Beginners guide to home-made fertilizer
Gardening on a budget? Keen to choose natural methods? Concerned about the environment? Prefer not to purchase fertilizers advertised for growing cannabis? There are many good reasons for making your own fertilizer. This post has been brought to you by the letters N, P, and K!
Cannabis plants, like all members of the plant kingdom, need nutrients to thrive. In fact, it’s important to remember that the soil is what is being fertilized, not the plants themselves. Soil contains a complex miniature ecosystem of microbes that act like the plants’ digestive system, breaking down nutrients into a form that can be absorbed by the roots and give the plant the building blocks it needs to grow healthily. The primary nutrients required by cannabis plants are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
N, P, K – as easy as A, B, C
These three vital nutrients are known by initials for short. N stands for nitrogen, P stands for phosphorus, and K stands for potassium. Wait, K stands for potassium? Are we high? No, K is short for kalium, the Neo-Latin name for potassium. On commercial fertilizer packaging, the three numbers that appear refer to the ratio of N, P, and K, always in that order. The ratio is important because cannabis plants need different levels of fertilizers depending on what stage of their life cycle they are in.
What fertilizers should be used when in the cannabis plant life cycle?
During vegetation, cannabis plants need high levels of nitrogen, which is used for developing healthy and plentiful leaves and stems, and medium levels of phosphorus, which is necessary for good root systems. This feeding program should be continued for the first couple of weeks of flowering, to allow for the ‘stretching’ period, when plants will need plentiful nitrogen. Once flowering is properly underway, levels of nitrogen should be kept low, and levels of phosphorus should be increased, since phosphorus also enables plentiful budding and fruiting. Potassium is needed at all stages, and especially high levels are needed during flowering – preferably, it should be twice the level of nitrogen. Generally, phosphorus tends to increase the number of buds, and potassium increases their bulk and weight.
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Where can these nutrients be found?
For beginner gardeners, obviously the easiest solution is to buy a couple of bottles of cannabis fertilizer, one for vegetation and one for flowering. However, there are various reasons that this might not be possible or desirable. So what are the alternatives for those who want to try making their own fertilizer? They can be surprisingly close at hand, in the form of kitchen waste and even human urine! Below we have compiled a list of common substances and what nutrients they contain. Solid substances work best when cut into small pieces and dug into moist soil either prior to planting seedlings or whilst repotting into larger containers. Liquids can be diluted with water and used as liquid fertilizer.
1. Coffee grounds
Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen and also contain significant levels of potassium and phosphorus, so they are one of the easiest ways to fertilize your plants during vegetation.
2. Banana skins
Contain plenty of phosphorus and potassium, so useful for the flowering period. They also contain calcium and other minerals that are beneficial to cannabis plants.
3. Bean water and beans
Also known as aqua farba, the liquid that chickpeas, white beans, lentils, black beans, broad beans, and many other tinned pulses come in is a source of potassium, as are the beans themselves.Gardening on a budget? Keen to choose natural methods? Concerned about the environment? There are many good reasons for making your own fertilizer.
Marijuana Homemade Fertilizers, Easy and Simple
Natural home-made fertilizers
Cannabis, like any other plant, may also need extra help for better growth.
There are natural fertilizers that you can make yourself in a simple way.
Most plants can use a fertilizer or organic substrates to help them grow healthy, vigorous and full of vitality. Natural fertilizers have been used for centuries and have served to obtain abundant, disease-free crops with spectacular growth as they provide the plant with all the minerals and organic compounds it needs to grow healthy and strong.
Here we show you some of the best known and best results give for the crop of our beloved plant. 😉
However, if you prefer to use fertilizers available on the market, remember that in our “Fertilizers and Stimulants” section you can find them at the best price.
Coffee grounds, excellent fertilizer for the growth phase.
A fertilizer for the growth phase
The use of coffee grounds as a natural fertilizer has long been well known, and it is also one of the most commonly used homemade marijuana fertilizers.
Coffee grounds are acidic and favour the development of acetic bacteria in the substrate, containing about 2% nitrogen and other organic nutrients.
A good way to prepare a good cannabis fertilizer is to add the coffee grounds to your composting tank or composter, or to mix with the substrate at a proportion of 2 grams of coffee grounds for each liter of soil approximately, but you must control the pH well since they can make the substrate too acidic, try to keep it between 6 and 6.5 so that there are no problems. If you mix the coffee grounds with other homemade fertilizers, try not to exceed 20% in order not to decompensate.
Another way to use coffee is to dilute the coffee ground from the coffee machine in one liter of water, and let the mixture stand for 24 hours. After this time we already have a good dose of fertilizer for our plants. In this case, we do not use the sediment directly as fertilizer, but the mother water (water in contact with the unsoluble coffe ground) derived from the digestion of the sediment (sedimented coffee).
Wood ash, very effective in preventing pests.
Fertilizer for the final flowering phase
Always using wood from broadleaves trees; it’s another good natural fertilizer for marijuana. We can get the wood ashes from a barbecue made with logs or from a chimney in which we use only wood. The result of the wood combustion is a substance rich in potassium and phosphorus (10% in the form of potassium oxide), so we have a mineral fertilizer suitable for the final flowering phase, used individually or combined with some resin enhancer.
One way to prepare ash for fertilization is to collect it shortly after the wood has burned and store it in a dry place. It is best to apply it mixed with other organic substrates since it is almost exclusively mineral residue. A good mixture can contain from 1 to 2 grams of ash for each liter of substrate at most, which will provide food for your plants and are also very effective in preventing pests. Don’t overdo it by adding ashes because they raise the PH of the substrate and can make it very alkaline.
And now you may irrigate your cannabis plants in flowering phase with the nutrient solution. Another of the most useful homemade fertilizers for your collection.
Banana tea provides amino acids assimilated by the plant
Full cycle flowering fertilizer
This fruit is known for being one of the most potassium-rich natural products. Potassium is a key element, which is used in all stages of cannabis plant development, and is also one of the three main macronutrients component of NPK (you can see it on the label), which we can all see in regular commercial fertilizers.
Potassium helps the plant assimilate sugars, starches and carbohydrates in general, which is why it is so essential for the plant’s flowering, as it helps to increase energy reserves and the construction of complex carbohydrates that give structure to leaves, stems and buds.
Potassium is also essential because it is associated with the biosynthesis of proteins related to terpenes, the absorption of water by the roots and the regulation of the stomata cell guards for its opening and closing.
In addition to this essential element, banana tea also provides amino acids assimilated by the plant so that we can say that it is an organic-mineral fertilizer.
This tea is applied during the last six weeks of flowering. With this you will get up to 20% more fattening in your buds. It is a kind of PK that we use to make the flowers gain weight, density and hardness, since the dry skins of the bananas basically contain these elements:
- Phosphorus…………………… 3.25%
- Potassium…………………… 45%
A good fertilizer for marijuana, without a doubt, one of the best.
Nettle tea is a product that provides insect repellent plant active ingredients.
Fertilizer of foliar application and preventive insecticide
Nettle tea (urtica urens) rather than a fertilizer is a product that provides active plant principles of repellent activity on insects such as aphids, whiteflies and mites, but can also be considered fertilizer because of its high content in organic nitrogen and mineral components.
Its application is mainly foliar, although it can also be used in irrigation, and it is very easy to prepare since we only have to follow the same steps as in the banana tea preparation.
It has a strong and characteristic smell, there are even brands of biocides/fertilizers that commercialize this kind of preparations or fertilizers for cannabis like Agrobeta or General Hydroponics, even labeled as deficiency correctors. You can find it under the name of Nettle Purine, and its composition is based mainly on Nitrogen and Iron:
It’s a great product that enters us into organic farming as good natural fertilizers that they are.
Brewer’s yeast, rich in minerals, amino acids and proteins
Brewer’s yeast has normally been promoted as an excellent food for human use, but due to its wealth of minerals, amino acids and proteins it has been proposed as an excellent organic-mineral fertilizer, qualified also as a good natural fertilizer for plants.
How to use it to make organic compost for marijuana plants?
The preparation that we can make to fertilize consists of a small spoonful of beer yeast dissolved in a liter of water, we will obtain another good fertilizer, in this case for flowering of cannabis, since it is very rich in phosphorus and potassium. Prepare only the mixture that you are going to use in that moment, calculate the amount of water that you need to water, add a spoonful of beer yeast for each liter of water (teaspoon) stir well the mixture and water slowly until you see that it begins to drain water by the bottom of the flowerpots.
Due to its high content of other minerals and organic compounds we can consider this fertilizer as a multipurpose one for the whole plant cycle.
If you use it you will notice the difference!
Egg shell, calcium deficiency correcting fertilizer
Calcium deficiency correcting fertilizer
An excellent calcium corrector that we can use in our preparations with cannabis fertilizers are the homemade fertilizers based on eggshells. This type of fertilizer is used to offer an extra contribution of calcium to our cannabis plant, but in addition it is source of other elements, check out what a good distribution it has by each 100 grams of eggshell:
- Calcium ……………….. 380mg
- Magnesium …………. 375mg
- Phosphorus ……………. 99,3mg
- Potassium ……………. 41,6mg
- Iron ……………….. 0,5mg
It is prepared by crushing in a mortar or grinding 6 egg shells (try to leave the internal white membrane that remains stuck in the shell to take advantage of all the nutrients) and once they are reduced to their minimum expression they have to be boiled. To do this we put a pot with 2 liters of water on the fire, we add the crushed shells and a spoonful of Epson Salts, about 15 grams, and when the water starts to boil we wait 5 minutes while we stir the mixture.
After that time we remove the pot from the fire and cover it with a cloth for about 24 hours so that all the nutrients are released and remain in the water. Later we filter the water with the help of a kitchen strainer, and we already have prepared our homemade egg-shell based fertilizer for our cannabis plants, which can be applied directly, although it is advisable to always adjust the PH.
The ideal option is to use it as soon as possible, as it happens with all the homemade fertilizers, but if you keep it in a dark, fresh and dry place it can last up to 3 months.
Calcium deficiency is not very common in marijuana, since it is a very common component in irrigation water that is not distilled or osmotized, but bear in mind that the marijuana plant requires almost as much calcium as nitrogen, and that is why many commercial brands of fertilizers for hydroponics incorporate it in their formulas.
Mix the resulting nutrient solution with some fertilizer rich in nitrogen for the growth phase, or phosphorus and potassium for the flowering phase, although you can use it as calcium corrector directly as long as you take into account the pH value.
Animal faeces, one of the most universal fertilizers for marijuana
Full cycle fertilizer
Although it may not seem too pleasant, animal faeces are one of the most universal fertilizers for marijuana. It is a high-quality organic fertilizer. In order to use this type of homemade fertilizer for plants, it is necessary to collect the dried animal faeces from species such as sheep, goat, horse, rabbit, and cow, some bird species are also suitable, including the famous Guano, which is obtained from bats.
Before using this type of fertilizer you should know that some have to be composted for two months or more before adding it to your garden substrate, since the composting process kills the undergrowth seeds and transforms the nutrients into more useful forms for the plant. I explain below the differences between different types of home fertilizers made from manure and their doses:
- Cow manure: In conventional agriculture they do not wait for it to ferment, but they apply it far from the plants so as not to burn them, although it is not a very strong fertilizer. It is also used to heat the soil in cold areas, and is normally mixed at a rate of 1 to 5 kilos per m2 of soil.
- Rabbit manure: In this case it is essential to expose the rabbit faeces to the sun for several months as it is quite acidic and strong when fresh. In this case it is mixed between 100 and 400 grams per m2, you know that it is better to run a little short than to overdo it.
- Horse manure: It is necessary to leave it in the sun until it stops smelling, although it must be said that it is not very rich in nutrients. It can be added with a proportion similar to that of a cow, that is, from 1 to 5 kilos/m2, but the ideal is to apply it together with other fertilizers.
- Sheep or goat manure: It is the best because of the distribution of nutrients it contains, and it is much more powerful than cow or horse manure, so generally less quantity is needed, but you can add from 500 grams to 2 kilos/m2.
- Chicken manure: It is very acidic, even more so than rabbit manure, and it is not very rich in nutrients, except for the Calcium, which it contains in quantity, something that must be taken into account, since it should not be applied to basic or calcareous soils. The recommended dose is from 50 to 300 grams/m2 of soil.
Lentils or bean tea
Lentils or bean tea, root stimulants rich in auxins
Root stimulants rich in auxins
Auxins represent a very important group of phytohormones that regulate plant growth and phototropism (movement of leaves and stems in search of light), causing the branches to grow vertically by elongation of plant cells.
Auxins have been traditionally used in gel form for root development in cuttings and seedlings, as is the case of Clonex, one of the best known marijuana products, and although it is true that the Auxins work very well in synthetic form, we can also find them in nutrient solutions formed by organic products such as seaweeds, and teas made of seeds rich in auxins, as happens with certain species of beans and other vegetables.
This is one of the best homemade root stimulators that you can make yourself, you only need 100 grams of lentils or beans, 2 saucepans or casseroles, 2 cloths, water and 1 strainer, and the preparation is very simple, I explain it to you in 7 steps so you can understand it better:
- Put the 100 grams of lentils in a saucepan, add 1 liter of water and let it rest for 4 hours
- Place the strainer over the empty bucket and pour the water without the lentils, which we left in the bucket without water, and cover each bucket with a cloth.
- About 24 hours later we remove the clothes and mix the water with the lentils again, wait 15 minutes and repeat step 2.
- 1 day later we mix again the water with the lentils for another 15 minutes, and we have to keep doing this until the lentils germinate and their roots are at least 1 cm.
- Once the lentils have germinated and have a root, they must be crushed and left mixed with water for at least 1 hour to release all the hormones.
- We filter the water one last time and we have our special stimulator for the rooting phase, homemade and cheap.
You can use it directly in watering, and what you have left over remember to store it in a cool, dry and dark place for up to 3 months.
Another eco-friendly homemade cannabis fertilizer at your fingertips!!
And, if after reading all these ideas you don’t dare to make any of them, you will always have to go to your trustable grow shop and purchase a high quality manufactured fertilizer. In PEV Grow Shop we offer you fertilizers with specialization in hydroponic growing, showing a deep-rooted culture in nature and ecology.
One of the most complete fertilizer packs you can find at PEV Grow is the Canna Fertilizer Kit, with which you will have all the nutrients your plants need. This kit has 6 fertilizers that you can use depending on the phase of your plant is either growth or flowering.
Canna Fertilizer Kit
In any case, any brand that you choose, don’t forget to consult the fertilizer schedule charts that the manufacturer recommends, in order to optimize the results of your marijuana crop, either in yield, psychoactivity, aroma and flavor.
With this Canna Fertilizer Kit you will have all the food your plants need to cover the full crop cycle, and of course at the best price on your Grow Shop trusted.
Canna Fertilizer Kit is composed of:
– TERRA VEGA (1 Liter)
– CANNA BOOST (250 ml.)
– RHIZOTONIC (250 ml.)
– CANNAZYM (250 ml.)
– PK 13/14 (1 Liter)
– TERRA FLORES (1 Liter)
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