Essential Cannabis Nutrients

Essential Cannabis Nutrients for Growing

Howard marks cannabis nutrients

Cannabis is the buzzword today, and almost everywhere we look, we discover an exciting fact about the plant.

The medicinal benefits of cannabis, along with the economic and social benefits legalisation, has encouraged many states to decriminalise the plant.

Some states have also taken the step to legalise the plant and drafted laws that dictate cannabis cultivation and sale.

The peaking interest towards this plant directly reflects on the tremendous market boom visible in various regions.

New brands are launching in the arena, and many industries are looking for ways to infuse cannabis into their product ranges to offer users cannabis in various forms.

Apart from dispensaries, where the sale of cannabis products happens today, the products will come to stores, supermarkets following federal legalisation.

The market opportunity for cannabis is escalating at unexpected rates, which means the scope for exploring cannabis cultivation could never be more beneficial than at the moment.

The first steps to cannabis cultivation

cannabis nutrients to germinate seedsThe emergence of technology has changed the landscape of agriculture in the past few years. Cannabis is no exception to this trend.

Initial cannabis cultivation entirely depended on natural seeds that produced female and male plants in varying ratios.

Also, these seeds require controlled photo-period exposure for maturity and harvest.

One should start with the basics of when to harvest cannabis. By knowing this, it would be beneficial to apply certain strategies to get the most from their harvest.

Technology helped create feminised seeds that eliminate the male counterparts of the harvest and produce a 100% female harvest.

It ensures the total yield is usable, as male plants are not useful for consumption.

The next variety that emerged is the auto-flowering seeds that almost eliminate the need for any suitable conditions for growth.

The yield is 100% female, and the maturity period is defined, meaning it requires no control over the photo-period. These seeds give multiple yields in a year and make the plant suitable for harvest in almost every region.

The Nuances of Cannabis Nutrients

cannabis fertiliserAlthough technology managed to take away the need to control the light period for cannabis maturity, the quality of cannabis yield largely depends on the health of the medium and water.

There are various types of cannabis farming currently happening across the world. In outdoor farming set up, the soil is the medium, and it plays a vital role in connecting the necessary nutrients to the plant, for proper growth and health.

With hydroponic setups, the different mediums and solutions used take-up this responsibility.

In all these cases, a critical point to pay heed to is the type of nutrients to supply to the plant.

Knowledge about which nutrients are necessary for the cannabis plant and how they influence the health and yield can help you choose the right supplements for your farm.

Here are the essential nutrients list for growing the best budget buds:

The nutrient base – NPK

N – Nitrogen

Nitrogen is the primary nutrient responsible for the growth and development of a plant. It is a constituent of chlorophyll component in the plant that helps turn sunlight into energy for growth. It plays a vital role during the vegetative stage of a plant’s life. Nitrogen also forms the building block of the plant, which is the protein, and other essential components such as nucleic acid, DNA, and RNA. In the absence or deficiency of nitrogen, the plant will not be capable of multiplying its cells for growth and development.

K – Potassium

Potassium holds the responsibility of controlling and regulating the various systems in the plant that help in growth. This nutrient controls the opening and closing of stomata that regulates the exchange of oxygen, water, and carbon dioxide. It has a critical role in regulation and energy storage within the plant after photosynthesis in the form of glucose. If insufficient, the plant will die or dry out soon as it cannot control the exchange of gases with the atmosphere.

P- Phosphorous

It is an essential nutrient for the cannabis plant that determines the quality of buds you yield from the harvest. Phosphorous is responsible for producing healthy buds in the plant. It controls the resin formation and plays a vital role during the photosynthesis process. This nutrient needs to be available in the right quantity, especially before the flowering stage of the plant or both growth and maturity will be significantly affected.

Secondary nutrients

When you look for fertilizers, they often only mention the ratio of the primary components, which is NPK. The ratio determines the percentage of each nutrient in the same order, and this helps us evaluate the level of nutrients we are passing to the plant. But remember, most of these fertilisers also include a profile of other nutrients that play individual roles in ensuring the overall health of the plant.

Mg – Magnesium

This nutrient acts as the central molecule within the chlorophyll that is necessary for the formation of glucose. In the absence of magnesium, the plant loses the ability to synthesise glucose during photosynthesis. The leaves of your plant will start turning yellow, and the yield may not be of value to the user.

S – Sulphur

Sulphur helps in the production of vitamins and hormones within the plant. It is critical in the production of terpenoids that are responsible for the characteristics of the cannabis plant like aroma and flavor. The nutrient is essential to store and process energy for the plant in the absence of which the leaves will start to turn yellow.

Ca – Calcium

Calcium forms the basic structure of the cell walls in the plant. Hence the nutrient plays a vital role in the healthy formation of leaves, buds, and other parts of the plant. Calcium deficiency leads to the formation of weak leaves with curl, and stunted growth that will also influence your yield.

Zn- Zinc

Although required in small quantities, zinc regulates the production of chlorophyll in the plant, which has a major role in energy conversion. It is a plant growth regulator, the absence of which can cause withered growing tips and less budding sites in your plant.

Fe- Iron

Iron is the nutrient that helps the plant withstand environmental factors such as heat, stress, pests, drought, disease, and other such parameters. Hydroponic formulas use ample of this nutrient to develop resistance to these factors. Iron also helps catalyse the metabolic activities within the plant to enable good growth and yield.

Apart from these important nutrients, your cannabis plant will also need traces of Nickel, Manganese, Copper, Boron, Chlorine, and Molybdenum for proper growth.

Pay attention to the pH

Nutrient deficiencies often occur due to the extreme pH value of the water. Test your water to ensure the pH level lies between 6.0 and 7.0 for optimum growth and yield.

In the case of hydroponic farms, the range needs to between 5.5 to 6.5. Inadequate or excess pH levels lead to a deficiency in the absorption of nutrients by the plant, which will affect its health.

Before adding these nutrients to your plants, manage the pH to achieve the best benefits out of these nutrient supplements.

How to Keep Diseases, Mould, and Pests out of Your Grow Room

5 handy tips to keep diseases, mould, and pests out of your grow room

You think your cannabis plants would be safe when grown indoors. But no! Even in a secure grow room, cannabis plants can still be susceptible to diseases, fungi and pests. There are a few basic things you can do to minimise the chances of this though. Read on.

 

Tip 1. Buy strains that are most likely to resist disease and mould

Northern Lights mould-resistant cannabis

Northern Lights – a resistant strain

Due to all these years of selective inter-breeding, there are now a good few strains which have been bred to be particularly resistant to mould or disease. You can get yourself off to a good start by getting seeds of these hardy resistant strains. Northern Lights is always a favourite in this regard.

Click here to browse a good selection: Mould-resistant Seeds (Seedsman.com)

 

Tip 2. Use clean potting soil

Obviously, re-using the soil from a previous grow will save you money and hey, it’s recycling, right? However, soil that’s been used will have lost some of its nutrients (they’re in the previous plants you grew). Not only is this not great for your new plants, it also makes the soil more likely to hold diseases and pests.

Give your new plants the best start in life. Nourish them well. It’s cost-effective in the long-run.

 

Tip 3. Don’t use mulch (or anything else) around the base of your plants

While on the subject of soil, keep your top soil clean. This way, there’s nowhere for bugs and fungi to hide. Pick out dead leaves before they decay and don’t put on any mulch of any kind. Although some argue that using mulch can insulate the soil, it’s more likely to provide a perfect home for insects and mould.

You might get away with using mulch that’s completely organic, but if you do go for that, keep a close eye on what lies beneath….

white widow

White Widow – a classic indoor strain

 

Tip 4: Give your plants plenty of fresh air

You need to maintain a proper circulation of air in your grow room. Get a good vent fan to remove moist air.

Firstly, a well-ventilated room will be less humid and since mould loves humidity, a drier room is less likely to become mould-infested.

Secondly, the flow of air around your plants will physically stop moulds and bugs actually attaching to your plants. Both insects and mould spores will find it harder to settle on your lovely plants if there’s a bit of a breeze. You can literally blow them away.

 

Tip 5: Clean everything

Obviously you need to keep everything in the grow room clean to prevent disease, including your tools, to make sure they’re not contaminated with diseases or moulds from other plants. You can dip your tools in rubbing alcohol or just scrub them carefully with hot water and detergent.

You need to keep yourself clean too. This might sound a bit over-zealous, but you’d be surprised how much dodgy stuff you could be carrying on your skin or clothes. Wear clean clothes that haven’t recently been outside to enter your grow room. And wash your hands thoroughly before touching your plants. OCD is your friend here…

If you take these basic precautions to keep diseases, moulds, and pests out of your grow room, the chances are you’ll get a nice healthy crop – free from diseases, fungi and insect predations!

 

What are you waiting for? Get started with the best quality seeds

Not sure which seeds to go for? Browse our selection (on our sister site) of the best indoor seeds:
Top Ten Indoor Cannabis Strains

 

These tips are based on advice from Seedsman.com – the UK’s top cannabis seed seller.

Buying a Grow Room, Grow Cabinet, Grow Box, or Grow Tent

Thinking of buying a grow room, grow cabinet, grow box or grow tent? There are plenty of ready-made grow rooms, cabinets, boxes and tents of all sorts and sizes available online. So which is the best one for what you need?

If you already know exactly what you want, then here are links to one of the main reputable sellers of high-quality grow rooms, cabinets and tents to get you started. Just click to go to the online store and find what you’re after:

Supercloset.com (ships worldwide)

 

 

When buying a grow room, grow cabinet or grow box, which are the best?

Obviously, some suppliers are better than others. The company listed above – Superclosets – has a proven track record of providing quality products at reasonable prices. So you’ll be fine for buying a grow room, grow cabinet or grow box or tent.

If you’re not sure what kind of grow room, grow cabinet, grow box or grow tent you need, then that’s a different question.

One easy way to find out is to use the “guided shopping” tool. It gives you simple choices to make, one step at a time, so that gradually you whittle down your options to find the product most suitable for your needs. Click here to use it:

Supercloset guided shopping tool

 

Buying a grow room?

Superclosest grow rooms etc - special offerSupercloset is the world’s best seller of grow rooms, cabinets and boxes. So you could say that their products are tried and tested!

Supercloset stocks a wide range of grow boxes, cabinets and rooms – of all sizes and suitable for all spaces, from a few feet high and wide to 9 feet x 9 feet. Different kinds of lighting are also available (LED, HPS and CFL) and you can get them for use with or without soil.

SuperCloset is renowned for its award-winning designs, particularly for its SuperPonics watering system (“SuperPonics is the fusion of Deep Water Culture, Aeroponic, and Top Feed all in a single system [and] perfectly balances the amount of water your plants need and provides much-needed oxygen to the roots at all times.”) and also its full-spectrum Kind LED lights. Supercloset products are industry-leading in many aspects actually – airflow circulation, netting, carbon filtration…

To give an example of why their products are so popular, here’s a screenshot from their homepage with details of exactly why their grow rooms are so good:

You can also click here to read more about special Supercloset grow room features.

Supercloset has an exceptional business reputation, being accredited by the Better Business Bureau and having a perfect A+ rating (better than any other hydroponics companies).

Supercloset products come ready-to-use. All their grow rooms, cabinets and boxes arrive almost completely assembled. You basically just have to fill the reservoir and plug it in. And that’s it. Off you grow!

All Supercloset products come with a three-year warranty and lifetime customer and technical support.

  • sells grow boxes, cabinets, tents and grow rooms, plus other hydroponic supplies
  • ships worldwide (distribution centres in US and UK)
  • 3 year warranty on all products
  • plus lifetime customer and technical support
  • grow tents (shells) from $231
  • grow boxes and cabinets from $725
  • grow rooms from $999

 

What about the prices of buying a grow room, cabinet, box or tent?

Grow rooms, wherever you get them, are not cheap. And even for a good-sized cabinet or box you’re going to need a few hundred bucks. Tents are the cheapest though require more work on your part in maintaining your crop.

What about shipping when buying a grow room?

Supercloset is an American company but ships worldwide, with a distribution centre in the UK as well as the US, meaning that shipping within Europe is cheaper since most products are not having to come all the way from the States.

 

Happy shopping and most of all – happy growing 🙂

 

The Best LED Grow Lights?

These may be the best LED grow lights currently available

The award-winning Kind LED K5 Series

the best LED grow lights for indoor growingThese LED grow lights were brought to our attention recently due to their winning the High Times STASH “Gear of the Year” awards two years running (2015 and 2016).

Not only that, but the previous set of Kind LED lights (the K3 series), won the award the year before (2014). So you could say that these LED grow lights have a good track record!

According to Chris Mund on prweb.com,

One may ask, what is the High Times STASH award and how does a company earn such an honor? STASH stands for Significant Technological Achievements in Secretive Horticulture. The award celebrates the advances made in the indoor cultivation community and honors outstanding performance for products throughout the industry. These include products in lighting, grow media, nutrients, and any accessory that will increase overall performance in cannabis cultivation. Kind LED grow lights has, yet again, risen above the competition (the company’s K3 Series light won Gear of the Year 2014) based on the innovative design, customer satisfaction and hard data supporting the performance of the lights.

What’s all the fuss about then?

 

Advantages of LED grow lights in general

More and more growers are using LED lights to replace HPS, and other, lighting. This is for several very good reasons:

  • LEDs use far less electricity to run than HPS (or any other) lights
  • LEDs are more efficient – per wattage of electricity, LED lights give more light per watt so you get a higher yield per watt
  • you don’t have to change the bulbs of LED lights – or very rarely…!
  • LED lights are cooler-running so generate less heat (so you’ve less need for fans etc.)

So what’s so special about Kind LED lights then, over other LED grow lighting?

Kind LED grow lights – pros

Well, Kind LED grow lights have a few special features.

Quality of light – “perfect 12 band colour spectrum”

The main advantage of Kind LED grow lights is that the quality of light is better than most other grow lights. The K5 series is a mixture of 3 and 5-watt diodes. And they have a “perfect 12-band spectrum” – i.e., 12 colours of LEDs in the light.

The spectrum is adjustable so you can change it to adapt to the different light stages of your plants to really optimise the growth rates and yield of your plants. For example, by dimming the red parts of the spectrum during the vegetative stage then turning the reds up to bring them to harvest. You can actually simulate the conditions of full sunlight autumn harvest.

Focused diodes

Each diode also has a “secondary optical lens”. This focuses the light from each diode so that it shines directly downward, rather than the beam spilling out to the sides. As such, the light penetrates deep into the plant canopy, intensifying the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR – the wavelengths of light your plants use for photosynthesis). This in turn facilitates rooting and maximises your yield.

 

By the way, this is all explained further – and better! – in this information video:

Energy efficiency

Kind LED grow lights run at 60% of the wattage of HPS lights. For example, the Kind LED XL1000 has the same footprint and yield as a 1000W HPS light. So it can be used as a direct replacement, but requiring far less electricity to run.

Also, Kind LEDs last for 50,000 hours. This is the equivalent of having them on for 12 hours a day, every day, for ten years. So not (m)any bulb changes!

Coolness

Kind LED lights are very cool-running, even for LEDs. The makers state categorically that you will not need ventilation or fans with Kind LED lighting. Obviously, this will also save you a lot of installation costs and of course the ongoing electrical expense of running the fans, etc.

Built-in timers

Another feature of the Kind LED K5 series is built-in timers, so that you can program the lights to turn themselves on and off. Other LED lights sometimes also have this feature.

However, the K5 series allows you particularly detailed control over the timing. You can program the lights to come on and off 8 times within a 24 hour period. You can also control the light spectrum. So you can even program in a ‘sunrise’ and ‘sunset’ with the infra-red part of the spectrum to wake the plant up and put to ‘to sleep’ naturalistically.

Remote-control

Finally, the K5 series of Kind LED grow lights are possibly the only ones on the market right now that have a remote-control. This might sound like an unnecessary gadget, but given that many folks’ grow spaces are tucked away in inconvenient corners and attics, being able to adjust the lights by remote-control is a handy feature! It also means you’re not having to clamber around your plants and touch them too much.

The remote-control gives you very fine-grained control over the brightness of the different lights, including full control over which parts of the colour spectrum you’re wanting to dim or ramp up (there’s a cool demo of this in the video above too).

You can do everything manually too, so no worries if you temporarily misplace your remote.

 

Kind LED grow lights – cons

They sounds really good, right? But there must be a downside. Well, pretty much the only con is the upfront cost of the Kind LED grow lights.

The K5 series is the top of the range. It has two sizes of light, the XL750 and the XL1000, suited for smaller and larger grow spaces respectively.

The XL750 will set you back around $1400 – about £1140 / €1320. The XL1000 costs about $1900 – about £1545 / €1790.

The K3 series lights are about half the price of this, ranging from $660 – $990 – about £540 / €620 – £800 / €930.

 

NOTE: At the time of writing (Spring, 2017) Supercloset.com has a sale with about 10% percent off all Kind LED grow lights.

Click here to browse the sale: Supercloset Kind LED grow light SALE

 

The K3 series have 3-watt diodes whereas the K5 series is 3- and 5-watt diodes. The K3 lights also don’t have the remote-control feature. However, they have everything else – the full 12-bandwidth light spectrum, the secondary optical lens, etc.

These 3 Watt Kind LED lights will match or outperform any other similar 3 watt setup that is seen often throughout the web, regardless of price or claims, GUARANTEED!

And they did win the “Gear of the Year” award in 2014.

Greater upfront costs versus cheaper running costs

So Kind LED lights will cost you a bit to buy. However, given that they use only 60% of the electricity of HPS lights, you don’t need to buy new bulbs, and you don’t need ventilation ducts and fans, then you will be saving $100s/£100s in running costs. Not to mention the fact that you’ll be getting higher yields from your existing grow space. So if you can make the initial outlay, and you’re planning on growing for the long-term, you’ll be laughing as time goes on.

Manufacturer’s guarantee and warranty

Keep in mind that, whichever Kind LED lighting you get, they’re all covered by a 3 year warranty. This means that if you have ANY problems with the lights, you’ll get them fixed for free.

You can also just try them out for three months without any financial risk since there’s a 90-day money-back guarantee. Basically, if you try them and just don’t like them, you can get your money back within 90 days of purchase.

All in all, this makes Kind LED grow lights very appealing.

Click here for more information and/or to order: Supercloset.com – Kind LED grow lights

Supercloset.com is US-based with a UK distribution centre. So whether you’re in North America or Europe, your shipping costs will be reasonable!

 

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