The two most important decisions you will make when you begin the growing process are the right lighting to install in your grow room, and the right media, or soil, that you will use for your plants to grow in. Both decisions are going to be key in determining the success or failure of your project, so make sure you do the research and get started with the right plan.
Where does the word media come from? We are using that name to make sure there is no confusion as to what people normally think of as soil or dirt. Media is the material that your plants will root in and grow from. It may be a mix of dirt or soil, but it does not have to include either. Therefore we are calling it media so there is no confusion and to make it clear there are several options for growing your plants that do not include any dirt or soil.
Selecting the best media type both for germination and marijuana seedlings is a critical phase for growers, it can be the tipping point of failure vs triumph. Germinating marijuana seeds is possible with or without soil. There are various growing mediums to choose from and there are both advantages and disadvantages as well as opponents and proponents for every option. With this in mind, you must first know the basic info on the important aspects of each of the media options, and then review several soils and later tackle several soilless options, so you can make the right decision as to which one is the best growing medium for your plants.
The Important Factors For The Right Growth
There are three factors that you need to consider when choosing the right media: nutrients, pH, and drainage.
Knowing the nutrients needed by the plants and the nutrients present in each potting soil is a must in determining the best plan for germination and marijuana seedlings. The main advantage of using soil against a soilless medium is the fact that the former already contains nutrients that cannabis (or any other plant for that matter) needs. The main disadvantage is that the grower does not really know or control the contents and most commercially available soils are pre-fertilized at some level, whether the potting soil you are using is non-organic or organic.
During the first week above ground, your seeds will already sprout with sufficient energy to survive. However, marijuana seedlings are sensitive in this state, thus making them vulnerable to nutrient burn. If you are going to use a soil mix In this case, it is recommended you purchase potting soils labeled with “lightweight formula” or simply “light”.
Soils with lightweight formula doesn’t contain excessive nutrient levels, thus making them acceptable for the first seedling phase of growth. The key is to buy a soil that allows you to enrich the plant by fertilizing from week-one and adjust the formula and strength of the nutrients to fit the phase of growth of the plants.
The ideal pH is within 5.5 to 6.5 as this range of pH will allow your marijuana plants to flourish. Any pH level outside the range, both lower and higher, will result to poor or insufficient growth. The further the soil gets away from the recommended pH levels, the plant will struggle more and it makes marijuana plants unable to absorb essential nutrients.
Proper drainage enables the plant to experience excellent moisture and air mix. Equal and constant moisture is important for successful growth of marijuana seedlings and so it is vital that you are able to manage this sensitive area. The reason is simple: it is inevitable that even the best expert growers tend to over-water the seedlings.
Having good drainage as an element of your media plays a big role in reducing failure and risks and preventing problems that will develop if you are not able to control the moisture in your plants soil.
Some Recommendations to consider in determining the best medium or soil for indoor growing:
• Avoid potting soils with high NPK values
• Do not use outdoor garden soil for your indoor needs. Pests that grew outside will further thrive if the soil they live in is put inside where humidity and temperature is perfect for their rapid growth.
• Avoid using potting soils having huge amounts of wood chips and other non-composted materials.
• Never use soils containing guano especially for germination. It can burn young plants with its powerful properties.
The best dirt mix available is Fox Farms Ocean Forest (FFOF), but consider using a non -soil (Soilless) media mix and adding the necessary nutrients, which will be discussed in another article