cannabis soil prep
cannabis soil prep

Soil Prep 101 - Getting Ready for Your Next Cannabis Crop

What type of soil should you use for marijuana plants and replanting the next cycle?

Posted by:
Reginald Reefer on Wednesday Mar 24, 2021

Soil Prep 101 – Getting Ready for Your Next Cannabis Crop

cannabis soil prep

We’re about to enter springtime and for those of you who engage in outdoor growing – this is a perfect time to start prepping your soil and getting ready to maximize your yields. Even if you are growing in pots or anything of the sorts, properly preparing your soil can greatly increase yields and both terpene and flavor profile.

When it comes to preparing your soil there is a delicate balance that needs to be maintained. Of course, ultimately weed is a plant and it will grow in any type of soil you give it, however if you don't make sure of some basic things your plant may fail to produce significant crop.

In this article we will be dealing with some of these “basic things” and some basic soil preparation techniques that will allow you to grow the best cloth for the lowest possible investment.

There are those who say that growing indoors is the optimal way of growing weed, however you can simply generate more quantity outdoors while maintaining optimal quality as well. In fact, as cannabis becomes more legal you will see a diminish of indoor operations as green houses will make more sense for the longevity of the industry.

While hydroponics is also a stellar choice for growing cannabis, soil is just more forgiving for rookie growers. But enough chit chat, let's get to preparing some soil.

The Basics of Potting your Pot.

When it comes to growing cannabis in a container, there are some basics that one needs to consider.

Size does Matter – the size of your container will determine the height and total amount of bud you can obtain from the plant. Thus, the final container will need to be large enough to sustain your crops.

Give it some air! – Your roots, while they love to live underground – still need to breathe! Many newbie growers fail to layer the pot correctly, resulting in the roots being suffocated and the plant dying. We’ll talk about interesting ways you can do this later in the article.

 Nutrient Rich – How to prep it with the right nutrients will allow your plant to receive everything it needs throughout the life cycle.


Now – if you’re a first-time grower, getting some neutral potting soil is probably your best bet. Simply take about 1/3 of the pot and add some perlite or coconut substrate to it with some sticks. This is meant for the roots to receive enough oxygen and not drown when you water the plants.

However, if you want to become more “sciency” when it comes to your soil, you can add micronutrients like guano, worm castings, Epsom salts, etc – except this would make your soil “Hot.

Hot Soil essentially is soiling that nutrient rich and should not be used on new seedlings or clones – as these would probably suffer from nutrient burn.


NPK Ratios for Vegging and Flowering

As a quick side-note, if you want to get real technical about preparing your soil – you can check out this detailed article from Royal Queen Seeds. In here they provide a basic snapshot of the two nutrient profiles of the soil during the different stages of the plant’s life cycle.

As a general rule of thumb, they encourage the following NPK for Vegging soil – N = 10 | P = 5 | K = 7. When we’re talking about vegetative stage we want – N = 5 | P = 18 | K = 5.

Prepping the Pot using Low-Key Methods

The following method I saw on Twitter where the grower took the stalks of the old cannabis plants and laid them out – he also used some of the old potting soil and mixed it with some of the newer potting soil.

Essentially, the bottom 1/3 of the pot is mixed with some large old stems and a bit of coco noir. Then, the rest is a mix with some old potting soil and then cover it up with the new soil at the top. As you water, the topsoil will release nutrients over time, continually feeding the plant.

You can use things like Coffee Grinds and bat guano to add some more richness to the topsoil – but it’s important to follow the rule of “less is more”. Often when you try to “boost your plant” you end up burning it or Nute-locking it, which then requires a lot of corrective growing.

How to get great topsoil!

Have you started your own composting? It’s easy and if you do a good job, by the time you need to plant your next crops – you’ll have some of the richest nutrients at your disposal, and all it costs is a bit of time and patience.

There’s plenty of ways you can go about composting, and if you’re growing cannabis – you can create cannabis-specific composting. For example, create two buckets and feed the “vegetative compost” items that would support its NPK ratio, and then for the flowering compost – you can add in things like bananas and other potassium rich foods to boost the potassium ratio for that compost.


The fact of the matter is that as with anything relating to cannabis – the soil rabbit hole is deep. You can literally become a soil master if you spend enough time. Some soil mixtures take months of prep work, creating the ideal conditions for your plant to thrive.

Nonetheless – this should give you some insight about prepping your soil. As mentioned, this is only the tip of the iceberg, meant to send you in the right direction.








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