One of the ultimate goals that every marijuana grower has in mind is increasing their cannabis yield. That being said, several factors can negatively impact your yield. Therefore, you need to be ready and prepared to overcome these problems to protect it. Factors like harvesting time, climate issues, nutrition, etc. can make or break your yield, so you need to be sure to handle these correctly to get the best out of your cannabis crop. This article will guide you through several important tips that will explain how to maximize any cannabis yield.
The Importance Of Good Genetics
The specific marijuana strain you use will impact the production, growth and size of the buds. The good part is that a large number of the strains available these days have remarkably high yields and potencies in comparison to past strains. Also, growing them is pretty simple and as time goes by, things will get even better.
Beginners often tend to buy strains with subpar genetics because of their cheaper price. However, this does not do them any favors, as they get very little value for their money. The yield ends up being a disappointment and far from what one desires from a quality strain. Make sure you therefore invest in a high-quality strain. There are tons of valuable strains you can choose from, and their yield is generally higher, like the 3000g/plant (105 oz) of Barney’s Farm’s Glookies or 3500g/plant (123 oz) of Humboldt Seeds’ Gorilla Breath.
Autoflowering or photoperiod, Indica or Sativa, all provide excellent strains with fresh seeds and high yields. Let’s take a closer look at these and find out the differences between them.
Sativa/Indica: The flowering period of cannabis Sativa plants is quite long. Because of this, if the conditions are ideal and growers take proper care, Sativa strains provide greater yields. Compared to Sativa plants, Indica-dominant plants have a remarkably quick cycle. This makes it a perfect strain for smaller growing seasons. However, shorter cycles often lead to smaller yields.
Autoflowering/Photoperiod: Autoflowering strains start to flower and finish their cycle no matter what kind of light cycle they’re given. For this reason, growers should choose a strain that provides a suitable vegetation period. Otherwise, the lack of control over vegetation may leave you with a small yield. Photoperiod strains in comparison are far easier to manipulate. Their yield is remarkably better than that of autoflowering strains. You can also keep photoperiod plants in a vegetative state for longer. This will allow you to determine whether they have adequate structure and strength to support smooth and abundant bud production.
Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds
Improving Your Grow With Proper Lighting
Your lighting setup will have a major impact on your final yield. HPS lamps are recommended as being quite effective. In perfect growing conditions, you can expect 1g/watt for your yield by using HPS lamps. LEDs, although also immensely popular, provide a lower average yield in comparison. Moreover, depending on the wattage of the lamp, you need to remember to keep your HPS at a safe distance, as placing it too close to your plants could cause burn damage and thus a lower yield.
You also need to consider light distribution. The more equally the light is distributed, the better the bud production will be. Training methods like SCRoG, HST and LST have proven to be quite effective in increasing yields. An even canopy and equal exposure of buds to light that can be achieved with training ensures an increase in both qualitative and quantitative growth of flowers, hence bigger yields.
Carbon dioxide is another vital factor that directly relates to light. It may not seem so initially, but CO2 allows your plants to consume more light than it generally gets. Suffice to say, CO2 can really help maximize the yield of your plant. Experienced cultivators recommend running CO2 somewhere around 1250-1350 ppm throughout the flowering period, gradually increasing the CO2 from the first week to the seventh. Make sure you drop the carbon dioxide levels to 1000 during the last week, as this will help in trichome production. The process will allow your plants to absorb more nutrients and photosynthesize more quickly, so playing around with CO2 will help with both resin and trichome production.
Effective Training Methods To Maximize Yields
You have total control over the growth pattern of your cannabis plant during the vegetative stage. It’s therefore vital that you take sufficient time for manipulating the young plants by using some effective training methods. Mentioned below are some of the most effective training methods that will help you maximize yields:
With this method, you remove the branches’ sides along with your plant’s lower branches. As soon as you get rid of the small branches, the plant will become capable of putting all its power in the remaining branches. It’s quite similar to the pruning done to other kinds of plants and trees. Getting rid of the lower branches will also improve air circulation for the growing cannabis plant. Better circulation will lead to fatter buds, which will result in better yields.
As the name suggests, topping involves cutting off the top part of your plant. Since most plants tend to have a single stem, the idea of topping is to make the plant develop a double main cola in response to the stress. Sure, cutting off a part of plant that’s perfectly healthy may not feel right, but this is a tried and tested method used by a lot of experienced growers. These colas equally convert into buds during the flowering stage. Essentially, topping your plant a few times will result in more buds and a better overall yield. Topping also makes sure that your plant does not grow skinny and tall. Instead, it will make your plant more bushy, directly exposing the major portion of your plant to lights and allowing it to grow stronger.
ScrOG, which is also referred to as screen of green, is often made of chicken wire or netting. The net is fixed at a particular height over the plants – a process that ensures your plant will grow according to your chosen height. As soon as your cannabis reaches the screen’s height, its leaves will begin to grow toward the sides, widening the plant. Wider and shorter plants ensure that a larger area of the plant gets direct light exposure. Once the nodes start getting adequate exposure to light, your plant’s yield will improve remarkably.
Best ScrOG Strains
Trimming and pruning is the same thing. This method helps you maximize yield by shifting all of the plant’s energy to the bud production by clipping off the extra foliage. This principle is quite simple, yet very few people actually follow it. However, by cutting the extra leaves, you will expose your plant’s bud sites to more light. Moreover, as the plant doesn’t need to support the growth of that extra foliage, it will grow more buds and a bigger main cola. Once you’re done trimming your plant, your yield and quality will improve tenfold.
Often times when a plant struggles to grow, it lacks the strength to support itself. When cannabis plants have some sort of weight-bearing structure, it can be helpful for advancing them toward a developed stage. Trellising is a renowned gardening technique in which a supporting structure made of wood, bamboo or metal is built to guide the plant’s growth. It will allow your plants to remain sturdy and strong enough to hold the weight of developing buds. A single bamboo rod is quite sufficient to allow your cannabis plant to flourish smoothly. Because of the trellis’ ability to support the altered structure of the plant, it improves overall bud production and air circulation, resulting in a better yield.
The Correct Pot Size Can Make All The Difference
Scaling up your production is one of the more obvious ways to increase your cannabis plant’s yield. In no way does this mean that you have to take on the burden of growing more plants than you can handle. All it means is that you should consider scaling up the equipment you’re utilizing for growing using the plants you’re already committed to cultivating.
For example, growing your plant in a container of 11-liter soil could cultivate good yields; however, going for a 20-liter container would maximize the yield even more. How does this happen? Well, providing your plant more space to grow is all it takes to improve its yield. More space means a bigger zone for roots to flourish. If you want to go even bigger, air and fabric pots are ideal for maximizing your cannabis yields, as these provide ample space and allow more air to pass through.
Providing The Right Amount Of Nutrients
The importance of adequate nutrition cannot be stressed enough. However, some growers tend to take this advice a little too seriously and end up overfeeding their plants. Providing too much or too little nutrition is a recipe for disaster. You can immediately figure out whether a plant is under or overfed by noticing things like leaf curling, discoloration or even death, among various other symptoms. This problem is also referred to as nutrient burn. Just like we should avoid filling our plates with hundreds of vitamin pills, we should also avoid giving our plants more nutrients than they can handle.
If most of your plant’s leaves are bright green and look similar, you can breathe easy knowing that your plant does not have any problems. However, you should know beforehand the exact amount of nutrients you should be providing to your plants. Here are a few nutrient-related tips that will help you:
- The best method to help you steer clear of nutrient problems is to utilize soil-based mediums for creating compost to form super soil. This is completely organic and provides your plant virtually every nutrient that it requires for its entire lifecycle.
- The super soil will also make sure there isn’t any toxicity or deficiency-related issues, allowing you to focus your energy and time elsewhere.
- Buying a pre-mixed fertilizer is another option that can help eliminate the nutrient burn problem. This is an excellent product that contains exactly the right combination and quantity of nutrients to ensure your plant thrives, which can significantly improve its yield.
Be Mindful Of Your Plant’s Growing Environment
An excellent and controlled growing environment is vital for your plant’s health along with its final yield and potency. If the humidity and the temperature of your plant’s location is too low or too high, its growth will suffer and its buds will not get fat, making your efforts be in vain. If the temperature is too high (over 30 degrees centigrade), especially later on during the flowering stage, your buds will lose their potency and aroma because the terpenes and cannabinoids will burn away. Therefore, it is vital to have proper ventilation inside your growing room. This will give you good control over the growing environment, which could help increase the potency and smell of the buds during harvest.
You must also keep a watchful eye on any specific light source that could be damaging the plant. You will become instantly aware of this, as the leaves will begin to brown and start wilting. If this happens, move your plant further away from the light source until it has recovered.
Another thing you can do to ensure a healthy growing environment is to make sure the growing room is free from pests and pets, as these can cause irreparable damage to your plants. Use organic pesticides and do regular checks to ensure your plant is pest-free. Consistently checking for these issues is essential, as the problem is much easier to solve if it’s only just started.
Timely Harvest For Desired Results
If you notice that your buds are not completely ripe or still too small, harvesting them isn’t a good idea, as chances are you’ll cut your potential by about 25%. However, if you wait too long to harvest, you will lose some potency and aroma. The harvest window generally lasts for two to three weeks. Make sure you wait long enough to let the buds become fully ripe. The final weeks preceding the harvest make all the difference, since during this time, the buds are capable of growing by a quarter. Harvesting before the window will only prove to be a waste of energy, time and effort.
Experienced growers often observe the trichomes and pistils to determine the ideal harvesting time. The sticky, crystal-like coating on your cannabis plant’s buds is known as trichomes, and is what’s responsible for your plant’s aroma, potency and color. The plants aren’t ready if their trichomes are clear. If the trichomes have turned a milky color, it means their THC levels are at their highest. The pistils are the tiny hairs present on the plant, and unlike with trichomes, the naked eye can see them easily. When a plant is close to its harvest time, its pistils begin to curl and change their color. They are initially white, but when harvesting time is close, they become yellow, then orange, and eventually brown.
For all of those wondering how to get bigger buds and improve their cannabis yields, this article will come in more than handy to provide you with the right knowledge and skills. Just remember to take your strain, growing area and some precautionary measures into consideration before you start growing. Once all of these things align with your goal to increase the yield of your cannabis plant, there won’t be anything stopping you from achieving your dream harvest.