How to Maximize Cannabis Yields
Yield is not all about the amount of cannabis harvested, potency should also be included. This determines the amount of active compounds in cannabis. To maximize on yields, a grower should mainly focus on the two. It is relatively easier for an indoor grower to maximize his yields than an outdoor grower.
Before anyone considers how to maximize yields in 2020, the basics of cannabis cultivation need to be completely understood first so they are able to deal with any problems that may arise during the entire growth period.
We’re looking into the best factors to consider when maximizing yields of any cannabis strain, either for personal use or for sale. However, this does not mean that all strains produce equal amounts of yield. The genetic makeup of the strain grown also has some role to play on yields. It determines what the final product will be used for. Some are best to use at home while some are best for industrial uses.
The following tips will allow for maximizing on yields at home:
Manipulating Plant Growth
It is possible to train cannabis plants until they get to a certain desired height. Low Stress Training (LST) is a technique used to force cannabis plants to grow wide and flat by bending them. This works on a principle that thin and tall plants have low yields, which is true. Wide and flat plants expose more leaves to light. The more exposed the leaves are, the more energy the plant is likely to gain for general growth.
For successful training, the training has to begin while the plants are still young and easy to bend. Bending them when they are already tall is likely to break them.
Another method that can be used to force them to grow flat, is Screen Of Green (scrOG). It involves putting a screen or net over the plant to prevent them from adding any height.
Similarly, one can use the supercropping method which involves bending plants, too. Unlike LST, this involves bending the stem of the plant until there is a snap sound. While this is being done, the skin of the plant should not break. Tape it to form a knuckle at the point of bending. Supercropping can be complemented with any other training method or used alone.
There are other methods that involve cutting off some parts of the plants like stems and leaves. This is done to help the plant focus and direct more energy on the healthier parts of the plant.
Increasing Light Intensity
More light equals more buds. If the plants are not experiencing major illnesses, then proper light regulation, especially during the flowering stage will have a huge impact on the yields. Light is food for the plants. Through photosynthesis, they make their own food by converting light to energy, which helps in bud development and general growth.
After rooting clones or germinating seeds, the immediate next step is to start monitoring the amount of direct light the plants get. Once they get to the vegetative stage, they begin stretching to acquire more light. This results in long stems between leaves. When young plants overstretch for the same reason, their stems become weak, this makes them lose balance and begin falling over.
If the plants become too tall because of poor lighting in the vegetative stage, it will equally be difficult to regulate light at the flowering stage because of the surface area. Shorter plants, because of a small surface area to be covered, are easy to cover with light. For good bud development, the plant requires high intensity light.
Understanding the transition between vegetative stage and flowering stage is also paramount. For one to identify the onset of flowering stage, the sex parts of the plant begin to develop (white hair to signify pistils for female plants and poles sacs for male plants)
Finally it is also important one to note that, when the buds start forming, increasing light intensity will increase the overall yield.
Controlling the Growing Environment
Every stage requires a given controlled environment for proper growth and transition to other stages. Temperature and humidity are the main conditions to consider. Too low or high temperatures, as well as humidity, hinder buds from fattening. The two determine how potent the plant is going to be.
Extremely high temperatures burn away terpenes and cannabinoids. The cannabis plant is normally affected by this during the flowering stage. Leaves turn brown when the light or heat exceed the required.
Controlling humidity and temperature will increase the potency as well as the smell of the plants. Remember potency is key when calculating yields.
Controlling of Nutrients
Like any other plant, cannabis plants need nutrients to flourish, meaning the right nutrients and in the right amount. Nutrients are supplied differently depending on the stage the plant is. Supplying nutrients without considerations is likely to kill the plant.
Leaf burns are the first sign that the plant is getting excess nutrients than it requires. Nutrients are not food for the plant, they are supplied for minor functions. This does not mean that they are not important, just that their primary function is to help the plant in converting light to energy. Nutrients are likened to vitamins for the human body. Too much of them leads to illness. Likewise, too many nutrients cause more harm to the plant than good.
Supplying just enough, or slightly lower, nutrients than the limit offers more yield. Green leaves with no spots are signs of proper nutrients control.
Proper Harvesting and bud trimming
Plants should only be harvested when the buds have fully developed. Harvesting too early before the window period elapses leads to low yields and equally low potent buds. For most strains, the buds ripen fully over a period of 2-3 weeks, what is normally called the window period.
To better flavor and taste, bud trimming should be done. There are usually two types of cannabis trimming; wet bud trimming which is done immediately after harvesting and dry bud trimming, which is done after the buds have dried.
Combined together, these techniques ensure proper maximized cannabis yields.