What Is The Secret To Gaining Marijuana Yields?
Posted by Lee G. Leissett | 24648 views
By Lee G. Leissett
A magnification device to determine the “ripeness” of the trichomes
(Click to enlarge)
Medical marijuana growers who produce top quality buds have one thing in common: they all have to learn patience. The average medical marijuana strain takes around eight weeks in the blooming stage to produce finished medicine. This is just the flowering stage, so some strains with longer vegetative stages, could take as long as four months for their entire growing process. All plants go through tremendous change near the end of their life cycle and medical marijuana is no exception. These critical changes in the late stages of flowering not only determine the potency of the medicine but also have significant influence over yield.
Late-Stage Flowering Marijuana Focuses On THC Production
As medical marijuana blooms, a plethora of flowering hormones are produced by the plant. These hormones divert energy from other plant functions and focus that energy on the production of buds and resins. Throughout the different stages of flowering, medical marijuana plants produce different hormones; each with a specific purpose to that stage.
As a medical marijuana plant approaches the end of its life it releases a series of “last effort” hormones which trigger dense flower development and high resin production. These “last effort” hormones are triggered because, as growers, we are manipulating the reproductive cycle of medical marijuana. In nature, a female medical marijuana plant is fertilized by a male’s pollen during the final weeks of her life and her energy is then focused on the production of seeds. When a female plant is not fertilized (which is the goal of the modern medical marijuana horticulturalist) a unique set of changes happen near the end of her life.
Impatient Growers Miss The Best Buds
An unfertilized female medical marijuana plant will produce many hormones, which cause a burst in flower development as a last attempt to reproduce. This “last effort” to reproduce can increase yields by up to 20% and correlates with the “ripening” of trichomes. Every ripening or late-stage flowering enhancer sold at hydroponic retailers is designed to stimulate these “last effort” hormones. Medical marijuana growers who lack patience miss out on this increase in yield and ripening effect. This is very easy to do because the final burst of yield is usually contained within the flowers and is not a visible increase in size. Even when a medical marijuana plant appears finished it may not have gone through the last stage of flower hardening that is so integral to producing a high yielding garden.
The only way to find the best harvest day for any given strain is through experimentation. Get to know your genetics. Any reputable seed supplier has information on the duration of the flowering period. Take this information as a starting point and try harvesting a few days earlier or later than the recommended date. You may be surprised to see how much of a difference a few days can make. Also, it is always a good idea to use a magnification device to determine the “ripeness” of the trichomes on a medical marijuana plant.
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Wednesday, 25 April 2012
Photography by Ian Tragen @ Shutterstock
Article by Lee G. Leissett, on Apr. 25th 2012