Liquid nutrients are typically used for indoor growing, but can be used outdoors too. Liquid nutrients are used for weed plants in soil, hydroponics, and other grow media, and can be pushed through drip lines, misters, and hoses for easy and efficient delivery.
When using liquid nutrients for cannabis plants, it’s important to have a watering schedule to write down and track:
Using organics is also great if you want to be more in-tune with your natural environment. Organic fertilizers are readily available from renewable sources and are an earth friendly option.
Magnesium acts as the central molecule in chlorophyll and without it, plants aren’t able to generate the glucose from photosynthesis. No magnesium means no energy can be converted from sunlight.
When applied to soil, you’re adding to the soil food web by introducing a healthy population of microorganisms that are aerobic in nature. These organisms hold nutrients, aerate soil, aid water retention, increase nutrient absorption in the cannabis plant, help grow healthy roots, and help prevent diseases.
Organic fertilizers and nutrients can be more forgiving than liquid nutrients. They usually contain less immediately soluble nutrients and more elements that are beneficial to soil organisms.
Growing high-quality weed requires more nutrients, or fertilizer, than most common crops.
There are many different cannabis nutrients out there and it may be overwhelming knowing where to start. Here’s a breakdown on some of our favorites.
In the final week or so before harvest, be sure to give your plants only water to clear any nutrient buildup in the buds—this is called flushing.
Once magnesium has helped create glucose, it helps metabolize glucose to make it available for the plant to grow. Without sufficient magnesium, you will find yellowing leaves, with discoloration reaching the veins as well.
Comparing nutrient and fertilizer brands.
The tea can be applied to roots or as a spray on leaves of your cannabis plants. Dilute the tea with water at a ratio around 1:20 when applying it to roots. A basic tea can’t harm or burn your plants, so you can apply a potent dose freely. As a foliar spray, compost tea is generally diluted with water at a 1:2 ratio.
A healthy compost tea pulls soluble nutrients and microorganisms from compost, including bacteria, fungi, and protozoa.
Potassium also triggers the production of ATP, which works to store energy produced in photosynthesis by creating glucose. This glucose is then used as energy for the plant as it grows. Without sufficient potassium, you will see weak plants starved for energy that appear burnt because they are unable to successfully regulate the exchange of CO2, H2O, and oxygen.
Nitrogen is also part of amino acids that act as building blocks for proteins in a plant. Without the necessary proteins, your cannabis plants will be weak and frail. Nitrogen is also a part of ATP, which allows plant cells to control the use of energy.
The fertilization process can repeat itself year after year as the soil continually improves—next year, your soil will be even better than this year’s.
Compost tea recipe for marijuana plants.
We recommend these organic fertilizers:
There are some complications in working with organic fertilizers. The main issue is if your weed plants have a nutrient deficiency, it takes longer for a plant to absorb organic powder nutrients, which can increase the damage to plants. Liquid nutrients act much quicker. Other disadvantages:
These micronutrients are needed as well, but in much smaller quantities:
Here are five key compost tea ingredients recommended by the Beneficial Living Center located in Arcata, California, to create a successful tea that will work best for your cannabis.
Commercial soil blends also exist that already contain the proper mix of these nutrients.
Additionally, cannabis plants derive these non-mineral elements from air and water:
These are types of hydroponics systems . In a recirculation system, the nutrient runoff is collected, replenished, and added to the substrate. In a drain-to-waste system, nutrient runoff is drained into the ground and or rerouted to a holding reservoir.
There are dozens of nutrients you can give to your plants, and each one causes a unique reaction from your crop. For instance, one nutrient could increase the pH of the soil while another will decrease it.
PPM stands for parts per million and is a measurement that gardeners use to determine a nutrient solution’s density. It is a method of referring to the precise amount of minerals and nutrients in the water. It is necessary because plants can only comfortably take a specific amount at any given time. Investing in a PPM reader can help you determine if your plants are experiencing nutrient deficiency or lockout.
Growing indoors for less…
If you live in a location where cultivating cannabis is legal , you have the opportunity to grow your own. Let’s say you are allowed to grow six mature marijuana plants. If each one produces an average yield of 14 ounces, that’s 84 ounces.
The Advantages of a Drain-to-Waste System:
Your detailed notes will begin to reveal trends. For example, you may discover that you aren’t providing enough nutrients to your plants during the vegetative growth stage. Once you go back over your notes, you’ll know that adding extra nutrients early on is necessary for bigger bud growth .
There is a huge difference between nutrient requirements in the vegetative and flowering stages.
It is as easy to underfeed your marijuana plants as it is to overfeed. A nutrient lockout occurs when you add too many nutrients to your plants. They build up in the growing medium and prevent your plants from consuming the nutrients. In the end, overfeeding could cause your plants to starve to death.
Though it depends on your preference, it’s best if your feed chart measures nutrient intake in a ‘per gallon’ format. For example, your chart says the plants need 5ml of a nutrient solution in week 7. You mix 5ml of the nutrient per gallon of water and add it to your crop. If you’re making 20 gallons of the solution, add 100ml of the nutrient in total because 20 x 5 = 100.
If you are a new grower, you may find cannabis growing to be something of a riddle. The nutrient concentrations you must feed your plants depend on the strain, growing environment, and the plant’s stage of growth. The latter point is essential because there is a huge difference between nutrient requirements in the vegetative and flowering stages.
Although recirculating systems maximize nutrients, there are a few problems associated with them, including:
Don’t be fooled by the apparent simplicity of a feed chart; learning how to read one is a complex assignment. Typically, a feed chart looks a lot like a spreadsheet with vertical and horizontal columns. Many growers place the week-by-week format on the horizontal axis and the various nutrients on the vertical axis.
When adding nutrients to the solution, use a parts per million (PPM) reader. Otherwise, there’s a good chance that you’ll add too many nutrients. Overfeeding is a common problem with novice growers in particular, with adding too much nitrogen being the main culprit. A well-designed feed chart also tells you to add specific nutrients before others.
Nutrient deficiency involves not providing enough nutrients to your crop, but it carries the same symptoms as nutrient lockout! When you keep a close eye on your feeding schedule, you’ll be able to tell the difference.
The pH scale is a method of measuring the alkalinity or acidity of a substance. The scale ranges from 0 (most acidic) to 14 (most alkaline). Marijuana prefers to grow in slightly acidic soil. When using soil as the growing medium , keep the pH between 6.0 and 6.8. When using a hydroponic system and a soilless medium such as coco coir, keep the pH between 5.5 and 6.5.
Reading Feed Charts for Cannabis Gardens.
As a feed chart involves weekly analysis, you need to write a daily journal to record every single feeding. It would help if you recorded how much of a nutrient you gave to the plant and the time of the feed. Take notes on how well the crop responded to the feedings. Timing is everything. Did you know that feeding your plants at the beginning of the day will increase the grow room’s humidity?
As a novice cultivator, a feed chart will prove very beneficial. Once you develop your skills, it will be possible to adjust a feed chart based on what your specific crop needs. At that point, you can develop customized charts that account for a variety of factors. Some of these include the traits of a specific strain, quality of water, and climate.
Now imagine it costs around $200 an ounce. You have just grown $16,800 worth of cannabis. Not a bad return on investment for a few hundred dollars and a maximum of three months.
A feed chart tells you which products to use and when. It also lets you know how much of each nutrient a marijuana strain requires. Those who use hydroponic systems (using a soilless medium like Rockwool) need a feed chart more than anyone else. The reason is that those who grow marijuana hydroponically are in complete control of their crop’s nutrient intake.
When you read the nutrient level of a solution on a bottle, you only see the amount of a single nutrient such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. On a feed chart, you are planning for a combination of several nutrients. Therefore, by rigidly following the recommendations on a bottle of nutrients, you’ll likely end up with an excessively strong solution. The result will be a nutrient lockout.
If you’re growing weed for the first time, it is probably best to stick rigidly with the feed chart recommendations. Once you have a couple of successful harvests, you can adjust the chart for your crop’s specific needs. Ensure that you understand the feed chart because it is essential to determine how your plants react after being fed. Otherwise, you don’t have a point of reference. When you understand it, you know what can happen when you increase or decrease the intake of a particular nutrient.
Expert charts include far more nutrients to improve the size and potency of your crop. By adding the right extras, you may see a boost in your crop’s aroma, flavor, yield, and potency. Nutrients can also provide a much-needed boost to your crop’s immune system, which helps it fight off diseases and pests.
What Does PPM Mean?
If you’re going to grow weed at home , a feed chart can assist you greatly during the growing process. A feed chart provides you with the recommendations and guidelines you need to achieve the healthiest, largest, and most potent cannabis crop. Here’s all you need to know.
Keeping the growing medium’s pH within range enables your crop to absorb the nutrients it needs to grow.
As you can probably guess, an expert chart is significantly more detailed. A simple chart is fine for beginners because it will contain everything you need for a successful harvest . However, you’ll need an expert chart if you want to get the very best from your crop.
Keeping the growing medium’s pH within the above range enables your crop to absorb the nutrients it needs to grow. For instance, your plants will absorb manganese better with a more acidic medium. When the growing medium’s pH is outside the ideal range, it can lead to a wide range of problems. The biggest issue being nutrient lockout because improper pH levels negatively impact a marijuana plant’s ability to absorb nutrients efficiently.
Mulch is important and shouldn’t be skipped, although it won’t be enough to feed your hungry plants on its own . Combine this practice with other top-dressings, or teas!
Furthermore, we do not recommend to apply these foliar sprays directly on to the buds. Not only do you want to avoid putting excess moisture into the buds, which can increase the chances of mildew and rot, but you also don’t really want to be directly inhaling or consuming most of this stuff – organic or not. Therefore, the foliar sprays described above are only applied during the plants vegetative state, and cease once the cannabis begins to flower.
The next type of tea that you can use to feed your cannabis plants are referred to as botanical teas. Botanical teas are made by steeping a plant-based fertilizer meal (or combination of meals) in water. C ommon combinations include an alfalfa and kelp meal tea, or a neem seed meal and kelp meal tea. It is similar process to making tea you would drink, but on a larger scale. Botanical teas are mostly used in lieu of top-dressing with similar meals, rather than in addition to. Because we primarily top-dress these days, we haven’t been making botanical teas as often.
Top-Dressing with Plant-Based Meals.
The last type of tea that I want to mention here is a personal favorite of mine: compost tea. We make actively aerated compost tea from worm castings to feed our garden every couple of months – not just the cannabis! I recently published an article alllll about aerated compost tea, including step-by-step instructions and a demo video about how to make it. Check out this post to learn more! I am not going to rehash all the nitty gritty details here.
In addition to using powdered products, we try to make a fresh aloe vera soil drench for newly transplanted seedlings, trees, and the cannabis plants a few times per year!
We love and use these awesome stainless steel screen lids that are especially made for sprouting seeds in mason jars. They make it very easy to do the repetitive rinsing process that is required. We utilize them for sprouting seeds for cannabis, ourselves, and the chickens!
Silica is the common cannabis industry term for potassium silicate or silicon dioxide, and is very popular among growers. It is naturally occurring in everything from clay, granite, gravel, sand, diatomaceous earth, and many other forms of rock. It is also found in some plants as well, such as horsetail! You should take care not to inhale its tiny dust particles, which can be hard on the lungs, but great on your plants!
The methods and products that many cannabis growers use, including the types of things mentioned above, require the plants to be “flushed” before harvest. This is the process of withholding any fertilizer and running large amounts of water through the plant’s soil and root ball over and over for several weeks. The purpose is to flush the plant of accumulated salts, chemicals, and unsavory additives – to make it safer and taste better when consumed. When I first heard about this practice, it set off huge red flags for me.
Aloe vera is most widely recognized for its amazing human health and skin healing abilities. However, it also has many health-promoting attributes for plants! Aloe contains dozens of micronutrients, amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals. It is known to aid in seed germination and root development. Aloe also reduces transplant shock and boosts plants immune systems – making them more resistant to disease, drought, and other stress.
Types of Foliar Sprays.
There are many enzymes within each of these germinated sprouts, including A-amylase and B-amylase, cellulase, cytokinins, and more! I won’t get too deep in the weeds with details here, but I’ll just say this: the enzymes produced in sprouted seed teas are going to be beneficial to your plants in one way or another. Some help break down complex nutrients into more simple ones. Others increase the plants absorption and use of those nutrients. Some enzymes help with energy conversions and reactions, leading to faster and fuller growth!
Another top-dressing that we routinely provide our cannabis plants is malted barley, fresh ground from whole grains . It is applied much like the meals above, simply sprinkled on top of the mulch, but a bit more frequently. We add malted barley powder to our grow bags every week or two.
So you’re growing cannabis, huh? Right on! Like so many other plants in the garden, cannabis can be as low-maintenance or as pampered as you prefer. Also like other plants, your results and quality of harvest will be dictated by the kind of care you give it. Trust me, we have our hands full over here… We are busy, and don’t have time for elaborate cannabis feeding schedules. For the most part, we feed cannabis like any other plant in our garden! Okay, maybe just a tad more spoiled and fussed over…because we do want the ladies to thrive, after all!
Continue to rinse and dump the seeds twice per day until they have sprouted a little tail. The time it takes to sprout will vary depending on the type of seed you’re using. For example, corn takes a few days longer than alfalfa or barley. For any seed type, the peak enzymatic activity is within the first day or two of developing a tail, so that is when you want to use it!
2) Mixing & Using Sprouted Seed Tea.
In this article, we’ll explore the various ways we tend to cannabis plants throughout their growing cycle, in an organic matter. This includes some basic routine care tips, and the use of mulch, aloe vera, silica, top-dressings, sprouted seed teas, botanical teas, and foliar sprays to feed cannabis plants.
Say what? Another fun and effective way that many organic growers enjoy to feed cannabis plants is by fermenting other plants! The practice of making fermented plant juice, or FPJ, originates within the sustainable agriculture philosophy known as Korean Natural Farming (KNF). Some gardeners and farmers use only KNF practices, and swear by it!
We don’t want to spray this baby!
While I wouldn’t necessarily classify either as a “fertilizer” per se, aloe vera and silica both play an important role in our cannabis care routine. The use of both of these is highly recommended, not only by us – but by the majority of organic cannabis growers you’ll come across! They each offer a plethora of benefits to compliment the rest of your feeding practices.
Check out this post all about creating homemade fertilizer with aloe vera, to use as a soil drench or foliar spray.