Hello growers! Let’s learn about feeding our plants their first dose of nutrients.
Cannabis needs 4 things to grow well. Light, carbon dioxide, water, and nutrients. Leaves are responsible for the first two, while the roots focus on acquiring water and nutrients.
When seedlings are first planted, they have enough stored energy to unfurl their first set of leaves (cotyledons) and begin driving a tap root down through the soil.
Marijuana seeds are dicotyledonous. The seedlings will acquire energy through a process that breaks down food material stored in the endosperm of the seed. Here, the seedlings have plenty of energy and don’t need any addition of nutrients from fertilizers right away. The role of creating energy is assumed by its cotyledons or baby leaves. This is the part where the process of photosynthesis kicks in. The seedlings take minerals and sugars to parts of the growing plant that requires them. After a while, real leaves will start developing and take over the process of creating energy for the seedling.
When to start feeding your plants Reefertilizer nutrients
After your plants grow 3 sets of leaves, they can then receive their first low dosage feeding. This is also the time I like to transplant the plants from a solo cup to a larger pot. After the transplant, give them a low dose feeding. This is also when the vegetative stage begins.
If you’re using Reefertilizer Grow, a low dose is 5ml for 4L of water or a ¼ teaspoon for 1L of water.
You will be feeding your plants once a week until the last week before harvest. Your soil might dry out before the week is over; in this case, water your plants with pH balanced water.
How to feed your plants nutrients
Mixing the fertilizer with water and feeding your plants is a simple process with a product like Reefertilizer. First, you will want to know how much water you will need. 1 liter of water per plant is a good place to start for most grows. You want to give them just enough liquid that a little bit drips from the bottom of the planter after watering. This ensures that the soil is completely saturated and nutrients aren’t being wasted as runoff.
In this demonstration, we will be feeding 1 plant its first low dose of nutrients.
Start with a 1-liter jug with full of tap water.
A note about tap water…
The quality of tap water can be drastically different from one city to the next. Tap water contains several minerals and chemicals. Most of these are in trace amounts and in most cases won’t affect your plants grown in soil. Chlorine is one chemical found in most tap water, it won’t harm your plants, but it might damage living organisms in your soil. You can easily remove chlorine from your water by letting it rest uncovered overnight. The chlorine will eventually evaporate out of the water.
In a smaller cup, we will add a low dose of Reefertilizer according to the chart above.
Pour in a small amount of water from the jug and give it a good mix. Using a small jar with a lid is a great way to shake it up so the powder is completely dissolved.
Pour this liquid back into your jug and give it a stir.
At this point, you should pH your solution with a pH pen. We have one available in our store.
Cannabis grown in soil likes a pH in the range of 6 and 6.8. This makes sure that the nutrients are chemically available to the root system.
You may need to use a product like pH up or down to adjust the pH (Amazon link). Natural products like citric acid (lowers pH) and sodium bicarbonate (raises pH) can also be used to adjust the pH as well.
You’re now ready to feed your plants!
Water around the base of your plant and move outwards.
Don’t just pour water into one spot. If you do the water will make a hole through your soil and your pot won’t be evenly saturated with nutrient rich water.
I like to use a watering can with a long neck for more control. Avoid getting water on the leaves, they are young and easily damaged.
That’s it for your first feeding. In about 24 hours you will see a lot more growth from your plant. This means the nutrients are working.
Water your plant as needed, when the first top inch of soil is completely dry. For a plant this young, it might not need another watering until a week from now. Its root system is still small and won’t be able to suck up all that water just yet. The temperature of your grow area will also affect how often you need to water your plants.
Every week after you will feed your plants a higher dosage of nutrients. As your plants get bigger, they get hungrier for more nutrients and water.
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it helped you a getting started feeding you plants their first dose of nutrients. If you have any questions or suggestions on how to improve this article, leave a comment below.
If you’re interested in learning more about growing cannabis at home, be sure to sign up for our newsletter. When you sign up, we will send you a free copy of our grow guide which covers all sorts of topics to help you with your grow. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to sign up below!