the extra benefit of ~ 30 percent perlite, a useful component of soil which massively improves drainage, water retention and aeration.

While this formula is pretty “bare bones” (literally), that may suit growers who prefer adding macro and micronutrients. Indeed, anyone who struggles with “nutrient burn” may enjoy the superior control Mother Earth’s Coco formula provides.

Also, using coco formulas allows you to “test the waters” before opting for a hydroponics setup. Since coco coir is essentially an inert medium, it gives cultivators a taste of what hydroponics growing is all about.

What soil type is best for growing cannabis?

A quick tour of online weed forums will reveal many heated debates over the “best” soil for cannabis. While every master breeder has their preferred potting mix, there’s no such thing as the “best soil for growing weed.”

There are, however, some traits that all of the best soil mixes for cannabis share. Home-growers should consider key features such as:

What’s the ideal cannabis soil texture?

In terms of soil texture, cannabis prefers the “golden mean.” What we mean is that marijuana likes soil that has a fair balance of aeration and cohesion. Indeed, most cannabis forums describe the optimal soil texture as “loamy.”

Technically, “loam” combines three soil varieties: clay, sand, and silt. While you could use sand or silt on their own, they tend to be too extreme for optimal cannabis growth.

Sand is great for drainage, but poor at water retention. Silt is just the opposite. So, by merging these soils with water-retaining clay, loam offers an ideal balance for maturing marijuana plants.

It is common for cannabis growers to combine mediums such as coco coir or peat with additions such as perlite, lime, and organic matter (e.g. compost) to recreate the beneficial properties of loamy soil. 3 4

What about nutrient levels?

Cannabis plants require significant nutrients (minerals) to support their rapid growth during their one-season life cycle, and this is why they thrive in highly fertile soils. Generally the main minerals affecting cannabis plant growth are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), but other many macro and micronutrients are also important to plant health. 5 6

Thankfully, cannabis can handle a wide range of nutrient levels without serious negative effects on plant growth and a major benefit of using soil is that it has greater buffer capacity over hydroponics.This means it’s less likely you’ll over- or under-feed your weed versus hydroponics. 7

Cannabis plants require different nutrient compositions at each stage of plant growth, i.e., propagation, vegetative and flowering. In other words, baby plants don’t need the same nutrition as teenagers do, and that too is different from what mature plants need to thrive.

Cultivators should evaluate how many fertilizers are in their soil mix and should also avoid time-released nutrients, as these can seriously disrupt a growing operation.

Generally, the more nutrients there are, the better drainage you need for your plants. While you want your plants to absorb nutrients, you also want to make sure they’re not getting overburdened with a build up of nutrients. Some growers “flush” out excess nutrient minerals during the final two weeks of flowering. 8

It’s common for new cultivators to overfeed their plants, especially when using soil. To avoid this common temptation, novice gardeners should start with soil mixes with minimal fertilizers.

What’s the perfect pH for cannabis soil?

Evaluating a soil’s pH is just as significant as checking out its texture. Cannabis roots cannot absorb nutrients if the pH ratios are out of whack.

While the optimal soil pH for cannabis has not yet been studied in the scientific literature, the common ranges of pH used in the cannabis industry are 5.8 – 6.2 for hydroponics, and 6.8 – 7.2 for soil. 9 10 Jin D, Jin S, Chen J (2019) Cannabis Indoor Growing Conditions, Management Practices, and Post-Harvest Treatment: A Review. American Journal of Plant Sciences 10: 925-946 11

While many soil companies will advertise their soil as “pH-corrected,” cultivators should always double-check these claims. Use a high-quality pH monitor to verify your soil will support healthy nutrient absorption.

How much soil do you need for cannabis plants?

While examining what’s in your soil is crucial, you also must consider how much soil you need. Nobody likes to have a big bag of unused soil sitting around in their space.

On average, home-growers use a three-gallon pot for each cannabis plant. In this case, most cannabis cultivators recommend about 1.5 cubic feet of soil for three cannabis plants in these containers.

Keep this average ratio in mind when evaluating how much soil to stock up on.

What’s the best soil for autoflowers?

Thanks to their ruderalis genetics, autoflowering seeds are tougher than most photoperiod strains. In fact, many cultivators claim it’s not good to pamper auto seeds with well-fertilized soil. That’s because autoflowering varieties are usually short in stature and have a shorter life cycle.

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If you opt to use nutrient-dense soil formulas, it could easily cause “nutrient burn.”

Autoflowering fans should stick with simple potting soil for the best results. Some cultivators also express great success using a mix of peat moss, coco coir, and a bit of perlite for their autos.

Remember autoflowers don’t grow as large as regular cannabis strains. Be sure to factor in your auto’s average height before purchasing a bag of soil.

So, what’s the best soil for marijuana? You choose!

As you start “digging” through all the soil brands online, you’ll find so many options to choose from. From nutrient-dense “super soils” to inert coco coir formulas, there’s no “set soil” for cannabis cultivation. Indeed, finding the ideal soil for your cannabis grow operation will depend on your preferred growing style and the type of plant you’re growing.

Anyone new to cannabis cultivation should probably opt for a simple potting mix. While these may not give the “best results,” they tend to be the most forgiving. As you figure out your preferred growing style, you may want to experiment with flaming “hot” super soils or virtually inert coco coir mixes.

Just remember to constantly track the basics like pH, aeration, and water retention when experimenting with cannabis soils. No matter how advanced your soil claims to be, it will not work if these metrics aren’t in order.

Good Soil For Weed 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.

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