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.
Growing indoors means you have a large amount of control over lighting, gas exchange, watering, and temperature. Most of these factors play a key role in rapid 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.
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.
However, by providing 24 hours of light per day, you will force your plants to remain in an anabolic state (the process of converting smaller molecules into larger molecules). This is because they will be photosynthesising around the clock and constantly using light, CO₂, and water to create glucose as an energy source to fuel growth.
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.
Fungi are simply mind-blowing life forms. Some fungi are pathogenic to cannabis plants and can damage them and slow growth. However, mycorrhizal fungi form a mutualistic allegiance with cannabis plants that can boost their health and growth. When supplementing your soil with these life forms, you will enhance the nutrient uptake of your plants and prevent potential deficiency and disease. These fungi penetrate into the intercellular space of roots where they work to transport nutrients to cells, receiving sugars created by the plants in return.
Marijuana light cycle: 16 hours a day
If you’re growing weed indoors, you can grow whenever you like. Keep in mind that the outside environment will affect your grow space—you may need to add heaters in the winter or fans and ACs in the summer. Other than that, you can start seeds whenever you like and flip them into flower whenever you like, depending on how big you want the plants.
Notes on marijuana growth phases
Harvest happens sometime between September and November. This depends on your local climate, as well as the weather that particular year—one year it could be the end of September, the next, end of October, and growers in the Pacific Northwest will have to pull down their crops earlier than those in Northern California.
As roots develop, the stalk will rise and you’ll begin to see the first iconic fan leaves grow, at which point your cannabis plant can be considered a seedling.
Be sure to keep a grow journal to track the progress of your plants. Looking back on your notes will help you learn from mistakes and maximize the quality and quantity of your buds.
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.
When growing cannabis indoors from ordinary seeds, the grower has to decide when to switch the plants from the vegetative phase to flowering. This is usually done by altering the lighting schedule. Reducing the total hours of daylight stimulates the plants to produce buds and will start the flower stage. This is usually about two to three months after sowing, depending on the variety.
2. Speeding up the flowering phase
This article focuses on indoor methods, as cannabis plants grown outdoors are subject to the limitations of the seasons and weather, which are impossible to change.
Manipulating the hours of light from 13 to 10 forces your plants to produce buds much faster than they would outdoors. All strains of cannabis respond to this type of light manipulation by producing buds at a faster rate.
You could also give your plants a full twenty-four hours of daylight during the vegetative phase to encourage leaf and stem growth. This will enable you to reach the flowering stage a little sooner without compromising so much on the eventual yield.