Liquid feeding is a common way to provide your cannabis plants with the nutrients they need to grow and thrive. For soilless growing mediums especially, the need for nutrients is critical as the medium provides no nutrition.
Begin your feeding solution with water that has as much of the chlorine removed as possible. While there are filters (charcoal) that can remove chlorine, you can also sit your water in an open bowl on the counter overnight and much of the chlorine with dissipate.
When feeding your young cannabis plants, there are two important metrics to be aware of. First is the pH of your water that becomes the base for your liquid feeding. A good pH is on the acidic side of neutral, around 6.0 – 7.0 for soil, 5.5 – 6.5 for soilless. For hydroponics, use the low end of the soilless range 5.5 – 5.8.
The next important metric is the NPK of the plant food where N is nitrogen, P stands for phosphorus, and K represents potassium. For young cannabis plants, low levels of the primary nutrients are recommended; a 1-2-2 NPK fertilizer ratio for seedlings with only 1 or 2 sets of leaves.
As the plants mature from seedling to vegetative stage, you will want to consider increasing the nutrients levels, specifically the nitrogen to encourage growth. A fertilizer with a an NPK where the nitrogen is twice the potassium and phosphorus is a good choice (5-1-3 or 5-2-3). Fish emulsion is a favorite, albeit a bit stinky. It doesn’t alter pH and is an organic fertilizer with a low salt index. Typical NPK of fish emulsion is 5-1-1 so you may want to supplement with a bit of potassium.
As your cannabis plant approaches the flowering phase, nitrogen should be decreased. Your potassium should be at high (at least twice your nitrogen) with moderate phosphorus content. Adding a bloom fertilizer like PK 13/14 which is high in phosphorus/potassium will stimulate flowering.
The best advice is to watch your plants carefully. They will try to tell you what they need. Recording your results and repeating what worked well, while improving on the areas that didn’t will make your cannabis growing experience better with each new crop.
Stay Tuned & Happy Growing!
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