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If you are determined to grow happy and healthy marijuana plants, you probably have already been thinking about how to fertilize your soil. Fertilizers of some sort (whether organic or otherwise) are very important to making sure your plants are receiving all the nutrients they need.

You have probably heard various facts and figures about composting and other ways of fertilizing your plants, but you’re not sure of what to do next. We can help you with that. Not only will we give you advice on how and why to fertilize your plants, we also sell the Bergman’s Plant Booster, and Bergman’s Plant Protector to help your plants thrive.

Tip: make sure to download my free Grow Bible for more information

This article will give you an overview of the best compost and fertilizers for outdoor plants, paying special attention to the organic way of doing it with compost.

Compost and fertilizer

Because the composition of soil is so important to your harvest, it is key to take care when choosing what exactly to put in it.  Every grower encounters one main, important choice when deciding what they want their soil to be like. Do you want to use chemicals, go organic, or go wild? There is no single solution to this question – it depends mostly on your values and how much time and effort you would like to devote to it.

best compost and fertilizers for outdoor marijuana
Compost and fertilizer

Using chemicals means buying fertilizers in-store. Organic can be anywhere from natural fertilizers to actively composting. And “going wild” refers to simply throwing the cannabis seeds wherever, and waiting to see how they function on their own. The one with the best result is generally the organic option, although it is definitely not the easiest way to go. You will be rewarded for your efforts: the taste and look will be very much improved.

If you are not willing or able to put in a lot of time or effort in your marijuana harvest, you might want to go with a chemical soil or store-bought fertilizers. Our friends at Dealzer have some great nutrients. It is more user-friendly, making it the easy choice for people who are growing marijuana for the first time, and the package of soil even comes with a list of instructions and advice.

The package should be informative and useful in the decision-making process, as they inform you of the exact amounts of the different nutrients. Chemical fertilizers are also a reliable option for people who are doing container growing. The confined space of the pot or bucket means that it is essential to maximize which nutrients are there, so in this case store-bought soil is the best bet.

Although the soil bought in stores is supposed to be of a balanced pH level, this does not mean that you don’t have to check it throughout the season. Even if it starts out with a pH value of 7, it can easily change within one season, making it necessary to test it every now and then (read the article How to measure pH levels in soil).

Some store-bought soils are even way too acidic from the get go. Depending on how things go, don’t be surprised if you find your plants and soil are lacking in a specific nutrient or two sometime during the growing season. Growers with lots of experience already know that, if they use soil bought in the store, they will most likely have to use organic soil amendments in the end anyway.

Start composting

Composting is inexpensive and relatively simple, as it uses things you would normally just throw away anyway. It creates the environment similar to a nice, fertile soil so your cannabis plants can grow healthily. You can include anything from plant clippings to fruits and vegetables to animal manure. It should not include animal fat or meat, however, as it simply will attract maggots and parasites. You also shouldn’t include manure from your cat or dog, and consider not using pine needles because they lower the pH and don’t break down as quickly as other compostable items.

how to compost for outdoor marijuana
Start composting

You should break down all of your compost ingredients into small pieces in order to accelerate the breakdown of your compost mixture. There are plenty of different ways to go about it, and there are plenty of reasons for doing it in a new way.

There are several important factors you always need to remember. For instance, it is a good idea to layer your compost pile, and you should always make sure that air is able to flow through it. The last thing you want is a compost pile that has very little or no air circulation. Just like with any soil or fertilizer, you should also be testing the pH level of your compost pile to make sure it remains balanced. If it is too acidic or alkaline, you can simply put in some lime or bonemeal to adjust the balance in both ways.

Unless you live on a farm, you probably will need a long amount of time to collect enough diverse organic matter to form a useful compost pile. Allow a few months to gain enough items to form a usable mixture. The result is worth it, however, as your mixture will be much more fertile than most of the available store-bought items you can find.

Organic composting

The most often encountered reason for growing cannabis organically is that there is almost a zero chance that you will burn the marijuana plants. Too much chemical fertilizer can be a bad thing, since it is highly concentrated and may leave salts behind in the soil. The roots rapidly absorb the chemical fertilizers and, like someone who eats too quickly will experience a negative reaction. This could include the death of your marijuana plants.

organic compost marijuana
Organic compost marijuana

Usually what happens is that too much of one nutrient prevents the uptake of others, leaving your plant deficient and dying: When fed organic substances, marijuana plants will only take in the nutrients they need, leaving the rest in the soil. The remaining nutrients are broken down slowly, which ensures a steady supply.

The major drawback to organic cannabis growing is the knowledge needed and the preparation that may be necessary to deliver the nutrients to the marijuana plants. Composting takes time and should be started months in advance. It requires a space in which to accomplish this, preferably far away from people since it can carry quite an odor. Also, depending on your security needs, it may be impossible to get the composted soil to the grow site, since where you compost and where you grow cannabis may be very far apart. In cases like these it is best to add individual organic matter to the existing site and bring that soil up to par.

TIP: Looking to buy seeds? Visit the ILGM marijuana seed shop

The idea behind composting is that organic matter decays with the help of bacteria created in the decomposition process into a brown, loose blend called humus. This is the same process that natural soil uses, though in nature it takes much longer. You accelerate this process through composting because the mixture of things added increases the presence and activity of bacteria and microorganisms. In good, fertile soil there are untold millions of microorganisms in every gram, as well as earthworms, which are attracted to good soil and improve it by living within it.

Make your own compost

Even if you are using chemicals to grow your marijuana plants, you probably will still need to include some organic compost additives at some point. Below you will find a list of the various types of organic additives, and what they can do to help you with the specific elements your soil and fertilizers are missing. You need these to make your own compost.

how to make compost outdoor marijuana plants
Make your own compost

There are plenty of other available additives as well, but this is a basic list that will help you make it through most seasons. Read carefully, for some of the items on the list include valuable information, such as the exact ratios of Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorous that they contain, plus which season they are the most useful in.

Blood meal
This additive includes a very concentrated amount of nitrogen. It is one of the most popular additives used for the cannabis vegetative growth period. Buy blood meal here

Bone meal
Bonemeal is a phosphorous rich additive that is best used for your cannabis plants’ flowering phase. It also releases nutrients slowly, making it especially useful in some of the final vegetative growing phases of your plants. Buy bone meal here

Chicken Compost
Even chicken manure makes a great fertilizers. Organic slow release chicken manure compost increases yields and promotes healthy plants. If you do not have a chicken at hand, DankoDirt makes great organic fertilizer. Learn about the benefits of ChickenFuel compost.

Fish emulsion
As repulsive as it sounds, fish emulsion is a mixture that includes decomposed fish. It is the most effective when applied to young cannabis plants, due to the fact that it is not as harsh as some other fertilizers, and its nutrient content is fairly balanced. Buy fish emulsion here

Worm castings
A utility fertilizer that can be useful in any situation, worm casters are extremely balanced in their nutrient content. In addition to nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous, they also have micronutrients that provide a general nutritious value to the soil, helping it to remain nutrient-rich and healthy. Buy worm castings here

Kelp meal
Kelp meal contains many micronutrients and it is most effective when combined with a basic soil or compost mix. Cannabis plants love it. Buy kelp meal here

Manures
No two types of manure are the same since different animals produce waste that has different fertilizing properties. In general, your best bet is to use either rabbit, cow, chicken, horse or bat manure. They are all great additives for compost – don’t put them directly in your plants’ soil, however.

Coffee grounds
These are most useful when you need to change the pH level your soil or compost to be more acidic since coffee grounds have an extremely acidic pH content. The right pH of the soil is very important to grow healthy marijuana plants.

Eggshells
The answer to coffee grounds, eggshells can make your soil or compost more alkaline. They should be ground down and included in your compost pile.

Lime
Lime is another efficient way of increasing your soil or compost’s pH level. Plenty of organic marijuana growers swear by it when their soil is too acidic. Not everyone loves it, however since its reaction and breakdown time is very slow. Because of how long it takes, you should consider using it only early on in the growing season, or add it to your compost if you think the soil might be too acidic for some reason. Buy lime here

Wood ashes
This additive is a simple and very fast way of increasing the pH level. It also has lots of other health benefits and micronutrients for your soil.

Thanks for reading. If you’re interested in growing naturally be sure to read my complete guide to growing naturally.

Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my free grow bible

Robert

The founder of I Love Growing Marijuana, Robert Bergman, is a marijuana growing expert that enjoys sharing his knowledge with the world. He combines years of experience, ranging from small-scale grows to massive operations, with a passion for growing. His articles include tutorials on growing... [read more]

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  1. By The Best Marijuana Fertilizers And Nutrients

    ,20 Jul 2015
    […] is lacking what is needed to produce good crop, then this will enrich the soil. Read the article How to make marijuana compost for more […]
  2. By Growing Marijuana On Soil – I Love Growing Marijuana

    ,28 Jul 2015
    […] Without undergoing the extreme process of making Super Soil, you can easily make other types of organic soil that will similarly benefit your marijuana plants. These other methods will not require so much preparation, time, money, and space. At […]Read More
  3. By How to Increase Your Marijuana Yield | Daily Dank Deals

    ,09 Aug 2015
    […] best way to avoid nutrient problems altogether in soil-based mediums is to form your own compost to make super soil. It can be totally organic and will give your plant every nutrient it needs […]
  4. By Increase Your Marijuana Yield – 5 Tips

    ,25 Aug 2015
    […] best way to avoid nutrient problems altogether in soil-based mediums is to form your own compost to make super soil. It can be totally organic and will give your plant every nutrient it needs […]
  5. By Stop Spider Mites On Marijuana Plants Now!

    ,30 Nov 2015
    […] are several ways you can prevent a major infestation of spider mites. If you use an organic compost mulch, for instance, you will be unknowingly adding predatory mites to your plants’ defenses. These […]
  6. By Growing Marijuana In Soil

    ,01 Dec 2015
    […] Without undergoing the extreme process of making Super Soil, you can easily make other types of organic soil that will similarly benefit your marijuana plants. These other methods will not require so much preparation, time, money, and space. At […]Read More
  7. By The Complete Guide to Growing Marijuana Naturally

    ,20 Jan 2016
    […] are several ways to go about producing compost for your cannabis garden or […]
  8. By Daniel Johnson

    ,13 Mar 2016
    I really appreciate all your doing for the grow community.but please can you put more info out on growing using hydroponics it would be a big help thank you
  9. By Joe austin

    ,14 Apr 2016
    Not bad advice...I learned a little more on the organic compost..I live on a farm in KY. I put cow manure eggshells and ashes...started rolling it in February,so it will be good to go..I am transplanting from indoor ,natural sunlight...I […]Read More
  10. By Christian Dominguez

    ,30 May 2016
    I never received my free book. What happened? I really want my free book as it is promissed 100% guaranteed in this site.
  11. By rob

    ,06 Jul 2016
    great info , still waiting for grow bible though .
  12. By thomas jones

    ,28 Jul 2016
    hi Robert ! just a quick question, with autoflowering, I am going with the assumption that the first weeks are just mineral water, maybe some VERY light veg feeding. this for 2 weeks maybe 2 1/2, then into light blooming […]Read More
  13. By latewood.ILGM

    ,29 Jul 2016
    thomas jones, I would hate to see a long question :D You are on the right track. I like 800 ppm throughout the flowering cycle of Autoflower genetics. Noting until 4-5 alternating nodes (true sets of leaves), then nothing the […]Read More
  14. By Lon

    ,05 Mar 2017
    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this site. My fruit mix (Strawberry, Blueberry, and Pineapple) showed up way too early, but that's ok, I'm an outdoor grower in CO. So, I won't be growing for the next few months, but, when I […]Read More
    1. By Roy ILGM

      ,06 Mar 2017
      Haha good to hear Lon! Have you considered putting up a journal on our forum? People love to see the ladies grow
  15. By robert green

    ,09 Jun 2017
    hi robert,just wondering what impact changing auto seedlings that have grown inside under 20/4 veg lights in 4inch pots, to 20 ltr finishing pots that are two big for my small grow closet, and leaving outside to finish even though […]Read More
    1. By latewood.ILGM

      ,13 Jun 2017
      Robert Green, JUst FYI. 4" pots are only used for starting plant. Auto flowers should be placed in non smaller than a 1 gallon but a 3 gallon is much better. "11-12 liters" On the other hand. autoflowers are not […]Read More
  16. By latewood.ILGM

    ,13 Jun 2017
    Pardon my typos. I am legally blind and missed my error. :) – I❤️GM
  17. By Billionaire’s boy

    ,06 Jul 2017
    Any precautions when choosing fertilizers?
  18. By latewood.ILGM

    ,11 Jul 2017
    Billionaire's boy, Fertilizer or nutrients are available in such a wide range that I suggest you either join our forum at ILGM or visit our store and buy the Flower Power start pack. It is an excellent water soluble fertilizer […]Read More
  19. By sly liki

    ,01 Jul 2018
    easy to understand , coprehensive guide for required info, look forward to reading the books
  20. By Steve

    ,12 Mar 2019
    How do you fertiliz auto plants
    1. By latewood ILGM

      ,20 Mar 2019
      Steve, Auto flower genetics do not require any special difference in regard to fertilizer. Just do not top it or transplant them. Any stress can lead to severe stunting of growth and could lead to small yields.

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