When you decide to grow cannabis plants, whether you grow them outdoors or indoors or by utilizing the hydroponics system, you know that you need to get fertilizer. Your marijuana plants, like any other plants and crops, require the correct formulation of fertilizer to not only grow but to thrive so they can deliver you the goods you want. However, you will have plenty left over because there is only so much fertilizer you can use for your plants for their growth cycle.
Unless you plan to grow weed all of the time, which you may not since you may not have the time and energy to nurture your plants – you will have plenty of fertilizer left in a package. That means if you plan on taking an extended holiday somewhere and not intending to grow more cannabis plants for another year, will the fertilizer be any good? First, let’s talk about how long fertilizer lasts in soil, its shelf life signs of expiring, and how to store it correctly.
How Long Does Fertilizer Last In Soil?
If you are growing your cannabis plants in soil and not using the hydroponics system, you can expect it to last for some time, depending on the soil type and the form of fertilizer. The soil type does play a significant role in how long the fertilizer lasts, and it also depends on the strain of cannabis. Some strains deplete the nutrients more quickly than other strains. Also, the number of cannabis plants you grow plays a considerable role.
However, on average, if you use organic liquid fertilizer to nourish your plants, you can expect it to stay in your soil anywhere from two to four weeks. If the liquid fertilizer is synthetic, then it will last anywhere from four to six weeks. If you feed your plants with dry organic fertilizer, you look at it staying in soil anywhere from four to six weeks. However, if you provide them synthetic dry fertilizer, it can last anywhere from four to 36 weeks!
Organic fertilizers need more time for breaking down into the soil, whether it is liquid or dry, which is why they last longer. When they break down into the micronutrients and minerals, the roots of the cannabis plant will take them in.
However, when it comes to synthetic fertilizers, their nutrients are already there and do not require any type of breaking down. That is why they don’t last in the soil for very long.
When it comes to dry synthetic fertilizers, they come in granules. There is a coating around each grain. That slows down the rate of the soaking of nutrients in the ground. So that is why they can also last a long time. So now, let’s talk about the shelf life of fertilizer and how long that can last.
What Is The Shelf Life Of Fertilizer?
It is not easy to know the shelf life of most fertilizers because you do not see expiration dates on the packages. However, the rule of thumb is that liquid mineral fertilizer can last up to ten years. However, it would be best to shake the bottle well before using it, as the nutrients will end up at the bottom while storing it. When it comes to liquid organic fertilizers, it can last anywhere from five to eight years because the ingredients will decay at some point. The nutrients in this fertilizer usually come from seaweed.
However, when it comes to dry granular or crystalized fertilizer, there is no expiration date on them. If you use crystalized fertilizer, the nutrients remain usable inside the crystals unless they become wet. Those are synthetic fertilizers which is why they will last. Organic ones will decompose. How do you know if they go bad? Let’s talk about that now.
How Do You Know When Fertilizer Goes Bad?
When fertilizer goes bad, you may not necessarily know it when it comes to liquid fertilizer because the odor is not pleasant as it is. The thing is, synthetic liquid fertilizer does not go bad too often. However, organic liquid fertilizers do, and there may be mold growth and other fungi; bacteria will have a more rancid odor. You would have to know the odor of liquid fertilizer to tell what is typical and rancid. The consistency would not be familiar either as it may be lumpier.
When it comes to dry or granular fertilizer, you would know it goes bad by seeing small mold qualities and will have insects surrounding it. That is why you never want to put your fertilizer in moist conditions, and we will talk about that in a bit. However, if you see that the fertilizer expires, do not use it as it can harm your cannabis plants.
How Do You Store Your Fertilizer?
The best thing you can do is store fertilizer in a dry area without any sunlight exposure and in a room temperature place. If you place it in a place where it is humid and where there are cold snaps, that will harm the fertilizer. Please keep it away from an area where there may be pests around. You will also want to keep it away from children and pets. Never put it where there are also paints, pesticides, and other chemicals. You also want to ensure to seal the fertilizer well. Make sure to tighten the bottle cap of liquid fertilizer well, and put dry fertilizer in a ziplock bag if you cannot shut the packaging otherwise.
When you are ready to begin growing your cannabis plants‘, you will need to know what type of fertilizer to use and how to store and take care of the fertilizer. That means you will need to know the signs of when it expires, and you will also need to know how long it lasts in the soil if you are growing your marijuana plants that way.
The ideal thing to do is always talk to weed-growing experts so you know the type of fertilizer to use and how to take care of it. If the fertilizer expires, you never want to give it to your plants as it can harm them.