No-Till Soil for Beginners: DIY Organic Soil for Cannabis Plants

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Whip up your own organic super soil with Greendorphin! Our No-Till Soil recipe is the perfect beginner blend for organic cannabis growers.

No-Till Soil is the name given to organic potting and compost mix that has been packed full of nutrients to support your cannabis plant throughout its whole life cycle. This also involves a fermentation process in an effort to introduce fungal microbes and bacteria to the soil.

These microbes aid in the breaking down of essential nutrients that help to increase the NPK content of your soil blend. By following this simple guide, you too can have your own top-quality No-Till Soil potted up within a month!

Say goodbye to overpriced dispensary weed and say hello to homegrown organic cannabis! This No-Till Soil mix is guaranteed to deliver out-of-this-world results. 

No-Till Soil full kit

Included in the Greendorphin No-Till Soil is the Following:

  • 30-litres Peat Moss or Coco Coir
  • 30-litres Vermicompost (composed derived from worm castings) 
  • 30-litres Perlite 
  • 2-kilogram (4.4-lb) bag of Organic Gardening Solutions Nutrient Kit
  • 1-kilogram Brewed Coffee Grounds
  • 1-tablespoon of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi 
No-Till Soil coots mix

The ‘Coots’ Compost Mix

The ‘Coots’ compost mix is used religiously in various No-Till Soil blends due to its utter simplicity and fantastic results. These results are further improved by increasing the amount of organic biomass in your soil.

When using the ‘Coots’ mix, you use a 1:1:1 ratio of base mix, aeration mix, and a compost mix. The mixture is then required to ‘cook’ which involves sitting together in a tub for 3-6 weeks to that essential microbes can form. 

You’ll find that this ‘Coots’ mix will give you extraordinary results, but the best way to improve those results is to use compost that is completely organic. As this is going to give your plants the optimum environment to thrive. 

No-Till Soil coots mix peat moss

Peat Moss

The first step in creating your No-Till Soil is to secure your base medium.

Most No-Till Soil base mixes these days consist entirely of coco-peat or peat moss, which is basically just compressed organic material that expands to 20x its size when wet.

Peat moss is completely neutral, meaning that it contains an NPK of 0-0-0. This makes peat moss the most viable option for super soil as it allows you to remain in control of the NPK you are adding to the soil. 

No-Till Soil peat moss macro

The Sphagnum Peat Moss from Organic Garening that was used in the Greendorphin No-Till Soil mix is sourced from Canada where over 25% of the world’s peat bogs are found.

Peat moss is a lot more porous than general potting soil, meaning that its water retention is off the charts! It will also allow the soil to withstand harsher sun without hardening. 

Using moist peat moss is essential when you’re starting out with your
No-Till Soil, so make sure that your peat moss gets a good soaking before you start to blend in your compost and aeration mix.

No-Till Soil peat moss and perlite

Aeration Medium (Perlite)

Perlite is an aeration medium that is very similar to polystyrene. It is porous and helps somewhat with water retention. 

Although perlite is inorganic, it contains no NPK, meaning that it won’t affect your soil’s nutrient levels in any way. 

If you are able to access pumice-stone, an organic product, then it is better to use this for aerating your soil for a number of reasons.

 Pumice-stone holds more water than perlite would, it is coarser, meaning that it aerates the soil better, and it won’t attract mildew and algae in the way perlite will. 

No-Till Soil perlite macro

Adding an organic byproduct to your No-Till Soil is, of course, more preferable than an inorganic product, but perlite is still a viable aeration medium that is used by growers worldwide.

As perlite has no need to compost you don’t really have to add any aeration medium to your No-Till Soil compost blend until the fermentation process is complete.

That being said, I added half of the perlite (15-litres/4-gallons) during the mixing process to ensure that the No-Till Soil mix could breathe a little better.

When the soil mix is eventually transferred into pots, it will be further mixed with an additional 15-litres/4-gallons of perlite. 

No-Till Soil vermicompost

Compost Mix – Worm Casting Compost

Worm castings are an extremely rich source of nitrogen and other nutrients and can be used both as a top-dress amendment or as a compost base for your super soil!

Coco coir and perlite are both extremely low in organic biomass, meaning that the entitrety of your No-Till Soil’s nutrient source will have to stem from the compost.

This is one of the reasons that we add the complex blend of nutrients and microbes to the soil as it helps to break down the compost and create a more nutrient-rich soil. 

No-Till Soil compost macro

The worm casting compost that was used for the Greendorphin No-Till Soil was taken from worm farms that were only fed organic scraps.

What this results in is a compost that is rich in nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous, due to the various fruits and vegetables that have passed through the worm’s digestive tract. 

The Organic Gardening Solutions Vermicompost that we used in the production of our No-Till Soil have over 85% porosity and 70% water holding capacity.

This means that aside from adding vital nutrients to your soil, they are fantastic at aiding in water retention and help to keep your soil moist. 

No-Till Soil coffee grounds

Coffee Grounds 

Aside from being an ultra-rich source of nitrogen, brewed coffee grounds are a fantastic breeding ground for bacteria and will help to give your No-Till Soil that extra microbial burst!

Over time Coffee Grinds will turn into humus and add to the overall quality of the soil. These grounds break down at a moderate rate, which means that your plant will have a source of nutrients throughout its lifecycle. 

If you are unsure where to source some quality coffee grounds, try contacting a cafe in your area! Most conscious coffee connoisseurs would be more than happy to help you grow some plants. 

For 90-liters (24-gallons) of No-Till Soil, use 1-kg (2.2-lb) of brewed coffee grounds as a mix in. 

No-Till Soil OGS nutrient kit

No-Till Soil Nutrient Kit

Using a nutrient kit to help invigorate your organic super soil is going to make the whole process that much easier and save you a lot of running around. 

When you consider how many different amendments are included in some of these boutique nutrient mixes you will see why I recommend using them. 

Before we get to mixing and inducing humus and Mycelium to the mix, let’s break down some elements from this dry nutrient kit so we can see how they help our organic plants flourish!

One bag of No-Till Soil Nutrients will be enough for 90-liters (24-gallons) of No-Till Soil.

No-Till Soil macro nutrient kit

Included in the Organic Gardening Solutions Dry Nutrient Kit is the following: 

  • Kelp Meal
  • Oyster Shell Flour
  • Neem Cake
  • Alfalfa
  • Wheat Bran
  • Volcanic Rock Dust
  • Palagonite
  • Shell Grit
  • Gypsum
  • Langbeinite
  • Azomite
  • Malted Barley Grain
  • Magnesite
  • Wheat Bran
  • Fulvic Acid.
No-Till Soil oyster shells

Oyster Shell Flour

Consisting entirely of broken down oyster shells, oyster shell flower is an extremely rich source of calcium carbonate, kelp, and microbes. 

Aside from increasing your soils calcium content, oyster shell flour helps with improving the tilth of your super soil. 

Adding oyster shells also helps boost your plant’s immune system, stimulate enzyme activity, and even act as a pH-buffer! 

Oyster shell flour can be used either as an amednment or a topdress at the end of a grow cycle. When using oyster shell flour in your No-Till Soil, you’re going to want to include roughly 1 cup per 30-liters of Coots mix. 

No-Till Soil top dress mulch

Neem Cake/Wheat Bran/Bokashi

Included in the OGS Dry Nutrient Kit are the three organic amendments mentioned above. The image above comes from an OGS Top-Dress Kit that is used as a mulching agent. 

Neem Cake comes from the Neem Tree, which has been used in organic pest management for years! Neem is great for keeping away most common plant critters, but it also has an NPK 4-2-2, making it perfect for both topdressing and super soil.

Wheat bran is a great source of phosphorous and potassium and is used in most No-Till Soils due to its extremely-high carbohydrate and amino acid content. Wheat bran is inexpensive and has an overall NPK of 2.4-2.9-1.6.

Bokashi is a microbiologists dream amendment! As bokashi breaks down, larger yields and healthier plants are achieved via probiotic effects in the soil. 

Using the OGS Top-Dress mulch will further increase the Neem cake and wheat bran content, but they should be added to your No-Till Soil as a mix-in too at a ratio of 1-cup:30-liters of soil. 

No-Till Soil rock dust

Combination Rock Dust

Adding rock dust to your soil is a practice that has been maintained for millennia. Sand, in particular, has always been used to increase the nutrient content and water retention in the soil, but dig a little deeper (pardon the pun) and the results will be astounding!

Contained in the Organic Gardening Solutions Combo Rock Dust Kit is the Following:

  • Basalt
  • Gypsum
  • Soft Rock Phosphate
  • Diatomaceous Earth
  • Magnesite
  • Oyster Shell Flour
  • Palagonite (Volcanic Rock Dust)

Each of these minerals will help to maximize your soils structure as well as bring abundant trace minerals to your soil. 

No-Till Soil barley

Malted Barley Grain

Aside from helping to add that sweet kick to your beer, malted barley grain can actually help improve your soil!

That’s why it’s used in all of Organic Gardening Solutions’ Super Soil, No-Til Soil, Compost Tea, and Top-Dress Mulch Kits. These things are just chock-full of microbes. 

Malted barley grain has a wide range of bacteria, filamentous fungi, and yeasts concealed in the husks of the grains, which are going to allow your soil to find its microbial nirvana. 

When using malted barley grain as a top-dress amendment or in your No-Till Soil, you should finely grind the hulls down to a flour-like powder just before you add it to the mix!

No-Till Soil alfalfa

Alfalfa Meal

From both a mix-in and a mulching perspective, alfalfa meal is fantastic for your super soil. Introducing alfalfa to your No-Till Soil mix is going to improve the root system and develop your plant’s root mass.

As a top-dress or mulch layer, alfalfa meal is a great nutrient source and will help to protect your plant’s immune system from pests. 

Aside from its decent NPK score of 3-1-2, alfalfa meal is chock-a-block with 
Calcium, Magnesium, trace minerals, amino acids, proteins, and carbohydrates, making it an awesome nutrient source for both your plant and its microbe population. 

No-Till Soil blending

Once the soil is completely mixed together, you’ll barely notice any of the elements from the dry nutrient kit. But sure enough, these components are going to be the lifeblood of your cannabis grow. 

Mixing the No-Till Soil together can be an arduous task, but make sure that you take your time and spend a good while mixing in the nutrient kit.

Using a face mask or respirator is highly recommended when mixing up your soil, as fungus spores and tiny particles can play more havoc on your lungs than a tobacco bong!

No-Till Soil fungal microbes

Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi

The next step in your No-Till Soil journey is to gradually increase the population of humus and boost the microbial activity in your soil.

Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi provide numerous benefits to the health of your soil and aid in keeping away pests, increasing water availability to the roots, and improve the soil structure and tilth. 

After you’ve added your nutrients to your 1:1:1 base mix, you’re going to want to introduce some microbes to the equation to help break down some of the heartier amendments. 

No-Till Soil

To make sure that your soil is being broken down at an even rate, you’re going to want to give your No-Till Soil a good turn every five to seven days.

This is as simple as using a shovel or rake to shift the weight of the soil slightly so that previously unexposed pockets can have some access to air.

To further boost these essential microbes, continue to introduce the soluble AMF Mycorrhizae to the No-Till Soil mix on a bi-monthly basis.

No-Till Soil organic weed

Organic cannabis, like organic fruit and vegetables, tastes and looks a lot better than its inorganic counterparts. Growing your weed organically is going to give you the top-shelf results that you’re looking for!

Growing your cannabis organically, combined with patience and some good genetics is the best way to ensure for success. 

If you’re not looking to make your own No-Till Soil quite yet, check out this post on the six ways to increase the organic biomass in your soil by using things around your house!

By the way, buying weed from dispensaries is a solid option for those who rather not grow their own cannabis plants. In this way, you won’t need to know which soil is best for growing marijuana! You can view this Mail Order Weed site for more information on its products and quality.

2 thoughts on “No-Till Soil for Beginners: DIY Organic Soil for Cannabis Plants”

  1. This is a good write up but I wish you would put together and ingredients list at the bottom just like any other cooking recipe you see online. I find it annoying to scroll through the entire page to find the ratio I should mix in for each ingredient. Also something’s like malted barley and alfalfa meal do not include ratios.

  2. The Coots mix is made to stay in a container pretty much forever (no-till), after 4-5 cycles it becomes super natural!!! He uses granite rock and basalt, which never break down and are the only paramagnetic sources of rock that will create your CEC like outside. Perlite eventually breaks down into sand, not allowing any water to drain. Don’t use perlite in no-till, ever.


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