I will start off by saying that I FOR SURE had at least a potassium deficiency, and also potentially a phosphorus and nitrogen deficiency. The cause of this was much harder to identify, and I am still not certain that my hypothesis is correct, but there is more pointing towards the following than anything else.
Nutrient deficiencies can be caused by all kinds of variables, including overwatering, nute lockout from nute burn, not enough of a particular nutrient in your nute mix, and pythium (root rot). Although most of the above has occurred at one time or another in my grow this year (minus the root rot), I was not sure which it was, and a misdiagnosis which leads to the wrong treatment can make problems worse instead of better.
While nute lockout can occur as a result of nutrient burn, it can also occur if the PH of your nutrient mix is not within the optimal spectrum of around 5.8-7.0. Since I have never had an issue with PH in the same nutrient line I have been using for years, I never saw it as a possibility for my plants loosing the ability to uptake nutrients.
First I tested the municipal city water I have been using, which came up right around 6.8 (primo - no issue there). I then tested the nute mix itself, and to my jaw dropping surprise, the nute mix I have been using had a PH of 4 or less!!! Almost no essential nutrients can be absorbed with that low of a PH - which would make perfect sense that the plants would be exhibiting these symptoms.
During today's feeding (9/1/2019), I adjusted the PH of my nute mix to about 6.5 (with an organic PH-UP supplement - pictured below), in hopes of re-birthing a soil ecosystem that can uptake nutrients through the roots again. With that being said, I am still not certain that adjusting the PH will solve the issue - I will know in a few days.
Further research has shown me that Botaincare's bloom soil nutrients (not the veg nutes) are naturally at a very low PH, which helps with shelf life of the product, but not with the uptake of nutrients by your plants. This came as a bit of a shock, since I have been using these bloom nutrients for many seasons (this year's was a brand new jug), and never had any nute lockout issues previously. Still, I very much hope this is the solution I have been hoping for, because I am out of time, and need these buds to beef up quickly. If the issue persists after this feeding, I may be out of options to help them recover. They have already lost too many leaves, which can affect the overall yield.
I also go over my restructuring tactics for plant support, after a crucial wind storm attempted to rip them all right out of the soil, during a two-day 97 degree stretch. In addition, I go over reasons NOT to water, even if your plants are screaming at you for it with leaf drooping.
Here is the series so far:
Please enjoy episode 12 of this year's Backyard Cannabis Farming series. Hopefully we all acquire wisdom for growing cannabis effectively and organically together.
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