Vegging for longer is praised among growing circles as an excellent way to get more out of your plants. The bigger the plant grows, the higher the yield. That’s the general rule.
But is it a high-yielding technique or just another grower advice that everybody dishes around? I thought we should look into it and separate facts from buzzwords.
Does Vegging Longer Increase Yield?
Vegging longer increases the yield per plant. The bigger the plant grows, the more bud sites it has, and the more buds it can sustain. Vegging longer can triple your yield per plant if you have strong, sufficient lighting. However, many factors impact yield, and sometimes vegging longer isn’t the best option.
Vegging for long also gives you enough time to top your plant repeatedly to maximize yield.
When you veg for a shorter time, you’re constricted by a thin timeline where extensive training can be counterproductive because the plant has no time to heal.
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The lengthy period means the plant won’t just be big, but it will be trained— having an even canopy, optimum light exposure, and air circulation.
But growing big plants might not be beneficial, given your unique growing realities.
Situations When Vegging for Longer Makes Sense
Many growers spread the wonder of vegging for longer on yield. But sometimes, it doesn’t work at all and might even be counter-productive in your quest for a bigger yield. Here are situations when vegging for long can improve your yield.
If the State Limits the Number of Plants You Can Grow
Growing a bigger plant can suit you if you’re growing in states that limit the number of plants you can have.
For instance, if you’re growing in Nevada that only allows for six plants, you can grow them big to give you the maximum yield if space isn’t a problem.
While for someone growing in Hawaii where the state allows for up to 10 plants at a time, it makes sense to grow ten plants than veg six plants for longer.
If it is illegal to grow more than one plant in your state, then you better make it big so that it has more bud sites for a bigger yield.
When You Have No Height Limitations
How far can your plants stretch upwards without getting scorched by the grow lights? This is an important question you should ask as an indoor grower.
When the plant grows too big that it begins to feel the heat of the grow lights, it can affect your yield considerably.
It might not hit the ceiling during veg, but you need to leave more room for flowering. Most plants will continue to grow during the first weeks of flowering.
The plant should also have enough space to grow on the sides. The goal is to stretch the plant to get the maximum yield out of it. So, create enough room for the big lady.
When You Have Fewer Plants in The Tent
Most growers figure out the number of plants to grow before germinating the seeds or cutting clones.
But if you’ve already begun growing and were just looking for ideas to increase your yield, the number of plants you have in the tent does matter.
If you’re growing one plant in a 4×4 tent, then you can veg for the longest time because the tent has enough space for the plant’s height.
If you have many plants in the tent, for instance, 4 plants in a 3×3 tent, you can’t veg any longer because the plants lack enough space to stretch.
Can You Veg A Plant Too Long?
You can veg your plants for too long because light and space always play a part in the quality and volume of yield. Even with LST, when you grow a big plant under 400W lights, the lower bud sites will not receive enough light, and that’s how the yield plateaus or begins to reduce.
Vegging for long is good. But there’s a level you shouldn’t exceed. Just increasing the veg time by two more weeks is enough to double your yields if your lights are strong enough.
Vegging for three months might not be necessary. Most people who SOG get an ounce per plant. If you can stretch yours to 6 ounces per plant, that should just be enough improvement.
When you veg for longer, the plant eats into all the space, and the plant loses the much-needed space for flowering.
Big plants also pose the risk of casting shadows on lower bud sites. Again, if you’re not adept at training, you lose the lower buds.
Vegging for too long can make your plants outgrow the tent, move the canopy too close to the lights and pose the risk of light burn.
If you have other plants in the tent that aren’t as tall (when you’ve grown different strains in the same tent), the shorter strains won’t get light at all.
For strains that naturally grow big, vegging for too long can present major problems, especially during flowering.
Shorter strains are way easier to manage when you veg for long. Even at their tallest, they’ll still be a safe distance from the light.
Just LST them to open them up for better airflow and light penetration.
For mother plants, there is nothing like vegging for too long. You can keep a mother plant in Veg for over 10 years, and you’ll still be getting robust clones from them.
But the goal with mother plants isn’t to improve yield but to sustain the strain’s quality.
Yes, longer veg means more yield, but the lights and tent space limits how long you can veg before the yield plateaus.
How Long Should I Veg For Best Yield?
Vegging time will be different depending on the plant’s strains. Some strains have a shorter lifespan than others, but generally, vegging for 60 days is best for yield.
Vegging for between 2 months is usually enough to create a stronger structure for big colas and more bud sites. However, there is no harm in vegging longer if your space and lights allow it.
Do Taller Plants Yield More?
Taller plants don’t always give big yields. Some strains are stalky, growing tall without width, and so will not yield more. But if the plant is tall and has width, it will have more bud sites for improved yield.
Mostly, the yield comes down to bud sites. The more bud sites that are exposed to light, the better the yield.
Taller plants also need restraint if you’re growing beneath a 7-9ft ceiling.
When the plant isn’t properly trained, only the top buds will receive light as the light has to penetrate deeper into the plant to reach lower bud sites.
In summary, vegging longer means more yield if other growth factors are kept at the optimum. Vegging for long leads to bigger plants with more bud sites and stronger structure for big colas, thus a bigger yield.
If you intend to grow for long, mind the light you use because the bigger the plant, the thicker the canopy. Therefore, you must use a powerful light to penetrate to lower bud sites and improve the yield.
Training is also an important part of vegging for long. You will repeatedly top the plant to tame the vertical growth and improve exposure.
Other training methods like LST and lollipopping can also come in handy in opening up the plant for airflow and light exposure.