Frequently Asked Questions about Organic Soil
Through our many years of helping curious growers, we have naturally encountered a few common questions we would like to share:
SoHum Living Soils are naturally sourced and handcrafted to help plants grow and thrive in containers in both indoor and outdoor settings. There’s no mixing, you need only add water.
To help you better understand SoHum Living Soils, please read through these Frequently Asked Questions and our answers. Should you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!
Is it really “just add water” through the whole cycle of vegetative to flowering?
Yes! The SoHum Living Soils® product is a fully amended living soil. It has everything it needs for its entire grow cycle. This soil is like a fully-stocked kitchen and the living microbes are these chefs that deliver meals to the cannabis plant when its hungry.
Can I add extra amendments to SoHum Living Soils® and will it still support full growth?
The SoHum Living Soils® product is designed not to require any additional amendments. Adding some nutrients can hurt your plant (especially nitrogen)! If you add more nutrients you will take away the plant’s ability to choose the nutrients it needs when it needs them. In other words, you are force feeding the plant and reducing the benefits of the soil.
If you cannot stop yourself from adding amendments (we know it is a tough habit to break!), then do it on a very small scale and be sure to test your results regularly to avoid an overabundance of nutrients that will hurt the plant’s growth. For example, growers commonly add phosphorous. In one test grow, when it was injected into SoHum Living Soils® during the vegetative phase and tested two weeks later, it had over 2000 ppm, an excess of what you would want.
How do I water?
The water pH should be the same as any standard grow (between 6 and 7) so that the pH of the soil will be in a similar range (5.8 to 6.8). This range will help ensure that most nutrients are still accessible for plant uptake. Ideally, it is best to run the water through a reverse osmosis (RO) filter. If one is not available, then dechlorinating water by letting tap water sit for 24 hours will suffice. It is best practice to place trays under your pots and water from the bottom to keep the ecosystem alive.
Be careful not to overwater! Investigate the soil to reveal the moisture levels. The ideal situation is to have the soil dry on top but wet three inches deep. It is beneficial to have a thin layer of perlite at the bottom of your pot, as this will help keep from overwatering.
Will this work for various kinds of crops?
Yes, our diverse ingredients provide for a full spectrum of fruiting plants.
Do I need to ﬂush the plant?
No. You can flush, but you do not need to. All you need to do is add water to SoHum Living Soils®. Flushing is most common when adding nutrients manually, but with this soil, the nutrients are already in there, so you do not need to flush!
What about pests?
Insects and diseases are signs that something has gone wrong. SoHum Living Soils® was designed to produce a nutrient dense plant. Nutrient density translates into a high Brix (sugars) sap which is not digestible by sucking insects. Proper nutrition with lots of Calcium for strong cell walls and Potassium for a fully-charged immune system make life difficult for diseases.
Can I start seeds or clones in SoHum?
Sure can… it’s a real seed to weed potting soil. SoHum Living Soils® was deliberately designed to have low amounts of nitrate nitrogen and higher levels of ammononical nitrogen which is better for both seeds and clones. Another great ingredient found in this soil is kelp. Kelp is rich in plant growth hormones like auxins and cytokinins that help develop a great root system.
Clones are fragile, temperature and humidity must be monitored to prevent molds or mildews. In transplanting a clone, do not plant it too deep. Keep it within a half-inch of the seedling soil line so it does not weaken the stocks. Do not shake the soil when you transplant as you do not want to disrupt the roots. After transplanting into SoHum Living Soils®, water from the top and towards the outer margins of the pot to increase lateral root growth. This soil is ideally designed for bottom-watering systems. After a couple of weeks of top watering, having ample water at the bottom will provide your growing plants the water it needs through capillary action.
I am not an experienced grower, do I need anything else to make this work?
We have taken all the work out of growing plants by pre- amending SoHum with all the macro and micro nutrients your plants need. Seriously, just add water.
Is there a difference using SoHum Living Soils® for indoor or outdoor grows?
For outdoor grows, the most common practice is to use a post hole digger to make a hole 3 1⁄2 feet deep. Some growers also dig a few satellite holes 12-18 inches apart on center to hold additional soil, but it is not required.
For indoor grows, it is best to use SoHum with at least a 6-7 gallon pot, and water from the bottom. The best practices is to lay an inch to an inch and a half of perlite at the bottom below the soil.
Can you use it with any strain of Cannabis?
Yes, it is a fully amended all natural soil with all the bioavailable nutrients necessary for any strain of Cannabis. It is important to note that SoHum Living Soils® was developed by growers for growers, but it was never intended to take away the creativity of growers. This soil also works well with tomatoes and other vegetables, too!
Are all the natural ingredients used ecologically sustainable and responsibly sourced?
All of our ingredients are permitted substances under the National Organic Program (NOP) of the USDA. That being said, we look into the companies that are sourcing our products to learn more about their commitment to environmental sustainability.
In sourcing some of naturally-mined substances like glacial rock dust and langbeinite or products like Norwegian sea kelp, perlite, and sphagnum peat moss, we ensure that our suppliers are adopting practices that acknowledge that resources are depleting and must be managed responsibly.
Are SoHum Living Soils certified organic?
SoHum Living Soils has not sought organic status under the NOP, but many of the ingredients used are OMRI listed (Organic Materials Review Institute) and all are acceptable inputs on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances.
Are SoHum Living Soils suitable for growing food for vegans and vegetarians?
That is a matter of personal philosophy on how you, as an individual, define your diet practice. SoHum is a living soil and therefore uses the soil foodweb as the primary source of converting organic nutrients into plant-available forms. This occurs by the breakdown of plant-based nutrients like alfalfa and kelp, but also through the breakdown of animal-based products like crab, feather, bone, and blood meal.
Will using this soil change the flavor or texture of my plants, fruits or vegetables?
Hopefully for the better! Our goal in designing this super-soil was to create a nutrient dense, organic, living soil that would ensure that the life in the soil would have its needs met so that it could meet the needs of the plant. Through testimonials from both cannabis and vegetable growers, plants grown with SoHum will have a greater intensity of flavor (i.e., increased flavonoids) and stronger smell (i.e., increased terpenes).
Although, not yet tested, the same logic should translate into greater potency whether that means higher or a more robust cannabinoid profile or higher levels of vitamins and antioxidants.
Will using this soil change the potency of my cannabis plants?
The potency of your existing cannabis strain is genetically determined. To best achieve that genetic potential, your growing practices (e.g., lighting, climate, nutrients) will have a great impact.
SoHum Living Soils were designed to give you peace of mind that your soil will not hold back your plant’s ability to attain its genetic potential. Some major nutrients like magnesium and sulphur; some minor elements like manganese, iron, and zinc; and some trace elements like selenium, copper, and cobalt are essential for some minor enzymatic reactions, or act as a catalyst to help form an intermediate metabolite.
Will your plant die without them? Not necessarily, but they do help in providing the life in your soil the necessary tools to create the most robust plant possible and that is why SoHum uses kelp, azomite, and glacial rock dust to meet those needs.
Will my plants take longer to grow using a super soil?
Once again, management will be a key factor in the life cycle of the plant. Typically, plants grown in SoHum are slower in the early vegetative phase for three important reasons, namely: 1) we like to emphasize root growth; 2) we do this by providing adequate phosphorus and ensure that our nitrogen is in the form of ammonium which the plant takes up in better balance than nitrate nitrogen; and 3) slow initial growth allows for proper internode formation and allows for adequate calcium uptake to ensure strong plant cell walls (a great defense against powdery mildew).
How long does super soil last, and how often do I need to replenish it?
SoHum has been designed to deliver nutrients for the entire annual life cycle of a cannabis plant. We don’t recommend using the spent SoHum (soil after harvest) to grow another cannabis crop, largely because of the possibility of diseases like powdery mildew or septoria, but do recommend its use for vegetable growing.
The amount of SoHum required to grow the desired cannabis plant has as much to do about your management (i.e., strain selection, pruning, watering, etc.) as it does with the amount of soil. In general, we recommend that under seven gallons of SoHum can support a 3-foot cannabis plant in an indoor setting.
How do SoHum Living Soils perform in drought conditions?
SoHum soils have been designed, ideally, for a bottom watering (i.e., reservoir) system in which the soil draws up water through capillary action as the plant draws water out of the soil. That being said, it is important to recognize that a good soil is 50% air and water, and so SoHum has been designed to hold pockets of water with its high organic matter content. If plants wilt excessively, you will impact their ability to reach their genetic potential.
How well do SoHum Living Soils hold up in rainy seasons or monsoons?
Using coarse perlite as a means of drainage and aeration, SoHum Living Soils help in mitigating the occasional overwatering as long as the growing container has the ability to allow for water to exit. It should be noted that most growers tend to overwater their plants rather than underwater, causing nutrient deficiencies, poor root growth, and at times root rot.
How should I store SoHum Living Soils? (Is a breathable container necessary?)
SoHum Living Soils are alive! It is important to note that SoHum Soil comes in perforated bags which allow for air exchange, so as long as the bags are being stored in an area where there is some flow of air, SoHum will maintain its dynamism. SoHum bags should be kept at temperatures above freezing and should not get waterlogged. Each bag comes with an expiration date and after that date the expected numbers of beneficial microbes may be reduced.
Do I need to monitor pH when growing with SoHum?
SoHum Soils are pH balanced for cannabis, approximately within the range of 6.2 to 6.6. The high organic matter levels serve as a buffer and help compensate for watering that may increase or decrease the pH of the soil. At times, reverse osmosis water may cause the soil to exceed 7.0 soil pH and growers should look out for phosphorus or iron deficiencies.
How do I make a bulk order?
Call us at 1-866-308-0750 and we would be happy to help with a bulk order.
Do you ship outside the U.S.? (i.e. to Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, etc.)
Yes. SoHum soil is manufactured in both Canada and the US. The ingredients used in SoHum may require a veterinary certificate to be permitted in some countries.