Best Nutrients for Outdoor Grow – Cannabis

best fertilizer for outdoor grow cannabis

When there are so many cannabis nutrients to choose from it can be hard to find the best one for your particular situation. If you’re planning to grow cannabis outdoors this summer then you won’t want to waste your time and money on the wrong nutrients.

Outdoor marijuana plants can grow much larger than indoor ones. This means they will also be hungrier for nutrients to support that growth through their life cycle.

Finding the right fertilizer to use for your outdoor weed starts with a bit of reasearch, so you’re in the right place.

Want the best results? Then you will need the best nutrients for growing cannabis outdoors from seed to bloom.

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The Right Cannabis Fertilizer Helps Plants Grow Bigger, Faster, and Healthier

Fertilizer makes plants grow bigger and healthier, but what exactly do they do?

Like all other plants, cannabis plants require a handful of nutrients to live.

There are 17 necessary nutrients that are needed, mostly in very small amounts.

The exceptions are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, known collectively as NPK.

These three are called macronutrients, and your plant needs a lot of these compared to other nutrients called micronutrients. Fertilizers are blends of nutrients that growers feed to their plants to make sure they can reach their full growth potential.

Close up view of a cannabis bud

In nature, cannabis plants can grow quite well on their own in fertile soil. But, with a little human intervention we can maximize a plants potential.

One thing we can do is provide an ample supply of nutrients for the plant to feed on. These nutrients along with the help of sunlight, CO2, and water will fuel the process of photosyntehesis.

And, it turns out that up to a certain extent, marijuana plants grow best and bigger with more nutrients – and bigger plants also mean bigger buds, so you’ll probably want to add some extra nutrients!

We Made The Best Fertilizer For Marijuana Outdoors 

Reefertilizer is a specialized blend of nutrients designed for cannabis plants. Think of it as a supercharged tomato fertilizer that not only improves your soil health but also feeds the plant the right blend of nutrients for its veg and flowering stages of growth.
Reefertilizer makes it easy for anyone to grow good weed in their own backyard.

Growing Weed at the cottage with Reefertilizer
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What’s The Difference Between Synthetic Nutrients, Organic Nutrients?

Large outdoor cannabis yield

Synthetic Cannabis Nutrients

A word of clarification – you may sometimes hear synthetic nutrients referred to as “chemical” nutrients, often with a negative connotation.
After all, whether the nutrients your plant eats are synthetic or organic, they’re all still chemicals.
Another term you might hear is “salts”. This refers to mineral salts and not the stuff you put on potato chips. Fertilizer salts are a form of nutrients that are water soluble making them easier to apply to plants.
Synthetic nutrients are very important to modern agriculture because of their cost to produce mass quantities and how powerful they are. Synthetic fertilizers like Grow and Bloom are chelated, meaning the nutrients contained are immediately available to plants.

Organic Cannabis Nutrients

The best organic nutrients for weed are made from natural sources like compost and manure. The nutrients contained are locked in and released slowly to plants as they break down over time. Microbes and bacteria in your soil will break down the organic material and turn it into something the plant can absorb.

Growing Cannabis Outdoors in Soil

Fertile soil is filled with billions of small microbes and bacteria. All these organisms including your plant’s roots work together to break down organic matter and turn it into food. By feeding these microbes and building healthy soil we can make our plants grow more efficiently. When the right environmental balance is reached roots can absorb as much water and nutrients as possible. Products like Reefertilizer Start help introduce beneficial fungi and nutrients to build and feed the biological processes happening below the soil surface.

You should be aware of what goes into the nutrients you use – but, don’t be afraid of “chemical” nutrients just because of the name!

Best Nutrients for Veg Stage Outdoors

Reefertilizer Grow: Nutrients For Plants in Veg

Using Reefertilizer Grow is the simplest way to guarantee your cannabis plants are getting the right amount of nutrients during their veg stage. Each bag is good for about 6 to 8 plants. Just mix into water and feed your plants.

Learn More About Grow

Best Nutrients For Outdoor Flowering Stage

Reefertilizer Bloom Nutrients for Cannabis in Flower

Reefertilizer Bloom provides an all-in-one solution to flowering outdoor cannabis plants. Our chelated formula is immediately available to plants helping eliminate deficiencies and the best nutrients for bud growth.

Learn More About Bloom

Do I need Reefertilizer for growing cannabis outdoors?

You might see many all purpose fertilizers out there. While they might do their job very well as an all around plant food they’re too basic for the changing needs of a cannabis, tomato, or pepper plant.

Nutrients can help cannabis plants grow bigger and yield larger buds outdoors, but do you adjust your nutrient blend for the different stages of growth?

When plants are younger they need lots of nitrogen to grow thick stems and wide leaves. The plants priority is to build a strong structure to support its final stage of life. During flowering, nitrogen becomes less important. Phosphorus, potassium, and other micronutrients are needed to build buds or fruit.

This is why an all purpose fertilzer is not ideal. You will be over feeding your plants during some periods and underfeeding them the next. Many all purpose fertilizers only contain the macronutrients nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium;  this means you will need to add additional micronutrients to keep your plants happy.

Diane's Backyard Cannabis Plants

Reefertilizer Grow and Bloom marijuana nutrients have the right blend of NPK for veg and flower phase of growth. They pack in many other micronutrients as well like calcium and magnesium to make your plants that much happier.

So while you might not need to use Reefertilizer to grow your outdoor weed you will be risking the success of your plants and not helping them reach their full potential.

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Customer taking a pose with his outdoor cannabis plants.
Happy growing outdoor weed with Reefertilizer
Man holding outdoor cannabis plant in pot thumbs up
Growing outdoor cannabis with Grow and Bloom, well manicured cannabis plant

Fertilizers Vs. Nutrients

When I first started growing I though these two terms were a little confusing.

From time to time, you may hear growers talking about feeding their plants nutrients, or adding nutrients to their plants.
Nutrients are what plants use to fuel their biological processes.

A fertilizer is a blend of nutrients that is used for different purposes. Reefertilizer Grow is a fertilizer that consists of a blend of nutrients required for plants in veg.

Fertilizer is the NPK while the nutrients are the N, P, and K.

It’s rare for growers to actually feed their plant a single nutrient on its own, but this is sometimes done via foliar feeding to quickly correct a nutrient imbalance.

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What’s the difference between using nutrients for cannabis and using general fertilizer?

Your plants need nutrients from one source or another, but as long as your plants get the nutrients they need, what happens if you don’t use a fertilizer specific to marijuana?

Cannabis plants are quite similar to tomato and pepper plants when it comes to nutrition. Many years ago, weed growers would use tomato fertilizers to feed their plants. Since then things have become a little better for the average cannabis grower.

A cannabis fertilizer will provide the right blends of nutrients for each phase of growth. That why we consider it the best fertilizer for weed.

Can I Use Miracle Gro For Weed?

Using general multi purpose fertilizers like Miracle Gro might be simple but have a lot of downfalls. First, why would you feed your cannabis plants the same thing as your hydrangeas? General purpose fertilizer are meant to be cheap and multipurpose. When feeding you cannabis plants with this fertilizer a lot of nutrients are wasted and end up being washed away into the environment. 

In very fertile soil you might not need to use as many additional nutrients to fuel growth. That’s the benefit of organic gardening. But as the plants grow, nutrients in the soil will be depleted and new sources must be applied in the form of fertilizer.

Without using cannabis specific fertilizer you might end up with smaller and fewer buds. Nutrient deficiencies are also a problem as they will starve your plant to the point where it turns yellow and dies.

best nutrients for cannabis
best nutes for flowering in soil

How Much Fertilizer Do I Need For Outdoor Cannabis Plants

You will want to be careful with how much fertilizer you feed your plants though. Over fertilization can damage your plants almost as bad as not feeding them at all.

The tips and edges of leaves on an overfed cannabis plant will darken and look burnt. This can be easily fixed by flushing the soil of excess nutrients.
Water soluble nutrients like Reefertilizer Grow and Bloom are especially easy to flush in case you made an overfeeding mistake.

If you don’t flush your plants with water, the marijuana smoke may be harsh. To flush your plants use plenty of water, two to three times the volume of your growing container.

With fertilizer, your marijuana plant will likely grow stronger, larger, and healthier, and have bigger yields come harvest time.

What are the environmental impacts of using fertilizer outdoors?

While synthetic plant fertilizers only contain nutrients that occur in nature, they contain these nutrients in much higher concentrations than naturally occurs in soil.

Of the three major plant nutrients (also called macronutrients) which do most of the work – nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium – nitrogen has the biggest impact on the environment, and it’s also the hardest to come by.

Of course, 78% of Earth’s atmosphere is made up of nitrogen gas.

Unfortunately, many plants can’t take nitrogen out of the air; they need to absorb it through their roots from the soil.

Nitrogen can only be converted from a gas to solid form (or “fixed”) in three ways:

For one, lightning strikes fix nitrogen by breaking the bonds of gaseous nitrogen molecules with extremely high temperatures.
The free nitrogen atoms in the air then bond with oxygen to create nitrogen oxides, which rain carries back down to earth.

A variety of bacteria and microorganisms that live in the soil fix nitrogen as a byproduct of their digestion.
Finally, nitrogen can be fixed industrially using the Haber-Bosch process.
To use this process, nitrogen and hydrogen gas must be mixed together and put under 200 times Earth’s atmospheric pressure. Then, after being pressurized, the mixture is heated to 450 degrees Celsius.

There is a limit to how much nitrogen the bacteria in soil can fix, and how quickly they can do it. And, if soil becomes unhealthy and those bacteria die, nitrogen-depleted soil may take a long, long time to recover.

With the population steadily increasing, humans need more food, which means plants need more nitrogen. We now have to add more industrially fixed nitrogen to the environment than there is naturally fixed nitrogen being added.

The Haber-Bosch process takes a lot of energy, and we are now using this process on an enormous scale, fixing around 150 billion kilograms of nitrogen per year.

Small cannabis plant in pot outdoors

That’s roughly the same weight as 24 million adult elephants… but that probably doesn’t make it a lot easier to imagine.

In any case, this mass-fixing of nitrogen consumes an estimated 1-2% of the whole world’s energy supply each year.

So, we fix a lot of nitrogen, and it consumes a lot of energy.

Beautiful cannabis plant in outdoor garden by a fence grown with Reefertilizer

But how does all that nitrogen affect the environment once it is applied to the soil?

Well, unfortunately, in a typical agricultural field, crops only end up using about half of the nitrogen from fertilizers.

The rest washes out of the soil and ends up in groundwater, streams, lakes, rivers, and oceans.

This can lead to harmful algae blooms that kill local aquatic life by using up all the oxygen in the water, and excess nitrogen in the soil can be broken down by various microorganisms into nitrogen-containing gases, which contribute to climate change when they are lost to the atmosphere.

Of course, many of these problems only become significant on a large industrial scale – still, as a home grower, what can you do to limit the environmental impacts of the nutrient source you use on your plants growing outdoors in the garden?

How do I Reduce The Environmental Impact of Using Fertilizer?

When it comes to reducing the amount of nitrogen that goes to waste and is lost to the environment, using plant spefic blends of fertilizers can go a long way.

Less is more. Only feeding what your plants need when they need can eliminate al lot of waste and avoid overfertilization. This is why I don’t reccommend a general fertilizer for your cannabis plants.

Building a healthy soil environment can also reduce wasted nutrients. A helpful balance of microbes, bacteria, and fungus in your soil means everything is working efficiently and roots are getting as much nutrients as they can get.

Buiding a fertile soil with compost, manure, and helpful amendments like Reefertilizer Start can lower the the volume of additional fertilizer you need to sustain robust growth. 
Adding plants like corn, beans, and squash (the three sisters) to your garden can actually help improve your soil quality.

Review of Reefertilizer® Bloom Outdoor Flowering Nutrients for Cannabis by Anonymous
Cannabis growing outdoors next to peas and tomatoes

Use Chelated Nutrients For Fast Feeding

A chelated fertilizer contains nutrients in a form that make them easily absorbed by plants. No need to wait for the process of decomposition to turn manure into usage nitrogen.
Chelated fertilizer are also helpful for feeding micronutrients quickly.
Very small amounts of nutrients like iron, zinc, copper, manganese, calcium, and magnesium are present in most soil.

Using a chelated fertilizer like Grow and Bloom can quickly eliminate many nutrient deficiencies. They can also be used as a foliar spray when diluted.

Using chelated nutrients mean that less is wasted.

Use a Good Quality Special-Purpose Nutrient Mix.

Different plants have different needs, and cannabis is certainly no exception.

If you use the wrong blend of nutrients for your garden marijuana plant, there are two downsides.

First, your plant’s health may suffer from an excess or lack of one nutrient. Marijuana has particular nutritional needs depending on its current cycle of growth.

Cannabis growing in a backyard with a scrog net

Second, excess nutrients may go unused and end up draining into the waterways (assuming you are growing outdoors).

If you use the correct nutrient mix for your plant, it will use the nutrients efficiently and there will be less waste.

Some cannabis nutrient system brands like Reefertilizer also sell different mixes for the vegetative and flowering stages (Grow and Bloom, respectively) so that the NPK ratio can change to match the plant’s needs all along its life cycle, making the nutrient usage even more efficient.

Reefertilizer Bloom Is an All-In-One Nutrient Blend For Cannabis in Flower and Helps Flower & Terpene Production | Learn More
Outdoor cannabis buds are coming

Try To Avoid Over-Fertilizing

Once again, being environmentally friendly is good for the environment, your plants, and your wallet.

If your plants get nutrient burn, you’re feeding them too many nutrients.

Depending on how quickly your soil drains, you could be losing more fertilizer to instant runoff than you realize.

If you grow plants in pots, take advantage of the opportunity to check your runoff PPM every so often. You can get a general idea if nutrients are building up in the soil. This could be an indicator you’re using too much fertilizer.

Normally, all you’ll need to do to make sure you’re giving your plants just the right amount of nutrients. Following the instructions on the package is a good start but using less is usually fine.
As the plant grows larger it will need more nutrients than a smaller plant. 

Huge outdoor cannabis plant in garden

Don’t Feed Plants Before a Heavy Rain

You migh have heard this one before, but it’s worth repeating.

If you fertilize your plants’ soil right before rain, a lot of the nutrients may wash through.

Your plant misses out on a feeding as many of the nutrients are flushed out into the environment. Check the weather before you give your plants their dose and feed them after it rains.

Consider an Indoor Grow

With all this talk about keeping excess nutrients out of our waterways, you might be thinking it would be better to just grow indoors.

There are many ways to reduce your carbon footprint growing indoors. Using LED will reduce electricity used. With all things considered growing outdoors has the lowest environmental impact overall.

Cannabis growing in a vegetable garden with a tag that says "broccoli"

Do I need Reefertilizer for growing cannabis outdoors?

Nutrients can help cannabis plants grow bigger and yield larger buds outdoors, but do you actually need it if you’re planning to grow marijuana outdoors in your garden?

It depends a lot on the quality of the soil in your garden (or pots).

Fertile soil that’s already full of organic nutrients may be able to sustain a cannabis plant on its own throughout its life cycle, especially if you supplement with compost.

But, that plant will likely be a bit smaller than if you used a little extra plant nutrient in the form of fertilizer.

And, if the soil you’re starting with is poor quality, your plants will probably require a better nutrient mix for a good yield.

Diane's Backyard Cannabis Plants

Why is it Better to Grow Marijuana Outdoors?

Is it better to grow cannabis indoors or outdoors?

Well, growing indoors is certainly easier, and you’ll get to work with fewer variables – there’s no weather inside, no need to worry about frost, and pests are much easier to control or avoid entirely.

You can also grow year-round, regardless of the season.

On the other hand, if the season and climate permits, and you’re up for a little more of a challenge, you may prefer to grow outside. Here’s why:

  • Better For The Environment. It takes a lot of energy to grow cannabis indoors.

You need at least one powerful grow light, a ventilation system, fans, heating and/or cooling units, and possibly more. Outdoors, you get all of that for free. It’s better for the environment and better for your wallet.

  • Better flavor. Cannabis grown outdoors often tastes quite different to an indoor-grown batch of buds.
A flowering cannabis plant outdoors

“Different” is certain; some growers and cannabis users may debate whether the flavor of cannabis from outdoors is “better,” but the general consensus is that when grown with care it is.

  • Bigger yields. With the power of the sun and without the space constraints of a grow room, cannabis plants grown outdoors can grow very large!

And a bigger plant means a bigger yield.

You can also go for a “best of both worlds” approach by growing your outdoor plants in pots, fabric planters, or other containers.

This allows you to take advantage of the outdoor sunlight and also the breeze, but you can also move your plants back inside if you are concerned about impending weather, a frost, or anything else.

The only downside is that smaller containers are easier to move, but will also limit the maximum size your plant can achieve.

The Reefertilizer Grow Kit Is Our Simple All-In-One Solution To Growing Great Weed Outdoors | Learn More

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Liquid vs. Powder Cannabis Nutrients

When you’re doing research to determine what kind of outdoor growing fertilizer is best for you, you’ll probably come across liquid, granular, and powder grow nutrients.

Granular fertilizers are slow-release: you want to mix them in with your soil before you plant, and the plant will slowly eat the nutrients as it grows outdoors. Rain and water break down the granules in the soil feeding your plant.

Powder and liquid nutrients are both meant to be mixed into water and given to your plants on a regular feeding schedule, so they can be compared more directly.

Reefertilizer Bloom being added to water

Broadly speaking, between powder and liquid marijuana fertilizer, which is better?

  • Convenience. With liquid nutrients, different elements have to be stored separately so they don’t react, and then the grower has to mix those elements and dilute them with water before feeding the marijuana plant.

With powder nutrients, the chemicals are not reactive since they are in a solid form.

So, they can all be stored together – all you have to do is measure out the right amount and mix it with water. In terms of convenience, powder is the best.

  • Cost. If you order a liquid fertilizer, you have to pay extra because the extra water weight makes the shipping more expensive.

In terms of cost, convenience, and shelf life, powder nutrients are superior to liquid nutrients.

Powder nutrients are cheaper, easier to use, and last longer on the shelf or in the shed.

Diane's Backyard Cannabis Plants

The same amount of nutrients in powder form is much lighter and smaller. So, once, again, powder wins in terms of cost.

  • Shelf Life. Since none of the chemicals in nutrients will react in powder form, they won’t degrade or go bad over time like a liquid nutrient will.

They also won’t evaporate, grow bacteria, or oxidize.

As long as you store your powder nutrients properly, they will keep indefinitely.

Liquid fertilizers, meanwhile, should generally be used within two years of purchase. Powder wins again.

Reefertilizer Compared to Liquid cannabis nutrients

What Are The Best Nutrients for Growing Weed Outdoors

Reefertilizer was designed to make growing weed as simple as possible. One powdered nutrient for plants in veg and another for plants in flower. When combined with Reefertilizer Start soil conditioner your roots will have an increased ability to take up water and nutrients.

Cannabis plants are not as complicated as you might think. Like a human, they need the right food to help them grow and stay healthy. Reefertilizer feeds your cannabis plants the right diet for their stage of the growth cycle. It also helps build the right soil environment for plants to thrive in your garden.

Cannabis plant with huge stem and a bag of Reefertilizer Grow fertilizer

Reefertilzer is also safe to use on other edible plants in your garden. It works very well with tomato and pepper plants.

You can’t get it any easier than using Reefertilizer with your outdoor weed plants.

Why The Reefertilizer Nutrient System is The Best Choice for Your Next Outdoor Grow

We ship Reefertilizer all over Canada and the United States. Many of our happiest customers only grow once a year in the summer and the simplicity and power of our nutrients keep them coming back year after year.

If you’re unsure (Like I was when I first started growing weed) just read a few of our reviews. With so many different products covered in buzz words, we went out and created the nutrients we wanted to use. Something easy, powerful, and no bull$%^#.

Growing Weed at the cottage with Reefertilizer

Reefertilzer is also safe to use on other edible plants in your garden. It works very well with tomato and pepper plants.

You can’t get it any easier than using Reefertilizer with your outdoor weed plants.

Top Tips For Getting the Best Results From Your Outdoor Cannabis Plants

Use Nutrients Designed for Cannabis

You might be tempted to use whatever nutrients you find to grow your outdoor weed plants. A generic garden nutrient product like Miracle Gro are not suited for plants you plan on consuming. Using a nutrient system like Reefertilizer is the easiest way to be sure your cannabis is getting the correct cannabis nutrients at the right time, The perfect nutrients for outdoor grow situations.

Watch Out For Rain

Try to avoid feeding your plants before it rains. Your cannabis plants nutrients might get flushed out of the soil before the plants can metabolize them. It’s always better to feed after it rains.
Also, be aware of rain getting into the bloom of the flower. Water trapped in the bloom can lead to mold growth. If you can, cover the plants from the rain while they’re in bloom.

Top Your Cannabis

Topping your cannabis is a pruning method that results in shorter bushier plants. You can top a marijuana plant by cutting off the newest growth from the top of the plant. This is the best method to control the size of your plants making them easier to manage. Shorter plants also keep them out of view from nosy neighbors. Just a little bit of work as your plants grow can make a big difference.

Remove Excess Leaves

Leaves have a tendency to trap moisture around your outdoor cannabis plants. Removing some from around the base of the plant can help with airflow and prevent the growth of mold. It will also allow more sun to reach lower branches. Marijuana is a tough plant and can handle a light pruning. Start by removing any dead or yellow leaves.

Use Only The Best Quality Soil in Your Garden

Good soil is a big factor in the success of your plants. Don’t use dirt dug up from the ground, it can be filled with rocks, pests, and might not be suitable for your plants. Plant roots need to be able to stretch and breathe as they grow. Using a good quality potting soil product like ProMix is a good start. Adding organic matter such as manure and compost works really well in improving the quality of the soil you grow in. Adding perlite will help aerate the soil and hold onto a little extra water and prevent the roots from drying out. Your plant will thank you.

Think About Using Clones if Available

Cannabis grown from seeds can result in male or female plants with varying genetic qualities.  Clones are clipping from a “mother” plant. Each clone will be an exact copy of its mother. Using clones means your plants growth will be consistent with less to worry about since each plant is a guaranteed female.

If you want to learn even more about growing good cannabis, we offer a free 40+ page guide full of images.
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