Preventing nutrient lockout can be accomplished via routine flushing. By flushing your plants once before flowering begins and once halfway through flowering, you’ll minimise the chances of nutrient buildup.
Flushing your cannabis plants is a straight forward process. Whenever you would normally feed, you flush instead. Untreated tap water is all you need to use for flushing, just be sure to make sure the pH is at a safe level for cannabis. Most well water contains a healthy pH level and will not need treatment, but if it is necessary for you to add treatment to adjust the pH of your flushing water, feel free to do so. The pH adjustments will be the only thing you will need to be concerned about.
This less than pleasant smoke is caused by nutrients and minerals used during growth still be present in the plant, altering the way it burns. Flushing removes these remaining nutrients, improving the quality of the experience. Fortunately, flushing your cannabis is an effortless and easy task, and will have you producing smooth and delightful bud in no time.
The what, how, and why of flushing cannabis plants.
If you don’t remember anything from biology class, enzymes are proteins that catalyse reactions. They help to flush out the soil by breaking down starches, carbohydrates, and nutrients. There’s a variety of products on the market that contain effective enzyme formulas.
Why would you want to strip away all the minerals from the soil? Isn’t this hurting your harvest? It actually helps your harvest a significant way. When the nutrients are removed from the soil, it forces your cannabis plant to use up any remaining nutrients still present in the plant. It is a lot like the human body. We take in a lot of food and, what we do not use is turned into fat. In extreme situations where food is scarce, the body relies on this stored fat for energy.
Flushing isn’t exclusive to harvest time. The technique can also be used in the vegetative phase to remove excess nutrients from the soil. Sure, nutrients keep your plant healthy and ensure optimal yields, but too much can cause nutrient lockout—a state where plants can’t access nutrients.
The act of flushing a plant is using plain water to actively remove any nutrients in the soil. A large amount of water is passed through the soil and drained away on a regular basis. Any minerals and nutrients present in the soil are washed away over time by the water, leaving the soil clean.
After the bud is harvested, take the extra time to cure the bud to its highest potential. A proper cure will cut back even further on that harsh edge, removing aspects like excess chlorophyll. You will be amazed at the difference this small effort can do to your product. All of your hard work will show in that first inhale of that silky smooth smoke that hits the back of your throat as soft as honey. This is nature at its smoothest. You can increase the quality of your cannabis by just adding water!
Flushing cannabis before harvest can makes the difference between a smooth or horrifically harsh smoke. Here is how to do it.
Cannabis plants have different nutrient needs throughout different stages of growth; what it needs in its vegetative stage is different than what it needs while flowering. Clearing old nutrients during the transition into the new stage of growth will help kickstart the plant’s journey into flowering.
To be certain a flush was successful, you can use a TDS (total dissolved solids) reader to determine how pure the water runoff is. You want the TDS reading of the water draining out of the pot to be close to the TDS reading of the pure water you are flushing with. This reading will ensure that the nutrients have been washed out of the soil.
There are three primary instances when flushing your cannabis is appropriate:
Overfeeding cannabis, improper pH levels, and other stresses on your plants can result in a nutrient lockout. Whether it’s salt buildup from nutrients or pH levels that prevent absorption, a nutrient lockout results in a buildup of nutrients in the soil while the plant cannot access them.
The only time flushing is not encouraged is when you are growing in amended organic soil. This is because your soil already holds all the nutrients the plants need to thrive. By flooding the soil, you can wash away and damage the complex ecosystem that you’ve worked so hard to develop in the soil itself. Furthermore, these plants almost always receive pure water during waterings. The nutrient uptake by plants in this environment is natural, diverse, and easy for the plant to process.
Your final flush should occur before harvest. This will force the plant to use the nutrients stored within itself in the final week or so. If its nutrient reserves are not used by the plant or broken down, they will affect the quality of your harvest’s smoke and flavor.
When looking to perform a flush before harvest, there are more factors to consider. Make sure your plants will be ready for harvest once the flush is complete. Flushing too early or too late will result in a lower-quality product.
By paying attention to the trichomes on your plants, you’ll be able to tell when your plants are ready for a flush. If flushing two weeks prior to harvest, you should begin when you start seeing the first trichomes turn milky.
- Soil: 2 weeks
- Rockwool and coco: 1 week
- Hydroponics: 1 week or less
Flushing is when you stop feeding your cannabis plants nutrients and give them water. The process is generally as easy at it sounds, but it's crucial to know precisely when and how often to flush.