Cannabis Cultivation Basics [Infographic]

Cannabis Cultivation Basics

Due to the recent legalization of medical and recreational marijuana in areas of the U.S., it’s becoming more common for people to test out their green thumb and try their hand at growing cannabis. Growing cannabis can be an enriching experience because there is nothing quite comparable to cultivating your own supply. A high-quality soil delivers essential nutrients for optimal growth, which is exactly what cannabis craves. Explore our guide of the basic essentials that you will need to get started on cultivating your own cannabis.

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You should first consider the location where you will cultivate. Many states have specific laws regarding where you can grow cannabis. When growing outdoors, it is important to select a secluded, secure area. When growing indoors, it is recommended to have a separate room dedicated to your cannabis cultivation. Another alternative is using a greenhouse or shed, these are excellent options because you can easily control their environment.


Lighting is one of the most important aspects of cannabis cultivation. If you are growing outdoors, the sun will provide the necessary lighting. However, if you are growing indoors, you will need the appropriate artificial lighting to nurture your cannabis. There are many options for indoor lighting including metal-halide for the vegetative phase, high-pressure sodium (HPS) for the flowering stage, and LED lighting. One thing to keep in mind when choosing proper lighting is that HPS and metal-halide lights consume more power than LED. In turn, they also create plenty of heat in your growing space.


When growing cannabis in soil, there are a few things to take into consideration before you begin growing. These include:

  • Drainage ability
  • Texture
  • Water Retention

Soil that properly drains is incredibly important to cannabis growth because retaining too much water will prevent the plants root from getting enough oxygen. If the plant is unable to receive the oxygen it needs, it will become droopy and lifeless. Alternately, soil that has too light of a texture won’t have good water retention capabilities, resulting in damaged roots that will quickly dry out.

Benefits of Using SoHum Living Soils®

Specially designed with ample organic matter, our soil has built-in pH buffering abilities. It has a balance of readily available plant food, and slow release nutrients throughout the plant’s life. In addition, our soil is designed to maintain it’s spongy, airy structure for a long time, making it less likely to compact and erode, giving your plants optimal growing conditions.

Clones or Seeds

The easiest way to start cultivating your own cannabis is to obtain healthy female clones. When starting with clones from a known and trustworthy source, you can fine tune your setup to the needs of that particular plant. Another way to start is to sprout seeds using germination. This involves developing a female mother plant that is kept from flowering in order to produce clones to then use to grow out and flower.

Vegetative Stage

Once your cannabis has sprouted and developed into actual plants, they will enter the vegetative stage. When growing indoors, this process takes about 18 to 24 hours of continuous light. This stage allows the plants to reveal its sex (if started from seed) as well as allow it to grow to size. Remember, only the female plants are the ones you want to flower.

Flower Stage

The flowering stage requires 12 hours of light (when cultivated indoors) and 12 hours of darkness. Altering between light and darkness triggers the plant to start flowering. The first two weeks of the flowering stage are referred to as the “stretch” because the plants will rapidly grow and almost triple in size. Be sure to keep this in mind during the vegetative stage so you don’t run out of space.

Harvest Time

Over time, white hairs growing on the buds will become noticeable. Once the hairs stop producing and turn orange, harvest is close. For the highest levels of THC, always harvest your plants when 50 to 70 percent of the hairs have gained color. Once unnecessary leaves are cut and trimmed away, the drying and curing process is ready to begin.

Dry and Cure the Buds

To the dismay of many growers, you cannot smoke fresh buds from the plant. Make sure to hang newly harvested buds in a cool, dark place to dry completely. Once the stems snap instead of bend, place the buds loosely into jars for a minimum of two weeks. Once daily, open the jars to check your buds and allow in fresh air. If the buds are wet, leave the jars open longer until the outer parts dry. After a couple of weeks, you can sample your cannabis. The growth time is subjective, as some growers cure for up to 30 days.

Take a look at the cannabis gardening products we offer, and contact us today to find out more about what SoHum Living Soils® can do for your plants.

Cannabis Cultivation Basics

Cannabis Cultivation Basics

Growing Cannabis Indoors: The Beginner’s Guide to Success

growing cannabis indoors

Getting Started Growing Cannabis Indoors – What You’ll Need

These are a few necessary items to get the cannabis growing process started:

  • Feminized seeds or female seedlings (clones)
  • A dedicated area to grow your plants
  • Growing containers with adequate drainage
  • Enough SoHum living soil to fill containers
  • Lights-for your first grow, any lights will work. However, you’ll have drastically better results with units specifically designed for indoor growing (HID, LED, T5, or even high-output CFL’s will increase yields and quality)
  • Timers for lighting
  • Watering cans and spray bottles
  • Ventilation – For your first grow, 2-3 fans should be enough to provide adequate air exchange

Optional Supplies

  • Odor control solutions
  • CO2 generator
  • Trimmers or scissors for cropping
  • Screens, stakes, twine, wire or netting for training your plants to grow the way you want them to
  • Pest control as needed depending on what critters (if any) show up for the party
  • Magnifying glass/jewelers loupe/digital microscope/etc. to inspect pistils (more on this later)

You Won’t Need

  • Fertilizer – SoHum Living Soil provides all the nutrients your cannabis plants need throughout its life cycle.
  • pH testers/buffers/adjusters – SoHum Living Soil is naturally pH balanced for optimum nutrient uptake.


Step 1: Germinate Your Seeds

Using your preferred method, provide your seeds with a humid, dark environment in which they can sprout for the first time. DO NOT use any fertilizers or chemicals. Clean, de-chlorinated water is sufficient.

If you’re using seedlings, this step isn’t necessary. Just keep your seedlings humid and well-lit while you’re preparing your grow area.

Step 2: Set Up Your Grow Area

While seeds are germinating, you’ve got a few days to get your garden in order. This should be an area that can be kept clean and undisturbed for the duration of the grow. Make sure your “grow room” (tent, closet, basement, quiet corner…etc) is shielded from the sun so you can control lighting precisely.

Clean EVERYTHING that will be in your grow area carefully, including walls, floor, lights, and containers. Set up your lights and timers for the vegetative stage – 18 hours of light is a good standard until you’ve got more experience to experiment.

Step 3: Plant Your Seedlings

Sow your rooted seedlings, along with the medium they were germinated in, at least 2-4 inches into the living soil and gently pat the area until it’s level. Do not overwater at this point. Your soil should naturally be humid enough to attract roots to grow. One to two sprays with a water bottle should be enough to help your babies acclimate to their new home.

Steps 4-6: Water, Watch and Wait

Practice patience while your cannabis plants do their thing. During your first few crops, you’ll want to visit your garden regularly to make sure your super soil is humid, and your plants are showing no signs of pests or disease. Avoid the temptation to poke, prod or play with your plants too often – they may go as long as a week without needing anything and messing with them too often can stunt or stop their growth. Once you’re a more experienced grower, you’ll find ways to automate your garden, so you don’t need to spend much time with your plants at all these first few weeks.

Once your plants have taken root and are growing steadily, you’ll be able to train your plants to grow as you want them to. Here’s where SCROG, SOG, cropping, super cropping will come into play, but for beginners none of this is mandatory. It’s perfectly acceptable just to let nature take its course.

Step 7: Flower When Ready

When your plants reach the recommended age of maturity for their strain (check with your seed/seedling supplier for a guideline,) change the lighting schedule to 12 hours on/12 hours off. Continue to water only when the soil is dry. There is absolutely no need to add nutrients or fertilizer if you’re using SoHum living soil.

Your crop will start to smell pleasant but rather robust at this stage. If the aroma becomes too overwhelming, you can use odor eliminators, carbon filters, etc. at this point to keep it controlled.

Step 8: Time To Harvest!

When your crop produces dense, healthy flower and roughly 60% or more of the pistils have changed from white to dark red/brown, your grow cycle is complete. Cut your plants at the base and immediately hang them upside down in a dark area to begin the curing process. For more info on how to process your cannabis plants after harvest as well as more advanced tips on making your future crops exceptional, read what the experts have to say on our blog.

As you can see, growing cannabis with SoHum Living Soil is almost foolproof! Remember to monitor your plants while they are growing and water them as needed. Control pests, keep the lights on and the air circulating, and you’ll grow excellent cannabis every time. Growing cannabis indoors is made easy, if you just follow these few steps, and be patient.

Stock up SoHum Living Soil today and see just how easy growing your own cannabis indoors can be!


Your Cannabis Grow Checklist: Essentials for Growing Awesome Bud!

The Marijuana Grow Checklist

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]When you set out to grow the best marijuana, tools, gadgets, magic fertilizers and cropping tricks are fun. The best growers, however, have some key components on their cannabis grow checklist that are essential for producing high-quality cannabis flower. If you want your buds to be optimal, be sure to have these components in your grow room:

Quality Genetics

You get out what you put in! The quality of the seeds or cuttings you use to cultivate your cannabis is the most important factor to determine the quality of your finished product. The best genetics are more likely to produce the strongest plants and the best harvest possible. Your cannabis crop will be more consistent, more resistant to disease, and the end product will be a little easier to predict.

Strong Lighting

Whether you’re using the sun or artificial lighting, your plants will need a healthy amount of light to fuel photosynthesis. Spend plenty of time researching and designing your lighting plan to provide the brightness, timing, and spectrum of light you’ll need to grow healthy marijuana plants.

Nutritious Soil

The best lighting system in the world is no better than a flashlight if your roots aren’t in the right growing medium. Your soil should provide a natural balance of nutrients, moisture retention, drainage, and strong structure for healthy root growth. Modern growers like to customize their soils using chemical fertilizers, pH buffers, and artificial substrates designed to force plants to harvest quickly at the expense of quality. Fortunately, there are natural soils for sale such as SoHum Living Soils® that duplicate the same growing conditions provided by Mother Earth. Natural microbes work to break down organic matter, converting it into food for roots the way that nature intended. The natural byproduct is a high quality, nutritious substrate that is naturally pH neutral and maintains moisture perfectly. SoHum Living Soils® is ready to go without mixing or measuring. Just add water, and you’ve got the perfect growing medium for high-quality cannabis.

Clean Water

For the best quality marijuana harvest, water your plants regularly with clean, pH-balanced water. You don’t necessarily need to distill your water, but avoid hard water with a high mineral or chemical content. If you’re feeding your plants by hand, make sure your containers are clean. Automatic watering systems should be carefully maintained, and timers should be regularly calibrated.


If you’re using a high-quality living soil like SoHum Living Soils®, water acidity isn’t as much of a factor since the soil contains a natural pH buffer. SoHum Living Soils® also has the advantage of providing roots with the ideal drainage and retention.


Good cannabis product takes time. Beginning growers tend to tinker with their crops too frequently; touching, pinching, spraying, bending and cropping simply out of boredom. And some novices try to force their plants to harvest as quickly as possible so they can begin a new crop. If you’re not able to be patient, you won’t be able to grow high-quality marijuana.Anybody can grow cannabis, but time, dedication and the highest quality growing conditions set the best growers apart. When you’re ready to take your grow operation to the next level, learn how to become an expert at growing cannabis from the professionals at SoHum Living Soils®.

How to Spot a Nutrient Deficiency in Your Cannabis Plant

How to Spot a Nutrient Deficiency in Your Cannabis Plant

Using a living soil like SoHum as a medium to grow your cannabis plants will increase your yield and will grow happy, healthy plants. That’s because SoHum Living Soils delivers the necessary nutrients specifically required for optimal results in growing cannabis.

If you’ve never used living soil to grow your cannabis, chances are you’ve run into many of the telltale symptoms of nutrient deficiency. Nutrient deficiency occurs when a plant isn’t receiving the proper micronutrients and macronutrients to fuel its cells and facilitate photosynthesis, resulting in sickly and unhealthy plants.

There are often early warning signs of a deficiency and, if it’s caught early enough, a plant can repair itself and thrive. Often growers will overlook the possibility of their crop being malnourished and, instead, rush to futile activities like foliar feeding the affected area, adding an expensive CO2 generator, or spraying their crops with pesticides. In the meantime, their plants are starving from the inside, which could lead to stunted growth, poor potency and, in the worst cases, the loss of an entire crop.

SoHum has spent countless years researching how to grow cannabis including how to spot symptoms of malnourishment. We want to share what we’ve learned about how to diagnose cannabis nutrient deficiencies. To be clear, this is a list of possible symptoms of specific nutrient deficiencies; be sure to rule out other possible maladies before changing your cannabis plants’ diet. If soil PH, excessive temperatures, nutrient burn, pests, under/overwatering, or improper lighting techniques can all be eliminated as culprits, it may be time to change your growing medium to a living soil.


How to Spot a Nutrient Deficiency in Your Cannabis Plant

Nitrogen (N)

The first of the NPK macronutrient trilogy, nitrogen is essential throughout the lifecycle of the plant, and especially during the vegetative stage. Plants that are lacking in nitrogen will have leaves that lighten as they mature, eventually turning yellow. This is especially noticeable at the base of the plant. As it becomes more severe, the yellowing will spread, and the leaves will eventually curl and drop. Yellowing is to be expected toward the end of the flowering stage, but early nitrogen deficiency will cause bud sites to shrink and flowers to begin forming early, resulting in horrible yields.

Phosphorous (P)

Phosphorous is the second essential macronutrient and is necessary for photosynthesis and releasing the energy stored in carbohydrates. A lack of phosphorous in a plant is first noticeable by a purpling of the leaf stems on older leaves. Then, the leaves themselves take on a bluish green color, drastically slow in growth, and develop copper colored spots on new leaves.

Potassium (K)

The third and final macronutrient, potassium is essential in the growth of the plant. All aspects of growth require potassium, from the movements of sugars and carbohydrates to cellular division, transpiration, root growth, and water uptake. Though the least lethal deficiency to the plant, potassium is necessary to prevent sickly cannabis that produces no buds. Potassium deficiency causes the older, higher leaves on the plant to turn brown or yellow with brown edges. If left unchecked, stems will weaken, and the plant will stretch.



Micronutrients Super Soil for Growing

Calcium (Ca)

Leaves take on a purple or dark blue hue. Leaf surfaces become increasingly shiny, and tips or edges turn yellow. Buds may not ripen in the flowering stage.

Magnesium (Mg)

Outer edges and veins fade to light green or yellow.

Sulfur (S)

Young leaves turn lime green, then yellow. Leaf veins will turn yellow and, finally, the leaf becomes dry and brittle. If allowed to continue through flowering, flowers will grow slowly and weakly and finished product will be of very low potency.


Copper (Cu)

Slow twisting and wilting of new growth. Dead spots appear on leaf margins.

Iron (Fe)

New leaves will grow as a yellow color and will never darken.

Manganese (Mn)

Interveinal chlorosis (yellowing between the veins on the leaves) and necrotic spots showing on all new growth, gradually spreading to older leaves.

Molybdenum (Mo)

Older leaves develop interveinal chlorosis, turn yellow and discolor at the edges. Leaves eventually curl up, twist and die.

Zinc (Zn)

Veins turn yellow, and leaf tips turn brown and die.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]SoHum Living Soil is an expert on growing cannabis, and we welcome you to learn from our experience. Check out our website for more tips and tricks on how to grow an optimal yield and get your plant more potent than ever before. Or simply contact us with questions about your crop or our products. Finally, feel free to stop by our store so you can talk shop with our knowledgeable staff. We love growing cannabis and are excited to share our knowledge of the subject with you!


A Guide to the Best Cannabis Nutrients

Cannabis Cultivation

Knowing the best growing medium for cannabis plants is important for cultivating. Getting the most from your plants requires some knowledge of the specific nutrients cannabis needs to grow.

The following nutrients are found in SoHum Living Soils, a fully amended potting mix, inspired by True Living Organics.

Feather Meal

Feather meal is a natural, organic fertilizer. It is perfect for plants that require a lot of nitrogen to thrive, as it rapidly releases nitrogen early on to stimulate growth. Feather meal also has a slow release quality to it, leading to healthy late-stage growth. Nitrogen helps to stimulate photosynthesis, leading to strong leaf growth and a healthy shade normally associated with high-quality products.


Langbeinite is a unique type of crystalline. It is only found in a few locations across the globe, with the main source coming from New Mexico. Each batch is cleaned before sold for commercial use. We ensure that we only use the best nutrients for growing cannabis, so you can trust that all langbeinite used in our soil has been thoroughly prepared first. Langbeinite is highly effective, as only a few granules of the substance can lead to high nutrient levels in the soil.


Kelp has a ton of nutrients and minerals that make it an ideal addition to any living soil. Dried kelp has a high concentration of potassium, along with 70 other minerals, amino acids, and other elements important for plant growth. It also contains mannitol, which helps plant cells process sugar faster and easier, stimulating growth. We only use high-quality Norwegian Kelp in our soil to give you the best possible results.

Crab Meal

Crab meal helps to make your soil incredibly healthy and is another one of the greatest nutrients for growing cannabis in soil. It has chitin, which contains nitrogen, calcium, and magnesium. Taken together, these elements promote healthy plant growth over an extended period. If you are growing your plants outdoors, crab meal ensures that ants, grubs, slugs, and snails stay away from your crop. This nutrient has also been shown to ward off weeds.

Bone Meal

Bone meal is an organic fertilizer that is high in phosphorus, proteins, and calcium. These minerals are slowly released over time, making bone meal an excellent way to promote healthy growth over the lifetime of the plant. Phosphorus is especially important to plants when they are rooting and just before they begin to flower.

Alfalfa Meal

As with other nutrients, alfalfa meal contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. It also contains magnesium, sulfur, and triacontanol. Triacontanol is one of the best growth hormones for plants. It’s perfect for indoor and outdoor growers, as only a small amount is needed to fully enrich the soil. The alfalfa meal added to SoHum Living Soil is properly fermented and just the right amount.


Derived from obsidian, perlite is mined and subsequently heated to create small, round balls. It is primarily made up of silicon and lacks the same type of nutritional content as other key ingredients. However, it helps stimulate root growth by encouraging water retention in the roots. Perlite is ideal for use with indoor and outdoor gardens and is perfect for those who are growing in small spaces.

Peat Moss

Peat moss is probably the best-known soil nutrient, as it is a staple across North America. It is ideal for plant growth as it does not have any disease or insect development. Peat moss can hold more than 20 times its weight in water, which makes it perfect for those wanting to start growing seeds

Worm castings

Worm castings are earthworm waste, containing a lot of rich soil. This component is rich in calcium, which is essential for your plant’s healthy growth. These castings are great for indoor and outdoor gardeners, as they help with nutrient absorption and prevent pH imbalances in the soil.

Whether you are growing cannabis professionally or for personal use, you need to be sure that the soil you choose meets all those nutritional requirements. Using SoHum Living Soils is the perfect solution. Our soil has been scientifically engineered to include every nutritional requirement your cannabis plants need to thrive. SoHum Living Soil is suitable for its entire life cycle, taking a lot of guesswork out of cultivating.

We know that you do not want to be restricted to your growth location, so our soil is suitable for everything from lawns and gardens to indoor use in pots or other planting containers and from vegetables to cannabis.
Visit us at our Denver location, or online at SoHum Living Soils and let’s grow together![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

The Cannabis Cultivation Timeline: Stages of Development

The Cannabis Cultivation Timeline Stages of Development

First-time growers often have the same question: how long does it take for a cannabis plant to grow from a seed? Knowing the cannabis cultivation timeline is important, as it indicates when your plant is ready to be harvested. You can also use this information to learn about the growing process and signs of healthy and non-healthy growing practices.

If you want to promote strong, healthy plants with an improved yield, you should start the whole growing process with living soil. At SoHum Living Soils, we have taken all the guesswork out of growing plants by pre-amending SoHum with all the macro and micro-nutrients your plants need.

Cannabis Plants: The Stages of Development


The first of the four general stages of cannabis development is the germination stage. While the germination process typically takes anywhere from one to seven days, the entire germination stage lasts about one to two weeks. It can take time for the seed to become receptive to water. Ideally, you should use seeds that are hard, dry, and brown. Lighter colored seeds take longer to germinate.

You know your seed is ready to be transported to its growing place when a tap root appears, and it looks like it has popped. Make sure you plant it with the taproot facing down. As the plant germinates, you should see two round cotyledon leaves emerging from the stem to help stimulate photosynthesis. Once the roots are fully formed, fan leaves begin to grow, and your plant is now in its next stage of development.


While your plant is in the seedling stage, it needs approximately 18 to 24 hours of sunlight a day. The seedling phase lasts for approximately two to three weeks, during which time traditional cannabis leaves begin to grow. At the beginning of this stage, the leaves have only one finger, far from the five to seven most marijuana leaves should possess. As the plant progresses through this stage, each leaf acquires more fingers. Once every leaf has five or more fingers, the plant graduates to its next stage.

During this stage, pay attention to the plant’s growth, which should be short and dense with vegetation. If your plant is growing tall, it needs more sunlight. You may want to increase its exposure to appropriate lighting during this stage. Your leaves should all be a very healthy green color. Remember that your plants are particularly susceptible to mold and disease during the seedling phase. You can minimize this risk by removing excess moisture and keeping the nearby environment as clean as possible.


The vegetative stage can last anywhere from two to eight weeks. During this time, your plant needs 13 to 24 hours of sunlight per day. You should notice that your plant’s growth increases dramatically. You should transport it to a larger growing medium at the beginning of the phase, to help encourage the roots to spread. Most growers also use this time to start the topping or training process. At this stage, you should also notice a difference in the type of plants. Indica plants are dense and short, while Sativa plants are taller and less dense.

During this stage, you need to increase the amount of water you provide to your plants. As your plant progresses through each stage, you should water it further away from the stalk. For example, you should water a seedling close to the stalk, as the roots are still small. When watering a plant in its vegetative stage, you should water further away, giving the tips of the roots increased access.


Flowering is the final stage in your plant’s development. It takes about six to eight weeks, during which time you need to expose the plant to 12 hours of sunlight per day. Be careful to avoid increased light exposure, as it can inhibit further growth. This stage involves pruning and ensuring it is stalked and trellised.

After the buds are completely mature, you can begin harvesting. The best way to tell if your plant is ready is to examine its trichomes. You can do this by using a microscope. Your plant is ready if the trichomes are amber.

The team at Sohum Living Soils is here to answer your questions, whether you are a novice or an expert cultivator. visit us online at to find out more about healthy cannabis growing, including best practices and other recommended techniques. Contact us online, by phone, or stop by our Denver location.

Lighting Factors that Affect the Growth of Your Cannabis Plants

Nutrients, pruning, pest control, water and good soil… These are all important factors in growing a healthy cannabis plant from seed to harvest. But there is no single consideration that is more important to a plant’s life than the light that’s provided. Light is the primary source of energy for cannabis, and how you control that light can make or break a crop. The following is a breakdown of the lighting factors that affect the growth of your plants.


Type of Light

The optimal lighting for growing cannabis is the one that the sun provides. This is perfect for an outdoor grow with a single harvest in a calendar year. But with cannabis, outdoor grows can be impractical for many reasons. Indoor grows must be provided with at least one of several light sources:

• HID (High intensity discharge) lights-Expensive to purchase and run, these are superior lights for indoor growing though they can emit quite a bit of heat.
• Fluorescents-Inexpensive to purchase and use, these are a good compromise between efficiency and output.
• LED Lights-Most inexpensive option with minimal heat dissipation, although some argue LEDs don’t provide the best light spectrum for cannabis.


Light intensity is the concentration of light waves available for the surface of the leaves. The standard of measurement is lumens per square meters, or lux. There are some different schools of thought on lighting intensity for cannabis, but a broad guideline is to provide 15,000-70,000 lux to cannabis in vegetative stage and 35,000-85,000 lux while flowering.



The light spectrum, measured in nanometers (nm) of wavelength, is an often-overlooked consideration. Cannabis can tell what time of the year it is based on how high the sun is in the sky, and they read this by the wavelength of the light they receive. During the vegetative stage, “blue” light reading between 400-500nm should be used to promote leaf growth. For flowering, “Red” light reading between 620-780nm is ideal to promote budding.


Timing and Duration

It’s necessary to “trick” our plants into believing it’s a certain time of year so it grows at a pace of our choosing. Seedlings can handle 18-24 hours of light a day and in their vegetative stage 13-20 hours is common. The period of dark simulates nighttime and allows our plants to “sleep” and recover. We prompt our cannabis to flower by simulating fall. We do this by reducing the light cycle to 12 hours on/12 hours off. Using these lighting schedules we can harvest 2-4 times a year by artificially creating seasons that are shorter than those that nature provides.


To learn more about best cannabis growing practices, visit our website or visit our store to speak to us in person.



Image Credit: Canna Obscura /