How Soil Health can Support Water Uptake for your Cannabis Plant
As spring bursts warmly into summer, beginner, experimental, and veteran gardeners are working their magic with plants this season both inside and outside the home. Whether you’re new to the cannabis growing game or just want to perfect your craft, we have tips on the best soil and water tips you need to benefit your harvest. Consider this your Cannabis Growth Basics 101 class, and unlike real Biology class, here everyone gets an A.
Where to start?
Congratulations! You’ve become a plant parent to a beautiful cannabis plant. Growing cannabis can be a lot of fun, but like all plants, there’s a science to getting it right. Having the right sized planter or growth space is a good starting point, so once you’ve secured the perfect crib for your plant baby, it’s time to look into soil and water.
Even the type of water used can have an effect on the success of your cannabis plant, and the right soil needs to provide nutrients, water retention, and good drainage, and there are a few options to consider.
Making a bed to lie in… What’s the best kind of soil for Cannabis plants?
Finding your perfect soil for cannabis-rearing will include a number of factors such as climate, temperature, the type of cannabis plant you’re growing, and whether you’re growing your cannabis inside, outside, or in a grow house – so be sure to look for any individualized guidelines for your specific plant. Planting somewhere where there’s plenty of room for growth with good aeration is a great start, and having some liquid nutrients for when your plant needs an occasional extra snack is also a good bet. There are lots of good nutrient options for your cannabis plant. If you can, try to find a nutrient fertilizer or supplement that contains Calcium, Magnesium, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium.
Aside from that, here is some all-around useful info on soil options for your plant.
Silt is granular soil with a floury feel and is mostly made up of broken quartz grains. It is often a popular choice for growing Cannabis as it has great water retention that allows your Cannabis plant to grow steadily. Silt’s properties are a double-edged sword, however, as while silt contains a good amount of nutrients and minerals for your plant, the consistency of silt means that there is less efficient drainage for your plant. Nevertheless, silt is still a solid option for your cannabis soil choice as long as you water it carefully.
Clay soil is characterized by a high pH level and its fine consistency with granules that are even smaller than silt soil. Like silt, it has poor drainage but excellent water retention properties. It also contains lots of minerals and nutrients making it very fertile for cannabis growth. Clay soil can be a great option but be prepared for heavier soil that can be harder to handle and like silt, be wary of poor drainage.
With good drainage but poor water retention, sand soil is the flip-flopping brother of silt and clay. Sand is generally a popular choice to grow cannabis as it is widely found and easy to use. With large granules, sand’s benefits include healthy water drainage and good aeration leading to plenty of oxygen. The drawbacks of sand are its rapid drying and poor nutrient quality. So be careful to weigh up both sides when making your choice.
Loam soil is that kid in class that gets along with everyone. Combined of sand, silt, and clay, this mix has a near-neutral pH that is optimal for these plants and offers the beneficial characteristics of each soil in a winning mix. Look for a blend that is made up of a 2:2:1 / 40:40:20 ratio of sand, silt, and clay. With good drainage AND water retention, strong nutrient content, and healthy aeration – Loam is often seen as the best bet for growing cannabis or hemp plants. Though this super-combination runs more expensive than the above single-material soils, your local grocery store or gardening store likely offers a variety of loam mixes, so it shouldn’t be hard to spot a deal.
Feeling thirsty… What kind of water do I use on my Cannabis plant?
You might be familiar with purified water often used for hydroponics, cannabis growing, and general home gardening, however, reverse osmosis is a tried and tested method for purifying water that your cannabis plant will just soak up… literally.
Don’t sweat… science explained. What Is Reverse Osmosis?
Reverse osmosis is a filtration process used to purify water. Under strong pressure, water is forced through a semipermeable membrane, and water particles move from an area with low to high solute concentration in a reversed action to the regular movement of water through osmosis. In this process, even minuscule dissolved materials in the water are removed, producing water that is free of bacteria, viruses, and dissolved solid particles leading to almost flawlessly pure water. Reverse Osmosis is now used to purify drinking water, desalinate seawater, and now is finding its practical use in horticulture.