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Fertilizing and Feeding

The never ending abuse of Phosphorous to enhance flowering

A common mistake for growers when they reach the flowering stage is to start hitting the plants with a high P fert like 10-60-10, continuing to use this blend exclusively, and when their plants start experiencing a deficit of N or micros as reflected by the dropping of lower leaves and chlorosis, they wonder why. Plants flower as a response to long nights, not because of fert blends high in P. A ratio of 10-60-10 is WAY to high in P. The plant will only take what it needs and compete for other elements that may be more important at the time.

You may have heard that too much N can inhibit flowering. No question about it, exclusive use of a plant food that is rich in N such as blood meal, a 5-1-1 blend, or ammonium nitrate may inhibit flowering especially if the phosphorous level is low, but most balanced blends have sufficient amount of P to do the job. Manufacturers/horticulturists will give you element analysis and what effect the elements have on plant growth, but remember this does not necessarily mean you will get better yields. Using a high P fert exclusively during flowering can actually work against you. It's an abundant amount of healthy leaves going into 12/12 that produce a lot of bud, not high P ferts.

I rotate fert blends as the plant *requires* them, not because it is "the thing to do." For example, when your plants are going thru the stretch phase during early flowering, they may need more N, especially if you're getting some yellowing in the lower/mid leaves. Give up the cannabis paradigms, and give them what they need. Go back to mild high P fert when the stretch ends, maintaining the foliage in a healthy state of growth until harvest for maximum yields. A 1-3-2 blend such as Peter's Pro Blossom Booster, 10-30-20, is one of the best flowering blends on the market because of several factors - it is higher in nitrate N and Mg. It is sold under the Jack's Classic label. An added benefit of Peter's blends is their use of high quality, very pure salts that will cut down on root burn.