Cannabis growing can be a slow process in which all the hard work only pays off several months after sowing the seeds. However, some growers simply don’t have enough time to spare, or are just naturally impatient and aren’t willing to wait.
Some people grow marijuana on a commercial scale, so the more regularly they harvest, the quicker they can rotate their crops. Others grow for personal use and simply want a constant supply of weed. But sometimes life gets in the way and you just can’t keep up with an indoor grow for long periods of time, or the environmental conditions force you to harvest earlier outdoors.
Thankfully, cannabis is a really versatile species that can develop in a wide range of conditions. And, although environmental factors ultimately dictate how the plant grows, humans have mastered cultivation to the point that we can influence the speed of growth; or at least up to a certain point.
If you strive to obtain the highest number of flowers in the shortest possible time, the most important piece of advice is that you choose the strain that best adapts to these requirements.
As a rule of thumb, autoflowering marijuana strains will mature at a faster rate than their photo-dependent sisters. As their genetics are partly ruderalis, they don’t depend on the light cycle, and most of them start flowering between 3 and 4 weeks after germination. The feminised varieties, on the other hand, need an ‘artificial’ change in the photoperiod to start developing their buds. Autoflowering strains also have a quicker flowering time, so they can be ready for harvest about 5 to 7 weeks later.
If you prefer the traditional photo-dependent strains (either regular or feminised), make sure you choose seeds with short flowering periods. In general terms, the sativa varieties have a longer flowering time (between 10 and 14 weeks), whereas the indicas flower after 8 to 12 weeks because they’re more used to longer and hotter summers.
There are also some intermediate solutions that you can choose from. These are the ‘Fast’ strains: the result of the cross between a photo-dependent feminised strain and an autoflowering, or sometimes between a photo-dependent and a Fast strain. These offer all the advantages of the feminised varieties but with a shorter flowering period (one or two weeks shorter), which translates into an earlier harvest.
Apart from the type of seed, there are also other factors that determine the speed of a crop, since growers can have an influence on this by means of different techniques and types of care. We have compiled a series of top tips to help you with your indoor grow:
This question is harder to answer because manipulating an outdoor grow and its environmental conditions is a bit more complicated. But it’s not impossible.
If you need to force your plants to ripen faster than they would do naturally, you can try one or more of the methods described above. Nonetheless, this means that you’ll probably be sacrificing both yield and potency. You cannot expect the same result without giving your marijuana crop enough time to grow strong, produce buds, and cover the colas with cannabinoids and terpenes. If that were possible, nobody would wait for the completion of a full growth cycle before harvesting their buds!
Growing marijuana fast is easier if you’ve got a solid base. In order to obtain optimum results, it is key to choose a cannabis seed that has been specifically created for speed. With the right strain, you can minimise any kind of setback.
The perfect balance between the autoflowering speed and the high performance of the feminised strains lies in the Fast seeds. At Seedstockers we’ve included three excellent examples in the Fast category that will surely meet all of your expectations:
BCN Critical XXL Fast: A ‘made in Barcelona’ strain that grows vigorously and is ready for harvest in just 8 weeks of flowering. This is a great advantage for growers who live in cold regions with short summers, as they won’t have to worry about the dreaded autumn rain.
Cookies and Cream Fast: This strain originates from the cross of Girl Scout Cookies Auto and Cookies and Cream. It maintains the traits that have turned Cookies into a classic strain but with a shorter flowering period of around 7 weeks, which can translate into one extra indoor crop per year.
Gelato 41 Fast: A delicious hybrid with a creamy ice cream flavour whose flowering period has been reduced to only 56 days, but without compromising yield quality and quantity. Like all the Gelato strains, it’s easy to grow, so you have no excuse not to give it a go!