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Perpetual Indoor Gardening For Maximum Efficiency

One of the best ways an indoor grower can maximize a garden’s efficiency is to set up a perpetual garden. One of the best ways an indoor grower can maximize a garden’s efficiency is to set up a perpetual garden.

 

One of the best ways an indoor grower can maximize a garden’s efficiency is to set up a perpetual garden. In order to do so, a gardener must have a dedicated area for each stage of growth: cloning, vegetative, and flowering.

 The idea behind perpetual gardening is to have plants in every stage of the plant’s life so that when harvest time comes the plants taken out of the flowering room can be replaced with plants from the vegetative area, the vegetative plants can be replaced by rooted clones from the cloning area, and those clones can be replaced with new cuttings.

There are a few different ways growers of high-value plants can set up a perpetual garden. The two most common ways are continual harvest and entire harvest replacement.

 

Continual Harvest

Continual harvest perpetual gardening is a type of gardening where the grower is continually harvesting plants on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. In order for this to work properly, the grower must either be equipped with two separate flowering rooms or a flowering room that can handle plants at different stages in the flowering period.

It is very difficult to have the entire garden on the same feeding schedule if the plants are at different stages of growth. Generally speaking, soil growers are more compatible with a continual harvest garden set-up. This is because the plants can be moved more easily and fed specifically for the particular stage of flowering they are in.

Timing for a continual harvest perpetual garden is fairly simple. To stay on schedule, all growers need to do is to take fresh clones every week, two weeks, or month, depending on how often they want to harvest.

For example, if you want to harvest every week then you should take fresh clones every week. Even if you’ve had great success with cloning, it’s good to get into the habit of taking at least twice as many clones as you plan to harvest. This is a fail-safe that every continual harvest grower should take advantage of. Otherwise, there could be a glitch in the cloning that could significantly disrupt the flowering room’s schedule. It also gives the grower an opportunity to choose the healthiest, most vigorous clones to grow out.

As plants are harvested from the flowering room, the same number of plants can be moved from the vegetative room to replace the harvested plants. At the same time, the same number of plants can be moved from the cloning area to the vegetative room.

The advantages of a continual harvest garden are the timing is simpler, the workload of harvesting is spread out evenly, and the harvest is more often which means you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor more regularly.

The disadvantages of a continual harvest garden are maintaining the various feeding regiments for the plants, the inability to link plants together in a recirculating hydroponic system (due to the varying nutritional needs), and the inability to treat pests or pathogens (due to some plants always being in the later stages of flowering). This last disadvantage mentioned is why I, personally, don’t like operating a continual harvest room. Eventually, there is some pest or pathogen that needs to be eradicated which is more difficult when late stage flowering plants are present.

 

Entire Harvest Replacement

Another way to set up a perpetual garden is to harvest the entire flowering room and then replace all those plants with vegetative plants ready to be flowered. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, the timing on an entire harvest garden can be more difficult than it seems. To have enough vegetative plants ready to be put right into the flowering cycle they must have the proper time to grow.

On the other hand, if they are left in the vegetative area too long they can become overgrown, root bound, or otherwise stressed in a way that could hinder their performance in the flowering room.

The first thing a grower should do is to get an understanding of the genetic they plan to grow. Each genetic’s flowering period duration will vary but most high-value plants have about an eight week flowering period.

As you grow your genetic, remember to pay close attention to the amount of time it takes that variety to grow to the desired size. It normally takes most high-value plants four to six weeks to grow to a proper size for flowering (this would be a much shorter duration for a sea-of-green style garden).

Once this duration is figured out, the grower can add two weeks (for cloning) and determine the time when the cloning should be started for each new cycle. For example, a grower chooses a plant that takes exactly eight weeks to reach maturity in flowering.

That same variety takes five weeks of vegetative growth to reach the desired size for flowering. If you add two weeks for cloning to the five weeks for vegetative growth you come up with seven total weeks. This means the grower must start taking clones seven weeks prior to harvest or one week into the flowering cycle in order to effectively execute an entire harvest perpetual garden.

Advantages of an entire harvest garden include uniform feeding regiments for all plants in the flowering room, the ability to treat pests and pathogens more effectively, and the ability to run high-performance recirculating hydroponic systems. Disadvantages include the heightened workload around harvest time, the timing issue, and longer periods between harvests.

Regardless of how a grower does it, setting up a perpetual garden is an important step in a grow room’s evolution. By taking more than enough clones and testing the timing of the genetics, growers of high-value plants will experience less trouble in the quest to create a highly efficient perpetual garden.

 

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Keep your garden in perpetual motion and you'll increase your bottom line.
Last modified on Thursday, 14 November 2013 21:12

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