How to Make Homemade Cannabis Potting Soil

How to Make Homemade Cannabis Potting Soil

Are you the type of person who likes DIY projects? Perhaps getting your hands dirty and making something from nothing is a personal driver for you. Well, you are in the right place! 

We are going to explore the basics on making the best potting soil for cannabis so you can save money and satisfy your inner DIYer energy. The focus here will be on creating a cannabis focused potting soil recipe, but you can still use this formula on really any type of plant. From garden vegetables, houseplants, and flowers; this mix will work.

Bonus: This cannabis potting soil recipe works for both indoor and outdoor applications.

Now let’s jump into this topic and learn the basics of making homemade cannabis potting soil!

The Recipe

The SECRET to making a premium cannabis potting soil versus a mediocre mix is all in the ratios and quality of the ingredients.

The tools required:

– A 5-gallon bucket (A bucket with measurement lines would be best)

– A shovel

– Gloves

– A large tote, wheelbarrow, or bin to mix the ingredients

The ingredients needed:


Perlite (Purchased at your local nursery or Amazon)

Compost (Collected from your own compost pile or purchased at your local nursery)

Topsoil (Gathered Topsoil from your yard or purchased at your local nursery)

Sphagnum Peat Moss/ Coco-Coir/ Pro-Mix HP (Purchased at your local nursery)

* We recommend supporting your local nursery or grow supplier so please try to source the inputs you don’t have from those wonderful small businesses!

So, you now have all your tools and ingredients. Let’s mix them all together to make that premium cannabis potting soil you dream about.

Grab your 5-gallon bucket and follow the ratios provided below. The percentages (%) given will indicate the number of gallons require of each ingredient. If your bucket does not have measurement lines. Just eyeball it to the best of your ability.

Ex. 30% perlite = 3-gallons of perlite in your 5-gallon bucket.

The ratios to follow:

Perlite (30% = 3 gallons)

Compost (7% = 3/4th gallon)

Topsoil (3% = ½ gallon)

Sphagnum Peat Moss/ Coco-Coir/ Pro-Mix HP (60% = 6 gallons)

Note: You do not need to be exact in your measurements. If you are using a regular run-of-the-mill 5-gallon bucket, it is okay to not be exact in your (%) percentages/ amounts.

The Directions

1)    Take your choice of Sphagnum Peat Moss, Coco-coir, or Pro-Mix HP; hydrate it until it’s lightly damp, measure the amount, & dump the ingredient into your tote or wheelbarrow.

Tip: If your using Peat Moss just leave the bag unopened and punch a hole through the bag with the end of your water hose. Turn your hose on and let the Peat Moss hydrate before use.

2)    Collect your topsoil from your yard or dump the bag you purchased at the nursery into your bucket at the desired amount. Add that into step 1 while evenly mixing it with a shovel or your hands.

Tip: If you’re harvesting your own topsoil. Be sure to break the clumps into small pieces or run the collected material through a screen. You can use some small-holed chicken wire to break the material up.

3)    Gather some compost from your compost pile or purchase earthworm castings, leaf-mold compost, or any organic compost available at your local grow retailer. Add that measured out ingredient into the tote or wheelbarrow. Mix evenly.

Tip: If you use animal manure, we recommend well-aged/compost manure. If you put fresh animal manure in the mix, you may burn your plants.  

4)    We recommend using a mask when handling the Perlite because it can get dusty. Measure out and dump your Perlite into your tote/wheelbarrow. Mix evenly.

5)    Take a gallon of water and pour it into your mix. Be sure to mix well and let sit overnight to permit all the ingredients to evenly absorb the moisture.

You now should have around 10-gallons of homemade cannabis potting soil!

Pro-Tip: If you have aerobic compost tea laying around. Use that 1-gallon of that as a substitute for the 1-gallon of water you add at the end of the recipe to combine all the ingredients. This will jump start the life aspect of your potting soil!

If you have experience with creating cannabis potting soils, feel free to add the host of amendments your local grow supplier or nursery carries. But remember that too much of a good thing can be bad so use the amendments wisely. A cup or two should suffice for most.

List of Amendments:

– Kelp Meal

– Alfalfa Meal

– Bone Meal

– Feather Meal

– Mineral amendments like Azomite

– Biochar

– Bacterial/fungal inoculants

– the list goes on….

What’s Next?

You have checked the DIY Cannabis Potting Soil box off your list and now you need to focus on what is next. Are you looking for more Beginner basics or are you experiencing problems as your grow? Our Grow 101 education platform we have created is here to help you be a better Cannabis Grower! An array of Cannabis Growing information ranging from Beginner to Expert is at your fingertips and the best thing is that it is all FREE!

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