A smart gardener or grower prepares his soil before any grow period. He adjusts his soil according to the demands of his crops to ensure that his plants can grow well, healthy and strong. Growing cannabis outdoors is no exception. You must adjust pH levels of the soil according to pH level requirements of cannabis to give their crops the ideal soil environment to grow healthy and strong.
First things first
If you are planning on growing marijuana outdoors then you must first check for soil pH. Initial testing will give you a baseline reading and make adjustments according to this reading. The different kinds of soil will also give you dramatic changes in pH which could be detrimental to your plant’s health if you do not do something before you plant. Ideally, cannabis will thrive in a slightly acidic soil with pH of 6.0 to 6.5.
Use a home soil pH testing kit to find out soil pH. Now that you know what marijuana plants prefer you can use lime to raise the soil pH or use elemental sulfur to bring the pH down. Water can also affect soil pH. If water you use for watering your plants is lower than 5.8 or higher than 7.1 then you must adjust the water pH before mixing your nutrient solution to feed your plants as well.
Outdoor marijuana plants also get water from rain which usually has pH of lower than 8. The average pH level of water is usually from 5 and 6. With the accumulation of CO2 levels in the atmosphere, you can expect rain water to become more and more acidic. If you are using rainwater for your plants, you can add nutrients in a large 55-gallon drum and then adjust the pH first before you feed your plants.
Type of soil that cannabis plants prefer
Most outdoor cannabis plant growers agree that the best type of soil for their crops is sandy loam soil. This type of soil provides good drainage of water because of its sand content and of course sand allows the plant roots to grow. Loam in this soil is rich in nutrients so cannabis plants will technically grow healthy and strong.
Gardens with clay soil may find it hard to grow cannabis because it is very hard for roots to penetrate hard and compact clay. Therefore this type of soil needs to be corrected. Clay is alkaline so measures to improve soil alkalinity should be used. Common organic treatments include the use of pine needles, coffee grounds and used tea bag contents; chop and combine all these can make a good soil amending solution for clay soil.
On the other hand, sandy soil is not a good type of soil to raise cannabis plants. Sand will provide drainage to plants but will not be able to hold water and nutrients. Sandy soil is therefore combined with loamy soil to achieve the right kind of soil to use for cannabis plants.