For centuries, man has been cultivating marijuana and we are getting better and better at it. Each time, a new discovery is made that enables growers to naturally grow their crop. One such discovery is the use of dry amendments to be added to the soil of auto-flowering marijuana plants.
Auto-flowering marijuana plants are special not only in the way they grow but also in the way they must be nourished. Just like how it is important to have the proper soil for auto-flowering plants, which prefers sandy soil, auto-flowering marijuana plants have special nutritional needs that could be filled in by the what is called as dry amendments.
Table of Contents
WHAT ARE AUTOFLOWERING PLANTS?
Regular cannabis plants go through the vegetative state onto the flowering stage by having their light cycles shortened from 18 hours to 12 hours after 3 to 16 weeks from germination depending on the marijuana plant variety. This shortening of the light-cycle every 24 hours will make the plant enter the flowering stage.
Auto-flowering plants no longer require this change in light-cycle as they automatically move from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage automatically. Hence, they are called auto-flowering. Auto-flowering marijuana plants grow faster than regular plants giving you the ability to make more harvest yearly that with other plants.
WHAT ARE DRY AMENDMENTS?
Dry amendments are just additives or fertilizers that you could add to the soil. They come in solid form as powder or granules instead of liquid that is being sprayed on the plants. These are specifically designed to help your plant grow better during their vegetative and flowering stages. Marijuana plant goes through different stages of growth from being a germinating seed to a seedling, onto the vegetative and flowering stage. The flowering stage is when the plants produce buds that are being harvested for the THC and CBD content.
There are different types of dry amendments such as dolomite lime, potassium sulfate, bone meal, blood meal and worm castings which all have different uses. Just like every bit of nutrient needed by any plant, too much of each may cause problems.
DOLOMITE LIME: Dolomite lime is calcium magnesium carbonate. It is 20 percent calcium and 10 percent magnesium. Dolomite lime is best used if you have determined that your soil is lacking magnesium and calcium.
POTASSIUM SULFATE AND POTASSIUM CHLORIDE: Potassium is a nutrient that is naturally required by developing plants to improve yield and quality. Two of the most common forms of potassium additive or amendment is potassium chloride and potassium sulfate. Potassium chloride is three times more soluble than potassium sulfate.
Potassium is very much needed by plants in synthesizing proteins, producing an enzyme, forming starch and sugars and regulating water flow in cells and leaves.
BONE MEAL: As the name suggests, bone meal is made up of ground animal bones and slaughterhouse waste products that are processed and dried to become organic fertilizer and is rich in calcium, phosphorus, and protein. Despite its richness in nutrients, bone meal requires some variety of fungi in order to be readily available for the plants to absorb from the soil. The fungi Mycorrhiza, for example, penetrate the feet of the plants and breaks down the compounds containing phosphorus in order to be easily absorbed by the plant. Mycorrhiza in turn benefit from the plant in a symbiotic relationship as the plant in turn supply mycorrhiza with amino acids and sugars.
BLOOD MEAL: As the name suggests, blood meal is made from blood and the final product is a dry and inert powder that is used as a high nitrogen organic fertilizer in comparison to the bone meal which is higher in phosphorus. A blood meal is also used as a compost activator. A blood meal is believed to be able to repel some pests such as rabbits because they are repulsed by the odor.
WORM CASTING: Worm castings is soil that is produced by earthworms after digesting compost and other matter. Worm castings look like elongated shaped soil particles and is a natural soil enricher and improve soil aeration and drainage.
Worm casting is produced in worm boxes which are about 8-12 inches deep and have drainage holes at the bottom. Sand and strips of the moist newspaper are laid at the bottom and are topped off with compost. Add some worms and further compost later made up of kitchen waste. You could harvest worm castings by simply dumping the entire content of the bin and sort out the worm castings which could be easily distinguished from compost as they look like soil.
DRY AMENDMENT FORMULAS
Grow formulas are dry amendments that are made to be added to the soil during the vegetative stage of the plant. A vegetative state is a stage when the marijuana plant becomes a mature plant that is characterized by having the development of 5-7 blades on each leaf.
These are applied by blending with the soil, top dressing or spoon feeding. Blending dry amendment with the soil is done by simply mixing it with the soil before transferring a seedling or before planting a seed. Top dressing is done by simply putting it on top of the soil of the plants you wish to fertilize. Spoon feeding is done by applying the dry amendment of the soil directly but covering it with an inch or two of soil later on.
Bloom growth formulas are used when the plant reaches the flowering stage. The plant enters the flowering stage when it develops sex organs for male and female plants in the form of flowers. Male plants produce pollen from pollen sacs that get scattered by air or insects and are received by the female flower in order to produce a bud that turns into a seed later on.
ARE AMENDMENTS ANY GOOD?
Yes, dry amendments help supplement your soil to be naturally conducive to the growth and development of your crop. You may choose any of the types of dry amendments depending on the nutritional requirements of your plants.
But it is important to remember that too much of any of the dry amendment is just as harmful to the plant as having less.