Best soil for Cannabis
Soil is super traditional to grow in and I think every grower needs to try soil at least once in their lives just to say they’ve done it. Though, maybe I’m partial since I started with soil myself. You can either buy soil or make it yourself. Often you can buy soil from companies that put nutrients in the soil for you and will have enough nutrients to feed the plant until flowering (this is often referred to as hot soil).
This helps and hurts beginners because it allows them to focus on other aspects of growing cannabis during the early periods. But soil with nutes can burn seedlings because they start feeding on the nutrients too soon. Seedlings provide themselves with their own nutrients with their cotyledons leaves - those tiny oval-shaped leaves you see when a seedling has sprouted.
This can easily be avoided by either mixing potting soil in with the hot soil or growing the seedling in a smaller container then transferring it to it final grow medium when it hits vegetation.
While soil is the most straightforward there are some things to keep in mind:
1. If you see the phrases “extended release”, “time release”, or “slow release” run far, far away. You’re probably familiar with Miracle-Gro which is notorious for having time release nutrients, and it’s ill-advised to use it.
2. Potting soil is fine to use for the entire grow, but you’ll want to “treat” it will nutrients and microbes that encourage a natural ecosystem.
3. Many growers move on from soil because soilless and hydro allow more customization of the grow medium which creates a lot of control. Soil growers can do a fair amount of customization as well (though not as much) by creating their own soil. You want to create the ideal soil mixture that gives cannabis plants what they crave and no it’s not electrolytes.
4. Adding perlite (volcanic glass) to your soil is usually advise as it creates more space and allows the soil to breathe and makes for better drainage. Nutrients and microbes like bat guano, compost, earthworm castings, fish meal, peat moss, kelp, fungi work together to creates a healthy and rich soil that cannabis plants thrive in.
Recommended Soil Brands:
Fox Farms - Their “Ocean Forest” soil is great for sustaining most cannabis plants with nutrients until flowering, but they may cause nute burn to seedings. This won’t kill the seedlings, but it may stifle their growth for a few days. When growing a photoperiod this won’t matter in the long run as you can just keep the plant in veg longer to make up the time spent on recovery. But for autoflowering strains it’s recommend to mix in some of their potting soils: “Happy Frog” or “Light Warrior” which will reduce the nutes in the soil mixture. Add about 30% perlite in the mix to open up your soil for better drainage and root health, and you’ve got a good start for success.