Well let’s jump right into this one. First off, never, and I repeat NEVER use the 99¢ bag of soil sold in dollar stores or in the saver section of department stores when growing cannabis. I call those cheap bags on nonsense crap-soil. They are supposed to be a cheap alternate potting soil, but the last thing you want to do is put your marijuana plant or seed in a pot with crap-soil. The problem with crap-soil is that it’s not clean. It’s infested with mold and mildew and higher-than-desired levels of pathogenic bacteria. Plus its low drainage/high water-retention nurture’s these unwanted microbes. Bugs and pests, many times, are already present in the sealed for-sale bags of crap soil. Some of these soils can already contain pests like spider mites, thrips, and fungus gnats from the manufacturer. Most of you already know how damaging these microbes and pests can be to any plant, (the bugs take nutrients from the plants, and the microbes can attract more bugs and can cause root/bud rot) they can wreak total havoc on enclosed indoor gardens. Because they have nowhere else to go, they’ll stay where their food source is, and multiply. Meaning in YOUR Garden.
So what soil mixture should you use for your indoor organic potted weed garden? Certainly not Miracle Grow or any of the other soil mixes sold at department stores. They aren’t much better than the cheap bags of crap-soil, they don’t drain well and the soil IS NOT cleaned before packaging. The only real difference between crap-soil and Miracle Grow types are the high amounts of inorganic time-release plant food present, and that some of those soils specialize in retaining higher amounts of water. So in the end your plant isn’t getting all natural food, and more water retention is going to attract mold and mildew if it isn’t already present. Good potting mixes retain at least small amounts of water, but drain REALLY well. Drainage is really important, because it lowers the likelihood of mold or mildew making its self at home anywhere in your cannabis garden.
Nutrition content in a good soil mix IS important, but since most cannabis cultivators use supplemental plant food. Lite nutrition content can be a good thing as well, so that you don’t cause any nutrient burn to your cannabis roots by adding unneeded plant food to your root system. Lite nutrition content gives you a little more room to experiment with your nutrient supplements without causing any real damage to your bud. So which potting soil would I recommend for using in an indoor ganja garden that will provide good drainage and contain decent amounts of plant food?
I use ROOTS ORGANIC Original Potting Soil. ROOTS Original is made with a mixture of coco coir, vermiculite, volcanic pumice, guano, worm castings, bone meal and greensand. Roots Original is all organic, drains well, and encourages vigorous root growth. It has enough nutrition to help your cannabis plants start to veg’, but will need nute supplementation not far into the veg’ stage. Good breathable garden containers such as SMART POTS or GEO POTS that provide great aeration can really create a great environment for your plant and its roots when used in conjunction with Roots Organic Potting Soil. Using them together will help keep pests and pathogenic microbes far away from your plants. The high amounts of oxygen and lower amounts water don’t provide the kind of environment they are looking for. (We’ll get more into the many benefits of aerated containers later.)
One important thing to remember when using potting soils high in vermiculite and coco coir is that they are both hydroponic type growing mediums in their own right; they contain no natural nutrition, are PH neutral, and retain equal parts air and water. Keeping that in mind, you should PH your watering and feedings somewhere between 6 and 6.5 . This will help your roots utilize the nutrients present, and prevent nutrient lock out. One other important thing to remember when using coir and vermiculite rich potting soils is to add Calcium and Magnesium to all feeding regiments and even lite calcium and magnesium amounts to your straight water feedings. Coir and Vermiculite potting soils have low amounts of Calcium and Magnesium and both minerals play a vital role in the roots ability to absorb other necessary nutrients.
Soil choice is very important to your potted cannabis plant grow, and it can impact many aspects of plant wellness and health. You can find quality potting soils at indoor gardening stores, good seasonal garden supply stores, and even online. Do your research and remember, if you want a healthy marijuana plant with potent sticky buds, it all starts with a great beneficial soil that will take good care of your roots.
Keep Growing - T.B. GREEN