December 10, 2017 | DR. SCANDERSON FOR NORTHWEST LEAF
Understanding the importance of moving quickly during the early stages of indoor grows.
“Boy, am I glad I waited ‘till the last possible moment to do that,” said no gardener ever! There are a few pervasive rules when it comes to indoor gardening, and perhaps none is more pervasive than the rule of keeping the priority. This simply means doing everything as quickly as possible, with success. Waiting until tomorrow is never a good idea in the garden. The benefits of completing each task at its earliest possible point are exponential. In this month’s Growtech, we will be reviewing just a fraction of the benefits those who keep the priority are spoiled with.
This article will focus on is the first four weeks of bloom. If not simply because so many physical changes happen during this stage, keeping the priority virtually dictates the outcome of the round. Each of the points highlighted below are outcomes only of keeping up with the training, selecting, tuning and bending work that goes on during this stage.
Plant Health and Vigor
Bending and tuning your plants contribute meaningfully to plant development and vigor. It’s the tuning portion that actually creates the result I am pointing to. By changing the position of the apical growing tip(s) of the plant you’re also diffusing and dispersing powerful auxins and hormones responsible for such a wide variety of biological functions, the most cutting edge science is still at a loss in knowing the specificities and extent of each. One results is that it initiates several biological functions in the plant as well as accelerates growth processes. The result is an improvement to plant health and vigor.
Stronger, Faster Roots and Shoots
Another result discovered and verified through peer reviewed study is the increased growth rates of branches and shoots, as well a more rapidly developing rhizosphere. Training and tuning provides a similar benefit below grade as it does above. When plant growth is directed laterally, so is root growth and vice versa. Allowing the plant to form a wide, reaching crown during this stage allows for complete use of the medium and large root balls compared to untrained plants. Indoors there is a limited capacity below ground so maximizing growth potential requires maximizing use of the medium that is available.
Significantly Improved SAR Response
Systemic Autoimmune Response (SAR) is a fancy way of describing the plant’s existing bio-defense mechanisms. All plants come equipped with a fierce set of resources available that can be utilized anytime it falls under attack from pests, disease or any other pathogens. These systems are only effective when the plant’s health is at or near peak performance. By keeping the priority and instilling vigor and health along with increased growth rates to rudimentary areas of the plant structure one is able to achieve such potentials and as a result bacteria, spores and pests stand little chance at effectively infusing an epidemic.
The Final Shape is Revealed
Keeping the priority requires completing a task at the earliest available time. Many tasks, however, exist in a flexible time range. Newer gardeners will have a more difficult time estimating the final result of the plant in this stage compared to someone whose seen a round mature on a daily basis several times. Nevertheless, when tuning a branch or site selection are done at the earliest possible moment it becomes easier to see what the final shape of the plant is going to be. Granted, when I started doing selection, the majority was completed between days 18-21 now it’s closer to day seven, it never ceases to amaze me how the plant will show glimpses of her final form within a day or two of completing the process.
Growth and Light are Directed Efficiently
Being so limited by our light source indoors, it’s even more important to ensure the priority is kept during this stage as the plant will respond to the areas where light exposure penetrates.By executing tuning and selection at the earliest possible moment, the plant understands where growth is needed. Further, less of plant’s energy and resources are directed toward sites, branches, leaves and other areas that are going to end up getting selected out eventually and more time on just the areas the gardener selects.
Increased Recovery Time
By keeping the priority there are more days available for the plant to recover as well as aggressively develop. Because this period is fixed, it’s beneficial to use as many of the days during the period devoted only to rapid development while still ensuring the shape of the canopy is achieved. Because these two goals are somewhat opposed to the benefits of tuning and bending dominant tops and areas of the canopy at the earliest possible time, is amplified through the plant’s ability to recover and spend more time in aggressive development and less time recovering from a training.
Catastrophic Failure Happens Earlier
I’ve found counting on failure to be an asset. As someone who has a fixed number of spaces available for plants it’s imperative that each site performs. Sometimes none fail, sometimes a few do. As a result I always keep a couple “insurance” plants so that I can keep up and also play in the reindeer games. Anyone else who has performance insurance as part of their protocols will benefit from keeping the priority as those plants that are going to fail catastrophically and need to be replaced are revealed significantly earlier allowing the insurance plants to be most effective in their role of catching up to the round already in flower.
Improved Bloom Cycle
When maximum vigor, health and development are married with careful but deliberate training the plant moves through this period most rapidly. Lots of changes are going on and in order to complete them, all systems must be healthy and happy. Just one that isn’t can prevent the plant from carrying out critical biological functions allowing it to progress to the next point in development causing it to spend longer, for instance, stretching than setting. By keeping the priority, plants rocketing through the stages of development in the earlier point progressing to the final canopy shape and space faster.
The result is a plant which spends more of the total growing cycle in stages that humans typically find more desirable, namely bulking and ripening. Those stages only stand to be shortened, should the initial portion of the grow require more time for any reason, adding more days to the cycle isn’t a resolution to this issue. In other words the gestational time is fixed, keeping the priority allows you to maximize it.
Keeping in mind that this principle is being applied to only one stage and only one task associated with development, it is easy to imagine how when it’s applied to other areas the same exponential number of benefits explode into one’s perspective. As a professional procrastinator keeping these thoughts and ideas at the forefront of my awareness serves as a motivation and inspiration to complete the day’s tasks with exuberance. I hope some wears off on you too.
If you have questions regarding the order of priority please don’t hesitate to contact me at DrScanderson@protonmail.com and as always, Happy Gardening!