Growing cannabis is fun, and most novice growers try to start as cheap as possible. One of the costly marijuana-growing supplies is potting soil. And when it’s out of reach, people think of crazy ideas. Using regular dirt for growing cannabis is one of such crazy ideas.
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It would be great if it worked. Wouldn’t you like to smoke your joints cheaply? That’s actually why some people grow their cannabis plants— to cut the cost of getting the buds. And cutting on potting soil could save you some bucks.
However, the plant’s needs don’t care for the weight of your wallet. If you use inappropriate substrate, their growth will falter. The plants might even perish. So it helps to know whether your plants can survive and thrive when grown in regular dirt. Let’s dig…
Can You Use Regular Dirt To Plant Weed Indoors?
No. You can’t use regular dirt to grow cannabis indoors because it’s too compact for the roots to thrive in. Its compactness blocks oxygen from reaching the roots and causes root rot, stagnates growth, and kills the plant. Regular dirt also contains bugs that can interfere with your plant’s nutrient uptake.
Regular dirt is dead soil; the plants can’t get nutrients from it. Though we all supplement nutrients, the substrate should always have some nutrients in it.
Sometimes you error in your nutrient ratios and application schedules; a substrate with nutrients can save your plants from immediate nutrient deficiency.
It can buy you some time. It gives you the grace all beginners need to learn the ropes. That’s the beauty of potting soil, it contains some nutrients.
Regular dirt has nothing. If you error a little, your plants will be deficient.
Novice growers think of ways to grow with minimal costs, but using regular dirt shouldn’t be an option you explore. I wrote an article on how to revitalize and reuse potting soil, that way you save money without using low-quality soil.
Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Regular Dirt
To dive deeper into this, here are detailed reasons why you should never entertain the thought of using dirt for your indoor cannabis plants;
Regular Dirt Is Prone To Waterlogging
Regular dirt is so compact that water takes longer on the surface to reach the roots. When the water stays on the surface for too long, it becomes a host of myriad ailments. It interferes with breathability, creating a perfect dump for fungal infections.
Waterlogging is often overlooked, but its effects are just as grave as overwatering. Waterlogged plants are prone to fungal infections like root rot, which can kill your plant.
Regular Dirt Isn’t Breathable
When growing cannabis, you need a breathable substrate. It needs to allow free movement of air to the roots and allow for a healthy root zone.
Regular dirt is too compact for air to pass through, suffocating the roots and causing eventual plant death.
Regular Dirt Is More Prone To Pests When Used Indoors
Using outdoor soil indoors can make your plants more susceptible to pests. The soil exists in a different environment.
Outdoors, the rate of moisture loss from the soil is different. The dirt is exposed to conditions that inhibit the survival of some bugs. Indoors, the environment is different. For instance, it’s cooler, making it conducive for pests to thrive.
RELATED READ: What Causes Brown Spots on Cannabis Plant Leaves?
Growers who enrich regular soil often take it through a sanitization process to kill existing bugs and their larvae in the soil before using it.
Dirt Lacks Microbes
Microbes are an essential part of the soil. They are what makes the soil ‘living’. The problem with dirt from outside is that it also carries a host of pests and bugs, forcing growers to treat it, killing the microbes in the process.
Note: potting soil is called potting soil because it is specially formulated for the small space inside the container. Potting soil provides proper aeration and drainage while still retaining the moisture for longer.
Potting mixes we recommend;
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Can I Use Dirt From Outside To Grow Plants?
You shouldn’t use dirt from outside to grow plants because it lacks the right attributes for most plants.
Different plants need different blends of soil to thrive, but regular dirt is too compact, has poor drainage, and isn’t breathable— making it a poor-quality substrate to grow indoor plants.
In conclusion, you should never use regular dirt to plant weed plants indoors. It lacks the right features to grow weed. Cannabis plants need soil pH within range, good breathability and drainage, and robust microbe activity—regular dirt rates poorly in all these, thus an inappropriate substrate for growing weed.