We recently published a piece detailing some of the fastest-flowering strains available, for when time is a factor and patience is in short supply. As something of a follow-up, we thought we’d share a few tips and tricks on how to get the job done faster – irrespective of your preferred specimen.
Of course, opting for autoflowering strains and super-compact dwarf cannabis specimens is the way to go, if speed and convenience are of the essence. But there’s also plenty you can do along the way to reduce the overall seed to harvest time and get your hands on the goods as early as possible.
How Long Does Cannabis Take to Grow?
There’s no short answer to this question – there’s not even a rough ballpark. Depending on the strain you choose and the way you grow it, you could be looking at anything from 12 weeks to more than seven months.
Of course, there’s much to be said for taking your time, prioritizing the quality of your weed and giving your plants as long as they need to produce epic quantities of cannabis. Though it’s also understandable that when you’re looking at a shortage, you need to speed things along.
In which case, here’s a brief rundown of just a few helpful tips and guidelines for accelerating your weed production at home:
1. Choose a fast strain to begin with
We’ve already covered this point, but it’s worth remembering that choosing a fast strain doesn’t always mean choosing an auto. There are plenty of ‘fast version’ variants available, which pair the benefits of a photoperiod strain with a significantly reduced flowering time. You still get total control over when your plants begin to flower, though with the promise they’ll yield heavily and consistently when they do.
2. Provide less light when your plants are flowering
You can also speed things along by providing your plants with a maximum of 10 hours of light per day during the flowering cycle. This will inherently give your buds less time to develop and will therefore compromise the size of the final yield, but will nonetheless encourage them to get the job done faster.
3. Trigger the flowering stage slightly earlier
An alternative to the above (or something you can do in conjunction) is to trigger the flowering stage of your plants slightly earlier.
Technically speaking, it’s possible to kick-start the flowering process immediately after your plants start growing. Though, for obvious reasons, this will severely compromise how much bud your plants can realistically produce. Still, opt for a photoperiod strain for an indoor grow and it’s entirely up to you when your plants start flowering. The earlier they begin producing flowers, the quicker you’ll be harvesting the results.
4. Provide masses of light during the vegetative stage
By ‘masses of light’, we really mean non-stop light on a 24/7 basis. 14+ hours of daylight will keep your plants in the growth stage, but there’s no reason why you can’t give them plenty more to encourage their development. Some say 18 hours of light is the maximum you should be providing, others insist 24/7 light both speeds things up and improves final yields. Something worth experimenting with, in any case.
5. Get serious with nutrient provision
Last but not least, using the right cannabis nutrients in the right quantities and at the right time is essential. Your plants need a very different balance of nutrients throughout their various developmental stages, which (when provided in optimum quantities) will seriously accelerate their production. If you can get into the habit of giving your plants exactly what they need precisely when they need it, they’ll reward you for your time and effort.