By Robert Bergman, ILoveGrowingMarijuana.com
If you really want to maximize the outcome of your harvest, you are going to need to figure out a few things. You’ll need to be able to identify the type of marijuana plants you are growing, and then know exactly where and how to increase growth.
The bud of a marijuana plant is the prized appendage that appears after a plant enters the flowering stage of its life cycle. The leaves of the marijuana plant contain THC, but the buds of female plants are the most potent product by far. So as an individual grower, it’s important to focus a significant amount of attention on the buds of your crop.
If you do it right, you can accomplish incredibly huge buds with a high THC content. This guide will equip you with the knowledge you need to accomplish that goal. Keep reading and learn to grow huge marijuana buds
What are marijuana buds
Before you can grow huge marijuana buds, you need to have a bit of background knowledge. For starters, a bud is the growth that pops up during a plant’s flowering phase. Although marijuana plants’ leaves also have a THC content, the buds have a far more concentrated amount. This is why the buds are the prize possession of any marijuana grower – they are the part of the plant that gets you high. While both male and female buds contain plenty of THC, there are some important differences that distinguish the two.
Male buds vs. female buds
Plenty of people seem to believe that male plants don’t produce smokeable buds at all. While it’s true that female buds contain the most THC levels, male buds are also quite potent and able to be smoked. Male buds look like round flowers that are jam packed with pollen. Be careful that your males don’t pollinate your females because your plants will start producing seeds and less THC. I only grow males to produce seeds and remove them from my female plants.
Female buds will start showing up about two weeks later than male buds, and they start out as growths that are round, white-colored, and hairy. They show up on the very tip of every branch, as well as at the top of the plant. If treated well, the smallest buds on your female plants will grow to be longer than two inches.
Since female buds really are the cream of the crop, you are going to want to ensure that their buds get as large (and potent) as possible. The best way to achieve this is simply by getting them to grow at a faster rate. The faster they grow, the more time they have to become huge. Read the article Male or female marijuana plants for more information about sexing plants
Speeding up bud growth
Once it has entered the flowering stage, the number one thing to speed up your plant’s bud growth is to remove any dying leaves. These leaves can be identifying by their yellowing color. They are a lost cause, and they are using up your plant’s energy and resources that could be focused on bigger and better things (namely, the buds). Take away the yellowing leaves to conserve these resources.
Instead of discarding these leaves, keep them and cure them properly. They have a high enough THC content that you can smoke them in case you run out of weed or while you are waiting for the big harvest.
Another way of saving and focusing your female plant’s energy is by topping it. This is a form of pruning that requires you simply cut off the topmost buds. You can take this bud home to cure and smoke already, and in the meantime the remaining buds will grow even faster. Some growers swear by this every year to achieve bigger and more potent buds by the time the harvest rolls around.
The best nutrients
If you want your buds to be fat and juicy, you are going to have to spoil them a bit. Take special care of them during the flowering phase of the plant’s life cycle. What buds crave most of all is phosphorous, so try a mixture of 10% nitrogen, 30% phosphorous, and 10% potassium (commonly referred to as NPK 10-30-10) to curb those cravings. This high amount of phosphorous is rather difficult to come by in today’s world, but mixing wood ash with water should do the trick.
Of course, the other elements of keeping healthy plants in general also come into play with growing big buds. Proper amounts of water and light, along with temperature and good genetics will all affect the way your buds grow. Read the article Best fertilizers for marijuana plants for more info on nutrients. For the best result, you can just use the special formula from the Marijuana Booster system, a complete nutrient kit for up to 20 plants.
How much light
One of the most surefire ways of increasing your bud growth is by increasing the intensity of the light that is hitting your plants. If the light is not intense enough, your plants will have stretched themselves upwards during their vegetative state, becoming tall and skinny rather than short and bushy. This is not ideal for a decent harvest.
This is, of course, only possible to change effectively when you have an indoor grow room. If you are an indoor grower, it is a simple matter of moving the lights closer to your plants. If your plant has already grown uneven colas because of poor lighting during its vegetative state, it will be difficult to evenly and effectively distribute the light. The buds themselves should have direct exposure to the light for best results. Read more about Marijuana grow lights if you’re growing indoor.
If you increase the amount of CO2 that your plant is receiving, you will essentially be “feeding” them more, allowing their growth to be sped up even further. Adding CO2 nicely complements increasing light intensity, since it basically is expanding your plant’s ability to use light. CO2 alone will not increase the yield. The more light and CO2 your plant gets, the more efficiently it will grow. This will also keep your plant from ever getting too much light since the added CO2 will increase its light capacity.
Although it’s pretty tricky to ever reach the light threshold, this is yet another way to “hack” your plant’s speed of growth. If you do decide to pump extra CO2 into your grow room, be sure to seal it off properly – although it works wonders for plants, high levels of CO2 can be very dangerous for humans. Read the article Growing marijuana with CO2 for more info
Temperature and humidity levels
Temperature and humidity need to be at the right level for your plants to reach their highest budding potential. If the temperature is too high, your buds won’t have as potent of an aroma. Controlling your temperature can mean controlling the amount of potency and smell of your buds – when done properly. Make sure you pay special attention to your grow room’s temperature throughout its entire life cycle. If you do this, the results will definitely be to your liking. Read more about temperature or humidity
When to prune
Many growers swear by “training” their plants. Training means bending, netting, or topping your plants in order for them to receive light in the most effective and even way possible. Training can include forms of pruning, but you don’t always need to use a blade to properly train your plants.
“LST” (low-stress training) is a way of training that doesn’t include any cutting. It is a way of manually manipulating your plants to grow flatter and wider rather than skinny and tall. It uses bending techniques that anyone can do (but proceed with caution, as with anything).
LST is effective because it trains the plant to grow in a way that will maximize its intake of light. Every leaf that is exposed adds another source of energy to your plant so you can see why it is an effective technique. LST generally begins at a younger stage of life, before the plant has established its own shape. Another form of LST is called Screen of Green, and includes a net. The net (or screen) keeps your plants where you want them, and maximizes your plants’ use of the indoor growing space.
These forms of training can all be helpful in improving your plants’ yield, starting from an earlier stage of your plant’s life. Even if you are a veteran grower, trying a new training technique might be a great way of improving your yield significantly. Read the article How to prune marijuana plants for a list of all pruning techniques like topping, low stress trainging, super cropping and monster cropping
When to harvest
Ultimately, one of the most important factors in having the most potent and biggest buds possible is to harvest at the right time. You need to make sure you have let your buds become as ripe as possible before harvesting. Sometimes the amount of growth in a bud’s final two or three weeks can be as much as a 25% increase. In other words, by harvesting too early you could sacrifice a huge amount of weed. In general, the best time to harvest falls within a window of two or three weeks. Harvesting before this window of time would greatly reduce your overall yield, and will result in less potent weed.
You can also choose to harvest a bit earlier or later according to the type of high you would like to achieve. Earlier harvests generally get a more energetic buzzing high, while later harvests end up with a very relaxed high. For more harvesting tips read How to harvest marijuana plants
The best genetics
Once again, genetics is everything. No matter what you do to increase the yield, poor genetics will prevent a good harvest. If you did choose marijuana seeds with great genetics, you will be pleased with the end result. Luckily, most strains that people buy today generally have very high yields and potency, which would not have been the case ten years ago. These strains will grow with fewer problems and will end up with plenty of happy, fat, potent buds.
All in all, the most important way you can increase your yield is by investing early on in a high-quality strain. It may seem expensive, but the payoff is well worth the upfront costs. Do your research and pay the money, because the result will be amazing. Check my seed shop to make sure you buy high quality marijuana seeds
Thanks for reading. Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my free grow bible.