Diet woes are something all of us experience. From the most fit athletes to the most self-inflicted obese we all look down at our waistline with disappointment at one time or another in our lives. Furthermore, stress on the digestive system is at the root of many health issues in all of us. Cheap food, irregular feedings, wrong foods at the wrong times and pure lack of discipline are reasons at the root of our health problems and are also the very same reasons our roots are not as healthy as we would like in our cannabis crops. In the business world “Location, Location, Location” is a credo held dear and tested by time. If your business or health relies on the cultivation and harvest of cannabis then “Nutrition, Nutrition, Nutrition” needs to be the credo held most dearly.
When you walk into your grow room or through your crop you need to look at each plant as if it were Audrey II from the 1986 movie “Little Shop of Horrors”, you are a young Rick Moranis and each plant is screaming at you relentlessly that pop-culture phrase created by the film…… Feed Me Seymour!! Their ferocious appetites will eat whatever you give them, so don’t do the damage we too often do to ourselves. Let’s take look at bad modern day health habits and how they compare to your garden of ganja.
The fast food/convenience food diet—The day starts with coffee from your favorite bar of baristas, its closer to a milkshake than coffee and takes ya two minutes to order. It takes the barista another 5 minutes to make it. Lunch is fast food or a sandwich from a sub shop on days that you’re feeling like you have been eating too much fast food. Dinner is something from a can, meals made from a box or local takeout. Snacks at break times are just as unhealthy and can usually be found in vending machines. The only pure water you get is the ice that melts in your endless supply of soda-pop. Once or twice a week you will eat something resembling actual nutrients , often you’ll go a day or two without eating at all.
In the grow room this equates to raiding your Mom’s vegetable garden supplies or label shopping for nutrients at your local Wal-Mart. If you are growing outdoors bad choices of nutrients will not be as counterproductive as opposed to indoor environments but you can’t just throw a seed in the ground and let nature do the rest. Especially with how unforgiving nature has been lately. However, in an indoor room poor nutrient choices may be seen overnight. Shopping by sale or only at your local discount garden center is the same as living off McDonald’s© and Dr. Pepper© with an occasional Subway and Hostess Cherry Pies for desert. If you must bargain shop do it at your nearest grow store. Get some advice from the clerks and start creating a meal plan for your plants. Start with knowing and regulating the ph balance of your water to between 5.5 and 6.2. This would be the same as purchasing snacks and meals at the grocery store instead 7-11 and Burger King along with drinking water instead of soda.
The home cooked heart attack—This diet is far more tasty and full of the nutrients we need but full of many more toxins and artery blockers as well. The day starts with homemade breakfast and ends with a homemade meal. Snacks will sometimes have fruit, nuts or veggies but will too often be potato chips. Food is bought at the grocery store, lots of whole foods and goodness are purchased but a lot of crap is put in the cart as well. Fast food is usually avoided but you can put away the Italian Trio at Olive Garden without a doggie bag. Although meals are homemade they are often made with gobs of butter, mayo, sweets and fats. I know this diet all too well, this is me. The key to this diet is excess. Fortunately for the quality of my weed I treat the plants far better than I treat myself.
For your crop this is equivalent to the boisterous yuppie who buys nothing but the best and buys it in bulk just to show that they can. Everything from pots to lights to nutrients is bought with the brand name in mind. Statistics are found in advertising campaigns, not actual research and trends are proof. Purchases are less about the needs of their grow room and more about their definition of “how they roll”. In this scenario the irregularity is almost as damaging as no nutrients at all. This life of excess and inconsistency causes plants to cruise right through the veg phase like animals then fall on their face and wilt when put in the bud room. Consistency is key. Research your nutrients before your run and test them over the course of weeks, not days. How much and how often we eat is just as important to plants as it is to us….and in both plants and animals its more vital to thriving health than what we eat.
The hobby/amateur athlete—This person does everything right. The right nutrients are taken in a good balanced ratio at the right times in addition to an appropriate amount of exercise….except on weekends. A bodybuilder will binge after a competition much like a motocross or mountain bike racer will pull through an In N Out drive thru on the way home from a race, they will all drown themselves in beer or spirits when an occasion arises….any occasion.
To a marijuana crop this can be optimum growing conditions and can also result in a quicker death than the above diets. This is the grower that gets it all perfect and grows rock star weed, only to flood the plants to death the very next run by leaving the valve to their exotic watering system on. This grower will produce top shelf nugs and use this quality to elevate themselves to a master position among their peers (usually sack slingers or patients that just want good weed so they’ll let them preach a bit at delivery time) only to have multiple crops seed. This type of grower will make thoughtful decisions but will too often over think everything. Switching to RO (reverse osmosis) water will eliminate contaminants and is a wise decision as opposed to some water sources. Many growers will make this switch without adding trace elements back in the water and end up killing the plants quicker with nutrient deficiency. RO eliminates everything, not just the bad stuff so trace elements need to be put back in the water via products like Cal-Mag. There are a million little tradeoffs like that to consider, especially when your skills improve. Much like the motocross racer has more risk as his bikes get faster and he gets more skilled, products that can really increase yield can also cause a lot of damage and as your growing skills improve so can you.
The diet woes that plague us also plague our plants but the good news is that the woes of our plants are a little easier to deal with. Our plants don’t have to say no to a Double Double or Whopper©, they don’t have to deal with the smell of a bakery or close the freezer without making a bedtime bowl of ice cream. They don’t have to worry about wine consumption, try to quit smoking or find motivation to exercise. They simply need you to realize you are needed. Spend time with your plants, pick off unhealthy leaves and thin them out once in a while. Water at the same time every day and make sure they’re getting good water. The rest will fall into place, its far easier to be a plant nutritionist than a self-nutritionist. Actually, realizing how easy it is for plants makes me feel more guilty about my own diet habits and gives me inspiration to change those habits at the same time. We and our crops all need the same sustenance from nature. I suppose we are not all that different. Even our pets tend to look like us, why wouldn’t our plants have the same bad eating habits. Maybe you should play your plants some music….they just might like the same tunes you do.