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Summer School: Strategies for Successfully Fertilizing Cannabis Plants Outdoors

As an outdoor grower, you’ve been there…

The summer sun beating down on your cannabis crop…

A blazing heat, humidity, ultraviolet radiating cluing you in that the longest day of the year has arrived.

Growing your crops outdoors comes with its own territory during this time of year, and from outdoor nutrient schedule to watering schedules, it’s important to get everything optimized so spend the fall gazing at your most rewarding harvest yet.

First things first, let’s take a look at…

The Best Schedule For Your Outdoor Cannabis Plants

After the summer solstice, the days grow shorter, eventually triggering most strains to go into flowering.

Many seasoned outdoor growers tend to start their seedlings or clones in March or April to give them at least four weeks in the vegetative stage before being transplanted outside. This way, the plants continue to grow until July or August, gaining height and adding girth to the main stalk — although pre-flowering is sometimes visible during these summer months.

You can also check out our outdoor grow calendar for more information on how to schedule your crop cycle.

And this isn’t the only summer change affecting outdoor cannabis growers…

The sweltering heat also brings with it the most intense sunlight and stress for your plants. This is why from the summer solstice through late August – or even September in most parts of the US – your outdoor grow nutrient schedule is paramount for maintaining your crop’s health.

Now, growers often wonder about…

The Preferred Method for Fertilizing Cannabis Plants Outdoors…

And the reality is, the best option can depend on your growing conditions.

For example, guerrilla growers who don’t have access to clean water at their grow site might find it challenging to provide their plants with optimal nutrition. In this type of situation, a customized batch of liquid nutrients delivered via roots and foliar spraying is by far the most efficient way to feed their outdoor cannabis plants.

For remote growing, a granular fertilizer product that’s quickly solubilized into the root zone can also be a convenient option, provided you have your outdoor grow op well scheduled.

Just make sure to send precise nutritional elements directly into roots every time it rains, or every time outdoor cannabis plants are watered by hand or irrigation. Granules should dissolve quickly and be immediately available for uptake by the plants’ roots — it isn’t enough to prep the ground and transplant into fertile soil.

However, there’s a catch to granular fertilizers that you should know about…

If you apply them to your root zone in the months of May or June, they won’t be solubilized enough to feed your plants until July or August. And that isn’t soon enough.

For that reason, at this time of year you’ll want to fertilize cannabis plants outdoors with liquid cannabis nutrients.

What to Know When Fertilizing Cannabis Plants Outdoors

Growing cannabis during a heatwave.

Now, when growing cannabis outdoors, the root zone is much larger than in an indoor grow, and may be exposed to drenching rains. Plus, added outdoor cannabis nutrients tend to leach out of the root zone, threatening to starve your crops of the elements they need to thrive. Because of this, you need to apply your fertilizer differently.

First off, when it comes to your outdoor grow nutrient schedule, always time your feeding so it occurs at the start or in the middle of a dry week.

You always want to check accurate weather forecasts and start watering your crop on the first day of a period when you know it won’t be raining for several days.

If you’re lucky enough to have a period of four to seven days of no rain, you can wait until the crop is thirsty in the middle of the dry spell before feeding on day three or four. Your parched plants will immediately uptake their liquid nutrients and transfer it throughout their tissues.

The Best Fertilizer For Outdoor Cannabis

So all this begs the question…

What are the best outdoor cannabis nutrients, and what’s the best way to use them?

With a reliable water supply outdoors, we recommend using at least a half-strength pH Perfect® base nutrient at every other watering. Soil-grown plants prefer a higher pH than indoor plants grown in rockwool, coco coir, deep water culture or soilless mix.

Using your pH Perfect base at half strength while also putting additives in with the nutrients water will assist in creating an outdoor cannabis root zone pH of 6.3–6.6.

You can also use Advanced Nutrients pH Up or pH Down and a pH meter to set the nutrients water into that soil target range.

Keep in mind that with outdoor cannabis gardens growing in the peak of summer, your plants are creating tissue infrastructure and dealing with stress from heat, wind, intense sun, or maybe even pests and diseases. These conditions necessitate some nutrient elements more than others.

Growers who get the biggest yields tend to use a half-strength infusion of grow-phase pH Perfect® Sensi Grow or pH Perfect® Connoisseur® Grow, delivered via the root zone.

And to round out your outdoor grow nutrient schedule, also consider adding…


Deliver all of these Advanced Nutrients additives at full strength to your outdoor cannabis grow, and you’ll see lush, vigorous growth and abundant, flavorful flowers!

Alternative Nutrition For Remote Outdoor Cannabis Grow Sites

Growing cannabis outdoors during the summer

Peak summer is the time when your outdoor cannabis crop is building the height, side branches, leaves, stalks, and intracellular processes necessary to create structure large and sturdy enough to support buds the size of baseball bats.

Providing customized nutrition to your outdoor cannabis crop in the full heat of summer requires an ample amount of water, which is why we recommend a half-strength dose of the hydroponics base nutrients. This way, you don’t burn the roots with an overdose of nutrients.

The bottom line…

Determining the right outdoor nutrient schedule for your cannabis plants can depend on a variety of factors. But when you stick to the principles outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to growing bountiful, aromatic yields beneath the summer sun.

And be sure to elevate your crops with expert tips sent straight to your inbox. Subscribe to the Advanced Nutrients newsletter.


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About the Author

The Advanced Nutrients Team

Since 1999, Advanced Nutrients has been committed to educating the community and bringing the most up-to-date knowledge to the forefront of grows across the globe. Every article you read here has been curated by Advanced Nutrients’ industry experts, so you can continue raising your bud weight… and your reputation.

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Over time, components within the nutrients settle on the bottom of the bottle. When you pour a bottle without shaking it, you can potentially be pouring out an unbalanced solution. Shaking up the nutrient bottle ensures you are pouring the right blend into your reservoir, giving your crops the nutrition they need.

Usually, it’s not a problem. But some products are incompatible with each other and can damage your plants when they’re used together. For example, bloom boosters with high PK numbers or low-grade silica products can destabilize your nutrient mix and cause nutrient lockout.

Nutrient manufacturers design their products to be used with each other. In doing so, they include specific portions of each nutrient in each product, so crops receive the right nutrition through each stage of the grow cycle. When you stick with one manufacturer, you don’t have to worry about inadvertently destabilizing your nutrient mixture. One example of why you need to stick with only one manufacturer’s products is Advanced Nutrients’ pH Perfect line. These products are designed to keep your crops’ root zone within a specific pH range. When you use them alongside products from another manufacturer, we can’t guarantee your root zone will maintain its optimal pH level.

Yes! If you’re growing with Advanced Nutrients products, you can use our easy nutrient calculator to generate the correct nutrient chart for your crops in seconds. Check out Advanced Nutrients’ nutrient calculator here. Another great resource is our library of free custom-growing recipes. Try our expert grower-tested nutrient schedules here.

You can also download our official BudLabs app to generate nutrient schedules and receive real-time notifications for specific tasks, including feeding your crops. Upgrade to BudLabs Pro to maintain profiles on an unlimited number of crops.

If you are a grower, visit this link to find the closest Advanced Nutrients Authorized Retailer. If you are a retailer, visit this link to identify our official distributors.

Our greatest passion is growing great cannabis—and helping other growers do the same. That’s why we offer complimentary cultivation support 24/7 from Monday to Friday and from 9 AM until 7 PM PST on Saturday… With the same level of advice licensed producers would pay consultants tens of thousands of dollars to unlock.
Just call 1-800-640-9605 or email support@advancednutrients.com. For Spanish-speaking growers, email spanishsupport@advancednutrients.com.

Yes! If for any reason you are not absolutely thrilled with the results you achieve when you use our products, just bring the unused portion, along with your original sales receipt, back to the place of purchase within six months, and ask for your money back. Find out more about our Grower Guarantee here.

Advanced Nutrients has spent many thousands of man-hours developing a technology that automatically balances your pH for you — putting it in the “sweet spot” and holding it there for one week.

And the technology is so “smart” that it can account for many of the aforementioned variables in your grow room. Our proprietary pH buffering agents and stabilizing mechanisms became the foundation of a new system aptly called pH Perfect® Technology. Learn all about it here.

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