To grab a piece of the cannabis cultivation market, it is critical to utilize modern horticultural science. Every choice you make will impact how quickly your cannabis business grows. The growing system (indoor vs. outdoor), growth medium (soil vs. hydroponics), and marijuana plant hybrids you choose to cultivate will all play a role in your ultimate success. It is important to educate yourself on the options available and work with industry experts who can guide you along every step of the way.
Advantages of Growing Cannabis Indoors
Setting up for indoor growing takes time and effort. Growing cannabis outdoors requires far less investment. However, there are many benefits of growing marijuana indoors. Cultivating indoors allows you to have complete control over the growing environment. You can automate temperature and humidity, light source, light hours, and carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. These are all vital components of your vegetative and flowering stages to maximize THC or CBD yields.
Different cannabis varietals require specific climate needs. Indoor growing systems can help you diversify your offering by establishing growing rooms with environmental conditions tailored to the specific hybrid. There are two main indoor growing systems to choose from.
A hybrid greenhouse setup marries the lower running costs of a traditional greenhouse with the control offered by an indoor grow room. Utilize the sun’s free energy while maintaining optimal environmental conditions with fully automated heating, lighting, and air circulation systems.
A closed system is more suitable for colder climates with fewer daylight hours. A closed cultivation system provides full environmental control to maximize the potential yield and purity of the products. For small-scale cannabis producers, a number of grow tents can provide a cost-effective cannabis cultivation environment.
Grow Room Procedure
Commercial cannabis producers must produce a reliable product that meets the same standards as for any other consumer product or medicine, which is why it’s important to be able to control and monitor growing conditions. Indoor growing is the easiest way to provide a uniform, controllable growing environment.
There are two options for growing marijuana indoors:
- Growing the plants in a soil medium, either in pots or directly in the ground
- Cultivating the plants in hydroponic trays
Soil cultivation requires less infrastructure, but perhaps more pest and disease management. On the other hand, hydroponic systems may require more capital outlay and infrastructure, but they could provide faster growth with bigger yields and less intervention for pests and disease.
At different points in the vegetative and flowering stages of cannabis plants, they thrive with different spectra of light. The number of light hours also differs at different stages. An automated indoor growing system with different types of lights can help optimize plant growth and flower development.
For the health of your marijuana plants, consistent fresh air is paramount. If you have a closed system, it is essential to install an air filtration system and different types of fans to circulate air throughout the space.
When is the Right Time to Harvest Cannabis?
The most reliable way to determine a marijuana plant’s readiness for harvest is to look at the trichomes. However, it is difficult to see the trichomes with the naked eye. A magnifying glass can help you accurately check the color of the trichomes.
The cannabinoids and terpenes that give each type of cannabis plant its unique properties are found in the trichomes. The trichomes are tiny dewy-looking glands of resin on the plant’s buds. During the marijuana plant’s flowering phase, these trichomes have a glassy, crystalline appearance. At this point, the plant is minimally potent and not yet ready for harvest. A cannabis plant is ready for harvest when the color of the trichomes changes to a milky white or amber color. This is when they attain peak resin production.
There are two other two signs that your cannabis is ready for harvest—leaf color and bud shape and size:
- As a plant nears harvest time, it uses less water. When this happens, the leaves will start to yellow and wilt.
- The buds of a cannabis plant ready for harvest are generally firm and tightly packed.
Cannabis Harvesting Process
When it comes to harvesting your cannabis plants, you can choose between one of the two approaches:
- Cut the whole plant and process for drying.
- Trim the top colas first, and then do a subsequent harvest when the lower colas have had more time to ripen.
Colas refers to the flowering site of the female cannabis plant and is formed after the flowering stage.
Harvesting the Whole Plant
When the trichomes start looking cloudy, it is time to harvest your marijuana plants. It’s best to harvest in the early mornings before plants start photosynthesizing and cycling nutrients from their growth media. Harvesting the cannabis plant in its entirety is the most time-efficient method. Once the plants are harvested, you can dry whole plants by hanging them up for a time. Alternatively, you can trim the buds from the plants and lay these out on drying trays.
Unique hybrids will reach their flowering stages at different points in time. If you plan to grow several different cannabis strains, doing a single harvest may make it simpler to track the seed-to-sales statistics of the different varieties.
Two-Phase Cannabis Harvest
The top colas of your cannabis plants mature sooner because they receive more light exposure. Some growers will harvest these first and wait for the lower flowers to develop trichomes before doing a second harvest. Per plant, this method is more time intensive. However, it places less strain on your drying facilities as there is a more gradual influx of buds going through to this stage of production. Another advantage of a double harvest is that a better uniformity of THC concentrations in your harvested buds.
Develop Your Competitive Cannabis Growing System in Partnership with Prospiant
Are you eager to join the green rush? Partner with experts who have developed their cannabis growing knowledge over decades of first-hand experience. Don’t stress about managing multiple suppliers. Prospiant is a one-stop shop for your cannabis growing needs. With your financial goals in mind, we can tailor a greenhouse or indoor growing facility that suits your business needs.