The Difference In Soil and Mixes For Growing Medical Marijuana

Soil, dirt, ground, earth—all names Medical Marijuana gardeners use to describe good old terra firma. But there are growing mediums in the farmers’ arsenal, known as “mixes,” that consist of none of the above. Mixes are not dirt, far from it. I have even heard so-called professional growers refer to mix as “dirt” at times … but it’s a misnomer. With manmade mixes, the grower determines what will flourish. In nature, the soil determines the outcome. There are important distinctions between the two, and understanding them from the get-go can save the beginner some grief.

But what is better for growing Medical Marijuana, dirt or mix? Let’s take a closer look at the real differences.

MIX

Mixes provide a neutral substrate for growing; they usually provide good aeration and water retaining properties as well—a nutrient free substrate that you can totally customize with feeding programs during the life cycle of your plants. We’ve all seen them at the local gardening center—stacks of compressed bails outside in the yard on skids. This is likely grow mix—with peat as the base and other substances such as perlite and vermiculite for aeration and mineral retaining properties, and maybe a fertilizer charge to get your plants started. Some of the popular brands amongst marijuana growers are Sunshine Mix and ProMix.

 

SOIL

All soils are not created equal. Acidic soils will suit certain plants, trees and shrubs that thrive in an acid environment, for example. Other crops or plants may fail in this environment.

Compost blends can fall into the category of dirt and can be very effective as well for growing medical marijuana. Adding beneficial bacteria and fungi to compost can be great. The microbes go to work on the compost and make all that great stuff in there bio available to the plant, but they are heavy and hard to lug around if you have to travel any distance to your garden. .

Turning and amending the existing soil can yield good results if you can stabilize the ph. Usually a handful of lime can do the trick. If the soil is dark with humus, it is likely to already be very fertile and rich in nitrogen. If it is light and dusty it is likely poor in base nutrients. The problem here, as with compost, is you don’t know the existing elements in the soil so you are not starting with a clean slate if you want to add micro or macro nutrients.

So there you have it. Soil versus mix. So, next time you see those bales sitting outside the local garden shop, please don’t ask the attendant how much their “dirt” is?

 

Check out Brown Dirt Warriors cult film on growing here.

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