Soil basics - Don't forget the perlite!


I have it, but three months in, I still haven’t opened/needed it .

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General Organics Cal Mag is an organic option instead of the inorganic option of Cal Mag.
General rule of thumb when feeding Cal Mag is a 5:1 ratio Calcium to Magnesium is recommended.

If you plan on using organic soil with living critters it’s important to select stuff you use to be organic.

Up to you

20-30% perlite in a mix is what I have read over and over and as it has many nooks and crannies it is like a condo for critters to live in too!


Hi. Not too late. Check out @garrigsn65 recipes for teas and root drenches. He is the man! Good luck with your grow.@Oldsoldier1976 @GreenCoat


weasels rip my flesh.

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It’s all about volume ratio not about ratio itself :wink: it’s a sweet science.

Find a whole lot of sweet science here

It’s a great resource to have on hand while being part of this forum. Everything comes together nicely :sunglasses:


While on the subject… should I add perlite to my potting soil for my seedlings (solo cups) will be transplanting into FFOF ( 5gal pots,) with the perlite at aprox 20%. When they are ready for transplanting. Thanks I just don’t see the need for it for the seedlings.???


I’m by no means an experienced grower but from what I’ve read over and over…like the Franks Red Hot sauce commercial …substituting that for perlite…I put that xo&# on everything lol…
I add perlite to seedling mix as well as potting soil even though there is already some of it in there…just my limited experience and all…can’t hurt…its cheap…and it can help!


Haha! I put that $hit in everything as well. I think that using fabric pots can allow you to cut back on perlite a little though.


Thanks for the great post. After reading it, I went back to the botanical and plant physiology literature on cannabis and the reason a lot of aeration makes sense is that although the plant is native to more arid areas, the roots are adventitious: you have the “roots that go down” (up to 60cm) and these spreading ones that need a loose top soil. I wonder if providing a wider potting area (for the potted ones) with such loose top soil wouldn’t be important. I also assume the soil would be slightly acidic from the description of the best yields. I assume, also, that keeping the humus content fairly high would provide for that. Am I right?


Welcome @Ruby. You are amongst friends. You are right on the money. I believe its all about the roots. Moving up from 10 gallon fabric pots to larger, WIDER, 25 gallon bags for that reason. Do not overlook pH. 6.2-6.8 pH I believe is the target. Humic fulvic acid is a GREAT way to fortify. Make sure you read random topics. Something WILL catch your eye. Create a topic. Ask ANY question. Great people here. Tons of experience here. Great moderators. Good luck, great grow!:sunglasses:

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OK I’m confused now, just opened thE FFOF to set up for transplant and noticed a lot of perlite or vermiculite (not sure which) sooooo do I need to add perlite after all??? Doesn’t list on package persentage or even it being in there. HELP


Yes, add about 20% more. I made the mistake of not adding more and kept fighting soil compaction

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The bag might say how much of which if either or both. But so far most of the strains do like soil that is more porous. The vermiculite is really for retaining water. The perlite reject the water and leaves a dry space as it gets incorporated with the plant roots. Good luck on your grow. Just remember don’t panic. If the plant isn’t doing well then stop watering unless the soil is dry then just water it. It is a weed and therefore is predisposed to fighting for life and struggling against all odds.

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@Ruby I really need to say thank you for the diagrams of the root systems. I should have said it before this. This adds to the tread is an immense way.


Just like the Franks Red Hot commercial only with perlite
I put that sh1t on everything lol
Unless it’s a bag of perlite
I would also suggest as you mix whatever spraying it down with water while mixing things so when putting soil in container it’s nice and moist first


I called Fox Farms and they said the FFOF has 10% perlite, no vermiculite (don’t recommend it) but more perlite up to 20% (or so) is good. Shouldn’t need neuts for at least 4 weeks after transplant. This info was from one of their "specialists " .


you are on the money with all of this, first grow, i used ffof, no nutes for 5 weeks, but about week 4 i should have started 1/4 strength, ffof does get packed pretty hard in 3 gal soft pots, next time 5 gal pots, and lots more perlite, i also think a lil of the flower nute should be added a cpl weeks before the 12/12 switch, and the grow nute also for a week or so after switch to 12/12. (overlap) im fighting a mag defiency that i think is finally fig out. i learned they need lots of magnesium come flower stage. with go box nutes from gen organics they are low on mag till mid flower, since ffof is about worn out at 5 weeks, any nute def will hit hard and fast.

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ph, ppm with organic nutes. there is a few forums that say you dont need to ph or ppm if you use soil and organic nutes, maybe if you have grown for twenty years, but for newbees its your tool box, once all the numbers start making sense then you can understand how important measuring in and runoff is.

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@Powersrp I read somewhere in one of the grow guides that it is nearly impossible to give them no matter the strain too much CalMag. I could be wrong but ever since I started adding CalMag to every watering or feeding my plants have not shown a magnesium deficiency.

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