How to decide on synthetic versus organic fertilizers for cannabis plant nutrition
Published 5 seconds ago | By Laura Drotleff
(This is the seventh installment in a series focused on cultivation planning for marijuana and hemp growers. The previous installment is available here.)
Cannabis is a heavy-feed crop, requiring plenty of nutrition to produce high yields.
But deciding whether to grow with conventional or natural fertilizers depends on a cultivator’s growing style and goals.
Marijuana and hemp growers have three general nutrition options to fortify their crops:
Conventional water-soluble or synthetic fertilizers. Organic fertilizers. Accessing existing nutrients through regenerative practices.
Conventional fertilizers: pros and cons
Growers know what they’re getting when they choose conventional fertilizers, which have been researched for decades, said certified crop adviser and agronomist Willie Gibson, an independent consultant in Vermont.
“Probably the single biggest advantage to using synthetic fertilizers is that a majority of all of the science and information is standardized and institutionalized,” Gibson said.
“It’s understood quite well how they will make a crop respond, even under different soil conditions, and so they’re very predictable.”
That predictability gives growers incredible control over their crops’ nutrition, allowing them to deliver targeted concentrations based on a specific response they’re seeking, said Daniel Gillespie, technical specialist for Allentown, Pennsylvania-based fertilizer company J.R. Peters.