No matter how strong your cannabis production is, there’s always room to grow. And it’s always worth it to try new techniques for maximizing your yields. After all, the larger your production, the higher your profits. The higher your profits, the more potential there is to expand your operation, increase yields yet again, rake in more money, lather, rinse, repeat.
Whether you feel like you’re stuck in a rut or you just want to make sure your current yields are really the best you can do, we’re going to share some great tips for growing more quality buds than ever before. Let’s start with the most effective adjustment you can make.
Increase Yields with Variable Spectrum LED Lighting
When it comes to boosting your yields, lighting is everything.
We all learned this in grade school. Plants need light to grow. But there’s more to it than that. Your cannabis plants take direction from the light they receive. Light spectrum and light intensity both have the power to tell marijuana how tall to grow, how many buds to produce, when to focus on rooting, when to grow leaves, and when to produce trichomes.
If you’re not using variable spectrum lighting, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to maximize yields. Advanced LEDs like California LightWorks’ SolarSystem® enable you to use a higher concentration of blue and white light during the vegetative stage so plants grow out instead of up, ensuring the best light access for all buds once flowering begins. Then, as you approach the flowering stage, you can crank up the red to increase bud production and ultimately add more UVB in the finishing stage to maximize potency.
A lot of advice for producing higher yields will advise you to amp up your light intensity. This is absolutely true. But even more effective is increasing intensity in the right spectrum at the right time. For that, you need programmable variable spectrum LED lighting.
Much like goldfish, your cannabis will grow to fill the container it’s in. One simple way to scale up production is to, well, scale up production. For higher yields, you want your cannabis to grow wide rather than tall. You want a bushier plant so more buds have access to direct light, rather than a long, lanky plant with several buds hidden under a canopy. By transferring your plants to larger containers, you can encourage more outward expansion.
The topping is a type of pruning done during the vegetative cycle. When you top your cannabis plant, you cut off new growth just above the node site. It may seem counterintuitive when your goal is higher yields. In reality, topping instructs to plant to focus less on growing the main stalk and more on nurturing the offshoots. Your cannabis then redirects growth hormones to the smaller branches, and you wind up with a bushier shape overall and, oddly enough, two new branches to replace the one you cut off.
Low-Stress Training (LST)
Just like any other plant, cannabis can be trained to grow the way you want using physical supports. If you’re dealing with interlocking branches and other messy, complicated growth patterns, some gentle plant training could be a game-changer. Low stress training typically involves the use of string to separate the main stalk from the side branches, encouraging bushy, outward growth and promoting an even distribution of light over the entire plant. One particularly popular system for low stress training is the Screen of Green, more commonly known as ScrOG. This method is especially effective because it guides each branch through a grid of string. Sea of green also refers to growing many smaller plants rather than a few big ones.
If you get the sense your plants aren’t producing to their full potential, the trouble might be in their nutrients. Always make sure your plants’ nutrients are compatible with their growth medium and their current stage in the growth cycle. During vegetation, you want high nitrogen and potassium and medium phosphorus. In the flowering stage, go for high potassium, medium or high phosphorus, and low nitrogen.
But even as you stick to this guide, keep a close eye on how your plants respond to the nutrients you give them. Adequate nutrition is essential for getting maximum yields, but at the same time, it’s all-too-easy to overdo it and give your precious crop nutrient burn. If you start to notice yellow tips on your plants, it’s time to back off on your nutrient levels.
Try a High-Yield Strain
There is an extent to which your cannabis yields are out of your hands. You can always take steps to maximize production, but “maximize” means different things for different strains. If you’ve tried everything and still feel like you’ve hit a plateau, it’s possible that it’s not you; it’s genetics. It never hurts to explore new options, so consider testing a different, high-yield strain and see how it suits you.
There is definitely a science to getting higher cannabis yields. But that’s sort of the fun of it. The more techniques you test, the more you learn about your plants. That education in and of itself will lead you to higher yields in the long run. So don’t be afraid to try something new. If it isn’t working, your plants will let you know.
Above all else, remember that the most effective thing you can do to increase indoor production is choosing high-quality, high-intensity LED lights . . . preferably with variable spectrum control. The closer you can get to mimicking the sun, the better your harvest will be, both in terms of quantity and quality. We have a great collection of variable spectrum lights that can help you get where you want to be. And if there’s anything we can do to help, we’re easy to reach and would be happy to talk to you. Drop us a line!