A Quick Crash Course in Nutrients

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Before you start growing, you should probably take a crash course in nutrients. Oh hey look, there’s one below.

First, Make Sure You Have the Correct NPK Ratio

The first, and perhaps most important thing to keep in mind when giving your plants nutrients is that you have the correct NPK ratio. You do know that the NPK ratio is, correct? You don’t? It’s okay, that’s what this crash course in nutrients is here for. NPK ratio simply refers to the ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which are all essential nutrients that your grow needs to survive.

You can find the NPK ratio on any package of nutrients, so really all you need to do is memorize the ratio that you need. It’s important to keep in mind that different ratios are needed for the vegetative and flowering stages. For the vegetative stage you need an NPK ratio of high-medium-high, so something with a ratio like 9-3-6 would be good. For the flowering state you’ll want an NPK ratio of low-high-high, with a much lower ratio of nitrogen. Actually, at around week 5-6 it’s best to stop using nitrogen altogether, unless you’re using it on new growth.  

Remember the Difference Between the Vegetative and Flowering Stage

Speaking of the vegetative and flowering stages, you do know the difference between them right? Okay, that is an easy one, but it still needs to be included in this crash course in nutrients. The vegetaive stage is the first stage in your cannabis plant’s life. This is when your plant goes from seedling, to sprout, to the tall ass mofo you see in front of you.

The flowering stage begins after week four. This is when you will begin to see the big beautiful buds that you have come to know and love. It’s important to remember that as your plants transition from the vegetative to the flowering stage, that you will need to alter the nutrient levels you are giving your plants, in particular nitrogen. You will definitely need to increase the amount of phosphorus you are giving your plants.

Your crash course in nutrients. Image Source: imgur/ cyberg007

Always Test Your pH

When growing, you should always, always, always make sure that you are checking the pH levels in your soil or hydro set up, to ensure that your plants are in balance. A plant with too high or too low a pH level will lead to a nutrient deficiency, which will of course make your plants sick and possibly ruin your crop. Luckily, pH testing kits are readily available and easy to use.

Why Use Organic or Chemical Nutrients?

You might think that it’s more beneficial to use organic versus chemical ingredients, but there are some cases where using chemical nutrients is much better. One example is when you’re growing hydroponically, you’ll definitely want to use chemicals. It’s not fair to say that one is better than the other because there are benefits to using both. Organic nutrients are al natural and will give your plants a richer flavor and aroma overall. Obviously if you’re gonna grow hydroponically, you;re going to want to go with chemical nutrients, otherwise you’re going to end up with unwanted growth clogging up your setup. No one wants that. Chemical nutrients are good because they will increase the potency of your crop and speed up the flowering process. Hey, isn’t science fun?

Download our free Grow Bible to learn more about nutrients.

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    Featured image Source: www.autoflowering-cannabis.com

    Got anything else to add to our crash course in nutrients? Tell us in the comments below!

    Avatar for Sarah


    Writer, Customer Support Angel at I Love Growing Marijuana

    Sarah is a D&D fanatic and loves singing silly songs to her cat. No matter what she does though, Sarah can always be found with a bong in hand. If there is one strain that she could call her favorite, that would be Zkittlez because it matches her colorful personality and hair!... [Read full bio]

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      4 comments on “A Quick Crash Course in Nutrients”

      1. Trying To decode Nutrient feeding schedule found on website

        It shows various stages such as, Seeding, Vegetative, Flowering

        Seedling stage, for example, Week 1 shows 1/2 tsp per gallon of water.

        Other people tell me I should Use all of Fertilizer for 10 plants and to water as needed. So probably don’t need all of fertilizer.

        Is EC Each?

        So as I go to Vegetative stage and put 2/3 tsp in 1 gallon of water, and water the plant as needed, since don’t want to over water, am I using all the nutrient in the package sent from ILGM,

        Basically, How does the feeding schedule work, please?

        Don’t know why capital letters appear as I type…..?

      2. The leaves tips on my plant are starting to turn brown. What’s some tips on what I can do to save my plant and so I can avoid this next plant?