5 Advanced Cultivation Techniques for Your Grow Room

You’ve mastered the basics of indoor cultivation. You’ve set up your grow room, and it’s consistently pumping out harvests. But, if you are anything like the rest of the indoor grow community, you are looking to improve timing, yield, and potency. So, it’s time to introduce advanced cultivation techniques into the picture.

Adopting new environmental inputs, learning new pruning techniques, and introducing automation don’t come without risks. But, if done right, these strategies can lead to impressive payoffs. 

5 Advanced Indoor Cultivation Techniques

1. Supplement with CO2 

Humans breathe oxygen, and plants ‘breathe’ carbon dioxide (CO2). Even though the standard CO2 in the atmosphere ranges between 250 to 400 parts per million (ppm), most plants thrive with much higher levels.

Cannabis cultivators have discovered that introducing a CO2 supplement in the grow room can dramatically increase the speed of growth as well as yield. According to the “Guru of Ganja,” Ed Rosenthal, by optimizing CO2, you can achieve 30 to 40 percent larger, denser buds.

There is some debate among cultivators about the ideal level of CO2 and how this can fluctuate during the growth cycle. However, the general consensus is a target CO2 between 800 to 1200 ppm. 

Organic CO2 supplements like fungi-producing CO2 in bags and buckets are a safe, simple option in small spaces. In larger, more advanced operations, compressed tanks of CO2 or natural gas burners are more precise and automated options.

Keep in mind that adding CO2 into the grow room requires a dialed-in ventilation system and increased light considerations. As you increase CO2, you also have to increase light to balance out the photosynthetic equation.

2. High Stress Training (HST)

High-stress training, or HST, is exactly what the name suggests: This is a plant-training methodology that triggers an excessive stress response. But for cannabis, stress serves several purposes, including increasing the number of cola sites and potentially increasing the potency.

The HST technique requires you to bend (but not break) the main branches of your plants at a 90-degree angle. Getting the timing and pressure right can take some practice. Stems should be pliable enough to bend over to 90 degrees without snapping off completely.

You’ll then secure each 90-degree branch horizontally, either with pegging or a trellis. This supports the plant as it recovers and encourages new colas to develop upwards at each node.

The additional stress you introduced requires a few weeks for the plants to recover fully. But if you are patient, it pays off. Stress may also encourage the development of more THC and CBD. 

3. Automation and Control

Advanced cultivation techniques almost always include components of automation and control. For starters, this means grow room tools like a digital thermometer and humidity monitor. Throughout the plant’s growth cycle, these environmental monitors provide invaluable data about the two most important parameters of your mini-ecosystem.

To take this one step further, invest in a total grow room controller. These devices not only record the current climatic conditions in your grow room but keep historical records and feed the data into a remote control dashboard. 

No matter where you are, you’ll get up-to-date information about the state of your grow. You can even set alarms. So if the temperature, humidity, or other conditions range outside of pre-set targets, you’ll get an instant notification.

Controls like this help you experiment with the parameters and learn from mistakes made in past harvests. For most experienced cultivators, a data-driven grow room helps improve the entire process.

4. Fimming (FIM)

example of SCROG, cannabis cultivation
Fimming combines well with other advanced techniques, like SCROG.

The acronym FIM stands for “F**k, I missed.” A bit crass, but this term has stitch around. If you are familiar with topping, fimming is quite similar—with one critical difference.

The goal of fimming, like topping, is to produce more than colas (flowers). Instead of topping the entire end of a node, fimming removes a portion of the node. 

The best time to fim is during the early stages of vegetative growth, usually when the tiny cannabis seedling has produced three to five nodes. 

Using your fingers, pinch off about 75 percent of the tip. These leftover nubs will eventually produce four colas. Just like topping, you can fim several times to encourage more branching.

Because a fimmed plant will continue to branch off into multiple new growth areas, it’s essential to combine with other techniques. For example, the Screen of Green (SCROG) works well with fimming, as it helps support a top-heavy plant. 

5. Sea of Green (SOG)

This advanced cultivation technique produces a massive ‘sea’ of green, even when it keeps plants relatively small. It combines early pruning with a short vegetative cycle to encourage multi-cola heads per plant.

When seedlings are still young and in the early vegetative stage, SOG begins with several rounds of topping. Topping requires you to trim off a fresh node’s top. This will produce two colas instead of just one. Done two to three times, you’ll have four or more colas, where before you would have achieved a single primary cola.

The second requirement for SOG is a short veg cycle. Typically, growers will switch their plants into a flowering cycle only after four to six weeks of veg. 

SOG is the perfect technique for those who want faster harvests or work in smaller setups. It also works well with auto-flowering varieties. 

Introduce Advanced Cannabis Grow Techniques for Better Yields

The only way to boost yields is to experiment with your own setup. As you start experimenting with new training, pruning, and environmental techniques in your cultivation room, you’ll start to see the payoffs. Of course, there are always some risks with trying new methods, but we are here to help. Join our growing community and download the Hydro Guide App today.

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