Living Soil a.k.a. Super Soil, or no-till soil, is what we consider the absolute best way to cultivate high quality, organic, flavorful, and potent cannabis. The concept is relatively complex and has been researched and refined by growers and scientists for decades. The basic point of Living Soil is to create a microcosm of biologicals that feed on ingredients in the soil and provide our beloved plants with a constant and natural source of nutrients. A good Living Soil will need nothing but clean water throughout the grow cycle to produce some of the best cannabis you have ever experienced.
Sounds too good to be true? Most of the pictures on this site are of living soil plants. Notice anything? They’re always green (unless its late in flower and they’ve turned purple), there is rarely a pest or deficiency issue, and there are no signs of gardener mistakes. After 15 years of mixing nutrients, pH-ing, adjusting, over-fertilizing, under-fertilizing, flushing, and questioning the contents of what was being put into my plants, I started down the path of Living Soil and will never go back. That’s not to say you can’t grow great cannabis other ways. I just feel this is the simplest, healthiest, least stressful (on you and your plants) manner in which to cultivate cannabis – and the industry is quickly following suit.
So, why isn’t everyone utilizing this amazing process for growing cannabis, or pretty much any plant for that matter? The simple answer is that it takes time, patience, the correct environment, and some serious pre-planning for your grow. There are some great companies who provide Living Soil in a ready-to-grow state. KIS Organics in Redmond, WA is one of the best. Check out Tad Hussey’s podcasts if you want to get down and dirty with the science behind Living Soil. The problem with bagged living soil is the expense to ship it to your grow. Unfortunately, until Living Soil cultivation gains more of a following, local hydroponic stores are not stocking fully amended and ready to grow soil.
That leaves us to create our own. Luckily Home Grow Co. offers Living Soil specific grow classes and will walk you through the entire process. Having spent hours upon hours researching different recipes and techniques, I finally landed on SubCool’s recipe and decided to give it a try. If you aren’t familiar with SubCool or TGA Genetics, it’s definitely worth a Google. All Living Soils are similar in that they are comprised of a base soil and a selection of amendments (castings, minerals and meals mostly) mixed together, mixed again, and then mixed a half dozen more times before it’s ‘cooked’ in the sun for 4-8 weeks. Honestly, other than the actual mixing of the soil, which is quite physically intensive, the process is very easy.
Once our soil has cooked we are ready to rock! I use it at every stage of the growth cycle and the plants absolutely love it.
Timing is the primary reason we include 2 Grow Training course discount packages. It’s really hard to get enough warmth from the sun in the winter months to properly cook the soil…..which brings me to our next soil cultivation option.
Organic Bottled Nutrients
Timing is everything, or so they say. If you want to get up and running tomorrow, bottled nutrients are going to be your best option. We care about what we put in our plants and ultimately our bodies. So, we work with Advanced Nutrient’s Organic lineup in our personal and class grows. The reason we use this brand is because of their unwavering commitment to the grower and to providing California OIM (Organic Input Material) certified products. This is not an easy task and requires significant effort to maintain.
The difference in your end product will not be drastic. Typically, we have a tough time distinguishing between Living Soil and Organic Nutrient plants while they are growing. The flavor profile is usually where we can differentiate between the two, but it’s not significant if you aren’t accustomed to extremely potent and flavorful cannabis. What will be significantly different is the process in which we cultivate with bottled nutrients. First, you need to find your happy place with regards to measuring, mixing, pH-ing, adjusting, re-pH-ing, and repeating this process regularly. It’s cultivation 101, a pretty standard practice, and a skill that will help you understand your plants and ultimately be a better grower. So what’s the big deal? Mistakes happen due to user error, also known as the ID10T error (idiot if you didn’t get that one), which I tend to have more often than most. Luckily, it’s never the end of the world, we can usually recover from it, and the only real loss is time. That’s not to say there isn’t potential for catastrophe. With the Organic line that we use, it is very difficult to ‘burn’ plants by over fertilizing (very common with non-organic salt based nutrients), which is one of the significant benefits of Organics. Again, not to say you can’t end up with nutrient burn, it’s just not as common or easy to do so. Bottom line, you need to get the mixing and pH-ing process dialed in if you want to use bottled nutrients. It’s not that hard, just plan on a slight learning curve, and never assume it’s correct without verifying via a pH meter.
The bottom line
The real benefit of Organic bottled nutrients is that we can affect change in our grow virtually overnight. If we see plants are not getting enough of a specific nutrient, we can remedy that immediately. Conversely, Living Soil is much more difficult to amend on the fly. In addition, missing or depleted nutrients late in a Grow are harder (not impossible) to replace.
We provide two exceptionally reliable, stable, enjoyable, and productive grow processes. Sign up for our 2 course grow package and try them both!