Growing weed can seem kind of tedious when you think about the fact that it can take up to 5 months to enjoy your hard work. Speeding up the process doesn’t come without some sort of compromise on quality or yield, but it absolutely can be done. If you absolutely must have your buds faster, this article will tell you everything you need to know.
If you’re waiting eagerly for a delicious harvest of buds, then the average timeframe of 3-4 months for growing marijuana can seem like a lifetime. It’s easy to grow impatient with marijuana’s long growing time and you might be wondering how to speed things along.
Depending on how impatient you are, you could stagger your growing operation so that while you have flowering plants, you always have vegetating plants. This would result in a possible harvest every 60 days. But in this article, we’ll be focusing on techniques for speeding up the growing process of a single grow.
The time between seed and harvest will depend on the strain you are growing, along with several other factors.
If you’re growing your weed outdoors, then unfortunately, you’re stuck with the rhythms of nature. There’s no real trick out of that one.
However, growing indoors does give you a little more control over how you grow your plants. And if you want to get to harvest time quickly, we have some sound advice for you.
Start flowering ASAP
When you are growing cannabis from a regular seed, you get to choose when to flip from vegetation to flowering. A grower generally does this by changing the lighting schedule. When the number of light hours decreases, the plant begins to flower and produce buds. Depending on the strain, this could be anywhere from 8-12 weeks.
Now, technically, you can flower your plants as soon as they are seedlings and skip the vegetative state entirely. It will make your seedlings start producing buds right away.
Let’s take a look at the Northern Lights strain, which has a total flowering time of about 8 weeks. If you turned your seedlings straight over to flowering from the moment of germination, you’d be harvesting in less than 12 weeks.
This might sound tempting to try, but you really do compromise on your yield. Your plant needs to have enough stems producing buds for a worth-wile yield. And a seedling doesn’t have many stems yet.
You can vegetate your plants for a lesser period than you usually do in order to switch to flowering faster. While your yields still won’t be as good, you won’t compromise as much as you would if you flowered straight from seedling. It might take you an extra three weeks, for example, in which case you could harvest in about 14-15 weeks.
Decrease the light hours in the flowering stage
We just explained how you can start flowering ASAP, but we can also influence the duration of that flowering stage.
When your cannabis plants get less than 13 or 14 hours of light per day, they will automatically start flowering. Outdoors, the number of light hours will slowly decrease as the winter starts to come on. You can speed up this process with indoor growing, making the winter come on a whole lot faster.
By manipulating the light hours, you can force your plants to create buds much faster than outdoor grows. To encourage the flowering process to finish faster, you can decrease the number of light hours to as low as 10. Basically any strain will respond to this kind of light manipulation by producing buds at a faster rate.
With all of this being said, this technique also compromises on yield. The buds will not fatten quite as much as using this method, meaning your yield won’t be huge. It does not necessarily mean that you compromise on THC content. At the end of the day, it is during light hours that your plant actually grows. Reducing this dramatically means there is less chance for growth. But… you will get to harvest quicker.
Choose seeds that flower quickly
One of the most efficient ways to harvest quickly is to choose a seed that has a generally short flowering time. Some strains have flowering stages of 8 weeks, such as Northern Lights, while others have flowering times as long as 12 weeks, such as Diesel Haze. In general, strains with longer flowering times tend to yield more, because they spend more time under lights. However, you don’t compromise on quality at all with strains that have shorter flowering times.
Another kind of seed that can take you to harvest quickly are autoflowering seeds. This type of cannabis seeds switches to flowering automatically rather than by light cycle. Most of them go from seed to harvest in less than 12 weeks in total. Which also can shave months off your total growing time compared to growing with regular seeds.
A final thought
So there you have it: There are ways to make things come along a little faster, but not all of these are without a little bit of compromise. If it doesn’t really phase you to lose a few grams for being able to harvest a month earlier, then some of these techniques are sure to help you. But there is a final note.
We know you’re in a hurry to harvest. But don’t forget to dry and cure your buds properly – please. You can lose so much of your hard work if you don’t dry and cure your buds in the correct way. If you get overzealous and want to start smoking straight away, you might be extremely disappointed with the final result. So good luck on your endeavour to grow weed fast, but don’t ruin the final product with impatience!