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Ask Erik: RAW! - Moving Your Grow Room: When to Fold ‘Em

Like a gambler, an indoor grower has to be good at analyzing his situation and knowing when to stay or walk away. Like a gambler, an indoor grower has to be good at analyzing his situation and knowing when to stay or walk away.

Q: A question to follow up on your midnight moves RAW! a few columns ago: How do you know when it's time to move your grow? Moving is a hassle and hard on your plants, so you don't want to have to uproot unnecessarily. But at the same time, you want to protect your ability to grow your preferred crop in privacy. Sometimes you have to get out of Dodge immediately, but an itchy trigger finger is only going to set you back. How do you know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em?

A: This is an important question because the whole grow is at stake when you contemplate uprooting and moving mid-crop. If you lose the crop or worse (no more gear either), that’s it, that’s all; do not pass go. You know the chain reaction that will follow, which in two words is “no fun.”

Difficulty of Moving Depending on Grow Style:

  • Commercial grows done in large raised beds where roots are thoroughly intertwined in giant volumes of soil or other growing media are essentially impossible to move. Lots of damage and time lost – better to start anew.
  • Rockwool slabs are doable, but roots are easily damaged in lifting and transporting slabs under the weight of larger plants.
  • Containerized plants are the best candidates for moving around, with grow bags being a little less so due to the fact that it’s easier to damage root systems.

Timing is Everything:

Sometimes when the pressure is on, it can be a challenge to objectively gauge and assess the severity of the external (or perhaps internal) pressures that have gotten you contemplating moving mid-crop.

If you are seriously contemplating “bugging out” and moving during the cropping cycle, your best chances for a smooth transition and a reasonably good harvest will happen if you make the move while the plants are still in vegetative growth. Once flowering starts, plants don’t have any time you can invest in their recovery, they are on their way to finishing their life cycle. On top of that, branches are heavier and break more easily in flowering, especially the later phases.

Moving past the first few weeks into flowering significantly increases your risk of serious adversity that could spell disaster for the crop, and maybe even for your whole growing operation.

Economic Threshold:

Every grower has their economic threshold; at what point do you swat the air with your hand and say “Eah” and write the crop off?

You are lucky to be an indoor grower! While it may not feel like it while terminating a crop because you have to move locations, the beauty is that you can start a new one as soon as you are set-up. Yes, it’s a set-back, but it doesn’t have to be a coffin nail. Count your blessings; enlist some help if you can and get onto greener pastures; crop in tow if you can! Outdoors, you would be in a different predicament all together.

External Pressures:

Sometimes when the pressure is on, it can be a challenge to objectively gauge and assess the severity of the external (or perhaps internal) pressures that have gotten you contemplating moving mid-crop. Try and step outside of the picture and determine how great the urgency truly is. However, when it’s Code Red, you need to stop contemplating and start doing.

In terms of “pulling the trigger” on a mid-crop move, here’s a quote from Wyatt Earp, who was reportedly a proponent of taking one’s time in all manners of things: “Get your gun out of the holster just as fast as you can, and then take your sweet time aiming.”

Cheers, Erik Biksa

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Every indoor grower needs to know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.
Last modified on Thursday, 19 July 2012 12:34

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