During Vegetation you are responsible for building a solid plant structure for
Flowering. This includes training, pest prevention and ensuring the plant has
all the necessary nutrients it needs. This is important because if you
encounter any difficulties with nutrients during Vegetation, your plant will
struggle during flower when its metabolism increases. This follows for pests
as well, in Vegetation your plants can easily recover from pests, but during
flower pests can overwhelm and kill a plant.
The single factor that differentiates between a plant being in the state of
Vegetation and Flowering is the amount of continuous darkness It is
exposed to. If you are growing outdoors the seasons control this occurrence,
if you are growing indoors you have to replicate the change in season either
gradually or overnight with a light source on a timed switch. A plant is also
more sensitive to its environment. More physical effort is needed in
Vegetation but a keen eye is needed in Flower. An injury in vegetation
can be easily repaired since the plant is focusing on its structure but in
flower an injury can kill the plant since it's only focusing on producing
A Plant will enter Flowering when it is exposed to at least 12
hours of uninterrupted darkness. Anything less or interrupted darkness will
cause the plant to enter vegetation. In seasonal terms, a plant will enter flower
when it realizes the amount continuous darkness in a day is increasing
towards 12 hours, the approach of Fall. If you are growing indoors you
vegetate your plant by fooling it to think its permanently experiencing the
longest day of summer.
When growing outdoors the seasons control when your plant enters flower. In
temperate regions such as The United States of America you would germinate
your seeds during spring and nature will do the rest for you. Due to our
proximity to the equator we hardly feel significant seasonal changes but even
though it is small our local plants can tell the difference. In fact, here are the
average light hours we experience in Antigua:
Closer to March
When you grow closer to march you have the advantage of a longer
vegetation period but the disadvantage of maintaining and protecting the plant
until ‘Winter’. During the months of March to September, on average the days
will be longer than the nights so it will only truly start to flower as it gets closer
Closer to June
When you grow closer to June you have the advantage of a shorter grow
period but that also means a smaller plant and less time to vegetate. As the
plant establishes itself, it will try to flower as soon as possible because of the
decreasing sunlight. This option is good for growers who do not want to wait a
very long time for a harvest and don't mind the smaller yield. The size will vary
depending on the plant's genetics and training methods.
To control this, you can buy a power strip that has a timer. I personally use
‘BN-LINK 8 Outlet Surge Protector’, You can control when the lights go on and
off down to the minute, it even knows what day it currently is. You can pick
any brand or any control mechanism but it's best to have it automatically done
for you, so you don't ever forget to turn on the lights. Since you control the
seasons, you can choose the exact length you want to veg your plant, this is
one advantage of growing indoors. You can make sure the plant is exactly the
size and shape you want it to be before flower starts and the weight packs on.
Now that you understand how to put the plant in veg you now are responsible
for the protection and care of the plant indoors.
A good place to start. It works for veg but will be bad for flower due to low
airflow; It is also not good for runoff water. You also must make sure no pests
are hiding in your closet. You can get by starting a grow in a closet by using a
bulb on a cord, but it is generally better to use a tent or a dedicated room.
In Antigua a tent veg is a solid middle ground because it offers all the
advantages of a dedicated room except for space. Tents come with air flow
holes and racks you hang your lights as well as a waterproof base, so you do
not worry about run off water. If you choose a tent, fresh air must be supplied
using an inline fan and air flow must be created with a clip-on fan.
A room provides the most space out of all your options. It makes watering and
care extremely easy, but you have to make sure light does not leak in when its
'nighttime'; for the plant. You must also ensure the room has a source of fresh
air and good airflow that can be done with a standing fan.
Regardless of your location you need to make sure your environment is pest
free, has good and fresh airflow and is not too hot. A good rule of thumb is, if
you are uncomfortable in the area, the plant will be too.
Approaching nutrition from a soil standpoint, you have a choice between
chemical fertilizers and organic fertilizers. In Antigua both can be used
interchangeably but overall growing organic is your best bet. With chemicals
you add specific nutrients such as Nitrogen and Potassium but with organic
soil it will be made from a mixture of manure and other common organic
materials that are used in compost. Here are some of the pros and cons of
each as it relates to cannabis.
Regardless of what path you take you must ensure you avoid nutrient
deficiencies, in terms of Antigua our plants aren't too picky but nutrient
deficiencies occur the same for any strain of cannabis, more info about it can
be found here.
Re-vegging is the process a plant goes through when the lighting conditions
for flowering is not met. If your cannabis plant does not get at least 12 of
uninterrupted darkness, It will think it’s in spring and grow vegetatively to
prepare to flower at the ‘correct time’. In Antigua its best practice to start
growing between the months of March and June. If re-vegging occurs
outdoors try to place the plant in a very dark place at night and if it happens
indoors make sure your timer is working correctly and there are minimal light
leaks into the tent.