Any big box garden center stocks and sells prepackaged soil for gardens. You’ll find soils for African violets, rose gardens, succulents, and more. I have always had the suspicion that it’s all the same dirt, but the packaging says otherwise.
Fortunately, there is an organic nursery nearby, and they display their respective soils in different bins with extensive descriptions of contents and recommended use. They even recommend mixing soils in recipes for better results. And, they ask for feedback online about their recommendations. It would be nice if there was such a “dirt store” stocking super soils for cannabis growers.
Just what is super soil?
According to Way to Grow, “Super soil is a term coined by well-known grower and seed producer Subcool to describe a soil recipe he uses to help simplify the process of attaining an ideal harvest no matter your level of growing expertise. It is a highly amended growing medium that eliminates the need to use liquid nutrients.”
The recipe starts with a base of organic soil, balanced but with no additives.
- Roots Organics Coco Soilless Mix mixes the highest quality coco fiber/coir which is repeatedly washed, composted for over twenty-four months, and specially blended with extra-long fibers, perlite, and pumice. It has a light touch of organic fertilizers like bat guano, worm castings and kelp designed for heavy feeding and high performance.
- SunGro’s Sunshine Mix 4 uses Canadian sphagnum peat moss, coarse perlite, starter nutrient charge, dolomitic limestone and long-lasting wetting agent. Subcool warns it may not meet his just-add-water approach.
- Fox Farm’s Ocean Forest remains a popular option for cannabis gardeners with its blend of premium earthworm castings, bat guano, and Pacific Northwest sea-going fish and crab meal, composted forest humus, sandy loam, and sphagnum peat moss.
- Nature’s Living Soil also owes its origin to Subcool. You mix Organic Super Soil concentrate with organic potting soil. Non-GMO and responsibly sourced, Nature’s Living Soil eliminates the need to use liquid nutrients.
- Organic Plant Magic may be more commercially available and less sophisticated than other recommendations. But, for average home gardeners, it does the job or serves as a good mix with amendments. It claims more than 55 trace minerals as well as beneficial microorganisms.
Super Soil recipes
Subcool’s 100-gallon recipe calls for a lot of ingredients, but it would supply over 15 7-gallon containers. You can adjust ratios for your potting plans:
- 8 large bags of base soil
- 25 to 50 lbs. of organic worm castings
- 5 lbs. steamed bone meal
- 5 lbs. Bloom bat guano
- 5 lbs. blood meal
- 3 lbs. rock phosphate
- ¾ cup Epson salts
- ½ cup sweet lime (dolomite)
- ½ cup azymite (trace elements)
- 2 tbsp powdered humic acid
But, Subcool and TGA Seeds regularly modifies the mix. AgZaar recommends a mix in terms of percentages to make planning easier:
- Compost: 15% of total volume
- Worm Castings: 15% of total volume
- Peat: 30% of total volume
- Scoria: 30% of total volume
- Biochar: 10% of total volume
Nutrients and Minerals:
- Crustacean Meal: ½ cup per 1 cubic foot
- Neem Seed Meal: ½ cup per 1 cubic foot
- Kelp Meal: ½ cup per 1 cubic foot
- Glacial Rock Dust: 1 cup per 1 cubic foot
- Gypsum Dust: 1 cup per 1 cubic foot
- Oyster Shell Flour: 1 cup per 1 cubic foot
- Basalt Dust: 1 cup per 1 cubic foot
Add-ons and Extras:
- Endomycorrhiza powder: enough to cover plant roots entirely
- Worm Castings: 1 cup per 4 square feet surface area
- Cover crop mix: enough to seed all your pots
Obviously, choosing and mixing your own ingredients takes expertise, patience, and labor.
So, why bother with Super What Is Super Soil?
Super Soil uses nature’s processes to cultivate healthier cannabis plants without synthetic additives and fertilizers. It uses nature’s microorganisms to break down organic material and convert it into micro and macronutrients. It balances acidity, aeration, and moisture to nurture and boost cannabis plants throughout their life cycle. Super soils also reduce costs by eliminating the need for fertilizers, lowering water needs, and pH issues.
Where plant growers might be satisfied with height and color, home growers and farmers seek a super soil that ensures better tasting, more potent, and larger buds. Organic nutrient systems contain trace elements of cobalt, chlorine, nickel, and sodium, all of them demonstrated to be beneficial for higher plants such as cannabis but are often overlooked in commercial feeds. And, an ecologically-derived it is safer for the environment and leaches fewer toxins into the plants and buds.
Super soil-grown cannabis produces superior flavor and aroma because the micro-environment optimizes the quantity and quality of terpenes and terpenoids the aromatic compounds that give cannabis their fragrance. The more abundant and plumper these compounds, the more flavorful the cannabis packed with citrus, sweet, spicy, and woodsy aromas and flavors.
Organic soil creates its own ecosystem. It is chock full of bacteria, fungi, and other constructive microscopic organisms. Their respective life cycles contribute to the continuing richness of the super soil.
The right super soil mix facilitates nitrogen fixing and water retention, stimulates growth, and prevents root diseases. Sensi Seeds recommends, “Making your own super-soil and leaving it to mature for around thirty days before use allows an abundance of fungi and other beneficial microorganisms to establish a niche and populate the soil.”
How can it help grow your cannabis plants?
The Subcool recipe has been tweaked and reinvented. It has been analyzed and criticized. But, it remains the go-to basic soil to build your garden and farm. It’s more than you need for growers raising a few plants on the windowsill or in the grow room. But, its ingredients and logic hold up well enough that you can easily prepare small batches for your needs.