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It may sound obvious, but one of the easiest ways to reach harvest quickly is to choose seeds with short flowering times. Always buy seeds from reputable and established sellers who will display growing and flowering times on their websites. The aforementioned Northern Lights feature a two-month flowering phase, while others, such as Sour Diesel need to flower for more than 2,5 months. Strains with longer flowering times generally tend to perform better outdoors because they receive more sunshine. However, varieties with short flowering phases often produce cannabis of equally good quality.
However, it is technically possible to make your seedlings produce buds pretty much as soon as they sprout and bypass the vegetative stage altogether. Northern Lights is a variety with a flowering time that lasts for two months. If seedlings produce flowers as soon as they germinate, it is theoretically possible to harvest in as little as three months – two months quicker than the average grow time of five months. However, the yield will always be much less simply because the seedling will not have had enough time to grow stems needed to produce buds.
Planting clones rather than germinating seeds yourself will save a couple of weeks. Clones are plug plants that are sold with an established root system, so all you have to do is pop them into the soil. The downside is that clones are genetically weaker and less likely to survive than plants grown from seeds, as they are more likely to succumb to pests, mold and disease.
4. Plant clones rather than sowing seeds
Growing cannabis is a time-consuming process, and most growers are keen to get to the curing stage as quickly as possible. However, be warned. Speeding up the process can harm the quality and strength of the end product.
It is also worth mentioning auto-flowering seeds as these switch to flowering automatically, so you don’t need to worry about altering the light cycle. These strains usually take about three months to go from seed to harvest – much more quickly than non-auto-flowering varieties.
Another method is to switch your plants to 10 hours of light per day, which will encourage your plants to ripen more quickly. This method works best on Indica varieties which have a shorter flowering cycle than Hazes and Sativa’s, as well as higher yields.
You can speed up the flowering phase by one to two weeks by using a product such as Bushmaster. However, it will also stop vertical growth. The best option is to grow your plants to about the height you want to maintain while in the vegetative phase then start dosing it with Bushmaster. This can also increase yields, so it’s a win-win. Be very careful, though, as this stuff is potent and can cause root burn.
Use these tips to speed up your grow at any point between germination and harvest. Learn practical ways to make things go faster in either veg or flowering, inside or out. Don’t be surprised if one of the tricks for outdoor growers is a bit shocking. We weren’t expecting it either!
For those who prefer autoflowering hybrids, Northern Light Auto is a great choice. The original was already fast, but this improved version can go from germination to harvest in 10 weeks or less without any extra measures. Royal Cheese is a photoperiod strain, but this European favourite only needs about 6 weeks of 12/12 lighting to reach full maturity. Medical marijuana patients who are on a tight schedule should take a look at Medical Mass. This variety only needs 7 weeks of bloom to yield up to 550g/m² of CBD-enriched flowers.
TIPS FOR FASTER INDOOR GROWS
By keeping the lights on all the time, you may be able to cut your veg time by a third and still have a good-sized plant by the time you start a forced bloom. If you try this technique, keep a close watch for deficiencies. If your plants look like they’re getting sick, reduce the wattage or hours of light to help them recover.
There are plenty of reasons you might want to harvest early. Perhaps you’re moving house and have to pack up your grow room, or you grow outdoors in a northern country where the autumns are short, cold, and brutal. Perhaps you’re low on weed and hate to fork over your hard-earned cash in exchange for your meds. Maybe you live in a not-so-cannabis-friendly place and you think LEO is onto you.