Best Cannabis Nutrients
In order to grow huge and healthy marijuana buds your plants need the right fertilizers and marijuana nutrients. Just like an athlete needs a proper diet to achieve maximum performance level, so does your cannabis. Pump your buds to the max with these fertilizers. You can make your own or buy some in your local garden centre, just make sure you know what your plants need.
Vermiculite And Perlite
Vermiculite and Perlite are two commercial pellet-type fertilizers made by heating mica to 1,400 degrees F. and 1,800 degrees F., respectively. The heating process causes the minerals to expand and become porous; the resulting white pellets can absorb water up to four times their own weight in water, they hold air, and they keep dense potting soils from hardening into solid masses when they dry. The mineral itself provides potassium, magnesium, and calcium that leaches into soil over time to nourish roots. Pellets of either fertilizer are further enhanced by saturating them with a combination of nutrients that are also released over time.
For hydroponic growing, perlite or vermiculite is typically used in a high concentration of 50 percent fertilizer, with the remainder a combination of water and peat moss-proving that it is hard to overfertilize with either product. Soil growers can get by with a much smaller ratio of one part vermiculite or perlite per ten parts soil. Perlite and vermiculite are most commonly sold in 0.4 cubic-foot bags or 6 cubic-foot bales.
Marijuana plants require a large amount of nutrients to grow properly and produce flowers. Plants make a variety of nutrients by combining carbon dioxide (CO2), oxygen (O2), and sunlight in a process called photosynthesis. In order to produce the maximum amount possible, however, the plant needs to have a well-balanced and nutritional diet.
Of course, putting a seed in the ground, watering it, and letting it get some sunlight will produce a decent plant, but wouldn’t you rather have a plant that thrives? Isn’t it certainly more enticing to have plants with giant marijuana buds that are dripping with THC? If it does, then you should invest in the right nutrients and feeding schedule.
When it comes to home gardening fertilizers, it’s tough to argue with a proven formula, and ready-made plant foods like Miracle-Gro have a long track record of success. I’ve watered my own cannabis plants with one or another brand of all-purpose fertilizers for decades, and the results have been satisfying enough to keep me using them. With them the engineering has already been done; all I have to do is mix and apply as directed. Along with water-mixed powders and liquids, there are nontoxic leaf-feeding sprays that some growers like and some don’t, because they may or may not affect how smoothly the cured plant smokes.
Stoners may recall a scene from the movie Nice Dreams in which Cheech complained to Chong that one of his plants was looking a little unhealthy. Chong’s reply was “Piss on em….” There is sound science behind Tommy Chong’s cryptic advice. Nitrogen is a booster to leaf and stem production and is critical to cannabis growth throughout the summer months. Almost as symbiotically, human urine is largely comprised of nitrogen urea, and it has served well for making pot plants thick with leaves for generations. The usual recipe is one bladdernut per gallon of water, sometimes mixed with commercial fertilizers. Do not urinate on the plants (unadulterated urine will probably kill where it touches, for one thing), or onto the ground near a plant; always dilute urine in a water solution, and use the solution promptly to prevent the formation of harmful ammonia.
Where I live, the surrounding forests are mostly conifers, and most of those are jack pines. As a result, the sandy soil below them has a very high acid content that can be tolerated by few plants other than blueberries and bracken ferns—even cannabis, which generally likes acidic soils, cannot grow here without assistance. One simple solution has been to deacidify the soil by adding a caustic (i.e., lye) that neutralizes acids. Lime from your local garden center is made for this task, but an old farmer’s trick is to use plain wood ashes, blended in water at about one shovelful per 5-gallon bucket.
Probably every middle-school student knows that plants breathe in carbon dioxide, CO2, and exhale oxygen, O2, while animals breathe oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.
It’s an ideal symbiotic relationship-or at least it was until Homo sapiens decided to pave everything. Just as human hospital patients experience faster recovery times when their lungs are superoxygenated, so can marijuana growth be accelerated in a CO2-rich environment.
Vinegar-Baking Soda CO2 Generator
Probably the simplest carbon-dioxide generator is comprised of nothing more complicated than plain white vinegar dripping slowly—about one drop every two minutes is ideal—into a 1-liter bowl containing ordinary baking soda. The acidic vinegar combines with the caustic baking soda in a chemical reaction that not only renders both of those properties inert but also creates copious amounts of carbon dioxide until the vinegar runs out or the baking soda is entirely neutralized.
Closet growers generally set up their vinegar-soda CO2 generators kind of like an intravenous (I.V.) drip used in hospitals. In its simplest form, a bottle filled with vinegar is duct-taped, hung, or otherwise suspended upside down over an open margarine container, or some other bowl, half-filled with baking soda. A hole punched through the vinegar bottle’s cap using a finishing nail permits its contents to slowly drip from the hole and into the bowl of soda below. I like to extend a small-diameter oxygen-can- nula hose from the hole in the vinegar’s cap, sealing it on both sides with silicone caulk that will prevent the hole from sucking air and causing vinegar to drip too quickly. I like that the hose enables precisely directing where the vinegar drops will land.
A vinegar-soda drip generator doesn’t work well in the outdoors, where open breezes quickly carry off any CO2 that is generated-along with a steady and unmistakable odor of vinegar that could, if the breeze was favorable, lead thieves or authorities directly to your plot.
For this type of generator to be useful it needs to swiftly generate an atmosphere rich in carbon dioxide within a small enclosed space that mostly or completely prohibits escape to the outside. A solution that has been useful consists of covering a plant entirely with a large plastic bag, the length of which is at least sufficient to reach the ground without bending over a plant’s top. Next I place a plastic peanut butter jar or similar jar that is one-quarter filled with baking soda and place the open jar upright under the tent formed by the plastic bag. Then I reach under the bag’s hem and pour a tablespoonful of vinegar into the jar until it begins to foam as it generates CO2. Reseal the bag against the ground, let the plant breathe for fifteen minutes, then add more vinegar to the remaining baking soda, stirring the mix with a stick to ensure that all vinegar and soda have been combined. Leave the CO2-filled bag over your plant for about four hours to thoroughly infuse its tissues, and repeat as you deem necessary.
You cannot give a plant too much CO2, but I prefer to use bombs at night, when there are rarely people around to smell them. I also feel better about covering up my plants at night, when the process won’t deny them vital sunlight.
I once used a mound of frequently turned-over five-year-old sled-dog poop to grow a thriving crop of thirty-three plants, of which twenty-two were females of several strains, with a harvest of 3 pounds of pretty excellent bud. Locals I spoke with were virtually unanimous in their opinion that husky turds would somehow fail to break down, decay, and return to earth, like every other organic material does. But after five years the oldest end of the scat mound looked and smelled like rich, black dirt, and it grew one of the best marijuana crops that I’ve had the pleasure of harvesting.
Basically, if it’s organic it will rot back into soil, taking whatever nutrients the original matter contained with it, available for infusion into the next plant. Composting kitchen waste and other organics normally results in an outstanding soil, and it can be accomplished in virtually any environment. Whether it be a heap in the woods 100 yards from your house or a covered 55-gallon drum on the roof of an apartment building, composting cuts down on a household’s contribution to landfills and generates a good supply of rich soil for growing in habitats where native soil is poor-or nonexistent.
Once you’ve established a compost heap, begin another while the first is left alone to decompose. Frequently—daily, if possible—turn the compost with a pitchfork until the contents are well mixed. This helps to maxi- mize decomposition, to keep its progression even throughout the mass, and to minimize transition time from rotting organic to black dirt. Frequent turning also helps to prevent spontaneous combustion, a phenomenon in which heat generated by microbes feeding on damp, decaying material under pressure becomes sufficient to dry, then ignite the very material that created it. Soft tissues—tomatoes, old hamburger, gone-bad potatoes— rot the quickest and fastest in hot weather, but under ideal conditions, expect your compost heap to take at least three months to become usable soil.
Note For Indoor Growers
Having highlighted the importance of proper nutrition to growing a kick-ass crop, I must also point out that, like spider mites, malnutrition is most often seen in closet crops, where root and living space is confined. Just as natural predators and the elements keep spider mites under control in the wild, so does runoff from rain bring in organic and mineral elements to periodically refresh the soil around in-ground pot plants.
When you pull up your marijuana plants at harvest, you’ll note that fine white root tendrils have spread from the original potting soil to draw sustenance from the natural soil around it, even in stony soil where a plant without potting soil wouldn’t grow. The richest potting soil is sure to be depleted of nutrients as a plant grows, starving it to death, but outdoor growers in many places can get away with using no fertilizer at all.
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