I have been growing my own medicine now for a couple years. I have made mistakes and learn from them. Never think that you will not make mistakes. You will set yourself up for a huge disappointment. Learn from your mistakes and learn from those of other people and you will master the art of growing cannabis.
Today I want to talk about the lighting schedule of cannabis and how that might go wrong.
One thing that can happen is a light leak. This happens when your growing environment is not able to get it full 12 hours of darkness. The cause of this can be the cracks in the door to the grow area, a light left on that was not suppose to be on, and this can also happen outdoors if there are outdoor lights that could interrupt the light schedule.
One of the other source of interrupting the light schedule can be caused by the timers. There are a few ways this happens. If using a timer with pins be aware that all pins are fully up or down. If a pin is set half way on it might turn the lights on partly through the dark period. You can also have a faulty timer. Of course if you have a timer that uses only 2 settings; 1 for Veg stage 18 hours of light and 1 for Flower 12 hours of light makes the pin issue less of a problem. Unless like I did when I was changing some bulbs half way through the flower stage I accidentally pushed veg on my timer.
The amount of time the cannabis plant has for a dark period tells the plant if it is time to grow or if it is time to flower. When you have a light leak or just any light during the time that the plant is suppose to be in darkness will trigger the plants to reenter the vegetative stage. This means little steams will start to branch out everywhere out of the buds.
You can tell that the your cannabis plant is starting to reenter veg stage when you see strange smooth edges tear drop shaped leaves form out of the buds as seen in this image. If you see this you need to check for any possible light leaks. This is when I found my timers on VEG. You can also tell the plant had been stressed by the curing of the leaves as well. This photo was taken about 2 weeks after discovering the timer issue. So the plant went from flower to reveg and back to flower again over the span of about a month. It stresses the girls out some.
Since discovering the light leak I have put my timers back on flower. The results of these plants after harvest have yet to be seen. My suspension is that the buds are going to be more steamy than I would like for one. Also have notice under the microscope that the tricombs are not as progress as they should be and this makes sense. The plant was focusing its energy on entering the reveg stage not on developing the tricombs. It is because of this that I suspect these plants are also going to take slightly longer to fully mature.
One other effect on the buds will be that some parts of the buds will end up being more developed than the other parts because the parts of the plant that reveged and spouted out of the buds are going to enter the flower stage the new veg growth out the buds. As you can see in this bud there seems to be little buds on top of it.
So while this is a big step backwards it is not the end of the world.
However, you know what I do now? I do a quick look at my timers everyday now. I make sure that they say flower and not veg when I have plants in my flower stage.
Take this as a lesson on double checking your settings. Also learn how to recognize when you might have a light leak so you can take quick action. The sooner you switch fix the light leak or resolve the faultly timer or change the setting back the better. This will prevent the plants from going to far back into reveg and get back on the path to harvest.
(Should also note that I am keeping my eye out to make sure that all this stress does not cause any of the girls to hermaphrodite and produce male flowers that could pollinate the whole tent. That would be very bad. )
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