Fertilize Weed Seeds

If you want your plants to be the best they can be, you need to feed them nutrients. But when do you start? Well, we're going to answer that and more right here folks. Follow Kate Van Druff’s advice on growing conditions, nutrients, and fertilizer to get your seedlings to the next level. Assume there is virtually no nutrition in your potting mix unless it contains compost or coconut fiber.

When should you start feeding your cannabis plants fertilizer

Hello growers! Let’s learn about feeding our plants their first dose of cannabis 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.

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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.
Once your seedlings have used up all their energy, they will require nutrients from an outside source. This is where the grower comes in and gives the plant its first feeding of nutrients.

Lets talk about when is the right time to start feeding your cannabis plants and how to give them their first dose of nutrients.

Nutrients Designed To Grow Great Weed

Reefertilizer is a simple all in one cannabis growing nutrient kit. Designed by cannabis grower to simplify the growing process.

When to start feeding your plants Reefertilizer nutrients

Once your plants have grown 3-4 sets of true leaves, you can give them their first feeding of nutrients.
It usually takes about 3-4 weeks from planting your germinated seed for your seedling to have used up all the energy left in the seed. Your plant roots are now taking nutrients from the soil and from any added fertilizer. The cotyledons or “seed leaves” might start to turn yellow around this time.

This is also the time I like to transplant the plants to a larger pot. After the transplant, I will give them their first low dose feeding. This is day one of the vegetative stage.

If you’re using Reefertilizer Grow, a low dose is 5ml for 4L of water or a ¼ teaspoon for 1L of water.

The size of your planter will determine the volume of nutrients you need to give each plant. You want to give them enough water/nutrients that there’s some runoff from the bottom of the planter. A rule of thumb is to have 20% runoff. So let’s say you feed your plant 2L of nutrient solution, there should be about 400ml of runoff.

The runoff will help guarantee that your soil is completely saturated. Another trick growers do is pre-water their soil 30 minutes before giving them nutrients. This also helps your soil absorb more water.

As your plants grow they will suck up water and nutrients at a faster pace.

This plant was transplanted, topped, and given its first low dose feeding. This was “Day 1” of veg.

This is the same plant 9 days later. It is getting its second feeding.

How to feed your plants nutrients

Mixing 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 for your pots. 2 liter of water per plant in a 5 gallon planter is a good place to start.
You want to give them just enough liquid that you get runoff from the bottom of the planter after watering. This ensures that the soil is completely saturated and nutrients aren’t being wasted.

In this demonstration, we will be feeding 1 plant its first low dose of nutrients.

Let’s take a look at the Reefertilizer feeding schedule to find out how much nutrients I need to mix to feed my plants.

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Measure the powdered cannabis nutrients and dissolve them into a small amount of water first.

Check that the pH of your nutrient solution is in the correct range.

Feed your plants. This plant is on its second feeding.

I have one plant in a 5 gallon fabric pot and I want to feed it 2L of nutrient water. According to the chart, I will need to mix 2.5ml (1/2 teaspoon) into 2L of water.

Fill a jug with 2L of water.

In a small cup, add 2.5ml of Reefertilizer Grow.

Use some water from the jug and mix it with the powder. This will help the powder dissolve quickly. By using a small jar with a lid and warm water, you can shake it up so the powder dissolves even faster.

Pour this liquid back into your jug and give it a good stir.

If you have more than one plant, you will need to make a larger batch using the same nutrient to water ratio. Best to do a big batch and adjust the pH when done.

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 6.5. 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.

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.

Knowing When to Start Seedlings on Fertilizer and Nutrients

Delicate seedlings need a little extra attention and knowledge to help them grow big and strong. Follow Kate Van Druff’s advice on growing conditions, nutrients, and fertilizer to get your seedlings to the next level.

Few things about gardening are as gratifying as watching a tiny seed become a flourishing plant. Flowers, herbs, fruit, vegetables, ornamentals — the possibilities of what you can grow are endless and the journey is memorable year after year.

Many variables come into play as simple seeds start their lifecycles. Starting seeds indoors or outside relies on factors such as the climate and natural or artificial lighting conditions. The timing of planting also comes into play, where seedlings started indoors too early in the season and without suitable lighting can become leggy and thin rather than healthy and robust. Of course, the selected planting medium can also impact the quality of the seedlings you grow, where some potting mixes contain nutrients right from the start and others are merely, well, dirt.

Finding the perfect balance of growing conditions and nutrients isn’t always easy.

This article will help you to discover the best nutrients and fertilizers for your seedlings and when you should apply them.

Understanding Essential Macronutrients for Seedlings

Introducing fertilizers and nutrients for seedlings can boost growth and production for your plants. Plants require many different nutrients to thrive, particularly oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, which they get through water and air, as well as potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen, which need to be added through fertilization. These key nutrients tend to be the most important, but you’ll also want to consider micronutrients that can also fortify your seedlings for their best potential.

Nitrogen (N)

As the single most important nutrient for plants, nitrogen is responsible for plant growth, and more specifically leaf growth, plant size, and overall health. Plants supplied with sufficient nitrogen will grow strong and quickly. Nitrogen also plays a key role in photosynthesis, serving as a component of the chlorophyll molecule that makes plants green. As seedlings grow into larger plants, the demand for nitrogen also grows.

Phosphorus (P)

Also vitally important, phosphorus aids plants in creating strong roots, making seeds, and producing fruit, vegetables, and flowers. Phosphorus also aids in photosynthesis by facilitating the plant’s energy transfer and allowing plants to use or store energy. Demand for this nutrient is greatest during seed germination and early life, as well as during fruiting or flowering. General weakness and stunted growth are two signs of phosphorous deficiency in plants.

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Potassium (K)

The next most essential plant nutrient after nitrogen, potassium helps with many aspects of plant growth and development, such as a plant’s size, shape, and color, not to mention the taste of any produce. Adding potassium to the soil helps plants with the protein synthesis process as well as the activation of growth enzymes.

Growth-related issues such as leaf loss, cholrosis (scorching of leaves), weak root systems, and stunted growth may present when plants become too deficient in potassium.

Seedlings and plants also tend to need a large amount of magnesium, calcium, and sulfur. These complete the list of essential macronutrients commonly required for plants and crops.

    – Calcium strengthens plant tissues and helps to neutralize soil and plant acidity. Calcium in the soil also helps improve water penetration and decrease the soil’s salinity.

– This nutrient also helps give plants their green color, increasing the intake of phosphorus, increases chlorophyll, and allows better CO2 absorption.

– Sulfur helps plants produce seeds and resist disease. This nutrient also promotes growth, production of chlorophyll, and helps in producing proteins, amino acids, and enzymes.

Together, these six essential macronutrients aid in the creation of chlorophyll, which helps plants convert light into energy for photosynthesis. The process of photosynthesis allows plants to take sunlight, CO2, and water and turn them into sugar and oxygen. The glucose created then affords plants the ability to use that energy to grow and repair damage or to store it for later. Better photosynthesis enables plants to be more prolific, with better growth and larger and more bountiful yields. Ensuring proper macronutrient fertilization has a direct impact on plant growth and your future harvest potential.

Best Micronutrients for Seedlings

After you monitor and amend the soil for proper macronutrient content, remember that many diverse nutrients can benefit your plants. As you become a more experienced gardener, you may begin to recognize signs that your plants are craving specific nutrients. You should consider these other key micronutrients to inspire balanced nutrition for your plants.

    supports a plant’s membranes in terms of structure and function. helps in vitamin A production as well as protein synthesis along with other growth processes. aids in food production, energy transfer, and overall growth, to name a few. supports quicker germination, photosynthesis, and aids in various metabolic reactions. supports nitrogen fixation. is especially vital as it supports high yields in crops.
  • Nickel is essential in urea conversion.
  • Chloride supports plant energy reactions.

Plants need lesser concentrations of these micronutrients, yet their presence can have a great impact. Even a slight deficiency in one micronutrient can impact a plant’s overall health and growth. Adding organic compost can be an effective way to increase micronutrients in the garden.

When Can Seedlings First Have Nutrients?

The soil where your seeds start can have an impact on the future growth of your plants. Generally speaking, seedlings won’t need their nutrients until their first full set of true leaves sprouts. Those first leaves that emerge, called cotyledons, are actually part of the seed and will deliver nutrients to get the seedlings started. The cotyledons feed the plant, so you don’t necessarily need to start feeding right away.

Once the true leaves appear, you may wish to transfer the seedlings from their current spot to a larger pot or a cell pack. At this point, you can use some potting mix with built-in nutrients, or you may wish to choose your own fertilizer to apply at regular intervals. A diluted, water-soluble fertilizer can deliver essential nutrients for the young plants as they grow. Dissolving fertilizer in water makes it so easy to feed your plants as needed. You can monitor your seedlings to decide if lightly fertilizing once or twice per week works best. Signs of over-fertilizing may include yellowing leaves, slowed growth, wilting, or buildup of salt. If you’ve used a potting mix with nutrients already mixed into the soil, proceed slowly with any additional fertilizing efforts to avoid harming the plants.

Nourishment Timeline for Baby Plants

Germinate seeds in starter containers or packs. Choose between plain potting medium or nutrient-enriched potting mix.

  • Plain Potting Mix: After the first set of “true leaves” emerges, apply diluted, water-soluble fertilizer only to seedlings not already fortified with nutrient-rich soil.
  • For a more organic fertilizer route, consider using nitrogen-rich blood meal, phosphorous-rich bone meal, and potassium-rich kelp meal.
  • As another natural option, you may also wish to make your own compost.
  • Nutrient-Rich Potting Mix: When starting from potting mix with added fertilizer, wait six to eight weeks and then supplement the nutrient-rich potting mix with a little fertilizer.
  • Look for clues that your plants may be craving nitrogen, such as yellowing or slowed growth before adding more fertilizer.

Words of Caution When Fertilizing Young Plants

Using too much fertilizer too early on can burn young plants and their roots. It’s best to proceed with caution, adding a little fertilizer at a time and increasing as the plants grow and mature. Remember, you can always add more fertilizer, but you can’t really undo overfertilization.

You may also wish to have your soil tested prior to fertilizing so you know about any nutrient deficiencies that you should work to correct. Your healthy plants and yields will thank you for it!

Read also: Super Starts: Healthier Transplants for Happier Harvests

It may be true that anyone can stick a seed in a bit of soil, add some water and sunlight, and watch it grow. There’s a lot more to it, though. Pay attention each planting season to discover what works best as you familiarize yourself with each different plant you like to grow and which applications produce the best results.

With a solid understanding of nutrients, fertilizers, and growing conditions, you can cultivate stronger, healthier, and more vigorous plants year after year.

Cannabis Fertilization Requirements at Each Stage of Growth

Assume there is virtually no nutrition in your potting mix unless it contains compost or coconut fiber.

While your specific growing situation and especially your varieties will likely lead to adjustments in fertility inputs, these general guidelines have produced many successful cannabis crops.

1. Seedling or Cutting

The plant can live for a time off of nutrients in the seed. Use minimal or no fertilizer in the early seedling stage. Rooted cuttings are often deficient after propagation. Feed both very gently with a 1-1-1 balanced formula at about 100 ppm for each once there is adequate root development.

2. Vegetative Growth

The vegetative growth stage averages 4 weeks, but can be as short as 2 weeks or as long as 2 months depending on environment, variety and container size. After transplant, kick feed rates up to about 200 ppm N, 120 ppm P2O5 and 200-250 ppm K2O for vegetative growth.

3. Early Bloom

Extra calcium and magnesium are important additions at the start of the bloom stage to produce strong sturdy plants with heavy buds and a robust root system. Shift to roughly 200-250 ppm N-P2O5-K2O at the start of bloom. There should be a little boron in the feed program by the start of blooming. Definitely apply more potash than nitrogen during all bloom stages. Reduce nitrogen somewhat more if plants are large.

4. Late Bloom

At week 5 of bloom, reduce N applications to about 125 ppm, and make sure you have adequate phosphorus once the calyx or sepals form. Use about a 1 to 1.5 ratio of N to K2O in the last four weeks of bloom. Potassium silicate may help strengthen plants during the latter part of the blooming cycle.

5. Flush

At bloom week 9, most growers flush with clear water with no added fertilization. Use some calcium nitrate and kelp extracts if possible throughout the crop.

You’ll want to monitor pH and EC, at least weekly. It’s a good idea to run a leaf analysis at an in-state lab at about bloom set, but check with your lab about the legalities involved. Throughout production you water with only clear water once every 10-14 days, depending on EC readings.

Assume there is virtually no nutrition in your potting mix unless it contains compost or coconut fiber.

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