Many states have rushed to follow suit in legalizing the plant for both medical and recreational use.
Many states have rushed to follow suit in legalizing the marijuana plant for medical and recreational use. But researchers and growers are not asleep. They are trying many ways to improve cannabis production and are focused on reaping more from this gold mine. There are faster and more efficient ways to get the best yield while using cheaper and easier means. One of those methods is growing the plant in a shade cloth.
Why grow cannabis under a shade cloth?
Traditional cultivation of marijuana in open farmland provides the plant with a natural environment to grow in. The growing stages, including budding and flowering, are gradual in a natural environment. Fortunately, marijuana is a hardy plant that can withstand harsh weather.
It can even grow in the wild; however, as mentioned above, a faster and more efficient way to come up with an excellent yield pushes the grower to cultivate the crop in a controlled shaded environment.
Growing your weed under a shade cloth is an option. However, as required, you can allow the sun and natural darkness into your garden. This alternative is done while protecting your plants, meaning the shade cloth heat does not hurt your crop.
There are many reasons why you would consider growing your produce under a shade cloth. Here are some of the top reasons:
1. Discreetness and compliance
Growing cannabis under a shade cloth means that you are growing in an indoor setting. Such a setup is good for security reasons. Keeping your cannabis affair to yourself is crucial if you live in states that prohibit growing the crop and its use.
You don’t want everyone to point fingers that you grow marijuana, especially if the culture surrounding you is still hesitant about crop use.
If your state has compliance regulations for growing marijuana, you must comply. Many compliance standards are in place regarding the use of security systems to restrict marijuana access and regulate its use. Compliance standards ensure that your inventory is tracked and the product is secure. If you don’t comply, there are hefty penalties and sentences in place that may apply.
Additional physical and digital security services include network systems, notification systems, alarms, building access control systems, and video surveillance systems. Following these regulations is easier if you cultivate the crop indoors. If you are looking for the right seeds, check out our indoor weed seeds for sale.
Cannabis growing involves high up-front and continued costs. Before you embark on the activity, prepare financially, as the expenses will occur until the harvest is ready. Many growers perceive outdoor growing of cannabis as cheaper as it involves fewer staff members, natural lighting, and sometimes natural watering from the seasonal rain.
That may look like a fact, but the truth is, growing cannabis in a shade cloth is cost-effective. A shade-like greenhouse facility is expensive to set up. Still, the growth period of cannabis in a controlled environment is shorter, which minimizes the costs.
With a shade cloth, you can quickly recover the expenses because the growth rate is fast, and the product is quality, meaning better sales.
With open fields growing, you are at the mercy of weather patterns. The shade cloth helps you to know the environmental inputs your strains require to flourish precisely. With a shade cloth facility, you can quickly produce the perfect crop harvest after harvest consistently, regardless of the weather patterns.
Growing in a shade cloth allows you the consistency you can’t get from outdoor growth, hence more reliability. You will have a reliable and consistent supply for your consumers obsessed with bud profiles. A lack of supply or a bad batch can disappoint your customers and cost you money in lost sales.
4. Guaranteed quality harvest
Consumers of cannabis look at quality rather than quantity. High-quality cannabis is loaded with high levels of CBD and THC. These provide the high feeling and the cannabinol required in the plant’s medical use. Cannabis grown under shade cloth is richer in CBD and THC than in the open farm, balconies, or other outdoor areas.
The appearance is also superb. Shade cloth-grown cannabis is leafier, and the flowers are larger than the outdoor ones. The flowers are top-of-the-line products because of the expedited breeding and controlled environment.
Every factor in a shade cloth is controlled, including CO2, light, and humidity, meaning that the quality is not compromised. Outdoor-grown weed develops a weaker high with less dense nugs and fewer trichomes. The quality of the shade cloth is maintained through the growing stages to the harvesting stage.
5. Ease of preventing and controlling pests and diseases
When you grow cannabis on an open farm, you will encounter pest invasions and disease outbreaks. When this two-strike, you are likely to lose your dear harvest. Controlling diseases and pests may mean using pesticides, which may harm you, your crop, and the user. Shaded and controlled growing areas are easy to keep pest and disease free.
6. You can control the light and climate
One of the benefits of growing cannabis in the open is that sunlight is free. However, it takes further supplementing the plants with the light on cloudy or overcast days when the crop needs a boost.
Shade cloth growing also utilizes free sunlight, unlike room growing. In a shade cloth, you can also play with the light spectrum. You can use a grow light emphasizing the blue spectrum to optimize the vegetative stage. Try to flood in a richer red spectrum to encourage the flowering stage.
Controlling the climate in a shade cloth is also easy. Like any other indoor growing, a shaded fabric also protects your plants from the elements at a lower cost. An automated shade cloth system is even easier because you can control temperature and ventilation with a button. With outdoor growth, that level of control is impossible to reach.
As mentioned earlier, with outdoor cultivation, Mother Nature can decide to clock in and throw disastrous conditions that can damage your crops beyond redemption. When your product is wholly protected from storms and other harsh weather patterns, that offers you peace of mind.
When to grow cannabis in a shade cloth
The most fantastic news is that you can cultivate your crop in a shade cloth any time of the year as long as you are fully equipped for the exercise. The growth cycles are consistent and easy to plan, whereas the time required to grow cannabis outdoors can differ per season.
A correctly designed shade cloth heating system allows you to increase your dear crop even during the winter. Some companies provide top-quality shade clothes and greenhouse heating systems throughout the country. Proper planning allows you to consistently grow your crops throughout the year without worrying about the seasons.
Growing outdoors requires you to plant the crop at a particular time when the season allows. Because of the spring, summer, autumn, and winter seasons, outdoor growing is restricted to one harvest a year.
The fastest indoor lifecycle of weed will be around two to three months, from planting to harvesting, guaranteeing you four to 6 yields annually. Of course, the growth period up to harvest is governed by the strain type that you grow. Some strains will take up to six months to harvest, hence two yields a year. If you choose the feminized or the auto-flowering seeds, these will give you yields in three months. An outdoor strain can take up to nine months to harvest. The autoflowers take a lesser duration but cannot catch up with those grown in the shade.
That indicates that growing weed in the shade is the only real solution for commercial growers looking to maximize profit throughout the year.
How to grow cannabis in a shade cloth
It is often difficult for experienced outdoor growers to decide whether to grow in a shade cloth setup. The kind of care schedule required in outdoor growing is different.
In an outdoor design, you will leave your plants to tend for themselves and grow successfully without much intervention. Under a shade of cloth, things are different.
Check out these tips to grow a successful cannabis crop under a shade cloth:
Pick a quality and a suitable strain
Cannabis strains differ in how they grow, regarding their requirements from seed to harvest. Picking the most suitable type of cannabis for your shade cloth setup will ultimately depend on factors such as your local climate, lighting, and space, among other factors. A quality and suitable strain will guarantee a quality harvest within a short time. You don’t want to grow a strain that takes nine months unless it is a leisure venture.
Let’s dig in a little deeper to see how a strain can be affected by factors such as light, temperature, and others:
Photoperiod feminized cannabis can be grown under a shade cloth; however, this comes with some constraints. If you are using natural light exclusively, you should note that these strains flower based on the hours of light.
The shade fabric can be lightproof to prevent natural daylight from interfering with your exposure. These seeds rely heavily on the seasons to support vegetation and stimulate flowering. If you set up an artificial grow light on a timer to control your plant’s development, the strain will do better.
A crucial factor to consider if you opt to grow photo-feminized plants in shade cloth, you will need to train and prune them, as they can grow out of control. If you are using sunlight, the plants can get tall and spindly, forcing you to do scrogging and topping to maintain a reasonable height.
Autoflowering cannabis is nearly flawless if you grow it using natural sunlight. These strains do not require a set light schedule for the vegetative and flowering phases. Variations in sun exposure will not harm your plants or diminish the yields, unlike photo-feminized plants.
You can plant and harvest autoflowers in your shade cloth anytime as long as you maintain the ideal environmental condition. Smaller-sized varieties of autoflowers in the market cater to constrained shade cloth space.
Though the yields are smaller, you can grow more of them to maximize your harvest in the available area.
Start earlier in the season
Try starting to plant your crop early in the season. The reason is that the shade cloth will get much warmer inside than the outside once the sun comes out. Starting your growing season earlier gives your crop enough time to undergo the vegetative phase.
Cannabis plants require more time for the vegetative phase to grow bigger and healthier for the flowering stage. To do this successfully, don’t allow the shade cloth to get too cold at night during the initial stage of the season. You can do this by running a heater during cold nights.
Running your heaters lengthens the growing season for the plants, and it is one big reason several cannabis growers opt to grow their plants in shade cloth rather than an indoor or outdoor setup.
The plants are allowed to develop greater in size than the outdoor plants. Of course, that assumes the soil, seed genetics, and environment are perfect.
Plan your grow window accordingly
Using natural light as the primary energy source in your shade cloth will require you to plan your grow window. Your shade cloth will maintain higher temperatures than the outside. Wait until there is no frost before transplanting your plants into the structure.
You can do that early or late spring, although it depends on your location and local climate.
Germinate your seeds indoors
Germinating your seeds allows you to start nurturing them early before transplanting them. We recommend you provide your plants with low-powered CFLs to give them a perfect start. You will need a small space for this.
Indoor germination will provide vigorous seedlings that survive well during their growth in the sunlight. Indoor germination is also recommended if you want to take full advantage of the outdoor growing season.
Transplant your seedlings to the shade cloth gradually
When your seedlings are a little bigger and stronger, you can gradually transplant them to the shade house so they can get used to the new growing environment. Be gentle and move them slowly from the cozy indoors to the shade house.
Try to set them in the facility for just a couple of hours each day, increasing gradually over the first few weeks. Setting them reduces stress and helps the plant to develop without a hitch. After transplanting, be careful not to neglect your plants as they are still sensitive at this stage.
Apply the right supplement lightning
Shade cloth allows you to supplement natural light with an extra grow light. Adding a grow light will help you to overcome poor and cloudy weather without fear of losing the harvest. If you are growing your crop in a suitable climate with plenty of sunlight, supplemental light will not be necessary. Still, having one installed to cater to uncertainties is a prudent idea.
Use covers and blinds to force flowering
It is possible to force-flower cannabis using light deprivation techniques under a shade cloth. You can install elaborate timed shutters to obscure plants for forced flowering. Improvised simple blackout blinds or covers can do the trick at a much lower cost and with less effort.
This allows you to flower your cannabis at any time and prevent cannabis light pollution, which could interfere with photo-feminized plants' flowering. Light pollutants include street lighting or any other light around your structure.
Extend the end of the growing season
You can create a perfect environment for your cannabis plant by manipulating the length of the end of the growing season. The main reason to extend the end of the growing season is to keep the air in the shade cloth (around the plants) toasty warm when it is sunny and deflect the colder Fall temperatures.
Growing cannabis in diverse conditions and practices can help increase quality and yield. Shade cloth is one of those practices. It is a controlled combination of both indoor and outdoor techniques, among other factors.
Once you set up the shade cloth and all the elements are in place, it is more manageable and cost-effective to maintain your structure. To maximize your crop in shade cloth, the tips elaborated above will guide you on how to go about it. You will be looking for a bumper harvest and great sales with the right strain.
With a little research and purchasing your seeds from a reputable dealer, you are likely to get the best strains for your needs. Without a doubt, Amsterdam Marijuana Seeds is a credible source that you can trust. While there, you can read reviews and ratings from growers who have bought, grown, and enjoyed good yields.