Soil has been the growing medium of choice for growing cannabis both indoors and outdoors. Even with the upsurge in the popularity of alternative growing methods in the last few decades, the soil has been the tried and true choice that is inexpensive, versatile, and proven to grow fat and tasty buds. However, the ‘hot’ soil can become really toxic.

The reason that so many growers love soil is that it houses a beautiful microbiome of beneficial bacteria that work in a harmonious relationship with your cannabis plants to provide the nutrition they need to be fruitful in their life cycle.

Whether through organic nutrients or synthetic, soil holds onto those elements better than most other mediums.

But what happens if you have too much nutrition? Your soil will still hold onto it and it can have toxifying effects on your cannabis. This is what growers mean when they talk about “hot” soil and it can be deadly.

First, let’s look at what hot soil is and how you can remedy it if you need to in your garden.

What Causes Hot Soil?

You’ll usually see hot soil being discussed in organic cannabis growing as it can be very easy to overfeed your soil. Generally, you start with a potent “living soil” that is designed to provide consistent nutrition whenever the plants need it. Later on, you can add compost teas to supplement if need be.

However, when you add too much organic compost to your soil it can become “hot” with that nutrient, which can be detrimental to your plant. For example, if you use too much bat guano in your organic soil recipe you have a chance of introducing nitrogen toxicity to your cannabis plant which can kill the plant.

Synthetic nutrients can have the same effect if you add too much of one part to your recipe. It’s interesting to note that hot soil can come from alternative sources and you should always be aware of what you are feeding your plant.

A good example of this would be using tap water to mix your nutrients. Some tap water is hard and has a lot of calcium in it, if you add cal-mag to your plants while using tap water there’s a chance that you could have too much calcium in your soil.

How Do You Fix Hot Soil?

Luckily, fixing hot soil isn’t difficult to do as long as you catch it before it conveys any toxicities to your cannabis plant. Once that happens you are going to have to do some additional steps to try and fix the nutrient ratios.

To fix hot soil simply flush your cannabis plant with PH corrected water and make sure to take electrical conductivity readings using an EC meter to ensure that your parts per million have dropped into the safe range. Then retweak your nutrient recipe and slowly introduce it back into the soil.

If your plant is showing signs of toxicity, then after flushing your cannabis with PH corrected water, wait to see if the plant can correct itself. Add a modified nutrient recipe with less of the offender nute to help the rebalancing of your plant.

Your plant will be under a lot of stress during this time so ensure that your grow room climate is optimal for your plant’s stage of growth.

Hot soil isn’t a big issue unless it isn’t caught and corrected. The best thing you can do is to watch your nutrient ratios and take samples of runoff water to ensure that you are staying within the right EC range.

Find out more about what is the best soil for growing cannabis, what is the living soil, and much more on our website!

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