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How To Grow Cannabis Fast, Both Indoors And Outdoors

The ideal temperament of a cannabis grower is patience. However, sometimes things need to be stepped up a gear. To grow cannabis faster, it’s key to start with faster genetics and an understanding of light cycles.

Gardening is usually a slow, meditative, and therapeutic process. It isn’t a hobby that revolves around instant gratification. Long-term investment and hard work pay off months after the seeds have been sown. Watching the slow and steady growth of plants whilst you stroll around a grow room or garden is deeply satisfying, and makes experiencing the fruits of your labour at harvest time that much richer.

THE CANNABIS ISSUE: YOU NEED BUD FAST!

However, when it comes to cultivating cannabis, some growers simply don’t have the time to spare. There are several reasons for this. Some cultivate the herb on a commercial scale, so the more frequently they can harvest their crop, the faster the turnover is. Other growers, such as those who reside within regions where cannabis is still illegal, desire to get their operations set up and closed down as quickly as possible to avoid getting busted. The faster they can harvest their buds, the less time they have to experience the constant anxiety of draconian laws.

Lastly, some growers who cultivate for personal use, whether for recreational or medicinal reasons, simply want a stash as fast as possible. Luckily for all these groups of growers, cannabis is a versatile species that can handle a broad range of environmental conditions. Environmental factors ultimately dictate how cannabis grows, and humans have mastered agriculture to the point that we can influence growing speed—at least to a degree.

SPEED UP YOUR CANNABIS GROW IN ANY CONDITIONS

When looking to speed up a cannabis grow, there are differences and limitations to growing indoors or outdoors. Ultimately, growing indoors provides much more control over environmental factors that contribute to speed. However, if you prefer to grow outside, or that’s all you have to work with, there are a few things you can tweak to move things along hastily. First, let’s take a look at what can be done indoors.

HOW TO SPEED UP AN INDOOR CANNABIS GROW

Growing indoors means you have a large amount of control over lighting, gas exchange, watering, and temperature. Most of these factors play a key role in rapid growth.

LIGHTING DURING THE VEGETATIVE PHASE

The cannabis grow cycle features two distinct phases: the vegetative phase and the flowering phase. Manipulating the light cycle during both of these phases can result in a faster pace of growth. During the vegetative phase (when plants feature only fan leaves and have not started to bloom), indoor plants are usually vegged under 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness per day to provide the best conditions for photosynthesis and respiration to occur.

However, by providing 24 hours of light per day, you will force your plants to remain in an anabolic state (the process of converting smaller molecules into larger molecules). This is because they will be photosynthesising around the clock and constantly using light, CO₂, and water to create glucose as an energy source to fuel growth.

LIGHTING DURING THE FLOWERING PHASE

The light cycle will need to be changed during the flowering phase depending on the genetics being used. Autoflowering strains don’t require a change, a topic we’ll delve into later in this article. However, traditional photoperiod strains require extended periods of darkness to begin flowering. This trait is due to the rhythms of nature; plants evolved to begin flowering when the days begin to get shorter and the harsher conditions of autumn approach. Lack of light is a signal for them to begin reproduction.

To initiate flowering and increase the speed of the flowering phase, a light cycle of 12 hours on and 12 hours off is usually recommended. There is, however, the option to run an 11/13 light cycle, which will make your plant hurry up in fear of the approaching change of seasons. Some growers do both, starting with 12/12 at the beginning of bloom, then moving to 11/13 at the latter half of the phase.

Another trick to speed things up massively is to avoid the vegetative phase altogether and begin flowering your plants immediately after germination has occurred. This can be achieved by applying a light schedule of 12/12 immediately and throughout the entire grow cycle. Although a rapid way to produce flowers, yields will be sacrificed for speed. Plus, this trick is only compatible with photoperiod strains.

MAKE SURE NUTRIENTS ARE DIALLED IN

Nutrients are also key for faster cannabis cultivation. This is primarily because any deficiencies in certain nutrients will result in various symptoms that slow growth and potentially reduce yields. Cannabis plants are hungry for increased levels of nitrogen during the vegetative phase and increased levels of phosphorus and potassium during flowering. To keep things simple, you can always purchase formulations specifically designed for both of these phases to make sure your plants get everything they need at the correct time. Moreover, you should always be diligent about checking pH to ensure your plants can uptake the nutrients they’re being given.

HARNESS THE POWER OF FUNGI

Fungi are simply mind-blowing life forms. Some fungi are pathogenic to cannabis plants and can damage them and slow growth. However, mycorrhizal fungi form a mutualistic allegiance with cannabis plants that can boost their health and growth. When supplementing your soil with these life forms, you will enhance the nutrient uptake of your plants and prevent potential deficiency and disease. These fungi penetrate into the intercellular space of roots where they work to transport nutrients to cells, receiving sugars created by the plants in return.

HYDROPONIC PLANTS ARE KNOWN TO GROW FASTER

Growing plants hydroponically means that water is the primary growing medium, as opposed to soil. This involves suspending plants above a water reservoir in a basket filled with media such as coco coir or clay pellets. The roots eventually grow down into the water below. There are many different forms of hydroponic growing, but the basic premise is that because the roots have direct access to nutrients within the water, they can uptake them with much greater speed and ease, resulting in faster growth.

HOW TO SPEED UP AN OUTDOOR CANNABIS GROW

Growing outdoors offers much less control over certain parameters. This requires a slightly different approach and some creative thinking.

HOW TO CONTROL LIGHT EXPOSURE OUTDOORS

Unlike indoor growers, outdoor growers have to deal with the sun. This constant light source is a great thing for those looking to grow all season long. However, those seeking a fast harvest will need to find ways to reduce light exposure. As mentioned above, altering the light cycle is perhaps the most powerful way to speed up growth. When it comes to achieving a 12/12 light cycle outdoors to initiate flowering from the get-go, growers can cover their plants with a tarp for periods in the morning and evening to avoid excess light exposure.

If you don’t fancy forcing flowering straight away, but still want to speed up the vegetative phase, you can expose your plants to 24 hours of light using the sun during the day and artificial lights at night. Just be aware that this may bring unwanted attention to your growing operation.

POLLINATE YOUR FLOWERS

Pollination is usually something growers strive to avoid. When pollen makes contact with flowers, they become fertilised and seed formation starts. This means energy that would otherwise be directed toward flower growth is instead directed to the formation of seeds. However, by pollinating your flowers by hand approximately 1 week before harvest, you will force them to mature faster. Be sure to harvest them before seeds begin to form.

INDOORS OR OUTDOORS, GENETICS MATTER MOST

Regardless of whether you intend to speed up cannabis growth indoors or outdoors, genetics will play the most fundamental role. Some cannabis varieties have been selectively bred over generations to strengthen the trait of faster growth and flowering. Autoflowering strains in particular are famed for their speed, with most emerging from seed to harvest in a couple of months or so, without any intervention at all. Here are some of the fastest-growing autoflowering and photoperiod genetics you might want to consider for a lightning-fast harvest.

VANILLA ICE AUTOFLOWERING

Vanilla Ice Autoflowering is a speedy lady that will explode from seed to harvest in as little as 55 days, without any of the above methods being implemented. She was created using the original Vanilla Ice, which was then infused with ruderalis. This indica-dominant specimen provides a giggly, happy, and relaxed body high with flavours of vanilla and sugar.

Vanilla Ice Autoflowering has an average THC content of 13%. She’ll yield up to 350g/m² indoors and reach a peak height of 90cm.

LEMON KUSH

Lemon Kush is a fast-flowering photoperiod strain derived from Chemdawg, Lemon Thai, and Pakistani Kush. With a flowering time of approximately 55 days in normal conditions, this indica-dominant cultivar induces a stoning and meditative high shortly after being smoked. The terpene profile within her flowers features notes of spice and citrus.

Lemon Kush provides a rewarding yield both indoors and out. Indoor plants will yield up to 500g/m² and grow to heights of between 100–130cm. Plants cultivated outdoors yield up to 550g/plant and surge to heights of 170–230cm.

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Sometimes, growers need to speed up the cannabis cultivation process. Click here to learn how to manipulate conditions for a faster harvest!

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.