“We did probably hundreds of tests to come up with a very efficient formula for growing cannabis.” The One Base Formula and Elevate P/K are the two products that Dripstone Nutrients offers to cannabis growers. A combination of macro and micronutrient formulas for base nutrition in the whole plant lifecycle and a boost for the flowering stage. Reggie Lafaye, CEO of Dripstone Nutrients, explains that these products are the result of years of research in collaboration with PhD horticulturists, in order to understand where cannabis plants metabolize in the most efficient way. “There are certain ratios of nutrients where the plant can metabolize extremely efficiently, and it can just uptake nutrients without having to spend a lot of energy. This is what we based our formula on.”
Both products cover the complete cycle of plants: “Our main formula, The One Base Formula, you use all through the veg and flower stages. It will provide macro NPK and all of the micronutrients that plants need. In the later stages of flowering, plants start to change and use a lot more phosphorus and potassium to help pack on bigger flowers and higher THC. For that, we have the Elevate P/K Bloom Additive, which brings in more P and K on top of the base formula. This helps to give that extra boost so that plants can achieve their full potential.”
Giving nutrition until harvest
There are different schools of thought when it comes to nutrition in the last week before harvest. But for Reggie, the plant definitely benefits from nutrition until the end. “I’m more of the thought that the cannabis plant is absolutely up taking nutrition until the day it is cut. When plants grow in the wild, you see a natural process where the leaves start to yellow when the plant is ripened and finished. At that point, it’s going to stop taking up nutrients. In indoor production, we’re obviously trying to mimic that same process,” he explains. A lot of people take out the nutrients because they claim that nitrogen will leave a strange taste, but from a plant science perspective, that is not the right thing to do. “Nitrogen is the one ingredient that the plant needs to do everything else, as all the other processes in the plant are possible because of nitrogen. So if you start taking that out, then I believe you’re leaving a lot on the table. To have high quality cannabis has very little to do with flushing and has more to do with how you harvest, cure, and dry your cannabis. That’s where you’re really getting your flavor and quality from,” Reggie says.
Down-titration of nutrients
In order to decide the right moment to stop nutrition, that will depend on the growing media, Reggie explains. “What I do is a hybrid of the two schools of thought; some people completely cut nutrients and start going with water, and other people leave it until the last day. It depends on what growing media you’re using. When using rockwool, you’re probably going to do things a little differently than if you were in coco or soil. Personally, in the last week of harvest, I would never stop feeding and go to straight water, because you’re going to completely alter the osmotic pressure in the root zone. Instead, I prefer to taper the nutrients, so that the plant will naturally stop taking them, as it would in nature. In order to achieve this, from day 7 before harvest, I would titrate down the nutrients more and more every day. By the very last day, the plants might be getting just very small amounts of nutrients or maybe none.”
Reggie explains that only having to use two products is a major benefit of the Dripstone Nutrients products. “In the past, many growers were buying liquid formulations. But what they didn’t realize is that liquid formulations are made by taking a powder or soluble fertilizer, mixing it in water, and then reselling it to the grower. Therefore, there are problems associated with that: it costs a lot of money to ship, it costs a lot of money to produce, it has a shelf life, and it’s very heavy. Now, more and more growers are moving towards water-soluble fertilizers or powders. Even with that, many companies only offer 3, 4, or 5 different products that you have to blend together. With us, it’s just 2 things that you have to deal with, which makes everything much easier and more cost-effective.”
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