Increasing cannabis yields is of paramount importantance to all growers. With our 5 simple methods even tiny gardens of just one or two cannabis plants can produce a heavy harvest.
Cannabis cultivation for the home grower is a fun hobby and a great way to stay marijuana self-sufficient. Not to mention some of the finest herb on the planet is cropped indoors, inside of grow tents hidden in basements, attics and spare bedrooms.
Increasing cannabis yields doesn’t need to be complicated, nor does it require risking a commercial scale SOG (Sea of Green) setup. Instead we offer 5 ways to increase cannabis yields that really can work in your home grow show.
Whether you’re flush with cash or painfully budget restricted, our 5 ways to increase cannabis yields can cater to your needs and boost those bud yields in time for your next weed harvest.
1. DIAL IT IN
Whatever your cultivation method, you simply must get your grow system running smoothly. This means getting absolutely everything dialled in.
The primary advantage of indoor cultivation over outdoor is that the grower rather than Mother Nature is in control.
Cannabis yields can be increased dramatically and at zero additional cost by getting a better handle on your environmental control and perfecting your nutrient feeding regime.
If you are growing, but not getting the kind of yields you expect, then apply the principle of Occam’s razor. Examine the simple things and ask yourself some questions.
Keeping the environment under control is a must. Temperatures need to be maintained within 20-28°C during lights on and no less than 15°C during the dark cycle. Air circulation can be improved with the addition of an oscillating fan, or if space is really tight, clip on fans could be the solution.
Attention to detail is important when it comes to cannabis cultivation. The little things matter, early identification of pests and disease with immediate treatment can help you avoid a spoiled harvest.
For example spotting a light leak in a grow tent and applying a duct tape patch can prevent a disturbance to the day/night cycle, which would stress the plants. Perhaps spider mites have plagued you in the past, so clean up your act and stock up on pest control products for the next crop.
2. DIAL IT UP TO 11
Once you have got your grow system dialled in and a few grows with consistent results under your belt, then perhaps it’s time to experiment once again and dial things up to 11. “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” is solid timeless advice. We are not talking about fixing it, we are talking about making it bigger.
That’s right, keep your cultivation system the same only bigger. If you typically grow in 11l plastic containers, then consider scaling up to 20l, similarly with hydro buckets and pots.
The average grow tent is 2m tall and we suggest using every cm of it. When plants won’t cut it, then cultivate trees. Additional costs are limited to new larger containers, extra medium and nutes due to prolonged vegetative growth, otherwise it’s your same beloved setup, but on steroids.
3. THE HOLY TRINITY OF CANNABIS PLANT TRAINING
LOW STRESS TRAINING (LST)
A great way to tame even the wildest cannabis strain is to apply the LST method rather than pruning. During vegetative growth cannabis plants are bendy and can easily be manipulated.
Using little more than some string and a delicate hand, the main stem and side branches can be spread out and tied down to promote vigorous bushy lateral growth.
Of course this technique will usually add at least a couple of weeks to vegging, depending how much space you have to play around with. Just a couple of plants can completely fill out a grow tent using LST.
Pruning the apical bud or main stem will promote side branching and encourage multiple main colas rather than just the one. Each cut usually spawns two more fresh shoots, thus bulking out the plant.
Like LST, topping can be applied to varying degrees, depending on how bushy you wish to make the plants. Best applied during vegetative growth with a couple weeks recovery time minimum.
Topping is the original pruning for yield method and a slight variant is the FIM technique. Essentially rather than making a good clean cut to produce two shoots, the FIM will give rise to four.
FIM is probably best achieved by simply pinching off the top third of a shoot between the fingers. It’s a sloppy topping job without scissors, but hey, it’s a proven way to increase yield. Again, best applied during the veg stage, allowing two weeks for recovery.
4. ScrOG – SCREEN OF GREEN
ScrOG is plant training turned up to 11. When you have gotten familiar with training and pruning for yield, the next logical progression is installing a screen of green. It does exactly what it says on the tin.
Once upon a time crafting and installing a ScrOG was a DIY project requiring trips to hardware stores and garden centres hunting, for odds and ends. These days an easy to fit ScrOG net can be yours with a few mouse clicks.
Weaving and bending just a single cannabis plant to fill a 1m ScrOG can produce a dense forest of colas with incredible yields possible. Time is the real cost of a ScrOG, if you have the patience for an extended groth cycle, then the rewards come harvest can truly be tremendous. We’re talking whopper stash!
5. MONSTER CROPPING
Most growers cropping for high yield prefer to cultivate clones rather than starting from seed, too many variables and a roll of the dice every time. Cuttings are a known quantity, no surprises and if you’re cropping for yield, we assume of a genetic pedigree capable of delivering trophy colas.
Cloning is a great skill to have under your belt as a grower. However, have you ever considered taking cuttings from plants in week 5 of flowering? That’s monster cropping; all you do is wait until after day 28 of bloom to take your cuttings.
This give the grower more time to select a mother plant and it’s actually superior to taking cuttings during vegetative growth.
We don’t mince our words. Cuttings taken from flowering plants grow up to become “monsters”. It really has to be seen to be believed. Amazing high yields can be achieved and precious genetics can easily be preserved utilising this method. Definitely one for the advanced grower, but sooner or later we all will get there.
Beware of companies promoting wondrous high yield boosting formulas. More often than not they are snake oils masquerading as genuine elixirs.
Similarly, be wary of the hacks flippantly recommending you swap out your existing 600W HPS lights for 1000W and expect to get higher yields automatically. We think not, 1000W bulbs are really for commercial grows and commercial grows of the past. Temperatures will skyrocket and so will the electric bills.
Be especially careful of anyone recommending pumping CO2 into your grow room to boost yield. Frankly, this is insane and more likely to kill you and everyone in your home.
A high yield can never be guaranteed, all the grower can do is her/his best to induce the optimal conditions and with the right genetics and a little luck you can do it.
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