How Long Does Fox Farm Ocean Forest Last?

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One of the most widely-used growing mediums by cannabis growers, and the most popular potting soil by renowned soil and fertilizer producer relied-upon by cannabis growers everywhere is Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil, and for good reason. 

It contains an abundance of just the right nutrients in just the right proportions that cannabis plants need to thrive. Perfect for container gardening, it comes ready-to-use, fresh from the bag and requires no initial mixing with nitrogen fertilizer.

Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil Ingredients

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Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil contains aged forest products, along with:

  • Bat guano
  • Crab meal
  • Earthworm castings
  • Fish emulsion
  • Kelp
  • Sandy loam
  • Shrimp
  • Sphagnum peat moss

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Aeration and Drainage

The light texture of the sphagnum peat moss and sandy loam that Fox Farm’s Ocean Forest Soil contains keeps it well-aerated for easy drainage.

Soil Amendments

As you can see from the ingredients list above, Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil already contains a great number of valuable soil amendments. You could, if you choose, however, add perlite into the soil, at a ratio of one part perlite to three parts soil, to aerate it even further.

In addition, many growers treat their Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil before planting in it in order to kill off any pathogens or pests living there that may harm their plants.

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The soil already contains beneficial microbes, or microorganisms like certain fungi, bacteria, protozoa and nematodes that help break down the nutrients in the soil and deliver them to your cannabis plants.

So, growers prepare the soil by adding organic ingredients for these beneficial microbes to feed on for a couple of weeks prior to planting in order to support and strengthen them to better perform their role.

The Longest You Can Grow With Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil Without Nutrients

One of the prime benefits of Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil is that it lets you start your plants off in their new pots or beds without adding any nutrients for a long time, though not for the whole length of your plants’ grow cycle. It contains enough nutrients for your plants to prosper for about the first month of growth, plus or minus 10 days.

Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil FAQ

How long do the nutrients in Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil last?

Most of the key functional ingredients in Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil are perishable, which means you’ll need to use it before it starts to decay and lose its benefits. The length of time a bag of Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil remains viable, or its shelf-life, is about two years.

At that point, you should dispose of any leftover, unused soil and replace it with fresh soil.

Is there something I can do to help adjust the nutrient levels?

Beyond adding extra fertilizer to your soil, which you can always do, though at the risk of nutrient-burning your plants, of course, you can help your plants better access and, therefore, reap maximum value from the nutrients in the soil by making it even more light and aerated than it is already.

One easy way to do this is to mix a bit of perlite into the soil. Approximately 25% perlite to 75% Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil should suffice for this purpose.

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Fox Farm also suggests that you can add their Big Bloom nutrient mix for the first 3-4 weeks after planting if you wish to give your plants an extra nutritional boost during their early stages of growth. After that time, they recommend switching to a fertilizer appropriate for the plants’ current phase of development.

Another good choice is Fox Farm Trio which provides additional nutrients to your plants during the vegetative and bloom phases. You can check out our review of Fox Farm Trio here.

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Does the Fox Farm Ocean Forest soil need additional nutrients, and, if so, what?

When the time comes, approximately 20-40 days after planting in Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil, you will need to add nutrients to maintain the nutritive value your plants need from their growing medium to thrive. 

Best to use during the vegetative phase of your cannabis growing cycle is a fertilizer high in nitrogen. For the flowering phase of the cycle, switch to a fertilizer higher in phosphorus.

In most cases, a nitrogen fertilizer for cannabis will have the word “Grow” or a variation of it, such as “Gro,” in the name, and a phosphorus fertilizer for cannabis will have the word “Bloom” in the name.

Note that you could also measure the nutrient content in your soil to determine when to start adding nutrients, as well as how many to add, by using a Total Dissolved Solids tester, or TDS tester for short. Also known as a PPM, for Parts-Per-Million, tester, this battery-operated, handheld device will tell you how many parts-per-million of total dissolved solids are in your soil at any point in time.

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When you see the quantities diminish, you can start adding the appropriate amounts of the lacking nutrients. Remember that your plants nutrient needs will change as the plant grows, and small, young plants don’t need as many nutrients as older, larger plants.

Here’s a handy chart of the appropriate nutrient ppm range for cannabis plants during each stage of growth:

  • From sprouting to week one of vegetation – 100-250 ppm
  • Weeks two and three of vegetation – 300-400 ppm
  • From week four of vegetation until the end of the vegetative cycle – 450 to 700 ppm
  • Weeks one through four of the flowering cycle – 750 to 950 ppm
  • From week five of flowering through two weeks prior to harvest – 1,000 to 1,600 ppm
  • Two weeks before harvest – under 100 ppm

To gently introduce your plants to the new nutrients, you may choose to dilute your fertilizer or nutrient mix before feeding it to them for the first couple of weeks or until the flowering phase begins.

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