Most growers use nutrients, also known as fertilizers to improve their yield. However, some nutrients can come with a steeper price.
You can grow cannabis plants without added nutrients but there are several variables that should be optimized such as the quality of your seeds and your growing medium. Moreover, you will need skills and knowledge to obtain a high yield without nutrients.
Nutrients have an important role to maximize the growth of your plant, especially nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. However, there are also several secondary minerals that can also greatly improve your yield.
Keep reading if you want to know more about how to grow your cannabis plants without nutrients while maintaining a good yield.
How To Grow Cannabis Without Nutrients?
It is possible to grow cannabis plants without added chemical fertilizers.
Yet, there are a few variables that you need to consider before embarking on the journey.
Choose Your Seeds Carefully
If you are starting seeds, ensure that you get your seeds from reputable sources.
The guaranteed quality will increase your chance of germination.
Moreover, respected seed banks provide robust seeds for strong and healthy plants, despite the lack of additional nutrients.
Auto-flowering seeds are a great option for increasing your future yield.
Though they can come at a higher price tag, auto-flowering plants were engineered for a greater yield and excellent buds.
Use The Correct Lightning
If you are growing indoors, you have several options on the market to find the best solution for your grow room.
LED or HID lights are efficient and provide the required amount of sunlight.
For outside growing, you should put your cannabis plants in a place that has the most sunlight.
Cannabis plants are sun-loving plants that produce greater yield with copious amounts of light.
Cannabis plants enjoy warm temperatures.
While temperatures cannot be controlled outdoors, for indoor growth, you can use small oscillating fans to aerate the room.
Choose A Good Growing Medium
Depending on your growing method, having the right medium is a game-changer.
Soil is the most budget-friendly medium available.
With 'living' soil, you do not need added fertilizers since the microbiome inside the soil contains all the necessary nutrients for a greater yield.
You can manually add compost or vermiculite to your soil for greater water retention and optimized living soil.
Role Of Nutrients In Cannabis Growth
Cannabis plants require three main nutrients, namely nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).
They are macronutrients that are critical for the health of a cannabis plant.
Therefore, the three nutrients are frequently highlighted in the form of an NPK ratio on fertilizer products.
It should be noted that the greater the number for each value, the more concentrated that nutrient is.
Cannabis, on the other hand, requires more than just three nutrients to survive and thrive.
It relies on secondary nutrients including magnesium, sulphur, and calcium and to aid in plant growth:
- Magnesium is vital in photosynthesis and breaking down carbohydrates. It also helps to stabilize cell walls.
- Calcium helps in the development of cell walls, reduces the salinity of the soil, and helps in water penetration.
- Sulphur is crucial in producing chlorophyll, amino acids, vitamins, and enzymes. It also protects cannabis plants against disease.
- Cannabis plants also use smaller amounts of micronutrients compared to macronutrients.
However, they are also important in the growth of cannabis plants.
Micronutrients include copper, boron, manganese, zinc, and chlorine.
Can You Get A Good Yield Without Nutrients?
You can get a good yield without the addition of extra nutrients but there are several variables that come into play to influence your yield.
The strains of your cannabis plants will greatly affect how much yield you will get.
If you are using a high-yield strain, your chances of obtaining a good yield without fertilizers are higher than a low-yield strain.
Besides, the strength of the strains should also be accounted for as your plants are subjected to several adverse conditions from germination to flowering,
Super Skunk and Super Silver Haze are among the highest and strongest yielding strains.
You may have natural soil rich in nutrients for outdoor growing or you can use compost to improve the ecosystem of your soil.
The interaction among microorganisms in the soil results in the production of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Depending on your location, tap water will have several minerals added to it such as chlorine, calcium, and magnesium.
Countries distribute either ‘hard water’ or ‘soft water’ to their population.
Hard water has a higher concentration of minerals compared to soft water.
The nutrients are in the form of dissolved solids.
However, even if you use hard water, only trace amounts of minerals are usually present.
Yield Without Nutrients
A good yield without nutrients is possible by optimizing other growing variables such as your growing medium.
Living soil is teeming with soil microbes and microfauna colonies.
These microscopic organisms break down nutrients in the soil, making them more easily absorbed by roots.
In exchange, the plant excretes substances through its roots that nourish the soil colony.
True organic gardening is founded on this symbiotic relationship.
When these organisms are absent from the soil, your plant has a harder time obtaining the nutrients it requires.
Generally, the soil must be composted for a few months to allow beneficial microorganisms to colonize and begin degrading the soil's nutrients.
The development of "super-soil" is a significant new innovation in organic farming.
This is a growing medium that has been painstakingly optimized to contain precisely what cannabis requires to thrive without the use of fertilizer.
You can give your plants nothing but water and achieve incredible results using this method.
Why Or Why Not Grow Without Nutrients
To help you make a decision about using fertilizers or not, here is a list of benefits of both using or not using nutrients.
Reduced Risk Of Burning As A Result Of OverfeedingSoil rich in nutrients usually provides nutrients slowly as it takes time for the microfauna to produce large amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
The slow-release means the nutrients will not be absorbed all at once, reducing the risk of your plants being burned.
Microorganisms That Are Beneficial
By taking care of your microorganisms, your plants get nutrients and aerated soil.
Microorganisms produce oxygen and carbon dioxide in the soil for the roots to absorb the necessary gases.
Renewable And Sustainable
Since organic nutrients from compost are natural, they can be reused and are sustainable which makes them less harmful to the environment.
Reduced Nutrient Wastage
Since nutrients remain in the soil for a longer period of time with microorganisms, it reduces the waste of nutrients washed away by irrigation or rain.
Enhanced Control Over Nutrients
Since fertilizers are made with a precise proportion of minerals, it is easier to control the quantities of nutrients you give to your plant.
According to the growing stage, you can supply your plants with the specific nutrients needed.
The Capability Of Addressing Deficiencies More Effortlessly
You can correct deficiencies more quickly because you are directly feeding the roots.
Less Expensive and Easier to Locate
Bottled fertilizers require less time to produce and they are readily available in every grow shop at reasonable prices.
About the author: Heather Burton
Heather lives with her husband and two children in beautiful British Columbia. Her passion has always been to enhance the lives of others by helping them reach their business goals.
Content management is her specialty, and writing is what she does best. Working specifically in the cannabis market, Heather strives to help dispensaries, patients, doctors, manufacturers and recreational users by giving them the voice they need. When she is not writing, you can find her anywhere outdoors and away from the screen.