Premium Nutrient Test: Vegetative and Flowering Stages Report
Narrow Gauge Botanicals Cultivator Lucas Sirois compared MaiaGrow Premium Select Nutrient to one of it’s leading competitors in this A/B test and Case Study, recording the final yield and the analytic results with Proverde Laboratories.
A healthy plant is important to the quality and quantity of an overall harvest – growers look to nutrients to increase the potency and yield of their production. A complex plant requires a nutrient designed to distinctly address the genetic makeup.
MaiaGrow is a nutrient that uniquely combines all the necessary ingredients into a single formula. MaiaGrow is a two-part solution; other competitive nutrients require additives, increasing costs and introducing unnecessary elements and waste build-up that interferes with healthy plant growth.
Lucas, founder and cultivator at Narrow Gauge Botanicals, had informally tested MaiaGrow against other products in the past, and estimated the MaiaGrow nutrient plants produced up to 30% more yield than the plants using the competitor brand.
For this test, Lucas decided to test MaiaGrow against one of his current nutrients and a top competitor. He chose specific plant types and reported results to us throughout the cultivation – read on for Lucas’ full observations from his cannabis nutrient test. Then be sure to check out the Case Study with full results, including a summary of his observations.
During the first weeks, in the Vegetative Stage, Lucas watched closely as the plants grew. By week three, both sets of plants appeared healthy and relatively close; however, the cannabis plants fed with MaiaGrow appear to have somewhat more girth than the plants fed by the competitor. In week four, Lucas again noted that the MaiaGrow plant was fuller than the competitor’s.
By week five, the plants began to shift toward the end of vegetative stage and both still appeared healthy. Lucas pointed out that the plants fed with the competitor nutrients were starting to stretch taller rather than growing out wider, which can be bad for the overall quality of the plant. He explained that this will affect the bud density in the flowering stage especially, and therefore predicts a bigger yield from the MaiaGrow plants.
According to Lucas, “when plants stretch too much there will be larger gaps in the colas. I can tell the MaiaGrow plants will produce denser colas because the distance of the nodes are closer together, and they’re stacking nicely from the base to the top of the plant.”
The MaiaGrow plants will be able to produce colas that are denser because the nodes have grown closer together; thus, they are stacked from the base of the plant, upwards.
Plants began to look ready for the flowering stage in week five and this shift continued into week six. Lucas stated that the MaiaGrow plants looked strong, healthy and showed no signs of nutritional deficiencies, and by comparison, those plants fed with our leading competitor’s nutrient showed discoloration along their stems. Lucas noted this red coloration is due to nutrient imbalances—phosphorous in particular.
As week seven approached, it marked the first full week of flowering. Lucas continued to see the two groups of plants grow differently. Some specific plants fed with our competitor’s nutrient grew taller and more stretched out than our MaiaGrow plants, leading to weaker branches that struggle to support themselves. The MaiaGrow plants, comparatively, have strong branches and the plants themselves have grown wide and full rather than tall.
“We noticed specific plants with the competitor nutrient are still taller and stretched more than the MaiaGrows – the branches aren’t as strong and aren’t as stout – they aren’t having a fun time supporting themselves. This isn’t happening on the plants with MaiaGrow nutrients,” he said.
Week eight brought to light even more evidence of MaiaGrow’s superior nutrient potential. In those cannabis plants fed with our competitor’s nutrients, the leaves began to turn extremely green and started to fold together. This indicates that the leaves no longer have a firm texture and will be softer than normal. While this can sometimes happen due to a lack of light, that is not the case here; this inferior leaf texture is obviously caused by an imbalance of nutrients.
Lucas explained further: ”Some of the plants belonging to the competitor nutrient have leaves that are getting a overly green hue, and kind of “taco” downward. This means they’re losing their normal texture and will be softer than we want. Lack of light can sometimes cause this, but that’s not the case here – it’s definitely a nutrient imbalance.”
During week nine, Lucas noticed that the leading competitor’s nutrient-fed plants have stretched out even further and continued to weaken. As first noted in week six, they are beginning to show signs of further phosphorus deficiency.
“The plants with the leading competitor’s nutrient are still weaker and stretching out more each week, and also starting to show deficiencies in the phosphorous department,” said Lucas.
In week four of flowering, week 10 overall, Lucas reports that plants using our leading competitor’s nutrient continue to show less yield when compared to plants grown with MaiaGrow nutrient, which show no deficiencies.
“The plants with MaiaGrow are definitely denser to the touch in all three types. In the other plants, it’s obvious that the nutrient imbalance is the reason those aren’t doing as well; plants appear to be high on nitrogen and too low on phosphorus.”
In week five of flowering, week 11 overall, Lucas noticed the “stretched” branches from the leading competitor cause those nodes to grow further apart, leading to a less dense product.
He pointed out that ”recently, I’ve seen glimpses of faint rust looking spots on a few leaves, which is usually a sign that calcium levels are a bit low and or the plant can’t process this element.” The stems from each plant showed darker red veins on the plants using the Leading Competitor’s nutrient; Lucas stated this was another sign of a nutrient imbalance.
From week six of flowering, week 12 overall, Lucas reported, “On the leading competitor’s plants, I see calcium deficiencies across the board. The brown edges with the rusty leaves are most apparent.”
From week seven of flowering, week 13 overall, Lucas noted a green hue on the leaves of some plants using the leading competitor’s nutrient. On the plants on others also using the leading competitor’s nutrient, the leaves are turning yellow early and crinkling up more because of a calcium deficiency.
“When plants are late to flower, they try to pull every last bit of calcium out of those big leaves to finish. The leaves (of the competitor’s nutrient) don’t have that to offer so it’s really showing up,” Lucas also said.
See the week eight of flowering, week 14 overall, Lucas points out that while it’s normal for most plants to have a little red in the stem, the lines are much more defined in the leading competitor’s nutrient, showing a clear phosphorous deficiency. He also notes these lines are not as defined like this in the MaiaGrow plants.
On the sugar black rose plants, Lucas felt a difference in the density between the plant grown with the MaiaGrow and the plant grown with our leading competitor’s nutrient. This is the last week before harvest, when Narrow Gauge gathers final results from their Nutrient Test between MaiaGrow and the leading competitor.
“When we went in there were branches on the ground that had broken off the plants using the leading competitor’s nutrient. These plants were just weaker and working harder than the plants using MaiaGrow,” Lucas said.
Final product results from Group A and Group B were independently tested at ProVerde Laboratories. These results are reflected in the potency and yield data table included in the full Case Study.
MaiaGrow out-performed the competition with:
- average 13% Higher potency
- average 25% Greater Yield
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