re: Flushing & Leaching & Final Bud Swell
Im throwing it away. Soil is cheapWell you bring up good points. Yes "flushing" will wash out EXCESS nitrogen and EXCESS salts... not from the plants roots and not from the plant. The plant will ONLY uptake what it needs for growth and that's it. So if you put in extra nitrates, whatever the plant doesn't need and the soil cannot hold on to with CEC (cation exchange capacity), yes that extra will wash out into the water table. The water that you and I need to use for potable water, it goes into the local water shed in the form of nitrates... there's all sorts of reasons why we shouldn't do that but thats another topic.
So we pollute the environment we live in the excess nitrates. That is a fact.
While we are at it, we are also killing off the microbiology in the soil that helps our plants grow.
So we put into the soil, nutrients in a form that can be directly absorbed by the plants roots bypassing the natural organic way plants uptake nutrients.
This is where the taste comes in (or lack of taste). Plants that grow with man made soluble nitrates that feed the plant and skip the natural cycle do not taste as good as plants that are grown organically. It will be the same with cannabis.
To experience what I'm talking about, go to your local food store and buy organically grown fruits or veggies; buy one of each, organic and one that is grown conventionally (with man made nitrates ect.). Eat them side by side... guarantee you can taste, smell and feel the difference with organically grown tasting much better.
Ok now lets go back to the plants that are grown with chemicals. Since we skipped past the natural cycle of soil microbes breaking down the nutrients for the plant in the symbiotic relationship the plants have with soil microbes guess what else happens. The plants immune system is not as strong as it should be and now enter pests and disease. Now we need special chemicals to fight off pests and disease. Ok so now we need to spray plants with pesticides etc with compounds that were never tested to be smoked by humans.
Getting back to the "flushing" ... the only accomplishment we achieve by this process is washing out excess nitrates that cannot be adsorbed by the soil or absorbed by the plants roots. No effect on plant other than probable damage to the root system.
So why waste the water.. it would be far better to use less fertilizer so there's no excess build up and water the last 3 weeks of growth.
I have a question. What do you folks do with soil after harvest that you grow in and use fertilizers on??