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What is Soil?

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
While this may appear to be a very basic question it is in actuality a very complex topic.

Traditional soils have five basic components:
* Air
* Water
* Mineral Particles
* Organic Matter
* Biology

Air:
Soil air refers to the gaseous phase of soil which is neither liquid nor solid. It is estimated that 25% of any given soil is composed of air that is a gaseous medium.

Water:
Soil Water or Soil Solution is the liquid phase of the soil. Soil water contains dissolved salts and chemicals (in the form of ions) that are free-floating and not attached to any solid particles (mineral surfaces). Water also comprises an estimated 25% of any given soil sample.

Mineral Particles:
The mineral part of soil is composed of varying amounts of sand, silt, and clay. On the whole these particles are not derived from materials that were once living, meaning that the minerals are inorganic. The characteristics of mineral particles greatly influence soil behavior and management needs.

Sand: The soil component sand is mainly small rock fragments and hard minerals such as quartz. It contains few plant nutrients and soils high in sand can be particularly arid due to high drainage low nutrient ratios.

Of the three types of soil particles, sand is the largest in size and provides the following benefits if used as a soil component in moderate amounts:

Improves drainage, aeration, and tilling quality.

Silt: Silt consists of ground up sand and rock minerals. Silt like sand contains few nutrients, but it can have nutrients clinging to its surface.

Silt is between sand and clay in terms of size.

Clay: Clays are aluminum-silicate minerals that also have varying amounts of nutrients important to plants such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, etc. A good part of a soil's native fertility can come from its clay portion.

Clay particles are the smallest of the three soil mineral components and they have a negative charge which makes them attract all positive charged plant nutrients. This helps trace elements stay in the soil rather than being constantly leached away.

Too much clay can result in harder tilling, compaction (Lack of air) & poor drainage.

Organic Matter:
Organic matter in the soil includes plant and animal residues at various stages of decomposition. There are also the cells and tissues of soil organisms and substances synthesised by plant roots and soil microorganisms. It is estimated that organic matter makes up about 5% of most common soils. Despite this small proportion, organic matter has a remarkable effects on soil behavior and crop yields. Organic matter in the soil is frequently in the form of humus, partially decomposed organic matter that has become dark and crumbly and continues decomposing at a slow rate.

Biology:
While not actually a component of soil in the traditional sense, that is, mineral based there is a huge living component of soil. This includes the microorganisms in the soil, the earth worms and the myriad of other living things which help process organic and inorganic matter into soil. If we are to look at soil as a Gestalt then we must include the soil biology.

Here is a good link explaining what soil is which can be used for further reading if desired:

Four Major Components of Soil

If anyone finds any broken links in the FAQ then please do not hesitate to PM the author and get them to update or remove the link/links.
 

williamreive

New Member
Well soil is the home of your cannabis plant unless your growing hydroponically but usually you want a soil of the loam type. This will contain equal amounts of sands silts humus and clays which your plant will thrive in, when buying soil depending on your strain you want to buy soil with even NPK rations ex) 10-10-10 or a 20-20-20 bag. Cannabis plants thrive best in a soil ph of 7 so make sure that is the ph of your home.


Sent from my iPhone using 420 Magazine Mobile App
 

cyclenut

New Member
I plan to grow indoors. Is there a soil on the market that I can use as is, or do I have to mix different ingredients together to get the right combination?
 

CannaKitty

Well-Known Member
I plan to grow indoors. Is there a soil on the market that I can use as is, or do I have to mix different ingredients together to get the right combination?

There are plenty of great potting soil mixes on the market that are ready to use right out of the bag... but I personally still always like to mix extra perlite into them at the very least... even if they already contain a bit of it. A lot of folks here in the states use Fox Farm mixes and Roots Organic. In EU, BioBizz is a great mix you will find at most hydro stores and online. I use BioBizz All Mix with added perlite... and have had amazing results.

Promix is also great from what I have read...

All the major contenders are ready to use straight out of the bag but it is us growers that choose to amend to our liking. Also, the organic nutrient filled soil mixes are expensive, not at first with seedlings but when you are filling 5-7 gallon pots, cutting the mix with amendments can save you a few bucks while making your soil more cannabis friendly.

So, short answer... no you do not have to amend the quality potting soils BUT it can be to your advantage to do so.

Hope That Helps,
xxKitty
 

cyclenut

New Member
Thank you Kitty....Another question, this is my first time at this so bare with me.....should I use the same potting soil mix for the whole growth cycle? I'm thinking outside ground soil isn't good for these plants. I also understand that this plant seems to be very delicate, are there any strains you've tried that are hardy and withstand a little stress?
 

alantesla33

New Member
Do not try sativas for first run. You will at a min for 1 plant need:
Pot soil or dirt if you will it's a base
Loam as a filler
Bone meal for veg state
Blood meal at end of veg and into flower.

You will find there are tons of products out there for watering etc.
How Solutes and Pressure Affect Water Potential in Plants - Video & Lesson Transcript | Study.com

You will be looking for this
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Avoid MiracleGro

Grow Slow!
 

CannaKitty

Well-Known Member
Thank you Kitty....Another question, this is my first time at this so bare with me.....should I use the same potting soil mix for the whole growth cycle? I'm thinking outside ground soil isn't good for these plants. I also understand that this plant seems to be very delicate, are there any strains you've tried that are hardy and withstand a little stress?

I actually find sativa dominant strains to be a bit heartier but everyone has their own opinions. Indica dom appeals to new growers because they have a bit shorter harvest time. A 50/50 hybrid gives you a taste of both. White Widow is an example of a 50/50 hybrid. Honestly, if this is your first grow and you have access to a few bag seeds... you might wanna try your first grow with something you wont lose a ton of money on if you do make a major mistake. I had a friend who was trying out breeding and he gave me about a hundred seeds to play with for my first grow. Definitely helped me out tremendously because I plant-slaughtered the crap out of a few beans...

If you want to grow outdoors you have the choice of digging a hole and filling it with soil or going with big pots. If you dig a hole, depending on the quality of your dirt, you can amend it and save a few bucks... You don't want to put straight potting soil in a hole in the ground as it is, in fact, potting soil meant for pots.

I am vegan so I use BioBizz nutrients as well as their soil... I don't use animal products on my plants personally. I don't TRY to sound like an advertisement for any product but as a vegan who grows organic... I'm limited in my choices and BioBizz is one of the few globally certified organic brands that is also vegan.

Even if you are growing outdoors it's best to start your plants indoors and seedlings can be nursed under low watt cfls pretty easily.

These plants are not ACTUALLY very delicate... we just treat them as such... bahaha. Because we are growing our medicine we treat our plants with great care... but it is a plant that can survive in the wild on its own just fine... so do keep that in mind. I wish you luck and if you start a grow definitely start a journal here on 420 and you will be met with help from all over the world!

XxKitty
 

hydropad

New Member
Hey! Do you use BIOBIZZ ALL-MIX or BIOBIZZ LIGHT-MIX? Im starting a grow now, have ordered almost everything for a small setup and just the soil now thats missing. So I have read so mutch on the internett of soil recepies, what to add, what to not, bone meel, blood meel etc I want to add the nuts myself so question is can I go to my local flower/plant store and buy normal soil in a 20L bag, add some perlite and grow? Or do I get better results If i use the BioBizz mix adding some extra perlite?
 

Richard Richardson

Well-Known Member
Soil is the outermost coating of the earth's surface & relies on a healthy population of insects and worms.

Anything that you buy to grow plants in a pot is called "Potting Compost" or "Soilless Potting Mix"

Allmix or Lightmix are basically just mixtures of peat and perlite with a few extras. They are not soil.

Any high quality local potting compost will be fine for the first 6 weeks or so without additional feeding.

Bat Guano, Palm Ashes and seaweed extract are all you need for flowering.

Avoid Blood and Bone meal - They are from factory farms and probably soaked in antibiotics.
 

hydropad

New Member
I actually find sativa dominant strains to be a bit heartier but everyone has their own opinions. Indica dom appeals to new growers because they have a bit shorter harvest time. A 50/50 hybrid gives you a taste of both. White Widow is an example of a 50/50 hybrid. Honestly, if this is your first grow and you have access to a few bag seeds... you might wanna try your first grow with something you wont lose a ton of money on if you do make a major mistake. I had a friend who was trying out breeding and he gave me about a hundred seeds to play with for my first grow. Definitely helped me out tremendously because I plant-slaughtered the crap out of a few beans...

If you want to grow outdoors you have the choice of digging a hole and filling it with soil or going with big pots. If you dig a hole, depending on the quality of your dirt, you can amend it and save a few bucks... You don't want to put straight potting soil in a hole in the ground as it is, in fact, potting soil meant for pots.

I am vegan so I use BioBizz nutrients as well as their soil... I don't use animal products on my plants personally. I don't TRY to sound like an advertisement for any product but as a vegan who grows organic... I'm limited in my choices and BioBizz is one of the few globally certified organic brands that is also vegan.

Even if you are growing outdoors it's best to start your plants indoors and seedlings can be nursed under low watt cfls pretty easily.

These plants are not ACTUALLY very delicate... we just treat them as such... bahaha. Because we are growing our medicine we treat our plants with great care... but it is a plant that can survive in the wild on its own just fine... so do keep that in mind. I wish you luck and if you start a grow definitely start a journal here on 420 and you will be met with help from all over the world!

XxKitty

And I also wondering aboute the pot size i should use, i did buy 4 pots of 15Liters each, is it big enough to get optional results? I have experience with hydro growing but not soil, is the nutrients the same? Do You use 3 types veg, micro and bloom?
 

Naturalgrow

New Member
And I also wondering aboute the pot size i should use, i did buy 4 pots of 15Liters each, is it big enough to get optional results? I have experience with hydro growing but not soil, is the nutrients the same? Do You use 3 types veg, micro and bloom?

I am also new to growing. A friend gave me 4 seeds, I germinated them using the paper towel method. I started in a styrofoam cup, then went to a gallon size pot and just last week transplanted to a 3.5 gallon, using organic soil with compost. Ecoscaps I think is the name. I've been growing my plant in a window [emoji4]
My friend used grass fertilizer on his plant and I do not recommend that. I just very little extras in my plant. I do use bottled water though. Here's a few pictures.
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hydropad

New Member
Thanks for the facts! Im growing 4 plant under one 600W. I really want these to become big, beautiful and magnificent, I really want to care of them! I have built a high-refleced grow room for these. You say I will only use regular potting compost for the first 6 weeks without adding any nuts, nothing to "boost" the growth? What aboute after 6 weeks, how and what should I replace or add to the potting compost? Do you mean that I will get better results adding Bat Guano, Palm Ashes and seaweed extract in the potting compost with normal watering after 6 weeks than if Id used nuts in watering?
 

Richard Richardson

Well-Known Member
I start my plants in a small pot and move them to a bigger pot after a couple of weeks, then a bigger pot after another few weeks. Each time I am adding fresh potting compost, which feeds the plants while they are in veg. I add liquid seaweed extract to my 10 liter watering can to "boost" the growth.

Just before flowering, I move them up to their final pot, double the size of the last pot. I add the Bat Guano & Palm Ashes to the watering can @ 1 tablespoon of each per 10 liters of water along with a splosh of seaweed extract.

I feed this every water from just before the start of flowering, then once the stretch has finished, every second watering until the buds have swelled, then only water til harvest.

A proper watering technique is important - The Proper Way to Water a Potted Plant

Thanks for the facts! Im growing 4 plant under one 600W. I really want these to become big, beautiful and magnificent, I really want to care of them! I have built a high-refleced grow room for these. You say I will only use regular potting compost for the first 6 weeks without adding any nuts, nothing to "boost" the growth? What aboute after 6 weeks, how and what should I replace or add to the potting compost? Do you mean that I will get better results adding Bat Guano, Palm Ashes and seaweed extract in the potting compost with normal watering after 6 weeks than if Id used nuts in watering?
 

hydropad

New Member
Thanks. I did understand almost everything but didnt get the last. The seaweed is an extract/liquid use all they way through veg n bloom, ok, but right before flowering you add the Bat Guano and palm ashes in the watering can? Not mixing it in the new potting compost for last transplant? How does it eventually works if this is a dry powder and ashes in watering it will only be on the surface of pottingcompost.
 

Richard Richardson

Well-Known Member
ok, but right before flowering you add the Bat Guano and palm ashes in the watering can? Not mixing it in the new potting compost for last transplant? How does it eventually works if this is a dry powder and ashes in watering it will only be on the surface of potting compost.

Lots of it will dissolve in the water, I add them while pouring the water into the watering can.

We want the soluble stuff, not the sediment.

A bit of sediment will remain in the bottom of the watering can. I just pour it onto the potting compost at the end of the watering session, or leave it in the can until the next watering.
 

hydropad

New Member
In other words, I only use quality potting compost purchased from my local flower shop -all the way through the growing (mixed pellets only)? And all the nutrients the plant needs will therefore come from the watering only?
 
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