Growing 101: What is Live Soil?
Published on 8/1/22
As the legal cannabis industry has evolved, changed, and grown over the past few decades, we've seen a massive spike in the number of different ways consumers can enjoy their cannabis. From standard dried, pre-packaged cannabis flower, to edibles, concentrates, and even stuff like transdermal creams and oral capsules, there have never been more options than there are today for new and innovative ways of enjoying your weed. One central pillar of that massive spike has been the rapid rise of home growing!
As of the time of writing, states and U.S. territories like California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Washington D.C., Oregon, Alaska, and a handful of others allow medical or recreational users to grow plants at home. After all, planting, growing, and caring for cannabis isn't like planting some tomatoes or peas in a backyard garden. You'll need to research, prepare, and literal groundwork to successfully grow cannabis plants that produce top-notch, usable buds. One of the first steps you will need is to create some healthy, thriving living soil to plant in!
Thankfully, here at Where's Weed has researched for you! We're here to break down what exactly live soil is, deep-dive into the impact of live soil for cannabis plants, give our two cents on the super soil vs. live soil debate, and finally provide a top-notch living soil recipe that will teach you how to make living soil and have your cannabis plants healthy and thriving in no time at all!
What is Living Soil?
So what exactly is living soil? What makes it different than average soil, and why is this particular type of dirt so great for growing lasting and healthy cannabis plants? The secret might not look obvious on the surface but becomes clear once you're willing to take a peek under the microscope. The best living soil for cannabis is soil that's full of fungi, bacteria, protozoa, and a few other forms of life. If you don't see stuff moving in your soil when you dig into it, like worms, bugs, and other life forms, you're likely dealing with less than optimal living soil.
The main advantage of living soil is that it's often organic, healthy, and free of synthetic chemicals and additives in fertilizer or lower-quality planting soils. Using living soil to grow your cannabis, you're replicating exact natural conditions that produce the best quality buds in a controlled environment. You're shopping at Whole Foods for plants using living soil instead of giving them frozen dinners and fast food. Living soil contains the right micronutrients to produce top-notch, fruitful cannabis plants with massive yields. Living soil cannabis plants tend to be healthier, happier, better-producing plants!
Super Soil vs. Living Soil
So now that we've broken down the basics of living soil let's dig into the difference between super soil and living soil. At its essential core, they might seem the same thing. There are some slight, subtle differences, however.
As we described above, living soil is naturally produced with rich microbiology full of diverse life, chemical compounds like sulfur, potassium, nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, and a variety of others. On the other hand, super soil is typically chemically altered soil.
Think about it like this. Super soil is a bodybuilder on steroids, and living soil is a natural lifter. Both will likely produce well-grown, high-yield cannabis plants, but living soil did it naturally while super soil used artificial help to get there!
Especially with something you're consuming like cannabis, the more natural and chemical-free route is almost universally better!
Tips for Maintaining Your Living Soil
So now that we know what living soil is let's give you some tips and tricks for maintaining and taking care of that soil to get the most bang for your buck. Here are a few simple ways to take care of your living soil and keep those homegrown cannabis plants strong and high-yielding!
Tip 1: Create a Watering Routine
Watering your plants is only about 20 percent of the water you need to give your soil. You'll also need to set time apart to care for and water your living soil, even between cannabis plant growing cycles.
A good rule of thumb is to think of your living soil on a scale of 1 to 10. If 1 is bone dry and 10 is muddy, wet, and swampy, you want the soil you're going to plant your cannabis in to be somewhere in the 3 to 7 range for as much of the day as possible. Whether you set up a sprinkler with automatic watering technology or do something as simple as setting a reminder on your phone every few waking hours to wet your soil, that will go a long way to keeping your living soil alive and thriving!
Tip 2: Start Composting
Instead of tossing out your apple cores, banana peels, and eggshells, you can put them to better use with your cannabis plants. For your living soil to keep living, it'll need a varied and diverse mix of organic material and nutrients for feeding. Thankfully, we here at Where's Weed are all about working smarter, not harder, so why not put your scraps to good use in producing top-notch cannabis plants!
It's good for your soil and plants being grown in that soil and is even eco-friendly. There are no downsides to using a little bit of compost.
Tip 3: Keep Things Simple, Don't Overthink It
Once you've done the work of creating a wonderfully balanced, nutrient-rich living soil, don't overthink it, you guys. Nature has been producing plants for MUCH longer than we humans have been around, so once you do the work to craft that living soil, don't go overboard.
Make sure you water your soil, get it tested to make sure its nutrient profile stays rich and diverse, and throw in some compost now and then, and you'll have top-notch growing soil to produce your plants! As long as you're willing to do baseline work and set some reminders on your phone, you'll have some healthy, high-yield plants in no time.