When it comes to cultivating cannabis, the nutrients makes a huge difference. A pot full of dirt is not enough to get a cannabis plant to yield a quality, abundant harvest on its own.
A properly grown cannabis plant is going to want to eat, just like every other living thing, and the bigger it gets the more nutrients it will need.
Anyone who has gone into an indoor garden center or searched online knows that there is a virtually never-ending supply of nutrient and fertilizer options.
But which ones are worthwhile? The Green Flower team asked cannabis cultivation expert Simon Hart from GroTek Nutrients what to look for and what to avoid.
1. Always look at the label
Quality nutrients come from quality sources, and those sources should be clearly listed on the label.
"Always look at labels. That's the first thing that you should go to," Simon Hart tells Green Flower, "All nutrients in the United States are going to have a 'derived-from' list."
The derived-from list will explain where a nutrient was sourced from and will help aspiring growers know if the nutrient is salt-based or not, among other things.
2. Is the nutrient registered in your area?
In addition to knowing what source(s) a nutrient comes from, it is good to also know what geographical location your nutrients and fertilizers come from.
For organic cultivation, obtaining locally sourced and certified nutrients is desired. Every state or region has its own standards, which you will want to become familiar with.
"Find something that's certified in your local community or your state," Hart says. "It's really important to know the certifying body in your region and understand what it means when you get that stamp on a product."
If you cultivate cannabis outdoors, obtaining nutrients from local sources can prove to be beneficial since presumably, the company is more familiar with cultivation needs in your area.
3. Quality ingredients
Cannabis plant nutrients are either salt-based or come from organic sources. For salt-based nutrients that are mined out of the ground, the variance in quality is not as great.
But for organic cannabis nutrients, the ingredients that go into the nutrient(s) can make a really big difference.
For instance, nitrogen can be found in many things, but some of those things are better for cannabis plants than others.
Do some research on a nutrient prior to purchasing it to ensure it was made with quality ingredients.
4. Look for approachable companies
Some nutrient companies are just out to sell products whereas other nutrient companies are out to sell products and educate people. You will want to purchase nutrients from the latter.
A good nutrient company provides customer support for their products, either via telephone, e-mail, or some other form of communication.
Almost all growers have questions about nutrients and are constantly looking for tips and tricks to try out. An approachable nutrient company will help you cultivate cannabis, beyond just them selling you their products.
5. Become familiar with nutrients beyond just the basics
Keeping a nutrient strategy simple has some benefits from a labor and research standpoint, however, a cannabis plant wants more than just soil and one 'veg' nutrient and later one 'bloom' nutrient.
The cannabis plant is one of the most dynamic plants on earth, and to get it to the top of its potential it requires a robust diet of all types of nutrients.
As you get more comfortable with cannabis cultivation and are able to build on your nutrient strategy, become familiar with all the things the cannabis plant likes such as humic acid, kelp extract, etc.
"A little bit of everything is always the best way to go with organics," Simon Hart from Grotek adds.