Selecting the Cannabis Grow Medium that’s Right for You
While the prices for an ounce of cannabis have fallen in states that have legalized it, the average price per ounce of high quality weed is $320 (sativa), and medium quality around $280 (indica). This has nevertheless resulted in individuals seeking ways to minimize their recreational and medicinal costs by growing their own cannabis. We won’t argue the merits of growing here, but suffice it to say that growing marijuana isn’t as easy as tossing a few seeds in a pot on the porch and waiting for nature to run its course. As a matter of fact, you may wind up with ditch weed, and who bothers to consume that anymore? In this article we will explore the grow mediums that best suit you, the budding (pun intended) grower.
Background on grow mediums
Before we delve further into grow mediums, it is important to consider whether you are looking for high or fast yields. For example, grow dispensaries or collectives such as those found in Colorado and California cultivate a multitude of plants dependent on the amount of members they cater to. Conversely, states that have legalized growing marijuana for recreational and/or medicinal use vary from 3 to 16 plants. Once you have determined how much you can legally grow, you are ready to decide on the best grow medium for yourself and/or your loved ones or best buds (darn the puns!). In addition, keep in mind that dependent upon your consumption, a maximum of three plants may be detrimental to your plans to cut down on costs. This is because once you harvest your cannabis, you have to begin the process all over again to remain compliant with the laws of the state wherein you reside. That said, let’s take a look at the major grow mediums: soil, soilless and other hydroponic/Bubbleponic mediums.
The more common method of growing cannabis is soil. Obviously, soil or compost is available darn near anywhere. This makes it not only practical but more than likely absolutely free. And while potting soil is also available in various stores, this can increase your costs of growing. The main thing you want to keep in mind is that you want to select a healthy soil. After all, the healthier your soil is, it follows that the healthier and more fruitful your plants will be.
Another important thing to consider is where you wish to grow: indoors or outdoors. Plants contained in pots or other vessels are not subject to pesky rodents that can destroy your yield, and furthermore permit you the grower to take full control over specifically what soil your plant(s) have access to. On the other hand, marijuana grown outdoors is not only able to grow particularly huge, but furthermore are able to extend their roots and really thrive in proper soil.
There are four primary types of soil: loam, clay, sandy and adobe. Let’s take an educated but brief peek at these various soils. Loam is the preferred soil as it is considered the “bestest” of the four. Loam is comprised of a mix of 40% sand, 40% silt, and 20% clay. What this means is that loam is simple to work with and your plants virtually self-serve themselves with the essential nutrients and water they require. On the other hand, clay is a soil that you should avoid. Not only does it consist of minute particles that cause the soil to condense, it consequently inhibits the necessary oxygen that any and all plant roots have need of to essentially and properly utilize the nutrients. Furthermore, your soil will act more like an asphalt slab and hence your water will run off the soil surface as opposed to actually entering the soil. Not good! Sandy soil is also somewhat of a problem inasmuch as it drains entirely too well, much like a sieve. Consequently, the water you feed your plants drains the essential nutrients your potential yield needs. Finally, adobe should be avoided as well. It is the worst of clay soils and much too difficult and time consuming to bring around to an optimal soil to grow your plants in.
Soilless mediums consist of coco coir, perlite, vermiculite, peat moss, and rockwool. These are not all excellent growth mediums, though some function similar to quality soil when you the grower feed them with the proper nutrients and water. This particular choice of a medium will deliver you with a higher yield and frequently permit faster growth rates. One of the more important advantages of this particular medium is that it is virtually impervious to various molds and troublesome bugs. Coco coir consists of fibers from the common coconut and is rich in nutrients. Two of the more vital benefits include the fact that it offers both soil and hydroponic growing. The downside is that coco coir does not provide your plants with all nutrients. Perlite and vermiculite are both commonly utilized in the cannabis growing business or for home growing since they are sterile and are not susceptible to various diseases like real soils are. They offer you the grower with plentiful ventilation and drainage, possess a relative neutral pH, and are comparatively reasonable when it comes to your cost outlay. Additionally, both are ideal for indoor growers, while those who opt to grow outdoors typically use them to lighten up their soil mixture. Some newbie growers use peat moss when it is readily available, but it is not recommended. This is because it breaks down entirely too quickly, condenses the soil, and furthermore creates a harmful lack of air for your plant roots by essentially choking them. Finally, rockwool is essentially rock that looks like wool. Imagine that. In fact, when you think of rockwool, think of the insulation in your attic. One of the benefits of rockwool when used in hydroponic growing is that the slabs may be used over and over again. In addition, you cannot overwater or drown your plants. On the downside, if there really is any, rockwool does require a grower to maintain the proper pH level as it is natural at 7.5 and needs to come down to around 6.5. That said, a grower should always keep an eye out with respect to maintaining a proper pH level when growing cannabis.
Besides soil and soilless mediums, as described above, your selected cannabis plants are additionally capable of growing directly in air or water which can provide you with the highest yield possible with a technique termed Bubbleponics. Think of this medium as much like an aquarium where you grow your plants. Bubbleponic users can expect a rapid growth rate when properly lighted indoors.
Now that you are aware of the various mediums, consider the yield you wish to achieve and get your grow on! Remember, consider your overall grow budget. If you happen to be new at growing cannabis and have a limited cash outlay, strongly consider soil or compost which is free or cheap, all dependent on where you live. On the other hand, if you are seeking a much higher harvest, go with a soilless medium which also provides faster growth. Finally, as a grower you can also opt to try your hand at learning the finer points of Bubbleponics by growing exclusively indoors. Whatever your choice, think it through in order to make the grow process less stressful, more enjoyable, and provide you with the best benefits.