Growing cannabis organically allows growers to raise a high-quality product without the interference of chemical nutrients that can burn or kill the plants. To create a soil that provides the perfect environment, you’ll need a basic primer on how best to work with it and what nutrients are required to help your plants thrive.

There’s a large industry behind pre-mixed soils that all have something to offer in terms of convenience, but they can be expensive while lacking levels of specific nutrients you might want for your cannabis plants. For this reason, it’s important to truly understand what you want in your soil so that you can produce your own custom blend that costs less and contains all essential nutrients.

Follow these steps to better understand what makes ideal soil and how to build it in your own cannabis garden.

Step 1: Know What’s in Your Soil

Know what's in your soil

To build a quality soil, you first need to know what’s in it to begin with. When buying soil, you’ll see a list of ingredients and information on what nutrients are readily available in it. If you’re hoping to use soil that is already in your garden or being taken from another source, it’s impossible to readily know what is actually in that soil. To remedy this problem, you can submit a soil test that will give you a base understanding of what nutrients it contains.

Additionally, you can work your hands through the soil and get to know it. Is it compact or fluffy? Is it sandy or claylike? Does it hold moisture or is it dry? Are there worms and insects present? These are all things you can consider by simply using sight and touch.

Step 2: Find the Right Soil Amendments

Chicken manure

Once you’ve gotten to know your soil’s nutrient levels and texture, it’s time to add any necessary soil amendments. The basic building blocks for plants are based around N-P-K. This stands for nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). To build a strong healthy soil, it should have these nutrients readily available for your plants to absorb.

Nitrogen-Rich Nutrients:

1. Worm Castings

Providing a quick-release source of nitrogen for your plants while also introducing healthy bacteria, worm castings contain many micronutrients depending on where they are sourced from.

2. Crustacean Meal

A little slower to release than worm castings, crustacean meal adds nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, and chitin to your soil. Chitin-eating microbes will help keep nematodes at bay.

3. Bat Guano

Bat guano provides the highest levels of nitrogen and phosphorus of all these listed nitrogen amendments. It does wonders for sustained plant growth while diversifying the soil’s bacteria and microbes.

Phosphorus-Rich Nutrients:

1. Bone Meal

Bone meal generally comes from cattle bones, and it helps to keep phosphorus levels up. Keep in mind that your soil needs to be at a pH below 7 for bone meal to be most effective.