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The Art and Science of Cannabis Cultivation: Proper Watering and Nutrient Feeding

by James Elliott 06 Nov 2023 0 Comments

The Art and Science of Cannabis Cultivation: Proper Watering and Nutrient Feeding

Cultivating cannabis successfully requires a deep understanding of various factors, including proper watering, nutrient feeding, and pH management. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the importance of pH levels, nutrient requirements at different growth stages, and the nuances of mixing and feeding nutrient solutions. Additionally, we will explore the significance of measuring and controlling the parts per million (PPM) of your feeding solution.

Importance of pH in Cannabis Cultivation

Maintaining the correct pH level is fundamental to successful cannabis cultivation. Cannabis plants prefer a slightly acidic environment, with a pH range of 5.8 to 6.5. pH levels outside this range can lead to nutrient lockout, where the plant is unable to absorb essential nutrients, resulting in stunted growth and deficiencies. Proper pH levels vary based on medium used.

Here's a breakdown of pH considerations during different growth stages:

  1. Seedling Stage (pH 5.8-6.5): Cannabis seedlings are sensitive to pH fluctuations. Aim for a pH of 6.0-6.5 during this stage to ensure nutrient uptake and healthy root development.

  2. Vegetative Stage (pH 5.8-6.5): Cannabis plants are relatively tolerant of pH variations during the vegetative stage. However, maintaining a pH of 5.8-6.5 is generally considered optimal for growth.

  3. Flowering Stage (pH 6.0-6.5): During the flowering stage, maintaining a slightly lower pH (around 6.0-6.5) can enhance nutrient uptake and maximize bud development.

Mixing and Feeding Nutrient Solutions

Creating and administering nutrient solutions is a crucial aspect of cannabis cultivation. Here's a step-by-step guide on what, when, and how to mix and feed nutrient solutions:

  1. Choose the Right Nutrients: Cannabis plants require a variety of essential macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) and micronutrients (iron, magnesium, calcium, etc.). Choose a balanced nutrient solution designed for cannabis cultivation or customize your mix based on your plant's specific needs. We Prefer House and Garden Brand for the highest Quality results. That line is more geared towards more advanced growers, but a great Starting line is The Fox Farm Trio with the Soluable flowering blends.

  2. Dilution and Mixing: Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when diluting nutrients. Start with pure, pH-balanced water (6.0-7.0 pH), and gradually add the recommended amount of nutrients to your reservoir. Stir or shake well to ensure even distribution. Most nutrient lines are in tsp per gallon or ml per gallon. Very important to know before mixing anything.

  3. Timing: Cannabis plants have distinct nutrient needs during different growth stages. For example, seedlings and clones require lower nutrient concentrations than mature plants. Typically, you will feed your plants more heavily during the vegetative stage and reduce nutrient concentrations during the flowering stage.

  4. Frequency: The frequency of nutrient feedings can vary based on factors like the size of your plants, the type of growing medium (soil, hydroponics, etc.), and environmental conditions. Generally, cannabis plants benefit from nutrient feedings every 1-2 days or a couple times a week, but it's crucial to monitor your plants' responses and adjust as needed. 

Measuring and Understanding PPM

PPM (parts per million) is a unit of measurement that helps you understand the concentration of nutrients in your feeding solution. Measuring and controlling PPM is vital for cannabis cultivation because it ensures your plants receive the right amount of nutrients while preventing overfeeding, which can lead to nutrient burn.

To measure PPM:

  1. Use a PPM meter, we prefer Bluelabs.

  2. Submerge the PPM meter's probe into the nutrient solution, ensuring it's fully immersed.

  3. Read the PPM value displayed on the meter.

Understanding PPM values:

  • Low PPM (Underfeeding): If your PPM reading is lower than the target range, consider increasing the nutrient concentration in your solution to meet the plants' needs.

  • High PPM (Overfeeding): If your PPM reading is higher than the target range, dilute your nutrient solution with pH-balanced water to bring it within the desired range.

In Summary, proper watering and nutrient feeding, coupled with pH management and PPM control, are essential components of successful cannabis cultivation. By understanding the specific nutrient requirements of your cannabis plants at different growth stages, measuring and adjusting PPM values, and maintaining the correct pH levels, you can maximize your yield and produce high-quality cannabis. Remember that consistent monitoring and adaptability to your plant's unique needs are key to becoming a successful cannabis cultivator.

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