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Cannabis And Light Deprivation – A Way For Outdoor Growers To Control The Forces of Nature

Last updated: 27 September 2023

what is light deprivation

Ever wanted to utilize the power of the sun while still enjoying the control an indoor grow provides? Light deprivation may be the solution. However, even experienced growers commonly ask, “what is light deprivation going to do for my weed?” or “is light dep weed even any good?” Luckily, we’ve got the answers!

Light Deprivation Technique – What Is It?

light deprivation techniques

Light deprivation is a way that growers can control the hours of light their outdoor plants receive. Controlling lights indoors is easy – you just set them to a timer. That’s not the case with outdoor plants. When growing weed outdoors, the sun is your light source. Light deprivation is a method to make your weed plants get only 12 hours of sunlight even during the longest days of summer by covering the plant in one way or another. Giving your plants 12 hours of darkness is a sure way to make them flower when needed. As a result, you can shorten the grow cycle and even harvest multiple times per season, pulling down bigger, higher-quality yields.

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Who Should Use Light Deprivation?

Any outdoor grower who wants to increase their number of harvests per year can use light deprivation techniques in their garden. It’s also a way to keep plants at a manageable size. While huge plants are awesome and fun to show off, it’s easier to care for smaller plants. This will help increase the quality and yield of your garden. Indoor growers don’t need to worry about light deprivation as long as their light schedule is under control.

How Do I Perform Light Deprivation?

The basic idea behind light deprivation is covering your outdoor plants with something to change the amount of light they get every day. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds. You’ll need to plan out exactly what days and times to cover your plants, when you’ll start, and what you’ll use to cover them.

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When Should I Start?

The whole point of light deprivation is to cut down on the total hours of sunlight your plants receive. Therefore, you should begin light deprivation when the hours of sunlight naturally extend beyond 12 hours. This is around June in the Northern Hemisphere. To be sure, use outdoor grower’s calendars to catch the date of summer solstice when the days get longer. By using this date as your guide, you can maximize the effects this technique has on light-deprived weed.

Maintain Proper Cover

light-deprived weed

This is one of the most important aspects of light deprivation. When you cover your plants, you’ll need to keep 100% of outside light from reaching them. If you don’t, you’ll run into serious issues: your plants may become hermaphrodites, or they may not even flower at all. The simplest way to cover your plants is by using a plastic tarp. These are light-proof, water-proof and cost-effective. Using tarp and clothespins, you can create a rounded bag to cover your plants. Make sure your tarp is thick enough to prevent any light from penetrating.

Make A Plan And Stick To It

Forming a plan can be hard. You need to account for several factors like hours of light per day, sunrise time and sunset time. However, actually sticking to the plan can be even more difficult. You’ll understandably want to check on your plants. Don’t do this. Even the smallest disturbance in their light schedule can lead to your plants developing into hermaphrodites. You also need to be familiar with the strains you’re growing. Your plants are going to get taller as they mature, so you need to make sure your tarps will be large enough to accommodate the plant after it grows.

Tips And Tricks For Successful Light Deprivation

Here are a few key tricks we’ve compiled for you about cannabis light deprivation. First, automation can significantly streamline the process. Second, you can use light deprivation to harvest twice a season!

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Automation Is Your Friend!

Keeping track of when the sun rises and sets every day for weeks on end can be tedious. Not only will you need to track these changes, but you’ll also need to cover your plants in accordance with these times. But there is an easier way. By putting your plants in windows and using an extendable electric curtain rail set to a timer, you can automate the entire light deprivation process. This will save you significant time and effort.

Harvest Twice Per Season

You can use light deprivation to extend your outdoor grow season into two harvests as well. Begin your first flower cycle in the spring and harvest in mid-summer. Then, run your second flower cycle from summer through fall. Harvesting twice a season lets you harvest bigger yields every year. It’s also more forgiving: if some calamity befalls one grow cycle, you’ll still have a second cycle that season.

The Verdict

Light deprivation isn’t for everyone. It requires significant planning, attention to detail, plant knowledge and dedication. However, for outdoor growers, it’s a great way to exert control over the power of the sun! If you’re ready for the challenge, rest assured you’ll be rewarded with a quality harvest, potentially even twice in a single season.

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