5 Ways to Get Bigger Yields from Cannabis Plants Indoors
Our methodology is guaranteed to be effective, but the genetics of your strain determines the end result of your efforts. So, if you have learned the basics of cannabis growing, we are going to tell you how to get bigger yields from cannabis plants.
Reinforcing Lighting to Increase Yields
The first thing to do to get bigger buds indoors is to improve a grow light, and possibly add CO2, so that the plants absorb even more light.
In fact, light acts as nutrition for plants, and the better they are lit, the more buds they bring forth. After germination (or rooting of clones), it is optimal to immediately provide a sufficient amount of light, this way the vegetative period will allow your cannabis to develop a strong structure and subsequently bloom profusely. In addition, the lack of light on the first stage leads to stretching – you'll get bushes that are too tall, with an overly long stem, that'll require a lot of effort from the plant to transport nutrients from the root to the top. This elongation can hinder the development of cannabis and make your harvest less psychoactive. Provide as much light as possible.
Avoiding stretching is really important, otherwise, such plants at a young age will tend to fall sideways, and when they mature, they will become too tall and fragile. Lighting stretched cannabis bushes at the flowering stage is troublesome, and in most grow boxes they give less yield.
Providing as much light as possible during the flowering stage is even more important. The light efficiency of the lamp correlates with the distance from the light bulb – in other words, at a distance of 10 cm from the light bulb efficiency is 3 times greater than at a distance of 30 cm. This is why it is so difficult to lit plants evenly. It is preferable to train marijuana plants so that the buds are located in approximately the same place or at least at the same height.
Controlling the height of a cannabis plant is highly recommended; so keep reading to know how to get bigger buds indoors by controlling your plants' growth. Setting the direction of growing to make it convenient for you (in terms of illumination) is important too. The structure of a cannabis bush is completely up to your preference at the vegetative stage, and if you are not too lazy to train your plants, the result will be pretty noticeable in the weight of the harvest.
Little can be done after flowering begins. You can just try to rearrange the flowering plant under the lamp so that all tiers of the bush receive maximum illumination. But be careful, do not burn the flowers. When working on lighting for blooming cannabis, remember: high temperature kills cannabinoids, therefore, plants must be protected from overheating by a fan directed towards the plants. Cannabis plants exposed to 105°F (40°C) can wither overnight.
Bend the branches so that all of them are exposed to the lamp. In the wild, the flowers that are away from the sunlight can hardly be pollinated, so the plant does not particularly count on those, and does not seek to nourish them.
How Not to Burn Cannabis Plants
Fluorescent lamps do not heat up very much and can be located very close to plants – keep an eye on the temperature in the box, though; a large number of fluorescents without any ventilation can also cause overheating.
LED panels are normally placed 30 cm from the plants, and 3 W and 5 W types are put at a distance of 40-45 cm. Modern types of LED panels are very powerful and can burn plants - read the manufacturer's recommendations;
Metal halide and sodium discharge lamps are usually placed at a distance of 50-60 cm, but the specific distance depends on the size of your lamp;
It is also necessary to consider the possibility of burns caused by light, as some strains can get burned from too bright light even at a normal temperature.
When Adding CO2 Makes Sense
So, with the goal of giving plants as much light as possible, you gradually come to the conclusion that it is not possible to make it any much brighter. That is the conditions when it makes sense to start adding carbon! Thanks to carbon, the ability of cannabis to photosynthesis increases.
Keep in mind that cannabis will not absorb more light with carbon, if there is not a lot of light. This only works in conditions with an extreme amount of light. With fluorescents, or a T5 bulb, or even a 400 W DNaT, installing a CO2 source in a grow box will be a waste of effort.
What's Important to Know about CO2
Carbon does not increase the mass of inflorescences per se, but only allows plants to absorb more light if there is a lot of light and the saturation threshold is exceeded. If the threshold is not reached, carbon will yield no results;
If your growbox is almost airtight and contains high amounts of carbon, being inside can be harmful to your health. Personal protective equipment like a respirator can help.
Cannabis Training or How to Increase Marijuana Yield Even More (Bending, Trimming, SCRoG)
The basis of any training method is the fact that a spreading plant with more or less evenly lit colas develops much better, despite the fact that you basically do not need expensive purchases like a new lamp or fertilizer. Just set the direction of growth, and your weed will take care of the rest.
LST (Low-Stress Training)
LST, as the name implies, causes hemp a minimum of stress. This powerful technique will definitely be of use to those who want to know how to get the best yield from cannabis. The essence of this method is to rearrange your cannabis plant into a wide bush growing in all directions; this is usually achieved by bending the branches. Thus, the lower parts of the plant, usually hid from the upper light, will receive no less lighting. Moreover, all bent buds will develop evenly, while on an untreated plant only the central colas usually reach a full size. When this method is applied, a cannabis bush as a whole gets smaller in height, and the risk of burning lowers.
It is necessary to bend the plant at an early stage of vegetation since triangular-shaped bushes with full-fledged stems are almost impossible to bend in the right way without damaging it.
ScrOG (Screen of Green)
ScrOG is a variation of LST with the difference that a horizontal grid is established above the bent plant. A bent plant will shoot upward, these shoots are tucked into the cells and bent back under the net. That's how we keep their horizontal direction of growth. The presence of the grid allows you to “lay” the plant under the lamp in a more detailed and accurate way. Like LST, SCRoG is applied at the vegetative stage. This method requires your participation throughout most of the growing: the plant will constantly need you to straighten it out and to tuck the sprouted shoots back under the net. 1.5-2 times better results are guaranteed!
In this case, you need to bend only individual branches of the plant - usually those that are too pulled out. Of course, the younger the plant, the easier it is to subject it to supercropping. You need to select the branches that you want to be bent, then choose the spot of the bending. It must be closer to the base of the branch, but flexible, less stiff than the base itself. Further, the spot of the bending must be slightly wrinkled with your fingers so that the texture of the stem in this place becomes slightly softer. Now gently bend the branch down until it slightly crunches and lies on the ground.
In fact, supercropping comes down to breaking several branches of a bush without damaging the “skin” of the plant. The broken branches should stay at a 90-degree angle, parallel to the ground. If the upper layers are damaged, apply a patch for a few days. Supercropping slows down the growth, but boost an even development. What's interesting is that you can apply supercropping in part for the plant.
Topping and FIM (“F*ck, I Missed!”)
A more radical way to train cannabis to get more yields. The two most common solutions for growers who wonder how to make marijuana buds bigger indoors are pruning and FIM. In both cases, you cut off a part of the top of a plant so that it stops giving all the nutrients to the central cola and begins developing evenly. They differ only in the length of the stem being cut off. With true topping, we remove the entire stem above the second node from above. With FIM, 2-4 centimeters remain there. FIMing creates 4 colas while topping only creates 2. The cut is made at an angle of 45 degrees. After a while the results of the operation - the stems are spread apart and tied up. Sometimes the resulting colas are also cut off. Cutting makes sense only with young plants, approximately in the middle of the growing season.
Fertilizing Cannabis Plants Indoors
Fertilizing is one of the most common ways to increase the yield of cannabis. Though, you should fertilize your plants within the demands; don't overdo it!
If light can be considered as food for plants, then fertilizers are their vitamins. For some reason, many growers believe that the more they fertilize their plants, the higher the quality and the larger the yield. This is not only untrue but can also be detrimental to weed. A person can get seriously sick if one receives too much of a certain vitamin – more than one’s body can absorb. So cannabis growing can be ruined by fertilizing, it can burn the plants.
Choose fertilizers that are suitable specifically for cannabis. In addition, monitor the look of the foliage - if strange spots appear, the leaves look unhealthy or lose their green color, these are signs of a deficiency or overdose of certain substances.
As a rule, marijuana needs less fertilizing than manufacturers indicate on the packaging. The right approach: fertilize twice less. This works with all plants except those that require more fertilizer (usually the lower leaves turn yellow and fall off).
In general, growing in a pot provides a wonderful opportunity to make your own soil mixture. Such a mixture can only consist of organic components and provide your plants with everything you need.
Do not forget that lowering the level of minerals in the soil in the last 2-4 weeks before the harvest is not only natural but also necessary, so yellowing or drying of the lower leaves at this stage should not confuse you. As a rule, it is due to the fact that the plant focuses on the formation of buds - alas, many growers are frightened and pump their hemp with fertilizer, which is unacceptable if done right before the harvest: firstly, too much chemistry will fall into the end product; secondly, an excess of nitrogen and some other minerals will interfere with the development of buds.
Hint for soil growing: in the second half of the flowering stage, give sugar to your cannabis plants – 1-2 teaspoons per 4-liter pots. This will improve the taste of buds and increase their weight. This method works worse with other mediums because microorganisms living in soil participate in the process. If you use hydroponics, sugar is not recommended for cannabis plants.
Maintaining Right Temperature and Humidity for Bigger Cannabis Yields Indoors
The environment is a key factor in growing healthy marijuana plants. Harvest weight depends on it too. It is not difficult to tell if leaves are burned from the lamp – they begin to fade and turn brown. Cannabis is able to grow well at a temperature in the range of 60-90°F (15-30°C). Being exposed to a higher temperature the metabolism slows down or stops. High temperatures kill trichomes.
Waiting for Right Moment to Harvest
Most cannabis strains enter the flowering period in 8-9 weeks. A premature harvest does not allow buds to grow fully and ripen. Some plants grow another quarter to their mass in the last 2-3 weeks before the harvest.
Ripening time can also determine the characteristics of the end product. A stimulating or stoning effect can unfold stronger at a different time of harvest.
The Main Thing for Large and Powerful Yields is Genetics
All of the above can increase your yield and, most likely, enhance its psychoactive qualities, but the genetics of the strain that you grow remains the main factor in both cases. If the buds of your plants are inferior to what you see in the photos on the Internet, you may have chosen the wrong cultivar or bought the cannabis seeds in the wrong place.
A decade ago, one could only have dreamed of the yields and robustness of the current strains. Hundreds of growers develop new cultivars and improve original genetics. Thanks to the existence of the Internet, cannabis selection nowadays is rapidly progressing and has already achieved amazing results. So choosing the right genetics, applying the right techniques in the correct way, and gaining experience from growing easy strains at the beginning is what an aspiring grower should look forward to, this is exactly how to get maximum yield from a cannabis plant.