To cultivate cannabis successfully, you need the right soil. However, finding the soil with all the necessary conditions for cannabis growth is not very easy. Therefore, when growing it, you have to be very knowledgeable about creating the best soil conditions for your plants. There are many different compounds and substrates that are needed to create the conducive bedding for cannabis plants. The following are some of the conditions necessary for growing cannabis and some of the compounds needed to enhance the richness of the soil:
Best Soil Characteristics For Growing Cannabis
Soil composition and soil structure are very important factors to consider when choosing the best soil for cannabis. The amount of water in the soil, aeration and minerals in the soil all will determine how healthy and big your cannabis plants will be. So, how exactly do you tell if the soil is the best match for your cannabis plants? Here are some factors to consider:
Soil texture is quite a complex term, but it basically refers to the size of the soil particles, whether they are coarse, fine or in between. Like other plants, cannabis needs good root development and the roots also need a fair amount of aeration. Therefore cannabis requires loose soil. So, in basic terms, you are looking for a loose texture that will let the roots breathe and grow in a healthy manner.
Drainage refers to the water holding capacity of the soil. Different types of soils have different drainage characteristics. Marijuana requires soil with very good drainage. Soil that doesn’t hold a lot of water, just enough to support plant growth.
This is because, if the soil holds too much water it may kill the roots. The roots need oxygen but if they are clogged in water they won’t get adequate supply. Therefore, they may start rotting in the ground and eventually die. The rest of the plant won’t survive with dead roots.
As much as the soil should have good drainage, it should also be good at retaining water. This means that it should also be good at holding enough water to support the growth of the plant.
So, the soil doesn’t necessarily need excellent retention just enough to support excellent growth of cannabis.
Soil pH refers to the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. Different plants grow at different pH values. The pH value of the soil is measured up to 14, 1-6 is for acidic pH soil and 8-14 for alkaline. Some plants grow around pH 7 which is neutral.
However, according to an article by a science journal, cannabis prefers slightly acidic pH conditions, about 5.8 to 6.2 to be specific. Cannabis is a bit sensitive to the pH value of the soil . It has to be monitored otherwise, you get a poor harvest.
Also Read : All FAQs About Medical Marijuana in NJ Answered
Different Cannabis Soil Types And Their Characteristics
There are several types of soils which all have different characteristics. It is very hard to find a single type of soil that contains all of the qualities that are needed for proper cannabis growth.
But, the best you can do is list out their characteristics, look for one which has more required characteristics and enhance it to support cannabis growth. The following are some of the most common types of soil and their characteristics in relation to cannabis growth:
1. Sandy Soil
Sandy soil is known to have a slightly coarse soil texture. This means that the soil particles are larger than other soil types and it has more spaces between particles.
- Very good aeration
- Excellent drainage
- Poor water retention
2. Clay Soil
Clay is almost the opposite of sandy soil. It has very small soil particles (fine) and very small spaces in between particles.
- Excellent water retention
- Can hold soil nutrients and minerals
- Poor water drainage
- Possibly poor aeration.
3. Silt Soil
Silt soil has characteristics that are in between sandy and clay soils. This means that it has medium coarse soil particles, not too big and not too small.
- Fair water drainage
- Fair water retention
- Can hold nutrients and minerals.
4. Loamy Soil
It is a combination of sandy, clay and silt soil. It is very good for growing cannabis.
- Good drainage
- Optimal water retention
- Fair pH
- Very rich in nutrients and minerals
- Hard to find and expensive to maintain.
Supplementing The Soil
Perlite are small rocky supplements that are mixed with soil with poor drainage
- Improves soil aeration
- Used for soil with big particles and poor drainage.
Granular like substances mostly used for soils that have very big soil particles. In other words, it is used to supplement soil that drains too much water than necessary.
- Improve the water retention.
3. Coco Coir
Powder like substance that is mixed with the soil that has poor water retention. It is made from coconut husk.
Note : It should never be overmixed with the soil (only 10-30% is enough)
- It supports good root development
- Improves water retention of the soil.
These are simply worm waste.
- improves the drainage
- Maintains optimum water retention
- Good soil texture.
Growing Cannabis at Home
Now, according to the cannabis possession laws of New Jersey, an MMJ patient is allowed to grow 10 plants for therapeutic reasons and a maximum of 12 plants per household. However, you should possess a medical marijuana card to grow cannabis at home.
If you are suffering from a medical condition that qualifies for cannabis use, you can get a card and begin growing cannabis at home. All you have to do is get a recommendation by a medical marijuana doctor from a trusted clinic like MD Ganja.
So, for such home growers, they can buy potting soil for cannabis plants instead of enhancing it. Some of the best potting soils for cannabis are Black Gold soil and Fox Farm soil which already contain the necessary nutrition’s and conditions to grow cannabis. Here are some of the additives that can improve the nutrition and quality of the soil for cannabis growth :
- Crab or Shrimp meal
- Oyster shell
- Bat Guano
- Composted humus
- Granite dust
- Worm castings
- Peat moss
- Sandy loam
It is also important to note that the soil requirements can vary for different strains of cannabis. The soil you use to grow a hybrid strain for sleeping can be different from that you use for an indica strain for pain. However, the differences in requirements are not usually very different. For example, just small water drainage and retention differences. And, the supplements are usually the same.