When you are putting together your grow, you have to make a few crucial decisions before you get started. Many decisions you make will affect the methods and techniques you utilize to achieve your cultivation goals. The choice to grow indoors or out will have a great impact on the types of nutrients you use as well as other factors. When it comes to nutrients, understanding what differentiates them from each other and how to properly apply them will help your grow in the end.
Organic Cannabis Nutrients Take Advantage of Nature’s Bounty
When a plant grows in the wild, it is fed through the soil by the nutrients supplied by decaying plant and animal matter. It embraces natural processes that we as humans have done our best to recreate. Organic nutrients are made from animal waste and plant matter. The results you get from organic cultivation have some distinct advantages, not necessarily because of the nutrients themselves but by how the nutrients are absorbed by the plant.
Organic soil is rich with fungi and bacteria, otherwise known as beneficial microbes. Organic cultivation takes advantage of these microbes which breakdown the organic nutrients they are fed into a form more readily absorbed by the plant’s root system. The importance of these beneficial microbes in organic cultivation cannot be understated. They are the lynchpin of the entire organic methodology. There are many brands of organic nutrients available or you can make your own at home.
The single most beneficial nutrient feed you can give your plants is made from a simple compost. Composting is basically leaving a big pile of plant material in your backyard and waiting for nature to take its course. As the plant material breaks down, it becomes home to swarms of insects, worms and other critters who then eat the plants and excrete waste. Over time, the breakdown of the plant material, along with the added insects and insect waste, forms a black sludge at the bottom of the pile. Put a scoop of compost into a five gallon bucket of water, then strain it. Your end result will be the best, nutrient-rich feed you can give your organic garden.
Hydroponic Cannabis Nutrients Bypass the Soil
Hydroponics typically involves a soil-less method of growing. This can be accomplished by using aquaponics, which require no medium other than water, or through the use of soil replacements like coco coir. As there is no soil present to contribute to the nutrient levels, you have to supply everything that your plants need to grow. Hydroponic nutrients are made from elemental salts in varying combinations that dissolve in water. You will typically have your raw nutrient solutions broken up into several parts in order to avoid clumping through ionization of molecules.
In large grows, you will often see hydroponic nutrients in three separate barrels; A, B, and Bloom. The three solutions are then run through a dosing unit that mixes your nutrients with water, allowing for easy feeding. It is important to balance your pH and EC (or electrical conductivity) before you start to feed. Most people already know about pH but EC is a concept new to beginning growers. It measures the ratio of nutrients to water in the mix with most cannabis strains falling between 1.5 and 2.3 on the EC scale. Hydroponic nutrients are typically used indoors as the nutrient salts are not compatible with an organic grow.
In the end, the method of cultivation you choose will determine the type of nutrients you use. Hydro for indoors and organic for outdoors. There will always be exceptions to the rule but, in general, this is a solid guideline to follow.