“In traditional agriculture, the soil is the mother. She’s the mother who gives, to whom you must give back.” ~ Vandana Shiva
We got a little punny, but soil is much more than dirt. Soil is comprised of minerals, organic matter and air in different ratios. It is vital for life for plant growth and habitat for insects and other organisms. It acts as a filtration system for surface water and so much more.
Conservation of soil is essential and using practices that promote soil health not only help the planet, but will help you grow better quality plants.
Soil contains all of the nutrients that your cannabis plants will require to thrive. If your soil does not contain the correct level of nutrients, then the plants will develop deficiencies. The major macronutrients cannabis needs are: Nitrogen, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, and Sulfur.
At a minimum, a quality soil includes good organic compost – including things like “meals” and worm castings (see below) and adds in vital nutrients with other natural materials.
According to Leafly,
“The least expensive way to do this is to use things like blood meal and fish meal for nitrogen, bone meal and bat guano for phosphorus, wood ash and kelp meal for potassium, dolomite lime for calcium and magnesium, and epsom salts as a source of magnesium and sulfur. “
**There are so MANY methods and ready-made products out there to help you grow … this just provides an overview on the basics of cultivating healthy soil.
For more information check out this article from Leafly – “What are the best nutrients for growing cannabis.”
A little more about preserving healthy soil before we go …
There are a myriad of ways to reduce soil erosion. These include: terrace farming, windbreaks, no-till practices, and crop rotation. Since we are focusing on cannabis – we will discuss one practice we use – worm castings.
Earthworms benefit soil health as they burrow under the ground and providing more area for water to collect. The excreta of the earthworms (worm castings) provide nutrients to the soil/plants. We swear by Earth Keeper Castings from Rocky Hill Landscaping in Wilton, Maine.