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It’s a new year, and for many people, that means making resolutions and setting goals. Well, if you are a home grower, or aspiring home grower, I encourage you to take a big picture look at your grow schedule for this year. Don’t have one? That’s okay. The purpose of this article is get you thinking in terms of an annual cultivation plan, as opposed to just planting some seeds and hoping for the best. Don’t know how to put one together? That’s okay too. In this article, I am going to show you.
First, we are going to tie in the last couple Cultivation Corner articles that had to do with veg, and I am going to show you how to apply that advice to the context of your situation, within your annual cultivation plan.
Sound like too much for a beginner grower? Just keep reading, I promise you will see the big picture by the end of this article.
First, get a clear vision of the end goal
When you plant your seeds or clones, you will have this tiny little plants in small pots. Now in order to know how long you will keep these plants in a vegetative state, you must have a clear outline for the entire growth cycle.
As you put together you plan, consider the following:
• How big is your grow space?
• How many strains do you want to grow?
• How often do you want to be flowering or harvesting?
As you ponder those questions, you will want to ask yourself a few more:
• Do you want to grow only a few but large plants?
• Would you instead prefer many small plants?
• Do you want to get as many harvests as possible in a year?
• Are you satisfied with fewer harvests?
Once you start asking yourself these types of questions, you will get yourself in thinking in terms of the big picture. Don’t just grab some seeds and talk about planting them. No, instead, I want you to think about mapping our your entire year!
Creating a Cultivation Plan based around your Grow Space
If you have a small grow space, such as a tent, you must acknowledge your limitations. The most obvious is ceiling height. Compare that to a 2-car garage. A grower using his home garage has more space than a person using a tent. But killer out-comes can be achieved in both scenarios, if you have a plan!
Tips for Small Grow Spaces
For small spaces, the goal is to grow small plants. Which means you get to master the art of getting a decent yield out of small plants. Part of the secret to getting yield with small plants is to simply increase the number of plants. You cannot grow big plants in a small space, but if you do things right, you can grow many small plants in a small space.You therefore want a shorter veg cycle. But as you condense your veg cycle, you shorten the amount of time you have to get all your chores done! That is okay, you can adjust.
You will want to first use smaller containers. You don’t need 7-gallon pots for a small tent. Stick with 2-gallon. You could even go smaller. The smaller the pot, the more plants you can fit in your tent, and that means more strain variety. You will need to top these earlier in veg in order toget the plant to start forking out, which will control your vertical growth. Remember, plants will double in size during flower, so we can’t let them get too big during veg.
Keep your veg cycle to about 4-5 weeks. Get at least one topping session in, and at least one pruning session, either before or after your topping session. At this point, you are ready to switch to 12/12.
Your 2023 Cultivation Plan
With a small grow space, you can focus on get-ting in multiple runs this year. With two weeks for a seedling phase, or for a clone to root, combined with a short veg (4-5 weeks), plus an 8-week flower cycle, you can get three and a half flips in this year. That means you will harvest 3 times and have a fourth cycle halfway completed going into the new year. With this type of plan, you get multiple harvests, a decent strain variety per run, and best of all….Lots of practice! Which is the most important feature here.
Getting three bites at the apple per year, you will triple your experience level than if you only had one run per year. If you have access to additional grow spaces for vegging your next batch of clones or seedlings, you can increase that number to five flips in a year. Imagine your experience level after a couple years of doing that! Of course, you could go with an entirely different plan of growing really big plants and aiming to get the biggest yield per plant. We will talk about that type of a strategy in next month’s issue