Light deprivation is an excellent technique to maximize your harvest, but it can only do so much on its own. Combine light deprivation with grow lights to permanently create a cost-effective optimal growing environment for your cannabis crops.
Light deprivation growing, also known as “light depo” or “light dep,” is an agricultural technique that provides multiple harvests over year-long growing by simulating different growing seasons within a controlled environment. It works by controlling the frequency and quantity of sunlight that a plant within a greenhouse is exposed to. When done correctly, this results in tricking the plants into flowering on command, causing faster maturation and multiple blooms per year.
This is the “magic” that makes light deprivation growing work. Photoperiodism is a term used to describe the natural response of all plants and animals to light exposure, both in behavior and growth. A single photoperiod is the amount of time within a day that a given subject is exposed to light. By manipulating the photoperiod — that is, creating artificial photoperiods — you can manipulate the plant’s natural responses to light and darkness. For example, you can create longer days and shorter nights — thus creating a shorter photoperiod — to stimulate plants that normally bloom in the fall, such as pumpkins. The same applies to cannabis. It’s merely a matter of providing the right length of photoperiod to maximize your crop growth and bloom.
Light Exposure for Cannabis
The amount needed depends on each individual strain. For this reason, including various strains in the same greenhouse can be problematic. What promotes growth in one strain may hinder it in others. Whatever strain you decide to grow in your greenhouse, make sure to identify the ideal amount of sun exposure and darkness.
To bring it all together, you need a greenhouse. You can’t set up a light deprivation system without one. Of the three tiers that you can use, some will last a lifetime, and others will leave you wishing you had stepped up your game.
Low-End Greenhouses / Hoop Houses
These are the least expensive greenhouses, and are often DIY homemade creations that break down after a single growing season. Hoop houses are usually built with wooden planks, PVC piping, and rebar. The PVC piping makes the frame, rebar anchors it to the ground, and the wooden planks run the length to stabilize the piping.
Light exposure from the sun can be limited by draping a black tarp over the hoop house at a specific hour each day.
If you are serious about growing cannabis, however, this won’t work for long. A single storm can destroy a DIY hoop house, and a strong gust is often more than enough to snap the PVC piping frame you’ve built.
These span everything from full-sized commercial grow houses used by farmers to backyard home greenhouse kits. The biggest difference between these and low-end hoop houses is the quality of the materials used to build them.
Because midtier greenhouses cater to such a wide audience, you can purchase them in sizes as small as a garden shed to as large as 30 feet wide and 120 feet long. The size of your operation will determine which works best for you.
These should be the baseline investment for anyone looking to grow cannabis in a greenhouse. They have plenty of room for improvement, but only one significant disadvantage: They are difficult to put together. You will often find these on the top shelves of big-box stores, mass-produced, cheaply made, and more confusing to put together than that 3D puzzle you wanted as a kid.
High-End Engineered Greenhouses
Automated light control, environmental simulation, and resistance against wind, rain, and snow make these the first and only choice for year-long growing operations. The greenhouse options from WeatherPort, in specific, meet international and local building codes for both durability and safety. While they start as basic barebone greenhouses, options are available for every upgrade to the structure you could hope for, including:
Oxygen level control
Grow light control
Depending on the time of year you are growing and the strain you are working with, you may need to add a few hours of daylight instead of cutting back. When the sun doesn’t provide enough steady light, or when the sky is too overcast, grow lights can keep your plants happy.
There are three popular types of grow lights. Each type of grow light works by providing full-spectrum light to your plants, just like sunlight.
HID Grow Lights
High-intensity discharge (HID) lights are a type of electrical gas-discharge lamp. A tube is filled with gas and metal salts that are excited when an electrical current passes through, generating light. These are generally regarded as one of the most effective grow lights in terms of lumens per watt.
LED Grow Lights
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) use a semiconductor and electroluminescence to create light. Reflectors placed inside each bulb serve to amplify the light.
LED lights can be designed to produce specific wavelengths of light, providing the exact amount of light that their particular strains enjoy drinking up.
Fluorescent Grow Lights
Fluorescent grow lights generate light by exciting mercury vapor with an electric current inside of a glass tube. The current causes the gas to emit photons at ultraviolet frequencies. The current causes the gas to emit photons at ultraviolet frequencies, which then turn into light when they pass through a lining of phosphorous inside the tube.
Fluorescent grow lights were once the most common lights on the market, but have since given way to HID and LED lights.
When you can create your own seasons inside of your greenhouse, nothing prohibits you from growing year-round. Grow lights can provide light when it gets dark too early outside, or make certain that your cannabis crops receive quality light during their photoperiod. Blackout tarps can maximize their growth and spur their blossoming when you want them to, maximizing each yield produced.
you need a greenhouse