Get Your Soil
Potting soil is one of the few recurring purchases you’ll make as a home grower. The common sized 1.5 cubic feet bags or 2 cubic feet bags should cost you anywhere from $10 to $25 per bag. Good soil is extremely valuable to your cannabis plants and should not be underestimated.
There are many well known cannabis-friendly soils to choose from, but if you order online, expect to pay a hefty amount for shipping costs. A more cost-effective route is to locate soil from your local gardening store, hydro store, grow store, or hardware store. If you are fortunate enough to get quality soil like Happy Frog or Ocean Forest from Fox Farms, then you do not have to add any additional fertilizer for 4 weeks. If you do add fertilizer too soon, it can have a negative effect on your plants and cause nutrient-burn and stunted growth.
Most potting soils will have plenty of nutrients already in them to get your home grow started. Potting soils designed for cannabis has all kinds of neat ingredients like peat moss, forest humus, gypsum, perlite, vermiculite, dolomite, coco fiber, worm castings, bat guano, alfalfa meal, crab meal, fishbone meal, kelp meal, oyster shell, humic acid, mycorrhizal fungi and other soil microbes and beneficial soil bacteria. Minerals often found in the soil include calcium, nitrogen, manganese, sulphur, phosphorus and potassium. The label on soil bags will always lists ingredients according to what is used most, down to what is used the least.
Any old dirt won’t do. Just ask any grape farmer who makes wine about the importance of soil quality, and they’ll tell you all about it!
Cannabis Friendly Potting Soil Options
You have options when it comes to choosing which soil to grow cannabis in. I personally use Fox Farms Ocean Forest and Fox Farms Happy Frog to sprout seeds or plant clones and I highly recommend it. Happy Frog bags often come in 2 cu. ft. bags, whereas Ocean Forest comes in 1.5 cu. ft. bags, but both bags also come in a much smaller 12 quart option. Fox Farms also sells a seed starter potting soil called Light Warrior. However, I personally don’t bother with it. I just use Happy Frog or Ocean Forest to sprout seedlings. I’ve never had problems with Happy Frog or Ocean Forest hurting or burning my seedlings or being “too hot” to sprout seedlings. You can mix Happy Frog and Ocean Forest together if you’d like, but you don’t have to. If you have a tendency to overwater, you could purchase perlite to add to your Happy Frog or Ocean Forest potting soil. However, perlite is becoming harder to find than normal these days.
Recommended Cannabis Potting Soil Brands: Big Roots, Fox Farms, Roots Organics and ProMix
Fox Farms Light Warrior (for planting seeds)
Fox Farms Ocean Forest 1.5 cu ft
Fox Farms Ocean Forest 12 quart (much smaller than 1.5 cu ft)
Fox Farms Happy Frog 2 cu ft
Fox Farms Happy Frog 12 quart (much smaller than 2 cu ft)
I do not recommend using Miracle Grow time release potting soil, as it releases N (nitrogen) for too long. You don’t want lots of N in the FLOWER phase.
If you can’t find any of the above potting soils locally, you could order them online using the links found here. Or you can ask your local stores for their recommended organic-based potting soil for fruits, flowers, and vegetables. In this case, yes, you’ll definitely want to add perlite to your potting soil. You can always add perlite to any of the above soils too. Perlite helps to keep your soil well aerated. A small 2 quart bag of perlite would be a smart addition to any bag of soil. If you have the space for it, upgrade and save a significant amount of money with a 120 quart bag of perlite.
Is coco the same as soil?
Potting soil is not the same as coco coir. Do not confuse the two when purchasing soil for your home grow. Coco is actually made from coconut husks. Examples of popular coco brands for cannabis are Roots Organics Coco Soilless mix or Mother Earth Coco Perlite Mix. With coco, you water every day, sometimes a couple times a day, to keep the medium wet at all times. Growing cannabis with coco is technically a hydroponic / soilless style of growing. When using coco as your growing medium, you’ll use more nutrients/fertilizer if you grow in soil. With soil, you have the opportunity to nurture and feed the soil with dry amendments, and allow the plant to uptake nutrients on it’s own timing. With coco however, the approach is more akin to force-feeding and making the nutrients immediately available to the plant.
Growing cannabis with coco is just one more option out there in the wild world of cannabis cultivation.
Marc Eden’s DIY Cannabis Cultivation Book For Beginners
Published by Green Carpet Growing, Inc.
San Diego, CA 92103
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