When it comes to growing cannabis outside, you can set yourself up for success with good soil. One way to do that is to create a pathway soil bank. It’s a no-till, low-maintenance soil system made out of kitchen scraps and natural materials. On top of that, it’s a cheap and easy way to turn your dirt into black gold.
Howie Jones from Food Forest Permaculture was kind enough to share his knowledge on the subject. The guy grows twenty-five-foot weed plants outside and attributes part of his success to using this technique. Here’s how to make a pathway soil bank.
Soil is defined as a mixture of organic matter, minerals, gases, liquids, and organisms that together support life. For a growing plant, it means the world. More than just dirt, your soil functions as a:
Support system for the roots and sprouts
Water and air filter
Storehouse for nutrients and water
Protector from the weather and temperature
What is a pathway soil bank?
What exactly is a pathway soil bank? The term refers to a layering method you can use to make your soil highly fertile. Each layer has an important job to do. Using bark mulch, dolomite lime, coffee grounds, and kitchen scraps, you create a compost parfait.
How to make a pathway soil bank
Begin by preparing the area and digging out a small trench. Dig your trench to a depth of a foot and a half. It can be as wide and long as you would like. Please note: some people prefer to make soil mounds and plant within them. However, this can be a bit messy and makes it hard to maintain even layers. Whether it’s better to set up this soil system above or below ground depends on the person; try both and see what works for you. Once your area has been prepped and is ready, you can start to spread each layer.
Kitchen Scraps – The first layer for your pathway soil bank should be kitchen waste. This will be broken down and can include anything that goes in the compost.
Coffee Grounds – Spread a layer of coffee grounds overtop of the kitchen waste. This will help add nutrients and help to filter the soil but most importantly, it will prevent any odor and deter pests.
Bark Mulch – Cover your layers with a few inches of bark mulch. This can be made of chopped-up leaves, wood chips, and other organic materials.
Dolomite lime – To add minerals like calcium and magnesium, sprinkle dolomite lime on top of the bark mulch. This will help enrich the soil.
Once you have finished laying everything down, stomp on top of it and pat the soil down. To help bind your layers together and spread the minerals from the dolomite, give your pathway soil bank a generous watering. Within three weeks, it will turn into a rich mash of nutrient-loaded dirt.
The author would like to thank Howie Jones from Food Forest Permaculture, for sharing his knowledge and expertise about making best soil for growing cannabis outdoors.