When adding micronutrients like epson salts, azomite, lime, and dolomite to your soil, always read the package instructions. These nutrients are really strong and can cause nutrient burn when not used properly.
If you want to plant straight away, you can still use some of the ingredients listed above. You’ll just need to be more careful as you’ll be at risk of creating a really nutrient-rich (or “hot”) soil that can actually burn your plants. As a general rule of thumb to get you started, try using the following ratios of soil and other ingredients:
Simply add these ingredients to your soil and use your graip to combine everything properly.
Mix everything together using your graip, then soak the soil for at least two days in pure water, keeping it wet all throughout. This will ensure your soil isn’t too hot for your seedlings. Allow the water to run off and the soil to mostly dry before planting. Once you do plant, make sure to use just plain water for at least the first three waterings.
The “correct” amount of each ingredient you use in your super soil will depend on the quality of your starter soil and how much time you have before planting. If possible, prepare your soil at least six months before you plant. That way, you’ll be able to use more of the ingredients listed above as they’ll have time to break down properly.
• Phosphorus is essential for the production of ATP and phospholipids, which are used to build cell membranes.
• Potassium helps enable photosynthesis, regulates CO₂ uptake via stomata in a plant’s leaves, and helps strengthen cell walls.
• Preparing your own soil requires a larger initial investment than if you simply bought regular soil and a few nutrient solutions. Keep that in mind if you’re growing on a budget, but also remember that the results are definitely worth it.
• Good-quality homemade soil is rich in both macro and micronutrients, meaning you’ll be less reliant on chemical fertilisers.
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If your soil is compacted and you are not trying to cultivate cannabis this year, planting wild grasses can help keep soil healthy until next season.
Perlite can fluff up your soil while improving water retention and air flow. Manure can often be sourced for free or at low cost by reaching out to local farms in your area, and will provide lots of nitrogen. Crustacean or bone meal are also great, affordable amendments that will help introduce diverse nutrients to your soil.
Leaves or grass clippings are an abundant free resource. Collect garden waste from your property and spread the leaves or grass clippings on top of your soil. This layer will provide a healthy environment for essential microbes, insects, and bacteria.
Many wild grasses have deep tap roots that break apart compacted soils while also developing relationships with the microbes and bacteria in your soil. By making the soil breathable with tap roots, you increase the life that can be sustained in the soil while improving water and nutrient retention.
If growing outdoors, you may find that the soil native to your backyard is heavily compacted and have a clay texture, or it might crumble and appear sandy. While these are signs of poor quality soils, much can still be done—even on a budget. Give these free or inexpensive techniques a try, and watch your garden thrive.
If you can compost, it provides a cost-effective way to increase and diversify the nutrients in your soil. All the organic matter you consume has nutrients that, once broken down, provide food for both your plants and the microbes and bacteria in your soil.
By adding wood chips to the top layer of your soil, you can improve water retention, provide a home for beneficial organisms, keep weeds down, and provide nutrients as the wood chips break down.
Composting is simple if you live in the right climate. Moisture is key to composting; without it, the time it takes for organic material to break down increases significantly.
Never feel defeated by the quality of your soil. There is always room to grow and improve your soil from year to year as you develop your skills as a gardener. Cannabis is resilient to poor quality soils, so don’t be afraid to experiment with new techniques—you’ll learn a lot about cannabis in the process.
Quality soil is essential for growing cannabis outdoors but can be hard on a budget. Take a look at these cheap and affordable tips for improving poor soil quality.