Cultivating Soil for Optimal Terpene Expression

The Press Club Cultivate Soil for Maximum Terpenes


Todde Philips 

🇺🇸 Retired veteran, father, rock-climbing expert & rosin connoisseur 

Growing the best cannabis requires growing the best soil. Think about how you’re cultivating your soil and that intention will shine through in the end product. The goal is to create soil that gives roots the healthiest environment possible, and healthy roots lead to healthy flowers. 

Here are 5 tips to help you grow the best soil for your plants:

The Press Club Cultivate Soil for Maximum Terpenes


Correct pH (Slightly Acidic)

When using organic soil with only organic fertilizer, pH adjustment will likely not be needed. Most soil in nature is slightly acidic, and that’s what cannabis prefers. If you keep the pH between 6.0 and 7.0 you’ll create the ideal environment for your roots, which then are able to uptake the maximum amount of nutrients to aid in terpene production. 

This environment is also conducive to the microbiome you’re aiming to create (more on that in a moment).


No Fertilizers with Synthetic Salts

Only use organic fertilizer and avoid synthetic fertilizers which can leave a salty residue in the soil over time. Not only is this disadvantageous to the microbes living in the soil, but excess salts can limit the availability of nutrient uptake through the roots.  


Healthy Blend of Live Microbes

The best soil for producing cannabis terpenes is a soil that’s truly alive. Soil composed of organic ingredients will already contain an entire ecosystem of microbes, however many growers prefer to add additional microbes into the mix. There are many solutions on the market, all of which aim to facilitate a significant rate of microbe activity around the roots. 


The Press Club Cultivate Soil for Maximum Terpenes

Good Drainage

Aim to create a soil that can “breathe”. The best soil for terpene production maintains moisture in the days between waterings without remaining soppy and saturated. This can be achieved by using a quality blend of all-organic base ingredients, plus perlite and possibly a bit of coco coir. 



Good drainage and aeration go hand-in-hand. Soil that drains properly is able to exchange oxygen within the root zone, which is vital to the plant during flowering for maximum terpene production. 



Try to think about farming terpenes as essentially farming soil. Give your cannabis roots a healthy place to live and they’ll thank you with vigor and vitality in cannabinoid and terpene production. Healthy roots enable the optimal expression of cannabis terpenes, so take special care to cultivate the most ideal soil possible. 




What is living soil?
Living soil has a rich and thriving microbial ecosystem and doesn't rely on salt-based fertilizers for plant nutrition. Living soil is ideal for terpene production. 

Why is good drainage important?
Good drainage allows the roots to get lots of oxygen, which is important for healthy roots. Healthy roots produce healthy plants. 

Why should you focus on producing lots of terpenes?
Terpenes give cannabis it's flavor, smell, and they also act with cannabinoids to produce a therapeutic effect. Learn more about Why Terpenes Matter. 

What are synthetic salt-based fertilizers?
Salt-based fertilizers use synthetic, non-organic compounds as a delivery mechanism to allow roots to quickly absorb the nutrients. 

How can you get healthy microbes in your soil?
Adding Mycorrhizae into the soil and using only organic compounds is a good start to creating an ecosystem where microbes will thrive. 

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