When you talk about it that way, it intuitively seems like giving more “food” would result in bigger buds, but is that really the case? As we learned earlier in the section about light intensity, the real “food” for your plants is light. Light is what your plant turns into energy through photosynthesis, and this energy is what fuels vegetative and flowering growth. They’re like little helpers that give your plant what it needs to carry out the process of photosynthesis and growth. I like to think of nutrients like vitamins for humans.
While humans need to get certain vitamins to survive, I want you to consider that people should never eat multi-vitamins like candy. In fact, if you give people more vitamins than their body can use, they will actually get very sick. Nutrients are important to healthy growth, but it’s important to understand that going overboard will cause more harm than good. While many growers are trying to raise nutrient levels as high as possible, I have gotten better results (yields) when I simply try to avoid providing too little or too much nutrients . As long as your leaves look like this, without signs of spots, discoloration, curling or other problems, you have nothing to worry about! Cannabis plants seem to produce the best yields when nutrient levels are kept on the lower end compared to what is recommended with most nutrient systems; I try to give enough nutrients to prevent nutrient deficiencies throughout the grow, while avoiding nutrient burn.
I rarely raise nutrient levels unless I’m noticing signs that this particular plant is a heavy nutrient-user and needs more. You will notice that different plants often require wildly different levels of nutrients. As long as your cannabis is not showing signs of nutrient burn or nutrient deficiencies, you’re in the “sweet spot” for optimum growth and yields. When it comes to growing in soil, one of the best things you can do is compost your own super soil. Composted super soil can be made completely organically, and will provide your cannabis plants with all the nutrients needed throughout yoru grow. That will make it so that you don’t have to worry as much about nutrients or deficiencies, and you can focus your time and effort on maintaining your plants. For growers using bottled nutrients, including hydroponic growers as well as many soil growers, I usually recommend you start using half (or even less) of the suggested amount of nutrients listed on most nutrient schedules. There’s a lot more information about this on my main article about cannabis nutrients. I generally only ever raise my nutrient levels when I notice that this particular plant is a heavy nutrient user (the lower leaves are starting to turn yellow and die – especially in the vegetative or early flowering stage, though it’s normal to start losing leaves the last month before harvest). Slightly lowered nutrient levels seem to be especially important to bud production during the last 2-4 weeks before harvest time. It’s natural for the lower leaves of a cannabis plant to start turning yellow as harvest time approaches. It’s natural for the plant to start losing leaves as the plant puts all energy into making buds, and unfortunately many growers respond by ramping up nutrient levels late in the flowering stage. Unfortunately, adding too high levels of nutrients during the later part of the flowering stage, especially nitrogen , tends to hinder the plant from developing buds properly. Yet if you keep nutrient levels low and allow the vegetative growth to die away during those last few weeks, the buds seem to swell up dramatically compared to a plant that is kept green all the way to harvest. By keeping nutrient levels lower as harvest approaches (or flushing the plant by feeding only plain water), you will also make sure that there is no leftover “nutrient taste” in the buds which never got the chance to be used up before harvest. Lowering overall nutrient levels and letting the leaves yellow and die as harvest approaches has seemed to improve my bud yields compared to when I use full levels of nutrients until harvest, and it also seems to improve the final taste & smell of buds. Bonus Tip For Soil Growers: Provide a source of sugar (blackstrap molasses works great) towards end of flowering stage to increase bud weight. By supplementing your cannabis roots with extra sugar towards the end of flowering, you help improve the flavor of your buds while also fattening buds up. This is especially effective for those growing organically, as this works synergistically with the beneficial microbes in your soil. There are many commercial supplements that claim to fatten up buds and improve flavor, but most of these work by adding simple sugar. If you’re growing in soil and looking for a cheap yet effective alternative to those expensive supplements, you can add a little bit of regular blackstrap molasses (a teaspoon per gallon) to your water every time you water your plants during the second half of the flowering stage. Please Note : It is not recommended to use molasses in a hydroponic grow setup. Speaking of how indoor growers can get better yields by providing cannabis plants with the exact right environment… 4.) Control Temperature (and humidity) A good growing environment is crucial to the health of your plants, as well as your final potency and yields.
When the temperature (and to a lesser extent the humidity) is too high or too low for your plants, your plants will not grow properly and buds won’t fatten up no matter what else you do. Too high temps late in the flowering stage can also reduce the potency of smell of your buds by burning away cannabinoids and terpenes. By controlling temperature and humidity, you can actually increase the smell and potency of your buds at harvest. If there is a particular source of heat that is harming the plant (like a hot grow light), you’ll know because the leaves closest to the source of the problem will wilt and turn a brownish color. Learn more about how cannabis plants respond to heat stress. Now that you’ve learned how to provide the best environment and growing conditions for your cannabis plant to produce the biggest yields indoors, there’s one last thing you must do to ensure the highest yields possible… 5.) Wait until the right time to harvest.
For most strains of cannabis, there is a 2-3 week window during which buds can be harvested.