As cannabis cultivation evolves to become increasingly commercially viable, cultivators will need to develop sophisticated strategies that accelerate crop productivity. This pursuit requires precise climate control and accurate data recording.
This is facilitated through crop steering techniques, which steer plants into growth phases when appropriate. These crop steering techniques initiate plant response by reducing water intake during the vegetative stage, for example.
Vegetative (veg) growth is a key stage of cannabis cultivation. During this phase, young plants receive additional light and grow larger, thicker stems with more nodes, branches, and leaves that have sprouted from the roots. This is the stage that cannabis plants undergo before entering flowering, which leads to the production of flowers and cannabinoids.
The vegetative stage usually lasts between 4 and 8 weeks, depending on the strain and growing conditions. Once this phase is over, a flowering photoperiod will be initiated to force the plants into bloom. This will ensure that the plants are fully prepared for flowering and maximizing yields.
During the vegetative stage, indoor photoperiod cultivators need to provide their cannabis plants with 18-24 hours of light per day. If not, the plants will begin to rot.
A cannabis plant’s root system is not yet well developed during this stage, so it can be difficult to get the best results from this growth phase. It is also important to maintain high humidity during veg as this will help the plants absorb and retain moisture.
Nitrogen is a key component in the vegetative stage of cannabis growth, so it is vital to use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer during this phase. Without the correct amount of nitrogen, the plants will grow weakly and stunted.
Another common problem during this stage is a lack of soil moisture. This can be a frustrating issue for growers, as the plant’s roots need to develop in well-oxygenated soil. It can be tricky to measure the correct amount of soil moisture, which is why many growers use a hygrometer.
In order to avoid waterlogged soil, cannabis growers should transplant their plants into bigger pots before switching them over to the flowering stage. This helps to avoid stunted growth, while also helping the plants adjust to different watering levels.
Some growers will re-pot their plants into 7-litre pots to prepare them for the flowering phase. This will help to increase size, bud formation, and cannabinoid production.
The vegetative stage of cannabis growth is essential for developing strong and healthy plants. It is also an ideal time to implement crop steering techniques, which will improve the overall performance of your cannabis plants in the flowering phase.
The flowering stage is where cannabis plants transform from vegetative growth into the production of resinous buds. This is one of the most important stages in a cannabis grow, as this is when you will start to see the fruits of all your hard work come to fruition.
During this time, cannabis strains should be fed with a high level of nitrogen. This is necessary for healthy leaf development and the growth of the plant as a whole.
Once seedlings have developed a minimum of 7 sets of pointed leaves, they will be able to enter the vegetative phase. The growth of the seedling will be fast and intense, so a good growing environment is key at this point. It is also important to avoid excess watering, as this could cause the roots to become weak.
Vegetative growth is typically 3-16 weeks long, depending on the variety. During this stage, your cannabis plant will produce more leaves, nodes and branches. They will also begin developing a robust root system to prepare them for the flowering phase.
In this phase, your cannabis plant will need a lot of light to grow efficiently. Outdoor plants should be receiving at least 6 hours of direct sunlight, and indoors they should be receiving a minimum of 16 hours per day.
Many cannabis cultivators prefer to use crop cycling during this time, as it is a great way to optimise your growing conditions and maximise your yield. It can help you to achieve better results in less time and with fewer mistakes.
Crop cycling is also a great way to increase your harvest capacity, as it allows you to rotate between different strains of cannabis each grow cycle. This is a great way to boost your yield and ensure you never run out of ready-to-consume buds.
Most strains of cannabis will go into flowering at around 8-9 weeks, but this depends on environmental conditions and the specific phenotype. It is a good idea to ask your supplier for advice, as they will be able to tell you when the flowering stage starts and what the recommended harvest date is.
Crop cycling is a method for optimizing grow conditions using environmental controls. This helps you to increase yields by triggering your plants’ developmental responses to specific environmental conditions.
Cannabis is a photosensitive plant and different wavelengths of light affect growth differently. Exposing your plants to the right amount of light during their natural growth cycle will ignite their response and boost production.
When cannabis plants enter the vegetative stage of their life cycle, they develop new roots and leaves that increase in size and number as they mature. Typically, this stage lasts for two to eight weeks.
Experienced cultivators know the best ways to set up grow rooms and lighting systems for optimum cannabis crop growth during this stage. They also use crop steering techniques to help them maximize their yield potential.
The vegetative stage of cannabis cultivation can be difficult to manage. It requires a balance of nutrient feed, air and water quality, environmental controls and lighting schedules to ensure your plants have the resources they need to thrive.
This stage also involves controlling the temperature and humidity to maintain optimal conditions for weed plant growth. Temperatures in the vegetative stage should range between 68 degrees Fahrenheit and 77 degrees, while humidity should be between 50% to 70%.
Vegetative cannabis plants also benefit from a low DIF (difference in daytime and nighttime temperatures) during this phase of development. This allows for the development of compact, elongated leaves and internodal bud structure.
Some cultivators have found that metal halide lights with a blue-shifted light spectrum provide an ideal grow environment for the vegetative stage of cannabis development. This type of light quality provides the right combination of blue light, red light and white light that your plants need to achieve their full photosynthesis capacity.
This stage of growth is also the point where female cannabis plants start to display their two bright white pistils and male cannabis plants begin to grow pollen sacs. It is important to remove these pollen sacs, as they can contaminate the female plants.
The harvest stage is when your cannabis plant is ready to be trimmed, dried, and cured. This process allows your harvested buds to stay fresh and potent for up to a year.
Before harvesting, check your crops to determine when they are ready by examining their trichomes and stigma color, which can help you know if the buds are ripe enough. You can also use a magnifying glass to spot minor changes that you wouldn’t otherwise notice with your naked eye.
If your trichomes are still clear and the stigma is a light orange or brown, this is a good sign that your harvest is approaching. You may also notice that the pistils have started to turn brown. This is a sign that the flowering is nearing its end, and many growers will wait a little longer to harvest their plants.
When you’re ready to harvest, make sure that all the buds on your plant are neatly trimmed and stored in a tidy area. This will keep your stash organized, and it also ensures that you don’t waste any of your crop.
Trimming is a necessary step that can be done by hand, or with tools like sharpened shears and scissors. Be sure to clean your trimmers with isopropyl alcohol 70%, and wear sanitary plastic gloves throughout the entire process.
Once the plant is cut, dry it at about 60 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-14 days in an open air drying space with 60% humidity. Once the buds are dry, remove them from the main stems and store them in jars.
Whether you’re indoor or outdoor, drying your buds is an important part of the harvest process. It helps maintain their potency and flavour, and it increases their shelf life.
The ideal drying conditions vary, but most growers agree that 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 60% relative humidity is a good starting point. Once the buds are dry, place them in jars and start the curing process.
The curing process helps to break down molecules that can irritate the respiratory system and arouse anxiety. It also encourages the conversion of THCA (the cannabinoid acid) into THC. Curing can take up to a few months, but it’s a simple and effective method that will add a delicious, smooth smoke experience to your harvest.