You are hereOrganic Super Soil - Subcool Recipe (with step-by-step video by Subcool himself!)
Organic Super Soil - Subcool Recipe (with step-by-step video by Subcool himself!)
This organic super soil tutorial was written by Nebula Haze using the original recipe & video tutorial for composting organic super soil by grower Subcool
Table of Contents
Why do cannabis growers compost their soil to create "super soil" instead of just using regular soil from the store? Why is super soil better than other types of soil for growing cannabis?
"Super soil" is a term that started being used widely after a famous soil grower known as Subcool released a specific set of instructions for creating composted soil that delivers everything your cannabis plant needs, at exactly the right time.
Ever since Subcool taught other cannabis growers how to make their own super soil, organic growers around the world have been using this "secret" to harvest incredible top-shelf organic buds!
Organic "Super Soil" makes cannabis grow like a weed in the wild!
There's lots of reasons to use super soil. In addition to being able to create a fully organic growing medium, the correct "recipe" for composted super soil actually mimics the root conditions that make cannabis thrive in nature.
With super soil, your main job as the grower is to simply water your plants and watch them grow. There's no need for complicated nutrients, chemicals, managing pH and other factors that can make growing cannabis hard or time-consuming throughout the grow.
It is easy and low-effort to grow incredible-quality cannabis buds in composted super soil; just water your plants and wait for harvest!
With super soil, you're re-creating the environment that causes cannabis to grow like a weed in the wild. You're creating a "living soil" that acts a lot like the most fertile types of soil in nature.
This means a lot less work from your during your grow. In fact, needing less work during the grow is why many organic growers feel that growing cannabis in super soil is easier than growing cannabis any other way.
Plus there's the taste/smell/smoothness benefits...
Pros of Super Soil
Better Taste, Smell, Smoothness - Many growers believe that growing cannabis in super soil enhances taste and smell compared to other growing methods, while producing some of the smoothest buds without any hint of "harshness" from chemicals or over-fertilization
Great for Indoors and Outdoors - Super soil is a versatile growing medium that can be used to grow thriving cannabis plants almost anywhere
Natural - Super soil can be created using only organic ingredients that have been broken down naturally - this closely mimics the best and richest soil found in nature
No Need to Flush - Since there's no chemical salts to alter taste and smell of buds, many organic growers feel there's no need to flush before harvest
Easier to Grow - Once the amended soil is composted, growing cannabis in super soil is easier than pretty much any other type of growing medium; with super soil there's no need to worry about maintaining pH or nutrients! Just water your plants and wait until harvest :)
Cons of Super Soil
Expensive & Best Suited to Bigger Grows - Can be expensive to get started since you generally compost a lot of soil at once - it's difficult to scale the organic super soil process down to smaller grows that need less soil at a time
Need to Plan Ahead - Composting take 30-60 days before your soil is ready to be used by your plants, which means you have to plan ahead before each organic grow
Mixing Soil Can Be Tiring - The amending and composting process involves some physical work (mixing the soil)
Growing cannabis with organic composted super soil is a completely different experience compared to most other forms of growing cannabis. Instead of using unnatural chemical salts created in a lab to provide your plants with nutrients, you are re-creating an optimal version of how cannabis grows in the wild.
Organic growing uses only natural sources of nutrients, and is much closer to how cannabis grows in nature
Today a lot of growers use non-organic, liquid-based cannabis nutrients. When using liquid nutrients, you must act as the "middle man" who takes care of your plant roots. That means you're responsible for maintaining the soil pH and giving special nutrients throughout your plants life to achieve optimal growth.
When using amended and composted super soil (like this recipe by Subcool), you are creating a soil system that extracts organic nutrients in a form that your plants can easily use.
Basically using organic composted super soil means your soil is acting as the "middle man" instead of you. The microbes, fungi and other tiny organisms in the soil will take care of your plant roots, delivering nourishment directly to your plant roots in the form they need.
Once you've created a living super soil via composting, you pretty much just need to water your plants and wait for harvest!
This glittery bud was grown in organic soil by Koma Trichome
Note: For some cannabis growers, organic and composted soil is the most natural choice. For others, the composting process may take too much time or space. But there are alternatives!
Huge mixing container (enough to hold ~110 pounds of soil)
Tarp or large trash cans to hold soil while it's "cooking"
Composted Super Soil Ingredients
6 bags x 10-gallon (35 pounds or 1.5 cu. ft.) Roots Organic Soil
2 bags x 50L (35 lbs) Biobizz Light-Mix soil
2 bags x 30 lbs Organic Earthworm Castings
1 box 6 lbs Fish Bone Meal (3-16-0) Note: 3-15-0 or 3-18-0 can also be used
1 cup Dolomite Lime (“prilled” if possible)
½ cup Azomite (0-0-0.2)
1 box 5 lbs Blood Meal (12-0-0)
1 bag 4 lbs Happy Frog Bat Guano (0-5-0)
¾ cup Epsom Salt
(Optional) Up to 25% Perlite (for extra drainage)
The following instructions uses a “layered” approach to make sure everything is mixed together well. It is possible to throw all your ingredients in a pile and mix everything up, but this order makes it a lot easier to get a fully mixed final product.
Here's the video tutorial, with step-by-step instructions below
1. ) Add 4 bags of Roots Organic Soil to your mixing spot (there should be 2 bags of Roots Organic Soil left)
Get ingredients ready
If you don't have a big enough container, use a tarp or even a kiddie pool
Add 4 bags of Roots Organic Soil to bottom of container
2.) Add Fish Bone Meal (since it’s smelly and you want to cover it up first)
Add Fish Bone Meal
3.) Add 1 bag of Biobizz Light-Mix (there should be 1 bag left)
1st bag Biobizz Light-Mix soil
4.) Rake it out so that the Fish Bone Meal is lightly mixed in
Here is what the Fish Bone Meal and soil looks like after a light mixing:
5.) Sprinkle Dolomite Lime over entire pile
Sprinkle Dolomite Lime
6.) Sprinkle Granular Azomite over entire pile
7.) Add the last bag of Biobizz Light-Mix
2nd bag Biobizz Light-Mix soil
8.) Add 1st bag of worm castings
1st bag Earthworm Castings
9.) Add 1 bag of Roots Organic soil (you should have 1 bag left)
1 bag Roots Organic Soil
10.) Rake it in lightly
Rake it out
11.) If you’re using perlite, add it now.
12.) Add 2nd bag of worm castings
13.) Add last bag of Roots Organic Soil
Last bag Roots Organic Soil
14.) Rake entire pile gently so it’s all mixed up
Rake it out
15.) Add Blood Meal
16.) Add Bat Guano
17.) Add Epsom Salt
18.) Final stir - mix thoroughly
Over next week, continue to mix pile regularly (for example moving pile to one side then the other) until you don’t see any spots of color anymore.
After mix has been thoroughly mixed over a week, wrap up super soil in a tarp, or store in a large container such as a garbage can (this mix takes about 4 large garbage cans)
Add water to mix and stir it in to initiate the microbial process. Super soil should be moist but not soggy while composting. The idea is to keep the mix both moist and relatively contained. If your super soil mix is not put in a container or wrapped up, it will dry out, which stops the whole process. Make sure you wrap up your soil if in a tarp, or put a top on your garbage cans. You need to keep the mix in a relatively enclosed environment.
Keep your composting mix in a sunny place and allow the super soil mix to "cook" for 30-60 days. During this process, your job is to keep the soil moist but not soggy, and otherwise keep the pile covered/enclosed to trap heat and air. The microbial processes in the soil will actually cause the composting pile to become hot to the touch - this is normal! That's part of why it's called "cooking" :) As the soil cooks, it will break down the ingredients you added into a form that your plants can easily use.
Note: Be on the look out for bugs, especially if mix is not completely enclosed! You just created a perfect environment for bugs to live.
Bonus points: if you add live worms to this mix it will help aerate and loosen up your mix. Worms can even be used in potted containers - they do no harm to your plants, and will help maintain healthy soil.
Mix one last time before you start growing!
Fill the bottom 1/3 of your pot with your composted Super Soil mix. Learn about different growing containers.
Fill Bottom of Container with Super Soil Mixture
Fill the rest of your container with regular soil (Such as Fox Farms Happy Frog soil or Roots Organic Soil). This top “untreated” soil is placed at the top of the container so you do not burn young plants or clones with too many nutrients. But once their roots reach down to the super soil, the plants will be mature enough to use the rich source of nutrients without worrying about nutrient burn.
Simply water your plants as needed (learn how to water your cannabis plants) and provide plenty of light. When growing cannabis indoors, switch light schedule to 12/12 once plant is half the final desired height to initiate flowering. When growing cannabis outdoors, plants will naturally start flowering in the fall.
Like any growing style there are a million ways to get your cannabis to grow. If composted super soil is not the right choice for you, there are still organic options that take less preparation.
Probably the simplest method for growing marijuana organically is to start with organic soil and pair it with a proven organic nutrient line like the GO box or Advanced Nutrients' Iguana Juice line (Grow, Bloom).
However, when using liquid nutrients for growing cannabis (even organic ones like the ones included in the General Organics GO Box), it becomes a lot more important to test and manage pH just like any other non-super soil grow. It's up to you to decide what works for you!
There are some places that offer pre-made Subcool Super Soil, similar to the soil created in this tutorial. This may be a good in-between choice for those who want the benefits of super soil, but aren't willing to go through the composting process.
When using liquid cannabis nutrients, it's incredibly import to manage and maintain the pH at the root zone to make sure that nutrients are easily available to plant roots. Liquid nutrient systems deliver nutrients in their most basic form, but as a result you need to take care of the root zone to make sure plants are able to access these nutrients in the soil.
You don't need to manage pH in organic super soil!
On the flip side, when using composted super soil, you generally don't need to worry about managing pH. This is because you've created a "living soil" which will "deliver" nutrients directly to your plant roots.
When growing organically, the old saying "if it ain't broke don't fix it" is a good motto to go by. If your plants look healthy, don't do anything!
If you are noticing nutrient problems and you discover the root pH is way off, it's possible you may need to adjust the pH using an organic source for pH management. How do I adjust the pH when growing organically?
However, nutrient problems caused by pH are rare in composted super soil.
What causes pH problems in organic super soil?
- There's some sort of problem during the composting process (for example if not enough water was added to allow beneficial organisms to colonize the soil)
- Your water has high levels of contaminents affecting your water pH (for example if the pH of your water is outside the 5-8 range, or has a PPM above 400).
In organic growing you are creating "living soil" which means you manage the soil instead of the plant. You need to care for the microbes, fungi and other beneficial organisms in the soil so they can break down nutrients and deliver them to your plant roots, just like in nature.
These organisms work as the "middle man" to care for all your plant root's needs. As long as you take care of the soil's ecosystem, you will almost never need to worry about pH in your super soil grow.
Cannabis grows like a weed in the wild...
Super soil makes your cannabis grow like a weed in your garden!