Question: how to make weed grow faster?
Growing cannabis is a time-consuming process, and most growers are keen to get to the curing stage as quickly as possible. However, be warned. Speeding up the process can harm the quality and strength of the end product. You have to decide whether you want more weed or faster weed. It’s a question of weighing up the balance between your patience and the final result. If you are keen to learn how to grow weed fast, we’ve compiled our favourite tried and tested tricks to help you reap the rewards of your labours in as little time as possible. So how to make weed grow faster?
Making weed plants grow faster
One method of cannabis cultivation that won’t affect the quality of the crop is crop rotation. Plant your seeds in stages so that you always have plants growing at different stages. 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.
1.Start the flowering phase as soon as possible
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.
However, it is technically possible to make your seedlings produce buds pretty much as soon as they sprout and bypass the vegetative stage altogether. Northern Lights is a variety with a flowering time that lasts for two months. If seedlings produce flowers as soon as they germinate, it is theoretically possible to harvest in as little as three months – two months quicker than the average grow time of five months. However, the yield will always be much less simply because the seedling will not have had enough time to grow stems needed to produce buds.
A practical solution, if you are really impatient, is to cut short the vegetative phase. The yield will be less but much more than by entirely skipping the vegetative stage. Let your plants vegetate for a shorter period than that accepted in order to switch to flowering more quickly. The yield will certainly not be extraordinary, but always more than by making the plant flower from the sowing stage. It could take three more weeks, for example, in which case you will be able to harvest after about 14-15 weeks.
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.
2. Speeding up the flowering phase
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.
Another method is to switch your plants to 10 hours of light per day, which will encourage your plants to ripen more quickly. This method works best on Indica varieties which have a shorter flowering cycle than Hazes and Sativas, as well as higher yields.
When your cannabis plants receive less than 13 or 14 hours of light a day, they will automatically start to flower. In the natural world, harvest occurs in the autumn, when the hours of daylight begin to decrease. Indoors you can mimic this and speed up the time of harvest.
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.
However, there are consequences mainly relating to growth. The buds will stop growing, which will affect the yield, although the THC content won’t necessarily be affected. Plants grow during the hours of daylight so if these are reduced to speed things up, the harvest will inevitably be smaller.
3. Choose a fast-growing strain
It may sound obvious, but one of the easiest ways to reach harvest quickly is to choose seeds with short flowering times. Always buy seeds from reputable and established sellers who will display growing and flowering times on their websites. The aforementioned Northern Lights feature a two-month flowering phase, while others, such as Sour Diesel need to flower for more than 2,5 months. Strains with longer flowering times generally tend to perform better outdoors because they receive more sunshine. However, varieties with short flowering phases often produce cannabis of equally good quality.
Santa Maria, Gorilla Glue and White Widow x Northern Lights are among the many cannabis varieties that flower quickly. All of these strains have a flowering phase of six to eight weeks, shaving around a month off the entire process.
It is also worth mentioning auto-flowering seeds as these switch to flowering automatically, so you don’t need to worry about altering the light cycle. These strains usually take about three months to go from seed to harvest – much more quickly than non-auto-flowering varieties.
4. Plant clones rather than sowing seeds
Planting clones rather than germinating seeds yourself will save a couple of weeks. Clones are plug plants that are sold with an established root system, so all you have to do is pop them into the soil. The downside is that clones are genetically weaker and less likely to survive than plants grown from seeds, as they are more likely to succumb to pests, mould and disease.
5. Start pruning
Pruning your weed plant encourages them to focus their energy on producing buds rather than leaves. Extra stems and dying, yellow leaves should be removed to allow your plants to concentrate its efforts on growing buds.
6. Ensure your plants have all they need
All plants, including cannabis, need sunlight, water and nutrients to survive. To ensure your plants grow as quickly and healthily as possible, you need to ensure they have all three in the correct quantities. You can add nutrients to the soil with fertiliser or directly into the water if you are using a hydroponics system. Read our blogs for more information about how much water and light your plants need at each stage of the growing process.
Follow our tips, and you can look forward to a quick harvest. One final thing; it is imperative to dry and cure your precious buds properly. After all your hard work, don’t rush this final stage, however much you are tempted. This could result in an inferior weed, which would be such a shame!
Wondering how to make weed grow faster? Check this blog and find out how to make weed plants grow faster!
How to grow marijuana outdoors
Growing marijuana outdoors is great because you won’t need to spend a ton of money on it and you can rely on the power of the sun. If you have access to a sunny spot in a private yard or even a balcony, terrace, or rooftop, you can grow weed outside. You will be tied to the sun and the seasons and local weather, but you won’t have to spend a bunch of money on equipment and utilities like indoor growers.
If you’re growing weed outdoors, it’s great to find a community of cannabis growers in your area to see how others are growing in your specific climate. Local climates vary, so it can be helpful to see what strains thrive where you are, and also when other growers are popping seeds, harvesting, and more. You can also join online forums or Social media groups, but a great place to start is your local grow shop.
Benefits of growing weed outdoors
Relying on the power of the sun, you won’t need to spend a ton of money on an outdoor grow. You’ll need some soil, fertilizer, seeds or clones, and maybe a small greenhouse to get them started. You won’t need to pay for electricity for lights, AC units, or dehumidifiers, and you can even collect rainwater.
The sky’s the limit with outdoor plants—you can let them get as big and tall as you want, as long as they’re manageable. One plant can potentially yield between a half-pound and full-pound of dried weed! Growing a handful of hands for yourself is more than enough. With an indoor grow, your space is a lot more restricted.
Indoor grows can be wasteful, using a ton of electricity to power all those lights, fans, and other equipment. The sun and the wind are free!
It’s fun and relaxing
Don’t underestimate the therapeutic value of gardening. It’s relaxing to spend some time outside, roll up your sleeves, and get your hands dirty for a while. And there’s nothing better than smoking something you grew yourself.
How to set up your outdoor marijuana grow
Here are some important considerations before starting an outdoor marijuana grow.
Climate in your area
It’s crucial to have a good understanding of the climate in the area you’re going to grow. Cannabis is highly adaptable to various conditions, but it is susceptible in extreme weather.
Sustained temperatures above 85°F will cause your plants to stop growing, while continued temperatures below 55°F can cause damage and stunting to plants, even death.
Heavy rains and high winds can cause physical damage to plants and reduce yields, and excessive moisture can lead to mold and powdery mildew, especially during the flowering stage.
Choosing the best outdoor cannabis grow site
Once you have an understanding of the climate in your area, you’ll need to consider a few things before planting your weed.
Weed plants will need full, direct sun for at least 6 hours a day. You may have a backyard, but it might not be great to grow there if it doesn’t get full sun every day.
Your cannabis plants should receive as much direct sunlight as possible, ideally during midday, when the quality of light is best. As the season changes and fall approaches, your plants will get less and less sunlight throughout the day, which will trigger the flowering stage.
Having a constant breeze is good for your plants, and especially in hot climates. But if you live in an area with a lot of high winds, consider planting near a windbreak of some sort, like a wall, fence or large shrubbery.
Privacy and security
You also want to consider privacy and security. A lot of people want to conceal their gardens from judgmental neighbors and potential thieves. Tall fences and large shrubs or trees are your best bet, unless you live in a secluded area. Also, most state laws require that you keep cannabis plants concealed from the street.
Types of outdoor grow spaces
Some growers plant in containers on balconies or rooftops that are shielded from view, while some build heavy-gauge wire cages to keep thieves and animals at bay. Whatever you decide, think about how big you want your final plant to be—outdoor cannabis plants can grow to 10 feet tall or even more, depending on how much you let them go.
Garden plot: Probably the most common outdoor growing spot, many will plant cannabis alongside other growing veggies.
Balcony: This can be a great spot if it gets good light—ideally, it faces south—and will usually get good wind. However, you may need to cover your balcony from peeping neighbors.
Roof: This can be great for sun but may have too much wind.
Soil and other media for outdoor cannabis growing
Soil, at a basic level, is defined as the topmost layer of earth in which plants grow—it’s a mixture of organic remains, clay, and rock particles. Cannabis plants thrive in soil rich with organic matter, and they need good drainage.
Most outdoor weed growers will either dig a hole and add fresh soil for the plant, or grow their weed in pots. This will allow you to better control the growing medium and the amount of nutrients your plants receive.
You can plant directly into the ground, using the preexisting soil, but you’ll need to understand your soil’s composition and amend it accordingly. If you go this route, we recommend getting your soil tested, which will minimize headaches, and it’s easy and relatively inexpensive. A soil test will tell you the makeup and pH of your soil, any contaminants present, and will recommend materials and fertilizers to amend your soil.
Soil has three basic consistencies, in various ratios:
Soil also varies in:
- pH level
- Water retention
- Nutrient makeup
Silty soil is the ideal growing medium. It’s easy to work, warms quickly, holds moisture, has good drainage, and contains a lot of nutrients. The best silty soil is dark, crumbly loam—it’s fertile and probably won’t need any amending.
- Medium granular size
- Naturally fertile (contains nutrients)
- Retains water
- Stabilizes plants
- Poor drainage
- Easily compacted
Sandy soil is easy to work, drains well, and warms quickly, but it doesn’t hold nutrients well, especially in rainy environments. You’ll want to dig large holes for your plants and add compost, peat moss, or coco coir, which will help bind the soil together.
In hot climates, sandy soil should be mulched to help with water retention and to keep roots from getting too hot.
- Large granular size
- Low pH
- Good drainage
- Prevents compaction
- Easy to work with
- High oxygen levels
- Poor water retention
- Dries out quickly
- Nutrients get washed away
Heavy clay soils drain slowly and don’t hold oxygen well, so they will need to be heavily amended. A few weeks before you plant, dig large holes where you’ll be placing your weed plants and mix in big amounts of compost, manure, worm castings, or other decomposed organic matter. This will provide aeration and drainage, as well as nutrients for the plants.
- Small granular size
- High pH
- Provides minerals
- Retains water
- Stabilizes plants
- Poor drainage
- Heavy soil
- Hard to work
While some plants thrive in their native soils, which are usually one of the compositions listed above, cannabis plants are best grown in soil that includes a combination of the three consistencies above—this mixture is known as loam.
The best way to identify loamy soil is by touching it. How does it feel? Sandy soil should be difficult to compact while clay should compact into a tight ball that won’t crumble. When squeezed, loamy soils should form a loose ball that will hold its structure momentarily before breaking apart in large chunks.
- Mixture of sand, silt, and clay
- Near neutral pH
- Water retention
- Naturally fertile
- Easy to work
- Nutrient retention
- Supports microorganisms
- High oxygen levels
- Can be costly
Most potting soils used in gardening are loam soils. If you’ve ever worked with potting soil, you’ll know that its composition is rich and diverse, and it looks dark and hearty. Beyond texture and color, the soil should smell rich and alive.
Buying the right soil for an outdoor cannabis grow
For most first-time gardeners, we recommend buying a quality potting soil that will provide your plants with enough nutrients to get them through most of their growth cycle without having to add many amendments. This pre-fertilized soil—often referred to as “super-soil”—that can grow cannabis plants from start to finish without any added nutrients if used correctly.
You can make this yourself by combining worm castings, bat guano, and other components with a good soil and letting it sit for a few weeks, or it can be purchased pre-made from a local nursery or grow shop.
While shopping for soil, you might be overwhelmed by the options available at your local garden store. The soil type is the basic structure of your soil. From there, look at nutrients, microorganisms, and other amendments that improve the soil. Your choices will be flooded with words like:
- Worm castings
- Bat guano
- Peat moss
- Fish meal
- Bone meal
- Glacier rock dust
- Plant food
These are just some examples of amendments commonly used in different types of soils. Heavily amended soils will have long lists that break down all organic nutrients they contain. Some companies create soils that offer a great structure with base nutrients, but allow you to fill in the gaps as you desire.
You may need to put all of your plants in containers if you don’t have great soil. Also, if you’re unable to perform the heavy labor needed to dig holes and amend soil, containers may be the only way for you to grow your own cannabis outdoors.
If you don’t have a suitable patch of earth to make a garden, containers can be placed on decks, patios, rooftops, and many other spots. If needed, you can move them around during the day to take advantage of the sun or to shield them from excessive heat or wind.
However, plants grown in pots, buckets, or barrels will likely be smaller than those planted in the ground because their root growth is restricted to the size of the container. In a broad sense, the size of the pot will determine the size of the plant, although it’s possible to grow large plants in small containers if proper techniques are used.
What size pot do I need?
In general, 5-gallon pots are a good size for small-to-medium outdoor plants, and 10-gallon pots or larger are recommended for big plants. Regardless of size, you’ll want to protect the roots of your plants from overheating during warm weather, as pots can quickly get hot in direct sunlight. This will severely limit the growth of your plants, so be sure to shade your containers when the sun is high in the sky.
Fertilizers and nutrients for outdoor soil
Cannabis plants require a large amount of nutrients over their life cycle, mainly in the form of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. How much you need to add to your plants will depend on the composition of your soil.
Typically, outdoor growers will add amendments to soil when weed plants are transplanted outside. Outdoor amendments usually come in powder form that you mix in with soil.
Start off with fertilizers that are inexpensive and readily available. Some release nutrients quickly and are easily used by the plant, while others take weeks or months to release usable nutrients. If done correctly, you can mix in a few of these products with your soil amendments to provide enough nutrients for the entire life of your plants. Most of these items can be purchased cheaply at your local nursery.
We recommend these organic fertilizers:
- Blood meal or fish meal for nitrogen
- Bone meal or bat guano for phosphorus
- Wood ash or kelp meal for potassium
- Dolomite lime for calcium and magnesium
- Epsom salts for magnesium and sulfur
There are also commercially available soil blends that already contain the proper mix of these types of ingredients.
For first-time growers, we recommend avoiding commercial fertilizers like long-release granular fertilizers. These can be used, but you need to have a good understanding of how they work and what your plants need.
We also advise against using nutrients designed for indoor weed growing—they are generally composed of synthetic mineral salts and can damage soil bacteria.
Again, getting your soil tested can be very useful and will tell you how to amend your soil and what types and amounts of fertilizer to use. If you are unsure how much to use, be conservative, as you can always add nutrients to the top of soil—called “top dressing”—if plants start to show deficiencies.
Trevor Hennings contributed to this article.
Growing marijuana outdoors is cheap and easy. Learn how to set up your outdoor space, and about climate, soil, fertilizers, and more.