How to Find the Best Fertilizers for Marijuana
How to Find the Best Fertilizers for Marijuana:
The best fertilizer guarantees huge and potent marijuana buds. Since this is the goal when growing cannabis, most growers decide to use it. However, there are several considerations when adding nutrients to any grow medium. Most important of all, we need to select the right fertilizer that will help the plant thrive best.
Using fertilizers for marijuana plants requires a good deal of preparation. This includes learning the proper way to use them as well as knowing when to give them. Otherwise, instead of getting flourishing plants, we could end up with more problems than we can handle.
Hence, this article will share all there is to know to avoid devastating results of fertilizer use. But first, we need to tackle the issue of choosing the nutrients for our crop. Many growers like using professional products for good reasons. One of these is that they come with the best mix and ratio of the minerals that the plants need at certain stages.
Hence, it’s more convenient to use them especially since they are readily available in any garden stores. So, expect to find the most popular commercial fertilizers below although we will also cover some common homemade plant nutrients.
The Best Marijuana Fertilizers for Different Mediums
The Best Marijuana Fertilizers for Different Mediums
For best results, we must use the marijuana fertilizer that is appropriate for the growing medium that we choose. In this section, we will look at some of the best and popular nutrients for soil, hydroponics, and coco coir.
- Soil Fertilizers
Soil is the most common grow medium for cannabis which is why there are so many variations of fertilizers for it. For example, there’s the organic types as well as the homemade ones. In general, all these products can produce large yields and rich buds. Hence, it’s up to the grower which one works best.
- Commercial Fertilizers
Nowadays, most nutrient products are organic since they are milder for the roots and friendlier to the soil. Just make sure to avoid the ones with labels such as “slow release” or “extended” as they can cause many health issues with the plants. Therefore, look for fertilizers like the ones below since they are some of the best and safest that the market has to offer.
Healthy marijuana plants need nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous to thrive. Thus, all fertilizers are made up of these three vital elements. However, our plants should get certain amounts of each during different stages. Hence, the nutrient requirements change as they go through the cycle.
For weed growers who are short on budget, Dyna-Gro offers a cost-effective solution. Aside from that, it also works very well in many mediums including soil, hydroponics, and coco coir. Most importantly, it’s simple to use which makes it suitable for newbie growers.
Dyna-Gro includes Foliage-Pro which boosts plant growth in the vegetative stage. Once flowering starts, then we can use the Bloom fertilizer to get huge buds. By following the instruction on the bottles, we can use them from seedling to harvest stage.
- Flower Power
This product has the perfect mixture of all nutrients which ensures firm roots and high yields of vibrant flowers. While potting soils are filled with minerals they get used up by the plant in three weeks. So, we must add fertilizers to provide nourishment after that point.
Flower Power lends a 20 percent balance of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium during the leafing process. Just be sure to dilute the formula to half its strength especially when growing indoors. This is because indoor marijuana plants don’t handle full dosages well which often results in shock.
- Fox Farms Trio
With Fox Farms, we can grow any marijuana strain and be assured of an awesome harvest. Unlike other fertilizers which require additives, this product offers complete nutrients. Hence, it is a top pick for newbie marijuana growers.
Fox Farms come in three bottles: the “Grow Big,” “Tiger Bloom,” and “Big Bloom”. Moreover, hydroponic, coco coir and soil versions are available so be sure to get the correct one.
- Perlite and Vermiculite
Many marijuana growers swear by the power of perlite and vermiculite which are the by-products of heated mica. In this state, both minerals become porous which makes them retain air and soak in water four times their weight.
What makes perlite and vermiculite valuable additives is that they naturally create magnesium, calcium, and potassium. With these minerals, we get rich soil that supports the growth of big buds. To use in soil, add 30% of either in potting mix with 50% Fox Farms fertilizer.
- Homemade Fertilizers
While most growers prefer packaged nutrients, many like the old school homemade stuff. Obviously, we can save money with these fertilizers and it doesn’t hurt that they are easy to make.
- Chicken Manure
What makes chicken manure compost a great marijuana fertilizer is its slow release of minerals. This ensures that the plants don’t get too many nutrients all the time. As a result, it increases yields and promotes healthy plants.
- Carbon Dioxide Generators
Cannabis plants absorb carbon dioxide through their leaves to produce energy. Hence, it is a vital element for the plants to flourish. Below are two ways we can create a carbon dioxide-rich environment to promote healthy plants.
- CO2 “Bombs”
A small confined space is the best environment for a CO2 bomb as it guarantees to immerse all the leaves with it. But we need to make sure that the smell doesn’t leak out the room to reveal our operation. Hence, avoid using fans in the grow room and cover the plants with a huge plastic bag that doesn’t bend the plants over.
To make CO2 bombs, we will need a container such as a plastic jar and fill a quarter of it with baking soda. Then place it right under the plastic bag that covers the plants. Finally, add a tablespoon or just enough of vinegar into the open container until it starts to foam and creates the CO2.
Typically, it takes about 15 minutes before the CO2 dissipates and we will need to add more vinegar to the jar. Also, it’s important to blend the contents with a stick and let it do its job for at least four hours. To avoid inhaling the smell, it’s best to apply this method at night.
- Vinegar-Baking Soda Drip
Another easy CO2 generator is to slowly drip white vinegar into a 1-liter bowl with baking soda in it. Like with the CO2 “bombs”, the mixing of these two substances creates a chemical reaction that results in ample carbon dioxide.
The easiest way to make the drip is to take an open bowl filled half-way with baking soda and hanging a plastic bottle filled with vinegar in it. Then poke the vinegar bottle cap with a nail to allow it to drip and mix into the bowl. Since there’s no such thing as too much CO2 for the leaves, we can repeat the process as often as possible.
Most people would cringe at the thought of composting animal manure and kitchen scraps. But the truth is, these materials are some of the best fertilizers that create bountiful marijuana harvests.
Aside from that, composting can be done anywhere and saves us tons of money in the long run. As a result, it effectively enriches the soil while feeding the plants complete nutrients. The only downside is the whole three months it needs to become ready. But if we start early, then there’s no problem using it during the growing season.
To get started, it’s good to learn as much about it by doing some research. The key that makes composting work are the combination of different materials that we need to decompose. Then, use a pitchfork to turn the compost once daily to hasten the process and prevent spontaneous combustion.
As mentioned, nitrogen is necessary for the healthy growth of marijuana. Interestingly, urine is rich in this mineral which makes it a great organic fertilizer that is basically free.
However, this doesn’t mean that we can directly pour pee on our plants as this can kill them. Instead, we must mix one full bladder of urine with a gallon of water. It’s also important to use it immediately to avoid any formation of toxic ammonia.
- Wood Ashes and Lime
Wood ashes and lime are great for neutralizing highly acidic soil that blocks the nutrients from entering the roots. To use, just mix a shovel full of the ashes in 5 gallons of water and pour it onto the soil.
- Hydroponics Fertilizers
Hydroponics set up is becoming popular among weed growers despite its more complicated requirements. Like with the other mediums, it has its own pros and cons. The biggest advantage of this soilless method is that plants can rapidly and fully absorb the nutrients. Because of its unique set up, it needs special fertilizers that we will discuss below.
- Advanced Nutrients
Out of all the hydro fertilizers, the Advanced Nutrients line is probably the most expensive. While several growers love it, and are willing to pay premium, there are cheaper products that are as good or even better.
- Botanicare Nutrition
For the more advanced growers who like to play around, the Botanicare Nutrition line is a great option. As such, it is designed to allow adjustments to the calcium and nitrogen levels.
It is perfect for those who have the right knowledge and want to experiment. The supplements we will need for the entire growing experience is Base, Bloom, and Grow.
- General Hydroponics Flora Duo
General Hydroponics FloraDuo offers only two bottles instead of three. The first bottle is high in nitrogen for the leafing phase. For the budding period, we will use the second which has higher levels of phosphorous and potassium. As such, they are great for learning the different marijuana stages as well as what it needs to flourish.
- General Hydroponics Flora Series Nutrient Trio
This line of fertilizer sells a “performance pack” complete with a pH balance test kit. For both advanced and new growers, this all-in-one system makes the process simple and failure-proof. It’s also available for soil and coco coir mediums.
- Coco Fertilizers
Although not very popular, using coco coir to grow marijuana is effective and easy for some people. In general, any nutrients we use for hydroponics are suitable for coco coir. For best results, many growers suggest getting a smart pot when using this medium.
- Canna Coco A+B and Cal-Mag
Both products are well-known among coco coir growers since they play important roles in producing healthy plants. Specifically, they prevent calcium and magnesium deficiencies which are common with this grow set up.
- Fox Farms Nutrient Trio for Hydroponics
As mentioned, plants in coco coir tend to run out of calcium and magnesium. Luckily, Fox Farms Trio ensures that we would never encounter this problem while also providing the main nutrients. But of course, it doesn’t hurt to have Cal-Mag around just in case.
How to Use Fertilizers Properly
Now that we are familiar with the best and most popular marijuana fertilizers, it’s time to learn how to use them correctly. Oftentimes, many growers make terrible mistakes when giving fertilizers. So, learning these methods are very important to ensure a successful and healthy grow.
- Start Off Slow
As mentioned, potting soil is already equipped with the essential nutrients. Hence, we don’t need to give the full dosage of the fertilizer. Instead, give only half a dose and only at least after three weeks after the seed sprouted. Otherwise, we could cause nutrient burn to the plant and increase the acidity of the soil.
- Give During Critical Periods
The most common question asked by beginners in growing weed is when to start giving the nutrients. To answer this question, we must know the critical periods of the plants. First, is when it starts growing leaves and when the first buds appear. Another is when we notice signs of mineral deficiencies.
For both situations, giving fertilizers is beneficial since these are the times when the plants need additional nourishment. A good rule of thumb is to give the nutrients twice per week. If we meet the plants’ needs, there’s no reason for them not to thrive.
- Regularly Check the pH Level
A vital part of giving fertilizers is checking the pH value of the medium regularly. Doing so ensures that the soil is rich with the vital elements and the roots have easy access to them. As such, it breeds good results and prevents conditions that could be problematic in the long run.
To do this, get a pH meter that is appropriate for the medium and check accordingly.
- Practice Correct Watering Techniques
For those who grow weed using soil, watering is a vital part of the process. In fact, the absorption of nutrients on the soil is dependent on the presence of water. Hence, we need to practice the right hydrating methods to optimize the fertilizer. For easy learning, we develop four steps to do this.
Step 1: Feel the Top Soil
When watering the soil, make sure that at least the first top inch is not soaked. Ideally, it should feel dry and not soggy. This ensures that it’s not too damp and that it can allow air to pass through it so that the roots can breathe.
Step 2: Add the Nutrients and Flush
It’s best to add the right amounts of the minerals to the water and flush the soil once every two weeks. By doing this, we prevent the buildup of salts from the excess nutrients.
Step 3: Ensure Run-Off
About 20% of the water should drain at the bottom of the pot. Again, this is to prevent too much dampening which is bad for the roots.
Step 4: Repeat as Needed
Right Nutrients and Feeding Methods Create Superior Weed
As emphasized, fertilizers can spell a world of difference for the marijuana crop. But we must learn the ropes on how to use it first to optimize their positive effects. Overall, adding nutrients to the soil takes some experience and adjustments to get the best results. But with patience, we can soon reap the rewards through a satisfying harvest.
So, when starting to grow cannabis, always look for the fertilizer that works best for the crop. Equally important is to learn the correct ways to use them. To get some guidance, refer to this article and apply the vital points. Then, sit back and watch the plants grow with vigor.