Grow like a Gamer - SSM - Soil Testing for Better Results

  • Thread starter JWM2
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Fire up your favorite cannabis cultivation game and you’ll probably see your plant nutrient levels represented with numbers or bar graphs. Wouldn’t it be nice to have this in real life? Wouldn’t it be cool if you could read your soils nutrient content like you can in a video game? Actually maybe we can. Let’s give it a try.

The first thing we have to establish is a unit of measurement. We’ll use ppm for this. This will allow us to attach a numerical value to each nutritional element so we have a gauge to work with. Without this we are just guessing. Our soil tests will return results in this fashion so it’s a great baseline unit of measurement.

The second thing we need to do is measure our soil or soil mix so we know what it consists of. This gives us a base to work from. It will also highlight areas of concern or areas we can improve through our fertilization program.

Third we need to figure out what the nutrient values are of various fertilizers. To do this we will use data from the bottles (of fertilizer) and assume the companies by which we procure these from have done accurate testing. A little bit of math will help us see exactly how many ppm’s of each element we are feeding our soil.

Last we need to establish zones for each nutrient or element. These zones will help guide us as we feed our plants. The rate at which the plant uses these elements will also need to be measured so we can some what accurately count down as time passes by.

I’d like to call this the scientific soil method or SSM for short.

You can certainly debate the merit of this methodology but quite frankly I don’t care to rebuttal. My aim here is to establish a more scientific method of growing our favorite plant using tools available to anyone.

In subsequent posts I’ll be posting soil tests and nutrient solution values. I’ll also post results of subsequent soil tests from established plants exhibiting deficiency or excess so we know our boundaries for various nutritional elements.

If you’d like to participate that would be fantastic and welcomed. Just try to follow a similar convention so we can keep the results as readable as possible.

Now that we’ve established the rules, let’s play!


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The soil test we’ll be using for this is available here:

The soil test is $29.99 but I was able to snag a couple for $5 off for Black Friday. It’s as easy of a soil test as you can purchase. Just fill the included scoop with soil, dump it into the DI water container and send it back with the included postage paid envelope. In less than 7 days you’ll have results like I’ve obtained below.

The below results are from soil straight out of the bag of Nectar for the Gods #4. Nothing has been added to the soil prior to being sent in.


The important numbers I want to focus on are the ppms of each element. As you can see we have 46.59 ppm of nitrogen in this soil sample. I’ll round it down to 46 for simplicity sake. We also have 66 ppm of phosphorus and 47 ppm of potassium.

As we can see this soil is rich in phosphorus and salt. The latter I was surprised with. We can also see it is depleted of nearly all micronutrients. We can also see from this test that magnesium will need to be supplemented and it’s not heavy on nutrient content outside of phosphorus.
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