Choosing a less time-consuming setup, getting the right gear and optimizing the grow space are good ways to save time for growers. We have two additional ways to help growers save more time: choose the right strain and do plant training.
4.) Choose the Right Strain
Each strain grows and produces a little differently. Some strains may be better than others for your purposes!
Choose a Hardy Strain
Many strains have been specifically bred to be able to handle a wide range of conditions. These “easy to grow” strains can handle heat, cold, high humidity and watering problems better than other strains. When you start with a known hardy strain, you can provide less than ideal conditions and care, but still get really great results. We’re not recommending you don’t care for your plants properly, but a hardy strain will let you get away with more without suffering as many consequences! There are tons of strains that are great for this purpose. When researching strains, the breeder will usually mention in the strain description if a plant is particularly hardy.
Consider Growing an Auto-Flowering Strain
With auto-flowering plants, there is simply less for the grower to do. There’s little to no plant training (which can take quite a bit of time, more info on that below). There’s no light schedule to worry about and your buds will be ready to harvest in about 3 months without needing any special environmental conditions.
Another nice bonus is you have the ability to access your plants 24 hours a day (as opposed to flowering photoperiod plants that need 12 hours of complete darkness every day in order to make buds). This makes it so you can check on plants when it’s convenient instead of waiting for the lights to come on!
The one downside to auto-flowering plants is they can become stunted if they run into major problems during the first 3-4 weeks of life. So if you do go with an auto-flowering strain, you definitely want to try to make sure you keep a close eye on your plant until the first month is over. You may not have to do any extra work, but you still should be on the lookout for possible problems. If possible, choose an auto-flowering strain that is known to be hardy!
5.) Plant Training
Growers train their plants because it’s a free way to dramatically increase yields indoors, sometimes up to 40% or even more compared to untrained plants. But although training increases yields, it does take time.
In our opinion, the best way to train your plant to get the increased yields without wasting a lot of time is using a technique known as manifolding.
Note: Manifolding adds extra time onto the length of your grow, but will minimize the amount of time and effort spent training your plants (while still ensuring exceptional results).
All types of indoor cannabis plant training have the same goal – to create a wide and flat plant, with an even canopy like a table. This helps the plant get the most possible amount of light from the grow light. But there are many ways to accomplish this table-top shape, from simply bending stems ( Low Stress Training) to using screens (ScrOG).
Manifolding is one way to accomplish the table shape, and there are a couple reasons I think it’s the best way to train your plants without needing a lot of time:
- There’s less guesswork on your part compared to many other training techniques. You just follow the instructions exactly and it’s very clear without you having to think about anything.
- It only takes two sessions to make your manifold, which takes just a few snips of the scissors.
- After that you’re pretty much done. As the plant grows, your only job is to arrange colas to make sure they all stay exposed to the light and none of them gets taller than the others.
Note: Manifolding can only be done with photoperiod plants, not auto-flowering strains.
Or don’t train at all…
You might consider just skipping training altogether because you can still get great yields with untrained plants if you do it right.
Some growers use a technique called SoG (Sea of Green) to get the biggest yields without doing any training. Basically the idea is to just grow one or many untrained plants, and get them to make buds right away so you get a “sea” of plants with one main bud each. This can be a good choice for both photoperiod and auto-flowering strains, and in addition to taking no time training, harvest time comes quick!
One last tip…
Research before you start growing!
You can just put a cannabis seed in regular potting mix and deal with problems as you go along, and honestly that’s how a lot of people start growing.But doing it that way definitely ends up taking more time (and often money) because you end up running into problems or realizing along the way that you need to change up your setup.
We know this may be easier said than done, but if your goal is to grow cannabis without needing to spend much time each day caring for your plants each day, the best thing you can do is take the time to research before you even get your seeds!