Scott Reach is starting to take his last name very seriously.
The award-winning grower and breeder has grabbed another aspect of pot production, launching a line of growing nutrients for marijuana cultivations. Reach, whose House of Dankness dispensary and Rare Dankness breeding operation and wholesale grow are responsible for some of Colorado's most popular strains, wants to reach industry peers and home growers alike with Rare Dankness Nutrients.
Strains such as Ghost Train Haze and Lee Roy have made Reach's name well known in marijuana circles across the country since the home grower stepped into the legal market over a decade ago. He's shared some of those genetics with the public through his seed line, but now the marijuana Mr. Miyagi has armed his growing group of disciples with even more tools for a bountiful harvest.
After years of playing around with various nutrients — some of them made for marijuana, most of them not — Reach wanted to simplify the feeding process for marijuana, which he believes has become overly complicated compared to the process for other crops.
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"The initial idea came about five or six years ago, when I was sponsored by a nutrients brand. Those guys loved having a million different bottles and components for additives. But we ran into problems with imbalances because there were so many parts to it, and you couldn't figure out what you screwed up," he remembers. "I think that's one of the biggest problems plaguing growers: They've got ten different [nutrient] bottles."
Reach believes that going back to simpler nutrient compounds will help showcase the plant's flavor while still increasing yield and potency. He's advocating for powder-based growing supplements as an old-school approach that saves money — but according to this green thumb, that approach is more common than marijuana growers might think.
"In the ag world, no one really plays with bottled nutrients; it's mostly powders of nitrogen, phosphorus and stuff like that. As marijuana moves into heavy-metal testing, you have to be wary of more stuff," he explains. "You're paying for pennies on the gallon with powder, when liquid nutrients are dollars on the gallon."
It took about two years of garden testing by Reach and his partner, a New Jersey-based agricultural nutrient producer, to settle on a mixture that worked to their liking, and another year to get it prepared for mass production. Now, Reach is ready to sell the four-part nutrient pack to marijuana growers working out of warehouses or basements. The nutrients areavailable online
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and will soon be sold at hydroponic retailers, he says.
With seeds and nutrients both checked off the list, Reach could put together his own growing guide, and he's toyed with the idea. But for now, he's more focused on current projects. "I've joked around with writing a grow guide over the years," he admits. "But if I ever wrote one, it'd be specifically for the commercial aspect. I think the allure of home growing is in experimenting. You learn by failing, and there are a lot of mistakes. A lot of home growers also still hold on to mythology and don't always want to look at science."
So far, 2020 has been a wild one for Reach. He quarantined himself for over two weeks in March after making it back to Colorado from Spain days before that country went into a national lockdown, and launched his nutrient line less than a month later. Before the year ends, he expects to more than double the size of his growing output, with plans to expand from 3,000 to 7,000 plants.
Sounds like he'll need a lot of plant food.