There are tried and trusted products such as Miracle-Gro that are worth buying if you are a novice grower. Over time, however, you will learn that pre-packaged products are expensive and wasteful, not to mention bad for the environment. Once you learn how to create your own organic fertilizer, there’s a danger you will get addicted!
With an increase in the number of states where people are legally allowed to grow marijuana, it was inevitable that the fertilizer market would take off. Without the right fertilizers and nutrients, there is no hope of your weed producing fat buds. While you need to be careful not to overdo it and cause nutrient burn, a lack of fertilizer will ultimately harm your plant.
Your compost heap can contain anything; as long as it is organic.
As well as saving a small fortune, you learn so much more about plant nutrition, and gain an understanding of what your plants need, and when. Eventually, this knowledge will lead to larger yields and more potent buds. The key is to determine what nutrients each organic element brings. For example:
Synthetic or Organic Fertilizer?
Pour a tablespoon of vinegar into the jar until it begins to foam, a sign that it is generating CO2. Reseal the bag, allow the plant to breathe for a quarter of an hour and add more vinegar to what’s left of the baking soda. Stir with a stick and leave the bag over the plant for at least four hours.
Most importantly perhaps, vermiculite and perlite provide calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which gets into the soil and nourishes your marijuana. If you have a hydroponics setup, you can create a fertilizer that includes 50% of perlite and vermiculite, with the rest made up of peat moss and water. If you are using soil, you only need 10% of perlite and vermiculite in your fertilizer.
Keep an eye out for deficiencies but resist the urge to add extra fertilizer. Marijuana plants often need fewer nutrients than you think. Perform a flush any time from two weeks away from harvest, or else your weed could taste of fertilizer!
Vermiculite and Perlite
It is also important to note that ashes from hardwood trees, such as maple and oak, contain more nutrients than ash from other trees, on average. Wood ash also acts as an effective pesticide by keeping slugs, snails, and other soft-bodied invertebrates at bay.
If your plants are being overfed, perform a flush with pH neutral water, but don’t do it in the week before forcing the plants into flowering.
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.
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.
How to use and mix cannabis nutrients
Nutrient solution bottles and fertilizer bags will indicate how much of the three main nutrients are in the product, in the form of N-P-K: Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, For example, a product that says “10-4-4” will contain 10% available nitrogen, 4% phosphorus, and 4% potassium by weight.
However, the benefits of compost tea are debated in the agricultural world. Many gardeners report quality results when using it, while others see no more benefit than applying straight compost. The uncertainty lies in whether or not growing and developing populations of microorganisms in the tea can actually benefit plants and prevent disease.
Build a compost tea brewer
There are multiple products that can be added in the middle of your brewing process, toward the end, or right before application: Food for bacteria and fungi can be added halfway through the brewing process to increase the growth of microorganisms; products like SeaGreen and Actinovate can be added before the tea is applied to plants for additional benefits.
Cannabis plants which don't get the right levels they need, especially in the flowering/budding phase, tend to grow small and airy buds. In extremely poor conditions, some cannabis plants may just sprout a few white hairs (pistils), and never actually form any real buds at all.
Yes, you can plant weed seeds in dirt and possibly grow a plant without any fertilizers or special nutrients. But chances are that you don't happen to live in a place with very rich, fertilized soil that carries just the right blend of nutrients needed by a marijuana plant to thrive.
Because of that, I encourage growers to learn about the type of nutrients and special fertilizers needed by a cannabis plant, and at least start with good soil before you get started growing if you're determined not to use any nutrients.
While cannabis plants will grow in a lot of conditions, as a farmer, you are looking to optimize the size, weight, density, potency and overall quality of your buds. In order to do that, you will need to fertilize your cannabis plants in such a way that they can produce at their best.
And if you are determined to grow organically with no added nutrients, I encourage you to learn about how you can actually compost your own organic super soil in such a way that you actually don't ever need to add any extra nutrients at all.