Found this and thought it might be helpful. ******WARNING LONG READ BUT MUCH TO LEARN!**********
FINDING MY NUTE PROGRAM :
The following is a comprehensive, independent comparison of 8 various nutrient applications and my experiences with them. As I make a living growing medicinal marijuana, quality production, efficiency and price were all taken into consideration. Some products out there are painfully expensive and claim results beyond compare. As many companies still haven't fully immersed themselves in the "marijuana community" it's hard to trust the nute schedules they offer or results they claim in relationship to cannabis. There are obvious exceptions, Advanced Nutrients and Humboldt to name a few but the majority hide behind tomatoes and fruit - that's another issue unto itself. This Aspect however, led me to develop a program that worked for my marijuana strain and me. That idea alone is important to grasp. In nutrient, plant and grower compatibility I believe many things need consideration. Through numerous head to head testing and numerical comparisons I've eliminated some products and discovered an understanding of nutes and more importantly, they're ingredient's.
Under the right conditions and depending on it's stage Marijuana absorbs a maximum amount of each nute it needs. This "amount" is based on a variety of aspects including size, strain, mediums and calculated typically through a parts per million count (ppm). These parts per million represent literally how many "nutrient" salts you have vs. 1 million parts distilled water. When working with mostly soluble fertilizers it's important to understand what this means. When nutrients are dissolved in water, they take on an electrical charge, known as an ion. Salts(ions) conduct electricity from one to the other, the more salts (ions) - the more electrical conductivity (EC). If this EC climbs too high, specific nutrient absorption will stop. If the EC is to low not enough nutrients will be absorbed. Most popular digital ppm meters measure EC and convert it to ppm. Roughly advised ppm counts should be between 550 and 1850. In organic soils and with soluble organic fertilizers its difficult to directly apply the ppm form of measurements. Most organic solutions contain nutrients in microbial form - not salts and are explained typically in %. This % has to be converted to ppm to properly determine how strong in individual nutes a solution may be. This conversion is less accurate but perfectly appropriate for this test. Similarly, pH must be taken into consideration with every application under comparative conditions. Simply put, pH (potential Hydrogen) is a measurement of how acidic vs alkaline your substrate and/or nutrient solution is. Plants absorb nutrients through water bound hydrogen osmosis. This process is the exchange of the negative hydrogen ions (called anions) for positive hydrogen ions attached to nutrients (called cations). This microbial exchange of food takes place directly around the root zone, called the rhizophere. This rhizophere thrives best with a balanced amount of potential hydrogen. Most plants generally grow between a pH of 5.5 and 7.5 (measured on a range from 0 to 14, 14 being the most alkaline). As long as nutrients are available in the proper ratios most leading nutrient manufacturers should and did produce similar results. It's the ingredients and microbial action's taking place that will dictate which nute I found superior.
To begin this project, I started with a variety of products, most chosen because of some success I've had with them at one point or another. I broke them down into general grow, bloom, micro and additives groups. Next, I researched ingredients and specified which nutrient each provided and at roughly what %. I then compared likeness and weakness. For example, some "Nutes" provide water soluble and in-soluble forms of nitrogen, some have more magnesium than others, various forms of micro-nutes are provided in drastically different ways. Some nutrients were provided through enhancing microbial life itself. Others had instant results. Things like this were all taking into consideration. With a pre-determined idea of what ppm count of each nute cannabis prefers and careful calculations I could predict which product lines were weak or strong in which nute prior to any application. This is how I developed the 8 different nutrient programs. The schedule's can differ drastically, ultimately however, I designed them to provide similar amounts of each nute over the entire cycle. Rather than any "spikes" or shocking absence of any nute I adjusted some programs so a steady curve was developed. Rarely will you see my programs simply switch from grow to bloom, instead a gradual transition will occur. This would eventually help me determine which "ingredients" were most effective at which stage. As a brief example, after calculating total available nitrogen in Fox Farms schedule, I decided to initially lower the specified applied amount and extended use into early flowering. Additionally, I removed the recommended later flowering application of Grow Big. This resulted in a "curve" of application, starting weak, gradually building strength and tapering off again. This led to some consistent results with many standard and popular nutrient applications. Basically, I matched the intensity from one program to the next prior to even initiating them. I felt these more cannabis specific feeding schedules would better expose true weaknesses with-in the programs and specify which ingredients marijuana prefers.
Running different substrates, different pH levels, and water quality are just some things that could change the results for many of you. The following are broadly the nute programs I tested, additives used and constant variables involved. I'll continue with descriptions and detailed info on each schedule as well as list and explain significant numerical results.
Test 1 - Earth-juice full line Grow - Bloom - Micro-blast - Catalyst - Meta K
Test 2- Neptune's Harvest/Marine based nutrients Alaska fish fertilizer - Neptune's harvest fish and seaweed fertilizer - Neptune's harvest fish fertilizer -
Neptune's harvest Crab shell - Neptune's harvest seaweed fertilizer
Test 3 - Earth-juice/Marine based nutrient blend Alaskan fish fertilizer - Neptune's Harvest seaweed fertilizer - Neptune's Harvest fish fertilizer - Earth-juice Bloom - Earth-juice Catalyst - Earth-juice Micro-blast
Test 4- Fox Farm full line Grow big - Big bloom - Tiger bloom - Open Sesame - Beasties Bloom - Cha ching
Test 5- Advanced nutrients Sensi line Sensi grow 2 part - Sensi bloom 2 part - Sensizyme - Bud blood - Carboload - Voodoo juice - Overdrive - B-52 - Final phase
Test 6- Dyna gro Dyna grow - Dyna bloom - Protekt
Test 7- Bio-Canna Vega - Flores - Bio-boost -Rhizotonic - Cannazyme
Test 8- General Organics Bio-weed - Bio Thrive Grow - Bio Thrive Bloom - Bio-bud - Bio-weed - Cal/mag
Additives used within each test:
Safergro biomin calcium
Safergro biomin magnesium
Botanicare Cal/mag +
Advanced nutrient Piranha
Advanced nutrients Bud blood
Spray and Grow zinc/iron foliar spray
Greenfuse bloom stimulator
Genetically identical plants used. Dutch passion Skywalker - this particular pheno is Mazar strong and fast flowering with excellent predictability.
Pro-mix medium used through-out. I find this is great at maintaining a dense enough structure for microbial life but allows for soluble drain to waste applications. There is also
mycorrhizal fungus included.
10 to 15 days in Ez-clone with water and air stones only - 24 hour weak flouros
7 day rooting period in 1 gallon pots - water only for initial soak - 24 hour low intensity T5's
FEEDING SCHEDULES BEGIN
14 days in 1 gallon pots under 24 hr high intensity T5's (referred to as early vegetative cycle)
21 days in 5 gallon pots under 24 hr high intensity T5's (referred to late vegetative cycle)
45+ days total flowering time under 12/12 1000 watt Hortilux high pressure sodium (referred to as flowering cycle)
12 plants per light - 8, 1000 watt air-cooled lights in 12/12
Lights on temp = 75 to 80 degrees humidity = 50%
Lights off temp = 70 to 75 degrees humidity = 55%
soil ph steady at 6.3 to 6.5