I want to share my thoughts about the importance of an even canopy in your marijuana garden.
When you have both tall and short cannabis plants in a room the shorter plants miss the same light intensity and the tall plants force you to raise the lights higher than needed.
When growing out only one marijuana strain from clones, keeping an even canopy can be as easy as taking all your clones at the same time and treating them equally.
However, it’s much more common for a grower to keep multiple strains in one area (as we all know variety is the spice of life!) With both Sativa and Indica strains in one gardening area, how can one best manage a canopy?
The first important thing is having some familiarity of the marijuana strains being grown out.
Knowing the finished height of a strain is very important, and while research can inform us, it’s been my experience that the best way to learn how a clone will perform is to grow it out a few times.
Once we know what strains finish tall or stretch a great deal versus the ones that don’t, we apply this knowledge to when we take our cuttings.
Marijuana strains that stay short and compact in my garden—like Urkle, Vortex, JTR, and BCS—are cloned as soon as possible.
Medium-sized plants like Orange Velvet and Apollo-13 are taken a few weeks later, once the slow growing plants have rooted and are well on their way to growing up.
My tallest plants with the most stretch I will clone last, relying on their vigorous growth to help them catch up with the rest.
The other tricks I will employ as the marijuana plants mature to manage their size is using different HID bulbs.
I keep my slower growing clones directly under the center of a 1000 watt Blue Spectrum bulb. Faster growing plants are grown under a 400 watt HID bulb.
During the first three weeks of flowering, the plants that tend to stretch more will catch up with the shorter stocky plants to form as even a canopy as possible.
This prevents shadows created by towering plants and allows the most intense portion of the HID bulbs’ power to broadcast evenly across your marijuana jungle.
Another huge factor in canopy control is temperature. Temperature swings between day and night can greatly increase a plants’ stretch.
The hotter a grow room is, the taller your Sativa-dominant marijuana strains will grow—sometimes getting completely out of hand and growing into the lights.
To prevent this, you need a well designed grow space with insulation, heating and cooling.
Remember if you’re not in control of your indoor grow environment, you’re not in control of your cannabis garden at all!
In a worst case situation, I use plant stands of to keep the top of the plants even. I’ve even used concrete blocks, spare pots, and have even build shelves to place shorter, slower growing plants on to try to increase their canopy height.
Last but not least is what I call the stadium set up. Even with canopy-management work and planning, inevitably some plants will be taller and some shorter.
I position the shorter marijuana plants in the center of the grow room and taller plants on the end and around the perimeter.
This sloping V canopy allows for more even light diffusion over the area with less shadows. Use these tricks to create a nice even canopy that looks like you could walk from top to top of your marijuana plants, and you’re more likely to get maximum marijuana yield.