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Pruning for Larger Hydroponics Yields Featured

The larger the hydroponics plants, the larger your yields! The larger the hydroponics plants, the larger your yields!

Large, succulent and bushy…that’s what turns hydroponics growers on more and more lately. In the ebb and flow of what’s popular with growers who want to keep plant numbers down, less is more. Bigger is better.

When you put your plants in large containers - as large as 10-20 gallon buckets or even more - you allow for root development that can support truly massive plants indoors.

What growers have discovered is that a small number of large plants can yield as much if not more than a sea of green or SCROG approach that features a large number of clones packed together. But getting the same yield, or larger yield, would not be as attractive except that growing large plants usually means less work and simpler logistics for you.

One key to large plant productivity is that bigger roots equal bigger yields. In a hydroponics garden using small containers, rockwool slabs, aeroponics or raised beds, for example, your hydroponics plants’ roots don’t have much room to roam.

It’s amazing how much growth and yield you can get from plants that have small amounts of roots, but after a certain point, those plants are limited by the smallness of their root mass.

When you put your plants in large containers - as large as 10-20 gallon buckets or even more - you allow for root development that can support truly massive plants indoors. I’m talking about indoor “trees” that are like immense, squat, multi-branched, heavy-yielding happy monsters.

What else do you have to do to make a large plant hydroponics strategy work for you? Along with providing lots of space for larger root mass, you also trim your plants early to produce a round, dense structure. With some equatorial hydroponics strains, this is hard to achieve. Those strains tend to go vertical.

But through careful trimming of the topmost growth tips of key branches early on, even equatorial strains can become multi-branched so you get a hydroponics plant profile that spreads horizontally.

You take advantage of the horizontal spread by providing extra light per plant. This is enhanced automatically by the fact that shorter plants don’t have as much top to bottom space to light up. Providing extra lighting doesn’t necessarily mean you have to buy new hydroponics lighting units, although that’s often a good idea.

Extra light can also come from optimizing plant placement, light placement, reflectors, and reflective material. You could have a hydroponics plant that’s three feet in diameter. You want even, strong, uniform lighting from side to side and top to bottom. It’s fun to experiment with light placement and plant placement to see what arrangements give you the most light intensity and penetration.

The most successful large-plant growers I’ve ever met were using greenhouses or a customized indoor room, a well-drained soil mix, or a home-built water culture or flood and drain system with huge reservoir or bucket space, and a combination of HID, plasma and T-5 fluorescent lighting.

They used little tricks such as adding beneficial microbes and Roots Excelurator to the root zone, along with a carbohydrate formula to feed the microbes. Lots of time was spent on careful pruning to create round, densely-branched plants.

Harvest is easier in these situations because each flowering stem is like a sturdy main stem, like a big lollipop that weighs more dried than several short clones will yield in a sea of green. You can have plants that each have a dozen or more main stems!

Growing large plants isn’t for everybody because it requires a larger than average hydroponics grow space, and a feel for the artistry of pruning. Look at trimming scissors and study up on hydroponics horticultural pruning. When you see a garden of multi-branched, thick-stalked hydroponics plants that are thriving with root masses the size of outdoor plants, you realize how the large-plant strategy can put more weight into your wallet.

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Why doesn’t the USDA understand? Get the connection between hydroponics and organics here.

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Larger hydroponics roots using beneficial microbes
Last modified on Wednesday, 22 August 2012 17:55

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