Our outdoor plants are in the transition into flowering here in Michigan. There are a lot of things we can do now that will help us obtain larger and better yields this fall. Below are some helpful suggestions and examples of what we do.
This is the time to feed! Plants use more nutrients and grow the fastest during this transition phase. Staking and training our plants is also very important at this time. Thinning out our plants during transition also plays a role in providing a healthy plant stature that promotes good air flow to prevent things like mold and mildew. The things we do now will dictate how our plants do for the rest of the season. It is "go time" so to speak.
Fertilizers and nutrients for outdoor soil:
Cannabis plants require a large amount of nutrients over their life cycle, mainly in the form of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. How much you need to add to your plants will depend on the composition of your soil.
Typically, outdoor growers will add amendments to soil when weed plants are transplanted outside. Outdoor amendments usually come in powder form that you mix in with soil.
Start off with fertilizers that are inexpensive and readily available. Some release nutrients quickly and are easily used by the plant, while others take weeks or months to release usable nutrients. If done correctly, you can mix in a few of these products with your soil amendments to provide enough nutrients for the entire life of your plants. Most of these items can be purchased cheaply at your local nursery.
For first-time growers, we recommend avoiding commercial fertilizers like long-release granular fertilizers. These can be used, but you need to have a good understanding of how they work and what your plants need.
We also advise against using nutrients designed for indoor weed growing—they are generally composed of synthetic mineral salts and can damage soil bacteria.
We recommend these organic fertilizers and supplements:
1) Alaska Fish Fertilizer is one of our favorites. A great source of nitrogen as well as beneficial microbes and enzymes that will fuel our plants in the weeks to come.
2) Wallace Wow is the most powerful Mycorrhizal inoculant on the market, containing over 300 propagules per gram. By adding this to your soil you will boost the colony of beneficial bacteria's which are the engine that feeds your roots the organic nutrients in the soil.
3) VooDoo Juice is something we
add twice during the transition phase to promote the vertical jump our plants make. Plants jump more when we use this product.
Staking and training our outdoor plants:
This is the time cannabis plants are doubling in size and reaching for the sky. It is also the time they need to have a support system set up.
As our plants start producing buds supporting those branches are crucial for allowing these buds to grow as big as possible. As soon as the bud is too heavy for the branch to hold up and it falls towards the ground she will stop putting weight on that bud. So in order to grow big buds we need to keep our buds pointed up. By pounding a few fence posts or T-stakes around each of our plants we can add some trellis netting to support the tops of our plants and the buds to come.
Supporting our buds is not the only reason to add some stakes and trellis netting. As most of us already know a good storm can take out some really good branches. Our plants are getting a little older and the stalks and branches are becoming a lot more wood-like, or brittle. So supporting those big "arm" branches reaching up from the bottom of the plant is a crucial part of getting the most out of our cannabis plants this fall.
Good airflow for healthy plants:
As we prepare for flowering it is very important we take the time to thin and cleanup our plants. Good airflow is one of the most important things for a healthy plant and successful harvest this fall.
By spending some time pruning fan leaves and some smaller nodes and branches out of the middle of our plants we are opening her up for good air movement. This will allow her to "breathe" better and focus more energy on the tops and the buds she will produce. When we step back from our plants we want to be able to see through it. We also create a barrier of air between the bottom of our plant and the soil below. All of these things create a healthy stature and energy within the plant.
Then there is the ever dreaded powdery mildew and bud rot....and if you grow in Michigan like we, do you know this is a battle every year. The number one thing we have learned about battling these is airflow and prevention. Its going to be moist and wet in the fall....it always is. Maintaining good airflow through our plants is critical to keeping that moisture at a minimum.
For prevention we spray our plants with Mammoth Cannacontrol. It is organic and has a residual of 30 days, so we can spray through transition and still have protection through most of flowering. We DO NOT spray our plants once they have hairs. Once we get to the end of flowering it takes diligence and a keen eye to be sure our garden is clean for harvest. It is
our responsibility as growers to make sure we produce a good clean product for consumption. For the safety of ourselves and our patients alike.
Prepare for harvest:
You would be surprised how much time, effort, and space a healthy outdoor harvest can require. Be prepared for all of the above. Have a crew lined up. Get a space set up for proper drying and processing your harvest.
Most of all..... Be grateful and not hateful! This is the best time of year.