Congratulations for pursuing the cultivation of cannabis. This hobby can get frustrating if you put months of work into a low yield. We have put together a list of eight tips for getting the most flowers out of your grow.
Growing cannabis is a fine hobby that can secure your personal stash. With months of planning, water and energy usage, you want your plants to produce as many flowers as possible. Find a discrete location where you can cultivate. You can grow outdoors, where you have the advantage of natural sunshine and atmospheric conditions. Growing indoors tends to be more reliable however, as you have a lot more control over that environment. Whichever you choose, there are a number of principles to keep in mind for maximising yields.
First and foremost is the genetics of the strain you’re growing. Luckily, we have a selection of very strong, profit-yielding seeds for you to use. There is also the question of whether you’re seeds are autoflowering or a photoperiodic strain. If it’s the latter, then a very delicate management routine for the plant’s lighting is required for satisfying returns. Order your seeds and get your setup ready to go! Here are eight ways in no particular order to improve the chances of your photoperiodic plant producing a lot of bud.
Sometimes when a plant is struggling to grow, it doesn’t even have the strength to support itself. If cannabis plants have a structure bearing their weight, it can help them advance to a more developed stage. A basic technique of gardening is trellising. This is where wooden structures are built to aid and guide the growth of plants. The material can sometimes be wood, but also bamboo or kinds of metal. Any such strong material can be arranged in a mesh or simply as supportive rods. These can keep your plants separated and sturdy whether you’re grow setup is horizontal or vertical. A bamboo rod could be enough for your cannabis plant to continue flourishing.
As your plant is still vulnerable in the vegetative phase, it is also malleable to training. If you want to guide the development of your plant, this is the phase to do it in. The physical development of your plant could be hampered by branches interlocking from untidy, uneven growth. Subject your plant to low stress training (LST). This is where you spread out the main stem and side branches by separating them carefully with string. This makes your plant grow outwards in a thick bush. String can also be used to keep overlap between your plants tidy. Consider the “screen of green” (ScrOG) method where a grid of string guides the plants towards neater growth.
INCREASE CONTAINER SIZE
One obvious way to increase yield is to scale up your production. This doesn’t need to involve taking on more plants than you’re capable of handling. With the plants you have committed to cultivating, you may scale up the equipment you’re using to grow them. For instance, growing in an 11-litre container of soil may produce good yields. Can you afford a 20-litre container instead? With more space for the plant to grow, a bigger yield can be expected. See if your budget can accommodate a boost to your setup’s capabilities. You are making a budget before you start any of this, right? Because that’s so important we hope it didn’t need to be mentioned.
INCREASE LIGHT INTENSITY
Your budget will definitely be profoundly impacted by your lighting setup. This lighting setup should maximise available light with a direct and evenly distributed light source. There are vertical variations circling around a central light source. There are also rows of plants, sometimes tiered, around a light source from above. Check what distance you should keep your plants from your chosen light. Assuming you have control over your indoor lighting setup, you should research energy-efficient lightbulbs that will cut energy costs and reduce the risk of heat stress. Stepping up the intensity of the light source, although expensive, is going to boost the photosynthetic process further.
Avoiding heat stress and extremes of cold will help your plants avoid damage. Such damage would only drain the plant’s energy, which could be going towards a more plentiful harvest. A big advantage of indoor growing is the ability to control the temperature of your growing environment through a ventilation system. The recommended temperature while receiving light is between 70–85° F, or 21–29° C. The recommended temperature without light is between 58–70° F, or 14–21° C. Humidity is also crucial to monitor, with levels between 50–70% being perfect, depending on the stage of the plant’s development.
Something that will need to be precise throughout every stage of cultivation is nutrition. This includes the high demand for water which must be met. Bare that in mind if you live in a drought-prone region. There are nutrients the plant needs, but be careful not to provide too much of them. Yellow tips on your plant are a sign of too many nutrients, potentially spoiling the plant. A key balance to get right is between the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in your fertiliser. During the vegetative stage, there should be high nitrogen, medium phosphorus and high potassium levels. During the flowering stage, there should be low nitrogen, medium-to-high phosphorus and high potassium. It’s also possible to use certain Epsom salts to provide sulphur and magnesium for the plant’s health.
Hopefully your plant is starting to flower and it has many more bountiful buds. Extra care really should pay off with well-managed growing conditions. There is still more work to be done as it nears glorious fruition. Pruning the apical shoot or main stem can allow more than one cola to form. The earlier you do this, the more time your plant will have to heal during the vegetative stage. Cutting a stem can cause two new shoots to form. Cutting the terminal branch tip can cause two lateral branches to form, effectively doubling the space for flower to grow. Remove lower branches which have less chance of flowering well. Soon your plant should have the right distribution of energy.
TIME YOUR HARVEST
This leaves one final but very crucial aspect to get right. As your plant enters the flowering stage, the pungent aroma will be strong. You will be tantalised by the months of hard work paying off before your very eyes. If you are patient enough to grow marijuana, then you have the temperament to resist temptation a little longer. Don’t be in a rush to harvest the flower as you may do it too soon and lower your yields. There is a 2–3 week window in which you can harvest the buds. If you hold on for a week or two longer, it can increase the size of buds by up to 25%. It’s worth doing everything you can to maximise your yield, even waiting a little longer.
Comment and let us know about any other tips you have found helpful for increasing cannabis yields.