It can be a truly daunting task to select the best nutrients for their cannabis, and they’ll often spend far more money than they need to. With so many options to choose from that range from hydroponic to organic nutrients, new growers can quickly get overwhelmed. But with a little bit of knowledge about the requirements of cannabis plants and how they absorb and utilize nutrients, you can confidently select the products you need without breaking the bank.
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The most important thing is to make sure you give your plants the right amount of nutrients at the right time. There are two main life stages for cannabis plants, and each stage has different nutrient requirements. Luckily, many nutrient companies make great products even though they’re all using different formulas and techniques. Here’s how they differ:
- Nutrient Ratios – different brands have come up with different nutrient ratios that they believe are optimal for each stage of growth
- Ingredients – there are many different combinations of chemical and organic compounds that can add up to the same nutrient ratios, and each compound reacts differently with each other. This means you can see two nutrient bottles with the exact same NPK ratios on the bottle, but each will actually provide somewhat different levels of nutrients to your plants.
- Soil or Hydro – it’s really important to match your growing medium with your nutrients. “Soil” nutrients are different from “Hydroponic” nutrients so make sure you’re getting the right kind! Coco coir is generally considered a type of hydroponics when it comes to nutrients, and there are also nutrients specifically designed for coco coir.
- Don’t confuse supplements for nutrients. If the NPK ratios are really low (like 0.2-0.2-0.1) it means that this product is some type of supplement, not a base nutrient. As long as you provide the right NPK and micronutrients by using base nutrients, you are already giving your plant everything it needs to grow. Supplements can be nice, but sometimes going overboard with supplements can cause unwanted reactions between nutrients or possibly burn your plant. Just to be safe, for your first grow, only use supplements from the same company as your base nutrients (to minimize reactions), and try to pick just the one or two supplements that appeal to you the most (to minimize the chance of burn by going overboard). Nutrient companies will happily sell you supplements you don’t actually need so it’s up to you to narrow it down to just a few!