Why Fading Your Cannabis Rocks – What is Fading?
Fading your cannabis, is simply letting your cannabis plants use up all their stored nutrient value, just before harvest. Leaving you with the purist, most elegant smoke, ever! Top shelf all the way baybee. When growing all-natural or other organic styles, the only real difference in your approach revolves around how fast the fade progresses after it begins. Using liquid synthetic nutrients, or liquid organic nutrients, you will have greater (more rapid) control over the fade timing. All-natural growing just takes a tad more skill, no worries, I’ll show ya how we do.
Your water source should be beefed up, PPM speaking, or manipulated in such a way that you can ease off the PPM levels in your water at the end, starting several weeks before harvest. Fading your cannabis is easily done by simply reducing the PPM value of your water, sort of gradually, starting 3 or 4 weeks before harvest. You can always add small amounts of aquarium water, or pond water even, with every watering right up until 3 weeks before harvest. Like 2 oz per gallon of water. Then decrease this addition accordingly as I laid out above—you dig? You don’t want that high nitrogen aquarium water during the last 3 weeks of flowering anyway.
When growing all naturally, anytime a plant is running out of something, like nitrogen (N) let’s say, that deficiency progresses very slowly, in the case of N, starting in the lower larger leaves and moving upwards. Any type of issue that progresses fast, is almost always not a deficiency, but rather an “issue” brought about by you, the grower, somehow. Something you did about 10 to 15 days before the “issue” showed itself. Likely something revolving around “feeding your plant.”
Using All-Natural Growing Methods –The Slow Progression
Since true all-natural styles use no liquid bottled nutrients, or powerful “teas,” you will see the fade progress much slower than with other growing styles. When growing all-natural style, you will see any effects to your plants about 10-14 days after you have done something; like, a top dressing, etc.
It’s really all about your PPM (Parts Per Million) of your water. The last thing you want to do is add any real nitrogen during the last 3 weeks before harvest, but you will want to keep levels of things like calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and Sulfur (S) good, in declining levels at the end. This keeps resin production, and terpene production pumping along strong until the very end. Using this method correctly, you should see the first effects of fading your cannabis plants, about 4 weeks before harvest date. With slow progression moving forward.
This is pretty basic. Whatever you are running your water PPM at, cut it to around ¾ strength, at 4 weeks until harvest. So, if you run 65 PPM usually, you want to dip it to around 55ish PPM. At 3 weeks until harvest stop any additions of fish tank or pond water, no nitrogen sources at all. No top dressings, nada, nothing but your ground water and bring the PPM to around 40 to 50 PPM. You can bring R/O, rain, or distilled water to this PPM value easily by bubbling 1/8th teaspoon dolomite lime per gallon of water 24 hrs. Then dilute with low PPM water. Keep your water consistent as far as groundwater type minerals are concerned, just back off the PPM levels.
Using Liquid Organic “Soup Style” Methods – Weening Off
For liquid organic bottled nutrient lovers, “Soup Style” I call it, fading your cannabis is easy as pie man. All you have to do is reduce your nutrient input by the ratios above, same timetable. And for their last 7 days before harvest, I would use just water, low PPM water, like 40 to 60 PPM, like groundwater. Stop any nitrogen input about 15 days before harvest. Ween your ratios of anything else down, which also lowers PPM values/levels automatically. No real P or N last two weeks.
Get yourselves some kickass genetics at Kingdom Organic Seeds Online – all grown and bred all naturally TLO style. Check out my TLO book on Amazon: True Living Organics 2nd Edition by Rev – and check out another good Rev article here: Water World Article by Rev – Growing your own herb is a wonderfully fulfilling path, growing your own top shelf amazeballs herb, is even better—so maybe listen to la Revski.
I would also back my lights off by about an additional 6 inches during the last 10 days before harvest. You can also use light distance as a tool, if fading your cannabis is progressing too quickly, back off your lights a bit, too slow and you may want to bring them in a bit closer. I never bring my lights closer than 18 inches. Backing off your lights a bit, at the 10 days until harvest mark, in my experience, enhances resin and terpene production as well. See for yourselves 😉
Fading Your Cannabis – The 20,000 Foot Overview
Fading is an art, and there are many “tools” at your disposal here. The speed at which your plants fade can be manipulated by adjusting environmental factors. Temperature, Humidity, light distance, air movement, and adjusting your water’s PPM level downwards for the last several weeks before harvest.
Additionally, genetics will also play a big part in this. Some genetics (strains/varieties) are just better at storing more nutrients, and/or better at getting/metabolizing those nutrients. “Hog” type phenos may burn through resources faster than normal phenos. The light spectrum you flower under also plays a part here. Generally speaking, the Bluer and UV type of spectrum (about 4,000 to 6,500 kelvins) the greater the usage of nitrogen during the second half of flowering. Redder spectrums, down around 3,000 kelvins use less nitrogen and more magnesium during the second half of flowering.
Using the growing styles named above, remember that the plant uses its leaves like batteries during the last 4 weeks of flowering. Don’t freak out and add nutrients when you see the leaves being sucked dry by the plant. Also, don’t remove these leaves until they are sucked dry. Anytime you are fading your cannabis correctly, using all-natural growing methods, you will begin to see the plant cannibalizing its largest leaves first about 3 to 4 weeks from harvest. Soup Style, you should begin your PPM/Nutrient reductions at about 3 weeks before harvest. Cheers, see ya all back here next week.
- REvski 😊
I'm The Rev, and I have been with SKUNK for about a decade now. I hail from Southern California, spent mucho time in Northern California, and now reside in Southern Oregon; always coastal. I am an all natural style cannabis grower and I have written a couple books on the subject - check out True Living Organics 2nd Edition on Amazon - I have been growing for over 45 years, and I have been breeding cannabis for over 30 years. Check out kingdomorganicseeds.com to see some exotic selections. Growing connoisseur cannabis is what I teach mostly, growing it in living soil without using liquid organic nutrients to feed the plant. I am also a highly skilled synthetics grower, hydroponics, aeroponics, DWC/SWC/NFT, Ebb and Flow, and soilless, but I cringe when smoking synthetic grown herbs, so for the last 15 years or so I preach the artisan style of all natural growing, specializing in container growing. Cheers and welcome aboard.