There are a few tips that every gardener should know to increase their harvest and extend their growing season. One of them is using crop succession.
Crop succession involves planting a new crop in the same bed as the current crop is growing, often in the fall or spring. This extends the growing season and yields a larger crop.
Varieties to Consider
Crop succession, the practice of planting different crops sequentially on the same field to optimise soil health and nutrition, combat pests and weeds and reduce the use of chemical inputs (Reganold and Wachter 2016), is increasingly seen as a sustainable approach to reducing crop-crop competition and promoting ecosystem services. It can be achieved in many ways, from a simple rotation of a couple of crops to complex systems that incorporate a number of crops and intercrops (Malezieux et al. 2009).
Some crops are innately capable of greater and more rapid resource capture and sequestration than others, and these can be exploited to suppress weeds, particularly in annual systems where the ‘race’ for resources between a crop and a weed resets each season. These traits can include taller crops, with extensive root systems and high early vigour, as well as larger seeds that make them more able to outcompete weeds before they germinate.
In addition, a crop’s capacity to capture resources and sequester them in space can be enhanced through strategies such as reducing tillage and using sowing arrangements that maximise crop resource capture in space, such as reduced inter-row spacing or using competitive cultivars with a greater density of seedlings than weeds (Mohler 1996; Colbach et al. 2014).
Increasing a crop’s diversity is also an effective strategy to limit weed competitiveness, as it increases the variety of weed species that utilise the same resources, and thereby decreases competition between the weed community and the crop. The diversity of a weed species pool determines whether it can disperse and survive in the environment (Keddy 1992; Booth and Swanton 2002).
This biodiversity of species, coupled with the ability of weeds to provide ecosystem services such as soil protection and biodiversity support, may allow them to co-exist at low levels of yield loss, and to promote more species to persist in the weed community over time. This is consistent with the’resource pool hypothesis’ (Smith et al. 2010), which suggests that systems fertilised with organic materials are thought to have a greater range of ‘alternative resource sources’ available to weeds, meaning that weed-crop competition is likely to be less intense per unit biomass in these systems than in conventional ones.
Preparing the Soil
The soil is an essential component of the plant life cycle and can make or break your cannabis crop. Its texture, pH levels, nutrients, water retention, and drainage affect the growth of your plants, so it’s important to understand what you should be looking for when choosing the right kind of soil.
There are five major types of soil for cannabis cultivation: sandy, clay, silty, loamy, and humus. All of them have their own strengths and weaknesses.
Sandy soil is a fine-textured, low-nutrient soil that’s typically easy to work with and has excellent drainage. It’s also rich in oxygen, which is vital for healthy weed growth. However, it lacks a balanced nutrient balance, so it will require constant feeding and watering to grow healthy plants.
Silty soil is a medium-coarse soil that’s loaded with organic material and minerals, but it has poorer drainage than sandy soil. It’s a popular choice for growing weed and is particularly effective when paired with a good fertilizer, especially a high-quality worm castings supplement.
Loamy soil is a combination of sand, silt, and clay, with a neutral pH and high levels of organic compounds. It’s one of the best soil types for cannabis because it provides optimal water retention and drainage, but it can be expensive.
Soil amendments can help improve the soil’s air flow, texture, and drainage. They can also improve the microbial life in your soil, which is critical for plant health.
Some of the most common amendments are organic compost, perlite, peat moss, and animal blood meal. They all add nutrients, including nitrogen (N), potassium (K), and phosphorus (P).
A mix of these amendments will give you a well-balanced mixture that is ideal for cannabis. You can even create your own bespoke mixture with different amendments, depending on your specific needs.
For example, a soil amendment made from perlite and peat moss can help improve drainage and airflow. It can also increase the density of the soil, making it more aerated. It can also help with microbial growth and encourage the formation of healthy fungi colonies. Worm castings are another important soil amendment to consider, as they provide microbes that can help with nutrient absorption by your plants.
Cannabis is a tropical plant, which means it needs warm temperatures to thrive. It also requires a lot of water, which can make it hard to grow in places with cold weather. In addition, it needs plenty of light to produce buds.
To start a marijuana garden, you’ll need to start by planting seeds. This is the same process you’d use for any other plant.
For starters, you’ll need a seed-starting mix or soil. These will help you get your seeds growing quickly. You can buy these ready-made, but you can also make your own from a high-quality soil/compost combination.
Then, you’ll need to plant your cannabis seeds in the soil/compost mixture. This is the best way to get a great start for your new marijuana garden.
Depending on the type of seeds you’re using, it can take anywhere from 3 days to 10 days for them to germinate. When they do, they’ll look like little white tails coming out of the ground.
Once you’ve got your seeds germinating, you’ll need to move them to a larger container. You can use a large pot or grow box, or you can plant them directly into your soil. Once they’re planted, you’ll want to keep them moist but not waterlogged. You can do this by watering them gently, but not frequently.
Crop succession is the practice of alternating different types of crops in the same garden bed. This is an effective technique for maximizing space and avoiding the wasting of nutrients. It’s also an ideal method for preventing disease and pests.
Using crop succession for cannabis cultivation is a great way to maximize your space and avoid wasting resources. It also helps ensure that your plants receive the nutrients they need to thrive. However, it is important to remember that each plant will have its own unique requirements. This is why it’s important to choose the right variety and plant based on your local climate. You’ll also need to provide plenty of sunlight, water, and nutrient inputs for each plant.
The most important factor in successful cannabis cultivation is harvesting at the right time. The ideal timing is when the trichomes, or resin glands, are fully developed and coat the buds. Waiting too long to harvest can degrade the THC and THCV in the resin glands, reducing their potency.
Observing the visual appearance of the pistils and trichomes is one of the most reliable ways to determine when it’s time to harvest. The pistils will begin to change from white hairs to orange or brown, indicating that the plant is close to flowering.
Experienced growers use the trichome method to pick the perfect harvest time for their crops. This method requires a jeweler’s loupe or other magnifying device that can be used to look closely at the tiny, resin gland-like structures that make up the trichomes on cola buds.
The trichomes are the most obvious visual indicators that the plant is ready for harvesting. The trichomes start out clear and glassy, but as the plants become more mature, the trichome heads will become opaque and eventually amber in color.
Trichomes are also a great indicator of the overall health of your weed plants. The trichomes are tiny resin glands that form when the plant is preparing to ripen.
They are difficult to see with the naked eye, but experienced growers can determine the best time for harvesting by examining the trichomes in a magnifying glass or jeweler’s loupe. The trichomes change color and shape as they mature, so using this technique to identify when it’s time to harvest can save you lots of headaches down the road!
Another way to determine when it’s time to harvest is to check the leaves and buds. If the leaves are wilting, the plant may be stressed from too much light or heat. It’s a good idea to keep the lights dimmed and relative humidity levels low to limit the growth of fungal disease that can infect dying plant material.
Lastly, it’s a good idea to examine the buds for signs of stress. If the buds are starting to get banana-like, it’s a sign that the plant is attempting to make seeds before it dies. This is a common response to stress in cannabis plants, and it’s usually a sign that you should harvest the crop soon.