(Gloucestercitynews.net)(August 27, 2020)--Growing cannabis at home has some major perks - no more long lines at your local dispensary, no more overpriced bud, no more out of stock products, more control over your favorite strains… these are just a few of the benefits to home cultivation.
The advantages don’t stop there, and you’re probably already thinking to yourself, how can I get started? But before you jump in, it’s important to realize that home growing isn’t a cakewalk. There are definitely some challenges involved, especially when it comes to nutrients.
Your plants can be extremely finicky about their nutrients, so figuring out the perfect balance of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and other essentials won’t be easy. To help ease the process, here are 5 ways to make the most of your cannabis nutrients for your upcoming grow op.
PH Plays a Big Role in Nutrient Uptake
Even if your nutrient doses are spot on, this won’t matter if your grow room pH is off. Problems with pH in plant root systems are actually the main culprit of nutrient deficiencies. When pH levels stray too far from the ideal range, the roots aren’t able to uptake the nutrients you’re giving them.
Here’s a quick rundown of pH in your grow room. It’s the scientific measure of how acidic or alkaline (basic) something is, ranging on a scale of 1 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral (this would be the pH of pure water), anything above 7 is considered alkaline and below 7 is acidic.
Most plants, including marijuana, prefer the pH of the soil to be slightly acidic - between 6 and 7 for soil growing and 5.5 to 6.5 for soilless hydroponic growing. When the pH is right, the roots are strong, allowing them to drink up the nutrients from the water and soil.
When pH is too high or too low, the roots are struggling and unable to take up the nutrients they need to survive and thrive. Most pH problems display themselves as yellowing, spotting, and wilting of the leaves.
Don’t Forget About the Micronutrients
Once you’ve mastered pH in your grow room, you can move on and focus on the actual nutrients. There are two main categories of nutrients for marijuana: micro and macro.
One of the most common mistakes for new growers is to focus solely on the macronutrients, which are nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous. These are the nutrients that your plants crave in the largest doses, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about all the other guys.
Even though plants require micronutrients in much smaller doses, it’s still crucial that you give them. Just how humans need vitamins to stay healthy, there is a long list of micronutrients they need to stay healthy and reach their full potential, here are a few of them:
The good news is that there are a lot of premixed fertilizers available to growers that include all the nutrients your plants need, including both macro and micro.
This Isn’t a Guessing Game
As you start to get the hang of things, it might feel like a bit of a guessing game when it comes to getting the right doses. There is definitely a bit of trial and error involved as you learn what your plants like and start to perfect all the components of your grow room, but there’s definitely no “guessing”.
With each nutrient dose you give, you should be taking exact measurements and recording everything as you go. Don’t just write down your measurements, though, but also jot down some notes about how your plants react to each dose. If you notice wilting after a watering, take note of that and try to come up with a solution.
Quality Products Make a Difference
Good parents don’t feed their babies junk food and sugary sodas as they develop, and good growers don’t feed their plants junk nutrients. Even if you’re on a budget, try not to be too stingy when it comes to the nutrients you use. Nutrients are a major factor in the quality of your harvest and they have an effect on potency and yields, so try to use only reputable nutrient brands.
Listen to What Your Plants Are Telling You
Plants are actually very good at communicating. They tell you when things are going right or wrong, but a lot of growers just aren’t looking closely enough. It’s up to you to keep a close eye on them (even with a microscope or magnifying glass) so that you can tell if there are any nutrient deficiencies that need to be resolved.
Don’t be surprised if there’s some trial and error with your first crop or two. There are many moving parts to a successful harvest, but things should go a lot smoother once you get the nutrients right.