Giving the soil a helping hand

I did a cursory search for Indoor Grows and the use of mulch for potted plants. I wasn't able to find anything specific so I'm gonna slap this here and hope I'm not punished by the Garden Ganja Gurus. (That's a joke btw).

Strain: 1 GRNCK, 2 LSD, ILGM seed bank.
Method: Soil = Fox farms ocean w/25%-30% perlite, hardwood ash (1 TBS per 15lbs).
Vessel: Cloth 3Gal pots
Where?: Indoors
Lights: 3 LED lights: 1). BloomPlus 600w full spec,
2). Giixer 400w full spec
3). Carambola 600w full spec.
(It sounds odd, I know, but it’s really working out excellent. My grow space is 2 ft X 3 ft X 4 ft so the lights actually cross each other foot print. No bleaching, no heat wilt, things are good)

Temps: Day 75-82, Night temps 65-73-ish
Humidity: Day 35%-55%, Night 40%- 55%
Ventilation: Yes, Dual 4 inch brushless fans to an exhaust port to the outside.
AC, Humidifier/ De-humidifier = YES, when needed. (only needed the AC a few days in Sept)
CO2: Yes, Raw sugar and yeast generator every 4 days. (CO2 ppm is roughly 900-1000 constant. Night times run a little higher @ 1300-1450 ppm CO2 if I don’t keep the vents on, with vents on it doesn’t spike above 1000ppm CO2).

No onto the subject of my post:

   This adventure started just 2 short months ago with a quirky "noobie" post and a whole lot of questions. I quickly found out how unprotected soils become hydrophobic in a short amount of time. Did some reading and purchased Agar agar. That worked for about a week and it was time for reapplication. Agar agar is messy so I wanted to go another direction. 

How about mulch, in the pots? Yes, that’s right, I said mulch.

 I want to keep my soil as healthy as possible, letting it go hydrophobic isn't healthy. I need my soil to last from seedling to harvest so I want a better alternative. I'm looking into Coco shells, cedar, hay, anything that will protect the very top layer of soil. 

Is there an agreement as to which mulch is best for our kinds of flowers, or is it just growers preference or choice? I’m leaning towards straw/hay or cedar.
Anyone have a bad experience with those selections?

(please keep in mind this is for a potted indoor plant).

Thanks in advance to those who read my post.


I’d run with cedar - no clue what’s in the hay you’re sourcing. Also cedar will repel insects and break down slower than hay


There are many mulches you can use for your plants. Straw works well, cedar or pine bark, some even grow clover or alfalfa to use as a mulch. The thing you are trying to accomplish is to keep the rhizosphere moist so all of your micro organisms will thrive. One thing I used last grow was leaves. I cut dried leaves and used those. You don’t have to worry about making sure all of the soil is covered. Let me see if I can find a picture of it.

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If I were to use a mulch I would use natural green mulch. This will not only help retain moisture in the soil due to less evaporation but it will also add to the living life of your soil.
~ I have seen some use the clay hydroponic beads. This would be my second option.
~ Ceder is good as it is a natural bug repellent. I personally don’t like it leaching into my soil.
~ Straw is alright but you will have grasses growing in your soil in no time.

Overall I decided not to go with any ‘mulch’ layers or coverings on the soil due to creating an extra habitat for pests and bugs to congregate. This to me well out wight the few benefits.