Modern farming techniques rely heavily on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, thanks to decades of non-sustainable growing and harvesting practices. Repeated planting of the same crops, over-use of the soil, and little attention given to soil health unless related directly to immediate crop yield have created a nutrient deficit throughout much of the country’s usable agricultural land. As a result, farmers rely on synthetic fertilizers for nutrients and chemical pesticides to protect their crops.
Learning from the commercial farming industry’s mistakes, many cannabis growers are using more sustainable production methods; including, using soil probiotics to naturally enhance their soil’s health. Living organic soil contains countless microorganisms working in harmony. They help process the soil, eliminate unwanted compounds, and create natural fertilizers that help produce healthy, abundant crops and high-quality crops.
Is It Better to Grow Cannabis in Soil?
Found growing naturally in the wild around the world, cannabis is a relatively hardy plant that has shown promise to thrive using various techniques. Some popular methods of growing cannabis include:
- Outdoor: The most ‘natural’ method of growing cannabis, outdoor grows typically utilize local soil or premixed bagged-soil. Outdoor growers may plant their plants directly in the ground, in raised beds, or in containers.
- Indoor: Indoor cannabis crops are typically planted in containers or long ‘troughs,’ utilizing pre-bagged soil mixes.
- Grow Closets: Grow closets are the latest fad for home-growers, a more sophisticated version of conventional clothing-closet grows. Grow closets create an ideal environment in which to grow cannabis indoors. Some grow closets are set up for soil growing, in which case premixed bagged soil is at hand. In contrast, other manufacturers design closets specifically for hydroponic growing.
- Hydroponics: Hydroponic growers plant their cannabis plants into a non-soil growing substrate. Then, deliver nutrients in the form of liquid fertilizers added to water. Hydroponic cannabis crops are grown indoors.
- Cloning: Cannabis clones are propagated cuttings from a ‘mother plant’ grown into adult female cannabis plants. Cuttings are propagated indoors.
Benefits of Growing Cannabis in Soil
With various growing methods available to today’s cannabis farmers, many say that the traditional technique of growing outdoors in the soil is undeniably the best. Some clear benefits of growing cannabis in soil under the light of the sun include:
- Larger crop yield: Cannabis is most naturally inclined to grow in soil with energy from the sun. Indoors, cannabis plants can consume enormous energy, making it difficult to give them what they need to reach full growth potential. Outdoors with the sun’s powerful light to help them grow, cannabis plants can become up to 2x larger than those grown indoors.
- Better terpenes and bud quality: Plants rely heavily on soil nutrients to reach their full potential. So, while receiving these nutrients in the form of supplements may be a reasonable replacement, it won’t produce the same high-quality results. In high-quality, healthy, nutrient-rich soil, cannabis plants can develop rich, complex terpenes that deliver a better high.
- Reduced costs: Growing in soil is the most affordable method of growing cannabis since it relies on the natural powers of the earth to fuel the growth of the crops rather than commercially available products. Cannabis producers that grow outdoors don’t need to worry about paying for expensive lighting, artificial fertilizers, bagged soil mixes, or any other overhead costs associated with growing indoors.
Hydroponic Cannabis vs. Soil Grown Cannabis
Hydroponics is one of the hottest new trends in commercial cannabis growing, marketed as a better way of delivering vital nutrients to cannabis plants. Because hydroponic cannabis plants do not plant in soil, their roots are exposed and able to receive nutrients added directly to their water supply. While this may be an ‘efficient’ way of delivering nutrients, it relies on chemical fertilizers and artificial additives rather than soil’s natural biodiversity. As such, hydroponic plants grow smaller, have less diverse terpenes, and possibly more prone to full-crop failure.
What is Living Organic Soil?
Living organic soil is soil fortified with beneficial bacteria and fungi that help digest and process the soil—ultimately making vital nutrients more bioavailable to plants grown in the soil. Soil not touched by commercial agriculture or construction is naturally rich in active microfauna, which helps fuel the growth of indigenous plant life. Farmers and gardeners who wish to increase their soil biodiversity often rely on compost or natural microbial additives to support healthy probiotic production.
Lactic Acid Bacteria
Lactic acid bacteria are among the most important bacteria present in organic living soil, helping to support healthy fertilizer uptake in plants while keeping disease and unwanted organisms at bay. Most importantly, lactic acid bacteria make nutrients from added compost more readily available.
What Probiotic Soil Products Can Help Support Cannabis Growing?
For growers interested in enhancing their soil’s natural probiotic content, the best products available come from ProCannaGro.
RAW Grow Stage Microbes
RAW Grow Stage Microbes is a formula blend designed specifically for plants in the grow/vegetative stage. valuable specifically for the flowering and blooming stage of growing cannabis plants. The variet of microbes is designed to promote root growth and nutrient availability during the grow stage. Simply add RAW Grow Stage Microbes to premixed soil or soil from your garden to enhance soil microfauna and turn your grow-medium into organic soil.
RAW Bloom Stage Microbes
RAW Bloom Stage Microbes is valuable specifically for the flowering and blooming stage of growing cannabis plants. Indeed, RAW Bloom Stage Microbes is a proprietary blend of beneficial fungi and bacteria that break down soil, making natural probiotics more bioavailable. Add to premixed soil or soil from your garden to enhance soil microfauna and turn your grow-medium into organic soil.
RAW Cane Molasses and Kalix Cane Molasses Soluble are two great highly concentrated, water soluble micronized molasses that gives all the benefits of liquid molasses without all the mess. Cane Molasses is an excellent source of carbon energy (food) for beneficial microbes. Both RAW and Kalix Cane Molasses are a beneficial supplement to all feeding schedules, and works in conjunction with all nutrient and feeding programs.
Ideal for catalyzing nutrient uptake, cleaning roots and giving you the benefit of microbes in soil, without soil, enzymes are perfect for adding living organics to a hydroponics grow. RAW Enzymes are uncut, tech grade, enzymes and are soluble and compatible with all nutrient programs, from hobby to professional, soil to hydroponics.
For commercial hydroponic growers, KALIX Enzymes are a great solution. These highly concentrated, technical grade blend of cellulase, xylanase, and beta-glucanase are used for cleaning the root zone and improving overall soil structure by converting dead plant matter into sugars and available minerals. This process of breaking down organic matter not only catalyzes nutrient availability, it also increases the health of the roots and soil – helping to prevent unwanted pathogens and maintain uptake potential. KALIX Enzymes are suitable for use in conjunction with all nutrient and feeding programs.