Do I need to fertilize outdoor cannabis plants?

Updated: December 5, 2021

If you are determined to grow healthy and happy marijuana plants, you probably have already been thinking about how to fertilize your soil. Fertilizers of some sort (whether organic or otherwise) are very important to make sure your plants are receiving all the nutrients they need. Since this is an outdoor guide lets see organic and eco-friendly options

You have probably heard various facts and figures about composting and other ways of fertilizing but you’re not sure of what to or how to do it. We can help you with that buddy.

Compost and fertilizer

Because the composition of the soil is so important to your harvest, it is key to take care when choosing what exactly to put in it.  Every grower encounters one main, important choice when deciding what they want their soil to be like. Do you want to use chemicals, go organic, or go wild? There is no single solution to this question – it depends mostly on your values and how much time and effort you would like to devote to it.

The one with the best result is generally the organic option, although it is definitely not the easiest way to go. like we all know best decisions in life are never easy. You will be rewarded for your efforts: the taste and look will be very much improved. And knowing its all-natural, smoking experience of your bud will be enhanced immensely.

If you are not willing or able to put in a lot of time or effort in your marijuana harvest, you might want to go with a chemical soil or store-bought fertilizers. But knowledge is required in both ways.

Start composting

Composting is inexpensive and simple, as it uses things you would normally just throw away anyway. It creates an environment similar to a nice, fertile soil so your cannabis plants can grow healthy and strong. You can include anything from plant clippings to fruits and vegetables to animal manure. It should not include animal fat or meat, however, as it simply will attract maggots and parasites. You also shouldn’t include manure from your cat or dog and consider not using pine needles because they lower the pH and don’t break down as quickly as other compostable items.

You should break down all of your compost ingredients into small pieces in order to accelerate the breakdown of your compost mixture. There are plenty of different ways to go about it, and there are plenty of reasons for doing it in a new way.

There are several important factors you always need to remember. For instance, it is a good idea to layer your compost pile, and you should always make sure that air is able to flow through it. The last thing you want is a compost pile that has very little or no air circulation. Just like with any soil or fertilizer, you should also be testing the pH level of your compost pile to make sure it remains balanced. If it is too acidic or alkaline, you can simply put in some lime or bonemeal to adjust the balance in both ways.

Unless you live on a farm, you probably will need a long amount of time to collect enough diverse organic matter to form a useful compost pile. Allow a few months to gain enough items to form a usable mixture. The result is worth it, however, as your mixture will be much more fertile than most of the available store-bought items you can find. This option is cheaper and you are recycling to nature to get something back in return. And that are tastiest buds ever.

Organic composting

The most often encountered reason for growing cannabis organically is that there is almost a zero chance that you will burn the marijuana plants. Too much chemical fertilizer can be a bad thing since it is highly concentrated and may leave salts behind in the soil. The roots rapidly absorb the chemical fertilizers and, like someone who eats too quickly will experience a negative reaction. This could include the death of your marijuana plants.

Usually what happens is that too much of one nutrient prevents the uptake of others, leaving your plant deficient and dying: When fed organic substances, marijuana plants will only take in the nutrients they need, leaving the rest in the soil. The remaining nutrients are broken down slowly, which ensures a steady supply.

The major drawback to organic cannabis growing is the knowledge needed and the preparation that may be necessary to deliver the nutrients to the marijuana plants. Composting takes time and should be started months in advance. It requires a space in which to accomplish this, preferably far away from people since it can carry quite an odor. Also, depending on your security needs, it may be impossible to get the composted soil to the grow site, since where you compost and where you grow cannabis may be very far apart. In cases like these, it is best to add individual organic matter to the existing site and bring that soil up to par.

If you go smart about it you can make a compost near a spot of your plants and have it right there on the spot.

The idea behind composting is that organic matter decays with the help of bacteria created in the decomposition process into a brown, loose blend called humus. This is the same process that natural soil uses, though in nature it takes much longer. You accelerate this process through composting because the mixture of things added increases the presence and activity of bacteria and microorganisms. In good, fertile soil there are untold millions of microorganisms in every gram, as well as earthworms, which are attracted to good soil and improve it by living within it.

Make your own compost

Even if you are using chemicals to grow your marijuana plants, you probably will still need to include some organic compost additives at some point. Below you will find a list of the various types of organic additives, and what they can do to help you with the specific elements your soil and fertilizers are missing. You need these to make your own compost.

There are plenty of other available additives as well, but this is a basic list that will help you make it through most seasons. Read carefully, for some of the items on the list include valuable information, such as the exact ratios of Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorous that they contain, plus which season they are the most useful in.

Blood meal
This additive includes a very concentrated amount of nitrogen. It is one of the most popular additives used for the cannabis vegetative growth period.

Bone meal
Bonemeal is a phosphorous rich additive that is best used for your cannabis plants’ flowering phase. It also releases nutrients slowly, making it especially useful in some of the final vegetative growing phases of your plants.

Chicken Compost
Even chicken manure makes a great fertilizer. Organic slow release chicken manure compost increases yields and promotes healthy plants. If you do not have a chicken at hand, DankoDirt makes great organic fertilizer.

Fish emulsion
As repulsive as it sounds, fish emulsion is a mixture that includes decomposed fish. It is the most effective when applied to young cannabis plants, due to the fact that it is not as harsh as some other fertilizers, and its nutrient content is fairly balanced.

Worm castings
A utility fertilizer that can be useful in any situation, worm casters are extremely balanced in their nutrient content. In addition to nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous, they also have micronutrients that provide a general nutritious value to the soil, helping it to remain nutrient-rich and healthy.

Kelp meal
Kelp meal contains many micronutrients and it is most effective when combined with a basic soil or compost mix. Cannabis plants love it.

Manures
No two types of manure are the same since different animals produce waste that has different fertilizing properties. In general, your best bet is to use either rabbit, cow, chicken, horse or bat manure. They are all great additives for compost – don’t put them directly in your plants’ soil, however.

Coffee grounds
These are most useful when you need to change the pH level your soil or compost to be more acidic since coffee grounds have an extremely acidic pH content. The right pH of the soil is very important to grow healthy marijuana plants.

Eggshells
The answer to coffee grounds, eggshells can make your soil or compost more alkaline. They should be ground down and included in your compost pile.

Lime
Lime is another efficient way of increasing your soil or compost’s pH level. Plenty of organic marijuana growers swear by it when their soil is too acidic. Not everyone loves it, however since its reaction and breakdown time is very slow. Because of how long it takes, you should consider using it only early on in the growing season, or add it to your compost if you think the soil might be too acidic for some reason.

Wood ashes
This additive is a simple and very fast way of increasing the pH level. It also has lots of other health benefits and micronutrients for your soil.

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