If you have been reading about cultivating indoors with organic soil then you’ve heard of Super Soil. Soil life thrives on diversity. That being said, there are a few things to keep in mind with building a soil that caters to growing cannabis.
Why do cannabis growers compost their soil to create organic “super soil” instead of just using “regular” soil from the store? Why is super soil better than other types of soil for growing cannabis? There’s lots of reasons to use super soil for growing cannabis. In addition to being able to create a fully organic growing medium, the correct “recipe” for composted super soil actually mimics the root conditions that make cannabis thrive in nature.
Super soil refers to soil that has been pre-prepared to contain enough nutrients to support your cannabis plant throughout the duration of the entire growing process. Another point of super soil is so that growers need not worry too much about pH and nutrients levels. And since you only need to add water to this soil, you can skip the flushing process at the end of the grow cycle.
Super Soil is a blend of soil and amendments to build a growing medium with enough nutrients for the life cycle of the plant. Several super soil recipes require you to compost or cook your new soil for 4 to 6 weeks. This allows the amendments and minerals to break down and allows your soil to create its own beneficial bacteria to create a living organism that coexists with your plant’s root system.
Building your own super soil will have lasting effects on your garden. Not only will it make garden maintenance simpler, but your plants will be healthier and you’ll be able to recycle your soil eliminating the need to buy or build more soil from scratch. Below you will find a few different super soil recipes that I have used in the past. The goal of the super soils is the same, get your plant through the entire grow cycle.
Let’s learn more about the pros and cons of using amended and composted super soil for growing cannabis…
Pros of Super Soil
- Better Taste, Smell, Smoothness – Many growers believe that growing cannabis in super soil enhances taste and smell compared to other growing methods, while producing smooth buds with less of a chance of “harshness” from over-fertilization
- Great for Indoors and Outdoors – Super soil is a versatile growing medium that can be used to grow thriving cannabis plants almost anywhere
- Natural – Super soil can be created using only organic ingredients that have been broken down naturally – this closely mimics the best and richest soil found in nature
- No Need to Flush – Since there’s no chemical salts to alter taste and smell of buds, many organic growers feel there’s no need to flush before harvest
- Can Be Easier to Grow – Once the amended soil is composted, growing cannabis in super soil is easier than pretty much any other type of growing medium; with super soil there’s less of a need to worry about maintaining pH or nutrients! As long as you’re starting with a good water source, you just water your plants and wait until harvest 🙂
- Nugbuckets is a world-famous organic soil grower
- Huge, dense, cannabis flowers at harvest! – Nugbuckets showing off his harvest
Cons of Super Soil
- Expensive & Best Suited to Bigger Grows – Can be expensive to get started since you generally compost a lot of soil at once – it’s difficult to scale the organic super soil process down to smaller grows that need less soil at a time. However, if you do want small amounts, or if you don’t have time for the composting process, you can actually buy pre-made super soil from experts who specialize in growing cannabis.
- Need to Plan Ahead – Composting take 30-60 days before your soil is ready to be used by your plants, which means you have to plan ahead before each organic grow
- Mixing Soil Can Be Tiring – The amending and composting process involves some physical work (mixing the soil)
- Slightly Slower Growth than Liquid Nutrients – Although you don’t have to do anything to make super soil work for you, cannabis plants grow slightly faster in the vegetative stage when using liquid nutrients. Since nutrients are provided in the absolute most available form without needing any help from microbes in the soil, using liquid nutrients can shave a couple weeks off your grow compared to super soil. You can grow using organic soil with organic liquid nutrients to get some of the benefits of both.
COMPOSTED SUPER SOIL INGREDIENT
- 35 lbs (2 bags x 50L ) Biobizz Light-Mix soil (Total of 70lbs)
- 6 bags of 10-gallon Roots Organic Soil (For 60 gallons or 210lbs of soil)
- 6 bags of 10-gallon Roots Organic Soil (For 60 gallons or 210lbs of soil)
- 1 box of 6 lbs Fish Bone Meal (3-16-0)
- 2 bags of 30 lbs Organic Earthworm Castings (Total 60lbs)
- ½ cup Azomite (0-0-0.2)
- 1 cup Dolomite Lime (“prilled” if possible)
- 4 lbs bag of Happy Frog Bat Guano (0-5-0)
- 1 box 5 lbs of Blood Meal (12-0-0)
- (Optional) Up to 25% Perlite (for extra drainage
- ¾ cup Epsom Salt
MIXING & AMENDING SOIL
- To your mixing spot, add 4 bags of Roots Organic Soil (there should be 2 bags of Roots Organic Soil left).
- Add Fish Bone Meal (you want to cover it up first since it’s smelly ).
- Add a bag of Biobizz Light-Mix.
- Rake it out so that the your Fish Bone Meal is mixed in.
- Sprinkle Dolomite Lime over the entire pile.
- Sprinkle Granular Azomite over the entire pile.
- Add the remaining bag of Biobizz Light-Mix.
- Add 1st bag of worm castings.
- Add a bag of Roots Organic soil.
- Rake it in lightly.
- If you’re using perlite, add it now.
- Add another bag of worm castings.
- Add last remaining bag of Roots Organic Soil.
- Rake entire pile slowly, so it’s all mixed up.
- Add Blood Meal.
- Add Bat Guano.
- Add Epsom Salt.
- Final stir – mix thoroughly.
More than seven days from now, continue mixing store routinely (for example moving the load to the opposite side then the other) until and unless you don’t see any spots of shading anymore.
After the mix has been inside and out mixed more than seven days, wrap up super soil in a canvas, or store in an extensive holder, for instance, a junk can (this mix takes around 4 gigantic decline containers)
Add water to cannabis super soil load to start the microbial processes. Add water to mix and blend it in to begin the microbial methodology. Super soil should be moist yet not splashed while treating the dirt. The musing is to keep the mix both wet and tolerably contained.
Your super soil mix isn’t set in a holder or wrapped up, it will dry out, which stops the whole methodology. Guarantee you wrap up your soil if in a covering, or put a best on your refuse containers. You need for keeping the mix in a respectably encased condition.
Tips and Tricks
“Cooking” the Soil
Keep your treating the dirt mix in a brilliant spot and grant the super soil mix to “cook” for 30-60 days. In the midst of this technique, your fundamental duty is to keep the soil wet yet not drenched, and for the most part, keep the load verified/encased to trap warmth and air.
The microbial techniques in the soil will truly cause the treating the dirt stack to end up hot to the touch – this is common! That is a bit of why it’s assigned “cooking.” As the soil cooks, it will isolate the fixings you included in a container that your plants can without quite a bit of a stretch use.
Try to Keep off the Bugs
Be watchful for bugs, especially if the mix isn’t completely encased! You simply made a perfect area for bugs to live. Additional centers: if you add live worms to this mix it will help course air through and discharge up your mix. Worms can even be used in pruned holders – they do no devilishness to your plants and will help keep up strong soil. Worms will make your characteristic super soil incredibly better for your cannabis plants. Mix one last time before you start thriving!
pH in organic gardening is not as big of an issue as it is when gardening with synthetic nutrients and other mediums.
While growing organically, you settle most pH issues in the growing medium or soil. A growing medium rich in humates (humus) is the best place to start. Humates are a natural buffer for most amendments or additive supplements that you may be adding to your medium throughout the cycle.
Humates come from compost, worm castings, and bottled humus. If you use a peat based medium, you can use dolomite lime to raise the pH of the acidic peat. Dolomite should be used in any soil or soilless medium to provide magnesium and calcium. But since we are talking about pH here, I’ll mention dolomite lime’s pH correction benefits.
A medium of coir has a pH near neutral (or 7.0). But humates are still needed to allow uptake of organic nutrients that are outside a near neutral pH range.
An active medium rich in humates you can pour in nutrients like Pure Blend Pro, Earth Juice and guano teas way outside the optimum pH range without worry. The hummus will allow the nutrients to be taken up through the roots, even at such an extreme pH reading.
So throw those pH meters away folks and enjoy the ease and safety of organic gardening.
Chlorine tap water
Just a word of caution for you organic gardeners out there…
If you are using tap water that uses chlorine to kill bacteria in the water, it’ll do the same thing to the beneficial bacteria and living ecosystem that is your organic soil/growing medium.
The best way to improve your water and remove additives in your water supply is to fill a 5-gallon bucket, place an air stone connected to an air pump and aerate the water for a full 24 hours before using it in your garden.
Initial Time Investment
When you first make the commitment to start creating your own soil or super soil it can seem like a lot of work. Once you have completed your first batch, it is smooth sailing so long as you have made enough.
You can continue to reuse your super soil and ‘recondition’ it with each season. You can also improve your old soils using one of our organic compost tea recipes. Happy gardening!
Keep in mind that there are many ways to amend a super soil, including various methods to concocting the aforementioned recipe. Building a successful organic soil is, in many cases, a trial and error endeavor for the home grower. Subcool himself admits to changing his recipe (albeit very minutely) each year to adapt to the needs of his plants.
Be sure to experiment to your cannabis plant’s liking when mixing your soil, and never be afraid to change things up a bit in the process. Your crop will thank you for it in abundant yields and immaculate flavor!