Which Fertilizers and Nutrients to use? Detailed guide.
Just as with humans, cannabis plants need to maintain a healthy and balanced diet to grow.
The presence of a correct level of each nutrient is essential for their development, but it is possible that those approaching the world of self-cultivation for the first time may find it difficult to understand all the variables that arise.
If this is your case, don't worry: in this article, we'll tell you everything you need to know so that feeding your little ones doesn't become a headache.
Plant nutrition is one of the fundamental steps in all cultivations. Giving cannabis all the nutrients it needs (in the right quantities and at the right times) is vitally important so that it can resist diseases and pests , and bring a successful harvest. For this reason, it is essential that the most inexperienced become familiar with the issue and lose their fear of being wrong. Thanks to this guide, you will be able to solve many of the problems you encounter:
How to administer nutrients to the plant?
Plants take hydrogen, carbon and oxygen from water and the atmosphere, but nutrients they must obtain them from the substrate and, even if less so, from the leaves.
Simply planting in the substrate is not enough to guarantee the plants certain elements that are provided by the soil.
We talk about fertile ground to indicate the ability to satisfy the needs of the plant . Therefore, when the soil does not have enough strength to fulfill this request on its own, the solution is to choose a contribution from the outside, better known as fertilization or nutrient administration. This contribution cannot be taken lightly: it must be calculated based on the needs of the specific plant and the characteristics of the substrate or soil itself .
Which fertilizers to use?
Fertilizers for cannabis can be found in different formats and sizes, in the grow shops you will find the most suitable choice for your type of cultivation, always rely on the experience of your retailer. We can distinguish between:
Complete fertilizers are those that simultaneously group NPK macroelements (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium), secondary elements (such as calcium or magnesium) and all trace elements (iron or zinc) in appropriate proportions. This type of nutrients can be applied in two different phases of plant cultivation, growth and flowering , but there are also some additives designed to feed our little ones during cultivation.
To what extent should NPK macroelements be dosed?
When choosing a nutrient, it is important that it has the NPK triplet , that is, that it contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Depending on the proportions of each element, this relationship will be more suitable for growth or flowering.
As an example, if we have a 5/1/3 NPK fertilizer, this means that it contains more nitrogen, so it is especially useful for the growth phase.
However, if the number that appears is 2/5/6, it means that it contains more phosphorus and potassium than nitrogen, so it will be a good choice during flowering.
The numbers written above represent a ratio between elements and not the percentage present in the specific fertilizer.
What are Flower Boosters?
To increase the final product , flowering boosters are very useful.
It is a fertilizer that contains to a greater extent Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) which constitute the 2 fundamental macroelements for flowering. However, Boosters do not constitute a complete nutritional element for flowering but are added in the second phase of flowering, usually the last 2/4 weeks.
What is football for and why is it important?
It is important to ensure that the nutrient solution administered to the plants contains calcium. This element is necessary to obtain an optimal result. Calcium contributes to the absorption of nutrients, is essential for cellular structure and useful for photosynthesis, the deficiency or excess of this element causes problems.
One of the symptoms of calcium deficiency is the presence of small brown or yellowish spots scattered on the leaves, as well as the curved and irregular growth of young leaves. When calcium is in excess, chlorosis occurs with the formation of brown spots on the leaves.
Always check the PH parameter of your substrate that it is around 6.7.
If you experience calcium deficiencies, it is important to intervene by administering it using specific additional fertilizers that contain calcium and magnesium, avoiding doing so during the flowering phase.
Is organic or mineral fertilizer better?
Excluding complete fertilizers and Boosters, it is possible to evaluate organic products.
They can be fertilizers or background fertilizers that serve to enrich the cultivation soil or organic stimulators that contain vitamins, algae extracts or amino acids. Bear in mind that these are used to improve the plant's metabolism and help the assimilation of nutritional elements and not for the quantity of nutrient contained in them. For example, a rooting agent helps the development of the roots and a flowering stimulant promotes the formation of flowers. We must always remember that they are complementary.
When to start fertilization?
The use and dosage of nutrients will depend on the state of life in which the plant is found . Generally, smaller ones will need a smaller dose, while larger ones will require more nutrients.
If you decide to purchase a fertilizer or 'booster', they will be added to the irrigation with every 3rd irrigation. Organic stimulators, on the other hand, usually contain little or no NPK elements, so they can be administered with every irrigation and some directly on the leaves, especially in the flowering phase.
How to dose nutrients?
Regarding the dose, it is recommended to always start with a low dosage and gradually increase each week , up to the maximum recommended by the manufacturer. Afterwards, the quantity should be gradually reduced until you completely stop using the product. However, the most important thing is to give the plants the right attention and ensure that, under no circumstances, they suffer from a lack of nutrients that could damage the crop.
Is it possible to administer different fertilizers together?
Different fertilizers can be mixed together although it is good practice not to mix brands , as products from the same line are designed to work together.
Unless you have specific experience in this regard, it is advisable to mix a specific line of flowering products with a line from a different company to stimulate the roots, since you could overdose the nutrients or lead to a possible incompatibility between them.
Can fertilizers be stored?
The conservation of fertilizers depends on their nature. Organic products last less and are more sensitive to temperature which is why they should be stored in the fridge for a maximum of a few months. Mineral fertilizers, on the other hand, are less afraid of temperatures and can be stored for a few years as long as they are stored well, therefore not in the sun or light and in environments that are neither too hot nor excessively cold.
Of course, always check the product before administering it and if you think it has changed color or you see something that doesn't convince you, throw it away.
What is the purpose of washing the roots? Flushing
When the substrate has inadequate PH parameters, the absorption of substances is slower and non-uniform, therefore accumulations of elements are created. To remedy this, it is advisable to wash the roots so that the water takes away all the components and remains a clean and healthy substrate.
Washing consists of pouring a lot of water on the plants , so that it gradually filters and gradually cleans the earth. Normally the quantity of water is 3 times the quantity of the vase. Washing the roots allows you to have a final product that has a perfect flavor, not affected by elements that can change its taste.
All the suggestions will certainly help you complete the cultivation successfully, always keep in mind that the answer is almost always in balance and always shake the products before using them!
All information contained is for informational and educational purposes only. We urge all users not to make any practical use of this information in connection with cannabis seeds. In fact, let us remember that:
In Italy the cultivation of cannabis seeds is prohibited (Art. 28 and 73 of Presidential Decree 309/90) if you do not have a specific authorization (Art. 17 Presidential Decree 309/90)
Therefore, cannabis seeds may be used exclusively for collecting purposes and for genetic preservation and are marketed with the reservation that they are not used by third parties in conflict with the law. Cannabis seeds are excluded from Presidential Decree 309/90, which means that they are not to be considered narcotic substances (L. 412 of 1974, Art. 1, Paragraph 1, Letter B; New York single convention on narcotics of 1961 and table 1 Ministry of Health decree 11 April 2006).