This is already a small scientific job for a true hobbyist, if you feel passionate enough to maximize yields greatly by using worms, sand, clay or some your very own unique mix of nutrients. Quite an exciting quest – to design your own recipe for the best performing cannabis soil.
The Easy Guide for cannabis soil
This basic guide explains where to start from and what are the options. The first step however is to choose your basic soil, that you’ll find comfortable and most exciting to work with. Explore what is in the market, maybe you wish some specific parameters of NPK of some specific basic soil to start your experiments from. All professionally mixed soils may have different origins or the purpose, and the most of the commercially distributed cannabis soils from the grow shops contain common components such as Vermiculite, Sand and of course Humus.
1. Sand Soil use for cannabis growing
The issue with the sand soil is that it allows water to go through too quickly, it may result more frequent watering if you do not wish your plants to suffer and produce less or less potent weed in the end, and also wastes a whole lot of minerals instead of giving them to plants. However, designing your own soil, you can add sand or silt for improving the drainage properties.
2. Clay Soil use for cannabis growing
Clay is basically made of fine-grained rock material with a little of quartz (SiO2), fully loaded with aluminium and magnesium oxides (Al2O3 and MgO respectively). Clay is plastic when well moisted and hard when dry, it hosts the roots of your plants quite badly due to lack of ventilation. However you can add clay as 5-10% of the soil mass to manipulate ventilation property, when designing your own most efficient soil mix.
3. Humus Soil use for cannabis growing
Humus is the mix of organic matters like dead plants, for example, rotten fully to the end and already became a soil, so this is a “usual soil” what everybody means saying “soil”. Any regular grow shop (even if not any special cannabis grow shop but the normal flower grow shop) can offer you this very basic soil. And for cannabis this is the main material too like for any other plant.
Sometimes humus may be called compost, but to be precise the compost is the mix of humus and manure, which is the great thing too – you can guess: Cows are poor digesters, they intake about 15% and the rest 85% of yummi stuff goes into manure full of nutrients by that reason – and this is what every cannabis plant wants the most. Also manure is good for worm casting [ read below – touch this link to skip to worm casting below on this page ].
4. Nitrogen and other NPK members in Cannabis soil
Nitrogen is produced from soil matter by bacterias “converting” organic forms of nitrogen into mineral forms of nitrogen, and the latter can be consumed by plants. Cannabis plants love nitrogen and especially on the vegetative stage it helps them to grow better with bigger leaves and stronger stems. The overdose of nitrogen fertilisers may result burns on leaves and weaker plant in general (see below for details).
Lack of Nitrogen in Cannabis soil
Nitrogen deficiency is the most common weed grower’s problem with nutrients.
— Older leaves become yellow or partly yellow;
— The oldest of them may even get completely dry being yellow in colour too;
— The veins (the vascular tissue) may get more of the red colour; Check the back side of the leaves too, sometimes they start from there on the early stage of the problem;
— Younger leaves can also contain yellow areas;
These all the above indicate that the nitrogen is low and you need to add it. Nitrogen fertilisers is the easy thing widely available everywhere. This is the basic compound of the very basic N-P-K model, vital for all plants. Sea bird guano or animal blood may serve as the fast and the potent source of nitrogen for your plant.
Intoxication of Nitrogen for Cannabis plants
— Big and a lot of leaves but they all appear weak and react any stress badly;
— Such plants are abnormally often attacked by pests and deceases, and quite badly in the result comparing to the normal healthy plant;
— Underdeveloped weak roots;
— Week and too plastic stems and branches;
— Small and loose flowers;
— Leaves may become brown and even fall;
Any of the above symptom may mean a serious intoxication from Nitrogen, and obviously this is the sign to decrease the use of Nitrogen fertilisers for your cannabis. And of course it’s better to react the earlier possible. Always keep an eye if any of your plants starts showing Nitrogen intoxication – this is way too important. Keeping notes is also another brilliant idea to master your grower’s skills.
Lack of Phosphorus in cannabis soil – Symptoms
— Slow grow or even sudden stop of any grow;
— Dark leafs more blue than usual (well, they are still green but with certain blue component in the colour);
— Low height of the plants in general;
— Everything smaller and grim )))
However, the above symptoms may indicate that your soil require more Phosphorus now. But with the too high pH level, say higher than 7, the plant cannot intake Phosphorus efficient enough tho there’s plenty of Phosphorus in the soil. In this case – work with pH level instead of adding more Phosphorus.
Lack of Potassium in Cannabis soil
Potassium takes part in the photosynthesis process. And also participates in the synthesis of proteins and amino acids, which come from nitrogen in the form of ammonium, so the interaction between these two nutrients is vital to perform different metabolic processes of plants. Lack of Potassium is bad, and can be detected by the following visual checks:
— Leaves loose colour yet quite healthy looking;
— Increase in number of new branches but weak and thin ones;
— Old leaves are yellow with the certain rusty colour on the edges;
— Rust colour is on the younger leaves in a form of smaller stains, especially on the edges;
— Too late and too short flowering stage (this is the sign for the next harvest already, mind keeping the notes of whatever you’re doing to the plants, that’s the certain way to improve your grower’s skills to the highest levels).
Potassium intoxication however is a rare problem. Potassium also provides to the soil the better ability to resist pests and undesirable bacterias. Also affects chlorophyl positively increasing its amount, and enables the cell division processes – having sufficient amount of Potassium the plant takes light better and exchange with the air more effectively. In other words, more healthy and strong plant in general you will get.
5. The Pot
The roots of a cannabis plant require space, and it is a very common mistake when roots go curving around in some too narrow pot. Give space to your cannabis, a lot of space. Recommended 8 to 15 litres pot for a plant. Give a first-class space to your plants to reach the best results from your soil experiments!
6. Nutrients (fertilizers) for Cannabis, N-P-K
As soon as N-P-K (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium where “K” comes from its Latin name and used in chemistry for Potassium) are the main elements required for the plant to grow well and healthy, the nutrients delivered to the market fit this demand nicely. They normally appear liquid in the bottle, and marked something like 12–6-6, which means 12% of N-Nitrogen, 6% of P-Phosphorus, 6% of K-Potassium. The rest may be water with or without other nutrients of the “second class” if I may.
7. Use of Worms in Cannabis Soil
The recommended worms are the Red Wigglers (on the upper picture), also known as Eisenia fetida or Red Californian Earthworm, and the other commercially distributed worm good for cannabis is the Night Crawlers (in the below picture). Both images are from wikipedia. Both these species of worms can be found anywhere, the Nightcrawlers are larger in size… I dun’no, try both to see the difference, or just choose one following your feeling, whichever of them seems more romantic to you, by the picture or for real in the grow shop, they are gonna be your pets for awhile, hahaha )))
Use cow manure for worms
If using worms for growing your cannabis, then mind the cow manure (if the situation allows – I mean mom or neighbours)))) Both worms and plants love cow manure, as soon as cows only digest 15% of what they eat and the rest 85% goes into manure, rich as hell with nutrients by that reason.
What worms do for the soil
Worms prove life and health to the soil and consequently to the plant. They are a natural fertiliser, making the environment of your plants rich in nutrients and minerals. Worms consume the organic matter and it goes through the digestion and what is left – called worm casting. Kind of a worm poo.
Their castings contain tons of bacteria, fungi, and other serious things.
— Worm castings improve the germination and the full growing process;
— More of your favourite fertilizer can be used with less fear to damage the plant;
— Worm castings in cannabis soil efficiently hold water and nutrients;
— Worms through their castings provide microorganisms and minerals to the soil, increasing disease resistance greatly;
They are good guys, these worms, you can see that.
Before embarking to the hydroponic growing quest one must acknowledge that it is not very easy, despite the popular belief not easier than the other ways of indoor weed growing. And at the same time it is NOT a rocket science, and anybody can construct it or buy a ready one.
Any technological solution has advantages and disadvantages and your future hydroponic garden is not an exception. Hydroponic farming is an aged technology proven by time, since 1600s, yet it requires certain efforts to design your way and setup it, scientific efforts if you wish. Invest your trial-and-error and you may win a beautiful solution, avoiding something you chase to avoid and gaining benefits you want to gain.
In general, the idea is as simple as putting Valentine flowers into a jar of water. Technically speaking it is already the simpliest hydroponic system (static one, without a pump).
Who invented the Hydroponic Farming, and When?
Hydroponic cultivation method is now used widely everywhere: at home for indoor weed, and by NASA for Mars.!
All thanks to Sir Francis Bacon for the Hydroponic Marijuana we enjoy now
Growing marijuana hydroponically is growing without a soil at all, using the ability of plants to absorb nutrients thru water: roots get exposed to the nutritious liquid and – voilà! – no soil, no dust, less pests or even none of them, the room is cleaner, the weed is in the pocket. The hydroponic garden certainly serves well for those who do not feel much a farmer, it’s technological solution. I like thinking it is a laboratory, you design it, and it’s fun.
Practically the hydroponic method works well enough to any terrestrial plant, and consequently to marijuana. First discovered by Sir Francis Bacon, the 17th century brainiac, philosopher and poet, the legal advisor of Queen Elizabeth I of England, Lord High Chancellor of England. Alike many noble master minds of that time he experimented in many fields of knowledge, including hydroponic farming and cultivation for plants.
Later John Woodward continued the research counting more discoveries in the hydroponic matter, and later the German botanists Julius von Sachs and Wilhelm Knop, in 1859–1875 finally resulted the solid technique of the soilless cultivation which we already know as hydroponic cultivation. Now used widely everywhere: at home for indoor weed, and by NASA for Mars.
Hydroponic Weed Farm Advantages
The best of the best advantages is that it keeps all very very CLEAN. And you can leverage it by locating your garden anywhere where you would never locate a farm, producing soil dust, pests and requiring enough of access for working with soil. That is what the technology gives. Faster yields and healthier plants go as a free bonus then.
Hydroponic Weed Farm Disadvantages
Hydroponic farm requires to be constructed (scroll down to below how to do that) and this may course a reasonable increase in price. But if you are up to a hydroponic marijuana growing you’ve heard a lot about, to taste all the advantages why not count as an effective investment rather than a disadvantage. As for the construction, as always, once well done, will work Swiss-watch-cool, trouble free, and the whole system will last long or even forever giving joy to your heart! — do not underestimate this importance of construction.
How to Build The Hydroponic Farm at Home
It’s not too easy, yet it’s not hell difficult and sure-sure not a quantum ducking astro physics, don’t be scared, keep going, make a try! The engineering nature of your mind you will need to use and it’s a great fun. And of course there are ready-made hydroponic systems in the market.
It can be any shape, even as vertical as those prehystorical Semiramide Hydroponic Gardens! Only your fantasy is the limit. Think as if you are building a weed supply for a future Moon station if you wish:
How Simple a Hydroponic Garden Works! And how to make it
You take a pot (pot as container) totally perforated, that it almost has no bottom, only for the purpose to hold the medium replacing soil to keep the plant fixed, letting water go through easily. Usually peeps use for medium small rocks, gravel or clay pebbles. The stem and the upper part of roots will be developed in those pebbles and that is how the plant will be fixed.
The idea is that you poor water into pot (pot as container) and the water goes through, you make it often or constantly, usually by a small pump and a timer, and the plant roots being always moistured are taking the nutrients in as the water pass by. The “used” water is collected underneath in the tank, and you pump it up again into pot from top, and repeat and repeat. Mind that plants will not take away all nutriens by one iteration. Also tune up the timer for better automation considering other conditions, like room temperature, natural humidity of the surrounding, etc.
The idea is in delivering water, yet giving air to the roots, by this you cut up to 20-30% of total yielding time and gain your buds faster, that is why the pebbles or small rocks or gravel play the role perfectly. It can be any material, not toxic, but not necessarily natural, following the only idea of giving a perfect touch to water and oxygen.
The Most Frequently Asked Question about Hydroponic organic nutrients
Well then. The most frequently asked question is about natural fertilizers to escape wrong taste of the hydroponic weed, and also run away from any other spooky hidden dangers, has surprisingly a very simple reply (thanks to homehydrosystems.com):
Plant “eats” inorganic materials, the ions. Regular salt, NaCl (natrium and chlor), dessolves in water into Na+ and Cl-, as well as based on salt hydroponic nutrients contain proper elements sufficient for plant, for its PH, and also able to dessolve in water well.
Being in the soil in a classic way the plants do not consume organic materials like dung or banana peel straight away, but as soon as those natural nutrients break down into inorganic and then pass into water, only then the plant can consume the resulting elements: the ions.
Therefore, the hydroponic salt (as soon as the base is salt) is basically the only possible and the proper nutrient solution, and there is no better way until another genius lord bacon invents a new one by yet another revolutionary discovery. And now — choosing the proper supplier, using the proper salt, one will like and one will trust, is what we can do with that “taste”.
You are going to grow the all-organic totally-natural marijuana, very dellicious and way potent, and the first thing you focus on then is reaching the most natural environment for your cannabis plants in your indoor garden, as the very first priority. It is the very feasible task, much more than many of us think in the beginning, and it may happen to be eventually even a cheaper solution, even if we speak about the indoor marijuana garden. The prize will be the buds you never have had ever before! You only keep in mind the most important and essential is understanding the nutrients for your whether indica or sativa or whatever else type of marijuana. And herein we tell the tips how you gain the best in the world harvest!
Organic Mariuana Growing Vs. Unnatural
For sake of bare facts, those Human-made (artificial) nutrients are not totally inorganic, because marijuana plants and all plants “eat” ions, like Netrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, among others these three form the well-known NPK formula (see below), and yet let’s call those out-of-the-box nutrient-blends “artificial” by the reason that that they are not produced out of zebra’s poo. The issue with them is in the material into which the basic nutrients (NPK and others) are encased, for example, chelatine or liquids, or the other one. Maybe the easiest way to develop the cannabis plant but it may give certain foreign smells and tastes, and of course it will never be same rich, authentic, unbelievable and undescribable as another one “eating” from zebra’s poo with a help of microbeasties living in the soil.
The Soil is Everything
The main idea of the totally organic growing is “Just Add Water”, so the main job for the grower is to copy the totally wild environment beforehand. Therefore the soil blend is the most important for having all the afterwards process of the organic marijuana growing easy, pleasurable and effective. And that soil must contain all natural stuff, including whatever you want to include to engineer your future success, including a reasonable amount of dung, including small little beasties: they help to convert the organic matter in the soil (zebra’s poo) into ions for the roots to absorb them. The microbeasies shall need oxigen, that is why you want to ventilate the soil. And as soon as you do not buy them from a pet-shop, except for worms, so that the experiments shall be in taking soil from different sources (where there is such an opportunity) and then watching what happens to your plants.
No PH trouble !
The soil is hell important when it comes to the organic weed farming, and especially for indoor, because you need indeed to emulate the whole system to be very close to natural. This may sound like a headache, but you win in the end the beautiful marijuana buds so dank, that you’ll never get back to the “easy way” anymore. And there are certain advantages — for example, the natural environment aids for indoor cannabis to stay healthy, resist better, alike to any living being the nature helps a lot, — and — you care less about the PH level when watering, or even do not care at all, because there’s nobody sitting in clouds with PH-meter every time before it starts raining in the wild nature!
Better soil — bigger yields, and practically you obtain those HIGH yields utilizing the process of nature! translates to quasi-automatically: choose the soil or blend it, and the effort you add on top is only pure water and of course — love. Once you try “organic” way, you’ll never actually want the previous QUALITY suggested by the syntetic nutrients (it aren’t bad, they give other fruits, and convenience, and an optimal timing, and the hydroponic garden is dope and a great fun to have, however the real difference there is).
List of Nutrients Cannabis Plants Want from You
Nutrients are all important and they all form what the nature has designed thru the history of evolution on Earth for the plants to have them healthy and worthy. We break nutrients in groups by importance tho they all are vital, altogether making the solid system of the cannabis plant working well, see the list below.
PRIMARY CANNABIS NUTRIENTS, remember NPK:
N.P.K. is — Nitrogen (N) is always impotant yet the overdose may show purple on the sterm and up to leaves, mind that the purple colour may also appear from cold or other stress; Phosphorus (P) is essential on the flowering stage; Potassium (K), where “K” for Kalium in Latin, stands the strength of the roots, which in their turn result a stronger stem and a stronger everything.
CARBON is the basic material to build all cells, for you and for cannabis, that is why we are called “carbon-based life” here on Earth, and the plant takes carbon it from CO2, from the air, and Oxygen (O) also from the air, and Hydrogen (H) is taken from water because it’s H2O, and stands for building sugars and helps those microbeasties to work their magic.
SECONDARY CANNABIS NUTRIENTS ARE:
Silicon (Si), Magnesium (Mg) makes the green stuff greener; Molybdenum (Mo), Chlorine (Cl), Copper (Cu), Sodium (Na), Selenium (Se), Nickel (Ni), Zinc (Zn), Boron (B), Iron (Fe), and Calcium (Ca) is often called “the trucker of minerals”, it helps to transfer all of them up along the cannabis plant from roots and also strenghthen the whole structure in general, alike for the bones of human – WAY too important!
This is the reference material, and not an ecyclopedia of science, as usual, however we use it effectively, no problem