Growing a cannabis plant is like raising a child: everyone has their own opinion about how it should be done. There is widespread disagreement, for example, over which techniques should be used to increase the yield of a cannabis plant. While some growers believe that techniques like “topping” can increase a plant’s yield, others believe that any modifications made to the plant will ultimately stress it out, and therefore decrease its yield. While results vary, these are the most important things you should know about how to grow the most amount of weed.
There’s no better way to ensure you have a constant, abundant supply of quality marijuana than starting a DIY grow-op.
Grow the most amount of weed by maximizing light intensity.
Cannabis plants rely on sunlight for their photosynthesis process, which is essentially the plant’s way of deriving food from carbon dioxide and water. More light, therefore, means more food. And like humans, more food will allow your plant to grow bigger.
Many indoor growers tend to use a 600W lamp to grow their plants. But adding additional wattage by switching to a 1000W lamp can significantly increase the yield of a plant. The important thing to keep in mind here is that if you’re increasing your light intensity, you’ll also have to adjust the temperature of your grow room. If you increase the wattage of your grow lamp, make sure you’re also using fans and cool tubes to mitigate the extra heat.
Grow the most amount of weed by topping and training your plant.
Picture a cannabis plant sitting beneath a heat lamp, and imagine rays of light streaming down onto the plant. Which parts of the plant are those rays not hitting?
Those parts of the plant—the parts that aren’t getting as much light as the main cola—are not going to reach their full potential. Therefore, many growers use techniques known as “training” and “topping.”
Topping means gently cutting the main cola’s branch tips so that it splits down the middle. This will create two outwardly-growing main branches, rather than one upwardly growing branch tip. The result is more light reaching the lower parts of the cola, allowing them to grow bigger.
Training refers to the use of ties (twist-ties work great) to gently bend the colas on your plant away from one another to prevent them from clustering, which lowers the amount of light that can reach them. The best way to imagine this is by putting your hand out in front of you with all of your fingers touching each other. Your fingers represent your plant’s colas. Imagine a light cascading down from above your fingers. As you can imagine, the middle-to-bottom halves of your fingers wouldn’t be getting much light. Now spread your fingers apart as wide as they’ll go. As you can imagine, now the middle-to-bottom halves of your fingers would be getting significantly more light.
This is precisely what you’re trying to achieve with training, by using twist ties to spread your plant’s colas out (without bending them so far as to break).
Grow the most amount of weed by giving your plant’s roots room to spread out.
Your plant uses its roots to feed itself water and nutrients. Therefore, if your plant’s roots are too cramped, it won’t be able to properly feed itself. This is an easy fix. Your plant will start off with a smaller container—most likely a plastic cup (the kind people drink from at parties and play beer pong with). Keep an eye on your plant. Once your plant’s leaves reach the edge of the cup, it’s time to transfer it to a larger pot.
You should only do this transfer once to avoid stressing the plant. So make sure that the second pot you have is fairly large, and gives your plant’s roots lots of room to stretch out. A good rule of thumb is to provide two gallons of space for every 12 inches of the plant’s height.
Grow the most amount of weed by feeding your plant properly.
Just like the human body, feeding your plant a balanced and nutritious diet will help it grow to its full potential. Unlike the human body, your plants should be fed every 8-9 days (pre-flowering) and every seven days once it’s flowering.
The main nutrients your plant needs are Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). This makes up the acronym NPK, which correspond to the numbers you’ll find on nutrient products. If the product has the numbers 8-5-4 on the package, for example, that means it contains 8% Nitrogen, 5% Phosphorus, and 4% Potassium.
Luckily, most nutrient “grow solutions” come pre-packaged and can be purchased online, from a dispensary or sometimes headshops. While there are different grow solutions for the vegetative and flowering stages, the general rule of thumb for adding nutrients is 5ml of grow solution for every liter of water.
You’ll also want to keep your water’s pH levels optimized, so make sure to purchase a liquid pH solution, as well as a pH testing kit, which will show you when your water is optimized.
As mentioned above, the nutrients and pH solutions should be added to a fresh supply of water for your plant every 8-9 days pre-flowering) and every seven days once it’s flowering.