By: Antonio HH
These tips will be essential for beginners and seasoned veteran growers alike. Keeping things simple and with the desired purpose in mind, we look at some basic nutrients that will give your plants the ultimate yield.
The Basics On Nutrients
How much weed can I get from one plant? Yes, the unfortunate quick answer is: it depends. It depends on a few simple factors; soil ph, light, the size of the grow room, pot size, and strain planted. To keep things simple, let’s refer to the most important factors and nutrients that will give one or 100 plants their max potential for higher yields. In the chart above we can see that nutrients are divided into three parts: primary nutrients, secondary nutrients, and trace elements.
It should be understood that all of these nutrients work together and are occurring in the plant continuously. Therefore, the key to providing the best balance of these nutrients in your plant is the timing. Some nutrients are more readily available, already occurring in the soil or in the type of fertilizer one is using. This is why it is important to continuously measure the ph balance of the soil and of course, a daily visual check of how your plants actually look, healthy or unhealthy. A healthy plant will give a strong and bountiful buds, while a weak plant will give buds that may be less desirable. Let’s look at the primary soil-base nutrients known to give great results if kept in balance.
The Role Of NPK
- (N) Nitrogen: Nitrogen aids plants in making proteins that are used for healthy foliage growth. Excess causes rapid growth but poor flowering, deficiency causes stunted growth.
- (P) Phosphorous: Phosphorous aids in strong root growth as well as flower development and larger seeds. Excess causes poor growth and bleaching (yellow leaves), deficiency causes leaf death.
- (K) Potassium: Potassium aids in overall plant health and development of the crop. Excess can cause (N) and (P) uptake to be blocked, deficiencies can lead to disease and general poor health.
- Sulfur (S) : Sulfur is used in plants for the formation of many essential amino acids as well as some of the proteins and vitamins needed for chlorophyll production. It also plays a part in reducing stress from environmental fluctuations, diseases and pests.
- Calcium (Ca) : Just as we need calcium for strong teeth and bones, so plants need calcium to build strong cell walls, healthy root structures and strong growing points. Overuse of potassium can sometimes cause a calcium deficiency, particularly if your soil has a low pH.
- Magnesium (Mg) : This element is an important component in chlorophyll and is needed to move phosphorus around the plant. It moves around the plant and any deficiency is usually seen in older leaves first.
- Trace Nutrients : These nutrients are required in trace amounts, but should also be considered when choosing nutrients for your marijuana plant to ensure they get a healthy mix overall.
Must you be an expert chemist to get the most out of your grow? All signs point to No. In the game of growing anything, wether it be tomatoes or ganja, timing is EVERYTHING. The afore mentioned NPK soil ratio is the absolute base nutrient ratio that must be kept balanced. The rest is up to Jah Rastafari to bless your grow.
Keep in mind that not covered by the NPK fertilizer ratio are the micro-nutrients. These are the trace elements provided by most soils, but will need to be added when using a hydroponic grow system.
Unfortunately, there is no general consensus on the optimum NPK fertilizer ratio as legal restrictions prevent the large-scale testing of various formulations though many companies boast of in-house testing ‘proving’ their products to be superior. Many blends merely mimic what has worked well for tomatoes or other garden vegetables. Also, take into account marijuana’s ability to adapt quickly to less than ideal conditions and the picture gets even less clear on what ‘the best’ products can be.
Cannabis uses some compounds easier than others, and if you’re caring for plants that are planted directly into the soil of this Great Mother Earth, most of these much-needed nutrients will always be present (depending of course on your location). Some NPK elements are bound up in molecular compounds with differing degrees of bio-availability. Presentations may be as inorganic salts, oxides, chelated or colloidal minerals.
Brands and labels are plentiful and I haven’t received any offers to promote any of the major chains, so I’ll close with this: Keep your plant healthy with a careful approach. Sufficient light and water in timed cycles never fails to give delicious buds. Uses nutrients as needed. Enjoy!
Have your say in the grand growing discussion of nutrient ratio and timing. Leave a tip in the comments section.