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Most rookie growers estimate their yield based on the height of their plants. And that makes sense—at least in theory. Unfortunately, plant size isn’t a very accurate indicator of final yield. In fact, it’s really hard to estimate the size of your yield just by looking at a single aspect of your plant (like height, for example).
Cannabis buds develop on what growers refer to as “bud sites”. These are the spots on branches where pre-flower structures form roughly 4–6 weeks into a plant’s life cycle. Once a plant enters its flowering phase, it stops dedicating its energy to developing foliage, instead focusing on producing healthy buds on these sites. How big and dense these buds become depends on a lot of different variables, including light, nutrients, genetics, substrate, and more. The size of a plant, on the other hand, says little about how many bud sites it will develop, or how big/dense its buds will be come harvest.
LIGHT AND NUTRIENTS
Light is arguably one of the most important factors affecting your yield. To maximise output, you should maximise light exposure to your plant early on by using training techniques to manipulate growth. One popular training technique is low stress training (LST), which involves bending and tying down branches to optimise light exposure and encourage a more horizontal structure. The screen of green (ScrOG) method takes this further, situating a mesh screen over plants, upon which new growth is woven in an effort to boost final yield. There are many more techniques where these came from, including high-stress tek like topping (in which the main growing tip is cut off) and defoliation, to name just a couple.
Outdoor growers, on the other hand, usually have much more space to work with than indoor growers, meaning they’ll be able to grow more plants in a single season than indoor growers. Plus, outdoor growers also have the benefit of growing under the best possible light source in the world—the sun. However, outdoor growers don’t have the same level of control over their environment, meaning their yield is subject to the season, which, depending on where you live, may be unpredictable.
This is another important factor that affects your overall yield. The more fine-tuned your skills, the more control you have over your plants. And the more control you have over your plants, the better your yield.
As you can see, trying to answer the question of “how much marijuana does one plant produce” is nearly pointless without taking into consideration some of the many variables that occur during the growing process.
Just as a person needs food to grow, so do cannabis plants. The required nutrients are normally provided by applying fertilizers. At the simplest level, fertilizers come in varying NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium) formulations.
It is a good idea to reduce the relative humidity a bit during the last two weeks of the flowering stage. This helps protect the buds from the problems that result from high humidity, such as mold growth.
👉 Related: The Growth Of A Cannabis Plant
If you want the highest yield, consider growing your plant outdoors. Generally speaking, marijuana plants that are grown outdoors produce 500 g more than those grown inside. When growing outdoors, space is an important issue, so you’ll need to give each plant at least 1 square meter of space so they can thrive and maximize their yield.
Growing anything is both art and science. That’s part of the fun. If you are planning to grow marijuana and are hesitant because you need to know how much you’ll yield, the best advice is to get started and find out.
For example, fertilizers that are richer in Nitrogen are ideal for the vegetative phase, and those richer in Potassium are better suited to the flowering phase. Know which nutrients your cannabis plants need during their different stages of growth and have that ready in case they need it.
Airflow is another thing to keep in mind. Without sufficient airflow, the oxygen generated by your plants will linger around, and carbon dioxide will be insufficient. Airflow also limits negative effects from happening to your plants, such as mold, pests, and diseases. Proper airflow limits the chance that these things will affect your plants. Ventilation also helps to maintain optimal temperature in your grow space. Extremely hot conditions could result in over-nutrition since the plants will take up a lot of water (and by extension, nutrients) and nutrient burn will result in a poorly ventilated cultivation area.