Amending your soil with slow-release fertilizers can help maximize plant efficiency and growth throughout the season. A combination of fast and slow fertilization can ensure that your plants truly want for nothing as they mature the various stages and phases of growth. Some nutrients in certain forms can take up to 16 weeks to become plant available depending on the biology/balance of the soil that it goes into. Knowing this and planning for that type of timing/release can produce some truly remarkable results.
The timing/release of Nitrogen into the soil can often make or break the success of the season. Oftentimes, farmers will front-load nitrogen to try and get ahead of the problem. This can work if the given plant has the capacity to store this nitrogen in old growth for later use. Hemp has this capability to some extent, but it’s ability is limited to the leaf-space of the old growth, and if you’re plants are not big or bushy enough because you got into the field too late with too small of plants, then you will more than likely be forced to feed more synthetic nitrogen to your plants throughout the lifecycle to stay ahead. A better way to go can be using a slower-release form of nitrogen in your regimen and timing it to release later in life when it is really needed. The nitrogen pathway is a tricky one, and can be disrupted easily (depending on the form of nitrogen that you are using).
As mentioned previously, the Biology in the soil is an important part of being able to predict the timing of the release of these nutrients in the soil food web. If you are lacking a particular player in the mix (let’s say a Phosphorus reducer or a Phosphorus deliverer) then you may experience a slower rate/later date of availability to the plants, and your plants may show signs of deficiency for that nutrient (Phosphorus). You may even overreact and apply synthetic forms of that nutrient and unintentionally spiking THC levels; because by the time the slow-release form becomes available, you have too much of that nutrient in the system. It can be tricky and it takes patience, but once you nail the timing/release, your season will be closer and closer to hands-off and care free!
Additional Resources: The Key to Hemp Yield and Sustainability!