Plants are genetically programmed to take a certain time to mature. Maturation ranges from 50 to 90 days of forcing flowering under a 12 hour dark regimen. There is nothing that you can do to change an individual plant?s traits. However, you can shorten the maturation time by altering the environment. Increasing the length of the dark period hastens maturation. However, the yield suffers. For instance, a plant which takes 10 weeks to mature under 12 hours of darkness daily, takes about 8 weeks if grown under 14 hours of darkness. This is a time saving of 20%. However, the yield may be 75% or less than under the shorter dark period, so the total yield over time is reduced.
One way to hasten maturation is to increase dark period length about two weeks before anticipated ripening. Increasing the dark period then from 12 to 14 hours signals the plants to ripen up. It cuts a few days from the cycle and the plants ripen more completely.
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