Fancy Medical Marijuana Nutrients Not Helping Your Garden? Here's Why.
Posted by Mark Stone | July 10 2012 | 9633 views | Comments ↓
Expensive supplements work great, if you use them properly.
(Click to enlarge)
With ever expanding plant technology, it doesn't take your average medical marijuana enthusiast long to become overwhelmed when trying to sort through which products are worth their weight in gold, and which are better left collecting dust. Hormones, vitamins, enzymes, biologicals, humics, carbohydrates, and more; are they worth it?
Most of us just settle on Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium. Throw in a little Ca-Mg with occasional micros and, boom, you've got the bare minimum. It works, and for people who hone their skills it works very well indeed.
Still, even successful farmers get to wondering sometimes. Maybe the catalyst was those eye-popping pictures from your friend's grow, or maybe your buddy got more out of the cutting you gave him. Whatever the reason, we all find ourselves wondering from time-to-time, "Can nutrient supplements really take my garden to the next level?"
Science says, yes! Proven supplements like the ones mentioned above have clinical studies from universities, which show increased cell-division, bio-mass and yield. But while science says, "yes," many growers report, "no increased anything here... except cost." Why the gap between scientist and so many gardeners?
Rather than being one simple answer like, "they don't work," or, "labs don't transfer to the real-world," there's a number of good causes. Here's a quick list of common reasons people don't get the most from their additives, and hints to help sort them all out:
Too Much, Too Early
Every old-timer will tell you, "dial-in your nutes before your mess with anything." Meaning every grower needs to get the most from their plants without supplements before they start tinkering. You don't hand a child their first skateboard and tell them to do a 30 foot drop. Keep in mind, a garden can only do as well as it's weakest link. If you don't have enough airflow, for example, no amount of products will make your plants grow faster because they are simply out of CO2. Focus on the fundamentals of environment and NPK, then move onto bigger and better.
Only Using Part of the Equation
You'll often hear about a particular product improving a friend's garden. Let's say you buy this product and start using it. Months later, disappointment and light pockets are your only results. Likely because the product you bought was only part of why your friend did so well. Take for example the combination of carbohydrates and biologicals (bacteria, fungus). Your friend may have already been using biologicals when they added carbohydrates. In this example, carbohydrates greatly increase the speed of breeding in the biologicals. This, in turn, frees up nutrients, creates enzymes, and generally puts their garden into overdrive. You meanwhile, are only using the carbohydrate product and see no significant change. Understand that many products only work under specific conditions. Try to learn as much as you can about each additive and use it with it's correct counter-parts.
Addresses a Problem You Don't Have
Sometimes a product just isn't for you. Using the example above, let's say instead of only getting part of the equation, you've copied your friend's nutrient program exactly. Several months go by, and uh-oh... no improvement. This could be because you don't have the problem your friend fixed by using these products. If your friend had "hard water" at their house and you don't, their increased yield and quality could have simply been the result of those little bacteria and fungus freeing up Calcium and Sulfur, which were binding in the water. Since you have great water at you house, in this example at least, you won't see any drastic results from these additives. Always make sure your supplements address a specific need in you garden.
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Tuesday, 10 July 2012
Photography by courtesy of WeGrow.com
Article by Mark Stone, on Jul. 10th 2012