You can get faster vegetative growth with almost all hydroponic methods compared to what can be achieved with soil. That means that you could speed up time til harvest by using Deep Water Culture (DWC), Coco coir/perlite, or pretty much any non-soil growing medium. During the flowering stage, this isn't as important, but this can shave weeks off your vegetative stage time (get straight to growing buds sooner!)
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This is why you need to either mix your nutrients by hand, or choose a nutrient system that is specifically formulated for the flowering stage of a plant like marijuana. By providing the right nutrients at the right time, you'll reduce your overall time to harvest.
5.) Grow Indoors
If you're serious about getting yields as quickly as possible, then these tactics will get you there the right way! Let's get to it!
The vegetative stage can be shortened by getting the plant to grow faster when she's young. Yet the length of the flowering stage (the time between when flowers first start forming and when the plant is ready to harvest) is pretty much strain-specific.
On a similar note, an auto-flowering plant gets pretty great yields considering it goes from seed to harvest in just 3 months. A big part of that is because they get 18 hours/light a day during their entire flowering period (compared to only 12 a day for regular plants)/ This gives the plant more light each day to produce buds, resulting in bigger yields.
6.) Pay Attention To Your Plants and Quickly React to Problems
With photoperiod (regular) strains, you can manipulate the light schedule in the flowering stage to get buds to mature faster. Although most plants will start flowering when they get less than 13 or 14 hours of light a day (that's when plants usually start flowering outdoors), it can take them a long time to "finish" and be ready to harvest with days that long.
Note: There are special light schedules, that involve lowering the amount of light each day in the flowering stage, which can sometimes get harvest to come a little quicker. For example a 10-14 schedule (10 hours light, 14 hours dark each day) during the flowering stage may get plants ready to harvest a week or two sooner for some strains, but lowering the amount of light each day combined with harvesting sooner really hurts your yields.
Once your light intensity has reached the level you want for flower and your plants are happy, let them do their thing! At this stage, you can adjust other environmental variables as needed. Keep in mind that any cultivation changes can impact plant performance as you transition your crop through its life stages. Try to minimize the number of changes you make at any one time to maintain your crop’s health.
Signs of stress can manifest as leaf drop, chlorosis (yellowing) of leaves, reddening of leaves, drooping leaves and slow growth. If your crop is showing signs of stress while you make the transition to higher light intensities, lower the light intensity and make more frequent lower intensity increases to complete the transition.
After the plants are acclimated to their new photoperiod, you can begin gradually increasing light intensity by about 10% every 1-2 days.
STEP 3: Repeat Until Ideal Light Intensity Reached
Your cannabis crop is looking great as it completes the vegetative stage – uniform structure, robust size, pest and pathogen-free. Now it’s time to switch from veg to flower!
Many growers run into issues when flipping their veg room to flower. Keep your crop healthy and avoid shock damage by gradually transitioning your plants from their vegetative to flowering lighting conditions. Do this by incrementally increasing light levels and limiting cultivation changes to as few variables as possible.
If your LEDs are integrated with a lighting control software like smartPAR™, you can program your lights to increase intensity incrementally until you reach your maximum flower light intensity.
STEP 2: Begin to Increase Light Intensity
For the first 1-2 days in flowering, just let your plants get used to the new 12-hour photoperiod. Leave light intensity the same as what they were exposed to in the vegetative stage.
Source: LumiGrow’s LED Growers’ Guide for Cannabis