Other growers who used the same seeds harvested big ripe buds with yellow leaves and lots of red hairs. My plants were still very green and were not ready. Were my plants too healthy? Did I over feed the plants?
Excess nitrogen (N) delays ripening. By fertilizing the plants weekly you created a build-up of N that was not used by the plant. Even though you stopped fertilizing the plants September 1, there was plenty of water soluble N in the planting medium. This was a cue to the plants to continue growing because there were plenty of nutrients to support the growth.
Planting media with low levels of N promote flowering. The plants transfer N from the large fan leaves to the points of new growth, the bud. Because N is being transferred, the fan leaves turn yellow before they die, while the buds swell and ripen as your friends’ plants did.
A better fertilizer regimen would have been to use your current fertilizer until the middle of July. Use no fertilizer for a couple of weeks and then use a bloom mix such as 2-10-10 or 1-9-5 for three weeks. The high phosphorous (P) levels promote large flowers and the potassium (K) balances the high acidity of the P. After three feedings, there will be enough residual nutrients in the medium to support growth.
Finally, the soil should have been kept a bit dryer the last three weeks. This also promotes ripening.
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