The Science and Benefits of Light Deprivation Cannabis Growing
Light deprivation is a cannabis growing technique that enables you to produce large yields. Professional cultivators use light deprivation because it’s an effective way of controlling the exact flowering time of your plant, resulting in high amounts of potent cannabis.
What exactly is light deprivation?
Simply put, light deprivation is a technique wherein growers limit plants’ exposure to sunlight after they have matured for a period of time, which allows you to induce flowering even outside their normal flowering period.
There are different ways to do light deprivation techniques.
Benefits of Light Deprivation
Just like with other kinds of plants, cannabis plants thrive on the presence of light because it gives them energy but also plays a role in determining when the plant will flower. In the wild, cannabis plants will only bloom once in its lifetime which falls during fall. This is the same season wherein days are shorter, and cannabis plants receive much less light exposure.
Allowing your plant to flower on its own tends to result in smaller yields and less quality potency. This is why cannabis cultivators have turned to light deprivation; by letting the plants mature for a few weeks before they are forced to flower.
The other benefits of light deprivation are:
Quality Cannabis At Reduced Prices: Growing cannabis in a greenhouse as opposed to outdoor grows enable you to protect your plants from harsh conditions that may cause a decrease in THC production, mold, pests, and other things that can go wrong. Greenhouses also give you full control of climate through the use of dehumidifiers, heaters, and fans. Climate control produces superior product, while saving money from energy costs.
Control Of Flowering Stage: Light deprivation gives you full control of when the cannabis plants mature from vegetative to flowering stage. This in itself offers a wide spectrum of benefits, including the ability to give your plants time to heal if they look unhealthy before flowering. Additionally, it also lets you decide when your grows are satisfactory before you decide to flower.
Bigger Harvests Year-Round: Growing cannabis indoors using a greenhouse lets you produce quality cannabis throughout the year no matter what the season is. Light deprivation lets you harvest many times in a season; even year round although this depends on the setup you use. Many harvests in a year translate to bigger profits for producers, while also letting hobby growers enjoy the privilege of harvesting multiple strains in any given season.
Controlling Your Plant’s Flowering Cycle
Cannabis seedlings should be given around 4-6 weeks to mature before you induce flowering. During this period, it’s critical that the plant receives at least 16 hours of light, although more ideal is 18-20 hours. Once you see that the plants mature and can produce a generous harvest, expose it to 12 hours of light followed by exposure to 12 hours in a complete blackout.
Light deprivation indoors will require a quality grow light so that you can make sure your plants can create enough energy to produce healthy flowers. It’s also important that during the dark periods, you have to make sure that the cannabis plants are completely undisturbed so that you can be successful into tricking your flowers that it’s time to mature because summer is over. To do this indoors, you can grow your plants inside a closet, then use a timer for the light exposure.
On the other hand, if you decide to do this outdoors, the cannabis plants will need to be placed in a location that receives ample sunlight for at least 12 hours a day. Then you’ll need to provide them with uninterrupted darkness, which can be obtained through the use of curtains or shades placed on the roof of a greenhouse.
If money isn’t an issue, there are adapted greenhouses that allow you to display canvas convers that turn opaque based on a timer. This option might not be cheap, but it’s an investment that will benefit you in the long run. Additionally, it reduces the risk for human error by automating the system.
Things To Remember
Keep in mind that with indoor growing, not all cannabis strains will react uniformly to light deprivation. Some strains will grow stronger while others may result in problems such as fungi. Some sativa strains will flower even after exposure to just 10 hours of darkness. Choosing the right cannabis strain is fundamental to your success with light deprivation.
Some experts also agree that it’s best not to leave greenhouse covers on overnight. Remove it once natural darkness sets in, then expose your plants to natural morning light as dawn approaches. Leaving a tarp on overnight may cause excess moisture and heat but you can prevent this through the use of air outlets and inlets – unless you have breathable tarps.
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