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Unusual natural fertilizers for cannabis plants

Published May 27, 2023 02:43 p.m. ET
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Cannabis plants are relatively easy to grow but they do require a variety of nutrients to be healthy and strong, something that natural fertilizers can provide since they’re an excellent source of essential nutrients. While there are plenty of options on the market in terms of synthetic fertilizers, natural alternatives are generally a more sustainable and environmentally friendly choice and that’s not all. Opting for natural fertilizers pays off in the long run in a variety of different ways.

In this article, we’ll explore the many benefits of natural fertilizers and take a look at some of the most unusual choices that are perfect for cannabis plants.

The benefits of using natural fertilizers

One of the main reasons so many growers opt for natural fertilizers instead of synthesized alternatives is that they're sustainable and eco-friendly, as most are made using organic waste products which reduces the amount of waste we send to landfills. They can also do a world of good for the soil, by promoting healthy microbial activity, and that’s a great thing as it encourages plant growth and may lead to higher yields.

Another great thing about natural fertilizers is how they deliver a more balanced source of nutrients than the majority of synthetic products. Synthetic fertilizers often offer high concentrations of certain nutrients like phosphorus, potassium, or nitrogen but they may not provide some of the trace minerals and other nutrients cannabis plants need to thrive.

Though not all natural fertilizers provide the same benefits, it’s safe to say that most deliver a broader more diverse range of nutrients that cannabis plants need to survive and grow.

Unusual natural fertilizers

Here we’ll highlight five wonderfully effective albeit rather unusual natural fertilizers that are great for nourishing cannabis plants.

1. Kelp leal

Kelp meal consists of dried and ground-up seaweed, and it’s high in many essential nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, and trace minerals. It can be easily mixed into soil or applied as a foliar spray to improve the growth of cannabis plants and increase their resistance to stressful situations like cold snaps or pests.

2. Crab meal

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Crab meal is made using the shells and meat of crabs which are ground up into a powder that is high in calcium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. It can be added directly to the soil surrounding your plant to improve its structure, and nutrient content, and it also works to reduce acidity.

3. Bone meal

Bone meal is exactly what it sounds like consisting of ground-up animal bones, and it’s incredibly high in phosphorus and calcium. This natural fertilizer can be added to the soil to promote healthy root growth and improve flower production. Bone meal can also help improve soil structure and nutrient availability.

4. Green manure

Though the name likely makes you think of poo green manure isn’t made from animal waste. Instead, it’s made using cover crops like clover or alfalfa, which are grown specifically to be tilled back into the soil as fertilizer. This all-natural fertilizer can help to improve soil structure, boost nutrient content, and it can also prevent things like erosion and weed growth.

5. Fish emulsion

This all-natural liquid fertilizer is made from fish waste, and it boasts high levels of a variety of essential nutrients and nitrogen, which is why it’s such a good addition to your cannabis garden, especially when your plants are in the vegetative stage. Fish emulsion is really easy to use, by applying it to the soil, or watering it down and spraying it on the foliage of your plants.

These alternatives are certainly far less known than many other natural fertilizers, but they can still provide all of the essential nutrients your cannabis plants need and promote healthy growth. As is true with any fertilizer, it’s important to follow the recommended applications and to consistently monitor your plants for any signs of nutrient deficiencies or excesses along the way. That way imbalances can be corrected sooner rather than later.

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