Things get a little more complicated when you need a ladder to do the same thing. Not only do you open the door to injury from falling, but it’ll take much more time when you’ve grown giant plants. You’ll likely skip the task entirely, opening the door for pest problems to get out of control.
If someone’s got a vendetta against you, you’re just better off not having weed plants towering above fences and in plain sight. And besides revenge seekers, there are people who might be tempted to steal your crop if you’re making it too easy for them.
But when it comes to the actual growing, drying, flavor, and quality of your crop, don’t be suckered into thinking that size is everything. In fact, we have solid reasons to encourage you to embrace smaller plants in your garden.
Massive buds definitely look cool, but it can be a headache to try and dry them properly. A tasty, usable crop depends on buds drying evenly from the outside in and inside out. This is a much more reasonable task if buds are a manageable size. Once they feel dry from the outside, a few days of burping them in a storage vessel will suck out the remaining moisture.
When you first plant your weed outdoors, make sure the soil is amended with plenty of quality, finished compost. Truth be told, that’s likely all your weed needs for the growing season. It’ll be just enough to get the plant growing nicely, and not too much nourishment for the plant to get lazy about flavor.
In the case of weed, that means stickier buds loaded with terpenes and packed with cannabinoids. Don’t take our word for it—Happy Dreams Farm, Eel River Farms, and High Water Farm are just a few of the Humboldt-area spots having great success with dry-farmed weed. Their plants are itty bitty and tasty as hell.
No matter the size, your neighbors might be able to smell the goods from over the fence. But you’ll keep your garden much less conspicuous by growing plants on the smaller side. While weed cultivation might be legal in your state, we’re still operating in a grey area due to federal illegality.
Not shooting for massive weed also bodes well for the environment as well as your pocketbook. You can skip the heavy doses of fertilizers in the false thinking that bigger weed yields tastier plants. What you want to do is a lot simpler and a lot less expensive.
Growing giant cannabis Christmas trees may look awesome, but they can be a pain to maintain. Check out why keeping your plants small is a good idea.
If you are set on keeping potted cannabis plants in small containers for their whole lives, the smallest container you should try is a 1-gallon or 2-gallon container, like the pots pictured here.
Some strains of cannabis will naturally start flowering after about 3 weeks, and you don’t need to do anything with light schedules to cause that to happen. These strains are known as “autoflowering” or “Ruderalis” strains.
When forcing your cannabis to flower early, plants will stay small and spend almost all their energy on producing flowers/buds on what few stems they have, instead of growing tall or making more colas/nodes.
Growing extremely tiny marijuana plants is fun, but honestly you’ll get the biggest yields by instead investing a little more time in the vegetative stage to train your plant to grow into the exact shape you want. Or just grow an auto-flowering strain.
But like this extreme girl to the right (less than a foot tall and grown under CFLs), I’ve experimented starting the plants on 12/12 from seed to keep plants REALLY small.
Plant Training Techniques – Make your plants grow how you want
There are powerful cannabis growth control techniques that will also allow you to grow high-producing plants, while keeping them short.
Keeping plants in tiny containers may be important when growing in a very space-limited grow space, such as growing in a space bucket for stealth reasons.
For those growers who still want to use 12-12 from seed despite the warnings here…
Learn what it means to give your plants "12-12 from seed" to force them to start making buds early.