Growing your own cannabis can be a gratifying experience. Since many states have legalized home cultivation, more and more first-time growers are scouring the internet for the latest tips and tricks for growing cannabis. One of the most commonly searched questions is choosing the best soil for cannabis cultivation. This soil is also regularly referred to as the medium.
There are many factors to consider when selecting a suitable growing medium, including your location, budget, experience, and even the cannabis strain. Today, we’re going to the experts at Bloom & Oil to determine the best soil for cannabis. We’ll explore some popular choices and cover some growing mediums to avoid. Let’s get started.
Potting soil is always an affordable, practical choice. It’s not overly dense and is quite forgiving in the event of a mistake. Potting soil is an excellent choice for beginners as it’s the least expensive growing medium. However, you should only consider potting soil as an option if you plan on growing cannabis in a container like a pot or a bag.
If you plan on growing your cannabis outside in a garden, organic soil is an excellent choice. Many experienced growers only use organic soil and claim it makes the cannabis buds sweeter. However, this claim has varied opinions. You can find a myriad of online recipes for organic soil mixtures. Typically, you start with natural soil, preferably high-grade topsoil, add various supplements like lime or compost, and mix until you get the correct ratio. This is the hard part for most growers and why organic soil isn’t recommended for beginners.
Coco coir consists of the husks of coconut shells, and it’s pretty popular with indoor and outdoor growers. Coco coir sports exceptional drainage, making it one of the best choices for indoor cannabis cultivation. Thanks to its remarkable drainage capabilities, overwatering a cannabis plant in coco coir is almost impossible. However, coco coir is one of the more expensive growing mediums out there.
Soil Options to Avoid
You should avoid using potting soils mixed with fertilizers. Many companies offer these pre-mixed soils for flower beds and vegetable gardens. However, that doesn’t mean it’ll work for cannabis. More often than not, these soil mixtures contain too much fertilizer and burn young cannabis plants, eventually killing the plant.
Soil from your backyard should also be avoided. These soils can contain an unknown amount of nutrients and are frequently filled with pests that will only eat whatever cannabis starts to grow. Not to mention, this topsoil is usually too dense for cannabis plants’ roots to properly take hold. So while it may be possible to dig a small hole out back, toss a couple of seeds in it, and actually have a cannabis plant, it’s not an effective way to grow.
Factors to Consider
Regardless of what growing medium you select, there are several factors to consider. First, you should keep drainage in mind. You want soil that offers good drainage to allow excess water to pass through without drowning your cannabis. Most potting soils offer decent drainage, but coco coir provides the best drainage.
Next, you should consider the soil’s density. Cannabis roots don’t do well when they have to work extra hard to grow. Compacted or dense soil makes it difficult for cannabis plants to take root and form a solid foundation. To test a soil’s density, stick your finger into the growing medium. Your finger should be able to move into the soil with minimal resistance. Another way to test density if you’re at the store is to pick up the soil container. The heavier the soil, the denser it probably is.
Finally, pH levels should also be taken into consideration. Cannabis plants prefer soil on the acidic side. This shouldn’t be a concern if you’re buying potting soil or coco coir. However, if you’re mixing your own organic soil, you may want to invest in a soil pH meter to get an accurate measurement of your growing medium’s pH.