In addition to light and water, soil is one of the essential components for growing great ganja. Unless you’re growing hydroponically, you’ll need to invest in nutrient-dense soil to support your cannabis seeds at every stage of development. Going with the wrong soil consistency could result in severely diminished yields and might contribute to nutrient deficiencies.
If you want the “dirt” on cannabis dirt, then this is the post for you! Below, we’re going to reveal the best soil for growing cannabis indoors and outdoors. We’ll also share valuable information on soil-related topics like the ideal pH level, container size, and nutrient schedule. As a bonus, this post will review five of the best soil amendments Australians could order from the website I Love Growing Marijuana.
How Do You Choose The Right Container Size?
Before revealing the best soil for growing marijuana, you might be wondering what you’re going to put all of that soil into. Unfortunately, there’s no universal container style or size for cannabis. For the best results, you’re going to have to figure out your marijuana strain’s average height, as well as your cultivation preferences.
Although every strain has slightly different requirements, you could get a good sense of the minimum container size by researching the average height of your seeds. As a rule of thumb, you want to provide at least two gallons of space for every foot your plant grows. For example, strains that grow three feet tall should be placed in at least a six-gallon container.
After considering your container size, you have to evaluate what style of pot to use. Whatever container you end up choosing, you should always ensure it has good drainage. The most common plant containers in gardening stores have holes in the bottom that allow water to drip into a saucer. For most home-growers, these clay or plastic pots work fine for cannabis plants.
However, there are a few “air pots” on the market that allow more oxygen from the sides. The advantage of using these containers is that it’s easier to get a read on when you’re overwatering your flowers. On the flip side, these containers tend to dry out faster than standard pots, so you’ll need to water your cannabis more frequently.
Both of these container designs work for cannabis, so choosing between them depends on your growing preferences and space considerations.
FYI: all of the above tips are only for cannabis plants in the vegetative or flowering stages of development. When your cannabis is in the seedling phase, you should always place it in a small container no bigger than 10 x 10 x 10 cm. If you’re on a low budget, red Solo cups usually work fine for cultivating seedlings.
What Is The Best Soil For Cannabis? – A Quick Review Of Major Soil Types
Now that you’ve chosen the perfect pot for your pot, it’s time to figure out what soil you’re going to use. Cannabis roots only thrive in an environment that meets specific criteria, so it’s worth reviewing this info before buying a soil mix.
Firstly, new gardeners must understand that there’s no “standard” soil type. Indeed, there are many significant differences between different kinds of soil in the gardening store. Choosing the wrong type of soil could have disastrous effects on your cannabis seeds, so pay extra careful attention to these details.
The most important features to look out for when researching different soils are water retention and drainage. Ideally, you should find a soil mix that strikes a happy balance between retaining water without risking root rot.
In general, cannabis performs best when grown in dark, loamy soil that has a slightly loose texture, plenty of nutrients, and feels spongy when wet. It’s also crucial that your soil always has a pH between 6.3 – 6.8 for optimal nutrient absorption.
In this section, we’ll run through all the major soil varieties to get a better understanding of what to shop for. Knowing the qualities of these soil types will help you make an informed purchase before setting up your grow space.
We’ll start our list with one of the finest soil varieties: silt. Often composed of organic minerals like quartz, this fine soil has high traces of minerals that are beneficial to cannabis development.
In its natural state, silty soil has a dark appearance and feels smooth to the touch. In fact, people often describe silt as having a spongy texture, especially when it’s slightly wet.
The best feature of working with silt is that it has excellent water retention and adequate drainage. Many cultivators have successfully grown cannabis using silt, especially in the early stages of plant development. Nine times out of ten, you will find traces of silt in high-quality soil mixes.
If you’ve ever been to a beach, then you already have some experience of our next soil type: sand. These medium-sized particles are defined by their acidic pH, light color, and low nutrient count.
The main benefit of including sand in soil mixes is for water drainage. On the flipside, sand has bad water retention, making it impossible for cannabis roots to pick up essential nutrients. There’s a good reason so few plants grow in sandy deserts—especially cannabis!
Along with sandy soil, clay is one of the most challenging soil types to work with if you’re trying to grow cannabis. The mineral particles in clay are microscopic and form an incredibly dense and heavy soil. Although clay has a high mineral content, it also has a high pH that makes it difficult for cannabis to absorb nutrients.
A big issue with clay soil has to do with water retention. Clay tends to cling onto water, making it near impossible for roots to absorb essential nutrients and moisture. Also, since clay soil retains water so well, it takes a long time to drain water.
In most cases, cultivators say loam is the best soil for growing cannabis. Interestingly, this soil type is a combination of the three varieties listed above: sand, silt, and clay. Although the percentages of professional loam mixes vary, manufacturers tend to add more silt and sand, which tends to gives loam a darkish color and slightly spongy texture.
Since loam is made up of the three primary soil types, it has an excellent balance of water retention and drainage. As a bonus, loam tends to have a neutral pH, making it the best soil for growing cannabis indoors. The only downside of using loam is that it tends to be the priciest option.
Although not as popular as the soil types listed above, you might hear a few cannabis cultivators mention using peat moss in their grows. Even though this soil medium is far too acidic to use on its own, it offers some unique properties that could enhance your soil’s quality. Indeed, peat moss is often considered the best soil for growing cannabis outdoors when mixed with other less acidic mediums.
As the name suggests, peat moss is composed of accumulated moss biomatter that forms on the bottom of bogs. Many home-growers use a bit of peat moss to enhance water retention and soften their soil’s texture. Plus, since peat moss is an organic compound, it also has many beneficial microbes that can help cannabis plants grow strong.
On the downside, many people complain that peat moss is not a sustainable growing medium. So, if you’re an eco-conscious gardener, you might want to consider researching coco coir rather than using peat moss.
How To Gauge Nutrients For Your Cannabis Soil
Although high-quality organic soil should have plenty of healthy compounds, that doesn’t mean you should neglect supplemental nutrients. Home-growers who only rely on store-bought soil are often disappointed with lower-than-average yields. Plus, without having proper nutrients on hand, it’s impossible to save cannabis plants that show signs of nutrient deficiencies.
Adding high-quality nutrients to your cannabis at different stages of growth is especially important if you’re an indoor grower. Since outdoor cannabis plants enjoy greater CO2 exposure, they tend to be less prone to nutrient deficiencies than indoor plants. But no matter where you grow your plants, it’s good to stock up on some high-quality nutrient supplies.
Before we share the best nutrients for growing cannabis in soil, let’s run through a few significant features to keep in mind before shopping online.
The Basics Of Cannabis Nutrients
Cannabis needs a host of nutrients at all stages of development, but the three that stand out are nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Often listed as NPK, these macronutrients are essential for healthy cannabis growth.
Every strain varies in how much NPK it needs, but generally you need high traces of nitrogen and potassium during vegetative growth and higher phosphorous during flowering. You’ll probably notice these fluctuations in NPK levels reflected on different nutrient bottles.
On top of a good NPK blend, many cultivators recommend that indoor growers look into calcium-magnesium supplements to prevent magnesium deficiency. As for all other micronutrients, it’s rare for your plants to show signs of a deficiency as long as you use high-quality soil and fertilizers like bat guano.
FYI: if it’s your first-time growing cannabis with nutrients, please remember the mantra “less is more.” Often, new growers have the mistaken assumption that more nutrients will produce bigger buds. In reality, giving your plants too many nutrients can cause a terrible condition known as “nutrient burn.”
Stay On Top Of Your Soil pH
Even if you buy the highest quality soil nutrients, it won’t mean a thing if your pH is off. Marijuana roots need to be in slightly acidic soil to absorb all of the nutrients they crave. Specifically, you should maintain a consistent soil pH between 6.3 – 6.8.
Since pH levels play a critical role in cannabis development, you should always have a pH scanner on hand to monitor levels. You’ll also need pH uppers and downers to adjust your soil when it’s falling out of this range.
Top Cannabis Soils And Nutrients You Could Buy In Australia
Now that you know the basics of cannabis nutrients, it’s time to share our picks for the best nutrients for growing cannabis in soil. All of the products listed below are available in Australia through the website I Love Growing Marijuana (ILGM).
As you might’ve already heard, ILGM is one of the world’s most reputable online marijuana seed banks. In addition to their extensive portfolio of cannabis seeds, ILGM offers plenty of soil amendments and kits to grow beautiful buds year-round. Be sure to visit ILGM’s website if you have any specific questions about the following products.
Beginner Marijuana Grow Kit
If you’re a total newcomer to cannabis cultivation, you should seriously consider giving ILGM’s Beginner Marijuana Grow Kit a go. As the name suggests, this kit has everything inexperienced ganja gardeners need to have a successful harvest on their first try.
For this kit, ILGM decided to include 20 premier White Widow Auto seeds. A favorite 90s hybrid, White Widow is a slightly sativa-dominant hybrid with traces of South American and South Indian landraces. People who use White Widow often report an earthy and slightly sweet flavor as well as mildly euphoric effects.
Even though White Widow is slightly sativa dominant, it’s considered one of the easiest hybrids to grow. Since these White Widow Auto seeds have ruderalis genetics, new home-growers don’t have to worry about setting up a strict lighting schedule to bring their seeds to flower. In general, cultivators enjoy moderate yields after eight weeks of planting their White Widow Auto seeds.
In addition to White Widow Auto seeds, ILGM’s Beginner Marijuana Grow Kit includes plenty of fertilizer for different growth stages. Customers will also receive ILGM’s famous Plant Protector to keep various pests and molds from attacking your cannabis. Currently, this beginner-friendly grow kit retails for $169.
Even if you have no grow experience, ILGM’s Beginner Marijuana Grow Kit will help you cultivate an iconic cannabis hybrid without breaking a sweat. Just keep in mind, anyone who orders this product will receive their nutrients and seeds in separate packages.
If you’re looking for an effective way to defend your plants from pests, you’ve got to look into ILGM’s famous Plant Protector. Using these liquid solutions regularly will ensure your plants grow big buds without bad bugs holding them back.
ILGM’s Plant Protector consists of three products: Bug Blaster, Root Protector, and Mold Control. Each of these bottles contains 20 ml of liquid solution that’s good for a maximum of 20 cannabis plants. ILGM always promises to use 100 percent natural ingredients like potassium bicarbonate, neem oil, and beneficial bacteria in their solutions.
Both the Bug Buster and Mold Control can be diluted with water in a spray bottle and misted over your plants. The Root Protector, however, should be poured directly into your soil, followed by generous dousings of water.
Currently, it costs $39 for all three bottles in the Plant Protector catalog. To help preserve freshness, ILGM ships all of their Plant Protector bottles in airtight containers without any reference to marijuana. Find out more info on this popular product by clicking this link.
Fertilizer Formula Kit
For those who don’t want to be bothered by measuring nutrients at different stages of development, you’ve got to check out ILGM’s fertilizer kit. This expertly formulated product contains the perfect nutrient ratios for seedling, vegetative, and flowering stages. As a bonus, ILGM includes 10 grams of its Plant Booster formula to help influence bud production before flowering.
ILGM promises each of its fertilizer formula kits can feed five marijuana plants. Customers can now pick up this fertilizer kit for $39 on this webpage.
Gold Leaf Marijuana Grow Kit
Experienced home-growers looking for a new challenge might want to give ILGM’s Gold Leaf Marijuana Grow Kit a try. Gold Leaf is a relatively rare indica-dominant hybrid that first appeared in ILGM’s catalog. THC levels on this strain are in the 20 percent range with moderate CBD, and users often report a well-balanced high with earthy flavors.
In every one of these exclusive grow kits, ILGM includes 20 feminized Gold Leaf seeds ready for germination. You’ll also receive plenty of ILGM’s fertilizer and Plant Protector to help you have a “golden” harvest.
Although Gold Leaf seeds are rated as moderately difficult, you shouldn’t have an issue if you use all of the provided soil additions and low-stress training techniques. Typically, you’ll yield a moderate harvest of Gold Leaf after only nine weeks.
Today, the Gold Leaf Marijuana Grow Kit retails for $199 on ILGM. Click this link to find out more about this premier product.
Medical Marijuana Grow Kit
Any Australians on the nation’s medical marijuana program should take a close look at ILGM’s easy-to-use Medical Marijuana Grow Kit. Inside each of these kits, home-growers get everything they need to breed the immensely popular hybrid Harlequin.
Known for its 1:1 THC-to-CBD ratio, Harlequin is a sativa dominant strain bred specifically for medical patients. Due to this strain’s high CBD content, it has become a staple amongst medical patients struggling with conditions ranging from chronic fatigue to arthritis. Even though this fruity strain has a sativa dominance, it’s well known for inducing a sense of alertness without the heady effects of high-THC strains.
ILGM includes 20 pre-sexed Harlequin seeds, fertilizer, and Plant Protector in each of these Medical Grow Kits. As long as you follow the provided instructions, you should have huge Harlequin buds within 8 – 9 weeks growing in soil.
Today, ILGM’s Medical Marijuana Grow Kit costs $189. As with all of the other grow kits in ILGM’s catalog, you will receive seeds and other products separately. Please click this link to find out more about this exciting grow kit option.