Prepping the soil for an outdoor cannabis garden makes all the difference. Learn about the small details that make a high-quality harvest. 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. Your access to this site has been limited by the site owner If you think you have been blocked in error, contact the owner of this site for assistance. If you are a WordPress user with
Best Soil for an Outdoor Cannabis Garden
Correctly preparing the soil for an outdoor cannabis garden can make all the difference to the quality and size of your eventual harvest. Cannabis has specific requirements in terms of soil quality and texture. Here is a brief guide to ensuring all variables are optimized.
Choosing the best soil for cannabis means monitoring soil acidity, texture and pathogens or pests inherent in soil. Making your own soil or purchasing sterile soil gives you full control over the acidity, nutritional content and texture of the soil. At the same time, planting in the ground exposes cannabis plants to the entire living organism that is soil — and this is very difficult to create in a pot.
In any case, the growing medium is fundamental to the grow itself as well as the final harvest. Having well prepared soil can help a grower mitigate problems throughout the grow. Theoretically, if soil is well nourished, the plant should thrive with little intervention. A healthy plant necessarily starts with great soil, and without the optimum soil for growing cannabis, you will never be able to bring about an optimum harvest.
Soil texture and composition for outdoor soil
The best soil texture for cannabis is light, loamy soil that drain swell but also retains a degree of moisture. Loamy soils are a mixture of sand, silt and clay in an approximately 40:40:20 ratio:
- Sand is a major constituent of many soils, and is characterized by granular particles of rocks and minerals that measure 0.05mm to 2mm in diameter.
- Silt is finer than sand, and consists of particles measuring 0.002mm-0.05mm.
- Clay is finer still, and its particles measure less than 0.002mm in diameter.
One method of determining soil composition involves shaking soil in a jar full of water and allowing the particles to settle; a more detailed explanation can be found here.
The smaller the average particle size in soil, the harder it is for water to travel through it. You can think of it like a coffee machine. If you pack the coffee into the wand too tight, it’s near impossible for the water to come filtering through. By the same principle, sandy soils have very quick water drainage, while soils with high clay content become waterlogged easily.
If you’re using natural local soil, you can mix extra sand, silt or clay into it to improve its soil draining or retaining capabilities as needed. Drainage and soil stability may also be improved by adding gravel, which in technical terms is rock and mineral particles measuring 2m-75mm in diameter. Larger rocks can be removed where possible to avoid causing obstruction to the roots of plants.
If soil is poor, you may wish to consider buying good-quality commercial soil and mixing it into existing soil. You can also add manure, mulch, bloodmeal, bonemeal, or a range of other soil additives designed to improve nutrition release. You can even grow your plants entirely in bought commercial soil, in bags or pots so that they are not exposed to local soil.
Regulating pH of soil for growing outdoors
The optimum pH range for cannabis is between 5.5 and 6.5, making it slightly acidic. If soils are more acidic or alkaline than this, a range of deficiencies or toxicities can result. Soil that is too acidic or too alkaline disturbs a plant’s ability to absorb and use nutrients. If nutrients are not taken up in optimum ratios and quantities, your plants will not achieve the maximum quality and yield, your final harvest will suffer as a result.
Soil pH can be adjusted with a pH regulator. This is usually a solution that can be purchased from any gardening store. The most commonly used ingredient to lower pH (make it more acidic) is sulphur. Sulphur reacts with specialized bacteria commonly found in soil to create sulphuric acid, therefore acidifying the soil.
To increase pH, agricultural lime is usually added to soil. However, it isn’t necessary for cannabis cultivators to purchase sulphur or lime. These are usually available in solution at garden stores. A thorough guide to adjusting pH can be found here.
Remember that before you add a pH regulator to your soil, you first must know the current pH of your soil. This is measured with a soil pH meter. It can also be purchased from your garden store. You should only add pH regulator to your soil once you know the current state of acidity.
How to Choose the Best Outdoor Cannabis Strain
Sterilizing your outdoor soil
Sterilizing your soil by exposing it to steam can kill off many harmful bacteria, fungi and insects, while allowing several beneficial bacteria to remain alive. If purchasing good-quality commercial soil intended for growing cannabis, it is usually unnecessary to sterilize soil. However, if using local, natural soil, it may be helpful to sterilize where possible. It may also bring the added advantage of killing off any unwanted weed seeds present in the soil.
Sterilizing is a difficult and time-consuming process that is often overlooked though. If it’s not feasible to conduct this step, there are other ways to control pests. You can introduce beneficial microbes and insects to soil, as well as organic, plant-based compounds that repel or kill pests without harming the plant.
There are various techniques for sterilizing outdoor soil. Solarization is one method, and involves thoroughly tilling the soil so that it is broken up into fine pieces, watering and covering with a sheet of clear plastic.
The sheet of plastic amplifies the heat and light of the sun and allows the soil to reach high enough temperatures to kill off most undesirable microorganisms. Soil must reach temperatures of 46°C (114°F) for four to six weeks to be fully effective. It should be checked and re-tilled regularly to ensure that temperatures are sufficient and consistent.
If soil solarization is not possible due to time constraints, it may be possible to sterilize your soil by using steam. Large-scale agricultural operations make use of expensive, specialized equipment, but it is possible to use cheaper household sources of steam such as a pressure cooker to sterilize soil.
There are also methods that have been designed for smaller-scale grow operations. For example, the Hoddesdon grid method is a technique that involves layering tilled loam on a steel grid over a shallow pan of constantly-boiling water so that steam can rise through it. When temperatures reach 82-88°C (180-190°F) throughout the soil, sterilization is complete.
Growing outdoors: Pots, bags, or holes in the ground?
When growing outdoors, there are several options available: grow your plants in pots or planters, keep them in growing bags (which may be the plastic sack your commercial soil was purchased in, or may be specially-designed bags that are typically made of hessian or breathable plastic). You can also dig holes in the ground and plant directly into the soil. Outdoor soil can be optimized using the methods outlined above, or use without modification if testing shows it to be naturally optimized for growing cannabis.
If growing in pots or bags, you have the advantage of using commercially-bought soil which is not only optimized for growing cannabis but pre-sterilized to ensure that no harmful microbes are present. The downside is that your plants will be constricted by the size of their container. Pots may also require regular transplants as well as water (which they cannot receive from groundwater as plants in permeable bags or holes in the ground can).
On the other hand, digging holes in the ground and planting your young plants straight into the soil allows them to grow without constraint, and will allow roots to access the maximum amount of groundwater. Thus, they will achieve larger sizes and will require less vigilant maintenance, but may be at increased risk of exposure to soil pathogens and even contamination from agricultural run-off, for example.
Choosing the best soil for cannabis is often not as complicated as growers make it out to be. This is especially true for those who are just beginning to grow cannabis, and are not particularly concerned with yielding specific amounts of specific cannabinoids. Cannabis grows almost everywhere, and is known to grow in wet soil next to riverbeds as well as on rocky mountainsides. Well-nourished soil with the correct texture and pH is the best starting point, after which many adjustments can be made throughout the grow using nutrients and pH regulator.
Watch your plants throughout the grow, and adjust the soil as need be. Growing cannabis is a learning process that requires time and patience, and the best things are learned on the job!
Laws and regulations regarding cannabis cultivation differ from country to country. Sensi Seeds therefore strongly advises you to check your local laws and regulations. Do not act in conflict with the law.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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