Cannabis is an extremely personal choice. There is an almost cult-like fervor to most successful strains. It is only natural that the enthusiasm translates to a more controlled approach in knowing what you consume. If you’re a first-time grower, which you can be only if you get a medical marijuana card, you will come across so much on the internet that it’s bound to confuse you.
People have some extreme opinions about growing the right way. Which, if you ask me, really does not exist. But if we are starting here, there are some extremely funny jargon, exorbitantly priced material, and complicated recipes. All this does not help you whatsoever.
So, I came up with these easy tricks for you to have the perfect cannabis potting soil mix.
Ingredients For Base Soil
The base ingredient is what sets you up for success in the long run, and since they make the bulk of your soil the nutrient base too. This is the backbone and needs to be taken care of. For a successful recipe, combine in equal parts compost along with organic material and aeration. This is what will make about 20 % volume of your final product.
Some popular base ingredients are
Ever since the concept of potting soil has entered the mainstream, peat moss has dominated the market. It allows for high moisture retention and also high oxygen content. It creates an excellent environment for the roots.
Also called coconut husk, it is an environmentally friendly alternative to peat moss. It holds moisture well and has higher oxygen retention than peat moss.
This is a blanket term for broken down organic matter. It isn’t used as much as the coir or moss, but it is still significant. It gives the microbial life required by the soil mixture to thrive. They form the foundation for nutrient uptake and development of the roots.
This expanded volcanic glass is put in to add air pockets to the soil. It gives a grower more control as it dries up the soil faster. Inexpensive and light, it is readily available at most retailers.
Individual additives, along with a base, can help you tailor the grow soil to your needs and will eventually help your crop. You can quickly get your hands on these ingredients wherever you shop locally.
This releases nitrogen really fast to the soil and acts as a great for additive for cannabis as it requires a high amount of nitrogen.
It has high levels of potassium and nutrients, along with plant hormones. It releases gradually into the soil.
This is used by organic horticulturalists worldwide as it has abundant natural growth stimulators. It accelerates the growth of fruits and flowers.
It contains potassium, phosphorus, copper, and magnesium, which release over a period of time.
Even though it’s a slow-releasing potassium source, it is used more to improve the overall condition of the soil rather than potassium.
There are variations that exist on the market that differ from one another. But you want to go for the high nitrogen variation as it holds beneficial microbes and of course, nitrogen. The long term benefits along with the fast releasing nitrogen, make it an additive of choice.
Rich in Nutrients
For a mix to work, you need to begin by making a strong base and then mixing in nutrients according to the strain you select. A blend will only support microbial growth once water is integrated into the mix. You can choose a medium holding no actual nutrients of its own like bark or peat moss or something like perlite, which is very high in nutrients. The choice is yours. But a nutrient-rich base will definitely work better.
Stability and Posterity
Take care of the roots. Cannabis only grows well if the roots have space to form a network, get interconnected, and then hold the stem upright. If the soil is too loose, chances are the roots will get injured. You are creating an ecosystem more than anything else. The bacteria that grow down there give nutrients to the roots, and the roots exude sugars and other plant products. All this together forms a cohesive, stable and healthy plant.
Balance Drainage and Retention
Your base needs to drain well. If the soil becomes too wet, the roots don’t get air. It’s not about the water. It is about the air. The leaves of a plant use photosynthesis, which means they need carbon dioxide. The roots, however, require oxygen, or they die. Anaerobic conditions are not conducive to the plant. So ensure your potting soil is sandy and loamy for the roots to thrive.
A Super Simple Recipe
To make things easy for you I have compiled a super simple recipe for the perfect Soil
- 1 Part Compost
- 1 Part Perlite
- 1Part Coco Choir
Once through with this move on to establish a fungal population in the soil. This is achieved by adding
- Kelp Meal: ¼ cup for every 5 gallons
- Mycorrhizal inoculant:¼ -½ tsp per gallon
- Humic acid: ¼ cup for every 5 gallons
About as important as the fungi are the bacteria which break down the complex sugars for your cannabis to easily digested macro and micronutrients. For that you can add:
- Bat Guano: 5% of the total volume
- Compost: Up to 20 % of the total volume
And finally, you can add any nutrient sources as you see fit. Just exercise caution as to not go overboard with any one source.
These additives can be blood meal, bone meal, wood ash, azomite, etc.
Keep Your Calm
To reiterate, growing cannabis is a very personal choice. But most Millenials feel that they can consume better products if they grow it on it their own. This is our favorite tip because your cannabis plants hate stress and so should you. If you are a first-time grower, it’s best to buy some decent grower’s guide and learn more about what you want and before stepping out to spend your money.