Is time really of the essence for you? If so, one of the best ways to maximize yields in as little time as possible is to grow an auto-flowering strain. Autos get 18 hours of light a day their whole life, which allows them to get bigger in less time than plants under 12/12. Auto-flowering plants on average are ready to harvest in just 3 months from seed (which is less time than almost any photoperiod plant will be ready to harvest, no matter what light schedule you provide) and generally yield 1-2 ounces per plant.
A “12 /12” light schedule means giving your plant 12 hours light & 12 hours darkness each day (this initiates the cannabis flowering stage)
There’s just one major problem… 12/12 from seed causes stunted growth and small yields. This results in yields that are often less than 1 ounce per plant, even under strong grow lights.
If you haven’t heard this term before, “12/12 from seed” means giving your cannabis seedling 12 hours of light, and 12 hours of dark each day from the moment of germination. Providing a 12/12 light schedule initiates the flowering stage and causes cannabis plants to start making buds. The idea is to get a new seedling to start flowering as quickly as possible, so it takes less time to harvest.
For this grow style, growers usually switch to flowering when plants are around 4-6 weeks old; plants switched sooner than 4 weeks may not have enough time to really get the most out of a SoG setup. Adding an extra week or two of veg can make a pretty big difference on yields though, so it’s about finding that balance between getting to harvest as quickly as possible versus harvesting a lot of bud.
Auto-Flowering Strains – When Time is of the Essence!
“Sea of green” is the idea of growing many small plants instead of just a few bigger plants. The advantage is that you are able to get to harvest more quickly because each plant doesn’t have to grow as big to support the same number of bud sites.
Is 12/12 from seed worth it? Is it a good way to get big yields as quickly as possible? In a word, no… but there is truth to the idea behind initiating the flowering stage as soon as possible! When modified slightly, the same basic technique will give you much bigger yields while adding little to no extra time before harvest.
This is how you achieve plants that look like the one below at harvest (why was this plant defoliated?). Because the plant was allowed to get bigger before it started flowering, it yielded 3-4 times as much as the plant given 12/12 from seed.
12/12 from seed has a big problem. Learn about a better alternative called "Sea of Green" that gives you bigger yields in the same amount of time!
Growing with a 12-12 photoperiod is a solution to space and resource problems. This method eliminates the vegetation phase of growth and forces the plant to go straight into flower from a seedling. Yields are lower than that of a regularly grown cannabis plant, but results are obtained much faster, with a few advantages.
The 12-12 lighting technique makes the grow cycle 7-9 weeks in general, rather than the much longer time needed when giving plants a vegetative phase. For the space constrained, and those willing to experiment and give it ago, it can be a dream come true.
Always be sure to re-sterilize your grow space after each crop.
You will experience only half the water consumption with less moisture loss due to evaporation, and a third less nutrients are used. CO₂ and electricity use including most peripherals are reduced by a staggering 650 grow hours annually.
Taking hours to accomplish, tipping, fimming, branch control, and mainlining are now unnecessary freeing up your most precious resource, time.
Force flowering marijuana from seed can provide excellent quality, resinous flowers, all the while saving space, time, and money. For those with space constraints, it is a win-win!
There is a lesser demand for resources across the boards.
Done with expert practice and a willing strain of cannabis seeds, it is not unknown to produce 1 gram of ganja per watt of lighting. That’s an impressive 250g in 7-9 weeks for a 250W light in a small cupboard!
Growing 12-12 is as simple as changing the timing on your light cycles, giving your plants equal amounts of day and night right from when they sprout. The plants will look different to a cannabis plant that goes through vegetative growth. Photosensitive hormones in cannabis make the highest point the largest cola. This method all but guarantees only main bud growth on every small plant. Essentially you will be growing a cola with a few short, budded side branches – with the plant basically being a bud in itself. Be sure to stake your plants.
How to force cannabis to flower from seed for quick, resinous yields using a 12-12 light cycle.