How to Make Your Own Custom Super-Soil Blend to Grow Cannabis

Shop-bought soil works perfectly adequately for cannabis cultivation, but that's as far as it goes. To produce the best home-grown cannabis, we recommend that you always prepare your own soil. Read on for our step by step guide to preparing your own cannabis soil mix.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF CREATING YOUR OWN CANNABIS SUPER SOIL?

Like many aspects of cultivation, there are many advantages and disadvantages to creating your own cannabis soil. However, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages, so we encourage all growers to try to make their own soil at least once.

 

PROS

 

Good quality home soil is rich in both macro and micro-nutrients, meaning you will be able to rely less on chemical fertilisers.

 

You can have complete control over the origin of the plant’s nutrients when grown with homemade soil. Certainly, if you want to grow it organically, this is the right way to go.

 

Buds grown without chemicals provide a far greater, smoother and more pure flavour. Finer, softer smoke can be expected.

 

From a broader environmental perspective, chemicals in artificial nutrient solutions seep into the soil and can have a devastating effect on the environment. On the other hand, using your own home-made soil is completely sustainable and environmentally friendly.

 

CONS

 

Preparing your own soil takes time and not all growers enjoy this or have the time for this.

Preparing your own soil requires a larger initial investment than buying standard soil and some nutrient solution. However, keep in mind that even if your budget grows, the results are definitely worth it.

 

UNDERSTANDING THE NUTRIENTS IN SOIL AND CANNABIS 

Decent quality soil also plays two important roles in the process of cannabis cultivation. Firstly, it adds weight to the cannabis plant, grabbing their roots and protecting them from the wind. Secondly, and more importantly, it supplies nutrients and water to the roots of plant. To have a better understanding of the role of soil and how we can use our homemade mix to feed and nurture cannabis plants, it helps to know the essential nutrients that cannabis plants need to survive and thrive.

 

In addition to water, cannabis needs three main nutrients or macronutrients:

 

·         Nitrogen (N),

·         Phosphorus (P)

·         Potassium (K).

 

When you buy a fertiliser, you will find products in which these nutrients are present in varying concentrations, in compositions appropriate to different stages of the growth cycle. Here is a brief overview of how these nutrients help cannabis plants grow:

 

Nitrogen

 

Chlorophyll is a major element of nitrogen, and an essential building block of key amino acids.

 

Phosphorus

 

Crucial for the production of ATP and phospholipids, it is these that are used to build membranes within cells.

 

Potassium

 

A mineral which promotes photosynthesis, it regulates CO 2 uptake through the stomata in the leaves of the plant, and strengthens cell walls.

 

In most fertilisers found in your average gardening store, you will find a mixture of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium making up the majority of the nutrients. However, there are a number of other nutrients - called micronutrients - that also play a key role in maintaining plant health and producing the best possible buds.

 

Also known as trace elements, these include iron, calcium, sulphur, boron, zinc, copper and manganese. These are all found in nature, for instance in worm manure, bat guano, molasses, seaweed or kelp, coffee grounds, and many more.

 

Creating your own super soil blend for your cannabis plants, means you can custom make your own nutrient-rich soil medium for your plants in advance, including all essential elements, instead of feeding your plants as needed using chemical fertilisers. The hard work and effort you put into preparing the natural and organic soil before sowing your seeds will pay off many times over in aroma and harvest quality.

 

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN SUPER CANNABIS SOIL MIXTURE

 

Making your own super soil may seem nerve wracking, but it is actually quite straightforward. The concept is deceptively uncomplicated; it starts with good quality organic soil and blending it with good natural ingredients as outlined below. No complex mixing routine or heating/flushing or any kind of preparation is required. Simply blend and go!
When the time comes to sow your seeds, the rich medium is ready to give your plants everything they need to produce stunning, flavoursome buds.

 

STEP 1: BUYING A DECENT SOIL

 

Choosing the right soil for cannabis plants is extremely important. Keep in mind that cannabis likes well-ventilated, water-permeable and slightly acidic soils (pH 6-6.8 is ideal). If possible, you should choose organic soils that contain natural ingredients such as earthworm fertiliser, compost, coconut fibre, sand, and more. Although these soils are generally more expensive, there are significant differences in the health of your plants and the quality and size of the harvest.

 

Other ingredients to be found in organic soil are:

 

·         Bat guano

·         Peat moss          

·         Manure               

·         Rock dust

·         Sand     

·         Coconut fibre

·         Pine castings

·         Natural fertilisers ( eg: K-Mag)  

·         Perlite  

·         Vermiculite

 

If you can't find good quality organic soil that contains at least some of these ingredients, don't worry. Simply visit your local gardening or horticulture store and buy neutral potting soil. Where possible, as already mentioned, always choose one which is slightly acidic.

 

STEP 2: ENRICH THE SOIL

 

Start by placing your soil in a large pot; crush with a forked spade to ensure optimal soil ventilation. When it is loose and well aerated, then start working on enriching it with natural ingredients to create the nutrient-rich soil for your cannabis plants.

 

Possible things you can add to the soil:

 

·         Coffee grounds and / or tea leaves

·         Worm manure 

·         Vermiculite

·         Eggshells             

·         Fruit and vegetables peelings

·         Compost             

·         Coconut fibre

·         Perlite  

·         Sand     

·         Epsom salts

·         Blood meal

·         Bone meal

·         Dolomite

·         Rock phosphate

·         Lime

·         Organic manure pellets

 

The right amount of each ingredient used in the super soil will depend somewhat on the quality of the base soil and how much time you have before planting. If possible, it is optimal to prepare your soil at least six months before starting to grow your cannabis.

This way, you can use more of the aforementioned ingredients, and they will have plenty of time to decompose fully and give you that delicious rich and nutritious soil that your buds will benefit so beautifully from.

 

If you wish to plant straight away, however, and don’t want to wait the recommended six months, then you can still use some of the ingredients above. However, it will be essential to be more careful, as there is a danger that it will actually create an overly nutrient-dense (e.g., “hot”) soil which can potentially burn your plants.

 

Here is a generic or standard “recipe” to get started, including recommended ingredient ratios:

 

·         4 parts base soil

·         1 part perlite / vermiculite (for additional drainage)

·         1 part coconut fibre

·         1 part worm manure

·         2.5% bone and / or blood meal

·         2.5% to 5% guano

 

When adding trace elements such as dolomite, Epsom salts, lime or azomite  to your soil, always read the instructions on the packaging carefully, where it will give relevant ratios. These nutrients are very strong and, if not used properly, can cause serious nutrient burns in plants.

 

IF YOU WANT TO START PLANTING IMMEDIATELY, FOLLOW THESE STEPS:

 

STEP 3: RINSE THE SUPER SOIL

 

If you don't have months to make your own super soil, here's an easier, faster way to prepare your own cannabis soil at home, without the need to wait.

 

In the pots you want to grow, mix up the following:

 

·         3 parts organic base soil

·         1 part worm manure

·         1 part perlite

·         ⅓ cup of guano

·         ½ cup of greensand

·         ½ cup of dolomite lime

 

Mix everything with a forked spade and then soak the soil in clean water for a minimum of two days and ensure it stays moist throughout. This way you can ensure that the soil is not overly hot for the seeds. Then, allow the water to drain and the soil to nearly dry before commencing planting. After initial planting, ensure you use only clean water for the first three waterings at least.

 

STEP 4: DO NOT PLACE DIRECTLY IN THE HOMEMADE SUPER SOIL

 

It is very important to note that homemade super soil is very rich in nutrients and should not be used for seeds, young seedlings or even clones. These younger plants are very tender and will suffer severely from nutrient burns in such a “hot” or rich medium. Rather, germinate the seeds first in a neutral soil medium and keep your young plants in it for the first few weeks at the very least . Only transplant them into the super soil once the vegetative stage has actually and visibly begun.

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