Cultivators Share 24 Nutrient Tips

Special Report - Special Report: Smart Nutrients

As part of this “Smart Nutrient Report” research project, Cannabis Business Times asked participants what top nutrient tips they could offer to other growers. Here’s what they said.

December 5, 2017

Tip 1: “Keep nitrate levels low to decrease leaf production.” - Eric Edgerton, CEO, Tilth Farms

Tip 2: “Start with simple and dial it in. Then complicate and tweak to hit results you want.” – Max White, Manager/Part Owner, Aroma Cannabis

Tip 3: “Less is more.” – Frank F. Best, Retired Director of Operations, Medicine Man Denver

Tip 4: “Once you have selected a nutrient line, use the manufacturer’s recommended schedule for at least one complete cycle before making adjustments. The results can be outstanding without any changes.” – Scott Holland, Production Consultant, CCC Alternatives

Tip 5: “Read. There is so much information already out there about how to cultivate flowers. Lots of people have made mistakes before you so that you have a good base to start from. ... I think you will develop your own ways eventually, but understanding the base knowledge is so very important to becoming successful.” – Preferred to remain anonymous

Tip 6: “Every cultivation facility is designed different and their production methods are set-up different as well. We believe that every cultivation facility should have its own specific feeding schedule that will maximize the production of the facility and has proven so in side-by-side test studies.” – Sam Thoman, Chief of Business Development, Strawberry Fields

Tip 7: “pH of the root zone is more important that what the mix is at.” – Austin Sims, Assistant Operations Manager, Americanna

Tip 8: “Work with what you know. When trying new products, go small at first. A common approach when transitioning from veg to flower indoors is to quit using nitrogen. I use a fairly high nitrogen supplement the first seven to 10 days of flower as the plants have a growth spurt during that time. The extra nitrogen provides the necessary nutrition for that growth.” – Rick Harder, Owner/Grower, Oregon Cannabis Authority

Tip 9: “Feed, water, feed, water. They love foliar feedings; schedule depends on outdoor weather temperature. Not a weekly schedule.” – Sabrina Baack, Owner, Timber Mountain Cannabis Company (TMCC)

Tip 10: “To understand: the plant’s anatomy and physiology; photosynthesis; concepts of light formulas; that everything is to create the optimum conditions for meiosis (cellular plant division) to occur by providing the plant with a sterile field environment in combination with the best technology to create artificial photosynthesis; the best organic compounds to provide for the macro and micro nutrients; a specific scheduling of the plant’s lifestyle and a program to tend to it; and finally to remember: cell division—meiosis, meiosis, meiosis.” – Charles Feick, CEO/President, The Green Harvest Corp., DBA The Green Harvest Cannabis Company

Tip 11: “Know the nutrient needs of your strains, and tailor the program to fit the plants’ needs.” – Ken Evers, Co-Owner/Manager, Farmer Ken’s

Tip 12: “Experiment, document and lock it in for consistency.” – Jason Little, Operations Manager/Master Grower, ACEBIO Inc.

Tip 13: “Every grower has his own challenges. Weather, climate, growth stage all play a role in what you’re feeding.” – Preferred to remain anonymous

Tip 14: “Don’t mix bases.” – Preferred to remain anonymous

Tip 15: “Feed less, but more often.” – Tom Hansen, Head Grower/General Manager, DG Farmz

Tip 16: “Always oxygenate your nutrients because you can’t always count on the levels in your water.” - Kevin Johnson, Botanical Specialist, Kupuna Pua

Tip 17: “Get growing tips from large-scale food growers, not forums.” – Anthony Gutierrez, CEO, Aardvarx Collective

Tip 18: “Get a USDA Extension service lab involved.” – Preferred to remain anonymous

Tip 19: “Stay consistent.” – Preferred to remain anonymous

Tip 20: “Watch your ladies; they will tell you what they need.” - Preferred to remain anonymous

Tip 21: “Don’t flush until the final week of bloom.” – Jason Roberts, Owner, Loving Kindness Farms

Tip 22: “Aerate your nutrient reservoirs.” – David A. Page, Chief Operating Officer, Middle Relief Partners, LLC

Tip 23: “Unless you actually have a strong understanding of nutrients and experience, don’t act like you do. You’ll likely do more harm than good and, at the very least, waste money on improper use of nutrients. Be intrigued to make changes, but don’t act like you have the same knowledge or experience as a chemist.” – Will Arnesen, Garden Manager, THC Farms

Tip 24: “Ranging pH will allow an increase in uptake of different nutrients.” – Cory, Head Grower, CIK Holistics