One of the main goals of starting a ganja garden is to grow the biggest buds possible. There’s nothing more satisfying than nice, thick colas come harvest. However, learning how to grow dense nugs is a bit of an art. While it’s true that weed grows like a weed, there are certain tactics experienced growers use to grow the biggest buds they can. Whether you’re growing for the first time or are an experienced grower, knowing how to grow dense nugs is paramount for a successful harvest you can be proud of.
5 Tips to Grow Dense Nugs
1. Prune Your Plants
Pruning is an experienced gardener’s go-to for growing the biggest, densest nugs possible. The small shoots of growth between branches and at the bottom of the plant can all be trimmed away so there isn’t energy wasted on the small buds at the bottom that won’t amount to much in the end.
Pruning should be done during the vegetative stage. This allows for the plant to recover, grow large leaves, and continue to grow. When you prune away parts of the plant that don’t receive quality light, you allow for the energy to be sent to where buds are receiving the most light, resulting in large, dense nugs when the time comes to harvest.
2. Ensure Plants are Receiving Adequate Sunlight
There’s nothing that cannabis plants love more than lots of sunlight. To grow the densest, biggest buds possible, your plants need plenty of light. If you’re growing outdoors, make sure your plants receive at least 6-8 hours of sunlight a day, but 10-12 is optimal. Put your plants on a south-facing slope and they’ll get the most sun possible.
If you’re growing outdoors, you need to keep enough space in between your plants to ensure that all the branches are getting as much sunlight as possible. Keeping outdoor plants too close together won’t allow the lower branches receive the light they need. All sides of your plant should receive the same amount of sunlight.
If you’re doing an indoor grow, having the right lighting is key. Generally, one 100-watt bulb will cover one square foot. If you’ve got a 10x10 area, for example, a 1000-watt bulb would be needed for adequate light. Anything less than 100 watts is typically not enough light for even one plant. Plants will grow with weak lighting but won’t produce the big buds you ultimately want to harvest. This is something key to keep in mind when growing cannabis indoors.
When doing an indoor grow, you also need to make sure that plants are kept far away enough from your lights so they don’t burn. Heat stress can negatively impact the density of your buds. If your plants feel hot, their light source needs to be higher. When you keep your plants at the proper distance from your lighting it will help immensely in your quest to grow the biggest buds you can.
3. Feed Plants What They Need
Giving your plants the nutrients they need is vital through each stage of growth. When plants reach their flowering stage, switching from growth nutrients to blooming nutrients is an important part of the process. Where nitrogen is paramount for vigorous growth, phosphorus and potassium are necessary for plants in flower.
Growing dense nugs is determined by how you take care of your plants during flower. Feed them the phosphorus they need and your nugs will be full and dense come harvest. Potassium is another nutrient that should also be used during flower, as it helps promote even, strong, consistent growth. When combined with phosphorus, you will also strengthen your plant’s root system.
Blackstrap molasses has been the choice of growers for decades to increase the density of their buds. It is rich in micro and macro-nutrients and contains a high vitamin and mineral content that makes budding flowers thrive.
4. Train Your Plants to Increase Yields
Training your plants is another easy way to increase your yields come harvest. When left alone, a cannabis plant will grow with one main stalk with other, smaller stalks growing from it. The main stalk receives most of the sunlight and produces one large cola. The smaller branches, however, will receive less sunlight resulting in smaller buds.
The monstrous marijuana plants you see in pictures have been trained to get that way. Experienced growers know what’s required to get the biggest yields from their crops. Super cropping (high-stress training) and low-stress training are ways to train your plants that ensure the entire plant receives adequate sunlight and growth hormones are distributed evenly. Low-stress training involves tying down stalks into an L shape to promote more even distribution of auxin, which regulates plant growth. Super cropping (and other forms high-stress training) involves intentionally damaging your plants in specific ways to shock the plant into promoting growth in the lower branches. Both types of training allow for dense nugs to develop on each branch rather than only the main stalk.
5. Don’t Harvest Too Early
Once your flowering cycle is almost complete it can be tempting to pick those nice, fat colas and start your harvest. While plants might look like they’re ready to go, the last few weeks of the flower are paramount to harvesting dense nugs. In the final weeks of flowering, most of the plant’s energy is maintained on developing terpenes, trichomes, fullness, and density of its flowers. You’ve got to let your flowers do their thing.
How do you know what time is the right time to ensure you’re getting dense nugs though? One of the best ways is by watching the color the pistils (the little hairs that grow on your plant). Once they change from a white to orange is a good measure of when you can begin your harvest.
Keeping a close eye on trichomes is another way to make sure you’re harvesting at the right time. With a microscope, you can observe your trichomes change color during the last stages of flower. They will start clear, turn opaque, and will turn amber when they are ready to be cut down.
Following these tips when growing your garden will help tremendously if you want to grow dense nugs and increase your yields when it’s time to harvest. Growing marijuana isn’t difficult, but it does take some skill to grow the big buds. Keep these things in mind during your next grow and you’ll take your ganja gardening skills to a higher level.