Have you always wanted to grow your own cannabis but didn’t have the means – or didn’t know where to start? In that case, you’ve arrived at the right place with these a Pot for Pot reviews, accompanied by growing guidance on how to grow the healthiest marijuana plants you’ve ever seen.
A Pot for Pot is the ideal solution for getting a cheap grow setup going – indoors or outdoors.
Offering ideal solutions for growers of all calibers, this article intends to show how growing pot with a Pot for Pot will save you money and bless you with the green grass of home beyond your wildest dreams.
Let’s dig into this company, their excellent cannabis grow kit offerings, and various sections that will help you grow the best cannabis alongside Pot for Pot.
How to Grow Pot Indoors and Save Money
One of the best weed growing tips you will ever receive has to do with how to grow pot indoors and save money while you’re doing it. Growing weed from seed and growing it indoors can be extremely satisfying and fruitful once you get the basics and get your green fingers ready to grow with A Pot for Pot weed growing kits.
Rest assured, a small weed plant won’t stay small forever! So be patient when growing weed indoors. With that said, A Pot for Pot has a whole website dedicated to help you along your growing journey. Growing weed indoors step by step is a good way to go – and we’ve summed it up in the following section.
Growing Weed Indoors Step by Step
1. Plan for your garden
In this regard, auto-flowering seeds are a great idea, but if you want to go fem, it’s your prerogative! First, choose whether you will be growing cannabis indoors or outdoors. You’ll need to consider the pros and cons of each.
2. Acquire your A Pot for Pot Kit
Each kit will be reviewed in this article to make it easy for you to choose. Simply decide how big you want to go and choose the appropriate kit for your requirements, wants and needs.
3. Germinate your cannabis seeds
There are plenty of ways to germinate that promising seed of yours, but a premade seed germination kit such as the one provided by A Pot for Pot is the recommended route. Simply moisten the medium, insert the seed(s), and water. Once your seed sprouts, you can place the entire thing into your pot for the easiest transition.
4. The vegetative stage Marijuana
Once your marijuana seedlings develop a pair of leaves, they have entered the vegetative stage. During this stage, cannabis plants are focused on growing bigger and stronger in preparation for the coming flowering stage. You need plenty of light during this phase.
Also, ensure that the temperature in your growing space is a bit warmer than room temperature. That means between anywhere between 68°F and 86°F. The long hours of light will make your plants thirsty, so be sure to give them plenty of water and monitor the moisture level and adjust accordingly.
5. Flowering stage Marijuana
When flowers start to appear, you’ll know you’ve safely and officially entered the flowering stage. This important phase in the life of your cannabis plant lasts until you harvest your prized treasure.
During this stage, your plants get large and bushy – and you may train them by trimming and/or bending the leaves so there is a flat canopy on top. Applying this technique allows ample light to reach your plant for optimal and desirable results.
If you did not purchase feminized seeds, or you are unsure of the sex of your plant, you’ll need to confirm that it’s female, but how do you know? It’s simple. Just look at the junction of the branches and look for wispy white strings emerging. If so, you’re either in luck or have become a master grower!
6. The cannabis harvesting stage
Preparing for harvesting is pivotal to the success of your grow with A Pot for Pot. Yellowed leaves should be removed from the plant before harvesting the buds. Try to isolate the plants in a ventilated room to initiate the process, and be sure to gather the following necessary tools;
Trimmers – Use a handheld or electrical trimmer, although the former is recommended because they allow for more manual control and precision.
Gloves – Prevent cross-contamination and unwanted odors on your hands
Lines for hanging your plants or a drying net
Small clothespins or ties to hang the plants with.
Trim trays – These aren’t essential, but can help make harvesting more organized.
Isopropyl alcohol to keep your area nice and clean.
7. Trimming Weed
Those who trimmed their weed when it was still wet won’t have to worry about this step. However, if you’ve dried your cannabis first, you’ll notice that those adjacent sugar leaves have curled in tightly to the buds.
The next thing you want to do is remove those dried leaves, and because this is an intricate process, it is best done with the hand. A Pot for Pot’s trimming scissors are perfect for this task. When you are growing for yourself, it makes a lot more sense to trim your weed while it is wet, since the leaves are not too tightly curled around the buds yet.
However, wet trimming leads to faster drying, so be sure to keep an eye on the process. As for professional operations, they use dry trimming because it’s more efficient with trim machines. The best thing to do is to weigh the pros and cons of wet trimming vs. dry to select what will be best for your desired outcomes.
If applicable to your operations, you can use either distilled water or water with a flushing agent to remove the left-over fertilizer, which can give cannabis a harsh taste or chemical smell. Also, be sure to start this process a week in advance of starting harvest.
8. The Marijuana Drying phase
Hang your buds evenly, and make sure there’s good ventilation for about 3-6 days at 50% humidity. Sooner than later, the stems will start to snap instead of bend when they are properly dry. Then, it’s time to finish trimming.
9. The Weed Curing Phase
Now that you have harvested, dried, and trimmed your weed it’s time for the final stage: the curing process. What is the main goal of curing? It is to emphasize the flavor and potency of your weed. This is achieved done by letting the buds evaporate the remaining moisture via a slow-drying process.
Curing is also necessary to make the weed last longer. After harvesting, bacteria break down the sugars and starches of your crop, in other words, the curing process helps the plants use helpful sugars and starches before they dry out in order to stay preserved. To cure your weed properly, place them loosely in opaque glass containers or mason jars.
If you can’t find opaque containers, mason jars will work, but be sure to keep them out of the light. Next, cover your jars tightly and store them in a dark room.
In the initial days of curing, be sure to open the jars for a few moments before closing them up again. This is sometimes done for means of condensation so that all the left-over moist is replaced with fresher air.
As the curing process continues, adjust how often you open the jars. Once your weed has been cured for longer than a month, you can reduce this frequency to once every 5-7 days. As the weed cures, the moisture inside the flowers is moved to the surface by capillary action. Privilege
This is the moisture that forms the condensation on the walls of the container. Another method for curing cannabis involves placing the buds in a paper bag. This process helps prevent mold by removing excess moisture. The paper also absorbs excess wetness and allows the weed to cure.
Here follows a friendly reminder not to put too much in one bag, but rather to place the bag horizontally, spread out the buds evenly and fold over the side that’s open.
Another way to avoid mold is to use a pre-made humidity packet that will also avoid your precious yield from drying out. These packets can last for up to several months, so no replacing is necessary.
You can look forward to perfectly cured weed after about two months’ time, and at that time, the flavors, potency, and other nutrients will be at their highest levels.
Kindly sample your weed from time to time to determine whether it has reached the desired potency and taste. If your weed isn’t cured properly, its quality will degrade rapidly, and it may not be as potent as it could have been.
If you want to know how to grow a weed plant, you’d better know it has a lot to do with lighting. You’ll want to ready your lighting system for growing weed indoors step by step with A Pot for Pot. If you live in a house that gets very little direct sunlight, or a place where it rains 300 days out of the year, a Pot for Pot has your back.
Luckily even in these kinds of environments, you can easily grow great cannabis with a natural spectrum COB LED grow light. And a Pot for Pot offers one of the best on the market.
A 75-watt LED light emits the ideal, optimal wavelength to grow your plants abundantly indoors. This light is not only affordable, it’s also highly efficient and energy-saving, too.
Grow lights from A Pot for Pot are specifically designed for growing a small number of marijuana plants and are conveniently priced well under $200. This reasonable pricing proves that high-quality lighting need not be expensive.
Luckily the prices of LEDs have reduced since it first gained momentum – when the technology was still fairly new. The growing industry has certainly come a long way since then.
Learn How To Grow Cannabis!
Think about how expensive new technology like smartphones was when they first came out, and it often wasn’t worth it. But now, it’s a different story. A Pot for Pot’s LED grow lights can be bought individually alongside any Grow Kit.
A Pot for Pot 75-Watt LED lights are perfect for a pot with a 1.5 sq ft of canopy, while multiple of these lights can be used for larger grows.
Did We Mention the Money to Be Saved??
When you buy a Pot for Pot, you not only save loads of money, but you also acquire the skills required to grow your own cannabis well into the future and beyond.
But what does that mean? You can kick dispensaries to the curb and save a budload of cash to use for other purposes. For example, with a Pot for Pot‘s 5-gallon kit grow, you can grow up to 8 oz of flower for only $99!
Of course, the equipment is a once-off investment, and compared to the cost of your average retail cannabis running at $79 per an eighth of an ounce – you can do the math for yourself and realize the boundless potential of growing your own weed.
Moreover, because a Pot for Pot partners with I Love Growing Marijuana (ILGM), you will have access to coupons with every kit, so you don’t even have to save up for seeds.
Getting Your Grow On – With a Company That’s Got Their Pots in a Row!
This company comprises a group of passionate farmers and industry veterans who have been growing pot for years, and are just as passionate about teaching others how to grow their own pot. A Pot for Pot was started with the intention to empower people to grow their own medicine, and to combat the stigma it’s difficult to do.
A Pot for Pot has been approached by countless home enthusiasts who want to start small, but don’t know quite where and how to start. Overwhelmed with a plethora of information, most folks tend to think there must be some secret sauce to growing great buds, but there isn’t, really! Not with A Pot for Pot by your side, at least.
This booming company has created a kit for everyone and anyone to grow their own quality cannabis at home. Everything you need to grow your tops shelf bud is in the box. Add water, seed, and sun – and lots of love – and you’ll be the master of your own destiny in no time.
The simple directions that come along with A Pot for Pot take you through the process step-by-step, which makes it easy for you to grow your own natural herbs right at home.
Everything came full circle with this idea when the founder was a teenager and his Dad’s business partner caught him trying to germinate a seed in the boiler room.
The founder of A Pot for Pot has always had the belief that cannabis can have a profound impact on our culture by expanding our minds and healing our bodies, and we fully agree.
In 2009 the founder moved back to the USA, from England, to attend college in Santa Cruz. There he learned you could legally grow cannabis, this blew my mind, and it did not take him long to build up from a hobbyist grower to growing full time – and running a business!
If you’re looking for a ‘grow your own weed kit’, today is your lucky day! Growing weeds from seeds is easy with A Pot for Pot. When you grow at home, you save money, protect the environment, and avoid harmful artificial pesticides and other nasty stuff. We believe everyone should experience the joy of growing your own home stash!
These cute kits will brighten any home and are super fun and easy to grow. The 1/2 Gallon Mini Kit is designed for indoor or outdoor growing, can be powered by the sun or an LED lamp. Under the right conditions, you can harvest up to one ounce!
It contains everything you need. Just follow the simple guide and you’ll be growing your very own bonsai cannabis plant and enjoy the fruits of your labor in no time! Add only water, one auto-flowering seed, and sun. The included living soil blend provides all the sustenance your plant needs to grow beautifully from seed to harvest.
A Pot for Pot has poured all of their knowledge and experience into a box so you can learn to grow faster and easier. With this particular cannabis growing kit, you get an extensive growing guide, fabric smart pot, seed germination kit, nutrient-dense soil, and a cute little watering can!
This cannabis grow kit is perfect for the first-time grower and for the green thumb who wants to learn more – and undoubtedly one of the best weed growing starter kits available for your convenience. The 2 Gallon Kit is designed to be placed indoors or outside – with sun or artificial lighting such as LED.
It contains everything you need to have a healthy harvest at home. Just follow our simple guide and you’ll be saving a bucketload of cash. Only add water, one seed, and sun. The included living soil blend provides everything your plant needs to grow beautifully from scratch.
These plants can grow up to four feet tall and yield up to four ounces. Here’s what you get with the Small Complete Pot Grow Kit from A Pot for Pot:
These A Pot for Pot reviews wouldn’t be complete without including a review of the Medium Pot Grow Kit. This marijuana starter kit is perfect for the first-time grower and for the green thumb who wants to take their skill to the next level.
This 5 Gallon Kit is designed for indoor or outdoor growing setups, and can be powered by the sun or artificial light. Feel free to use auto-flowering seeds, regular seeds, or clones.
It contains everything you need to have a healthy harvest at home. Follow our simple Grow Guide and you’ll save money while enjoying your own clean, green stash in as little as 80 days!
Just add water, seed, and sun. The included living soil blend provides all the food your plant needs from seed to harvest. Here’s what you get with the Medium Complete Pot Grow Kit:
$40 Seed Coupon
5 Gallon Fabric Pot
Pot Drain Saucer
Seed Germination Kit
Superb Soil (x2)
Diatomaceous Earth (Large)
Aeration Top Soil Mix (Large)
Coco Bricks (x2)
Smartphone Camera Len
Natural Leaf Shine
Watering Can / Spray Bottle
The Medium Kit includes a generous Seed Coupon to discount your separate seed purchase. We recommend using auto-flowering seeds as they make it easy to harvest around about 3 months, regardless of your light cycle. This means you can plant it almost any time of the year and safely expect it to grow up to four feet tall with a yield of up to a good eight ounces!
If you want to know how to grow a marijuana plant successfully, this kit can very easily become your new bestie. A Pot for Pot’s large grow kits are specifically designed to grow regular cannabis seeds that will grow up to staggering heights with seriously dank buds.
Just follow the simple guide and you will be enjoying your own green flowers in no time! The included living soil blend provides all the extra nutrients your plant needs to grow abundantly from seed to harvest. Here’s what you get with the Large Grow Kit from A Pot for Pot:
$40 Seed Coupon
35 Gallon Fabric Pot
Pot Drain Saucer
Mini 0.5 Gallon Starter Pot
Superb Soils (x3 Large)
Diatomaceous Earth (Large)
Aeration Top Soil Mix (Large)
Coco Bricks (Large)
Smartphone Camera Lenses
Natural Leaf Shine
Clover Cover Crop Seeds
The large kit includes a $40 Seed Coupon that reduces your charge on any online seed order of 5 seeds and more. For the Large 35 Gallon Kit, it is recommended that you use regular seeds which perform best when planted outside in direct sunlight.
There are over 300,000 jobs in the cannabis industry. CTU trained me for one of them!
– Johanna Rose Makes $24.50 @ THC +
This type of seed begins to flower when the light hours are equal to the dark hours. This means it will start to flower after about 4 months of growing. These plants can grow eight feet tall and yield up to an entire pound of premium flower or more.
Alternatively, auto-flowering seeds make it easy for you by flowering after about 3 months, regardless of the light cycle. These plants can grow up to six feet tall and yield up to eight ounces. Note, these kits are privacy-wrapped for discretion before being mailed to you.
Whether you’re a first-time grower or a seasoned veteran, this pot-growing kit has everything you need to grow robust, thriving cannabis right at your own home.
This contains all the ingredients to add another pot to your grow, or it slots right into your existing grow tent. Their included Superb Soil blend makes growing a pleasure, and only requires water, seed and sun.
The plants you grow with this kit can grow up to ten feet tall and yield up to a whopping five pounds.
Note that all kits are privacy-wrapped for discretion before being mailed to your doorstep.
If you’re growing outside or in a tent, this kit simplifies the process. Plus, the living soil blend naturally grows healthy plants full of flavor. Here’s what you get with the Expansion Cannabis Grow Kit:
$40 Seed Coupon
2- or 5-Gallon Fabric Pot
Pot Drain Saucer
Seed Germination Kit
Aeration Top Soil Mix
The better the soil and the lighter you have, the better your plants will grow. To make it easy, a Pot for Pot blends over 18 different ingredients into their Superb Soil so that it provides all the nutrients needed to go from a seed or clone into a beautiful budding plant.
A Pot for Pot includes everything you need to grow weed from seed – all through to the harvesting stage.
Remember that the cheapest way to grow pot does not mean skimping on certain things.
Don’t be a maximalist, but make sure to provide your plant everything it needs.
In addition to everything you get with A Pot for Pot, soil nutrients and natural pest control will increase your yield and help you get more bang for your buck.
Also be sure to follow the instructions provided with your cannabis growing kit for best results.
Within and between the lines of these A Pot for Pot reviews, you will have hopefully come to new knowledge pertaining to any previous questions you might have had regarding a weed growing starter, or how to grow your own weed kit – or perhaps you wanted to brush up on growing pot plants that pack a punch of potency and aroma.
Just imagine the following scenario for a moment: You stand gobsmacked at the rows of perfect cannabis plants your neighbor has got growing in their backyard. You’d better know that the nugs he blesses you with here and there are physical proof of his green thumb. You envy him and covet his plants and secretly curse your inability to keep plants alive. But hey, don’t swear off gardening just yet!
Where there is a weed, there is a way. And these “all you need to grow” kits from A Pot for Pot are just what Dr. Greenfinger ordered! A flawless way to grow the plants you were meant to smoke; it’s time to show that fellow grower a thing or two and be the gardener you were meant to be with A Pot for Pot’s easy-to-use growing setups.
Across North America, something called Hop Latent Viroid (HLV) is wreaking havoc. This virus-like infection can make plants sickly and destroy harvests. It’s highly contagious. Studies have estimated that perhaps 40% of cannabis flower sold legally in Canada carries HLV. As much as 90% of cannabis in California might be infected, costing billions of dollars in lost yields. What exactly is Hop Latent Viroid (HLV), how does it work, and what can growers do to protect their precious Cannabis plants?
Hop Latent Viroid: What are viroids & How are they different than viruses?
Viruses are tiny infectious agents. They can infect animals, plants, or single-celled organisms. They are much smaller than even a bacteria cell, consisting of a small piece of genetic material (DNA or RNA) protected by a protein shell. These protective shells help preserve the genetic material of the virus and contain various proteins enabling them to infect specific host cells.
Viroids are similar to viruses, but different in key ways. Viroids do not have a protective protein shell. Instead, they are small circular strands of RNA. They seem to specialize in infecting flowering plants. In other words, they are tiny, “naked” pieces of genetic material that infect certain plant species, causing disease. When they infect valuable crops grown by humans, such as Cannabis, this can have a devastating economic impact.
The “goal” of viruses and viroids is the same: replication. They cannot reproduce on their own. They must come into direct contact with the right host cell, smuggle their genetic material inside, and hijack the cell’s replication machinery. Eventually, the host cell fills up with viral particles and bursts open. When you get sick with a viral infection–such as COVID or the common cold–it’s because your immune system is responding to a large number of these viral particles circulating throughout the body.
Marijuana seedling and plant care
Hop latent viroid: What does it do to cannabis plants?
Hop Latent Viroid is a viroid that infects hop plants, which are used to brew beer. Cannabis is a relative of hops. In recent years, HLV jumped from hops to Cannabis. Infected plants show various defects, ranging from stunted growth and reduced foliage to uneven trichome coverage and decreased cannabinoid production–symptoms of what’s been called “duds disease.” This is a huge problem for cannabis growers, whose livelihoods depend on reliably growing healthy, cannabinoid-rich plants with bountiful harvests.
Cannabis plants infected with HLV show obvious outward defects: smaller overall sizes, reduced root development, and discoloration. Here are some pictures. They have smaller flowers (the part of the plant meant for human consumption), and can produce up to 50% fewer cannabinoids, like THC.
How does hop latent viroid (HLV) spread in cannabis
Similar to viruses, viroids like HLV need to come into direct contact with their hosts to infect them. Cannabis plants can catch HLV when they come into physical contact with infected plants. Although HLV doesn’t infect humans, we can spread it between plants through contact with body surfaces, tools, or equipment. Contaminated water supplies are also a major source of infection, as HLV tends to concentrate in the roots.
All of these potential points of infection enable the rapid spread of HLV, as Cannabis plants are often grown in high density, require human contact at multiple points of the production process, and can be connected to common water supplies (e.g. in hydroponic systems).
Hop latent viroid can also spread from mother plants to offspring, both through clones generated by taking cuttings and through seeds. All offspring can potentially carry HLV if their parent is infected. This makes it essential to identify infected plants, even if there are no obvious outward signs of infection or you’re working with tissue culture systems with physically isolated samples.
Because HLV is so contagious, it has already spread widely and caused mass losses for Cannabis growers. It is likely to continue spreading. Growers must be prepared.
How can growers protect against hop latent viroid (HLV)?
Whether or not growers are already battling HLV, they need to have processes in place to test and remove infected plants. It is obviously important to learn how to visually identify potentially infected plants, but it’s always possible to miss subtle signs.
As far as I can tell, the only reliable way to be sure whether plants are infected is to conduct genetic testing, similar to what would be done to detect something like COVID infection in yourself. A sample must be taken from a potentially infected individual and subjected to a laboratory test capable of detecting the presence of genetic material from a particular pathogen.
For Cannabis growers, this means either developing in-house capabilities and purchasing test kits, or sending samples out for testing elsewhere. Any plants known or suspected to be infected with HLV need to be immediately removed to prevent the spread of infection. Plants in close proximity, even if they show no signs of infection, should be quarantined or monitored closely.
Dr. Zamir Punja’s research team has conducted studies looking at how well HLV infections can be managed using a test-and-remove approach. They were able to reduce the percentage of infected plants from 35% to 7% over a period of seven months. In other words, handling a HLV outbreak is likely to be costly in terms of time, labor, and money. For commercial Cannabis growers, it is advisable to have a robust detection process in place, before isolated infections turn into full-blown outbreaks. Being diligent could mean the difference from a few infected plants vs. the loss of an entire harvest.
Other preventative measures should also be taken. HLV is surprisingly stable on surfaces, with the ability to survive for days or even weeks on equipment or plant material. This viroid is also apparently capable of withstanding high heat, UV radiation, and disinfectants to some extent. For these reasons, growers need to be proactive and conscientious about hygiene. Are tools and equipment being fully sterilized between uses? Are supplies and staff traveling between rooms with different plants? How often are disposable items being reused and thrown out?
Identifying bud rot, mold, and root rot on marijuana plants
Any large-scale growers with high-density grow operations should be prepared, especially if their plants share common water supplies, nutrient sources, and soil. Given the rapid spread of HLV, Cannabis cultivators everywhere should be prepared. As I’m sure we all know by now, viral outbreaks are difficult to manage and can be highly disruptive. Growing Cannabis is hard. It’s a science and an art form. In an already competitive market with slim profit margins and the inability to deduct normal business expenses due to the schedule I legal status of marijuana, every harvest counts.
It’s that time of year: the weed plants are flowering but the first storms of fall threaten to damage your garden.
Southern California had the Tropical Storm Hilary coincide with an earthquake. Multiple inches of rain fell in the course of day. Winds howled. On the East Coast, hurricane season is warming up, throwing wind and water at East Coast gardens.
We jumped on the phone with master of cannabis horticulture, Ed Rosenthal, for some first aid plant tips. He said a lot of plant first aid is analogous to human first aid. You have to treat and disinfect wound sites, and bind and support broken branches. Tips we cover:
Shake your plants out to get water off the flowering buds
Give your plants an air dry—especially the buds
Wrap stem breaks and support the injured plant—like a limb on a crutch
Re-cover exposed roots to keep them wet and covered from the air
Cut away any majorly injured parts, and disinfect the cut site with an alcohol pad
Spray potassium bicarbonate to deter mold and mildew
Reapply bacillus thuringiensis to deter pests
Listen along for details on the actions you can take to save your crop. Good luck to all the growers—may you have a happy, terpy, bountiful harvest.
How to order weed delivery online with Leafly
Leafly Senior Editor David Downs is the former Cannabis Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. He’s appeared on The Today Show, and written for Scientific American, The New York Times, WIRED, Rolling Stone, The Onion A/V Club, High Times, and many more outlets. He is a 2023 judge for The Emerald Cup, and has covered weed since 2009.
Living soil is all the rage in cannabis cultivation. Think it’s just a marketing term? Think again: A new study conducted by Columbia University and a group of cannabis farmers compared indoor, hydroponically grown cannabis versus outdoor cannabis grown in living soil.
Cannabis grown outdoors boasted a significantly greater diversity of cannabinoids and a greater quantity of terpenes. Have we got your attention? Let’s dig in (pun very much intended).
Most people confuse soil with dirt,” says Dr. Elaine Ingham, one of the world’s leading soil biologists. “But they’re different things entirely.”
Devoid of any organic matter, dirt is simply broken-down parent rocks. “They’re simply a mineral component,” she says. You might know your soil to be sandy, silty, or clay, but all three terms are merely textural descriptions. Out of balance, they can make gardening difficult, but even when they’re in ideal proportions (a third of each, known as loam), they don’t indicate soil health.
Soil, on the other hand, refers to an entire underground ecosystem comprised of dirt along with a whole cast of characters (bacteria, fungi, and micro-arthropods (nematodes, earthworms, and spiders—invertebrates we can see) that work together to break down organic matter and release nutrients in plant-available form, a process known as nutrient cycling.
“Soil is very much a living thing,” Dr. Ingham stresses. She refers to the action happening underground as the soil food web.
This is how soil has been built for billions of years. Think of a forest—an incredibly productive environment that uses no synthetic fertilizer. It’s the soil food web that does all the work instead, building richer and richer soil over time.
Many cannabis cultivators grow plants in a soilless medium—either coconut coir or rockwool—and irrigate hydroponically with synthetic fertilizers. The origin and application of these chemicals has proven problematic.
Dr. Ingham explains that after WWII ended abruptly, chemicals companies had massive stockpiles of the explosive TNT sitting around. Where companies dumped their TNT, weeds grew better. The nitrogen in TNT is plant food. Thus, inorganic fertilizer was born. Plants grow fast when gorging on nitrogen.
“But that doesn’t mean you’re growing healthy plants,” Ingham says. “All you’re putting in is nitrogen when your plants actually need phosphorus, sulfur, potassium, zinc, iron, and more.”
An imbalanced diet makes plants susceptible to disease, and destroys the soil. All inorganic fertilizers are, by definition, salts: An inorganic material that dissolves in water. When you think about salt water, you can’t drink it or you’ll die from dehydration. It’s the same for any microorganisms in the soil: They’re killed by these fertilizers and then, bam—you have dead dirt, not living soil.
Living soil is more sustainable
Why do cannabis farmers turn to living soil, aside from the terpiest terps?
“We were in awe that you didn’t have to throw soil out every year,” says Jake Taylor of No-Till Kings. The Long Beach-based farmers recycle everything back into their soil. No-Till grinds up last year’s leaves and stems into mulch for this year’s crop, introducing even more organic matter to feed their system. “It’s an ecosystem that keeps on giving,” says Taylor.
Mike Benziger of Glentucky Farms, situated outside of Glenn Ellen, California, didn’t launch his business embracing the way of living soil. For ten years he sprayed everything with fertilizer, insecticide, and herbicide. When a friend noticed there were absolutely no birds around, he realized he had essentially killed the farm. He swung far in the opposite direction and has now been Demeter-certified in what’s dubbed “biodynamic” farming for the past 22 years.
“I’ve come to realize that by far the number one thing is soil health. Biodiversity is important. Rhythms are important. Good seed stock and genetics are important. But soil health is number one,” says Benziger, whose weed won a gold medal at last year’s California State Fair.
8 top brands growing indoors in soil beds, or outdoors in living soil
How to order weed delivery online with Leafly
How to start building your own living soil
Looking to build your own living soil?
Step one—keep your hands off those bottles of synthetic fertilizers entirely. Don’t touch them. Walk away.
Second—start adding compost.All those good bacteria, fungi, and micro-arthropods live off decaying organic matter. In other words, if you build it—a compost pile—they will come.
Homemade is best, if done right. You can opt for a worm bin, a thermal pile (built all at once and allowed to heat up), or a cold pile (which you continuously add to).
How to make organic soil for your weed
Compost—homemade or bought in bags—should never smell any way other than earthy. Whether you make your own from scratch or supplement it with some store-bought black gold, it can be helpful to get one pound of really good compost and add it to your own pile (or your garden bed) to get a jumpstart on good biology.
Good, bagged compost is hard to come by. Consider microscopically testing your compost to see how it stacks up. You can find a list of labs and consultants who can direct you to regionally specific compost sources at soilfoodweb.com/consultants.
There’s so many more resources for this type of farming, commenters will chime in below.
How to Use Cover Crops to Improve Your Cannabis Garden
Saving the terps…and the world
While living soil gives us the best weed available, there are other, headier reasons to build soil. The farmers we spoke to are convinced that living soil can save the world. No, really.
“Living soil on a mass scale is the way of the future,” says Taylor, of No-Till Kings. “It sequesters carbon and prevents topsoil from blowing away like in the dust bowl, creating a vacuum of fertility. Building soil is precisely what farmers can do to help the environment and build the soil for generations to come.”
For more information, check out our list of other living soil gurus, and feel free to shout out your favorite living soil farmer in the comments below!