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Fertilizing And Feeding Guide

Discussion in 'Absolute Beginners' started by Autoflower, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. What are Macro-/Micro-Nutrients, and what is each responsible for?

    Summary of Macronutrients
    Macronutrients are the elements most vital to all plant-life. There are three major and most prominent macronutrients: Nitrogen (“N”), Phosphorus (“P”), and Potassium (“K”). All fertilizers contain these three fundamental elements, but in varying amounts, depending on fertilizer type/brand. The N-P-K ratio of the fertilizer will be listed on the side of the container/box in the form of three numbers separated by hyphens (e.g. 20-20-20, etc.); choose a fertilizer that correlates with your specific needs and stage of plant-growth. TIP: In their vegetative state, cannabis plants thrive primarily on “N” and “P”; and in their flowering-stage, “P” and “K” become more essential.

    Summary of Micronutrients
    Along with the basic macronutrients, plants also require micronutrients (or Trace-Elements) for sustained health and vigor. Some of these trace-elements are Calcium (“Ca”), Magnesium (“Mg”), Sulfur (“S”), Manganese (“Mn”), Boron (“B”), Zinc (“Zn”), and Copper (“Cu”). They are present in most, if not all, fertilizers, but in generally lesser portions than the major macronutrients.

    Below is a list of the basic macronutrients and micronutrients/trace-elements, along with the horticultural-benefits and deficiency-symptoms of each:

    Element Name: Nitrogen
    Symbol: N
    Atomic Number: 7
    Atomic Mass: 14.00674
    Horticultural-Benefit: Nitrogen promotes photosynthesis, and is directly responsible for the production of chlorophyll. It stimulates leaf and stem growth, and aids the overall size and vigor of the plants.
    Deficiency-Symptoms: A nitrogen-deficiency can be recognized by reduced growth-rates and yellowing of the leaves (starting with the older/lower leaves). Colder soil-temperatures make nitrogen less-available to plants.

    Element Name: Phosphorus
    Symbol: P
    Atomic Number: 15
    Atomic Mass: 30.973762
    Horticultural-Benefit: Phosphorus aids in the germination of seeds, and the growth of seedlings and roots. It is also vital the production of terpene resins, floral clusters, and necessary sugars and starches. Phosphorus also influences overall vigor.
    Deficiency-Symptoms: A phosphorus-deficiency can be noted by reduced growth-rates and the production of smaller leaves which wilt/drop quickly. The leaves will be a dull, bluish-green, which will turn purplish or bronzy, and will have seared edges. Excessive “P”-levels can initiate a potassium-deficiency.

    Element Name: Potassium
    Symbol: K
    Atomic Number: 19
    Atomic Mass: 39.0983
    Horticultural-Benefit: Potassium is important to your plants for metabolic changes during flowering, and the production of floral clusters. It also promotes general plant-vigor, disease-resistance, and sturdy growth.
    Deficiency-Symptoms: A potassium-deficiency will retard growth-rates, and cause leaf-tips and -edges to become a scorched-brown color, with curled margins.

    Element Name: Calcium
    Symbol: Ca
    Atomic Number: 20
    Atomic Mass: 40.078
    Horticultural-Benefit: Calcium is a key ingredient in cell-walls. It strengthens stems/stalks/branches, and also contributes to root-development/growth, primarily that of the rot-tips.
    Deficiency-Symptoms: A calcium-deficiency can be recognized by distorted leaves, with hooked tips and curled margins. A deficiency would also result in under-developed roots, with weak root-tips.

    Element Name: Magnesium
    Symbol: Mg
    Atomic Number: 12
    Atomic Mass: 24.3050
    Horticultural-Benefit: Magnesium is significant for chlorophyll-production and most enzyme reactions. It is responsible for healthy leaf-structure and -production, as well as sustaining healthy vein-structure in the leaves.
    Deficiency-Symptoms: A magnesium-deficiency will affect various plant-species differently. The most common symptoms in cannabis plants are a vivid yellowing of the leaves, followed by leaves falling without withering, starting with the older/lower leaves. Excessive “Mg”-levels may initiate a calcium-deficiency.

    Element Name: Sulfur
    Symbol: S
    Atomic Number: 16
    Atomic Mass: 32.066
    Horticultural-Benefit: Sulfur, being an ingredient in plant-protiens, is vital for protein-production, chlorophyll-production and vegetative growth.
    Deficiency-Symptoms: A sulfur-deficiency can be identified by retarded growth-rates, accompanied by small, mutated leaves which are round in shape and roll upwards. Leaves will become stiff and brittle, and will fall off. A “S”-deficiency will also cause flowers on the top of kholas to die.

    Element Name: Manganese
    Symbol: Mn
    Atomic Number: 25
    Atomic Mass: 54.93805
    Horticultural-Benefit: Manganese is a catalyst for many enzymes, and also aids photosynthesis/ chlorophyll-production.
    Deficiency-Symptoms: A manganese-deficiency will have varying symptoms, depending on plant-species. The most common symptoms in cannabis plants are a yellowing of chloroplasts while stems remain relatively green. White or grey specks/spots may develop on the surfaces of leaves. As is usually the case, older/lower leaves will be affected first. Excessive “Mn”-levels may cause an “Fe”(iron)-deficiency, which will exhibit symptoms similar to a “Mn”-deficiency.

    Element Name: Boron
    Symbol: B
    Atomic Number: 5
    Atomic Mass: 10.811
    Horticultural-Benefit: Boron aids the movement of necessary sugars, as well as reproduction, and water intake by cells. It also assists in the production of stems/stalks/branches, and keeps calcium in a soluble form. Furthermore, “B” contributes to leaf-production/-coloring/and -structure.
    Deficiency-Symptoms: A boron-deficiency can be recognized by distorted and/or dead growing tips, hollow stems, and malformed fruits/flowers. Plants suffering from a “B”-deficiency frequently exhibit scorched, curled leaves, which are often spotted and discolored; young/vegetative leaves are affected first. Excessive “B”-levels may cause plants to exhibit symptoms similar to those of “Mg”-/”K”-deficiencies.

    Element Name: Zinc
    Symbol: Zn
    Atomic Number: 30
    Atomic Mass: 65.39
    Horticultural-Benefit: Zinc-levels directly affect plant-size and -maturation , as it is necessary for the production of plant-proteins. Consequently, “Zn” is vital to the production of leaves and stalks/stems/branches.
    Deficiency-Symptoms: A deficiency of zinc will result in the yellowing of chloroplasts between leaf-veins, usually with purplish spots of dead cells on leaf-surfaces; older/lower leaves are the first to show symptoms. Vegetative-growth is retarded and deformed, and floral-growth is reduced. Excessive “Zn”-levels can initiate an “Fe”(iron)-deficiency.

    Element Name: Copper
    Symbol: Cu
    Atomic Number: 29
    Atomic Mass: 63.546
    Horticultural-Benefit: Copper is responsible for healthy, vigorous growth, and strengthens stalks/stem/branches. It is also necessary for the production of plant-proteins, and is crucial for reproduction.
    Deficiency-Symptoms: A copper-deficiency can cause otherwise green leaves to adopt a bluish hue. Vegetative growth may fail to unfold, and may be yellow at the tips and edges.
  2. A common mistake for growers when they reach the flowering stage is to start hitting the plants with a high P fert like 10-60-10, continuing to use this blend exclusively, and when their plants start experiencing a deficit of N or micros as reflected by the dropping of lower leaves and chlorosis, they wonder why. Plants flower as a response to long nights, not because of fert blends high in P. A ratio of 10-60-10 is WAY to high in P. The plant will only take what it needs and compete for other elements that may be more important at the time.

    You may have heard that too much N can inhibit flowering. No question about it, exclusive use of a plant food that is rich in N such as blood meal, a 5-1-1 blend, or ammonium nitrate may inhibit flowering especially if the phosphorous level is low, but most balanced blends have sufficient amount of P to do the job. Manufacturers/horticulturists will give you element analysis and what effect the elements have on plant growth, but remember this does not necessarily mean you will get better yields. Using a high P fert exclusively during flowering can actually work against you. It's an abundant amount of healthy leaves going into 12/12 that produce a lot of bud, not high P ferts.

    I rotate fert blends as the plant *requires* them, not because it is "the thing to do." For example, when your plants are going thru the stretch phase during early flowering, they may need more N, especially if you're getting some yellowing in the lower/mid leaves. Give up the cannabis paradigms, and give them what they need. Go back to mild high P fert when the stretch ends, maintaining the foliage in a healthy state of growth until harvest for maximum yields. A 1-3-2 blend such as Peter's Pro Blossom Booster, 10-30-20, is one of the best flowering blends on the market because of several factors - it is higher in nitrate N and Mg. It is sold under the Jack's Classic label. An added benefit of Peter's blends is their use of high quality, very pure salts that will cut down on root burn.
  3. These are the exact steps I take to properly preparing a nute solution:
    Note: My res is 25 gallons, so you will have to adjust all volumes for your res size.

    I would suggest getting a container that would be able to hold the same amount of water as your res. That way you can prepare your mixture in the mixing container, then empty your rez and immediately pump the fresh solution into your system so that they will be out of the water for a minimal amount of time to reduce shock.
    Use good water. I use RO (Reverse Osmosis) water.
    Add all of your “extras” to your reservoir
    In bloom, I add 80ml of Bcuzz bloom stimulant (Bcuzz's suggested str for 25 gals), and a small amount of Epsom salts, about 2 TSP (10ml). You must mix your e-salts in warm water, or they will take forever to dissolve and throw off your readings. This little trick will help you whenever you need to mix something solid into your nute solution. Dissolve it first.
    Nutrient mixing.
    What I do is get a gallon of water, and mix my nutes ratios into that container, then I simply add that solution to my res until I reach the desired ppm. You CANNOT mix them together in their pure form, they must be diluted or nutrient lockout can occur. I never pour nutes directly into the reservoir.
    My system holds 25 gallons, so I use 80ml as my “base unit” of measure. I use the 1-2-3 (G-M-B) formula. It is the one that GH recommends and it works well for me. For example 1-2-3 = 80ml – 160ml – 240ml
    Always add Micro, then Grow, then Bloom.
    In my bucket of water I add 2 measures of GH Micro. Mix. Then I add my 1 measure of Grow. Mix. Then I add my 3 measures of Bloom. Mix.
    My measure is 80ml - yours will be different according to your res size.
    Use a submersible water pump to keep everything mixing in your main rez.
    Add the GH mixture slowly to the mixing container until I reach my desired ppm. After I have the ppm's set, I adjust my ph until my mixture is perfect. Then I quickly dump my res and put the contents form my mixing container into my res.
    Be sure your nutes are fully mixed before trusting your readings. I have found ph to take longer to stabilize than ppm's, so allow the tank to really mix up well before you count on a ph reading to be true.
    Here are some GH ratios I use:
    pure RO water and a rooting powder, liquid, or gel is all you need
    Seedlings / clones
    Add a drop of superthrive per gallon of water, e-salts, and a 1-1-1 (G-M-B) GH mixture at 250 ppm and adjust ph to 5.2 – 5.8.
    Early veg
    Add a drop of superthrive per gallon of water, e-salts, and a 1-1-1 (G-M-B) GH mixture at 350-450 ppm and adjust ph to 5.2 – 5.8.
    Add a drop of superthrive per gallon of water, e-salts, and a 3-2-1 (G-M-B) GH mixture at 500-650 ppm and adjust ph to 5.2 – 5.8.
    Transition to blooming (first 2 weeks of 12/12)
    Add my Bcuzz bloom booster, e-salts, and a 1-1-1 (G-M-B) GH mixture at 700 ppm and adjust ph to 5.2 – 5.8.
    Full bloom
    Add my Bcuzz bloom booster, e-salts, and a 1-2-3 (G-M-B) GH mixture at 750 - 950 ppm and adjust ph to 5.2 – 5.8.
    >When I give a range of ppm, I start off low and mix a little extra GH to slowly bump up the ppms as the days go on to make sure the plants can handle it. Every strain will grow a little different.
    >If system heat is a problem, you can use a silicone solution such as pro-tekt (or Pro-silica) to raise ph and give the plants a little something to help them out in hot weather. Use it sparingly. I wouldn't add more than 1 ml per gallon into your res. It may slow down growth.
    >Don't try to add all kinds of stuff to your res, the simpler the better. That is why I add so little Epsom salts. If I start having Mg issues I would bump it up, but I haven't had to yet.
    >You will not need H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) unless you have an improper nute solution. If you keep your res temps at 68-72* and it is light tight you won't have algae problems and your plants will be the happiest. The higher your nute temps go, the less O2 the water can hold. It is a property of water itself and no amount of bubbles will help.
    >I keep my nutes at a ph between 5.2 – 5.8. If it is in this range DO NOT try to get it “perfect” by adding ph up and down.
    If you mix up your solution and you don't HAVE to use the ph up or down DON'T. When you do adjust try to hit 5.5 but once again don't be too picky. If it's a little higher or lower let it go. You'll just mess things up by trying to mix it exactly.
    >If you have a nutrient deficiency, or some other problem that you think might be nutrient related - change your nutes!
    [Editor's note:
    >Some members prefer to add main nutrient components first, additives later:
    (~shabang~) "Anything organic will throw your EC/PPM measurements off and it will be harder to judge how much salt fertilizer you've added. I've always thought it best to put the additives in last after you're happy with the chem levels."
    >Be careful when mixing highly concentrated nutrients, as lockout can occur when adding pH "up" (As may occur in a smaller volume). It is my experience that K can precipitate out of solution - make sure pH "up" or "Down" is added to the nutrient solution with additional water).
    >Another mixup procedure is to mix the nutrients directly into the main rez. This method takes longer, as adjustments require additional mixup of seperate nutrient components.
    >(Reggea love) Nutrients strengths should be qualified with the ppm/us conversion factor used (such as 0.5, 0.6 or 0.7), which can make a significant difference to the actual strengths.]
  4. Most people believe N-P-K to stand for the nitrogen, phophorous, and potassium, but that is somewhat incorrect. These are commonly referred to as the major elements along with calcium, magnesium, and sulphur. They are the major contributing compounds in plant growth.

    N: nitrogen, used to stimulate new vegetative growth and overall health.
    P2O5: phosphorus oxide, used to stimulate flower development and rooting.
    K2O: potassium oxide, used to stimulate stem growth and overall health

    N-P-K ratings on the labels of fertilizers are misleading at best. They represent N: nitrogen, P2O5: phosphorus oxide, and K2O: potassium oxide. These molecular compound ratios are not the same as the elemental ppm of the associated primary element, except in the case of N. They are only the guaranteed minimum amount of the molecular compound.

    For example:
    A fertilizer labeled 30-10-10 can have up to a total of 80% N, along with 10% P2O5, and 10% K20 and still be "accurate". It could have any combination of N, P2O5 and K2O adding up to 100%, as long as it has at least the MINIMUM listed of any of the three. You could have 50% nitrogen in 10-30-20. These types of labels are misrepresentative. Anyone using them to establish a controlled nutrient balance is not doing their plants any service.

    As a general guidline, the N-P-K numbers can be roughly converted to elemental ppm. N, nitrogen is the only element to convert from the label at the ratio of 1 to 1. P2O5, phosphorus oxide, converts to elemental P, phosphorous at a ratio of 1 to .4. K2O, potassium oxide, converts to elemntal K, potassium at a ratio 1 to .8. This demonstrates the radical difference between an N-P-K of 1-1-1 and an actual elemental ratio of 1-.4-.8.

    I have only found Botanicare and Green Air Products Genesis nutrients to give the actual ELEMENTAL ppm after dilution. I used to mix my own solutions from ammonium nitrate, calcium nitrate, magnesium nitrate, potassium nitrate, potassium phosphate and other reagents and know from nutrient analysis of the misleading nature of N-P-K labels.
  5. Hydrogen peroxide is beneficial as an addition to nutrient feeding programs at all times. It feeds the good aerobic bacteria and kills the bad anaerobic bacteria. It also introduces radical oxygen atoms which oxidize elements, making them more available for the roots to assimilate. I apply 3% H2O2 at a rate of 30ml/gallon to the reservoir. The plants show no visible signs of stress afterwards, which indicates that it was not an excessive application.

    Sprouting Seeds: add 30ml 3% H2O2 to 1 pint of water. Soak the seeds overnight.
    Insecticide Spray: combine 250ml 3% H2O2 to 1 gallon spray mix.
    Fast growing container plants: add 30ml of 3% H2O2 to 1 gallon water.
    Hydroponics: apply 3% H2O2 at a rate of 30ml/gallon to the nutrient reservoir
  6. The source of nitrogen in your fertilizer affects the pH of the medium you are growing in. The standard of measure of how acidic/basic a source is, is calcium carbonate, a common water mineral. Calcium carbonate is the major contributor of water alkalinity, the capacity for water to 'soak up', or buffer, acidity in water and lead to a high pH.

    Note that it is much easier to lower the pH of water through the acidity of a given nitrogen source than it is to raise it, as nitrates are less basic than ammonium is acidic.

    N Source Potential acidity Potential Basicity

    Ammonium sulfate 2,200 0

    Urea 1,680 0

    Diammonium phosphate 1,400 0

    Ammonium nitrate 1,220 0

    Monoammonium phosphate 1,120 0

    Calcium nitrate 0 400

    Potassium nitrate 0 520

    Sodium nitrate 0 580

    Potential acidity = # of lbs of calcium carbonate needed to neutralize acidity of one ton of source.

    Potential basicity = one ton of source has same effect as this many lbs of calcium carbonate.
  7. Foliar feeding instructions:

    You can use any full spectrum nutrient to foliar feed your plants. To avoid nutrient burn, your nutrient solution strength, should be no more than 1/3rd of the maunufactures reccomended dosage.

    * The best temperature is about 72 degrees (when stomata on the underside of the leaves are open); at over 80, they may not be open at all. So, find the cooler part of the day if it is hot and the warmer part of the day if it is cold out.

    * Use a good quality sprayer -- should atomise the solution to a very fine mist.

    * Always be sure your light is off and cool before foliar feeding! For extra safety, wipe your bulb with a dry cloth after spraying and make sure H.I.D lights are raised to a safe distance (double the distance is a good rule of thumb) to prevent burning.

    * Make sure the PH of your solution is between 7 and 6.2.

    * To prevent the water from beading up (acting as small prisms) and thereby burning the leaves, for each gallon made, add half of a teaspoon of liquid detergent (wetting agent).

    * Spray leaf surface -- the tops and the undersides -- until the liquid begins to drip off the leaves. Stop spraying 2 weeks into flowering -- use sparingly on bud sites.

    * Dispose of excess spray according to manufactures instructions- home made fertilizer sprays will be fine for at least 2 weeks.

    * Spray one time a week every week, if any white residue is found, rinse the foliage with plain ph'd water to reduce salt build-up.

    Personally, I do not foliar feed in any situations other then those mentioned below, as, IMO, it does not seem to be necessary if using a well-managed hydroponic set-up. The reasons I foliar feed, are mainly to reduce nutritional stress situations. I avoid spraying bud sites, as nitrate salts (the "n" in NPK) are very unhealthy to smoke, fish emulsion smells, and Bat guano could be highly unsanitary so stick to hygenic solutions.

    Benefits of foliar spraying:

    * To provide a quick nutrient fix for root-zone nutrient problems or deficiencies; this allows more time to solve the problem(s).

    * To prevent excess yellowing on clones.

    * To instantly provide nutrients via the leaves, which reduces stress on the suffering plant.
  8. What is Earthjuice catalyst?

    Derived From Oat Bran, Kelp and other organic ingredients. Listed by OMRI for organic production. Stimulates growth and production. CATALYST offers an array of natural occurring enzymes, hormones, vitamins, amino acids, nutrients, sugars, plant acids and surfactants (wetting aids) that will aid in stimulating plant growth and production. It can be applied by watering in as an additive, or used as a foliar feed. Improves growing mediums, encourages compact growth, increases yields, improves synthetic, organic fertilizers, and teas.

    Earth Juice Catalyst foliar feeding instructions:

    * The best temperature is about 72 degrees (when stomata on the underside of the leaves are open); at over 80, they may not be open at all. So, find the cooler part of the day if it is hot and the warmer part of the day if it is cold out.

    * Use a good quality sprayer -- should atomise the solution to a very fine mist.

    * Always be sure your light is off and cool before foliar feeding! For extra safety, wipe your bulb with a dry cloth after spraying and make sure H.I.D lights are raised to a safe distance (double the distance is a good rule of thumb) to prevent burning.

    * Make sure the PH is between 7 and 6.2.

    * Spray leaf surface -- the tops and the undersides -- until the liquid begins to drip off the leaves. Stop spraying 2 weeks before harvest -- use sparingly on bud sites.

    * Dispose of excess spray after 3 days storage.

    * Let mix stand for 24hrs before feeding.

    * Spray one time a week every week.

    * Use 4 tsp per litre.
  9. What is SPRAY-N-GROW?

    A micronutrient complex, cultured in a water base, that acts as a biocatalyst. A professor at a major agricultural university stated that Spray-N-Grow is a balanced system of micronutrients reacting synergistically ... all components working together harmoniously that in effect perform as a single active ingredient. Spray-N-Grow activates dormant microorganisms in the soil, enabling plants to better utilize nutrients. It concentrates phosphate at the bud tips and causes the plant to produce more blooms and set more fruit; it reconditions the soil and helps restore it back to its Natalieural fertility by restoring microbial activity; and it also relieves built-up stress conditions caused by over fertilization, salt build-up and petrochemical use.

    Barium 0.147 Cadmium 0.115 Calcium 196.300 Chromium 0.085 Cobalt 0.024 Copper 12.840 Iron 1026.000 Lithium 0.050 Magnesium 1009.000 Manganese 3.470 Molybdenum 0.647 Palladium 0.035 Phosphorus 0.676 Potassium 3.326 Selenium 0.533 Sodium 5110.000 Sulphur 1959.900 Vanadium 0.115 Zinc 603.400

    Spray-N-Grow foliar feeding instructions:

    * The best temperature is about 72 degrees (when stomata on the underside of the leaves are open), at over 80, they may not be open at all. So, find the cooler part of the day if it is hot and the warmer part of the day if it is cold out.

    * Use a good quality sprayer -- should atomise the solution to a very fine mist.

    * Always be sure your light is off and cool before foliar feeding! For extra safety, wipe your bulb with a dry cloth after spraying and make sure H.I.D lights are raised to a safe distance (double the distance is a good rule of thumb) to prevent burning.

    * Make sure the PH is between 7 and 6.2.

    * To prevent the water from beading up (they act as small prisms) and thereby burning the leaves, for each gallon made add half of a teaspoon of liquid detergent (wetting agent).

    * Spray leaf surface -- the tops and the undersides -- until the liquid begins to drip off the leaves. Start 2 weeks after germination, 2 times a week and stop 2 weeks into flowering -- use sparingly on bud sites.

    * Dispose of excess spray after 4-6 hrs.

    * 8-ounce bottle makes 8 gallons of spray.
    Heat Stress :
    Look closely below, and you'll see the brown leaf edges that are indicative of heat stress. This damage looks alot like nutrient burn, except it occurs only at the tops of the plants closest to the lamps. There's only one cure for this...get the heat away from the plants, either by moving the lamps or moving the plants.
    Figure 1

    Nutrient Solution Burn:
    There's a good chance that this leaf was subjected to nutrient solution burn. These symptoms are seen when the EC concentration of hydroponic solutions is too high. These symptoms also appear when strong nutrient solution is splashed onto the leaves under hot HID lamps, causing the leaves to burn under the solution.

    Figure 2
    Many hydroponic gardeners see this problem. It's the beginning of nutrient burn. It indicates that the plants have all the nutrients they can possibly use, and there's a slight excess. Back off the concentration of the nutrient solution just a touch, and the problem should disappear. Note that if the plants never get any worse than this leaf (figure 3), then the plants are probably just fine. Figure 4 is definitely an over-fert problem. The high level of nutrients accumulates in the leaves and causes them to dry out and burn up as shown here. You must flush with clear, clean water immediately to allow the roots to recover, and prevent further damage. Now find the cause of the high nutrient levels.

    Figure 3 (left) and Figure 4 (right)
    Over Watering:
    The plants in figure 5 were on a continous drip system, where nutrient solution is constantly being pumped into the medium. This tends to keep the entire root system completely saturated. A better way would be to periodically feed the plants, say for 1/2 hour every 2-3 hours. This would give the roots a chance to get needed air to them, and prevent root rot and other problems.
    Don't be throw off by the fact that the plants in figure 5 are sitting in still water, this is actually an H2O2 solution used to try and correct the problem. Adding an airstone to the tub would also help add O2 to the solution.

    Figure 5
    pH Fluctuation:
    Both of these leaves in figure 6 and figure 7 are from the same plant. It could be over fertilization, but more likely it is due to the pH being off. Too high or too low a pH can lock up nutrients in the form of undisolvable salts and compounds, some of which are actually toxic to the plants. What then happens is the grower then tries to supplement the plants diet by adding more fertilizers, throwing off the pH even more and locking up even more nutrients. This type of problem is seen more often in soil mixes, where inconsistent mixing of the medium's components leads to "hot" spots.

    Figure 6 (left) and Figure 7 (right)
    Ozone Damage:
    Ozone damage typically found near the generator. Although a rare problem, symptoms generally appear as a Mg deficiency, but the symptoms are localized to immediately around the generator.

    Figure 8
    Root Stunting:
    Root stunting is characteristic of calcium deficiency, acidity, aluminum toxicity, and copper toxicity. Some species may also show it when boron deficient. The shortened roots become thickened, the laterals become stubby, peg-like, and the whole system often discolours, brown or grey.
    Symptoms localized at shoot growing points.
    New shoots unopened; young leaves distorted; dead leaf tips; pale green plant copper deficiency
    New shoots withered or dead; petiole or stem collapse; shoots stunted; green plant calcium deficiency Young leaves pale green or yellow; rosetting or dead tip; dieback; dark green plant boron deficiency

    Mobile elements are more likely to exhibit visual deficiencies in the older leaves, because during demand these elements will be exported to the new growth.

    Nitrogen (N)
    Nitrate - Ammonium is found in both inorganic and organic forms in the plant, and combines with carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and sometimes sulfur to form amino acids, amino enzymes, nucleic acids, chlorophyll, alkaloids, and purine bases. Nitrogen rates high as molecular weight proteins in plant tissue.
    Plants need lots of N during vegging, but it's easy to overdo it. Added too much? Flush the soil with plain water. Soluble nitrogen (especially nitrate) is the form that's the most quickly available to the roots, while insoluble N (like urea) first needs to be broken down by microbes in the soil before the roots can absorb it. Avoid excessive ammonium nitrogen, which can interfere with other nutrients.
    Too much N delays flowering. Plants should be allowed to become N-deficient late in flowering for best flavor.

    Nitrogen Deficiencies:
    Plants will exhibit lack of vigor, slow growth and will be weak and stunted. Quality and yield will be significantly reduced. Older leaves become yellow (chlorotic) from lack of chlorophyll. Deficient plants will exhibit uniform light green to yellow on older leaves, these leaves may die and drop. Leaf margins will not curled up noticeably. Chlorosis will eventually spread throughout the plant. Stems, petioles and lower leaf surfaces may turn purple.

    Figure 9

    As seen in figure 10 consumption of nitrogen (N) from the fan leaves during the final phase of flowing is 100% normal.

    Figure 10

    Nitrogen Toxicity:
    Leaves are often dark green and in the early stages abundant with foliage. If excess is severe, leaves will dry and begin to fall off. Root system will remain under developed or deteriorate after time. Fruit and flower set will be inhibited or deformed.
    With breakdown of vascular tissue restricting water uptake. Stress resistance is drastically diminished.

    Phosphorus (P)
    Phosphorus is a component of certain enzymes and proteins, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), ribonucleic acids (RNA), deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA) and phytin. ATP is involved in various energy transfer reactions, and RNA and DNA are components of genetic information.

    Phosphorus (P) deficiency:
    Figure 11 is severe phosphorus (P) deficiency during flowering. Fan leaves are dark green or red/purple, and may turn yellow. Leaves may curl under, go brown and die. Small-formed buds are another main symptom.
    Phosphorus deficiencies exhibit slow growing, weak and stunted plants with dark green or purple pigmentation in older leaves and stems.
    Some deficiency during flowering is normal, but too much shouldn't be tolerated. Red petioles and stems are a normal, genetic characteristic for many varieties, plus it can also be a co-symptom of N, K, and Mg-deficiencies, so red stems are not a foolproof sign of P-deficiency. Too much P can lead to iron deficiency.
    Purpling: accumulation of anthocyanin pigments; causes an overall dark green color with a purple, red, or blue tint, and is the common sign of phosphate deficiency. Some plant species and varieties respond to phosphate deficiency by yellowing instead of purpling. Purpling is natural to some healthy ornamentals.

    Figure 11

    Figure 12 shows Phosphorus (P) deficiency during vegatative growth. Many people mistaken this for a fungus, but look for the damage to occur near the end of leave, and leaves the color dull greyish with a very brittle texture.

    Figure 12

    Phosphorus (P) Toxicity:
    This condition is rare and usually buffered by pH limitations. Excess phosphorus can interfere with the availability and stability of copper and zinc.

    Potassium (K)
    Potassium is involved in maintaining the water status of the plant and the
    tugor pressure of it's cells and the opening and closing of the stomata. Potassium is required in the accumulation and translocation of carbohydrates. Lack of potassium will reduce yield and quality.
    Potassium deficiency:
    Older leaves are initially chlorotic but soon develop dark necrotic lesions
    (dead tissue). First apparent on the tips and margins of the leaves. Stem and branches may become weak and easily broken, the plant may also stretch. The plant will become susceptible to disease and toxicity. In addition to appearing to look like iron deficiency, the tips of the leaves curl and the edges burn and die.
    Potassium - Too much sodium (Na) displaces K, causing a K deficiency. Sources of high salinity are: baking soda (sodium bicarbonate "pH-up"), too much manure, and the use of water-softening filters (which should not be used). If the problem is Na, flush the soil. K can get locked up from too much Ca or ammonium nitrogen, and possibly cold weather.

    Figure 13

    Figure 14

    Potassium (K) Toxicity:
    Usually not absorbed excessively by plants. Excess potassium can aggravate the uptake of magnesium, manganese, zinc and iron and effect the availability of calcium.

    Magnesium (Mg)
    Magnesium is a component of the chlorophyll molecule and serves as a cofactor in most enzymes.
    Magnesium (Mg) deficiency:
    Magnesium deficiency will exhibit a yellowing (which may turn brown) and interveinal chlorosis beginning in the older leaves. The older leaves will be the first to develop interveinal chlorosis. Starting at leaf margin or tip and progressing inward between the veins. Notice how the veins remain somewhat green though as can be seen in figure 15.
    Notice how in figure 16 and 17 the leaves curl upwards like they're praying? They're praying for Mg! The tips may also twist.
    This can be quickly resolved by watering with 1 tablespoon Epsom salts/gallon of water. Until you can correct nutrient lockout, try foliar feeding. That way the plants get all the nitrogen and Mg they need. The plants can be foliar feed at ½ teaspoon/quart of Epsom salts (first powdered and dissolved in some hot water). When mixing up soil, use 2 teaspoon dolomite lime per gallon of soil.
    If the starting water is above 200 ppm, that is pretty hard water, that will lock out mg with all of the calcium in the water. Either add a 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of epsom salts or lime (both will effectively reduce the lockout or invest into a reverse osmosis water filter.
    Mg can get locked-up by too much Ca, Cl or ammonium nitrogen. Don't overdo Mg or you'll lock up other nutrients.

    Figure 15

    Figure 16

    Figure 17

    Magnesium (Mg) Toxicity:
    Magnesium toxicity is rare and not generally exhibited visibly. Extreme high levels will antagonize other ions in the nutrient solution.

    Zinc (Zn)
    Zinc plays a roll in the same enzyme functions as manganese and magnesium. More than eighty enzymes contain tightly bound zinc essential for their function. Zinc participates in chlorophyll formation and helps prevent chlorophyll destruction. Carbonic anhydrate has been found to be specifically activated by zinc.

    Zinc Deficiencies:
    Deficiencies appear as chlorosis in the inter-veinal areas of new leaves producing a banding appearance as seen in figure 18. This may be accompany reduction of leaf size and a shortening between internodes. Leaf margins are often distorted or wrinkled. Branch terminals of fruit will die back in severe cases.
    Also gets locked out due to high pH. Zn, Fe, and Mn deficiencies often occur together, and are usually from a high pH. Don't overdo the micro-nutrients, lower the pH if that's the problem so the nutrients become available. Foliar feed if the plant looks real bad. Use chelated zinc. Zinc deficiency produces "little leaf" in many species, especially woody ones; the younger leaves are distinctly smaller than normal. Zinc defeciency may also produce "rosetting"; the stem fails to elongate behind the growing tip, so that the terminal leaves become tightly bunched.

    Figure 18

    Zinc Toxicity:
    Excess Zinc is extremely toxic and will cause rapid death. Excess zinc interferes with iron causing chlorosis from iron deficiency. Excess will cause sensitive plants to become chlorotic.

    Immobile elements will show their first symptoms on younger leaves and progress to the whole plant.

    Sulphur (S)
    Sulfate is involved in protein synthesis and is part of the amino acids, cystine and thiamine, which are the building blocks of proteins. It is active in the structure and metabolism in the plant. It is essential for respiration and the synthesis and breakdown of fatty acids.

    Sulphur (S) deficiency:
    The initial symptoms are the yellowing of the entire leaf including veins usually starting with the younger leaves. Leaf tips may yellow and curl downward. Sulfur deficiencies are light green fruit or younger leaves with a lack of succulence. Elongated roots and woody stem. Although it's hard to see in figure 19, the upper stems of this plant are purple. Although many varieties of cannabis do get purplish stems, the trait generally extends the entire length of the plant's stem, and not just near the top as in this specimen.

    Figure 19

    Sulphur Toxicity:
    Leaf size will be reduced and overall growth will be stunted. Leaves yellowing or scorched at edges. Excess may cause early senescence.

    Calcium (Ca)
    Calcium plays an important role in maintaining cell integrity and membrane permeability.

    Calcium Deficiency:
    Young leaves are affected first and become small and distorted or chlorotic with irregular margins, spotting or necrotic areas. Bud development is inhibited, blossom end rot and internal decay may also occur and root may be under developed or die back. Deficiency will cause leaf tip die-back, leaf tip curl and marginal necrosis and chlorosis primarily in younger leaves. Symptoms: young leaves develop chlorosis and distortion such as crinkling, dwarfing, developing a strap-like shape, shoots stop growing and thicken.

    Calcium Toxicity:
    Difficult to distinguish visually. May precipitate with sulfur in solution and cause clouding or residue in tank. Excess calcium may produce deficiencies in magnesium and potassium.

    Iron (Fe)
    Iron is an important component of plant enzyme systems for electron transport to carry electrons during photosynthesis and terminal respiration. It is a catalyst for chlorophyll production and is required for nitrate and sulfate reduction and assimilation.
    Iron deficiency:
    - Pronounced interveinal chlorosis similar to that caused by magnesium deficiency but on the younger leaves.
    -Leaves exhibit chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves mainly between the veins, starting with the lower and middle leaves.

    Caused by factors that interfere with iron absorption of roots: over irrigation, excessive soluble salts, inadequate drainage, pests, high substrate pH, or nematodes. This is easily corrected by adding an iron supplement with the next watering.

    Fe is unavailable to plants when the pH of the water or soil is too high. If deficient, lower the pH to about 6.5 (for rockwool, about 5.7), and check that you're not adding too much P, which can lock up Fe. Use iron that's chelated for maximum availability. Read your fertilizer's ingredients - chelated iron might read something like "iron EDTA". To much Fe without adding enough P can cause a P-deficiency.

    Note : When adding iron to the solution, it is often necessary to not use fertilizer for that watering. Iron has a tendency of reacting with many of the components of fertilizer solutions, and will cause nutrient lockup to occur. Read the labels of both the iron supplement and the fertilizer you are using before you attempt to combine the two.

    Figure 20

    Iron Toxicity:
    Excess accumulation is rare but could cause bronzing or tiny brown spots on leaf surface.

    Manganese (Mn)
    Manganese is involved in the oxidation reduction process in the photosynthetic electron transport system. Biochemical research shows that this element plays a structural role in the chloroplast membrane system, and also activates numerous enzymes.
    Manganese Deficiency:
    Interveinal chlorosis of younger leaves, necrotic lesions and leaf shredding are typical symptom of this deficiency. High levels can cause uneven distribution of chlorophyll resulting in blotchy appearance. Restricted growth and failure to mature normally can also result.
    -Mn gets locked out when the pH is too high, and when there's too much iron. Use chelated Mn.
    Manganese Toxicity:
    Toxicity:Chlorosis, or blotchy leaf tissue due to insufficient chlorophyll synthesis. Growth rate will slow and vigor will decline.

    Chlorine (Cl)
    Chloride is involved in the evolution of oxygen in the photosynthesis process and is essential for cell division in roots and leaves. Chlorine raises the cell osmotic pressure and affects stomata regulation and increases the hydration of plant tissue. Levels less than 140 ppm are safe for most plants. Chloride sensitive plants may experience tip or marginal leaf burn at concentrations above 20 ppm.
    Chlorine Deficiency:
    Wilted chlorotic leaves become bronze in color. Roots become stunted and thickened near tips. Plants with chlorine deficiencies will be pale and suffer wilting.
    Chlorine Toxicity:
    Burning of leaf tip or margins. Bronzing, yellowing and leaf splitting. Reduced leaf size and lower growth rate.

    Boron (B)
    Boron biochemical functions are yet uncertain, but evidence suggests it is involved in the synthesis of one of the bases for nucleic acid (RNA uracil) formation. It may also be involved in some cellular activities such as division, differentiation, maturation and respiration. It is associated with pollen germination.
    Boron Deficiency:
    Plants deficient in boron exhibit brittle abnormal growth at shoot tips and one of the earliest symptoms is failure of root tips to elongate normally. Stem and root apical meristems often die. Root tips often become swollen and discolored. Internal tissues may rot and become host to fungal disease. Leaves show various symptoms which include drying, thickening, distorting, wilting, and chlorotic or necrotic spotting.
    Boron Toxicity:
    Yellowing of leaf tip followed by necrosis of the leaves beginning at tips or margins and progressing inward before leaves die and prematurely fall off. Some plants are especially sensitive to boron accumulation.

    Copper (Cu)
    Copper is a constituent of many enzymes and proteins. Assists in carbohydrate metabolism, nitrogen fixation and in the process of oxygen reduction.
    Copper Deficiency:
    Symptoms of deficiency are a reduced or stunted growth with a distortion of the younger leaves and growth tip die-back. Young leaves often become dark green and twisted. They may die back or just exhibit necrotic spots. Growth and yield will be deficient as well.
    Copper Toxicity:
    Copper is required in very small amounts and readily becomes toxic in solution culture if not carefully controlled. Excess values will induce iron deficiency. Root growth will be suppressed followed by symptoms of iron chlorosis, stunting, reduced branching, abnormal darkening and thickening of roots.

    Molybdenum (Mo)
    Molybdenum is a component of two major enzyme systems involved in the nitrate reeducates, this is the process of conversion of nitrate to ammonium.
    Molybdenum Deficiencies:
    Often interveinal chlorosis which occurs first on older leaves, then progressing to the entire plant. Developing severely twisted younger leaves which eventually die. Molybdenum deficiencies frequently resemble nitrogen, with older leaves chlorotic with rolled margins and stunted growth.
    Molybdenum Toxicity:
    Excess may cause discoloration of leaves depending on plant species. This condition is rare but could occur from accumulation by continuous application. Used by the plant in very small quantities. Excess mostly usually does not effect the plant, however the consumption of high levels by grazing animals can pose problems so she might not be too good to smoke.

    Sodium (Na)
    Sodium seems to encourage crop yields and in specific cases it acts as an antidoting agent against various toxic salts. It may act as a partial substitute for potassium deficiencies. Excess may cause plant toxicity or induce deficiencies of other elements. If sodium predominates in the solution calcium and magnesium may be affected.

    Silicon (Si)
    Silicon usually exists in solution as silicic acid and is absorbed in this form. It accumulates as hydrated amorphous silica most abundantly in walls of epidermal cells, but also in primary and secondary walls of other cells. It is largely available in soils and is found in water as well. Inadequate amounts of silicon can reduce tomato yields as much as 50%, cause new leaves to be deformed and inhibit fruit set. At this time toxicity symptoms are undetermined.

    Cobalt (Co)
    Cobalt is essential to many beneficial bacteria that are involved in nitrogen fixation of legumes. It is a component of vitamin B12 which is essential to most animals and possibly in plants. Reports suggest that it may be involved with enzymes needed to form aromatic compounds. Otherwise, it is not understood fully as to its benefit to plant growth, but it is considered essential to some animal health issues.
  11. If you are growing with chem ferts like GH flora or similar, you should clear the nutes during the last week of flowering. It will help the plant to use up its reserves stored away in its foliage, this lack of food will force the plant to translocate the extra nitogen and other elements stored in its tissues which will help the final smoke taste much better. No harsh chemical or "green" taste from the excess chlorophyll, nitrogen and other elements in the final smoke.

    The best way to accomplish this clearing is to feed only water for about the last week (or LESS) of flowering.

    If you have been growing the plant on organic nutrients then there is seldom a need to clear the plant since it has not taken up any foul tasting chemical nutrients. The extra N stored in the foliage will have been used up (translocated for budding fuel) as part of the natural process of final budding.


    Note: These days there are several products on the "grow store" market which say they help the plants clear chemicals. Botanicare Clearex is one of these which users report great results using. My take is, if its not broke why fix it. Good old water does the trick. :)
  12. This feeding schedule will help you on your new adventure of growing high quality marijuana. These ratios are based on a medium consisting of a semi-soilless mix of 1/3 Super Soil (a generic soil brand from Home Depot), 1/3 perlite & 1/3 vermiculite. Supersoil contains no nutrients, so if using a different brand w/ nutrients adjust your fert amounts accordingly. With a soilless mix, approximately 1/4 of the water going in has to be runoff, to wash out the salts from the last watering & any build-ups. It is very important to check the PH of your runoff water also. For example, if it is going in at 6.2 and the runoff is 6.8, you have a salt build-up and have to flush your plants w/ PH adjusted water & then check runoff. This is very important, because at higher or lower PH levels plants will take in more or less of some nutrients. Use good quality water with a PPM of less then 150. When using GH Flora series always mix your micro first, stir well, then add your grow, stir well, then your bloom, again stirring well. Failure to mix your micro first will result in certain nutrients being locked out & unavailable to the plant. Measurements are given in teaspoons per gallon using GH Flora series.

    SEEDLINGS (Day 1 - 14)
    During this stage your plants need no nutrients. Plants have enough energy stored to last them roughly 2 weeks. I've seen many grows ruined because people killed their plants during this period.

    VEGETATIVE GROWTH (Day 15 - 45)
    Early - 1 tsp (5ml) each - micro , grow & bloom. Adjust PH to 6.2
    Middle - 1 1/4 tsp (6.25 ml) micro, 1 1/4 tsp grow, 1 tsp bloom. Adjust PH to 6.2
    Late - 1 1/2 tsp (7.5 ml) micro, 1 1/2 tsp grow, 1 tsp bloom. Adjust PH to 6.2

    FLOWERING (Day 46 – 106, more or less depending on strain)
    Early - 1 1/2 tsp micro, 1 tsp grow, 1 1/2 tsp bloom. Adjust PH to 6.2
    Middle - 1 3/4 tsp (8.75 ml) micro, 3/4 tsp (3.75 ml) grow, 1 3/4 tsp bloom. Adjust PH to 6.3
    Late - 2 tsp (10ml) micro, 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) grow, 2 tsp bloom. Adjust PH to 6.3
    Later - 2 1/2 tsp (12.5 ml) micro, 1/2 tsp grow, 3 tsp (15 ml) bloom. Adjust PH to 6.4

    Always remember to water your plants w/ plain PH adjusted water the last 2 weeks to wash out any built up salts & to try & reduce the chemical taste that unused ferts leave behind in the weed. The plants used in this example were grown using a 400 watt HPS. If you use this information & have good genetics, I guarantee you will have a good amount of high quality weed in 3 1/2 months. Peace
  13. Introduction
    This FAQ details how to produce home-made worm castings.

    It is a lengthy process and takes anywhere from 6 months up to 2 years, depending on comparison to how much decomposed matter vs number of worms you have. This method takes a little time, but then again, a little time and effort will certainly beat the store prices!!!

    Why are Worm castings a beneficial soil additive?
    - Introduce micro organisms to the soil, increasing disease resistance.
    - Hold water and give nutrients in a consistent natural way.
    - Great fertilizer that can be used a lot but wont burn the plant
    - 10% worm casting in soil mix improves germination rates, plant growth, and give them a healthy appearance.
    - Castings also contain plant growth hormones

    Some facts on worms:
    - Worms eat twice their weight in matter daily
    - Worms defecate (crap) twice their weight daily
    - Worm populations double every 4 months or so
    - Worms will eat decomposing, rotting matter, anything from grass clippings, to manure, to decaying lettuce. This process is called Vermicomposting
    - Worms live within the top 6 " (inches) of the soil. Worms work from the bottom to the top

    Worm improve soil airation due to their tunneling action; this keeps the soil nice and loose. The worms will stick around so long as there is enough organic matter for them to digest, especially if you add blood and bone meal, or other various organic fertilizers. If the worms are crawling out of your medium, then its time to add organic fert or transplant into a more organic decomposing medium.

    Which worm species to use:
    The best worms to use for homemade worm castings are Red Wrigglers, a common worm that can be almost found anywhere. Night Crawlers can also be used - they are much larger and also eat a lot more than the wrigglers. You can find Night Crawlers easily around your yard.

    What Compost to use:
    Note: Raw scraps are indigestible, and must be broken down first by bacteria. Worms are better able to digest and process organic scraps that have been pre-decomposed.
    1. Cow manure. Cows are poor digesters, they only digest about 15% of what they eat, leaving another 85% of the stuff an organic sludge; worms absolutely love cow manure! It is better to have the manure pre-decomposted prior to the vermicomposting. I consider cow manure an essential ingredient.
    2. Any vegetable/fruit scraps. Recycle your food waste! Take your scraps, and place them in a blender, mix it around for a couple seconds. Mixing makes it easier and faster for the scraps to decompose and makes it easier to mix in with other ingredients for a blend.
    3. Dry leaves, grass clippings, rotting wood. These ingredients take a bit longer to decompose, but they seem to be richer in the end. Anything you rake up for your lawn is great.
    Note: meat scraps and sauces tend to make things a little too rancid and stinky, as well as attract flies and pests. Keep to vegetable scraps.

    Materials and directions:
    1. A standard Rubbermaid tub (15 gal)
    2. 50-150 worms, the more the better.
    3. Your decomposing matter
    4. Water spray bottle

    Directions for setup:
    Take your pre-decomposed matter and fill up your tub with it (Up to 6 inches from the top of the tub, so the worms cant escape) . Even it out gently.
    Now take your worms, and place around the EDGES of the tub - the worms will dig down and eventually find their way into the ‘soil'.

    Spray water on the surface of the scraps to keep everything moist (including the worms). Usually i do this about twice a day. There is no turning, or sifting required, as the worms will do all the work.

    Harvesting the Worm Castings:
    The top layer of the matter should turn a dark brown when your worm castings are finished. This new soil looks like brown chunky sand. It looks like dirt, and it smells like dirt. But its genuine, fresh worm castings!
  14. I have a recipe for an organic tea fertilizer. I would suggest this when your leaves show signs of yellowing. It often means lack of N (nitrogen) and store bought chemical ferts don't always do the trick, plus they build up (salts) in the soil. Try this:

    Put 2 cups of high-nitrogen bat or seabird guano (found at your local garden center or nursery) in the corner of a cloth bag, old pillowcases are perfect. Tie it in a knot around a stick and suspend it in a 5-gallon bucket of fresh (preferably distilled) water. It is now like a tea bag. Just shake the tea bag around several times a day. It should emit a dark secretion from the bag. After 2 days the water should be pretty dark. Take out the tea bag and dispose of it, or rinse it out to be reused. Use this dark water at a rate of 1-2 cups per gallon of fresh water and mix it up. This will give you a "tea" to water your plants with. Use it to water once, and then wait a few days to see if your plants like it.
    You can use this high Nitrogen tea whenever your plants tell you they need it (yellowing leaves).

    To make a bloom tea, use the same steps but replace the high-nitrogen guano with high-phosphorous guano.

    To use these teas most effectively, start with my organic soil mix at the beginning of your grow. It will provide the essential nutrients for a long time before your girls tell you they need something, by showing symptoms of deficiency. You can also use either tea more frequently, according to the growth rate of your plants, to greatly increase growth rate and flowering.
  15. Botanicare Pure Blend Pro / Botanicare Pure Blend and Foxfarm Big Bloom, lines work excellent as complete nutrient sources, due to their vastly different formulations.

    Botanicare Pure Blend Pro is mainly composed of fishmeal and sea bird guano. This product is well composted and ph stabilized. It comes in 2-1.5-4 for vegetative and 1.5-4-5 for flowering.

    The regular Botanicare Pure Blend line is blood and bone meal, and earthworm castings based. It comes in 1-.5-1 for vegetative and .5-.5-1 for flowering.

    Of course, both of these lines could be mixed to create transitional formulas.

    Foxfarm Big Bloom is bat guano and earthworm castings based and offers a phosphorous boost in the final stages.

    None of these products produce noticeable odor and they are all pH stable over the long term.
  16. BD97's recipe for General Hydroponics 3-part nutrient solution designed for aeroponics and other constant feeding strategies. Ml per gallon.

    Epsom salts are used at 1.5 tsp per 5 gallons of Reverse Osmosis water. pH is held around 5.8. Blossom Blood (a bloom additive) is added at week 3 and they are flushed for the final 12 days.











    Ml per Gallon
  17. Highgrades Nutrient Formula

    Directions for Mixing

    Shake bottles well before mixing.
    1. Always add FloraMicro first to fresh water and mix well
    2. Then FloraGro mix well
    3. And then FloraBloom


    Seedlings and Clones
    Seedling and Clone Formula
    Nutrient per 3 Gals
    or 11.355L of Water
    Nutrient per 100L of Water
    Nutrient per mixture of my container




    Epsom Salt
    ¼ tsp
    2 ½ tsp (little less)

    The General Hydroponics nutrients when mixed with distilled water with a starting value of 0 PPM or 0 EC uS/cm prior to adding Pro-Tekt and Epsom Salt should have a reading of about 606 PPM @0.7 conversion or 865 EC uS/cm. Remember to subtract the starting EC or PPM value of your water from your reading to test your obtain approximate estimate of nutrient strength.

    Vegetative Growth
    Vegetative Growth Formula
    Nutrient per 3 Gals
    or 11.355L of Water
    Nutrient per 100L of Water
    Nutrient per mixture of my container




    Epsom Salt
    ¼ tsp
    2 ½ tsp (little less)

    The General Hydroponics nutrients when mixed with distilled water with a starting value of 0 PPM or 0 EC uS/cm prior to adding Pro-Tekt and Epsom Salt should have a reading of about 540 PPM @0.7 conversion or 771 EC uS/cm. Remember to subtract the starting EC or PPM value of your water from your reading to test your obtain approximate estimate of nutrient strength.

    Transition from Growth to Bloom Stage
    Always flush your system when switching between Vegetative Growth and Bloom Stage.
    Transition from Growth to Bloom Formula
    Nutrient per 3 Gals
    or 11.355L of Water
    Nutrient per 100L of Water
    Nutrient per mixture of my container




    Epsom Salt
    ¼ tsp
    2 ½ tsp (little less)

    The General Hydroponics nutrients when mixed with distilled water with a starting value of 0 PPM or 0 EC uS/cm prior to adding Pro-Tekt and Epsom Salt should have a reading of about 606 PPM @0.7 conversion or 865 EC uS/cm. Remember to subtract the starting EC or PPM value of your water from your reading to test your obtain approximate estimate of nutrient strength.

    Flowering / Bloom Stage
    Flowering / Bloom Formula
    Nutrient per 3 Gals or 11.355L of Water
    Nutrient per 100L of Water
    Nutrient per mixture of my container




    Epsom Salt
    ¼ tsp
    2 ½ tsp (little less)

    The General Hydroponics nutrients when mixed with distilled water with a starting value of 0 PPM or 0 EC uS/cm prior to adding Pro-Tekt and Epsom Salt should have a reading of about 580 PPM @0.7 conversion or 828 EC uS/cm. Remember to subtract the starting EC or PPM value of your water from your reading to test your obtain approximate estimate of nutrient strength.
  18. These mixes work well and are the accepted standard mix recommended for newbies as well as those new to GH Flora series nutes. It is simple to remember: 3-2-1...2-2-2...1-2-3. Listed as (grow-micro-bloom) Always mix the micro into the water first.

    **Teaspoons per US gallon (5ml = 1 part)

    Vegetative stage: Use 3-2-1 (3 parts grow, 2 parts micro, 1 part bloom)
    Early flowering: first 2-3 weeks or until stretching stops: Use 2-2-2 (2 parts each)
    Late flowering: Use 1-2-3 (1 part grow, 2 parts micro, 3 parts bloom)

    ** Dilute final mixture (or adjust part size) to suit your plants nutrient strength (EC/TDS) requirements. GH Flora series is slightly lacking Mg, add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon epsom salts per gallon of final mix. Dissolve the salts in some warm water before adding to your nutrient reservoir.
  19. General Hydroponics Flora Series Feeding Strategy - Lucas Formula

    G-M-B (Grow-Micro-Bloom)
    0-5-10 - For Vegetative cycle (18/6)
    0-8-16 - For Flowering cycle (12/12)

    The numbers above indicate the number of milliliters (ml) of Flora Grow, Micro or Bloom formulas that I use in one gallon (US Liquid) of nutrients.

    You will notice I dont use any of the Flora “Grow” formula, do not need to, the Flora "Micro" provides plenty of Nitrogen.

    There are two ways to work with this formula:

    1. Top off the reservoir daily using a pH corrected water solution as required to maintain full reservoir level. After adding back an amount of water equal to the amount of your reservoir capacity you should change the reservoir and put in fresh solution.

    2. Top off the reservoir daily using a pH corrected 100% strength nutrient solution as required to maintain full reservoir level. Continue to use this nutrient solution without dumping the tank unless the PPM rises above acceptable levels.

    Between vegetative and flowering cycles you should dump your nutrients, then flush (possibly with Clearex) to remove salt buildups, then change to the other feeding program. Always shake your GH nutrient bottles before using them!

    For young plants, just transplanted into the hydro setup, give them 50% strength nutrient mix to prevent overfeeding them while their young. Gradually bring up the mix to full strength as they grow over the next few weeks or so.

    The lucas formula is normally intended for use with RO or near 0 PPM water.

    NOTE: The Lucas formula eliminates the need for Epsom salts to correct (Magnesium) Mg deficiencies in most normal feeding programs recommended by manufacturers. Cannabis needs a lot of Magnesium to thrive.

    The Flora Micro is providing the Nitrogen and the Magnesium in the proper balance, thus there is no need for the Grow formula and little or no room under the maximum acceptable ppm limit of 1600 @ 0.7 conversion.

    Calculated EC/TDS levels:

    EC microsiemen:
    0-4-8: 946 µS
    0-5-10: 1184 µS
    0-8-16: 1894 µS

    TDS @ 0.5 conversion:
    0-4-8 = 473 ppm
    0-5-10 = 592 ppm
    0-8-16 = 947 ppm

    TDS @ 0.7 conversion:
    0-4-8 = 663 ppm
    0-5-10 = 829 ppm
    0-8-16 = 1326 ppm

    Addback Calculator - (For Advanced Users)

    Say you were running the 0-8-16 formula, at 0.7 conversion with a 22 gallon res. When you first fill it up, your ppm will be around 1330.

    Now you have been growing for a week, and some of the water has been taken up by the plants, some has evaporated, and now your res is at 947 ppm. You need to get your ppm from 947 to 1330. Here is the equation:

    ((target - current) / target) * 8 ml per gallon * res gallons = Flora Micro (ml) double this figure to get Flora Bloom (ml)


    ((1330 - 947) / 1330) * 8 * 22
    (383 / 1330) * 8 * 22
    0.3 * 8 * 22 = 53 ml Flora Micro

    53 ml Flora Micro, double that and you get 106 ml Flora Bloom. So 53 ml Flora Micro and 106 ml Flora Bloom to add back to your 22 gallon res to get you from 947 to 1330.

    Using Hard Water GH Micro

    I had been experimenting with using the Hard water Micro as a substitute for the normal Flora Micro, this to account for my hard 350 PPM water and the lack of a large enough RO filter at the time. It has worked well for me. I just kept my reservoir below 1150 PPM @ .5 conversion and its all good.

    One tip - do not pH down this stuff, the hard water micro will drop pH gradually over the next 24 hours, for example I mix up a batch, it is at like 6.2, the next day, its at 5.6-5.8 after running in the system for a while. If I pH downed that to 5.7 before putting it in the system, it ended up as low as 4.8-5.2 by the next day.

    My conclusion, the hard water micro was buffering the alkaline crud in my water, it just doesnot do it ASAP fast like the phosphoric acid.
  20. Do I need fertilizer?

    If your soils good and its not a permanent location, you might not even need to fertilize. I think some breeds of cannabis have better tasting buds if they have had to struggle a bit for survival. I can almost taste the buds that have been "spoiled" by an over-protective gardener.
    However, if your growing in the same location year after year or if your soil is poor to begin with, you will need to add amendments. If an acre of hemp is burned the ash could contain as much as 25 to 30 kilos of pottasium, so youll have to add some mass. Some organic amendments will improve the texture and drainage as well as supply nutrients, and they have the advantage of not building up into a toxic condition.

    What are some different fertilizers?

    Nitrogen materials
    Ammonia = (NH3) is a gas containing 82% nitrogen.Used as a foliar feed in its aqueous form.
    Cottonseed meal = A by-product resulting from the extraction of oil from cottonseed. Commercial cottonseed meal has nitrogen content of 6-7%. Generaly it is used as a partial source of nitrogen in mixed fertlizers. The nitrogen is readily available.
    Blood meal = Blood meal is a by product of the meat-packing industry and has a nitrogen content of 12-14%. The nitrogen is available in a short time, but it does little for the mechanical properties of the soil.
    Urea = Urea is a white crystaline compound cotaining 46% readily available nitrogen.
    Fish emulsion = This is prepared from nonedible fish and waste from fisheries. It has about 8% nitrogen.

    Phosphate Materials
    Bone meal = Two kinds, raw and steamed. Steamed bone meal has less nitrogen than raw, but more phosphoric acid. This material releases its nutrients slowly so can be used without fear of injuring the crop.
    Rock phosphate = Mineral occuring in deposits throughout the world. Its effectiveness is dependant on its degree of fineness, and the reaction of the soil.
    Superphosphate = A source of phosphoric acid in complete fertilizers and a direct treatment of soils deficient in phosphorous but well supplied with nitrogen and pottasium.
    Slag = Finely ground by-product of steel manufacture. Its free lime content makes it of special value in the recalamation of acid soils.

    Pottasium Materials
    Wood ashes
    manure salts

    Other materials
    Compost = Instead of throwing away organic waste, gather it together in an out of the way place and start a compost pile.
    Greensand = Greensand contains slowly avaiable nutrients. Improvements are as much the result of soil condition as the nutrients.
    Lime = An amendment to correct soil acidity, improve the properties of the soil, and promote bacterial activity.
    Guano = The the composted or fossilized excrement of any roosting verebrate. Invertebrate excrement is called castings
    Gypsum = Helps liberate pottasium and sulfur and conditions soil.

    Feel free to help out on this one, I'm sure I forgot something....

    Organic fertilizers, NPK values and amounts to use

    Here is a short list of common organic fertilizers, NPK values and how much to use per sq ft of garden.FERT - (N-P-K) - Type - Use
    Alfalfa Pellets (3-1-2) avg release 40g/sq ft
    Corn Gluten (6-0-0) avg release 15g/sq ft
    Compost (1-1-1) slow release 125g/sq ft
    Bird guano (10-3-1 variable) fast release 25g/sq ft
    Cow manure (2-0-0 variable) avg release 60g/sq ft
    Horse manure (5-2.5-6 variable) avg release 20g/sq ft
    Soybean meal (6-1.5-2) avg release 20g/sq ft
    Worm castings (1-0-0) slow release 150g/sq ft
    Kelp (1-0.2-2) fast release 15g/sq ft
    Insect manure (4-3-2) fast release 35g/sq ft
    Fish emulsion (5-2-2 liquid) fast release 1ml/sq ft
    Cottonseed meal (6-2-2) avg release 20g/sq ft
    Bone meal (2-11-0) slow release 25g/sq ft
    Blood meal (12-0-0) fast release 10g/sq ft

    Note: Bird and Bat guano have variable compounds and can be very rich in Phosphorous (Peruvian/Chile Seabird guano, for instance). Poultry manure is also more balanced. Worm castings and composts are low in nutrients and are considered more like soil amendments than ferts. Cow manure and Horse manure should be composted. Don't use fresh crap. Sewage Sludge's shouldn't be used.

    How can I improve my soil outdoors?

    Organic matter is needed for good plant growth and desirable soil qualities. Sometimes a type of fertilizer known as organic ammoniates is used (blood meal, leather tankage, etc.). These increase growth because of their readily available nitrogen, but do nothing for texture or drainage. To obtain prolonged physical effects, depends on the nature of the material and its rate of decomposition. The beneficial effect of organic matter on the physical properties of the soil is distinct from the benefit of the nutrients. Everyone should have a compost pile; this is the best all-around amendment in terms of both nutrients and physical properties.
    If its too late to start a compost pile at the beginning of the season, put on one of those paper filter masks, and throw this stuff together in a large plastic tub:

    4 cups bone meal
    2 cups gypsum
    2 cups epsom salt
    1 cup lime
    4 T medicated baby powder
    1 T baking powder

    Make sure you use the paper mask as it is appearantly possible to contract mad cow disease by inhaling bone meal dust from infected cows. Mix this in your soil at rate of about a pint per bushel. This is just a quick fix, to
    really improve your soil think long term. The structure of very sandy soils or heavy clay soils are greatly improved by the addition of organic matter. In a clay soil, porosity is increased, and in a sandy soil, will limit erosion. If your soil is very clay, try adding some gypsum as well. The organic matter should be finely divided to get a good distribution, but coarse particles may be neccesary where erosion is a concern. Keep in mind that the use of dark colored amendments on a light colored soil-suface wilcause a greater absorption of heat from the sun. Add ammonium sulphate to lower pH, lime to raise it. Later on if you think you need more fertilizer, into 20 gallons of water put:

    1 can beer (enzymes)
    1 cup ammonia (optional, you might not need N)
    1/2 cup soap (helps wet soil)
    1/2 cup of a complete organic fert with trace elements
    1 can coke (sugar for the good bugs)

    Go easy at first to see how they respond.

    Can I foliar feed outdoors?

    Yes, you can, but don't over do it. Into 20 gallons of water put:

    1 cup ammonia, yep plain old household ammonia
    1 cup alfalfa tea
    1/4 cup Ivory liquid dish soap
    16 Oz. apple juice

    You can experiment with other things like fish emulsion, but I like this recipe because it's so cheap.

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