The Best Substrate for Planting Marijuana
The best substrate for planting marijuana: like any decent grower, we all want to know what’s best for our crops. Sometimes, we may tend to pick something based on the price, without checking to see if we can solve our issues by spending a couple more quid. Well, this article is here to explain the pros and cons (sometimes the cons can be pros, though) of plant substrate, and the best one to use for your plants!
Apart from your own mixtures that you can make with peat moss, and mixtures like hummus, perlite and other additives, today we’re going to focus on mixtures that come made already, which is the easiest way to pick a decent substrate. There are light substrates (without any fertilizers, and almost 0.0 EC) and then there are those that come loaded with nutrients, and depending on what nutrients they have, they’ll be more apt for the growth stages or for the flowering stage.
Today, we’ll focus on some well-known light substrates (no additives):
This mixture is perfect for those growers that don’t fancy the idea of taking care of their plants every single day. It’s a high quality peat moss mix that retains humidity well, meaning that even in hot regions you’d only have to water every 2 or 3 days. At the beginning, your plant needs to be well treated with this mix while the root system is still developing so that the soil doesn’t get too soaked. Afterwards, it can be difficult to get dry and you can severely damage the roots, essentially choking the plant. If you water your plant correctly, this product is one of the best you can use and has plenty of benefits if used correctly. I got two days out of one liter of water, for a flowering plant in a 7L pot.
This product is the most bought substrate, for its price and its amazing results. It’s a soil mixture that needs to be treated well, and it will treat you well in return. It’s extremely efficient in crops that are set up with an automatic watering system, because it doesn’t hold humidity very well, therefore you can water your plants more often. It’s also ideal for regions that aren’t too warm, because if you were to use a substrate that holds humidity, your crops might dry out every 2 weeks and then you run the risk of having moldy plants.
You also shouldn’t let your plants dry out too much, because then you’ll have problems getting them damp again. If you leave your plants in a tray with some water on the bottom, they will start becoming damp on their own without any effort on your part. When dampening your soil, you shouldn’t compact the substrate too much because you’ll end up losing the perfect oxygen/water ratio, and you’ll end up with too much water, which is bad for any type of root system as it can lead to rot. This is a common occurrence with substrates. I’ve watered an adult plant, in the middle of its flowering stage and in a 7L pot with 1 liter of water a day using this substrate.
This substrate has a spongy feel to it, similar to coco substrate but with the same consistency as soil. It’s a mixture of the best moss without any additives, so you can treat your plants whatever way you like. Another special quality of this particular mixture is its capacity to retain nutrients. If you use this substrate with an organic fertilizer (we recommend Top Crop by Plagron) you’ll get a considerably tall crop, due to the fact that it’s designed for all types of nutrients, although you need to be aware that your soil will retain a lot more nutrients than it usually does when using this product. You save on fertilizer but it’s a lot easier to over-fertilize your plants. I watered a 7L pot plant in the flowering stage with 1L a day, but only had to fertilize once every 3 days.
This mixture isn’t as light as the others as it contains some nutrients to help your plant out with the starting phases, helping it grow better, stronger roots etc. If you don’t fertilize your plant with anything else during the whole process, your plant will end up lacking in certain things; you always need to help your plants out with some growth liquid. In as far as humidity retention, this one is a bit of a mix of the BioBizz light mix and Canna’s professional terra; it doesn’t retain much but it’s also not too dry. You could say that it’s the middle option for those that prefer to visit their plants every day and maybe have to water them or not. I watered a 7L pot plant in the flowering stage with 1L every day and half, sometimes two days.
I hope this helps you guys situate yourselves, next we’ll be dealing with fertilizers!
Author: Javier Chinesta
Translation: Ciara Murphy