It may seem like a silly thing to get hung up on, but the plant will spend its entire life inside of these containers and it really has a big effect on the growth and yield at the end of its flowering cycle.
Pots are solid containers made of a variety of materials including traditional plastic, ceramics, and fabric planter pots sometimes with holes in the bottom for drainage. They’re sturdy, give plenty of structure, and work well as a permanent and reusable type of growing setup.
What’s the Difference?
So, which is the best, pots or bags?
It’s often overlooked, but there’s a large industry that focuses on making pots and bags for growing plants, specifically the cannabis industry has a ton of options for containers. When choosing which one to grow in, the benefits of each can get a bit confusing.
Thanks to you and High Times for years of great grow advice! Quick question on plant containers—do you recommend using traditional pots or grow bags to hold plants and medium? I know there are advantages to each type, but I am leaning towards bag culture. Any thoughts are appreciated and keep up the good work!
The Question: Do You Recommend Traditonal Pots Or Grow Bags?
Thanks for reading HighTimes.com and writing into the mailbag with a question.
The Answer: The Advantages & Disadvantages Of Grow Bags
Fabric pots are a top choice of growers, offering breathability and great drainage.
If possible, use dechlorinated water. It isn’t a deal-breaker, but the plant and soil microbes will definitely appreciate it. If you are on city tap water, allowing a bucket of water to sit out overnight can help the chlorine dissipate. We mostly use our captured rainwater. Another option is to use a simple hose carbon filter to remove chlorine.
Examples of popular cannabis soil brands to keep an eye out for are Roots Organics products, Fox Farm’s Ocean Forest/Happy Frog, or Recipe 420 by E.B. Stone. Even some of the Kellogg or G&B Organics could work well, especially when premium compost is added. Check to see if there are any hydroponic stores or “grow shops” in your area. Those stores cater to cannabis growers, and are more likely to carry premium bagged soils over the stuff at big box nursery centers.
If mixing up all those amendments sounds a little too “extra” for you, you could do the following instead:
Grow bags are great because they allow people to grow cannabis in a variety of living situations, be it on a patio, indoors, or in a greenhouse. By using a container, you have ultimate control over the soil you choose to fill it with.
And just like that, you’ve given your cannabis a stellar start! You’ll be enjoying your own homegrown organic bud in no time.
Rock Dust contains micronutrients and trace minerals that are essential for a plant’s core biological processes to work at their strongest, such as nutrient uptake and photosynthesis.
Either way you choose to go, please note that we follow a no-till method. That means the soil is a one-time upfront cost, aside from some amendments you’ll need on an ongoing basis. Those last a long time before needing replenishing too! At the end of a growing season, the mature cannabis plant is cut down at the soil line, and the roots left in place to decompose over the winter with the aid of worms and light moisture. The soil is used year after year in the same container, improving with age. This is also called ROLS – recycled organic living soil.
If you checked out our post about how to build the perfect organic soil for raised beds, our methods for building the perfect cannabis soil isn’t all that different. We’re shooting for something that is rich, biologically active, full of micronutrients, and has an excellent balance between moisture retention and drainage. Reference that raised bed soil post if you want to dive deep into detail, but otherwise here is a quick-and-dirty for cannabis soil:
A note about peat moss:
Sativa-dominant plants are typically more uplifting and energizing. Sativa plants also get taller, lankier, and take longer from seed to harvest. Indica-dominant strains finish a little faster, pack on fatter buds, and are generally shorter and wider plants. These make them a preferable variety for northern climates with shorter growing seasons. Indica is also known for more of a mellow, sleepy, heavy, couch-lock kind of vibe.
Neem meal enhances microbial activity, making your soil even more alive! It also strengthens root systems, and can help control unwanted nematode populations, fungus, and soil pathogens.