Exploring Cannabis Growing Methods: Live, Regenerative Soil
In the past, cannabis was never quite respected as an agricultural plant and was most often grown under wraps. While growers before legal times worked hard to produce plants, they had to be exceptionally careful in the process. Thankfully, with more than half the nation now cannabis legal to some degree, cannabis is a full-grown agricultural product that people in the industry take pride in growing.
With cannabis a mainstream product and well out into the light, innovative growers have been allowed to develop some of the most impressive growing strategies. In fact, the cannabis industry could become one of the greenest industries in terms of farming practices. One particular area of interest is using live, regenerative soil for cannabis cultivation.
What Is Live Regenerative Soil?
Live soil, which is also termed as living soil or regenerative soil is a planting material that contains an active microbiome in itself. So instead of dead dirt that has to be artificially fertilized or manipulated to provide the ideal growing medium for cannabis, the dirt contains natural compost constituents that support the plants from start to finish. For example, living soil may contain protozoa, good bacteria, worms and castings, plant compounds, and even natural dust derived from something like glacial rock.
Within living dirt, the living microbes eat present compounds, digest those compounds, and other microbes eat those digested compounds, and the process repeats in a never ending cycle. The dirt is always “living” as an ecosystem in and of itself without the need for outside or bottled nutrients. Therefore, many farmers refer to the living soil as regenerative because it consistently regenerates microbes and nutrients.
How Does Live Regenerative Soil Grow Good Cannabis?
With such a biodiverse form of soil, cannabis is consistently fed all the nutrients it needs to thrive, grow, and yield impressive vegetation for harvest. Any cannabis grower serious about yielding a high-quality crop will tell you that nutrients in the soil have everything to do with the quality of the end flower, from how much flower is produced to how rich it is in terpenes. However, achieving the right balance of nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus in the dead soil can be a challenging balancing act. Not to mention, the plant needs different amounts of these nutrients at different stages of growth.
The biodiversity of regenerative soil gives cannabis plants every possible nutrient needed to pull from as they develop through different stages. Therefore, plants never face a concerning shortage of nutrients and can flourish and flower, developing their profound chemical makeup in the process. The end result is a terpene-rich bud with impressive size and exceptional health.
The Sustainability of Regenerative Soil Cannabis Farming
Regenerative soil cannabis farming is a highly sustainable option for cultivators. Roughly 95 percent of the plants grown for human use are grown in soil. For years, the standard practice has been to use the same soil areas repeatedly without regard to adding back vital compounds for nutrient production. And due to that fact, about a third of all the soil on the planet is now dead and degraded.
Growing plants in soil that is not regenerative robs the soil of vital nutrients, which eventually results in dead soil with no minerals, nutrients, or organic matter to speak of. Starting with a living soil capable of year-after-year regeneration is kinder to the environment.
While you can opt for bottled fertilizers and nutrients, these agents are not living and only inject enough nutrients into the soil for one growing cycle. Therefore, cultivators invest a lot of money into synthetic soil manipulation from one grow to the next. Many of these bottled nutrients require extensive amounts of natural resources to produce. For example, nitrogen fertilizer production relies on copious amounts of natural gas.
Other Noteworthy Growing Practices in Cannabis
Regenerative soil is undeniably one of the most fascinating modern growing methods in cannabis. However, many growers have taken the initiative to implement even more innovative, earth-friendly growing methods into their processes. A few other examples that deserve props include:
- Using renewable solar energy only to power greenhouses
- Relying on recirculated water and natural filtration systems for plant irrigation
- Relying on LED grow lighting or natural sunlight to reduce energy reliance
- Integrating automated moisture sensors that deter the overuse of water
- Using molecular filtration systems to lower the release of volatile organic compounds from grow houses
Find Well-Sourced Cannabis and Cannabis Products at Sunday Drive
At Sunda Drive, we go the extra mile to source cannabis flower and products from some of the most respectable growers in Vermont. If you would like a look at some of the best the state has to offer, be sure to explore our fine collection.