Organic Vs. Synthetic Nutrients

Discussion in 'General Marijuana Growing' started by Breezee77, Feb 1, 2017.


    Breezee77 Active Member

    I'm curious about results in Organic vs Synthetic nutrients. I always eat organic when I can and was thinking maybe herb should be the same way.

    I'm really interested in results. I know yield goes down with organics, but by how much?

    bryan oconner likes this.
    bryan oconner

    bryan oconner Well-Known Member

    by no means am i an expert with organic nutrients . i do have some experience organic my opinion only i had to push 2 times as much organic nutrients vs chemical . only difference i seen . there are a lot of people that do very well with organic and there soil is live ive seen people that had worms in there soil living thriving and very good plants . they never use any nutrients . interested in seeing some other opinions on this post .
    Richard Drysift likes this.
    Richard Drysift

    Richard Drysift Well-Known Member

    You are asking about nutrients but your question is actually much bigger than that. There are synth nutes and there are premixed "organic-based" nutrients but either of these is very different than growing in natural organic soil.
    When you use any kind of liquid nutrient you are force feeding your plants by pouring everything they need all the time onto the root zone. Everything is then immediately available to the plant to uptake which is why you need to dilute liquid nutrients or risk a burn. It does not matter if they are organic or synthetic compounds and the plants don't really care either way. I've done it both ways and noticed very little difference except the bud grown with organic nutrients (was using roots organic nutes) tasted a little better than when I used synth nutes though I had a lot of other problems like thrips for instance. There is a place for "soup style" organics but it invites many issues you don't have to worry about as much using synth nutes.
    If you want to truly grow organic the best way to do it is in a natural soil in which all you need to do is add clean water. Some call it supersoil but that's a marketing term. Recycling your soil after each harvest and adding compost like worm castings and other dry soil amendments is the best way to grow organic and will produce hands down the finest tasting cannabis with minimal effort. Your mix gets better each time you recycle it and it does take awhile before you get stellar results.
    The difference is microbial and fungal activity which is what breaks down the organic material in your mix and makes it available to your plants. Soil is actually a living thing and if you treat it as such it will grow super healthy happy sticky buds that taste as they should. Organic soils grow bud that is a true representation of the strain characteristics unlike synth nutes that can affect the taste even if properly used. Synthetic nutes kill off these microbes and fungi that make what's in the soil available to the plants which is why IMO they should never be used in soil at all. Synth nutes work best in hydroponic mediums whereas in soils water and the occasional organic tea work best.
    Yes it's true organic grows do not typically yield as much as say a dwc hydro system but it is simpler and cheaper with less effort checking ph and ppms. It takes time to get there but once your mix reaches supernatural status it becomes easier to produce yields that can rival hydro grows but it takes training and experience. I could write a book here on this and I almost have already so I'll stfu now and leave you with this:
    Knowledge is the power of the organic grower so much research is needed; check out the organic section and my recently updated thread if you want to see how it's done:
    Kevin Pickford

    Kevin Pickford Well-Known Member

    I'm doing an organic PBPro orgainic and a cns17 synthetic side by side right now in dwc... They taste different..PBPro is nice for soil berry and fruit flavors.. but i like the 0% flavor and 0% odor in the cns17 synthetic with the hydroponic.. it gives the herb almost a ultra-natural flavor.. maybe like what god intended it to taste like lol totally preference but i love best of both world's!

    The_Enthusiast Active Member

    As far as I know - plants eat inorganic matter. Here is a photo from a book: Hydroponics food production by Howard M Resh page 41:

    That said - there are a lot of other "stuff" that could be beneficial. Example we have most vitamins in a pill but as I see it it's not just a problem of eating a single vitamin - a fruit or a vegetable has a lot of "other stuff" that help absorb or interact somehow with that vitamin.

    But I believe we mastered plant nutrition (not ratios but what elements are needed for minimal and optimal growth) so I would go (and am going) full inorganic salts in solution route.

    We (humans) are far more complex systems to feed than a plant. But maybe I am wrong - who knows.

    The bottom line is this plants eat INORGANIC so you need to get their food to INORGANIC state either by bacteria / fungi or by synthetic synthesis - salts (if i wrote this right).

    KryptoBud Well-Known Member

    The biggest difference is environmental and how soon its available to the plant. Heres a pretty good break down of the difference.

    The difference between eating organic vs conventional is organic costs twice as much.
    bryan oconner likes this.

    Nugachino Well-Known Member

    I personally like how my organic soil has been going. Sure I've hit a few snags. But, that's part of being new to the scene.

    I didn't get much from my last (first) run. But, goddamn was it fukkin good smoke. One minute I was buzzin off my head. Next I was almost asleep. All I fed it was Bokashi and a bit of sulphur and epsom salts when it needed it.

    Wish I knew what the fook it was that I'd grown. Thing was awesome smoke. Despite not getting much at all. Probably only like 12g at most.

    Also. With organics you're mainly feeding the little critters in the soil. Rather than just the plant like in hydro setups. Those critters form a symbiotic relationship of sorts with the plant. They help each other.

    chemphlegm Well-Known Member

    I've loved hydro/synth, then I loved organic style, couldnt do that in my hydro, so promix was my pearl.
    In both styles I found yield to be totally dependent upon vegetation times only. sure, some strains veg slower than others, but a tree is a tree, a bush is a bush. Allowed to veg healthy long enough and any yield is possible.
    My hydro plants -in veg- grow faster, I'd guess a couple weeks ahead. Its no matter after my perpetual org harvesting was in place.

    In the flowering room every thing is the same, sorta. Growth rates are comparable, yields are too. But my org plants have leaves that are tougher, smell better too. they support themselves most of the time and their stalk isnt soft ever, stems are sturdy and feel alive.
    The smell? hands down the org wins every time, in smell, taste, and appearance. Could be I'm just really good at growing org style and/or really bad at growing hydro style too.

    since hydro out and dirt in;

    no more wet/dry vac
    no more undeveloped terpene profiles
    no more hundreds of dollars on nutrients
    no more meters
    no more supporting plants
    no more concentrated farm nutrient exposures
    no more RH struggling
    Half my electric bill is mine now too-less ac, less, dehuey, no pumps etc)
    no more "curing" "flushing"
    no more light weight pots to move around
    no more reservoirs
    no more 3 year lasting stink socks

    dirt growing is no where near as much fun despite all that.:hump:
    Dr. Who

    Dr. Who Well-Known Member

    @Richard Drysift

    Sorry Rich but enthusiast is correct! Organic or Synthetic, the plant is eating the same ions in the end!
    Synthetic is "plant ready" nutrition.
    Organic has to be broken down to "plant ready" by the microbes living in the soil.

    Odd things I've found about this synthetc "plant ready" shit is,,,,,,If you regularly add living bios in the form of a basic bio AACT.......You had better be feeding those nutrients at 50% or less concentrations! You'll cook the shit out of them (the plants) real fast otherwise. I was amazed that living bio's made that big a difference in how they increased the "availability" of these "plant ready" nutrients.....

    His "vitamin" example is a fare way to explain the "extras" that living soil brings to the table.

    You can not do a TRUE LIVING organic's growing style in hydroponics!
    So there is a good way to explain "organic sourced" nutrients that can be utilized in hydro..

    I do water "only" soil organics as you know but I also use organic nutrients near the end sometimes, if I see the plant depleting the soil of this or that before being done. I'll use "special" teas for supplements along the grow too....Not to mention some organic supplements I've made to do specific things...

    I say that hydro can run better yields then soil....BUT, you can get so damn close I find it preferable to do the soil for smell and taste and, well, it's organic! My N was not made from hydrocarbons! My P was not mined in what is becoming a very limited amount left!

    One day there will not be resources too make fertilizers! Us organic guys will thrive and survive - we know how!

    This was not a poke at you Rich! "Jus splain'in Ricky."
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
    Richard Drysift

    Richard Drysift Well-Known Member

    Well of course...that's why I was trying to say plants don't care where they get their NPK & macros; it's all about availability. Nutrients are nutrients; they work the same regardless how they are derived but water only soil is a different animal altogether. The idea is to put what is needed in the soil before it is actually needed and allow the microbes to slowly make it available over time. Nutrients are only needed if the soil becomes dead (inactive) through depletion or if soil is not used at all like in a coco grow; which in my opinion is a better use of synth nutes than in conjunction with soil.
    I use organic fertilizers too but they are different than your standard 2 part nutrient. I mostly use them as a base for AACTs which feeds both plant and microherd and boosts their numbers.
    If I was to start growing organic from scratch with the guidance of the growers here I would simply do the following:
    Get some decent bag-soil like FFOF or sunshine mix
    Add worm castings up to 30%
    Add some extra perlite say 10-20%
    If starting from seeds or young clones add in some coco to cut it down a bit (FFOF is hot soil) & mix it up real good in a tote bin
    A few weeks after your plants are growing strong give them an AACT every few weeks or as desired up to mid bloom phase:
    3-5 gal non chlorinated water
    4-8 tblspn FF big bloom
    1-3 tblspn Neptunes Harvest liquid fish fertilizer
    1-5 pellets bat or seabird guano (optional)
    1-2 tsp 5-5-5 happy frog fertilizer
    1-2 tsp kelp meal
    1 tsp molasses
    Bubble for 24-36 hrs & use it all up ASAP

    Add 1-2 jobes AP organic spikes to each container just before flip to bloom phase; feeds them for 8 weeks.
    After harvesting recycle the soil by adding fresh compost and soil amendments & alllow to sit for 30 then you should know what you want/need to add in & have it on hand. Having your own worm bin really helps at this points and fresh is way more active than bagged. Once you recycle the mix a few times you'll begin to see your mix become supernaturally active...that's the sweet spot
    Yodaweed, newgrow16 and Dr. Who like this.

    Flowki Well-Known Member

    Is it not true that some of the organic ingredients are bad for your health too?, from dust exposure.

    redzi Well-Known Member

    5 years ago I would tell you straight up that organic is the way to go. Using top quality brands like Gereral Hydroponics or House Garden I have challenged friends to tell the difference. The main consideration for me is how much attention can I give my plants....I have stuck coco growing plants deep in the vegetative stage into Foxfarm Ocean Mix...that would be only in a situation where I have to leave town for a week on short notice. If you live far from a grow shop like I do you probably will end up buying 4 to 6 of the 1.5 cf bags...which needless to say takes up a lot of space. Growing in soil is far more forgiving but it can be snail on a salt lick slow when starting from seed.
    Kevin Pickford likes this.

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    if you're using blood meal/bone meal/guano... yes this is true (but they are unnecessary). but many amendments kelp, alfalfa, neem cake, crab shell, oyster shell, herbs, ect ect are safe all day long!

    To the OP,

    if you want to grow true organic, making your own soil from scratch and know EVERY ingredient in it is hand selected, by you the grower, is the only way to go. However, it's not something one can just dive into if you have no prior knowledge about how everything works (nutrient cycling in the soil, soil composition, making compost with worms and piles of leaves, ect). but it can be very sustainable, and very cost effective

    there's obviously more than one way to get to the finish line at the end... but it's all about personal preference and lifestyle choices.

    i love my organic water only garden. gravity fed water system, plants grow themselves. experimenting and figuring things out will lead to increased harvests, and the smoke.... OMG the smoothest. I will never go back to "organic bottles" ever again.
    Chunky Stool

    Chunky Stool Well-Known Member

    I recently started some seeds in a custom soilless mix and they are growing FAST. I normally use FF ocean forest, but ran out.
    Now I'm undecided about the final medium. FFOF definitely works well, but I'm becoming intoxicated by the rapid growth.
    (I'm feeding full strength DG Foliage Pro + cal mag.)

    chemphlegm Well-Known Member

    probably, like chicken and rabbit shit I suppose, but I'm exposed to those daily now for a lifetime, so be it I guess.
    who knows what is in those bottles, wtf chelate is, what damage is done making the fertilizers? we been growing with poop since the beginning of time, if it kills me.....I'll die with the most flavorful marijuana possible.:P

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    much rather handle my own chicken and rabbit shit than the bone meal, blood meal, and guanos from cattle industry, and over harvested bat droppings with who knows what kind of crazy diseases and prions that are far more possible than any of the ingredients listed above
    Cold$moke and chemphlegm like this.

    Flowki Well-Known Member

    But you also have no idea where organic comes from. Ironically the animals could be eating genetically modified produce grown by synthetics. Our sea's are far from clean any more so you also don't know what poolotion is getting into the system of those fertilizers. Even clean farms, the land they are grown on could be effected by all kinds of foul play in the past or present (fracking for example). One could argue you have a much better idea of what is in synthetic feed as it's more pure. Not that I am arguing that but you certainly could.
    Chunky Stool

    Chunky Stool Well-Known Member

    Do you have any evidence of prion contamination from "guanos from the cattle industry"?
    GreenLogician and ShLUbY like this.

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    i should have arranged the sentence differently. it says "bone meal, blood meal and guanos from the cattle industry AND overharvested bat droppings". should have been arranged "bone meal, blood meal from cattle industry, AND guanos from bat droppings."

    MY bad :) :lol: and you misquoted my sentence lol it was not worded the way you arranged it!
    GreenLogician likes this.
    Chunky Stool

    Chunky Stool Well-Known Member

    I use bone meal and a lot of guano (bat & seabird).
    Am I going to die? :o

    (Mad cow disease is *not* a good way to die.)

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