The winter garden was started in January in a 4’ x 4’ tent. The 35 plants were in 6” containers that were lit by a 1000-watt HPS lamp and were irrigated using a wick system. They were kept in vegetative growth for about two weeks. Then the light regimen was switched to flowering; 12 on and 12 off, and the fertilizer was changed from a vegetative to flowering formula.
The plants were getting crowded, so in late February they were placed in a 4’ x 8’ greenhouse that received a limited amount of natural light but which was also given supplemental light using two 1000-watt lamps that were on during the early part of each day for five hours. This was a winter garden and it was before the Spring Equinox (March 22) so the plants received fewer than 12 hours of light. The garden harvest began on March 25, just six weeks after the plants were placed into flowering. All of them ripened within a two-week period. Once they were
cut, some of the fan leaves were removed and the plants were hung to dry in a cool room.
Usually the room stays between 65-70 degrees, but it has been cool recently and the room temperature has stayed in the low 60s, which slows drying. It’s also been cloudy and rainy, keeping the average relative humidity around 65 percent, but 50 percent is ideal for drying and curing. So after two weeks, the plants are still a little moist, very pliable and not ready to take the next step in their journey, manicuring.
To speed things up, I have plugged in a dehumidifier that will heat the room a little bit as it removes moisture.
The plants had a number of different shapes in life, and as they are hanging without their fan leaves it is easy to see the different shapes
that the plants have developed. The buds will be manicured and then weighed and tested for cannabinoid content. Then we will have a profile of what they look like their relative yield and their shape.
Having this information will help farmers to plan their gardens or fields, and help answer questions such as how far apart to space the plants and how to prune them for bigger yields.
When this experiment was first started, we ended up with some extra
clones that we eventually planted in three-gallon containers. We placed the plants outside and let them go. Five of the six plants ripened about a week after the last greenhouse plants were harvested. So those plants were cut leaving only small immature buds and leaves from the lower part of the plant. Hopefully, the plants will regenerate and be ready to harvest later in the season.
- [Photo 1] The 35 plants in the greenhouse are ready to harvest.
- [Photo 2] A typical greenhouse plant.
- [Photo 3] Six of the plants spent most of their flowering time outdoors.
- [Photo 4] Bud of one of the outdoor plants.
- [Photo 5] Harvesting one of the outdoor plants.
[Photo 6] The fresh cut outdoor plants hanging next to the greenhouse plants.
- [Photo 7] The indoor plants were still too moist after two weeks.
TIP OF THE MONTH FROM ASK ED®
Get Ready For Growing Outdoors
Are you planning to grow outdoors or in a greenhouse this summer? There’s still time to give your plants a headstart indoors. Whether you are starting from seed or clone, by starting indoors under lights the plants get more total growing time. This is important because cannabis plants of the same variety, whether big or small, will flower at the same time based on hours of uninterrupted dark time each day. With a headstart, the plants grow bigger before they transition to flowering which results in a much larger yield.