There is an emerging trend in which marijuana growers are switching to techniques that involve the use of living soil, such as the no-till method, to grow their crops. This method is increasing in popularity because of its beneficial effects on the environment, its ability to reduce grower costs and its positive effects on the quality of the marijuana harvested at the end of the grow cycle.
In this system, the soil isn’t cultivated as is usually the case in conventional agriculture. Instead, mulch and cover crops are used to provide an enabling environment for the robust proliferation of microorganisms, which break down nutrients and make them available to the marijuana plants. For example, networks of fungus can break down minerals contained in the rocks within the soil so that marijuana roots can absorb them for use by a grower’s plants.
By doing away with topsoil tilling, cannabis growers eliminate the need to purchase costly cultivation equipment and instead rely on simple hand tools. Additionally, there is hardly a need to apply synthetic fertilizers, especially after a few years when the soil is now healthy and can avail all the nutrients marijuana plants need on a continuous basis.
Talk about the commercial cultivation of marijuana and many people will immediately think about how much water the system guzzles on a daily basis. With no-till cultivation, water use is minimized since the living soil with its plentiful organic matter retains water more effectively than soil that is cultivated in the conventional way. The mulch covering the soil prevents evaporation since the soil is shielded from the harsh rays of the sun.
Josh Turner, Massachusetts-based Green Meadow’s VP in charge of cultivation, says that no-till systems yield marijuana with a higher potency and a richer terpene profile. This makes sense given that the microorganisms in the soil make various nutrients from rocks, plant debris and soil available to marijuana plants, thereby enabling the cannabis to be of a high quality.
However, cannabis growers planning to switch to the no-till system need to be patient because it takes several years for living soil to establish itself. Additionally, the initial stages of this method are costly. However, once the living soil reaches a point when it is self-sustaining, those initial costs can be recovered over the subsequent years when input is minimal.
An inevitable consequence of creating a rich living soil is that weeds will compete with marijuana plants due to the presence of rich nutrients in the soil. To manage these weeds, mulch the cultivation beds and rotate the cover crops so that weed development is stifled.
As inflation soars and the population becomes more picky about where they spend their money, cannabis sector players such as Cannabis Strategic Ventures Inc. (OTC: NUGS) are having to get very creative so that their products remain competitively priced in order to maintain or even grow their market share in the jurisdictions where they operate. No-till farming is one of the cost-cutting options on the table.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cannabis Strategic Ventures Inc. (OTC: NUGS) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://cnw.fm/NUGS
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