I want to share these top 3 tips to increase cannabis yield. And here is a hint, it has nothing to do with the nutes you use or some secret sauce or bloom booster. This is going to be part 1 of a 3 part series because there is a lot to cover.
Want To Increase Cannabis Yield? You Cant Cheat On The Basics
It is actually pretty basic stuff but many growers either forget about it or try to cut corners and game the system with short cuts. Weed is a living plant that has specific requirements to reach optimum yields and if you want to boost your cannabis yields you have to meet those needs. Luckily marijuana is a forgiving plant and will produce fairly well even if neglected. So here are the 3 things you must do to increase your harvest. And if you are reading this you probably don’t do them all!
Tip #1 Veg Your Plants Longer
With a 4 week veg you might be lucky to get 2-4 ounces a plant. But veg the same plant for 2 months and you can easily get 10 or even 16 ounces per plant. Bigger plants yield more plain and simple. I spent a lot of time growing small plants. Bud quality was great but yields left a lot to be desired.
If you live in a state that restricts plant count this is your golden ticket to bigger harvests. You are going to flower for 2 months so it makes sense to veg for 2 months also. You want a mature, strong, healthy plant going into flower not a young adolescent that has barely reached puberty.
Sea Of Green or SOG requires a lot of small plants with little veg time. I don’t recommend this for a few reasons. One is plant count. Also you will either be buying a lot of clones or doing a lot of cloning yourself. Your clone game had better be spot on or you will be spending a lot of money on new clones.
It is much easier to grow fewer plants and harvest more from each than to manage a large number of small plants.
I can hear many readers groaning and saying that takes too long. I don’t want to wait that long for a harvest. No worries! There is a work around and it’s called a perpetual harvest.
How To Veg To Increase Cannabis Yield
Above is my basic method for getting plants through veg and ready to flower. In this case I started seeds in paper towels. Then they were transplanted into a tray filled with coco. Once they were well rooted they went into gallon pots.
I top early and often. More branches means more yield. Your goal should be at least 6-8 main arms per plant. This depends on your flowering area too. If you are going for 1 plant in a 4 x 4 scrog you would want as many branches as possible so you don’t have to wait for the screen to fill before flowering.
You want to pot up to a new container before plants get root bound. Also don’t put a small plant into a big pot or the media will never dry out and over watering can be an issue. When you feed you want the pots to dry quickly so you can feed again.
Final pot size is always a controversial issue. A lot depends what you are growing in. Soil and ProMix need larger pots than coco. I don’t see a need for anything much above 3 gallons with coco. If you are growing a monster plant you might want to go to 5 gallons, but you can grow a tree in a 3 gallon smart pot if you keep it watered.
I really like using smart pots with coco. They help contain the mess and they are perfect for flood and drain or drip systems and work great for hand watering too.
Perpetual Harvest The Key To Big Yields
In order to run a perpetual harvest you will need 2 grow areas. One is for veg and one is for flower. It can be done in a closet or in a grow tent.
You must have separate areas for this because you can’t have light leaks from the veg room getting at your flowering plants. If that happens you are likely to get hermies or it could even prevent your plant from setting buds.
Once you get past the time to set this up you will always have a harvest. You can harvest every 2 months, every month or even weekly depending on how much space you have available.
As a basic rule of thumb your veg room can be half the size of your flower area and lighting can be half the watts in veg. I use a 2×8 closet for veg but only use about 6 feet of it. My flower room is only 3 x 6 though. Currently I harvest every 2 months but I could easily harvest monthly.
The system is really simple although it tends to get overcomplicated. It is easiest to understand with one plant. You will put a plant in flower and take a cutting from it and put it in your veg room. While your plant is flowering the cutting will root, be vegged and be ready for flower once the original plant is harvested.
How To Run A Perpetual Harvest To Increase Cannabis Yields
You don’t need to keep mother plants. You do need to be able to clone successfully or have a source for clones. If you are not great at cloning take extra cuts as an insurance policy.
If you want to harvest monthly you will veg 2 plants a month apart. You will have one plant in flower for a month and then you will add a second plant. Then take a clone from the 2nd plant and veg it. Now you will already have a larger plant in the veg room and the new clone you just took. The cycle just keeps repeating itself which is why its a perpetual grow.
To make this work you need to understand your plants will be much larger than you are used to. You don’t want to crowd them in veg or in flower. You can put a single plant in a 4×4 scrog and yield a pound if you fill the screen before you flip. Remember that a mature healthy plant can double in size when you switch it over to 12/12 lighting. This perpetual growing system is used by many commercial growers on a larger scale. If done right with healthy plants a perpetual grow is guaranteed to increase cannabis yield.
So that’s it for Top 3 Tips To Increase Cannabis Yield part 1. In the next article we will talk about how many plants per light to get the highest yields.