Soil or soilless for the beginner marijuana grower

Better soil soiless beginner cannabis growerI am kind of a beginner at growing marijuana. What’s better: soil or soilless mix? I thought maybe that soil provides more room for error. Can I use soil with the “sea of green” method?

I’ve seen inexperienced marijuana growers prosper and fall flat on their faces using both soil and hydroponics. Even so, soil and planting mediums are much more forgiving than hydroponic systems. Planting mediums create relatively weak bonds with excess nutrients. As the plant takes in and utilizes nutrients, the medium releases even more. This activity is fomented by microorganisms that take shelter on the surface of the medium.

You can find many hydroponic methods, and some are simpler than others. A system that includes a planting medium with granules that imitate soil (like perlite, lockwood, inert planting medium, and sand) is relatively simple to set up. Mediums with compost, worm castings, and peat moss have some buffering action and trap nutrients until they are needed. The most difficult systems to use are NFT and aeroponic systems, both of which need to be kept at ideal conditions for the marijuana plants to survive.

Occasionally, nutrient problems will plague hydroponic growers. Soil growers frequently have water and occasionally have nutrient problems. Each type functions adequately when done correctly. Read more about soil/hydro growing for beginners here. And make sure to visit our seedshop for high quality marijuana seeds.


I use a soilless mix called ProMix. I’m new to this so it’s counter-intuitive for me to look under hydroponics. What say ye?


I think it’s a great idea! I would love a tutorial when you have a chance.


tagging @garrigan62 @latewood


I use a soiless mix called sunshine #4
Would be good to have a category for it I think anyway.



First i would like to " Welcome You To ILGM "

@Barry1 I use Pro Mix well not Pro Mix but same thing different name.
I make my own soil less soil mix and use no nutrients at all.
If you need any help just tag me and i’ll be there ok

and that go’s for anyone else for that matter,



I’m starting a grow with Fox farm coco loco, and can’t find much about it just kindda going off pure coco and trying to learn to a just. I killed 2 clones before getting this one to root. Just starting nutes at 1/2 strength and to strong so going to 1/4.
Ph at 6.0
Hope this helps :v::alien:

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There’s not a whole lot out there and I for one am interested in the process.

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@Myfriendis410 and @Wishingilivedina420state

This is what i use and i have alot more on the subject to… believe me…lol

Soil LESS Mix

Mixing ammounts will veary dependeds on how much you make. read instructions on wach package for amounts.

Pro Mix BX

Then add-----

( Mexican Bat Guano )

(10-2-1) This type of guano is very high nitrogen. This makes it perfect for the vegetative stages of growth. Even when the plant is young it can be fed a dilute mixture if the soil happens to contain very little nutrients. This type of guano can be used throughout the vegetative stage of growth.

( Jamaican Bat Guano (1-10-0.2) This type of bat guano is high in phosphorus. It is perfect for the early-mid flowering cycle once females are well established. )


(because this stuff is so nutritious, the more the better).

Worm poop is gardening gold. Properly known as “worm casts”, what worms leave behind is actually
vital to the soil food web and is one of the key substances to maintaining healthy, nutrient-dense
soil for your plants. To quote fromSustainable World Radio:

“Research has shown that fresh earthworm casts are five times richer in available nitrogen,
seven times richer in available phosphates, and 11 times richer in available potash than the
surrounding upper six inches of soil. […]

Plant roots often seek out available earthworm casts. They follow the worm Burroughs and feed
on the nutrients in the available vicinity even if it means that the roots have to grow upward.”

While growers often spend a significant chunk of change on fertilizers throughout the grow cycle,
adding worm castings to your soil inundates them with the vital, natural nutrients they most desire.


This additive is a nice way to get some additional phosphorous and calcium to your plants. An abundance of phosphorus
is especially important once your plant has reached flowering phase. To again draw from Gardening Know How:

“Using bone meal will help your flowering plants, like roses or bulbs, grow bigger and more plentiful flowers.”

As a flowering herb, the added phosphorus from bone meal helps your plant produce buds that are nice and big.


Blood meal is yet another source of nitrogen. It’s also not vegan/vegetarian-friendly.
Blood meal is made from the dried blood of slaughtered animals, most predominantly cows.
Though the idea behind the fertilizer is a little unpleasant, its well-known natural gardening product.

Because it’s so nitrogen lush, it will help produce extensive growth during the vegetative phase.


7.) Kelp and/or humid acid

Marijuana growers are very smart gardeners. There are a lot of things that growers do to increase
their yields that actually helping to build healthy soil microbiology. Adding kelp meal and humic
acids are some of these tasks. Both of these natural products are fungal foods. The interaction
between your plants roots and soil fungus helps the plant produce the nutrients it needs to thrive.

Kelp also adds a significant amount of potassium and copper to your soil mix.

8.) Epsom salt

A lot of people use Epsom salt to increase magnesium in their soil. As mentioned earlier,
you want to be careful not to add too much. You don’t want to over do it with the magnesium.
However, if your plant is showing signs of a magnesium deficiency, this is a very quick and
easy way to add some back in. Magnesium iscrucial to the absorption of other key nutrients,
like nitrogen and phosphorous.

All about microbes

Subcool’s soil mixture is definitely a good one. As is probably obvious by the various additives
in this recipe, this soil is extremely nutrient-rich. It’s chuck full of natural fertilizers and
makes it easy on the plant to have its favorite nutrients right at its root tips, so to speak.
Many of the extra or leftover additives can then be diluted with water and sprayed on during
the grow cycle as fertilizer.

If there’s one downfall to this recipe, it’s that it relies heavily on organic additives over
encouraging microorganism growth. In a plant’s natural environment, they get vital nutrients
from synergistic interactions between the plant and other organisms in its ecosystem. Plants
photosynthesize sunlight into sugars, and these sugars are in turn secreted by the roots. This
is a much more consciousprocess than commonly believed.

A plant can make an extremely wide variety of sugars and secrete them to attract specific types
of bacteria and microorganisms to its roots. These bacteria then eat these sugars, called exudates.
Through the bacterial metabolic process, essential nutrients like nitrogen are created for the plant
to use. Yet, nitrogen isn’t the only nutrient created through this process. This is how much-needed
vitamins and trace minerals make it into your plant.

9.) Dolomite lime

Recommended amount: 1 cup

Dolomite lime adds calcium and magnesium to your soil. Like rock phosphate, dolomite is also
a kind of mineral rock. It’s used to counteract mineral leaching. It also helps keep the
soil from becoming too acidic. Be careful not to add too much, though. It has high calcium
to magnesium ratio, and you may risk adding too much magnesium to your plants.

Azomite (trace elements)

Azomite is a brand of trace minerals. It’s mined from volcanic rock and contains over
70 minerals and trace elements. This particular brand is mined in Utah and is used to
re-mineralize soil. The product contains everything from gold, silver, and selenium
to potassium, choline, copper and calcium. Adding a few trace elements into your
increases the diversity of nutrients available to your plantss.


Marijuana growers are very smart gardeners. There are a lot of things that growers do to increase
their yields that actually helping to build healthy soil microbiology. Adding kelp meal and humic
acids are some of these tasks. Both of these natural products are fungal foods. The interaction
between your plants roots and soil fungus helps the plant produce the nutrients it needs to thrive.

Kelp also adds a significant amount of potassium and copper to your soil mix.

And there you have it




Wow, that’s a lot of info. I feel like I’m taking a drink out of a fire hydrant. :laughing:
I kinda got lost on amounts.

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Thank you Will!

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Thanks @garrigan62 for the info. I my self use the Fox farm liquid nutrients , but i am thinking about switching over to the all natural feeding chart.

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I’ll be growing in ProMix BX

Canadian Sphagnum peat moss (75-85% by volume)
Dolomitic & Calcitic limestone (pH adjuster)
Wetting agent.

To that I want add worm castings
I’m growing in 5gal buckets
How much worm castings per bucket should I mix in?

You can aadd as much as you want. as a matter of fact as much as you want, plants love it and it will never hurt seedlings as a matter of fact they seek it out,



Hi @garrigan62 @latewood This topic is turning into an FAQ or some such. Maybe one of you can move it to a more appropriate section? :smiley:

Thanks for the help

@garrigan62, @hillbilly103, @Wishingilivedina420state, I’ve got a Jack Herer fem seed soaking in distilled water right now and I plan on doing soil-less for this one. My base is Roots Organics soilless mix and I’ll be using General Hydroponics Grow and Cal mag in, ultimately, air pots. What would you recommend for water ph in and out? What’s the sweet spot?


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I can’t recommend anything at this point because we’re in the same boat here.
I’ve been watering and feedingat ph 6.0
My plant is a GSCX clone , im just starting a full strength feeding using Fox farm nutes.
Haven’t needed any adons yet but sure I’ll need calmag and silica soon.


That’s what I was planning on. Thanks! I had thought about trying Hydro but I move my plants outside almost daily which makes techniques like SCROG and Hydro a p.i.t.a. haha.

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@Myfriendis410 why do you bring them out side so much just curious?