Many growers entering commercial cannabis from legacy markets or ornamental horticulture come armed with ideas that cannabis requires complicated, labor-intensive nutrient routines. But as commercial cultivation has evolved, so has knowledge about cannabis nutrition at scale.
Growers desiring to simplify their grow—and their nutrient routine—can find support in the science of plant nutrition and a sounder, simpler nutrient product lineup.The Trend Toward Simplification
Agronomist Jean-Pierre Fortin and horticulturist Shaye Donald have unique perspectives on the complex nutrient programs many incoming growers bring to commercial cannabis grows. As members of the technical services team at Hawthorne Gardening Company, they help growers of all kinds understand plant nutrition, simplify nutrient product lineups, and enjoy the results.
Fortin believes that marketing tactics—rather than plant nutrition—tend to propel many complicated nutrient routines.
“When you look at some of these programs that use so many different products and add up everything they’re adding, we very often can say we can do the same thing with three or four different products,” he says. “It really comes down to the nutritional needs of the plant.”
Fortin stresses that growers from all backgrounds are looking for simpler, more efficient, more cost-effective nutrient programs. One grower, he recalls, used university-devised nutrient formulations requiring 14 different soluble salts: adding more variables into the plan than what otherwise might be necessary for cultivators.
When Donald started at Hawthorne three years ago, it was common for growers to use nearly a dozen individual products in their nutrient recipes and change rates throughout the life of the crop. One