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How vegetative growth time exponentially affects yield

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TheCapn

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In the following article, I'll be referring to plants grown indoors, hydroponically, with MH / HPS light.

One of the most common questions I hear is, "How long do I need to veg in order to get X ounces?" The direct answer is: It depends on how fast you can grow your plant! No one wants to hear that answer, so I will try to demonstrate / estimate some plant sizes, and how you can guesstimate your yield. In addition, I'll demonstrate vegetative growth rates, as grown in my "simple hydroponics" thread. The TWO top ways to increase yield, are veg time, and light. The brand of nutrients, is about 5th on my list.

In previous posts, I've talked about how doubling veg time (from seed or clone) can triple yield. As a general estimate, adding two weeks of vegetative growth time, will double your yield. This levels off a bit (when we get over a pound), indoors due to height limitations).

In the past, I've grown 1 ounce plants, 2 oz plants, and so on, all the way up all the way to 20oz indoors. I've gotten pretty good at estimating final yield before flower. However, your results will vary, based on grow method, strain, and light. So let's look at one plant:

This plant started from a clone, cut around June 1st. (the one on the right)


After two weeks of rooting time, plus two weeks of vegetative growth time (total one month), we have a little plant with nice growth. At this stage, some growers will go to flower and bunch up 16+ of these under a 1K light and get an ounce per plant.
Picture from 7-1: (Check out where I topped it)


10 days later, we have a plant that is really mature enough to flower. The plant goes into rapid growth here, and in most cases will start to show pistils. When I first started growing, this is where I would go to flower. These are what I call "3 ouncer" plants, and need about 2 sq ft per plant. At this size, you can expect to get 3-3.5 ounces per plant, depending on strain. So, waiting only another 10 days, triples your yield per plant.
Picture from 7-11: (it was topped in a couple more places)


Now we start to get into the big boys league. Just another 11 days later and look at the significant difference. During this time, your plant is growing in all directions. Instead of growing from 10 branches, it's growing from 25+, that's why the size increases exponentially.
Picture from 7-22 (and topped again in about 4 more places)


Here is a photo, demonstrating growth in the last 10 days. Just by vegging for another 10 days to two weeks, will take this from a 3oz to a 8oz plant.


Here is about what you can expect when flowering a plant this large. I got almost 8oz from this plant, in a 3ft x 3 ft SCROG:


Now, let's think about this... we cut our clone (or planted our seed), we've cared for it for close to two months. We could go to flower now. It takes nearly the same work to grow a big plant or a small one (just more time). If you're patient, and you have the space, give it another 10 days and here is what to expect in a 4 x 4 SCROG: (one lb)


The plant in vegetative growth you see above will stay there for another 2 weeks. By letting it veg another two weeks, (just over two months from clone) we will again double that 8oz and this will be another "one pounder", in a 4 x 4ft SCROG. I will check back in a couple weeks and post two more weeks of time lapse pictures so you can see it before it goes to flower.

In all the above photos, plants were vegged under 400w MH, and flowered under 600w hps.

Thanks for reading and get goin "Capn Style".
Jessie
 

s1ingblade

New Member
As always cap'n your the man, what a great piece of information. If my cuts will transition into plants soon i might get a chance, that last ten days looks to be key and really important. Just hope it takes off. The cookies that will reload room b in two more weeks are in rapid growth and are really hairing up, thay really want to flower
I will take pics of the tomorrow and again in ten days and well see what you think:)
Thanks again
 

Voltrom

New Member
What great info. It took so long for my clones to root and start growing. About a month, now I know this is normal and I'm gonna do a 2 month from clone veg. Hoping for a pound but expect less with my 650w dual spec system.
 

TheCapn

New Member
What great info. It took so long for my clones to root and start growing. About a month, now I know this is normal and I'm gonna do a 2 month from clone veg. Hoping for a pound but expect less with my 650w dual spec system.
Hey Voltrom, yeah they really do take 3 weeks to start seeing any new growth. One thing to be careful is... don't give them any "N" nutrients until you see new growth, or else you could actually stunt their growth. I've made this mistake many times. Now, I after I have roots, I only add 1ml/gal "rapid start" and feed with that, then start regular veg nutrients when I see new leaves.

Sounds like a good plan. Please invite me to your journal if you start one. You probably already have your own technique but check out this article in my signature for tips on how to shape and top while in veg: How to: Bend and Top your way to a 1lb monster
 

Voltrom

New Member
Appreciate the info, I've done much much research and grew out a tomato plant in my own homemade dwc system before I tackled cannabis. It's funny that you say nitrogen may stunt growth because I had such slow growth after transplant. I thought I stunted the plants in some way during the initial weeks but now the ladies are growing taller very quick. And bushing. It just seems like a month is too long and im already considering an aeroponic system without "hydroton" so the roots just tangle in nutrient rich solution. I feel like the hydroton takes longer to root in. I used veg nutes and base nutes. A week after I transplanted I think. I think somewhere between the algae that formed and the nutes I added stunted the growth. I had a few roots but they got brown and didn't grow for a good while..

Anyways, i liked how I had a visual every ten days or so on your clones, it made it seem less longer for me and I know the extra veg time is indefinitely worth it. I love your drain to waste system, I wish I had a system that was "set and leave" kind of thing but I'm always using water bottles, always checking for algae, always putting 10ml of hydrogen peroxide a day.

Just waiting for my bush to be big enough to shade the resevoir..
 

TheCapn

New Member
Hey Vol,

I don't care for hydroton for seedlings or clones. The roots are very fragile at this stage, and the hydroton will pinch / break roots, especially if you are in there moving them around. When young roots get cut, they can get infected and die, even if you are using h2o2. You can't been rockwool, especially for young plants. You can transplant to dwc, top feed, whatever with no shock whatsoever. Check out my article on "live or sterile" in my signature. I have done a few experiments with h2o2, zone, side by side with beneficial bacteria, and the bb always wins by A LANDSLIDE. There is also an article for cloning, which should give you 100% success, and roots in two weeks, new growth in 3.

I know what you mean about the wait. But depending on your grow area, you can take some clones every few weeks and before you know it, you will have more than you can handle ;-)
 

Skybound

Well-Known Member
Sweet thread Capn. Thnx a lot for all the sharing you do. i will learn exponentially from you, so I am planted for this one as well. I like the idea of longer veg. It would seem to give the plant more time to acclimate and stabilize in it's environment, not to mention produce a sh!t ton more flower sites. Question, would the extended veg time equate to a shorter flower time? Even a tad shorter?
 

Lurch Farmer

Well-Known Member
Hay Capn,
I have 4 sour-d #11 in veg for 30 days no training as of yet.
I was doing a stretch experiment ,I was going to veg for 30 .then bend over. veging for another 30. The streach is to see if i could "creat " more space for side branch growth.
Now that I have been re-re-re-re reading your instructions I wanna chop my ladys back to 4 nodes and start over. lol
P.S.
I know you doin this from clone how would I do this if I was using reg seeds
 
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TheCapn

New Member
>>> Question, would the extended veg time equate to a shorter flower time? Even a tad shorter?

Good question, sb. Flowering a plant too early, may EXTEND it's flower time, and also makes a plant more prone to producing male flowers (pollen sacs).

I've been working on this subject, and here is what I've learned so far. Letting a plant mature fully doesn't necessarily shorten it's normal flowering time, but there are some things we can do to make sure it is READY to flower, and we don't DELAY it.

1. In the last two weeks of vegetative growth, start changing over to flower nutrients.

2. Don't top it or do any super-cropping (pinching stems over) or high stress training within the last week of vegetative growth. Topping disturbs auxins and can delay flowering. Supercropping puts the plant into "heal" mode, instead of directing energy on flowering. Don't top after putting into flower either (however I do this from time to time to control height).

3. Transplant into it's final container at least a week before moving to flowering.

4. Take clones from it, or, cut off any tiny lower branches that you know won't get light, a WEEK before flower. Go easy here, and error on the side of leaving too much.

5. If your light in flower room is drastically more intense than in veg, keep the light high for the first week, to "acclimate" the plant to the new light.

6. Make sure there is NO LIGHT in your flower room during dark periods. If you leave your door cracked one night and light leaks in, this can severely affect flower time. Use black tape on any LED lights on power supplies, timers, power strips, etc.

7. Once in flower, try to keep stress to a minimum, especially, don't mess with it for the first week. Don't get crazy with bending branches too hard. If you're going to do any "defoliating" or removing lower whimpy branches, do it over time. For example, I might take off a few large fan leaves every other day. I never sit down and have a "defoliating" party and rape my plant. When removing lower branches, use the same practice; remove one a day. In other words, SLOW DOWN, SCISSORHANDS!

There are different opinions on the subject of removing fan leaves and lower branches and so on. It is important to note, these techniques I've talked about above, will allow your plant to flower the quickest. I practice these methods, because I grow ONE huge plant in a 4 x 4' SCROG, spreading branches and allowing light to all the bud sites.

If I were cramming plants up on top of each other, I would do it differently. I would top less, bend less. I would take more lower and side branches off and defoliate more than I do now. This may extend flower time slightly, but will produce bigger yields in the end (when growing plants close together). 4 plants in a 4 x 4 space will yield about 25% more than one plant in a 4 x 4 space (give or take). But one big plant is way more fun, less hassle, and if you're limited by plant count, it's the way to go, in my opinion.
 

Skybound

Well-Known Member
But one big plant is way more fun, less hassle, and if you're limited by plant count, it's the way to go, in my opinion.
I loved the read, especially #5. At the moment I have 2 - 20w CFL 6500, and soon to arrive is my first 400w MH/HPS combo, so i can see what you're talking about.

As far as the quote, I may be one of a small handful of people in this forum that does not smoke. For work purposes and occasional apnea, I chose to give it up for a while, but growing, in spite of all the risk, this is one very fun and demanding hobby. If this seedling ever produces anything of quality, at least I have 2 room mates that smoke like chimneys and we can keep a little extra funds in the household I guess. I'm just in it for the grow, period.
 

TheCapn

New Member
Hay Capn,
I have 4 sour-d #11 in veg for 30 days no training as of yet.
I was doing a stretch experiment ,I was going to veg for 30 .then bend over. veging for another 30. The streach is to see if i could "creat " more space for side branch growth.
Now that I have been re-re-re-re reading your instructions I wanna chop my ladys back to 4 nodes and start over. lol
P.S.
I know you doin this from clone how would I do this if I was using reg seeds
Hi Lurch, if you're going for another 30 days, I like it! Gonna be a biggon. I've been following your journals, and I like your DIY sytle. From seeds, it's about the same method.

Depending on it's height, it's not to late to top it. Now would be a good time to cut off the top (you could take enough for a clone instead of just topping it. This will cause your side branches to grow more, especially the two branches closest to where you topped it.

Check out these pictures. This is agent orange from seed. I waited a little too long to top it, but you can see it responded with a "V" and then I gradually bent those outwards, being very careful not to split the stem. Sometimes I have limited space and I want to grow my plant in a rectangle SCROG instead of square, so I just let it do the "V". If you have more room, you can top these two branches again after a couple weeks and get the 4 main branches you're talking about.

If you have another 30 days in veg, you have plenty of time to do this. From looking at your journals, it looks like you are going bigger now, moving from the containers to the buckets. Let them do their thing and get nice and big before bending too much. As you get better at it, be careful! It's additive! You'll want to go bigger and bigger with each new plant. You will notice when you get into 6th week or so (from seed or clone) your plant will really take off exponentially. Like I said before, the difference in waiting two more weeks, can easily double your final yield.



Two weeks later:



And here it is after being put into flower two weeks later.



and 6 weeks after that (current pictures):


And her sister:


For more info on training, check out this article: How to: Bend and Top your way to a 1lb monster
 

s1ingblade

New Member
I am reading this again just brushing up for the upcoming 420 Magazine ®] and wanted to take a minute to say Thank You So Much for taking the time out of your life to post such informative articles. Can't imagine how many growers you are helping all over the globe? I have been growing for along time and have learned a bunch from you. One of the neatest things about 420mag and its members is how we all help each other, that and the fact that what one teaches me today I can teach another tomorrow :) kinda like that saying about teaching one to fish. "Give someone a bud today, they can smoke for a day". "Give someone a seed and they can smoke for a lifetime" "Give that someone a link to the cain.'s Journals and they can make it look good!":yummy:
 

TheCapn

New Member
>>>"Give that someone a link to the cain.'s Journals and they can make it look good!"

Thanks for all the compliments, S1ing. The fact is though, I feel like I am just scratching the surface. I learn more every day and still have so much to learn.

I am seeing more people going bigger. But most people don't have the patience to wait 2 months before flowering. They've been growing several 2-4oz plants under one light. Putting a single plant under a single light is "so far out there" for them, it is too scary to try. Grow supply companies don't advertise such things either. How can they sell their 6 site systems if we are getting nearly the same yield in ONE PLANT?

Most of us on 420mag are "hobby" type growers, more than anything else, so it's not a big deal. But for those who want to produce more and limited by plant counts, you will see these people going bigger in the next few years.

For those of you who are skeptical and don't want to make a huge change at once, take the "capn challenge". When your plants are ready to flower, save one. Top it, bend it, and let it go 3 more weeks in vegetative growth. It will double or triple in size, so will your yield.
 

s1ingblade

New Member
>>>"Give that someone a link to the cain.'s Journals and they can make it look good!"

Thanks for all the compliments, S1ing. The fact is though, I feel like I am just scratching the surface. I learn more every day and still have so much to learn.

I am seeing more people going bigger. But most people don't have the patience to wait 2 months before flowering. They've been growing several 2-4oz plants under one light. Putting a single plant under a single light is "so far out there" for them, it is too scary to try. Grow supply companies don't advertise such things either. How can they sell their 6 site systems if we are getting nearly the same yield in ONE PLANT?

Most of us on 420mag are "hobby" type growers, more than anything else, so it's not a big deal. But for those who want to produce more and limited by plant counts, you will see these people going bigger in the next few years.

For those of you who are skeptical and don't want to make a huge change at once, take the "capn challenge". When your plants are ready to flower, save one. Top it, bend it, and let it go 3 more weeks in vegetative growth. It will double or triple in size, so will your yield.
Gosh Darn Spell Check, meant to say Cap'n's Journal but I know you knew when you read it.
As for growing bigger "Go big or go Home" "Grow to many small plants and you might not be able to go home?"
What would pinkman do? I think he'd grow tree$
 

kimmy

New Member
Nice read !
Now why didn't I read this last year instead of having to learn the hard way myself ?
 

yooper rex

Well-Known Member
cap`n,
Read this for the first time, good read, good job. My clones go directly into soil in biodegradable 3" pots. Pots are prepared thusly, fill with soil, use pencil to poke hole in soil, tap good amount of rooting powder into hole. Prepare clone, cut at angle, scarify, wet and roll in rooting powder, then into hole. Have had almost 100 % success rate. Have not covered the small indicator lights thru 4 or five grows. No problems. At present time have 4 large girls and 4 clones growing. Girls are being trained. Did split one, super glue to cover the split. Worked out great. Just my 2 cents worth, from my limited experience. Sorry for being so long winded.

PS,
Wish my journal looked like yours.
 
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