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Cannaversity .: Cannabis Cultivation .: Nutrients & Mediums .: Feeding Frequency & Volume Guide

Feeding Frequency & Volume Guide

A very common question for new growers is how often should I feed and how much should I feed ?

Really this is a vital thing to work out early on because it helps you judge what size reservoir you may need to last those 4 days you may be away during your grow etc.

Probably one of the most common issues new growers have is over watering , so in my personal opinion it's always best to err on the side of caution and work your way up from there by monitoring the plants and how they are using what they are being given , it's allot easier to add a few minutes to a feed cycle as a few days go past than it is to recover from the damage over watering causes

This tutorial is meant as a guide only , many people like to vary their feed schedules and requirements from plant to plant and setup to setup which makes them too different to give precise figures. Not to mention all of the changing variables like  stage of growth , air temperature , humidity , dripper style etc. The best idea if you would like that specific of information is to find someone in a mirrored position which in reality isn't normally easy.

Coco
Generally speaking Coco will require less frequent feedings and is more commonly used in run to waste systems than recirculating so the amount needed to feed is best judged by the amount of run-off you get from each plant after watering rather than locking it to a time, once you have worked out what it takes for your system to supply what it needs using a timer then you will be able to automate things easily.

In warm weather or in higher salt conditions it is best to aim for between 10-15% run-off  though higher percentages can play a dual roll in flushing through any old build up , however when not done in a controlled manner it can cause allot more problems than it fixes. In cooler weather it is wiser to aim for closer to 10% run off , this said though a lower run-off % will mean more regular flushing of your system.

Feed times are a tricky one to work out,  a guideline to get you by though is to start your feeds at the beginning of the light period and stop feeding atleast 2 hours before the dark cycle begins .

People using coco indoors tend to make a choice to make one heavy watering , or several smaller waterings spread out over the light period . Decide which method works best for you and start to experiment from there. It can be helpful to get other coco growers advice to find out what they are doing and why. 

Expanded clay & Lava Rocks
Water enough to ensure that the entire root system is covered and fed . Feed cycle generally lasts anywhere from 
1 to 15 minutes in recirculating systems, with the regularity of feeds being anywhere from 1-3 hours between each other during light hours , and less frequently during the dark hours.

Perlite
With perlite you just have to water sufficiently enough to ensure that the entire root system is covered. This feed generally varies anywhere from 2 to 15 minutes depending on drippers used and other changing factors though regularity of feeds generally remains around the 2-4 hour mark during the light period and then less frequently during the dark period.

Rockwool
With rockwool the amount needed to feed is best judged by the amount of run-off you get from each plant after watering rather than locking it to a time, once you have worked out what it takes for your system to supply what it needs using a timer then you will be able to automate things easily.

In warm weather or in higher salt conditions it is best to aim for between 10-15% run-off  though higher percentages can play a dual roll in flushing through any old build up . In cooler weather  it is wiser to aim for closer to 10% run off , this said though a lower run-off % will mean more regular flushing of your system.

Feed regularity is normally anywhere from once an hour to once every 3 hours , depending again on the size of the plants , volume of the waterings etc  if you push your cubes to their absolute retention limit then ofc they will take longer to use up that water, so feeds would be less frequent than if you only watered a minimal amount each feed.

Soil
When growing in soil the amount needed to feed is best judged by the amount of run-off you get from each plant after watering. Once you have worked out what it takes for your system to supply what it needs using a timer then you will be able to automate things easily.

In warm weather or in higher salt conditions it is best to aim for between 10-15% run-off  though higher percentages can play a dual roll in flushing through any old build up , however when not done in a controlled manner it can cause allot more problems than it fixes. In cooler weather it is wiser to aim for closer to 10% run off , this said though a lower run-off % will mean more regular flushing of your system.

Feed regularity is a big varying factor in a soil grow because of different sized post , plants , local temperatures etc. Many consider the best way  to determine when to feed your plants is to learn the weight of a pot when it's dry compared to when moist or buy yourself a moisture tester for about 10 dollars from your local hardware shop generally speaking you can be talking about anywhere from daily feedings to weekly depending on the time of year , size of the plant and size of the pot and a multitude of other factors.

Soil-less ( No Medium )
Soil-less systems refer to systems that use no medium at all which is where traditional hydroponics was born. In these systems often clayballs or lavarocks are used in small amounts however this is not to hold water or the bulk of the root mass , instead it's role is to anchor the plant to the system.The rest of the plants root system is left to suspend into water or mist.  This means that food is not supplied on a timed basis or even a run-off basis , the plants roots simply take from the environment they are in as needed. In order to achieve this an air-stone and pump of suitable size has to be used in the system to keep the water oxygenated.

All that is required in this sort of system to ensure that your plants have all the food and water they need is to not allow your system to block up or dry out completely.

 

 
Author: Pure



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