How to Grow Marijuana in Soil

Growing marijuana in soil has many advantages. For instance, it is the best way for buds to develop an excellent aromatic flavor which a lot of people love. Also, most growers still prefer to plant weed using soil. In essence, using the right type of soil, the resulting harvest will be more rewarding.

While hydroponics allows cannabis to grow efficiently and fast, it also has some drawbacks. One is that it is costly to set up the whole system. Also, it needs a lot of expertise to make the method work. On the other hand, the practice of using soil comes naturally, and it only takes a little research to learn.

So, in this article, we will cover the best soil for growing weed in both indoor and outdoor gardens. It includes recognizing the quality of soil, and knowing what supplies are best to use. Also, we share the recipe for making the best soil for marijuana plants.

In essence, we show how easy it is to assure nutrient balance within the medium. Using the best soil from the start helps lessen the need to pump chemical nutrients into the plant along the way. Also, this increases the chances of a healthy harvest of high-quality buds.

The Basics of Marijuana Soil

Before we get into making the ideal marijuana soil, we will need to learn the basics.

Why Grow in Soil?

There are many reasons why soil is the best medium for weeds. It is ideal for germinating, transplanting, or letting the plant grow. Here are the benefits, and disasters that could happen with using soil.

Growing in soil
Growing in soil

Advantages of Using Soil

The soil is the most natural medium for growing almost all kinds of plants. It means that most people already are familiar with or have experience in doing it. In effect, it is easier and less stressful to use than other modes of planting, which requires a learning curve.

Another advantage is its simplicity in making it work. Just watering the soil is enough for most plants to grow. Also, the supplies needed are few compared to using other costlier mediums.

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    Disadvantages of Using Soil

    Since soil is an organic material, it is natural for bugs to live in it. Therefore, the plants are more prone to suffer from pest infestations.

    There is also the issue of slower growth. In contrast, marijuana grown using hydroponics enjoys explosive growth due to faster and more efficient nutrient absorption.

    High-quality soil
    High-quality soil

    Regarding appearance, we want to look for a loose texture that stays the same when wet or dry. It should also be dense enough for the roots to take hold, but at the same time, allow air to pass through.

    What is the Best Soil for Marijuana?

    So, what exactly is the best soil for cannabis? The truth is, the plant acts exactly like weeds. It means that it is not very picky when it comes to its medium of growth. In fact, marijuana can grow fairly well in soil that is naturally disturbed. As such, it can pop up and thrive in places where the soil has experienced natural calamity or human movements.

    But if the goal is to produce buds with a high amount of THC, the grower has to choose high-quality soil. Veteran producers know that the best soil has the right balance of nutrients and acid levels. Not only that, but soil requirements vary in each growing stage.

    Best soil for marijuana
    Best soil for marijuana

    To be specific, the ideal soil for marijuana has a lot of nitrogen during the vegetative stage. But as the cannabis progresses to the flowering stage, the need for nitrogen goes down. If the nitrogen level in the soil stays the same, this could result in small buds that are less potent. As such, constant monitoring of nutrients is vital.

    When it comes to pH level, most plants can do with 6.0. A range between 5.8 and 6.3 is okay, but too high or too low pH may be disastrous to the crop. As a result, the buds tend to be of poor quality.

    What Supplies Do We Need?

    To get started, we must find materials that help the seed grow in the right track. It means adequate nutrients and water for germination. For this purpose, it is a whole lot easier if we use peat plugs. But potting mix and composted manure can also do the trick.

    Peat Plugs

    Known also as peat pellets, these are small cylindrical seed holders covered in mesh. They give seeds a great start as they come complete with nitrogen and ideal pH level. Any garden shop sells peat plugs that come with a terrarium and small trays.

    Peat plugs
    Peat plugs

    Since water evaporates fast when using peat plugs, be careful not to let it go dry. Seeds need plenty of water to grow, so it is important to keep the soil moist.

    Potting Mix

    A great option to use when peat plugs are not available is potting soil or potting compost. This material is a mix of different ingredients that provide food for growing seeds.

    An important thing to remember when using potting mix is to watch out for clumps. If not removed, marijuana plants may have a hard time rooting. So, make sure the potting soil is light and fluffy. Also, look for a brand that has peat moss, pine bark, and perlite or vermiculite. These things improve the quality of the soil by adjusting its pH level and nitrogen content.

    Composted Manure

    Another option is to use composted manure. It has plenty of nutrients and nourishment. Also, it is effortless to make at home.

    Composted Manure
    Composted Manure – Image powered by Gardenbedraised.com

    While manure is readily available in some gardens, it will take 4 to 6 weeks to turn it into a suitable material. Mixed with soil, it acts as a fertilizer to plants. And unlike other additives, using animal wastes does not build up in the soil. Instead, it helps keep the medium organic.

    What is Super Soil?

    A new type of soil called Super Soil is fast gaining popularity among cannabis growers nowadays. This medium, made by Subcool, is by far the best soil for growing marijuana.

    An advantage of using Super Soil is that it already has the right nutrients and acid balance. As such, all that growers need to do is water the plants. But keep in mind that this type of soil is not suitable for seedlings as it may burn them.

    As it happens, Subcool shared the recipe on how to make Super Soil. But while this “hack” sounds very appealing, it requires intense research to make. Also, there are some problems with bugs and pests growing in the soil if not properly done. Moreover, it takes a dozen ingredients to make so it can be quite expensive.

    While we can easily buy Super Soil in garden supply centers, there is no harm in trying to make it. Especially since we can use organic materials at home.

    How to Make Super Soil for Marijuana

    Ever since the secret about Super Soil came out, growers are using it to produce top-shelf organic buds. While it is ideal for large producers who aim for bigger yields, small-time home growers can also try making it.

    In 3 steps, here is what we need to prepare and do to make our own Super Soil.

    Step 1. Base

    Prepare high-quality organic potting mix. The recommended amount is 8 x 30 pounds.

    Step 2. Additives

    Here are the things to combine with the potting mix to create a super-charged soil.

    2.1. Azomite

    This material comes from volcanic rock and contains over 70 minerals and trace elements. Since it contains gold, copper, silver, and calcium, to name a few, its basic use is to remineralize the soil. Having abundant, diverse minerals is a good way to ensure the health of the plants.

    The recommended amount is 1/2 cup.

    Azomite
    Azomite – Image powered Herb.co

    2.2. Bat Guano

    Bat feces is a rich source of nitrogen. Also, it comes with an outstanding balance of other minerals such as phosphorous and potassium. Most importantly, it does not leave any metallic taste on the buds like other additives.

    The recommended amount is 5 pounds.

    Bat Guano
    Bat Guano – Image powered by Herb.co

    2.3. Blood Meal

    This additive is not vegan-friendly, but it is an excellent source of nitrogen. Made from the dried blood of mostly cows, it seems like an unpleasant idea for fertilizer. But it is a popular gardening product that increases the growth of cannabis during the vegetative phase.

    The recommended amount is 5 pounds.

    Blood Meal
    Blood Meal – Image powered by Herb.co

    2.4. Bone Meal

    During the flowering phase, the fine powder of animal bones provides phosphorous for more and bigger blooms. Just be cautious of this ingredient if there are vegans who use the buds.

    The recommended amount is 5 pounds.

    Bone Meal
    Bone Meal – Image powered by Herb.co

    2.5. Dolomite or Sweet Lime

    Rich in calcium and magnesium, this mineral rock prevents organic nutrients from escaping the soil. It also keeps the pH level from being too acidic.

    The recommended amount is 1 cup.

    Dolomite or Sweet Lime
    Dolomite or Sweet Lime – Image powered by Herb.co

    2.6. Epsom Salt

    Magnesium aids in nutrient absorption. It also happens that Epsom Salt is rich in this mineral. Thus, we use it to avoid deficiency. But be careful in adding it. As with all other additives, too much of a good thing can be bad.

    The recommended amount is 3/4 cup.

    Epsom Salt
    Epsom Salt – Image powered by Herb.co

    2.7. Kelp or Humid Acid

    Fungi are important in the soil’s pH level, so we use kelp or Humid Acid to feed them.

    The recommended amount is two tablespoons for humic acid and 1/4 cup kelp meal for every five gallons of the material.

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      2.8. Rock Phosphate

      Another natural fertilizer that works by upping the levels of phosphorous in the soil is Rock Phosphate. For best result, bone meal and Azomite is added to it. Aside from acting as a pest-repellent, it is also the fertilizer of choice for marijuana in the flowering stage.

      As a result, the flowers are usually big and vibrant. Also, the buds have a richer flavor.

      The recommended amount is 3 pounds.

      2.9. Worm Castings

      Because it is nutritious, the more worms, the better for the plants. The worm’s poop is known as the “worm cast.” According to research, it is heavy in micronutrients as well as macronutrients. As such, it plays a vital role in soil fertility and plant growth as well.

      The recommended amount is 25 to 50 pounds.

      Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3725894/

      Step 3. Mix them Up

      Once all the ingredients are available and ready, mix them. Usually, it takes a full week of mixing it using a shovel. Then, we store it once it has all come together as one color. During storage, the composting process begins. In a month or two, it should be ready for use.

      Need weed seeds to plant in soil? Shop seeds of your favorite strains in our shop.

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      Organic Soil is Best for Marijuana Plants

      Again, using soil as a medium is excellent for growing marijuana. Especially if it is organic, the nutrients can give the plants a steady supply of nourishment as it grows. In the end, we can harvest fat and potent buds with wonderful flavors.

      From the beginning, growers want to recognize high-quality soil. Not only will it help lead to a bountiful harvest, but it also reduces the need for other treatments along the way.

      So, refer to this article for the basics of soil. By following the guidelines here, the foundation of knowledge is set to allow for better decision-making in cultivating cannabis.

      Finally, we should keep an open mind when it comes to soil. There are so many ways to improve its quality, as well as ruin it. Thus, the best action it to take care of the medium as much as we take care of the plants.

      FAQs About Growing Marijuana in Soil

      What nutrients can I add to my soil to improve it?

      You need to add materials that help the seed grow in a healthy condition – which means adequate nutrients and water for germination. Using peat plugs will be a lot easier, but potting mix and composted manure are also good alternatives.

      What is the best soil for autoflowers?

      A new type of soil known as Super Soil is famous among cannabis growers nowadays. Created by Subcool, this medium is by far the best soil for growing autoflowers and cannabis in general because it has the right amount of nutrients and acid balance. As such, growers only need to water the plants. Just be reminded not to use this soil to seedlings as it may burn them.

      How do you make homemade Supersoil?

      You can make your own supersoil by combining high-quality organic potting mix with additives like azomite, bat guano, bloodmeal, dolomite, epsom salt, kelp or humid acid, rock phosphate and worm castings. Then, mix them up using a shovel for about a week. Store it once it has all come together as one color. It is during storage that the composting process begins. It should be ready for use in a month or two.

      Robert Bergman

      Robert Bergman is an Amsterdam-based marijuana grow expert who has years of experience from small grows to massive operations. His passion for growing lead him to develop his own Gold Leaf strain. Now, Robert is dedicated to sharing his knowledge with the world.... [Read full bio]

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        42 comments on “How to Grow Marijuana in Soil”

        1. Yes I’d like to have you in my gmail. Should be getting my plant any day to grow. Will need to look thru your articles again. Interesting.

        2. Absolutely beautifully written. Ive got a well mended garden soil from my neighbors garden last fall under a tarp.. last year when i used it my seedling took off and i added new handfuls thru out the season changing a few handfuls of old for new my plants thrived all season!! You can tell my lady friend next door has a killer green thumb for gardening. I have some of these ingredients already thanks to her. I wrote this all down to show her to see if maybe there’s something new she’ll try from your recipe or get a laugh that shes probably made this same exact recipe lol shes older very beautiful and kind caring means well outspoken out going person. Im lucky to have met her because shes been educating me on all natural organic growing. I made a new woodsy compost removed most rocks stems roots and what not and just stole some surface and mixed with the darker fluffier soil from underneath. A 5 gallon bucket full weighs like a pound . I mixed another heavier sifted light sand mixed soil to it in a wheelbarrow water holds beautiful in it . I churned it in and moistened the soil. Little filled my solo cups rocks on bottom 3 quarters full popped each germinated sprouted seed into 10 containers and ill be till an area today and derooting and weeding. Then dumping a few wheelbarrow loads of that woods compost on and spreading then for each plant area ill do a load of the garden blended mixed soil she made and transfer the plants into the ground and PRAY!! For the best !! Lol ill be reading up on you guys thru out my grow. Specially to see about your pruning tips. What leaves and when to create more space for budding and get the biggest buds i can create. I saw that it says planting in the ground takes longer well ill be doing my best to get them thru veg as fast as possible i hate starting this late. I usually start in March i slacked this year but still gonna try . Any advice on that much appreciated ha ha i love this article so far vey educational and breaking it down so even i can understand. Thank you stay safe

        3. I am quitting smoking weed today after reading this article, until I can grow my own organic medicine. Cows blood in my weed! Oh my God! ^*****$%#@. Soo upset, I’m a vegan vegetarian, so I eat some meats, but this was gross thank you for posting this. I suggest that you all grow your own from now on.

        4. This has been very helpful. I have literally read this 10 times. I am a first time grower & I super stoked to harvest the two lil gems I have.

        5. Very helpful and gettingvto be quite a common term “living soil”Is the addition of the right mic great and the wrong mix a disater?Yes. Each strain needs and thrives on just a little different mix,i suggest having clones of same mom and trying ur mixes a little different one at a time out of the several same genetically acquired plants .this is the best way to do something without taking chances of losing it all…put ur idea to the test,one clone u put different amount or substance in that does noticablly well u should do from then on to all of ur plants,one addition that kills or makes the clone suffer u know not to add to any other clone. With time u should have the proper regimine for all clones and each plant u have after about 6months after u start …and start with known strains of quality from reputable place Myself,JBC SEEDS has tge best group and reliable breeders with top shelf genetics. ask the weed nerd,His Breeding Has Been Available Through JBC and I personally Have Qleaner,Cause Qrazy Train Was Sold Out Of Stock When I Was Getting Started Back In Febuary…Which Is Another Great Point And Question I Have And Cane To This Site For Info On.. When Do U Plant For Outdoor Crop,Even As Mine Started In Side And Moved At June Full Moon…They Need Be About 9-11Months Old By Finish In My Opinion To Get The TGA size And Mendo Dope Planter Of The Trees Size,I Think.. cause 2Months Veg And Teo Of Flower Wont Put Off A 12 Ft Tree In My Experience. indoor,I Have Had A Mother I Cloned 4Months,Never Got Out Of Three Gallon Pot I Dont Think And Had Juicy Bush Full Of Half Lb Or So .Now That My Homestate Of Oklahoma Is Allowing My Medical Grow..I Get To Try The Outdoor,And Am Interested In How To Mix A Ton Of Soil And Get 100-300Gallons Of Dirt Around Each Of My Trees.. as I Was Taught Twenty Yr Ago In Mendo Cali,If U Have Four Feet Round And About Three Fpur Feet Tall Mound Of Soil U Are On Right Path,And Very Well Can See Multiplr Pounds Per Plant Of The Greatest Of Cannibas.. thanx Subcool,FOR ALL U HAVE DONE TO HELP THOSE WHO LOVE THE HERB AND BELIEVE IN IT

        6. Being uneducated about something is not the same as being stupid. In fact it’s smart to ask questions. We all have been beginners before. Just saying…

        7. Anyone know how Fox Farms Forest Ocean Soil stacks up as a good veg. soil. Thanks.

        8. Those ingredients for super soil are for how many lbs. of base soil? I’m not sure what is ment by 8×30 lbs. as written in the beginning of the directions. I apologize if it’s a stupid question. I’m new to growing.

        9. Hi, as far as I can gather if you flush your old soil and ensure you’ve removed any ‘Salt’ residues the soil would be reusable but you would have to add the necessary minerals & fertiliser obviously :0)

        10. Compost is used by many conventional growers; However, it can be a magnet for pests if one s not proactive with pest management.

          Do not use manure compost on seedlings. It might be too hot. A grower has to gauge compost and know what they are using beforew adding it to a medical marijuana grow. 🙂

          Happy growing

        11. Lambert.

          It is hard to say. Perhaps it is genetics or environment or…

          See what I am getting at? I invite you to join our support forum and after reading a bit you can post images of your plant and the awesome membership and experts on staff will address any concerns you have. 🙂

          Happy growing.

        12. If you are looking for all natural worm castings to enrich your soil and fight pests, see greenleafwormfarm.com

        13. Candy,

          I would be wary of attempting to use the same soil over and over. Salt buildup, disease and pests can be transferred to your new plant. considering what you get out of a healthy Cannabis plant; I would think that the small investment for new soil is a better idea.

          y0ou may be able to alternate grows by using a method called “solarization”; Which basically is using the sun the sterilize your used soil, killing anything that would be detrimental to your grow.

        14. bud,

          Overcrowding your grow tent is a bad idea. You will have healthier plants and a better yield with 2-3 plants in that space.

        15. Great article thanks. Could you tell me if it is necessary to purchase new soil each grow or can you give it New nutrients

        16. […] growing marijuana in soil the roots will consume manganese far better in the pH ratio of 6.0 – 7.0. Although there are […]

        17. […] Growing marijuana in soil is the easiest way to provide abundant natural nutrients. Healthy soil has all the nutrients necessary for a marijuana plant to grow a beautiful crop of buds. Unfortunately, soil gets depleted over time. If you are planting in an area that has been farmed previously or you hope to reuse potting soil from a previous container grow, you will need to add nutrients back in. […]

        18. […] Growing marijuana in soil is the easiest way to provide abundant natural nutrients. Healthy soil has all the nutrients necessary for a marijuana plant to grow a beautiful crop of buds. Unfortunately, soil gets depleted over time. If you are planting in an area that has been farmed previously or you hope to reuse potting soil from a previous container grow, you will need to add nutrients back in. […]

        19. […] Growing marijuana in soil is the easiest way to provide abundant natural nutrients. Healthy soil has all the nutrients necessary for a marijuana plant to grow a beautiful crop of buds. Unfortunately, soil gets depleted over time. If you are planting in an area that has been farmed previously or you hope to reuse potting soil from a previous container grow, you will need to add nutrients back in. […]

        20. I have a 3×3 foot growing area iam using 5gal. pots now 6 of them would like to use 3 gal. pots more pots more plants the roots in 5 gal. pots are really small any way what do you think

        21. I have a 3×3 foot growing area iam using 5gal. pots now 6 of them would like to use 3 gal. pots more pots more plants the roots in 5 gal. pots are really small any way what do you think

        22. […] one of the things that cause major problems for your marijuana plants. The droppings, left in the soil, will affect your soil’s drainage and will, therefore, keep the soil too moist. This, in turn, […]

        23. […] tricky fact about Fusarium is that it can sit in the soil for years, completely dormant. During this time, it will basically be impossible to notice its […]

        24. […] deficiency sometimes comes from the pH level being too high or low. In soil, roots can absorb boron the best if the pH level is between 6.0 and 6.5. In a hydroponic system, […]

        25. Carol Miller
          Really. You should join our Support Forum.

          Do plants grown in soil have more leaves?
          A. NO. This is a matter of fertilizer balance and environment.

          Should the plants be pruned during the growing stage to become shorter and bushier?
          A. This is a matter of a growers methods. You can make the choice to prune and train plant to be shorter.

          Can the plants be grown to have less leaves?
          A. Yes Stifle Nitrogen, and you will have less leaves, less foliage, and less buds.

        26. Do plants grown in soil have more leaves?
          Should the plants be pruned during the growing stage to become shorter and bushier?
          Can the plants be grown to have less leaves?
          Are there strains that genetically have very little leaves?

        27. […] methods come in many different shapes and sizes, each with its pros and cons. Rockwool cubes, soil, or peat pellets are all suitable locations for the germination […]

        28. […] If your pH is rising too high, you can add some chalk to bring it back down. Also, you can easily add liquid fertilizers into your plant when to water. If you plan to make your own liquid fertilizer, make sure you have it mixed well. If the mixture isn’t well-balanced and homogenous, your plant will absorb nutrients unevenly and could experience a nutrient burn. If you don’t feel comfortable with the idea of making your own nutrient mix, there are a number of mixes available which are specifically for the cultivation of marijuana. Read more about soil in the article “Marijuana Soil” […]

        29. […] Other growers prefer to make their own soil. Living close to an organic farm helps in this regard. Cow or pig excrement that’s been allowed to sit for a year makes for wonderful soil. This is usually sold as a high-quality fertilizer and will help your plants grow with all the nutrient content they require. Even if you mix this particular fertilizer half and half with sand, it will still produce high yields and quality plants every time. There is really nothing better than getting something as natural as that. You could also get topsoil from a local excavation company for relatively cheap. Whatever soil you use, it’s important to understand it’s value to the growing marijuana plant. Read more about marijuana soil […]

        30. […] rot can attack plants that are growing in any system, including hydroponic, container, and soil-based growing systems. Although once the fungus has invaded it will be all over your garden, it is […]