Also, check out my recent autoflower grow if you want to see autos in action… In this auto-flowering grow, I harvested more than 6 ounces in less than 3 months! 3.) Give Plants 24 Hours of Light per Day During the Vegetative Stage. As long as you give your plants more than 14 hours of light a day, they will stay in the vegetative stage.
But if you give the plant more light than that, they have more time in the day to grow! Some growers believe it's better to give marijuana plants 18 hours of light a day max, with a 6 hour dark period during the vegetative stage. This is because plants grown under 18/6 tend to be more resilient to problems. If you have a sick plant, just reducing the light period and/or light intensity a little bit can help it recover faster. Regardless of which is best for plant health, it's a proven fact that marijuana plants given a full 24 hours of light a day will grow at least a little faster during the vegetative stage (however, you may consider back down to 18/6 if your plant is sick to help it recover from problems faster). Therefore, if a short time to harvest is of the utmost importantance to you, you may want to consider going with the 24 hour light period during the vegetative stage for fastest growth. Again, this won't make the plant's flowering stage go any faster, but it enables you to start the flowering stage a little bit sooner. Speaking of which… 4.) Initiate The Flowering Stage Sooner.
You may not realize that regular (non auto-flowering) marijuana plants can be flowered directly from seed. When I say "flowered," what I mean is that you can change the light schedule so that it forces your young seedlings to start making buds right away. You can get a marijuana plant to start flowering by ensuring that it gets 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness each night, often referred to as the 12-12 light schedule. This makes the plant "think" winter is coming, and it'll start making buds as soon as it's able. This means that your "flowering stage countdown" begins within about a month from the seed being planted. So for example, Northern Lights has a flowering stage length of about 8 weeks. If you flowered a Northern Lights strain plant from seed, your buds would be ready to harvest in about 11-12 weeks. Some growers will also flower marijuana clones as soon as they have formed roots, for basically the same effect, though clones tend to start flowering a little faster than a plant put on 12-12 directly from seed. That being said, flowering from seed is a very inefficient manner of growing. Plants flowered from seed don't get enough time to grow stems where buds form. If you want to initiate flowering early, it's better to do so after after waiting just a bit, so you grow plants that are relatively small but can produce more than a couple of grams worth of bud. This is known as the "Sea of Green" (SoG) technique. A bunch of smaller plants is easy for new growers to manage, plus it gives you the option of trying different strains instead of getting of lot of one strain. Growing outdoors can be more convenient and vastly cheaper for those who happen to live in a place with great growing conditions since the sun and nature are doing a lot of work for you. But outdoor growing isn't the fastest way to grow and harvest your crop. Outdoors, you must plant in the spring, and wait until late fall to harvest. Given the right conditions (high-yielding strain, direct sunlight all day, good soil, avoid pests, etc) you can grow huge plants in that time, that produce pounds of buds. Yet growing indoors gives you the ultimate control over how big your plants get, how long to keep them in the vegetative stage, and exactly when they start flowering amongst other things. You also have a lot more control over how much bud you'll end up yielding. With a well-chosen strain and a good setup, one can harvest several ounces of buds in less than 4 months indoors, which is nearly impossible to do outdoors in the same timeframe. On a similar note, you might want to consider hydroponics over soil. You can get faster vegetative growth with almost all hydroponic methods compared to what can be achieved with soil.
That means that you could speed up time til harvest by using Deep Water Culture (DWC), Coco coir/perlite, or pretty much any non-soil growing medium. During the flowering stage, this isn't as important, but this can shave weeks off your vegetative stage time (get straight to growing buds sooner!) In my experience, top-fed Deep Water Culture hydroponics (also called 'bubbleponics') has given me the quickest growth of any hydroponics system I've tried. 6.) Pay Attention To Your Plants and Quickly React to Problems. I know this sounds like it doesn't need to be listed, but it's a more important job than people think. Every time your plants get sick, it slows down their growth while they try to recover. Every problem your plant runs into can add days or even weeks on to your total grow time. Simply put: fixing a problem quickly equates to shorter time to harvest. Plus, by reacting quickly to problems, you will save yourself the stress of trying to deal with a huge problem that's gotten out of control since you've been watching out and adjusting along the way. We all know that problems tend to get much worse when left unchecked! The more you tend to and baby your plants, the better they will grow, and the faster you will be able to harvest.
For example, the following plant problems will add time onto your grow. nutrient problems or a pest infestation can dramatically slow down growth, especially for young plants heat stress or light burn can not only slow down growth in the vegetative stage, they can prevent buds from maturing properly in the flowering stage accidentally re-vegging your budding plants will stop buds from maturing. 7.) Make Sure You're Feeding Plants The Right Type of Nutrients During Each Stage of Growth.