Whats The Scoop on Fast Flowering Strains
At Farmers Lab we get asked all the time "what is the fastest growing strain". Up until recently only autoflowers had a shorter growth period-being that they are time-triggered, not photo-triggered flowering-meaning they would flower after around six weeks, regardless of light exposure.
There are many reasons growers want to expedite growth periods-from getting your flower sooner, having less legal exposure in areas that still have prohibition to growing or just commercial growers wanting to increase their yearly yield.
When time is of the Essence
Regardless of the growers motivations, new methods are coming to the forefront in expediting the cultivation process. Autoflowering being the most common method-with plants yielding flowers in just a matter of weeks. The downside to this is that the quantity of cannabinoids is generally smaller-as is the yield-meaning smaller plants with less concentration of THC or CBD in each flower
Alternatively, photoperiod strains offer much highr yields as well as higher levels of cannabinoids in each flower. The downside is that these strains generally take a much longer peroid to reach harvest using conventional growing methods.
The good news is that Farmers Lab is introducing a new variety of photoperiod strains that rival the speed of autoflowering plants. The definition of "photoperiod" is a learned genetic trait amongst plants that "click" into their flower cycle when a decrease in light cycle is experienced. This change in light cycle acts as a signalling tool to let the plant know that autumn is approaching and it is time to produce flowers so as to reproduce.
How to get your plant to flower early
As an indoor grower, you have control of the light cycle. As such, as long as you keep the light cycle on more than 12 hours a day, your plant will remain in its vegetative phase. As soon as you decide you want the plant to flower, a switch to a 12/12 hour split will signal to the plant it is time to flower. By this method you can get a photoperiod plant to flower at the same pace as an autoflowering one.
The downside of reducing the vegetative phase of plant is that you end up with generally smaller plants-and smaller yields. Despite this constraint, this method of growing is advantageous to many growers who are seeking a faster yield
If this method appeals to you, all you need to do to trigger your flowering period to a 12/12 cycle to get your plants to flower. If you wish to hold off flowering, simply keep your light cycle at more than 12 hours.