Cannabis needs Fertilizer to grow Big Buds
Used in the video:
a while back I was growing this nice plant on my balcony.
She was doing well!
Big, bushy, green, smelly and the buds were showing up nicely.
BUT there was a big problem ….
Some leaves were drying up and falling off.
They just turned yellow and died.
I was worried … I mean, look at this:
There was something wrong with my fertilizer game.
My beloved plant was getting regular Tomato fertilizer. Hey all plants are the same, right? (wrong)
Basically I was just throwing in lots of fertilizer. The more, the better … right? (Very wrong).
I just didn’t know any better.
And seriously … those ‘dosage instructions’ written on the fertilizer packaging are confusing at best.
Anyways, I went to my favourite hydroponics store to get help.
With me I took a sample of my fertilized water … the water I use to water that balcony plant.
The owner of the hydro-store was this quiet lady. reserved and friendly.
She offered to measure my water with something called a ‘TDS Meter’ (more on that later).
She dipped that thing into it and got her reading….
Her eyes widened.
She seemed surprised, confused, angry and amused at the same time.
“WOW! Your are giving WAYY too much Fertilizer!!” She said. “You are KILLING your plants!!”
“Oops, really?” I replied.
The look on her face changed from unpleasantly-surprised to kindly-understanding. (She thought I was an idiot).
“Well ok, what should I do?” I asked her.
“You need to use a TDS Meter. Because it tells you exactly how much fertilizer to mix in the water. You see, with fertilizer it is like with most things in live. Too much isn’t good. Too little isn’t good either. You need the right amount.”
“Ohoo!” I exclaimed.
She continued: “And you wanna give Fertilizer that was made for Cannabis because it gives the plants what they need. Tomato fertilizer works, too. But not as good”.
“Hmmmm ok.” I said.
So that lady / Salesperson / Plant-rights-activist sold me 2 bottles of Fertilizer, a TDS Meter and a Pipette (for easy dosing).
Here’s the stuff:
Note how she also gave me a Pipette. So I could measure my fertilizer precisely. Why don’t all fertilisers come with one? How are we supposed to give the right amount without one?
Anyways… I’m ranting
What the heck is a TDS Meter?
It’s a little thing that kinda looks like a pen.
You dip its tip into the water and it will tell you how much stuff is dissolved in your water. Called the PPM Value.
Why is that important?
Because you can only put so much stuff into your water before the plants start to suffer.
The more fertilizer is in the water, the higher the PPM value. And if it’s too high, the plants become over-salted and can’t take in any nutrients.
But let’s stop the complicated tech-babble.
Good fertilizer comes with a piece of paper telling you the recommended PPM values.
Feeding Schedule for Cannabis
See the line that says PPM Range?
You need to hit that range for your plants to stay well.
And that’s how the hydro-store lady improved my fertilizer game.
No more dried leaves and stuff.
Which fertilizer works well for Cannabis?
But there are fertilizers that are made especially for Cannabis.
‘Flora Nova‘ for example is made for Cannabis.
It works very well with soil.
It comes in 2 bottles. For growth and bloom.
How often do I give fertilizer?
You start giving fertilizer when the plants are 3-4 weeks old.
That means; Every time you water your plants, there will be fertilizer in the water.
BUT… remember the Fertilizer dance…
After giving fertilizer 3 times, you DON’T give fertilizer the next time. They need a break
If your plants are very young (3 weeks old), you likely give them water every 2nd day.
You water them Monday, Wednesday and Friday with fertilizer water. THEN on Sunday, you give them pure water (just water, no fertilizer). Then on Tuesday it’s back on fertilizer water.
That way some of the build up salt from the fertiliser is flushed out and your plants feel better.
If your plants are mid-age (40 days old), you probably water them every day.
You give fertilizer Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. BUT then on Thursday, they’ll get only clean water. And on Friday its fertilizer again for 3 days.
3 times fertilizer, 1 x pure water without fertilizer
How much fertilizer do I give?
Every fertilizer is different. They all have their own instructions written on the bottle.
But if you use Flora Nova, here’s how much you should give:
But first … you need a tool to get this right.
We want to do this right, so we can’t just guess. Right?
Let’s do some science!
Go on eBay and buy yourself a TDS meter. It’s not expensive.
A TDS meter measures how many minerals (nutrients) are in the water (Total Dissolved Solids).
We need this so you know how much to mix into our water.
It’s an invaluable tool.
Once you have that TDS meter:
Flora Nova comes as a set with 2 bottles: Growth and Bloom.
First, we’ll use Growth.
Mix the fertiliser as indicated in this schedule:
Always check the PPM value of your water.
Aim for the number given in the table above.
For example small plants can’t go higher than 300 PPM.
Mid-bloom plants get the most at 700-900 PPM.
Please note: If you are using Tap water and live in a ‘hard water’ area, it may already have a PPM of 300+ when it comes from the pipe.
You can’ add much fertiliser there. You may want to consider using a reverse osmosis water filter.
Filtered water is best
Using good water matters a lot.
Tap water is, unfortunately, not very good.
It has chemicals mixed not it. Chlorine and fluorine.
Noticed that swimming pool smell? Yeah, that’s chlorine.
Chlorine will kill beneficial bacteria in the soil.
Also, water from the tap often already has a high PPM. It’s difficult then to add fertilizer.
If you can, use water from outside. Like a pond, a spring or rain water.
Or install a reverse osmosis water filter. They cost around $150 and really purify your tap water.
Then you can add your fertilizer to that pure water. The plants will thank you.
Oh, and we humans may also benefit from drinking filtered water without chlorine or fluoride. but that’s another story.
Buy a Reverse Osmosis water filter for best results.
Too much fertilizer is harmful
I once went to somebody’s house to have a look at his plants.
He showed me a sad, small, wilting plant.
I asked him: ‘What happened?’.
He said: ‘I gave that plant lots and lots of fertlizer! To make it grow faster!’.
That plant never grew again and slowly died.
The moral of the story is of course, that you cannot just give more fertlizer to make your plants grow faster.
They can only consume a certain amount.
And if you give too much, those fertilizer salts will remain in the soil and eventually harm or kill the plant.
So stick to the right amount and you’ll be golden.
Why is there growth or bloom fertilizer?
In the growth phase, plants have a particularly high demand for nitrogen. Consequently, “Grow” nutrients contain a relatively high concentration of nitrogen. Their use helps ensure plants do not run out of nitrogen prematurely.
In the bloom phase, the demand for phosphorus and potassium increases. Consequently, “Bloom” nutrients contain a relatively high concentration of both phosphorus and potassium, but relatively low nitrogen. Hence, switching to ‘Bloom’ during the flowering phase will help ensure plants do not become deficient in potassium and phosphorus (especially for heavy fruiting plants such as tomatoes and strawberries).
The use of ‘Grow’ and ‘Bloom’ nutrients at the appropriate times is also much more economical because for example, the use of ‘Bloom’ during the growth phase would result in excessive phosphorus and potassium being wasted. This wasted nutrient potentially becomes an environmental concern when the nutrient is dumped – particularly in large commercial operations.