Just like any living organism, your cannabis plants have distinct nutritional needs. These needs vary based on a variety of factors, chiefly whether you are in the vegetative or flowering stage. Choosing the right nutrient blend is very important.
Unfortunately, there is no single perfect nutrient blend available, although some are better than others; finding the right balance of nutrients is primarily a process of personal trial and error. With that said, it is possible to start off on the right foot and you can approach your plants’ nutrient needs in two primary ways.
First, you can use standard water-soluble fertilizers. These are fertilizers like the Miracle Gro you might have used on your flowers or tomatoes in the past, and are generally a mixture of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P) and Potassium (K).
These three nutrients, N-P-K, are the most important of the macro nutrients your plants will need. In most fertilizers, the N-P-K content will be listed along the lines of 20-20-20 and other ratios such as 15-20-20 or 20-15-15, etc.
During the vegetative stage of growth, your plants will use nitrogen to build healthy stalks and broad, leafy green foliage. Encourage this vegetative growth with extra nitrogen (but always keep an eye out for nutrient burn) and when you are ready to start flowering, transition to more phosphorous-rich nutrient blend
- Blue Planet Nutrients makes an excellent lines of nutrients that is very well reviewed
- Canna Terra offers a full line of nutrients specifically formulated for cannabis growth
- Dutch Master Gold has been a staple for many growers and is generally well-reviewed
- Advanced Nutrients produces several nutrient blends at fairly affordable prices
If you choose to go with a more generic nutrient blend, such as the Miracle Gro you can pick up at Home Depot, you’ll want to look for ratios of 30-10-10 for vegetative growth. For your flowering stage, looks for nutrients rated at about 10-15-10 or as close to it as you can get.
Alternatively, you can choose to mix your own soil blend with natural fertilizers such as bat guano, worm castings or tea leaves, among other natural nutrients. To mix your own organic soil blend, start with a base of organic potting soil, choose something high quality like Roots Organic or Harvest Moon. Fox Farm is another company that makes great organic soils.
Once you’ve chosen the base soil you’re going to use you’ll want to add any extra powdered nutrients, bat guano, worm castings, coconut husks or other natural nutrients you want in there. Be sure to mix your base soil and the extra nutrients super thoroughly, breaking up any clods of dirt or nutrients to avoid hot spots, then put it in a large bin and water it slightly to make it damp.
Leave your soil mix in the sun for a few days to let it get nice and blended. The extra water you added will also help any powdered nutrients dissolve. Stir up / turn your soil blend a few times over the course of a week, and then you can set to work using it. Creating the perfect blend will probably take a bit of time and practice, but you’ll reap great rewards as a result.