By Luke Sholl

When it comes to cannabis farming, there are two major issues plaguing the industry: sustainability and chemical safety. A solution that would potentially solve both of these issues simultaneously does exist though—it’s known as no-till farming. No-till is a process that utilises natural systems and organic materials to create an easily sustainable environment to grow plants. With this technique, you won’t need any dangerous chemicals and it’s much more practical than many alternatives.


No-till farming, also referred to as direct drilling and/or zero tillage farming, is a gardening method that does not move the soil via tillage. Tillage is a mechanical means of disturbing the soil, for example digging, stirring, and overturning. During the standard tilling process, a plow digs into the ground and flips over layers of soil. The intent is to break up old soil and replenish it to prepare for the planting of seeds.

On the other hand, the no-till method —since it doesn't disturb the soil and the microorganisms that live within it— allows the soil to be a living ecosystem that replenishes itself through a combination of good bacteria, helpful fungi, and other living organisms like insects. Both organic matter retention and water absorption are increased because nutrients are constantly being recycled throughout the soil.

The Benefits of No-Till Cannabis Farming


There are many benefits to adopting the no-till farming method, with the most notable being that it’s natural and sustainable. While traditionally tilled soil is definitely effective for growing good-quality cannabis, it upsets the natural structure and the life within the soil. No-till farming improves soil quality by enhancing soil biological activity and increasing organic matter, as well as reducing soil erosion and water evaporation.

With no-till farming, everything is handled by nature, and soil biology will be healthy and organic. And since the soil has nothing harmful added to it, it can be reused for years. This is not only cost and time-efficient, but it’s better for the Earth, and it’s much healthier to consume cannabis that’s been grown this way.


One very common fear that people have is that no-till farming won’t produce the same quality cannabis as other methods, or that the yield will be much smaller—both of which are simply untrue. The most thriving biomes in nature are those that have been the least disturbed, such as the redwood forests of the Pacific Northwest and Indonesia’s rainforests.

People considering no-till farming also worry about a possible increase in the pest population. However, in a truly functional, natural soil, all the lifeforms work together to create an ecological environment that flourishes. All of the mites, worms, protozoa, fungi, bacteria, nematodes, and larger animals have a symbiotic relationship and are actually beneficial for the soil in their own unique ways.

Soil Mix For Growing Cannabis


If you are looking to create your very own no-till garden at home, rest assured knowing that it’s both simple and inexpensive. The first thing you need to do is mix up some good-quality soil. The most standard recipe is around ⅓ worm castings (either homemade or a good-quality brand from a gardening store), ⅓ sphagnum peat moss, ¼ aeration amendment, 15% topsoil (highest quality possible), and a mixture of organic soil additives such as kelp meal, neem seed, minerals, or ground oyster shells.

Then, you store your soil mix in a container, cover with mulch to keep in the moisture, and wait. Like a fine wine, good soil improves with age as new lifeforms begin to grow throughout the mix. The longer you’re able to wait, the more biologically diverse your soil will be. Once you’re almost ready to plant, add a good-quality compost which you can also make yourself (remember, 2 parts brown waste to 1 part green). Composting is great for your garden and a wonderful way to recycle your household waste.


In short, natural is always better. While it might take a little more effort in the beginning, it’ll definitely be easier, cheaper, and more sustainable in the long-run. And you can feel good knowing that the product you’re growing is completely healthy and organic. No more worrying about harmful pesticides!

Have you tried the no-till farming method? How did it work for you? Leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear from you!

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