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Introduction to Living Soil Cannabis Part 2: Soil Preparation

So, you want to grow cannabis in the most natural form, indoors. All it takes is a properly mixed and amended soil to get started. This can be achieved with simple supplies around a homestead or sourced from the local grow store. Resources for recipes will be provided at the end.

A base mix is something like 1 part compost, 1 part potting soil, and 1 part aeration. Compost can come from cows, chickens, horses, and worms, however based on their diet, the amendment additions may need to be tweaked. The potting soil can be any brand, but for sake of confusion, Fox Farm Ocean Forest works well. Aeration can be perlite, pumice, etc. The idea is to allow pockets of oxygen for the roots and microbes to thrive. Now this base mix can be used to grow cannabis, but it may have some issues depending on strain, environment, and each plants personal needs. It is better to add some amendments to the mix.

Amending a base mix is important in crafting a living super soil mix. What this means is taking bat guano, bone meal, blood meal, kelp meal, azomite, oyster shell, etc. and mixing it into the base mix to break down. Once these amendments or broken-down organic materials are blended into the base mix, they begin to break down even further. Fungi, bacteria, worms, protozoa, nematodes, and other microbes begin to eat and waste, assisting with the process.

To assist the speed of breaking down organic material, temperatures and humidity’s can be adjusted. At a minimum this living super soil mix should “cooked” for 2 weeks, but the longer the better. Once this material is broken down, it has all of the nutrients and minerals the plant will need for its entire lifecycle. There is nothing left to do but add water. Remember to trust the natural process, and not to add salt chelated synthetics (bottled nutrients) to your soil to correct a problem. If you have put every nutrient and mineral in the soil, and your plant exhibits signs of stress, it is likely a ph or overabundance of specific nutrient issue. By following recipes already established, it can help mitigate these issues. 


Caleb Neal is a U.S. Army Veteran, serving 5 years Active Duty as a Military Police Officer. His late spouse, Courtney Neal, was a female combat veteran MP who lost her life to suicide in 2021. His goal is to empower and educate veterans to cultivate their own in the best way for their body and the earth. 

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