Do you want to know how vegging affect your profit as a cannabis grower? If YES, here are 4 factors that determine how long to veg clones before deflowering. Some growers argue that plants grown from seeds must be given 60 days of maturation in the vegetative state. However, this is not necessarily true.
It is pertinent to remember that young seedlings cannot start flowering for 2–3 weeks. Hence, when growing from clones, age is not an issue. You can choose to switch to the flowering stage immediately you feel clone has established a solid root system.
Under very good conditions, plants should be kept in their vegetative stage for approximately 60 days. This time period should give the plant the opportunity to maximize yield and acclimatize to growing conditions. Note that this is very crucial because complications and mistakes are much more difficult to recover from during the flowering stage.
Also remember that this time period is just a recommendation. If maximum yield is not a priority, or if growing conditions will not permit for a lengthy vegetative stage, plants can be flowered long before the 60 – day benchmark.
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What is Vegging?
The technique of vegging out cannabis crops is majorly used to increase the overall plant infrastructure to support much higher yields during harvest. Some of these plants may have to go through the cannabis veg cycle before having to work extra hard to produce flowers.
The cannabis veg cycle helps by building out their root and shoot system so that they are ready for the rigors of high – intensity flower production. Some whose vegging out can be controlled, called photoperiodic, by providing them with short periods of darkness. This period of growth of the plant is called the veg cycle, or vegetative.
In the world of multi cellular organisms, there are two types of cells: reproductive or somatic cells (also called vegetal or vegetative cells). A somatic cell is not involved with reproduction. That is why to keep your plant in the cannabis veg cycle; you have to prevent it from developing flowers. Simply put, you have to stop it from developing its reproductive parts; hence, you keep it vegetative.
How Vegging Affects your Profit as a Marijuana Grower
As a cannabis grower who wants to make profit and produce standard products, your best bet will be to make your plants produce lots and lots of flowers. The flower buds are produced on the terminal tip of either the main branch or auxiliary branches.
Those auxiliary branches tend to stay dormant as long as the apex of the main branch remains. As long as the tip of the main branch is still attached to the plant, the auxiliary buds won’t turn into new branches and will create new places for flowers to grow.
During the cannabis veg cycle, a grower can pinch off the apex of the main branch and break apical dominance, also known as topping. Experts note that this topping will stimulate the previously dormant auxiliary buds to grow and eventually become more locations for flowers to develop.
Coupled with creating more budding branches, topping also allows for the cultivator to keep his or her plants fairly uniform in height. Note that achieving uniformity in production is one of the major goals of large – scale production because it allows for more predictability come harvest. Nonetheless, if you’ve found a cultivar that is absolutely amazing and works for you, you definitely will want to get the same results time after time after time.
4 Factors to Consider When Vegging your Clones Before Flowering
During the vegging cycle, there are numerous considerations and factors a grower needs to analyze. Making the switch at the right time is very important to maximize yield and avoid complications. Since each grower is unique, you have to be careful when copying the methods and techniques used by them. They may actually end up giving you dramatically different results than what you intended.
1. Type of Strains — Indica or Sativa
The key differences between indica and sativa strains must be considered when making the switch to the flowering stage, especially since indicas and sativas act differently during flowering. Indica strains are renowned for producing shorter, thicker, bushier plants when compared to their sativa counterparts.
Ideally, they will gain only 25–50% of their height in the flowering stage. When compared, sativas are renowned for their height, and for their ability to keep growing taller throughout the flowering stage. They have been known to double their height from the first day of flowering until harvest.
Also remember that these characteristics apply to pure sativa and indica strains. There are some strains that will demonstrate characteristics representative of both kinds since they are not 100% indica or sativa. However, when dealing with hybrids, always ensure to research the genetic makeup of the plant so as to have a better idea of what to expect.
2. Growing Methods
Have it in mind that different growing methods such as the sea of green (SOG) method, the screen of green (ScrOG) method, lollipopping, and super cropping can all affect the switch. Depending on which method you choose, your flowering time will likely be different.
- Sea of Green (SOG)
This method relies on flowering plants early so that they only produce one large bud. According to experts, thus method is mostly used for indica strains that are packed tightly together in the grow space. However, when using this method, plants should be flowered when they reach a height of around 15–30cm.
- Screen of Green (ScrOG)
This method is known to make use of a mesh screen that is layered horizontally above the plants. The screen is typically placed 30–60cm above the base of the plants. Note that this allows them to grow right through it. When using this method, plants must remain in a vegetative state for several more weeks than with the SOG method.
Lollipopping is a technique that involves removing the lower growth of the plant that receives very little or no light. Since these plants need light to grow, these regions will produce smaller buds and drain the plant of energy that could be used elsewhere. Note that by removing the lower leaves and bud sites, the plant can channel its energy on the upper colas that grow denser, thicker flowers.
Have it in mind that this method mainly involves a height – based flowering switch. Sativas are usually switched when they reach 30–45cm, since they grow so much during the flowering stage. Indicas are switched when they reach a height of around 100cm, giving them more time in the vegetative state.
- Super Cropping
Super cropping was designed to produce very heavy yields from a minimal number of plants. Hence, plants grown using this technique are expected to remain in the vegetative stage for longer. Super cropping involves bending upper branches down so as to allow more light to reach the lower parts of the plant. Note that this keeps the height of the plant in check throughout the cycle, and allows for a longer vegetative period.
3. Plant Height
Remember that the longer those plants are kept in a vegetative state, the taller they will become. Hence, vegging your plants for too long in a confined space can result in an overgrow situation. These plants that grow too high can potentially reach too close to light fixtures and suffer damage as a result.
However, you should never let your plants reach closer than 30cm from the lights above them. Also ensure to consider the light fixtures being used. Some bulbs glow hotter than others, and this will certainly affect the minimum distance that should be kept between the plants and the lights.
4. Outdoor Considerations
Outdoor growers allow their plants to flower by themselves. This is more or less happens after mid – summer when days become shorter than 12 hours. If you are an outdoor grower, then you should take care to ensure that your plants do not receive any kind of light at night. This includes light sources from garden lights, street lights, or spotlights.
Outdoor plants do not necessarily need to be left to their own devices. Just like indoor plants, they can also be forced to flower by a change in conditions. Some climates simply do not offer plants enough time to flower before winter. Other climates may require a grower to force flowering so as to keep the plant in check.
Clones can grow very tall very quickly, forcing growers to make the flip to flowering based on plant size alone. However, growers should make sure to give their clones the necessary amount of time to establish themselves before flowering. Seedlings can be flowered much earlier, but remember that they will require 2–3 weeks before doing so.