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Fast Forward: How to Grow Weed as Fast as Possible

Growing weed can seem kind of tedious when you think about the fact that it can take up to 5 months to enjoy your hard work. Speeding up the process doesn’t come without some sort of compromise on quality or yield, but it absolutely can be done. If you absolutely must have your buds faster, this article will tell you everything you need to know.

  • Start flowering ASAP
  • Decrease the light hours in the flowering stage
  • Choose seeds that flower quickly
  • A final thought

If you’re waiting eagerly for a delicious harvest of buds, then the average timeframe of 3-4 months for growing marijuana can seem like a lifetime. It’s easy to grow impatient with marijuana’s long growing time and you might be wondering how to speed things along.

Depending on how impatient you are, you could stagger your growing operation so that while you have flowering plants, you always have vegetating plants. This would result in a possible harvest every 60 days. But in this article, we’ll be focusing on techniques for speeding up the growing process of a single grow.

The time between seed and harvest will depend on the strain you are growing, along with several other factors.

If you’re growing your weed outdoors, then unfortunately, you’re stuck with the rhythms of nature. There’s no real trick out of that one.

However, growing indoors does give you a little more control over how you grow your plants. And if you want to get to harvest time quickly, we have some sound advice for you.

Start flowering ASAP

When you are growing cannabis from a regular seed, you get to choose when to flip from vegetation to flowering. A grower generally does this by changing the lighting schedule. When the number of light hours decreases, the plant begins to flower and produce buds. Depending on the strain, this could be anywhere from 8-12 weeks.

Now, technically, you can flower your plants as soon as they are seedlings and skip the vegetative state entirely. It will make your seedlings start producing buds right away.

Let’s take a look at the Northern Lights strain, which has a total flowering time of about 8 weeks. If you turned your seedlings straight over to flowering from the moment of germination, you’d be harvesting in less than 12 weeks.

This might sound tempting to try, but you really do compromise on your yield. Your plant needs to have enough stems producing buds for a worth-wile yield. And a seedling doesn’t have many stems yet.

You can vegetate your plants for a lesser period than you usually do in order to switch to flowering faster. While your yields still won’t be as good, you won’t compromise as much as you would if you flowered straight from seedling. It might take you an extra three weeks, for example, in which case you could harvest in about 14-15 weeks.

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Grow Guide: How to Grow Weed in a Hydroponic System

Decrease the light hours in the flowering stage

We just explained how you can start flowering ASAP, but we can also influence the duration of that flowering stage.

When your cannabis plants get less than 13 or 14 hours of light per day, they will automatically start flowering. Outdoors, the number of light hours will slowly decrease as the winter starts to come on. You can speed up this process with indoor growing, making the winter come on a whole lot faster.

By manipulating the light hours, you can force your plants to create buds much faster than outdoor grows. To encourage the flowering process to finish faster, you can decrease the number of light hours to as low as 10. Basically any strain will respond to this kind of light manipulation by producing buds at a faster rate.

With all of this being said, this technique also compromises on yield. The buds will not fatten quite as much as using this method, meaning your yield won’t be huge. It does not necessarily mean that you compromise on THC content. At the end of the day, it is during light hours that your plant actually grows. Reducing this dramatically means there is less chance for growth. But… you will get to harvest quicker.

Choose seeds that flower quickly

One of the most efficient ways to harvest quickly is to choose a seed that has a generally short flowering time. Some strains have flowering stages of 8 weeks, such as Northern Lights, while others have flowering times as long as 12 weeks, such as Diesel Haze. In general, strains with longer flowering times tend to yield more, because they spend more time under lights. However, you don’t compromise on quality at all with strains that have shorter flowering times.

Some strains that flower quickly include Swiss Miss, Cheese and Holland’s Hope. All of these strains have flowering times of 6-8 weeks. That can save you over a month of waiting for harvest time.

Another kind of seed that can take you to harvest quickly are autoflowering seeds. This type of cannabis seeds switches to flowering automatically rather than by light cycle. Most of them go from seed to harvest in less than 12 weeks in total. Which also can shave months off your total growing time compared to growing with regular seeds.

A final thought

So there you have it: There are ways to make things come along a little faster, but not all of these are without a little bit of compromise. If it doesn’t really phase you to lose a few grams for being able to harvest a month earlier, then some of these techniques are sure to help you. But there is a final note.

We know you’re in a hurry to harvest. But don’t forget to dry and cure your buds properly – please. You can lose so much of your hard work if you don’t dry and cure your buds in the correct way. If you get overzealous and want to start smoking straight away, you might be extremely disappointed with the final result. So good luck on your endeavour to grow weed fast, but don’t ruin the final product with impatience!

Does five months sound too long to wait until you can harvest some sweet buds? These tricks of the trade will have you harvesting sooner!

Growing Cannabis As Fast As Possible: What You Need To Know

Use these tips to speed up your grow at any point between germination and harvest. Learn practical ways to make things go faster in either veg or flowering, inside or out. Don’t be surprised if one of the tricks for outdoor growers is a bit shocking. We weren’t expecting it either!

Contents:

There are plenty of reasons you might want to harvest early. Perhaps you’re moving house and have to pack up your grow room, or you grow outdoors in a northern country where the autumns are short, cold, and brutal. Perhaps you’re low on weed and hate to fork over your hard-earned cash in exchange for your meds. Maybe you live in a not-so-cannabis-friendly place and you think LEO is onto you.

No matter the reason, there are proven ways to rush things along, whether you’re growing inside or out. Still, you might have to compromise yield and potency in exchange for speed. Let’s take a look at what you can do to grow cannabis as fast as possible.

TIPS FOR FASTER INDOOR GROWS

Growing indoors is almost always faster than growing outdoors, mostly because you can control the lighting. You can tweak a few other things in the name of speed too.

GROW AUTOFLOWERING CANNABIS

As a general rule, autoflowering cannabis will mature at a faster rate than photoperiod strains because they contain a percentage of ruderalis genetics. Ruderalis evolved naturally in cold places like Siberia where the summers are very short. They had to develop the ability to produce flowers and seeds quickly to ensure the survival of the species.

Most autoflowering hybrids will start to flower two weeks after germination, and can be harvested about 7 weeks later. Quick One, for example, completes its full life cycle in 8 weeks and still yields up to 150g/plant.

Note that breeders are now reducing the amount of ruderalis they use to create autoflowering hybrids in order to increase yield and potency. As a result, some may take a little longer to be harvest-ready, or require a 20/4 or 18/6 light cycle for flowering.

Quick One
Strong Indica x Ruderalis
275 – 325 g/m 2
50 – 60 cm
5 – 6 weeks
THC: 13% (aprox.) / CBD: Low
10% Sativa, 60% Indica, 20% Ruderalis
100 – 150 g/per plant (dried)
60 – 100 cm
8 – 9 weeks after germination
Physical
Quick One
Strong Indica x Ruderalis
275 – 325 g/m 2
50 – 60 cm
5 – 6 weeks
THC: 13% (aprox.) / CBD: Low
10% Sativa, 60% Indica, 30% Ruderalis
100 – 150 g/per plant (dried)
60 – 100 cm
8 – 9 weeks after germination
Physical

TAKE PHOTOPERIOD STRAINS STRAIGHT TO FLOWER

You can force photoperiod strains to mature almost as fast as autoflowering cannabis by putting them in 12 hours of darkness every day from the time they germinate. It works, but your plants will not get nearly as big or yield as much as if you had allowed them to veg for the normal 4–6 weeks.

If you want to use this method, you can start with either clones or seeds, but you’ll need to grow a lot of them in sea of green (SOG) fashion if you want enough herb to hold you over to your next harvest. Most plants will be dwarf-sized and only yield 28g or less each.

VEG WITH LIGHTS ON 24 HOURS A DAY

This is a hotly debated topic, but you can leave your lights on 24/7 and your cannabis plants will be just fine. Unlike some other plants, they don’t need a dark period each day to be healthy. In fact, they’ll stay shorter, grow faster, and get bushier under a continuous light period.

By keeping the lights on all the time, you may be able to cut your veg time by a third and still have a good-sized plant by the time you start a forced bloom. If you try this technique, keep a close watch for deficiencies. If your plants look like they’re getting sick, reduce the wattage or hours of light to help them recover.

GIVE YOUR PLANTS LESS THAN 12 HOURS OF LIGHT PER DAY DURING BLOOM

If you’d like to jump-start the flowering process, put your plants in complete darkness for 48 hours before you start the 12/12 light cycle. Then, use a 11/13 light cycle throughout bloom. The extra reduction will trick your plants into thinking winter is rapidly approaching.

Starving a plant that wants to bloom for 9–10 weeks to force an early harvest can have a negative impact on yield. If you’re going to try this method, choose a cannabis seed with a naturally short finish time like Honey Cream. This is a high-yielding indica that only needs 6–7 weeks to complete its flowering cycle.

Honey Cream
BlueBlack x Maple Leaf Indica x White Rhino
500 – 550 gr/m 2
60 – 100 cm
6 – 7 weeks
THC: 16% (aprox.) / CBD: Medium
35% Sativa, 65% Indica, 0% Ruderalis
625 – 675 g/per plant (dried)
180 – 250 cm
Early October
Psychedelic high
Honey Cream
BlueBlack x Maple Leaf Indica x White Rhino
500 – 550 gr/m 2
60 – 100 cm
6 – 7 weeks
THC: 16% (aprox.) / CBD: Medium
35% Sativa, 65% Indica, 0% Ruderalis
625 – 675 g/per plant (dried)
180 – 250 cm
Early October
Psychedelic high

CONSIDER SWITCHING TO HYDRO

Compared to soil or a soilless mix, hydro can reduce your veg time by a few weeks. This method delivers nutrients directly to the plant’s roots so that they practically grow right before your eyes. It won’t make the flowering period go much faster, but hydro usually produces heavier, denser buds and bigger yields. You might decide that, in this case, the time was well spent.

PROPER NUTRITION HELPS… A LOT

Sick plants need time to recover, so every time you overfeed, underfeed, or feed the wrong thing, you’re stretching the time until harvest. If you’re using nutrients designed for cannabis, they should come with instructions that tell you how much of what to use, and when to use it. Follow the directions, but keep the mix on the light side until you know if your plants are nutrient-sensitive.

Cannabis needs more nitrogen (N) when vegging and more phosphorus and potassium (P & K) while flowering. If you give then too much nitrogen during bloom, it’ll slow down bud growth and result in lower yields of fluffier buds. That’s the exact opposite of what you want!

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TIPS FOR FASTER OUTDOOR GROWS

Harvesting early outside is a little tricky. The obvious answer is to use autoflowering strains—and this does work. Depending on your weather, you may be able to harvest at least three times each growing season. Outdoor growers can also make photoperiod strains mature a little faster. Here are two things to try.

COVER OUTDOOR PLANTS TO FORCE BLOOM

Cover your outdoor plants with a tarp or other light-proof cover in the early evening and remove it the next morning. This works just like a grow tent to give your plants 12 hours of darkness each day to force them to bloom. As a bonus, you’ll end up with bigger, denser, more resinous buds when you’re done because the sunlight they do get, during the height of summer, will be much more intense than what they would receive during the fall months when outdoor cannabis plants normally bloom.

POLLINATE LATE, HARVEST EARLY

This last tip might shock you. Pollinate your flowers and they’ll ripen faster.

This doesn’t mean you’ll ruin your grow with a bunch of seeds. Pollinate by hand about a week before you want to harvest. As soon as the buds are fertilised, the plant will switch its energy away from flower formation to seed production and the maturity rate will escalate. The next week, when you harvest, the seeds won’t even be noticeable because they haven’t had time to form a hard shell.

CANNABIS SEED SELECTION IS KEY TO FASTER GROWING

If you want to grow cannabis as fast as possible, choosing a seed that’s been bred to mature quickly is key. It’s only common sense that it will be easier to hurry along a strain that will finish on its own in 7 weeks than one that prefers 12. Luckily, fast strains have been bred to meet every need and preference.

For those who prefer autoflowering hybrids, Northern Light Auto is a great choice. The original was already fast, but this improved version can go from germination to harvest in 10 weeks or less without any extra measures. Royal Cheese is a photoperiod strain, but this European favourite only needs about 6 weeks of 12/12 lighting to reach full maturity. Medical marijuana patients who are on a tight schedule should take a look at Medical Mass. This variety only needs 7 weeks of bloom to yield up to 550g/m² of CBD-enriched flowers.

CONCLUSION—HOW TO SPEED UP YOUR CANNABIS GROW

If you need to force your plants to mature faster than they naturally would, you can by trying one or more of the methods described above. Doing so, however, means that you will probably sacrifice both yield and potency in the process. For the best results, choose a cannabis seed that’s been bred specifically for speed. With the right genetics, you can minimise any type of compromise that you may have to make.

If you need to hurry your grow for an early harvest, this practical guide will show you how to speed things up, inside and out.