Growing plants hydroponically means that water is the primary growing medium, as opposed to soil. This involves suspending plants above a water reservoir in a basket filled with media such as coco coir or clay pellets. The roots eventually grow down into the water below. There are many different forms of hydroponic growing, but the basic premise is that because the roots have direct access to nutrients within the water, they can uptake them with much greater speed and ease, resulting in faster growth.
Regardless of whether you intend to speed up cannabis growth indoors or outdoors, genetics will play the most fundamental role. Some cannabis varieties have been selectively bred over generations to strengthen the trait of faster growth and flowering. Autoflowering strains in particular are famed for their speed, with most emerging from seed to harvest in a couple of months or so, without any intervention at all. Here are some of the fastest-growing autoflowering and photoperiod genetics you might want to consider for a lightning-fast harvest.
Another trick to speed things up massively is to avoid the vegetative phase altogether and begin flowering your plants immediately after germination has occurred. This can be achieved by applying a light schedule of 12/12 immediately and throughout the entire grow cycle. Although a rapid way to produce flowers, yields will be sacrificed for speed. Plus, this trick is only compatible with photoperiod strains.
HYDROPONIC PLANTS ARE KNOWN TO GROW FASTER
Gardening is usually a slow, meditative, and therapeutic process. It isn’t a hobby that revolves around instant gratification. Long-term investment and hard work pay off months after the seeds have been sown. Watching the slow and steady growth of plants whilst you stroll around a grow room or garden is deeply satisfying, and makes experiencing the fruits of your labour at harvest time that much richer.
Nutrients are also key for faster cannabis cultivation. This is primarily because any deficiencies in certain nutrients will result in various symptoms that slow growth and potentially reduce yields. Cannabis plants are hungry for increased levels of nitrogen during the vegetative phase and increased levels of phosphorus and potassium during flowering. To keep things simple, you can always purchase formulations specifically designed for both of these phases to make sure your plants get everything they need at the correct time. Moreover, you should always be diligent about checking pH to ensure your plants can uptake the nutrients they’re being given.
However, when it comes to cultivating cannabis, some growers simply don’t have the time to spare. There are several reasons for this. Some cultivate the herb on a commercial scale, so the more frequently they can harvest their crop, the faster the turnover is. Other growers, such as those who reside within regions where cannabis is still illegal, desire to get their operations set up and closed down as quickly as possible to avoid getting busted. The faster they can harvest their buds, the less time they have to experience the constant anxiety of draconian laws.
Unlike indoor growers, outdoor growers have to deal with the sun. This constant light source is a great thing for those looking to grow all season long. However, those seeking a fast harvest will need to find ways to reduce light exposure. As mentioned above, altering the light cycle is perhaps the most powerful way to speed up growth. When it comes to achieving a 12/12 light cycle outdoors to initiate flowering from the get-go, growers can cover their plants with a tarp for periods in the morning and evening to avoid excess light exposure.
All plants, including cannabis, need sunlight, water and nutrients to survive. To ensure your plants grow as quickly and healthily as possible, you need to ensure they have all three in the correct quantities. You can add nutrients to the soil with fertilizer or directly into the water if you are using a hydroponics system. Read our blogs for more information about how much water and light your plants need at each stage of the growing process.
When your cannabis plants receive less than 13 or 14 hours of light a day, they will automatically start to flower. In the natural world, harvest occurs in the autumn, when the hours of daylight begin to decrease. Indoors you can mimic this and speed up the time of harvest.
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.
5. Start pruning
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.
Santa Maria, Gorilla Glue and White Widow x Northern Lights are among the many cannabis varieties that flower quickly. All of these strains have a flowering phase of six to eight weeks, shaving around a month off the entire process.
You have to decide whether you want more weed or faster weed. It’s a question of weighing up the balance between your patience and the final result. If you are keen to learn how to make weed grow faster, we’ve compiled our favorite tried and tested tricks to help you reap the rewards of your labors in as little time as possible.
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.
Cover your outdoor plants with a tarp or other light-proof cover in the early evening and remove it the next morning. This works just like a grow tent to give your plants 12 hours of darkness each day to force them to bloom. As a bonus, you’ll end up with bigger, denser, more resinous buds when you’re done because the sunlight they do get, during the height of summer, will be much more intense than what they would receive during the fall months when outdoor cannabis plants normally bloom.
If you want to grow cannabis as fast as possible, choosing a seed that’s been bred to mature quickly is key. It’s only common sense that it will be easier to hurry along a strain that will finish on its own in 7 weeks than one that prefers 12. Luckily, fast strains have been bred to meet every need and preference.
No matter the reason, there are proven ways to rush things along, whether you’re growing inside or out. Still, you might have to compromise yield and potency in exchange for speed. Let’s take a look at what you can do to grow cannabis as fast as possible.
COVER OUTDOOR PLANTS TO FORCE BLOOM
Compared to soil or a soilless mix, hydro can reduce your veg time by a few weeks. This method delivers nutrients directly to the plant’s roots so that they practically grow right before your eyes. It won’t make the flowering period go much faster, but hydro usually produces heavier, denser buds and bigger yields. You might decide that, in this case, the time was well spent.
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.
Growing indoors is almost always faster than growing outdoors, mostly because you can control the lighting. You can tweak a few other things in the name of speed too.
If you’d like to jump-start the flowering process, put your plants in complete darkness for 48 hours before you start the 12/12 light cycle. Then, use a 11/13 light cycle throughout bloom. The extra reduction will trick your plants into thinking winter is rapidly approaching.