When pruning, start early and often. Cut or pinch branches just above the node where two new shoots will emerge. If you stay on top of this process, you’ll have plants that look like bonsai bushes, with plenty of bud sites but not a lot of stretching out and big gaps between nodes. This is the efficient way to get bigger yields out of small spaces but your vegetating time will increase so factor that into your schedule.
You’ll also need an exhaust fan and activated carbon filter to reduce heat and eliminate odors. Be sure to get one that’s rated for your tent’s size with the proper ducting size. A clip-on circulating fan will keep air moving and stop it from being stagnant. A thermometer/hygrometer is also a must for keeping track of temperature and humidity.
After you’ve planted your seeds or rooted your clones, it’s time to get them growing. Lower your reflector so that it’s closer to the plants rather than making them stretch to reach for light. Raise the lighting system as your plants grow. Set your light timer to be on for 18 hours per day and off for 6 hours. During this vegetative stage, the plant will grow leaves and branches but no flowers (unless it’s an auto-flowering plant).
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Don’t prune or pinch plants at all once they’ve begun flowering – you’ll only be decreasing your harvest at that point. If the branches are threatening to reach the light, bend them or tie them down to keep them from burning. A trellis system constructed from chicken wire at canopy level (aka the ScrOG or Screen of Green system), will further spread out bud sites and increase your yields considerably. Simply train growing shoots to grow horizontally along the bottom of the screen to fill empty spots.
I don’t dip into my stash that often, so I usually go without a two-way humidity pack, but if you’re going to be opening the lid of the jar a whole lot, consider throwing in a Boveda pack to keep things nice and steady.
Plants are ready for the next step when most branches snap, not just the smallest ones, and buds sound like popcorn to your ear. Literally, hold your ear to a bud and take your fingers and smoosh it a little, and it should sound just a little bit crunchy, like popcorn. Not too crunchy, just a little bit crunchy.
Hey, this is Johanna and we’re back talking weed in my backyard, and we are going to pot up the babies into their next home.