What Soil Should I Use?

Cultivating cannabis is an art, requiring measurements of water, pH balance, mineral content, humidity, and more. Soil is a major part of growing quality cannabis, and the blend can vary depending on the specific growth needs of your plant. Picking the correct soil makes a great difference in yield and quality as well as overall plant health. Below we will go over the qualities of the best soil for growing cannabis so that your plants can come out as healthy as possible with a higher yield.

The ideal soil for cultivation should be a mixture of different textures that bring out the best qualities in each. There are pre-mixed soil options with countless names and brands that claim to do several things, but if that’s overwhelming then mixing your own soil is an option that lessens the risk of information overload.

Sandy soils are lower in pH and have excellent drainage and high oxygen levels. It’s easy to work with and doesn’t get compacted, but it has poor water retention which washes away nutrients and leaves soil dry. Sand produces great early vegetable crops, and any plants that love acid will thrive. The pH is easy to adjust, and sand is easy to dig through, so you don’t struggle with compacted soil.

Silty soil is good for use in gardening, and unlike sandy soil it drains efficiently without leaving the soil dry. Silt has small soil particles that allow for improved aeration as well, and its compact nature allows it to store nutrients just as effectively as it stores water. Silt is also naturally fertile, but the benefits it provides also bring some risk. Silty soil stores water, but this stored water can lead to compacted soil with little to no oxygen flow. You may have to churn the topsoil regularly to make sure the soil is loose enough for plant roots to receive air and nutrients.

Clay soil retains moisture and is very rich in nutrients. Hungry plants, like tomatoes, will love the constant supply of nutrients present within soil. You won’t have to worry about minerals and salts draining too fast and leaving the soil dry and adding a bit of organic matter to clay soils can make a huge difference in their workability. When clay soil is wet it’s extremely sticky; when it dries it’s extremely hard.

Loam soil is considered the ideal type of soil, because it has efficient drainage capabilities while holding onto minerals and nutrients without compacting onto plant roots. This type of soil is the perfect mix of each positive attribute of sandy, clay, and silty soils. Loam soil is what gardeners strive for, and it can be achieved by either purchasing an ideal soil or by mixing your own.

If you’re working with the soil in your yard or garden, here are some tips. Start by aerating your soil. If you have clay soil, incorporate sandy soil into it to reduce compaction. If your soil is sandy, introduce compost to the soil to improve water retention. If you have silty soil, introduce sand and other organic matter to encourage oxygen flow.