Best soil for cannabis seeds uk

Soil Mix Made to Grow Great Autoflowers

Everyone is getting on board the growing your own weed train, and it’s a good thing. Learning to grow your own cannabis is a valuable skill for any cannabis lover. Now, with so many states legalizing the home growing of marijuana, more people are discovering their green thumbs.

One of the most common mistakes among newer growers is growing their cannabis in the wrong soil. A lot of times, this comes from using the typical soil that you can find at a hardware store. For instance, MiracleGro is terrible for cannabis plants and will more than likely end up killing your crop. The fact is, cannabis is only as good as the medium it was grown in. If you want to grow top-shelf cannabis, you need to use top-shelf soil.

Soil Mix Made to Grow Great Autoflowers

The Importance of Good Soil for Autoflowers

One of the biggest mistakes a novice grower can make is growing their cannabis in the wrong type of soil. Even experienced growers can make this mistake. If you’ve been growing vegetables for years, you already know how to grow plants, right? You are correct, of course, but marijuana, although a hardy plant, still has specific needs that cannot be met by many of the commercial soils that you’ll find at the local hardware store.

It is no surprise that many experienced growers that are new to growing marijuana may be tempted to use MiracleGro. It is a very well-known brand of plant food and soil, and it’s used in gardens throughout the country. It has made our flowers bloom brighter and our tomatoes juicier, does logic not dictate that we should use it on weed too? As it turns out, using MiracleGro is perhaps the worst thing that you can do as a cannabis grower. The main issue with this soil is that it only contains one type of formula. As you know, cannabis goes through several different stages , requiring a variety of nutrient combinations. As a result, your plants become nutrient deficient, get sick, and then die. While autoflowers can handle things that would kill photoperiod plants, even they cannot handle the amount of nitrogen contained in MiracleGro soil.

So now that it is clear why Miracle Grow is a bad idea let’s talk about what you could gain by using the correct soil. First of all, you can expect healthier plants. When you use the best possible soil, your plants are less susceptible to damage from things such as nutrient deficiencies or nutrient burn. You will also be able to increase your yields, which is very beneficial to autoflower growers since autoflowers tend to have lower yields than photoperiod seeds.

We know what soil not to use , but what type of soil should you use? The best mediums for growing weed come in many different forms, but the best ones all include a combination of compost, peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. You can buy these specific soils, or you can make your own. We’ll get into how to make your own later.

A quick note on coco vs soil autoflower medium

As a newer grower, you might be tempted to try growing in coco coir. It’s not a bad idea, as coco coir is a fantastic medium for growing good quality dank buds. However, it is not recommended for newbies. Unlike premixed soil, coco coir requires precise and complicated nutrient formulas to give your plant the best environment. If this is your first rodeo, as they say, you might want to consider skipping the coco and opting for the soil.

Do Autoflowers Do Well in a Super Soil?

Autoflowers are incredibly hardy plants, and as such, they can handle many different types of soils. But if you already own less than optimal soil, you could have better results by using a super soil autoflower concentrate . Super soil is simply a soil that is made specifically for growing cannabis. The concentrate contains all of the nutrients you will need during your plants’ life; you’ll simply mix it with standard soil to create the optimal growing medium for your plants.

Many new cannabis growers may wonder why they should be concerned about a specific soil for autoflowering cannabis plants if the plants are already quite hardy. In other words, why should you go with soil specifically for cannabis? Think about the difference between eating locally sourced, organically grown fruits and vegetables versus eating the kind you find in the produce aisle of your grocery store. Which taste do you prefer? Think again about cannabis that you buy in the dispensary that was organically grown in the best possible medium, versus the ditch weed we used to smoke back in the late nineties and early aughts. It’s not that difficult of an answer if you think about it. Do you want your cannabis to resemble a five-star gourmet meal at a high-class French restaurant, or do you want McDonald’s? I think the world has enough McDonald’s, don’t you?

On that subject, it is appropriate to mention synthetic nutrients, that is to say, do not use them! While you might be tempted to play god, this is one of those cases where you should just let mother nature do what she does best and just let it grow. You don’t want synthetic ingredients, dyes, or any of that crap in your food, so why would you want them in your weed? Autoflowers are tough, yes, but that does not mean that they prefer the cheap stuff. They want the super soil.

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Organic Cannabis Soil Recipe

Avoid Common Mistakes

How to Germinate Autoflower Seeds in Soil

Contrary to popular belief, it is not advisable to germinate your autoflower seeds in soil. Many common garden plants can germinate in soil with no issues; however, cannabis is not your typical garden plant, not even autoflowers. As such, cannabis seeds require more care and attention than other seeds.

That’s why we recommend germinating your seeds in a jiffy pellet after soaking in distilled water for up to 24 hours, or in a damp paper towel (damp, not sopping wet!), though some seeds may take more time to sprout. Once your seeds have properly germinated, or “popped” to use the grower’s vernacular, you will need to fill some small pots with your soil mix. Bury your seed a half-centimeter or centimeter into the soil with the taproot (the little tail your seed develops during germination) facing downwards. Cover your seedling in a small amount of soil, but not too much!

Ideally, you should leave your seedling in the soil under a grow light until it emerges from the soil, and you can transplant it to its final growing place. If you don’t use a grow light, be sure to provide plenty of light. Make sure that your seedling does not get too cold or it won’t grow! It will usually take around 4-5 days for your plant to grow large enough for it to be safely transplanted. Make sure not to let your plant develop too much, or you will not be able to transplant it without causing damage. Let me repeat, it is vitally important that you not leave your seedling in the temporary pot for more than 6 days, or you will not be able to transplant them safely! Sorry to sound like a broken record, but this is a mistake that many new growers make. Ignore this advice, and you may be in the same boat.

How Much Soil Does an Autoflower Need?

Autoflowers are smaller plants than photoperiod plants, so they will not need as much soil, but it largely depends on how many you are planning on growing.

If you are wanting something like a mini desktop plant setup, where you are planning on growing only an ounce or less, then you will not need much, only about a half-gallon pot of soil. This quantity is excellent for people who are just starting out, perhaps only wanting to grow 1-2 plants for personal use. If you’re brand new to growing and don’t have a lot of time or money, or don’t really know if you’re going to like growing your own marijuana, then this is the size for you.

If you are planning on growing a bit more for your personal use, maybe less than five ounces, your best bet will be to go with a 2-gallon pot , which can yield you up to 112 grams or four ounces of high-quality herbs. Two-gallon pots are great if you have a little more room in your grow space and a bit of money to spare. Five-gallon pots are the standard that most growers agree is right for them.

Five-gallon pots , while too large to fit on your desktop or windowsill, still fit comfortably on your balcony or patio, in your grow tent, or in your outdoor garden or greenhouse. A five-gallon pot will easily yield up to 8 ounces, which should more than cover the expenses of your growing equipment, plus save you plenty of trips to the dispensary.

Of course, there are other sizes. For example, photoperiod growers love 35-gallon pots , which will net you over a pound of marijuana. However, it is not a good idea to grow autoflowers in a 35-gallon container, as their life cycle is too short to warrant it.

Feeding your Autoflowering Plants

Now, let’s talk about how to feed cannabis plants in soil . Feeding is one of the most important aspects of growing any marijuana plant, but the process is a lot easier with autoflowers. You might think that they need a lot of nutrients like photoperiod cannabis plants, but this is not the case. Autoflowers need less food than photoperiods, and because of this, it is very easy for a new cannabis grower to overfeed their plants, which can lead to disaster.

The most important thing to remember is to keep an eye on your nitrogen levels as too much nitrogen can be devastating to small plants, such as autoflowers. Yet another reason why you should never ever EVER use MiracleGro, which is filled with nitrogen. Your best bet is soil that is designed for autoflowering cannabis and a guide, such as the Advanced Nutrients feeding schedule autoflower edition. Keep in mind, that calculator is intended for specific nutrients, which may not be ideal for autoflowering plants. However, it is a useful guide for showing how precise you should be when feeding cannabis plants.

There are other considerations to keep in mind, outside of nutrients. Experts recommend that you add mycorrhizal fungi to your soil. It’s important to note that these are not nutrients. They are simply organic lifeforms that break down organic matter in your soil and transport it to your plant’s root system. Though not required for your plant’s survival, it is a good idea to introduce these into your soil.

Another critical thing to keep in mind is the pH of your soil. The pH scale ranges from 1-14 with 1-6 indicating acidity, 7 being neutral, and 8-14 being alkaline. Cannabis plants like things on the more acidic side, so ideally, your pH should be anywhere from 6.2-6.5. Always test your plant’s pH regularly and make adjustments as needed. If your pH is too low, meaning your soil is too acidic, you can always add dolomite to it to make it a little more alkaline. If your soil pH is too high, meaning it’s too alkaline, add some pine needles to set it right where it needs to be. pH testing strips can be purchased in most stores, so be sure to pick some up if you’re creating your own soil.

Popular Soils for Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds

There are plenty of soils that are suitable for growing autoflowers. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of each. A Nature’s Living Soil autoflower review on Amazon.com shows that the soil is generally great for their plants, but others have said that they couldn’t tell if it made a difference in their plants whatsoever. One reviewer even claimed that their plants were actually nutrient deficient from it. One of the most popular potting soils used for growing marijuana is Fox Farm Ocean Forest soil and Happy Farm Organic potting soil . Looking specifically at Fox Farm soil autoflower , there were many positive reviews; however, there were also quite a few that said it was quite a bit more than what they were wanting to spend. Overall, it’s a fantastic soil, but is the price worth it?

Many of the soils that you find online will say the same thing. Unless you want to spend a lot of money, you might end up with something that doesn’t do enough or does too much, potentially harming your plants. That’s why some growers choose to make their own soil. So, how easy is that, and does it involve math?

How to make the best Autoflowering Soil

Knowing how to make your own soil is a useful skill, even if you never end up needing to do so. At a minimum, it helps you recognize what to look for when you purchase soil. When you know what is supposed to be in your soil, you can choose which ingredients you want, depending on your tastes. Add what you want and leave out what you don’t. The best soils for autoflowers can have up to 17 ingredients in the substrate.

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As a general guide, the following formula is recommended. Start with 3 parts peat moss, 3 parts compost, 2 parts perlite, and 1 part vermiculite. You’ll want to use the following process. First, start by spreading out the soil. Then, add the first ingredient and mix well. Repeat this step for every ingredient. Once you are done, you should wrap the mixture with a tarp, then allow it to sit for 24 hours. This process is called “cooking the soil.” It helps ensure your soil is well blended and ready to support your plant.

When the time comes to plant, fill your container one-third full of your soil mix, then fill the rest with topsoil. Doing so will encourage your plant to grow downward into the soil, using nutrients as needed. This step prevents your plant from taking in too many nutrients at once. You don’t want this because it could damage your plants.

Our complete grow kits include everything you need to go from seed to your very own supply of high grade medical cannabis.

Best Soil For Cannabis – What is Good Soil For Growing Weed?

Signs of good and bad soil quality, other additives that help to improve soil quality and what to consider when it comes to planting this year.

  • 1. The benefits of organic soil
  • 1. a. Organic soil additives
  • 2. Other additives that improve soil quality
  • 2. a. Coco
  • 2. b. Biochar
  • 2. c. Perlite
  • 2. d. Vermiculite
  • 3. Signs of good soil
  • 4. Signs of bad soil
  • 5. How to make your own soil
  • 5. a. Best nutrients for soil
  • 5. b. Cheap mix for diy soil
  • 5. c. Best soil for beginners
  • 5. d. Ph too high or ph too low
  • 5. e. Best soil for marijuana
  • 6. In conclusion

When growing autoflowering Cannabis plants, it is very important to keep them supplied with nutrients in the form of hard foods, or liquid feeds. The best soil for autoflowers will depend on your environment, fertilizers, and ability to control the pH, so keep this in mind if this is your first grow cycle, knowing the best option in your case can really set you on your way to bountiful harvests.

So if you’re wondering what soil is best for growing weed, below we’ll explain what to know, the signs of good and bad soil quality, as well as what you should consider when it comes to planting this year.

1. The Benefits of Organic Soil

Soil for autoflowers or for any other type of cannabis plant consists of organic material that is in a permanent state of decomposition. Teaming with beneficial microorganisms that are responsible for converting nutrients to the plant’s roots, living soil is Mother Nature’s way of allowing autoflowering plants to work in a symbiotic relationship. As the tiny microorganisms decomposing the organic matter, they make the nutrients available for the roots, which are now able to access all the available nutrients and minerals found within the soil web. Once this symbiosis occurs, then the only real requirement is for the soil to be adequately watered. This is basically the most simple form of organic growing that is perfect for those new to growing, it requires very little maintenance, and labor, as well as allowing the grower to work with a slow buffering organic process, so if you were wondering what is the best soil for growing weed, read along.

Organic Soil Additives

Using organic soil additives or amendments will help increase the number of beneficial microorganisms, improve moisture retention, and help you control the health of your soil. In general, you should be looking at adding these amendments before planting. They will help you create the best organic environment for the root system to thrive, which will result in amazing growth and the full terpene profile maturing.

Bat Guano

Bat guano is one of the most widely used additives in cannabis cultivation. It is a fast-acting, highly bio-available organic fertilizer with high rates of nitrogen and phosphorus making it perfect for the vegetative growth stage. It also helps improve the drainage and oxygenation of the soil mix, helps boost the natural immunity against pests, fungal infestations, and disease, and can ensure the best possible terpene production (although there is little scientific evidence to back up this claim). Be careful with the amount you introduce to the substrate, as bat guano is pretty strong stuff. A little goes a very long way.

It can be used in both its fresh or dry form and is typically sourced in either powder or pellet form. It can be used in many ways other than as a direct additive to the soil. Many cultivators used bat guano as a fertilizing tea, or as a foliar spray. It can also be used as a top dressing by sprinkling it directly around the base of the plant and then watered in. To make a super effective bat guano tea all you need is 15 grams of bat guano, 1 liter of lukewarm water, and an air pump. Mix the guano and the water together well, and make sure the water is only lukewarm. Hot water will kill the microbial life that you are trying to introduce to the mix. Give it all a good mix, throw the pump in and let it aerate for at least 24 hours. This tea can be supplied twice a week throughout the entire lifecycle of the crop.

Worm Castings

Worm casting, or worm poo, is literally the most bio-available organic fertilizer with ridiculous levels of both nutrients and minerals. Also referred to as vermicast, this top-shelf additive is perfect for any organic cannabis garden. It not only provides long-lasting, slow-release nutrition to the crop but also increases the aeration of the soil and provides excellent drainage.

You can swap out any potting mix you may use for 100% worm castings, and you do not have to worry about nutrient burn issues at all. Creating your own worm farm at home is super simple and can provide you with an unlimited supply of castings, ready to use at a moments notice, and provide your crop with almost everything it needs to provide you with bumper harvests.

Manure

Cow manure makes a perfect slow-release fertilizer. It usually contains a very well-balanced mix of the three main macronutrients that plants need for healthy and vigorous growth, plus manure works as a very efficient soil conditioner and helps increase the amount of microbial life in the soil, while also boosting moisture retention. Keep in mind that some manures may have herbicide contamination, so always check the packaging to ensure it is fully organic. If you live near a farm and can get it directly from the source then even better!

You want to mix the manure in before planting, and make sure there is no heavy rain forecast for the next week or so to prevent the chances of all the goodness being washed away. Chicken manure, on the other hand, is considered to be “hot” manure, meaning it can easily burn the plants if not allowed to sit and mature. In general, we do not recommend using chicken manure for your cannabis crop.

Bone Meal and Blood Meal

Bone meal is made from the ground-up bones of beef cattle and is a fantastic source of both phosphorus and calcium. It is used pretty extensively with outdoor cannabis cultivation but is not recommended for indoor growers. It does come with quite an acidic pH level which needs to be balanced, so keep that in mind. Blood meal is made from, you guessed it, the blood of beef cattle. It is very rich in bio-available nitrogen, but can also easily burn the plants if overused. It too comes with quite an acidic pH level which must be balanced. Both of these additives can attract the attention of wild animals which can easily wreck the crop, so make sure any plants that use these amendments are well fenced off. It goes without saying that these additives are anything but vegan, so if that is important for you then choose other fertilizing options.

Kelp Meal

Kelp meal is one of the most desirable additives for cannabis crops, as it is packed full of over 65 different essential elements and minerals, and also contains a very healthy dose of potassium. Many growers are of the thinking that kelp meal provides a huge boost to the flavor and color range of cannabis, which we agree with.

Mycorrhizal Fungi

Every single cannabis crop, no matter the method or techniques applied, should have mycorrhizal fungi added. This type of fungi plays a very important role in helping the plant feed on the nutrients by turning them into a more bio-available source. They also help protect the root system from attack by pests, disease, and harmful fungi.

2. Other Additives That Improve Soil Quality

One of the downsides to using soil found in the ground is that it can be very dense once watered. Restricting root growth during the early stages of a Cannabis plant’s life is never advised, so adding other substrates into your living soil can be very advantageous.

By simply adding a 25-50% ratio of coco coir to your cannabis soil, the quality of the mix will become very airy and lightweight. Adding coco will enhance the air pockets present, the wicking action of the medium, as well as encourage a mass expansion in the rhizosphere. Coco is very user-friendly and is well associated with large yields. The best thing about adding coco is the fact it is an inert growing medium, so does not have any nutritional value in terms of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, or Potassium, including trace elements.

  • Increases aeration and holds water better: Due to its characteristics, coco fiber can increase aeration in the soil and can absorb up to 10x its own weight in water, making it vital for growers living in dry weather.
  • Cheap: Coco fiber is relatively cheap and comes in various forms. You can find it compressed into a brick or already washed and ready to use out the bag, the price may change a bit depending on your preference but it won’t be absurdly expensive.
  • Easy to use: Coco is a sterile medium so fungus and other bugs avoid it, making it perfect for growing cannabis. Also, because of its neutral pH, you can use it with soil amendments without worrying.
  • Sterile: Because this type of medium is sterile, it won’t contain any of the nutrients your plant needs, even though you can mix it with soil or even amend it, you will have to provide all the nutrients your plant needs if you’re only using coco.
  • Needs to be washed: The quality can vary from brand to brand, so depending on the brand, you will have to soak it and wash it a couple of times to remove impurities before using it.
  • Hard to find good quality: Even though it’s relatively easy to find coco coir, it can be hard to find good quality coco fiber. This doesn’t mean you can’t use it but you will have to wash it thoroughly and experiment with a couple of brands before you’re 100% satisfied.

Biochar

An incredible organic addictive that has amazing water-holding capabilities, an enormous surface area, and is a source of pure carbon. Biochar is made by heating wood to such temperatures that the end result is a tiny, charcoal-black crystalline substrate. Due to the fact it is 100% carbon and has a shelf life of thousands of years, organic farmers use biochar with their soil to improve water retention allowing for less watering times, feeding the beneficial microorganisms a rich source of carbon, and helping save the planet.

Organic additives like Coco Coir and Biochar can drastically improve the quality of your soil, improve water retention and not to mention help you to save the planet.

  • Increases soil fertility: Biochar can boost soil fertility when used in combination with amended soil because it prevents nutrients from leaking out and provides carbon which increases the availability of nutrients in the medium.
  • Holds nutrients and moisture: Thanks to its porous surface, biochar can absorb a lot of water and draws in minerals which are essential for plant development.
  • Reduces the need for fertilizers: Because biochar is carbon-rich, it accelerates the decomposition of organic matter which results in more nutrients being available in the medium, a perfect choice for organic growers.
  • Can affect yields: Due to the porous characteristic, biochar can absorb too much water and nutrients when used in excess and can end up stressing your autoflowering plants which will show signs of deficiencies.
  • Can be contaminated: The quality of biochar is influenced by the material it is made of, so it can come contaminated with heavy metals or harmful compounds that are bad for your autoflowering plants.
  • Harmful to humans: If not dealt with caution, you can end up breathing ash which is a concern if exposed to daily, also, it can irritate you if it comes in contact with your eyes or skin for a long period of time.
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Perlite

Perlite is usually used in soil mixes to increase aeration and improve the soil’s texture, by using perlite in the proper amounts you will not only improve drainage but also avoid compaction, making it a better medium for the roots to grow in. Usually, perlite is used in combination with coco fiber and soil to provide the best medium for the roots, while perlite improves aeration, coco fiber absorbs water, balancing those two elements in the best ratio possible.

Perlite can also be used to plant clones in, when you place your cuttings in perlite, the roots usually grow stronger and faster because they need oxygen to thrive and perlite helps provide it.

  • Increased aeration: Perlite creates small air pockets in the soil so if used properly, it can improve the growth rate.
  • Sterile medium: Because it’s a sterile medium, perlite won’t affect the pH of your medium or increase the amount of minerals in it.
  • Avoids soil compaction: Perlite needs to be thoroughly mixed in the soil before using, this will create several air pockets that make the soil fluffier, avoiding compaction.
  • Can dry the medium faster: You will need to check your autoflowering plants closely because with more oxygen in the soil you will have to water more often.
  • Needs to be washed first: If the brand you’re using does not pre-wash the perlite, it may come with a fine dust that can be harmful if inhaled so we recommend washing your perlite before using.
  • Needs to be watered more often: Because the medium will dry faster, you will need to water more and this means you will need to check on your autoflowering plants at least 2 times per day to make sure everything goes accordingly.

Vermiculite

Vermiculite can be used to improve the quality of your soil, just like perlite, vermiculite has several qualities that will make your autoflowering plants grow better and faster. This mineral helps aerate the soil, holds water and nutrients while not being toxic or changing the pH.

If your soil is compact or does not drain water properly, you can add vermiculite to provide the roots a better medium to grow in, just make sure you’re using the proper ratio because too much can hold a lot of nutrients and water and end up harming your autoflowering plants.

  • Neutral pH: Because it’s a sterile medium, vermiculite will not alter your soil’s pH so there’s no need to worry about checking the runoff every day.
  • Can prevent mold: When used in the proper ratio, vermiculite will absorb the excess water, preventing mold and fungus in the soil.
  • Improves soil quality: Just like perlite, vermiculite improves the soil’s texture and makes it fluffier, preventing soil compaction.
  • Can be expensive: Depending on where you live, vermiculite can be relatively hard to find and a bit expensive because it’s not usually found in regular grow shops.
  • Can affect autoflowering plants if used in excess: Because perlite holds nutrients and water, using it in excess can ultimately result in overwatering and overfeeding.
  • It’s said to be harmful: When buying low-quality vermiculite, it can contain asbestos and can cause lung problems. Inhaling these tiny fibers can cause asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer if exposed for a long time so it’s essential to buy the best quality possible and wash it before using it.

3. Signs of Good Soil

Due to the process in which soil is naturally produced, there are a few factors to consider if you are going to prepare your own. If buying soil from a well-known brand, or your local garden center’s cheap and cheerful products then there are some things to consider.

  • Check the packaging to see the nutritional value of the soil. A good brand will take the time to display a soil nutrient analysis displaying-N-P-K values, amount of perlite, vermiculite, compost, trace elements, and the bacterial and fungi count present.
  • Worms aerate the soil as they crawl through eating up organic matter. If you see your soil full of worms then do not worry. Not only will these little helpers aerate the soil but will release beneficial bacteria from their gut as they do.
  • Good store-bought soil will have perlite or coco added allowing for the ideal balance of air to water retention. Avoid soils that do not have any perlite unless you are purposely buying pure worm castings.

4. Signs of Bad Soil

  • Bad soil will have an unpleasant smell which is a red flag bad bacteria are present, causing the medium to be in an unfavorable acidic state.
  • Drainage will be poor, causing the soil to become dense and heavy. This weight can restrict root growth and slow plant development down dramatically. The ratio of water retention, drainage, and wicking capabilities will all be out of balance.

5. How to make your own soil

To make your own soil mix you need to have in mind the conditions that you will have during your growing cycle, things like temperature and humidity may have an influence in the best mix, so make sure you know the conditions before mixing your soil.

Best nutrients for soil

We recommend always using organic nutrients when growing in soil because soil it’s organic matter and contains microorganisms that can greatly benefit your autoflowering plants if taken care of properly. We cannot recommend a certain brand or organic nutrients line but as long as you’re using high-quality organic nutrients and use them appropriately, you’ll be fine. Just make sure the nutrients are 100% organic and keep an eye on the pH level because a drastic increase or decrease can ultimately kill the microorganisms present in your soil.

Benefits of good quality soil and what to keep in mind when you’re looking for the best soil for cannabis possible.

Cheap mix for DIY soil

Even though you can find organic nutrients in your local grow shops, they can be quite expensive so if you’re on a budget there are good alternatives that are relatively cheap.

There are several other methods to make your own organic nutrients such as KNF and Bokashi.

Depending on the space you have available, you can try composting or vermicomposting, these methods allow you to make your own tailored organic soil that will provide everything you need without spending too much.

Best soil for beginners

If you’re a beginner grower and don’t know exactly how things work, here is a general soil recipe that will work fantastically in almost all types of weathers, just remember that as time passes and you get more experienced, it’s ideal you adjust it to your specific needs.

General DIY soil recipe mix:
  • 80% organic soil
  • 10% perlite
  • 10% coco fiber

Remember that you can and should tweak it to your needs, but as long as you maintain a similar ratio your autoflowering plants will grow exceptionally.

PH too high or pH too low

If the pH of your medium is too high or too low, you should check the nutrient solution you’re feeding, have in mind that most additives are sterile and neutral so if you’re experiencing pH problems you should check the water source and nutrient solution.

Best soil for marijuana

The best soil mix for autoflowers or best marijuana soil, in general, will depend on the weather you have throughout your grow cycle, by following the table you can easily choose the one that better suits you.

Advantages of soil additives when growing autoflowering plants
Additive When to use Advantages
Coco fiber Use in dry environments or to improve soil quality. Holds water and helps avoid soil compaction.
Biochar Use in dry climates or when growing in organic soil. Improve water retention and helps decompose nutrients faster.
Perlite Used to help aerate the soil in humid environments. Helps dry the soil faster and increases aeration.
Vermiculite Used in dry environments, helps keep the soil moist. Improves soil quality and helps keep it moist.

As a general rule, you should always use 70-80% of organic soil mixed with the additive of your choice, always have in mind to use additives with different properties, for example, vermiculite shouldn’t be used with coco fiber because both absorb a lot of water and can cause overwatering.

  • 70% organic soil
  • 15% perlite
  • 15% coco fiber or 15% biochar or 15% vermiculite

For the best soil for autoflower plants, we recommend using 70-80% organic soil mixed with 15% perlite and 15% coco fiber, or substituting coco for vermiculite or biochar, always respecting their properties to avoid having oxygen or water in excess. Remember that for the best growing medium for autoflowers, you should be on the lookout for the tips your plants give you and adjust the ratio if needed.

6. In conclusion

There isn’t a best soil for weed, in general, having all of the nutrients covered is one-half of a top-quality soil for marijuana, however, it should also have the ideal ratio of drainage, air pockets, and wicking action so we recommend looking into super soil for autoflowers.

Once you have found the ultimate balance, you can now confidently re-use your organic growing medium for multiple crops with the understanding the more time the living soil food web has to develop, the greater the results in terms of plant performance and yields.

What is Good Soil For Growing Cannabis?

When it comes to growing cannabis in soil, unless you’re using a brand that is known for making soil that is specifically cannabis-friendly, there are a few things that you need to consider before starting a grow.

What should you look for in good cannabis soil?

I think most growers agree a good cannabis soil should look dark and rich, with a loose texture that drains well and can hold water without getting muddy (you want wet soil, not dirt-batter!). But beyond that, what do you look for?

The following video shows the soil texture you want (this is Coco Loco, an excellent soil for growing cannabis)

Some growers choose an amended and composted “hot” soil that slowly releases nutrients over time. With this type of soil, you typically just add water or natural supplements like worm tea from seed to harvest. Other growers prefer a lighter potting mix so they have more control, and give nutrients in the water once the plant roots have used up the nutrients in the soil. But which brands can you trust?

Some popular soil examples that I’ve used with good results include:

  • Almost any organic soil potting mix – If you can’t order special soil online, ask for the best soil at your local gardening store. You can use almost any organic soil potting mix to grow cannabis. I say “organic” because that cuts out a lot of potentially problematic ingredients like slow-release chemical nutrients (which often cause nutrient issues in the flowering stage by delivering too much Nitrogen). If asked what you’re using it for, say tomatoes. You should plan to start adding extra nutrients in the water by the time a plant is a few weeks old as the roots will quickly use up everything. Try to look for soil with a rich and dark but loose texture. It’s a good sign if you see little white pebbles mixed in (this is perlite, which makes soil drain better). If a soil looks like dirt or mud, it’s no good!
  • Roots Organics Original – This was the first soil mix I ever used to grow cannabis and I had a great experience. I’ve moved on to Fox Farm products because they were available at my local hydroponics store, and now I’m hooked on Coco Loco. But Roots Organics Original soil has been around for a while because it works great. As with most soil mixes, you will need to supplement plants with additional nutrients after a few weeks.
  • Fox Farm Happy Frog soil– This soil mix is relatively light on nutrients so it’s great for seedlings. It’s also suitable if you plan to give nutrients in the water from seed to harvest. If you don’t add extra nutrients, your plants will use everything in the soil up quickly.
  • Fox Farm Coco Loco soil– A coco-based soil mix with enough nutrients to last your plants for a few weeks. With Coco Loco, you should start supplementing with extra nutrients once plants are 2-3 weeks old. I personally like Coco Loco the best of any soil mix I’ve used. You can use it by itself and it’s also my favorite base potting mix for a “just add water” super soil grow. I feel like plants tend to grow happy and healthy while being more resistant to over or under-watering compared to the other soil mixes I’ve tried. It’s great soil for other types of crops too.
  • Fox Farm Ocean Forest soil– A “hot” soil mix with lots of nutrients packed inside. You can start seedlings directly in this mix though they may show signs of nutrient burn at first until they get adjusted. Ocean Forest has enough nutrients to last your plants quite a while, though you likely should still give extra flowering nutrients once your plants start making buds in order to get the best yields, density, and bud quality. Cannabis plants need a surprisingly lot of nutrients in the flowering stage and you don’t want to starve the plants right as buds are forming.
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Recommended soil nutrients:

    – These 3 bottles include everything your plants need from seed to harvest. The FF trio produces superb weed with any high-quality soil.
  • Learn about other cannabis-friendly nutrients

Important Cannabis Soil Considerations

  • Texture
  • Drainage Ability
  • Water Retention

Although that list looks vague and complicated at the same time, the requirements you want to meet are actually pretty simple; let me break it down!

Texture, Drainage & Water Retention

It’s easy to get caught up thinking about what nutrients and amendments are in the soil, and those are important, but perhaps the most important aspect of any soil is actually its texture, ability to drain, and overall water “holding” ability.

In order for a cannabis plant to grow and thrive, it needs a good mix of both water and oxygen at the roots at all times! Too much water and the plant roots can’t get enough oxygen (lack of oxygen at the roots is why plants get droopy from overwatering) but on the flip side if there’s not enough water retention the roots can be injured from drying out too quickly!

What gets the best results for growing cannabis is a soil with a light texture that is good at retaining water…but not too much!

Note: Don’t worry, there’ll be examples of good and bad soil in just a bit!

Signs of Good Cannabis Soil

  • Appears dark and rich
  • Loose texture
  • Drains well (doesn’t make a pool on top of your soil for more than a couple of seconds and doesn’t take forever to drain out the bottom)
  • Holds water without getting muddy (you want wet soil, not dirt-batter)

Example of “Good” Cannabis Soil Ingredients

Note: You’ll likely never see any soil mix with ALL those ingredients, but I wanted to share examples of common cannabis-friendly ingredients and amendments that often appear on the label of good soil

If you get the soil part right, you have almost everything you need to get to harvest! With the correct texture, drainage and water retention, you’ve got a perfect base. Add good soil cannabis nutrients, especially in the budding phase, and you should get to harvest with great results!

Example of happy marijuana plants in good soil!

More About Common Amendments to Alter Texture, Drainage & Water Retention of Soil

Perlite

    Perlite is one of the most common soil amendments. It is highly recommended for any soil mix that doesn’t have some already.
  • Very light, airy white “rocks” that feel almost like popcorn and add oxygen while increasing overall drainage ability.
  • Add perlite to the mix (10-40% of the total volume). Use less perlite if you want better water retention and don’t plan on using a lot of extra nutrients. This is because a lot of extra perlite can cause the nutrients leach out faster from the soil. Add higher levels of perlite if you want to use a lot of added nutrients or supplements without burning your plants (since perlite helps prevent nutrient buildup).

Vermiculite

    Vermiculite “lightens up” heavy soil and improves water retention.
  • Some growers use perlite and vermiculite interchangeably, though they’re not exactly the same. Vermiculite holds water much better than perlite, but is not as effective at adding aeration and drainage.
  • Some growers use a little bit of both. If you go high with vermiculite, you don’t want to go as high with perlite and vice versa. Together, perlite and vermiculite should never make up more than 50% of your soil!

Coco Coir

    Coco coir is made from coconut husks. It can be purchased as loose coco coir, in an amended potting mix, or as coco bricks which needs to be rehydrated before use (learn how to re-hydrate coco bricks). Sometimes you’ll find a “soil” mix that is pretty much all coco plus amendments, and these can be a great choice for cannabis. Coco has some unique properties that make it a good supplement for cannabis soil mixtures.
  • Coco improves water retention, but doesn’t make soil heavy.
  • Roots tend to develop faster and plants are less likely to suffer from overwatering in coco coir.
  • Some growers grow in pure coco, but if you’re adding it to a soil mix as an amendment, you might add 10-30% coco coir.

Worm Castings

    Worm castings is a nice way of saying worm poop, and cannabis plants love it!
  • Improves texture, drainage and moisture retention
  • Add a natural source of nutrients that breaks down slowly
  • Usually contains high levels of beneficial micro-organisms due to going through a worm’s digestive system
  • Add up to 30% worm castings in your soil (although it contains nutrients, it’s gentle enough that it’s unlikely to burn your plants even if you add too much)

Now here are a few examples of good and bad cannabis soil so you can see the texture you’re looking for!

Good Cannabis Soil
Rich and light composted soil. Since this soil doesn’t have a lot of perlite, it’s a good choice for a grower who doesn’t want to add a lot of extra nutrients or supplements in the water.

Good Cannabis Soil
Another light, rich soil mix with great drainage. Although there is a wood chip in this picture, for the most part the mix is completely composted and broken down. It’s normal to see some wood pieces in composted soil, but you don’t want to have to wait for a lot of wood to break down while your plants are growing – you want all that rich nutrient goodness to be readily available to your plant roots

Good Cannabis Soil
This soil has quite a bit of perlite, which is a good choice if you plan to feed heavily with nutrients and supplements since the extra perlite prevents nutrient buildup in the soil

Good Cannabis Soil
The plant is growing in organic, composted “super soil” which has enough amendments to last your entire grow, so the only thing you do is add water!

Here’s organic “super” soil up close

Bad Cannabis Soil
This soil is muddy, clumpy and waterlogged. It retains too much moisture, which makes it really easy to overwater your plants.

Bad Cannabis Soil
Cannabis soil should not have a whole lot of big visible wood chips in it. That means the soil hasn’t been fully composted, and all the nutrients and goodness in that wood is mostly unavailable to your plants.

Bad Cannabis Soil
Although this seedling is over a month old, it has stayed tiny. Its growth is stunted by the thick heavy soil that holds way too much water and not enough air. Note how some of the soil looks like one solid object.

Bad Cannabis Soil
Don’t use dirt from outside! It almost never works, especially if it looks like this!

Suggested Brands for Cannabis Soil

Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil

Fox Farm has been around for over 30 years and makes some of the most common types of “cannabis soil” (at least in the US). They have several great soil mixes, including “Happy Frog” which is a great choice for seedlings and clones.

Their Ocean Forest soil mix is “hotter” soil (higher levels of nutrients) that contains ingredients that cannabis plants love, including earthworm castings, bat guano, fish meal and crab meal. The nutrients contained in the soil will provide everything your plant needs for several weeks. Although it might give young seedlings just a touch of nutrient burn at first, they can be started in Ocean Forest soil and will soon be able to use the nutrients and start growing quickly. Some growers might put a little big of Happy Frog on top of a container of Ocean Forest, just to make it a little more gentle for seedlings the first week or two.

If you are willing to keep transplanting to bigger pots as your plant uses up the nutrients in the soil, you don’t need to supplement with extra nutrients. However, even if you grow in the same pot from seed to harvest, Fox Farm offers a complete nutrient system that is also formulated for plants like cannabis and goes perfectly with their soil to make sure your plant is getting the right levels of nutrients throughout its life.

This plant is growing in Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil

Kind “Super” Soil (Living Soil)

When cannabis growers talk about “super” soil, they’re usually referring to soil that has been amended with slow-releasing organic nutrient sources, and then composted for several months (learn more about super soil).

The composting process creates a “living” soil that is full of microorganisms in the rhizosphere (area around the roots). Properly composted soil has nutrient sources that slowly break down over the course of your plant’s lifecycle. It very closely mimics what happens in nature.

Super Soil has a colony of micro-organisms living in the soil which form a symbiotic relationship with your plant roots. They deliver nutrients to your plant, and in return they eat the sugars that get secreted by your roots!

The “micro-herd” in the soil delivers nutrients directly to your plants. As long as you’re using decent water, you usually don’t need to worry about pH or other things that can disrupt nutrient absorption in regular soil.

However, when growing with Super Soil, it’s a good idea to avoid watering too much at a time, as extra runoff waterwill drain away some of the nutrinets. Try to give just enough water to saturate the soil with very little extra coming out the bottom. Since you won’t be adding more nutrients through the grow, you want to conserve what’s in the soil!

Nugbuckets is a famous organic soil grower! Check out his plants!

Organic Potting Mix

This is what kind of soil to get if you don’t have any “good” soil available, but want something that is known to work for growing cannabis.

Generally, anything labeled as an “organic potting mix” will work. This type of mix hasn’t been amended with chemical slow-release nutrients, which is one of the main things you want to avoid with soil for cannabis. I know it sounds like heresy, but even the Miracle-Gro version of “organic potting mix” will work okay, because unlike their original potting mix it doesn’t contain chemical nutrients (though it still has poor drainage and moisture retention – almost any other type of organic potting mix is better!).

Usually an organic potting mix does not have enough nutrients to last your plants for more than a few weeks, so it’s a good idea to always supplement with cannabis-friendly nutrients, especially in the flowering stage when your plant is making buds and needs lots of extra Phosphorus and Potassium.

Espona Organic Potting Mix is found in many stores in the US, and works for growing cannabis!

What to Watch Out For With Any Soil Mix At the Store

  • Look At and Touch It If You Can! You already have an idea what soil should look and feel like, but here’s a test: If you form the soil into a ball, it should stick together loosely, but it should also easily fall apart again if you squeeze it.
  • No “Time Release” Chemical Nutrients in the Soil – These types of soil slowly release nutrients over the course of months, which provides too much Nitrogen in the flowering stage and could possibly impair overall bud growth.
  • Soil Should Appear Dark and Rich – Pale, crumbly or sandy soil usually doesn’t have a lot of nutrient content that the plant roots can get to.
  • Soil Has Little White Rocks In It (Perlite), if you see white, almost fluffy rocks dispersed through the soil like popcorn, that is usually a good sign because it means this potting mix was intended to have good drainage.
  • Soil Isn’t “Heavy” – Cannabis grows best in soil with a light airy texture and great drainage, which may seem almost fluffy when it’s dry.
  • Example of “Good” Soil Ingredients – Composted forest humus, sandy loam, sphagnum peat moss, coco coir (sometimes labeled coco fiber), perlite, earthworm castings, bat guano, fish meal, crab meal, bone meal, blood meal, Azomite, pumice, kelp, dolomite lime, mycorrhizae and leonardite. That’s not everything, just examples of cannabis-friendly ingredients you see the most often
  • Examples of “Bad” Soil Ingredients – You don’t want to see wood or bark on the label if it doesn’t say it’s been composted first. Also if you see just the word “fertilizer” in the ingredients that’s often code for slow-release chemical nutrients, which you don’t want!

Try to get soil that looks like this!

I hope this soil tutorial helps you find the right soil for your cannabis setup!