Top 5 Ways to Increase Cannabis Yields
While growing a cannabis plant is relatively simple, getting the maximum yield is a tougher task. Cannabis plants require a specific environment and special care to produce the biggest result possible. If you provide your plants with the right conditions and nutrients, you can see considerable improvements in the size and output of your plants in one round of growing. Learn how to increase cannabis yields indoors and outdoors for a better, bigger harvest.
Methods to Maximize Your Cannabis Flower Production
To increase your yield during cannabis flowering, focus on the plants’ needs. Light, soil, temperature, time and nutrients all play essential roles in cannabis growth and production. Ensure you have the right conditions, and you should have a bigger cannabis plant and larger yields.
1. Ideal Climate Conditions
Climate is one of the most basic factors of plant growth. If you don’t have the space indoors but have the right climate outside, you can grow your cannabis outdoors. Just know that natural, outside conditions won’t give you total control over the environment. This can lead to a variety of cannabis plant yields since several natural variables will be at play.
Grow cannabis in temperatures between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit (25 to 30 degrees Celsius). You’ll want a humidity of 60% to 75% when the plants are in their younger vegetative state and 50% to 55% when they’re flowering. Your plants will be much more sensitive to humidity while in the flowering stage, so keep an eye out for mold.
You’ll get the maximum yields if you stay within these ranges and closely monitor the plant throughout its life. While some outdoor areas maintain these temperatures and humidity during part of the year, you’ll have to use extra heating, cooling, dehumidifying, humidifying and ventilation to coax out the best plant yield.
2. Light Source
Like all plants, cannabis needs light for photosynthesis. Marijuana plants need lots of light to ensure they grow as big as possible. During the vegetative stage, cannabis plants need over 12 hours of light, preferably 18. You can give them 24 hours of light, but anything from 18 to 24 hours will give your plants to boost they need.
Once the plants begin flowering, reduce their light exposure to 12 hours daily. You can do a little less than this, but 12 is a good place to start. Once your plants are ready and on the 12-hour light schedule, they should begin flowering in 10 to 15 days. Once this begins, you’ll get your highest cannabinoid content out of the buds.
3. Amend the Soil
The right soil amendments can help you maximize the nutrients your plants receive, giving your better yields. Getting high-quality cannabis soil amendments will allow you to save money and give your plants better nutrition without overspending on less-effective fertilizer. Finding the proper amendment to integrate with your environment will help improve crop yields and protect the soil from nutrient loss, allowing you to grow year after year.
Use natural amendments to enrich your soil and produce better cannabis yields. The better the soil amendments, the healthier your plants will be. A quality soil amendment will help balance and improve pH, water holding capacity, aeration and soil structure. All these factors work together to boost plant growth and output.
4. Plant Nutrition and Maintenance
While you want to ensure your plants are well-fed, excess nutrients can lead to nutrient burn. On the other hand, not giving your plants enough nutrients will lead to discoloration and even plant death. Finding the right balance will provide you with your best yields.
Watch your leaves to check on nutrient levels — if they start to turn yellow, you probably need more nutrients. Additionally, the more nutrient-rich your soil and soil amendments, the fewer extra nutrients you’ll need to give your cannabis plants.
Water, of course, is essential to plant growth. Indoor growers will need to provide all their plants’ water. Wait until the top inch of soil is dry and then water your plants until you see water coming out of the container bottom. Be careful not to water your plants too often — overwatering will kill plants faster than you’d expect.
Finally, added nutrients should be different during the vegging and flowering stages. Give vegetative plants nutrient solutions according to the product instructions. Then, once your plants enter the flowering stage, give them a flowering solution. During the first flowering month, cannabis plants require lots of nutrients. Once this month is over, start gradually cutting back so you don’t overload your plants.
5. When to Harvest
In nature, early-maturing cannabis plants are ready to harvest by August or September. Other varieties will take longer, reaching harvest time in October and November. This can also apply to greenhouse growers, depending on their growing conditions.
Otherwise, visual inspection tells you when your plants are ready to harvest. From week one to week three of flowering, you’ll notice little white hairs — pistils — on your plants. These are pre-flowers. They grow in future bud sites on the plant. Avoid touching the bud sites in case you damage them — you won’t get yields from damaged or snipped sites.
During flowering weeks four to five, the buds will start to grow. You’ll see some old leaves turning yellow or brown — this is normal. The plant sends nutrients from the leaves to the buds to maximize its yields.
Finally, at week six, the buds will be large and sticky. The plants will be much smellier, and the buds will have trichomes all over them. You could harvest now, but waiting a couple of weeks will give you larger yields. During weeks eight to 10, you’ll want to flush your plants to remove excess mineral nutrients and salt.
Once you’ve hit the 10- to 12-week mark, your plants are ready to harvest. Inspect the pistils — they should mostly be orange and brown and curling towards the buds. Additionally, the plant’s trichomes will be milky white with the occasionally amber trichome. Once your plants reach this stage, it’s time to harvest.
Harvest time will differ slightly depending on your strain. Additionally, you can wait for around 70% to 90% darker pistils to form to get a more soothing, anxiety-reducing strain. Harvesting earlier, when 60% to 70% of the pistils are white, will give you a higher THC yield.
Tips on How to Increase Cannabis Yields
Here are some extra tips to help your cannabis plants flourish:
- Employ standard operating procedures (SOPs): Using SOPs will help protect your operation from damage. Use SOPs to establish sanitation, sterilization, and safety routines. You want to keep plants free of mildew and ensure workspaces and floors are clean. With SOPs, you’ll have routines and regulations to protect your plants and workers.
- Change slowly: Don’t change everything quickly and on a larger scale. Test changes one at a time on a small number of plants. This way, you control all the variables and won’t hurt your whole crop by changing everything.
- Keep records: Record all the factors — temperature, water, CO2 and humidity — multiple times a day to keep everything regulated. If you’re testing changes like lightbulb wattage, record how your plants react to ensure you know what you’ve done and its results.
- Perfect environment first: Ensure everything is set up perfectly before introducing plants to the environment. The vegetative stage is crucial to getting good yields — if something’s off with the environment from the start, your plants will do poorly.
- Use quality products: Getting excellent yields means using the best products on your plants. Nutrient-dense Black Wonder 5000 products can result in a 15% to 30% biomass increase in as little as 30 days.
- Avoid shortcuts: There’s no quick, magic way to get drastically better yields. Put in the time, effort and attention, and you’ll see results. Be ready to respond to surprises at all times and understand that growing cannabis plants is a serious investment.