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Hydroponic Feeding Schedule

Feeding Schedule for Hydroponics

A helpful tool that is used for any diligent and dedicated cannabis cultivator is a feed chart. A feed chart provides specific guidelines and recommendations provided by various nutrient companies to help farmers get the healthiest and highest quality crop possible from the marijuana seeds for sale on our website. When and how nutrients are introduced will trigger responses from the plant being grown, and the feed charts will help a grower understand the products they should use and when to apply them. This information is especially important for hydroponic gardens, where a grower has total control over the nutrients.

It is possible to feed cannabis plants with various nutrient concentrations based on the strain being grown, the stage of growth, and the environment. If too many or too few nutrients are introduced to a cannabis plant, it can cause serious harm to the garden. This is where the feed charts can be invaluable. These charts offer specific instructions that indicate when and where the nutrients need to be used and applied.

Growers should understand that each plant (be it from sativa seed or indica seed) has unique nutritional needs during every phase of the plant’s growing cycle. A feed chart offers the right foundation for any novice grower, but as a person’s skills start to develop, they may find it’s necessary to alter the feed charts based on the specific needs of the plants. Over time, a grower can create custom charts that consider the attributes of the strain, the water quality, climate, and an array of other factors. Growers need to remember that horticulture is considered an art form, and this is something where the phrase “practice makes perfect” applies.

What is Hydroponics?

For growers who are just getting started, understanding more about hydroponics, including what it is and how it works, is crucial to finding success when using this process. After determining whether to grow girl scout cookie seeds or sour disel seeds this year, absolutely devote some time to making your hydroponic system the best that it can be.

Hydroponics is a method of cultivating plants (cannabis or otherwise) using a water-based system that is coupled with other nutrients. With this method, soil isn’t used. Instead, a plant-like medium, such as Perlite, is used to create the root bedding for the plant. The roots of the plant being grown will be in direct contact with nutrients being delivered by the water reservoir. This helps to stimulate the growth of the plant.

Why Grow Using Hydroponics?

There are both advantages and disadvantages that go along with growing plants hydroponically.

With that in mind, before diving into the feeding process, look at what the pros and cons are.

Pros of Using Hydroponics

The specific benefits offered by using hydroponics include:

  • An increased growth rate (often 25 percent faster than soil-based growing)
  • Plants that grow larger because they don’t struggle to get the nutrients needed for growth
  • Water conservation benefits because the water used is recycled in the enclosed growing setup
  • The creation of an eco-friendly and sustainable system for growing plants (this means less pollution and waste created by runoff that occurs in the soil)

Cons of Using Hydroponics

While the benefits are appealing, understanding the drawbacks of this method is also essential. These include:

  • Setting up and maintaining this system often costs more than using a traditional growing method
  • It requires more time to set up and maintain than using soil-based systems
  • There’s a higher risk of failure because growers are relying on mechanical systems that may break or malfunction

Understanding the basics is necessary to utilize hydroponic growing to its full potential.

Tools Needed for Hydroponic Growing

While the charts discussed below are important, knowing when to feed the bruce banner og plants is not beneficial if the grower doesn’t have the right tools in place to grow successfully. Aside from having good quality marijuana seeds for growing, there are a few things a grower needs to have on hand when they get ready to explore their plants that are growing in a hydroponic system.

A pH Tester

It’s important to ensure the pH of the water is suited for the growing needs. This is done by using a pH tester. If the pH isn’t balanced properly, several issues may arise.

Measuring Spoons

These are used for dividing up the nutrients. The spoons are necessary to ensure the right amount of each nutrient is added.

The Proper Nutrients

It is possible to purchase an array of nutrients. However, it’s important to choose the ones that are used in a hydroponic environment.

Epsom Salts

It’s necessary to add a quarter of a teaspoon of Epsom salts during every feeding. This helps with magnesium levels, which helps the plants grow stronger, taller, and sturdier to sustain growth in every phase.


Having a container of water will help a grower dissolve the Epsom salts and the nutrients before it is added to the plants. This makes the nutrients easier to absorb.

Now that a person knows what they need for hydroponic growing, they will be ready to feed their plants the right way.

Hydroponic Feed Nutrients

There are several nutrients available for use with hydroponic systems. The key here is to find the ones designed for this purpose and use.

The nutrients derived from typical soil growing of plants will not be present with a hydroponic system, which means it is up to the grower to ensure they are made up from other sources. Your northern lights seeds or purple haze seeds can thrive in either setup, as long as they are fed a complete diet.

There are two types of nutrients, including those that are dry and those in liquid form.

While the liquid is easier to use, it is also more expensive. Dry nutrient options are more affordable, but several additional steps are necessary to get it prepared for delivery to the plants.

Once a grower chooses the nutrient that seems like it will work best of the plants, they should also use the Epsom salts discussed earlier. Once everything is gathered, move on to the feeding schedule and how to read the feeding chart being used.

Reading the Feed Charts for a Cannabis Garden

While the overall concept of a feed chart may seem rather simple, it is important for a grower to learn how to read it. Usually, feet charts will be broken down into grid form. One axis will list the nutrients, and the other axis will provide information about the timeline. For example, the hydroponic feed chart may be broken down into a format from one week to another, with various nutrients assigned to each week.

Feed charts will usually offer a nutrient ratio per gallon of solution. For example, if week one requires 2.5 mL of a specific nutrient, a grower will just add 2.5 mL of the nutrient for each gallon in the solution. So, if 50 gallons of the solution is being made, it’s necessary to multiply 2.5 by 50, and it will show that 125 mL total are needed for a 50-gallon tank.

Once the nutrients are mixed in the solution, use the parts per million (PPM) reader to make sure the proper nutrient solution isn’t stronger than what is suggested by the chart. Also, a feed chart may instruct a grower to add certain nutrients before others.

Adjusting the Feed Chart: What to Know

A feed chart is designed to provide a grower with loose instructions regarding how to feed cannabis plants properly. While this is beneficial, these can always be changed or altered to suit the needs of the garden better.

The process of adjusting a feed chart doesn’t have to be complicated. The first step is to become familiar with the chart suggested and know the way plants will respond after the recommended feedings are applied. Getting to know how a plant responds to a specific nutrient will allow a person to predict how it is going to be affected when the nutrient is reduced or increased.

If a person wants to adjust the feed chart properly, they should record everything in a daily journal. Write down what the plants are fed, when they are fed, and how they respond to the nutrients given. When a grower does this, they can begin to identify trends.

An example of this would be if a grower notices that they are not increasing the vegetative nutrients fast enough to provide what is needed to maintain the size of the plants, or that the bud growth is lacking during certain weeks. By taking notes, it is possible to know when these issues are occurring, and it will let a grower understand when it is time to increase the nutrient solutions at a slower pace.

When making changes to a feed chart, remain aware of a possible nutrient lockout and how it will compare to cases of nutrient deficiency. Lockouts may occur if there is a buildup of nutrients in the growing medium, which will prevent the plants from absorbing the nutrients needed. This is the opposite of nutrient deficiency, but they wind looking the same because, in both situations, the plants don’t receive the necessary nutrients. However, when a person can keep track of the feedings, they can tell if they have been overfeeding or underfeeding their i49 cannabis plants.

What you will need for a basic hydroponic set-up:

Bergman’s Plant Food

Bubble Buckets

4 x Amnesia Haze

1 x 400 Watt MH for the vegetation phase

1 x 600 Watt MH for the flowering phase

There are environmental specs for every growing phase, and they must be carefully maintained.

Week One: Vegetative Phase

Your system should be running 24 hours a day. It is essential to keep water at the correct temperature. You need to spray plants with water daily. Use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer such as Bergman’s Seedling Fertilizer to keep plants healthy and encourage root growth.

Check pH levels and TDS levels every other day since they change as plants use nutrients. Examine roots to ensure they are healthy. Brown roots signal root rot or a dirty system. At the end of week 1, roots and plants should be about the same length.

Plants will still be small and adjusting to the light. MH (Metal Halide) lamps are ideal light sources since they provide the blue or white part of the spectrum that young cannabis needs.

Week One Vegetative Environment:

Light Amount/ Distance /Duration:  50% of lamps on (400 Watt MH)/40 inches between plant and lamp/18 hours a day

Day/Night Temperature:  73/64 F°

Water temperature:  70 F°

Humidity:  80%

pH level:  5.8

TDS/EC:  650/1.3

Week Two:  Vegetative Phase

Ensure that all lamps are on and that the temperature does not rise above 80 F°. Congratulations for making it this far! Your harlequin cbd or jack herer weed plants should now be mature enough for topping.

Check for brown spots on leaves, which could be a sign of high TDS levels that could lead to nutrient burn. Lower TDS levels to 35% to correct the problem. Monitor water levels and add water if necessary. Strengthen stems by pointing a fan at plants and having it blow over them.

It is time to begin the flowering stage when leaf tips begin touching other plants. If you have a large crop, consider starting the flowering stage after the first week of the vegetative phase. This prevents plants from becoming too large for a single lamp.

Week Two Vegetative Environment:

Light Amount/ Distance /Duration:  100%/20 inches/18 hours a day

Day/Night Temperature:  75/64 F°

Humidity:  80%

pH level: 5.8

TDS/EC: 750/1.5

Week One:  Flowering Phase

To begin the flowering stage , you will change indoor plants’ light from 18 to 12 hours per day, which tricks them into thinking it is fall. That signals them to begin the flowering phase. It can take a while before you notice plant changes caused by the new schedule.

In this phase, feed plants plenty of nitrogen to encourage growth. After three weeks, you will focus on adding phosphorous to promote flower production. Point the fan between the lamp and plants to spread heat rather than concentrating it in one area. Clean the buckets, adjust pH levels as needed, and use fresh water to flush out the system if you are changing nutrients.

Check your strawbery kush or cookie og plants for damage or pests and ensure roots are healthy.

Week One Flowering Environment:

Light Amount/Distance/Duration: 100%/20 inches/12 hours per day

Day/Night Temperature:  77/65 F°

Humidity:  70%

pH level: 5.8

TDS/EC: 850/1.7

Week Two:  Flowering Phase

By this time, plants are growing quickly, and you can begin topping and pruning so plants can devote resources to producing buds.

Measure the distance between lamps and plants often to avoid burning the leaves. According to GreenCultureED, it is also a good idea to check ventilation, look for fungi, and inspect light systems for excessive heat.

If your sativa weed seed plants are getting too tall, you can super crop them. You pinch the stem between your index finger and thumb and then bend it gently to create a sturdier stem.

Week Two Flowering Environment:

Light Amount/Distance/Duration:  100%/20 inches/12 hours per day

Day/Night Temperature:  79/67 F°

Humidity:  70%

pH Level: 5.8

TDS/EC: 950/1.9

Week Three:  Flowering Phase

During this phase, plant growth will slow, and the first flowers appear. Your purple lemon kush plants will need a lot of water now, so check them often. Carefully monitor temperature as well as pH and TDS levels. Make sure water is fresh. Remove any male plants and check for discolored roots or leaves.

At the end of the week, flush out water and wait a day or so before adding nutrients. The waiting period allows plants to use up their remaining nutrients.

Week Three Flowering Environment:

Light Amount/Distance/Duration:  100%/20 inches/12 hours per day

Day/Night Temperature:  79/67 F°

Humidity:  60%

pH level: 5.8

TDS/EC: 1050/2.1 (FP Bloom)

Week Four:  Flowering Phase

At week four, plants will produce lots of buds, and you will smell them. It’s an excellent time to switch to a phosphorous-rich fertilizer. Plants will not grow taller, but bud production will be high. It’s a good time to super crop them.

Week Four Flowering Environment:

Light Amount/Distance/Duration: 100%/20 inches/12 hours per day

Day/Night Temperature:  80 /67 F°

Humidity:  50%

pH level:  5.5

TDS/EC:  1150/2.3

Week Five:  Flowering Phase

Continue to monitor the environment and keep a close eye on the distance between the tops of plants and lamps. At this stage, cannabis needs a lot of light, so keep lamps as close as possible without burning them. A good rule of thumb is that if your hand is uncomfortable under the lamps, they are too close.

Week Five Flowering Environment:

Light Amount/Distance/Duration: 100%/20 inches/12 hours per day

Day/Night Temperature:  80/67 F°

Humidity:  50%

pH level:  5.8

TDS/EC:  1200/2.4

Week Six:  Flowering Phase

At this point, cannabis plants are thirsty and can drink as much as a gallon of water per day, so keep buckets filled with water. Plants are also quickly absorbing nutrients and carbon dioxide.

Make sure a fan keeps air circulating and be careful to maintain a supply of fresh air.

Week Six Flowering Environment:

Light Amount/Distance/Duration: 100%/20 inches/12 hours per day

Day/Night Temperature:  80/67 F°

Humidity:  50%

pH level:  5.8

TDS/EC:  1250/2.5

Week Seven:  Flowering Phase

At week seven, buds are getting large, and you will need to provide more potassium. Bergman’s Plant Booster works, and you should also apply other fertilizers made for the flowering stage.

By now, you will be able to see THC crystal, which appears as a white layer on leaves near buds. The whiter the layer is, the healthier the plant. The color turns orange as harvest time approaches.

Week Seven Flowering Environment:

Light Amount/Distance/Duration: 100%/20 inches/12 hours per day

Day/Night Temperature:  80/67 F°

Humidity:  50%

pH level: 5.5

TDS/EC: 1300/2.4 (FP Bloom + FP Boost)

Week Eight:  Flowering Phase

By week eight, buds are continuing to grow but are mostly becoming denser and producing more THC.

It is critical to lower the TDS level to allow plants to use up nutrients and make way for a chemical-free, clean harvest.

During this phase, it is normal for leaves at the base of plants to turn yellow. However, if you find leaves with discoloration or mold, remove them.

Week Eight Flowering Environment:

Light Amount/Distance/Duration: 100%/20 inches/12 hours per day

Day/Night Temperature:  76/65 F°

Humidity:  50%

pH level:  5.8

TDS/EC:  750/1.5

Week Nine:  Flowering Phase

At this point, you will significantly lower EC to rid plants of nutrients. Water should have a 5.5 pH level until harvest since that will improve the taste. Look for signs of pests and rot that could destroy your crop.

You can harvest plants when the little hairs are 80% brown. The exact time you harvest will depend on your taste.

Week Nine Flowering Environment:

Light Amount/Distance/Duration: 100%/20 inches/12 hours per day

Day/Night Temperature:  75/64 F°

Humidity:  50%

pH level: 5.5

TDS/EC: 0 to 500/0 to 10

The Most Common Questions Related to Feed Charts

Here, you can find some of the most asked questions related to feed charts. Knowing the answers to these will help growers create and maintain their own feed chart.

What is the Difference in Expert and Simple Feed Charts?

The main difference between expert and simple charts is related to the number of nutrients included. A simple chart is going to supply the garden with everything necessary to thrive. However, with the expert chart, a longer list of nutrients is introduced to help improve the cannabis plants. The added nutrients may help to increase the yield of the plant, enhance the flavor and aroma, and result in extra growth.

What Are Recirculating and Drain-to-Waste Systems?

A drain-to-waste system uses nutrient solutions one time only, and a recirculating system works to recycle the runoff. Each of the methods has pros and cons that a grower needs to find out about.

Some of the most significant benefits offered by a drain-to-waste system include:

  • The pH remains at a consistent and stable level
  • The nutrients are more consistent and fresher
  • The spread of undesirable pathogens is much less likely

However, with the drain-to-waste system, the nutrients left in the runoff are wasted.

The recirculating systems are considered a more economical option as they work to maximize the nutrients being used. However, there are some specific drawbacks with the recirculated nutrients, which include:

The nutrient and pH levels of the solution may change as the old nutrients get recirculated into the feeding tank.

Recirculating the solution may allow undesirable pathogens to spread from one plant to another.

Why Do the Numbers on a Bottle Differ from What’s on the Chart?

The numbers differ between bottles and feed charts because the feed chart plans for the combination of several nutrients, and the bottle only accounts for the use of one nutrient in an isolated state. By only relying on the recommendations provided by the nutrient bottle, a grower may find they are using a solution that is too strong for their plants to handle, which can result in irreparable damage.

What is the Meaning of PPM?

PPM, which means parts per million, is a specific measurement that’s used for identifying the total density of a nutrient solution. With a PPM reader, a person can easily and accurately measure the nutrients that go into the plants. This information is essential when trying to figure out issues related to nutrient deficiency or lockout.

Why Are pH Levels so Important?

If a grower notices their pH levels are too low or too high, the plants won’t be able to absorb the nutrients needed. Maintaining a pH level that remains around 5.5 to 6.5 for hydroponic plants or 6.0 to 6.8 for plants in the soil is required to ensure plants can reach their full potential.

Bottom Line

Each step in the process helps ensure the plants being grown in the hydroponic system are receiving the nutrients needed for superior health and growth. The feeding charts are a vital part of the formula, so using them properly is a must. Great seeds from i49 seed bank will point you in the right direction, but each grower must take responsibility for all the feeding choices they make after the seeds have germinated. Our team wishes you the best success in manifesting a bountiful crop with the advice provided by our comprehensive Cannabis Growers Guide.


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