The Cannabis Foliar Feed
Marijuana leaves can also be used to give plants some of the nutrients they need to grow in the best conditions. This is known as foliar feeding. If we choose best 4×8 grow tent this method we will have to know very well how to do the process, while controlling the temperature and humidity, which play a key role in this practice.
Although we always think that marijuana plants are fed through the roots, as this is the usual process, there is another way to provide them with the nutrients they require. If, for one reason or another, the substrate has too many mineral salts or is too wet, we may find that the plants have difficulty absorbing the inputs that can be supplied through water and the various products that we pour. When this happens, we have to take measures so that they do not end up fainting, and one of them can be the foliar feeding.
This is a technique that we must know very well because, depending on the circumstances in which the plants of our crop are found, we will have to proceed in one way or another. For example, it is not the same if we have grown the seeds as if we have chosen to plant cuttings of our mother plant. In this case, and to help the roots get the necessary vigour, we can resort to foliar feeding.
The shoots will thank us. Why? Because this type of feeding is applied through the leaves. The nutrients are applied there so that, through a process known as osmosis, the plant absorbs them.
It is important to know that in the skin of the plants there are some pores known as stomas. These are capable of absorbing the nutrients more quickly than the roots do, so that later, through the xylem, as it is known to an internal tissue of this species, all the cells are distributed.
This also makes it possible to treat certain plants individually and not the whole crop. If some of them have certain food deficiencies, as is usually the case with magnesium or calcium, or if they have nitrogen deficiencies, we can help them by applying the micronutrients they require to the leaves, thus strengthening the plant and ensuring that it continues with its development processes. We must always bear in mind that cannabis plants absorb nutrients more quickly through their leaves.
For this reason, most cannabis growers do not recommend using only leaf nutrition to replace the rest, but opt for this as a complement to strengthen one or another plant of our crop, in those aspects that require it. Similarly, there are also those who recommend it as a tool for prevention, as we manage to strengthen the plant cells and prevent them from suffering stress or any nutritional deficiency. In case we have not taken the appropriate preventive measures and our plants have fallen into the clutches of some pest, we can also apply via foliar the pesticides or fungicides needed to cope with them.
Do not lose detail of the temperature and humidity
These two factors are key when applying the foliar food on the plants that require it. We must take into account that, if the temperature is very high, the water evaporates faster, so that, when depositing the food, it will not last too long on the leaves and the stomata will not have the time needed to absorb the nutrients correctly.
In fact, these pores in the skin of the leaves stay open less time as the degrees increase. For this reason, it is advisable to apply leaf nutrition as long as the temperature does not exceed 30 ºC. At the same time, we must control the humidity of the place where our crop is located, either outside or inside. If this is somewhat lower than the appropriate there will be no problem in applying the leaf feeding correctly, but if it is high it can cause dehydration in the plant, and this is not at all beneficial for our objectives.
In order to achieve the best results, some people prefer to apply leaf feeding first thing in the morning and others have found that it is best to do it late at night.
The important thing is that there is a low light intensity. If we choose to do it at the beginning of the day, the stomas take about 15 to 20 minutes to close after the last rays of light hit them, a time more than necessary to collect the nutrients we have sprayed on them. If, on the other hand, we choose to do this at the end of the day, we should know that the stomas remain open all night, so there will be more than enough time for them to assimilate the food.
Something unadvisable is to spray the nutrients either during the longest hours of sunlight or with some other source of light hitting the plants. This can cause the drops we deposit on the leaves to make the magnifying glass effect and end up burning the whole. And that’s the last thing we want to happen.
How do you apply the correct foliar feeding?
The first rule when applying foliar feeding to our cannabis plants is never to do so during the flowering period. Unless we do so in the first few weeks, we do not recommend spraying any solution on the buds that are appearing or we run the risk that some residue of the nutrients will end up spoiling the final taste of the harvest.
To prevent this from happening, another recommendation is to apply half the dose recommended by the manufacturers of the products we use. Many have proven that applying the maximum doses can cause the foliage to burn, as it has an excess of nutrients, so it is important to have the resources to measure the dose well. In this case, electroconductivity meters will be our great allies.
This does not mean that we do not follow the indications of the manufacturers of the different products. In some cases they may advise us to use gloves, glasses or masks; we will have to get hold of them so as not to put our health at risk.
It is also important that we do a test first, i.e. that we apply the foliar feeding on a single sheet to see the result. If it is favourable, it is advisable to spray the solution we have prepared all over the plant. Especially on the underside of the leaves, where the stomata are, but also on the other parts, both on the bundle of leaves and on the stems and petioles, as there it will also absorb the nutrients.
To all these guidelines we can add other tips, such as using a fine spray whenever possible (as there are certain products that require other thick maś): this will make absorption easier for our plants.
As we progress in our crops, we will discover new ways to make leaf feeding more efficient, which can do our plantation so much good to boost each of our ‘little ones’ to the maximum.