Choosing the best soil for cannabis seedlings can be a tall task for people with limited experience. Although the plant can grow almost anywhere, you always want to create optimal conditions and maximize yields.

You can choose between pre-fertilized soils, cannabis-specific, universal substrates, etc. Each has its advantages and flaws, and it is hard to find the perfect one.

What are the characteristics of good soil?

There are a few ways to determine if the soil is suitable for cannabis plants. It should look rich and dark, without being crumbly. It also needs to drain and hold water. Ideal soil shouldn’t be muddy or sandy, allowing you to create a solid foundation for roots.

Soil for cannabis
Soil is a key component to healthy cannabis plants

Here are some of the main traits of good soil:

  • Ability to drain

When you pour water on the soil, it shouldn’t stay on the surface for more than a few seconds. Furthermore, it also needs to drain relatively quickly. Of course, to have optimal texture, you need just the right amount of water. Otherwise, even if the soil is good, it will get muddy or dry. 

Poor drainage is one of the main reasons why cannabis plants die out. In such cases, they quickly whither or might provide subpar yields. 

  • Water retention 

Water is crucial for the process of photosynthesis. The plant takes hydrogen from the water, and together with carbon dioxide (from the air), it will be able to feed itself. Although good soil should drain properly, it also needs to retain a certain amount of water. So, it is a fine balancing act.

  • Texture

When you touch the soil, it needs to feel loose and light. Having the right texture will allow the roots to develop naturally, ensuring that all the necessary oxygen reaches the organ.

  • Nutrients

If you’re growing plants indoors, you will probably buy soil. Store-bought products have enough nutrients allowing the plant to develop properly. But, they will only last for so long. After 3 to 4 weeks, you will need supplemental chemicals. 

When your cannabis starts flowering, it will need a boost in the form of NPK nutrients. However, there is an option of avoiding supplements altogether. In such cases, your soil will need to have things such as compost, worm casting, humus, or guano. These substances will be processed by the soil’s microorganisms providing nutrition for a longer period. 

  • pH value

pH value is an important consideration not only for cannabis but all plants in general. It is a measurement of acidity. When talking about cannabis, the plant can only survive in soil with a low alkaline value ranging from 5.8 pH to 6.3 pH. If the pH value is too high or too low, you will get sub-optimal yields. In extreme cases, your plants will even die.

Which type of soil should you use?

Ideally, all growers should utilize special cannabis soil. However, if you’re growing marijuana or hemp on a property, you will need to test the soil beforehand. Hire an agricultural specialist who can tell you more about its specifics.

Every type of organic soil has its pros and cons. We categorize them as sandy, salty, clay, or loamy. Here is a breakdown for each of them:

  • Clay soil

This type of soil has lots of fine nutrients. It is relatively heavy and requires some experience but, if you use it the right way, you can get excellent results. Clay is one of the best organic surfaces for outdoor cannabis.

  • Sandy soil

A lot of growers prefer sandy soil because you can easily drain it. The water simply goes through its fine particles. Unfortunately, this also means that its water retention isn’t the best. Things such as nitrogen (crucial for cannabis) will not stay in sandy soil for too long. 

This type of soil is popular among beginners as it is really easy to work with. It is coarse, with low pH and high oxygen levels. If you decide to use it for your plants, keep in mind that it will require constant attention.

  • Salty soil

Salty soil is somewhere between sandy soil and clay. It is coarse but not as coarse as clay. Salty soil has lots of important organic compounds crucial for the plant’s development. Most importantly, it has an optimal balance of drainage features and retention.

Like sandy soil, you don’t have to be an expert to utilize salty soil to its maximum potential. The only critique is that there are some other better options for drainage.

  • Loamy soil

Lastly, we have loamy soil. It is a combination of clay, salty, and sandy soils with added nutrients. This is a hand-made product that has the best characteristics for cannabis. Aside from optimal drainage and retention, it also has lots of valuable minerals. The only problem is that it costs quite a bit.

What are the best soil products? 

There are lots of products on the market that are tailor-made for cannabis cultivation. Here is our list of 5 best products you should try:

  1. Fox Farm Happy Frog Organic Potting Soil Mix

Perhaps the best cannabis soil on the US market. It is 100% organic, you can use it indoors or outdoors, and it has optimal pH value.

  1. Dr. Earth Premium Bud & Bloom Booster

If you live in an area that is often hit by droughts, this is the ideal substance for you. Dr. Earth is an organic compound with all the necessary cannabis nutrients.

  1. Advanced Nutrients pH Perfect Grow

Like some other items on the market, Advanced Nutrients pH Perfect Grow comes in 3 different bottles, each for a different stage of cannabis development.

  1. Advanced Nutrients Big Bud Liquid Fertilizer

This particular chemical can work in any soil. It is great for the flowering stage, although it is a bit more expensive than the other options on the list. 

  1. Nectar for the Gods

The best thing about this product is that it can last the whole year. The chemical is slowly released into the soil, which is why it will provide valuable substance during a prolonged period. 

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