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Hoop House Light Deprivation Grows

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    Hoop House Light Deprivation Grows

    I try to keep abreast of new growing techniques for educational purposes and I'm intrigued by the commercial growers adoption of Light Deprivation used in outdoor grows. The idea is to speed up the flowering process for photo plants and decrease the time between harvests, or make the best use of short summers in northern areas.

    You may see this approach referred to as "Light Dep" or just "Dep" by the commercial guys. In practice it means covering an outdoor plant (in the ground or in pots) with a 100% light-proof tarp or box to ensure that it only receives 12 hours of sunlight each day. You can cover the plant in the early morning or late afternoon to deprive it of additional sunlight and initiate flowering. Some growers start light dep in July to force their plants towards a harvest before the Fall rains and cold temps begin.

    In California the growers are using "Hoop House" green houses that can provide blackout conditions with a heavy tarp thrown over the top. They claim to achieve two or even three harvests per summer by growing one set "normally" and another set using light dep. The light dep plants will be ready in mid summer and the normal plants will harvest as usual in late Fall.

    There are hazards with using light dep including light leaks inducing Hermie reactions, mold due to reduced air circulation and overheating as the sun beats down on your opaque tarp. It's also worth stating the obvious point that light dep won't work with autoflower strains because they don't respond to daylight hours. That also raises the question of why a grower wouldn't just use the new "Super Auto" plants that have shorter flowering times and still produce heavy yields?

    As a more pedestrian indoor, organic soil photo grower, I'm not seeing much utility in Light Dep, but as it happens I'm starting an experimental photo grow that is going to finish outside due to scheduling concerns and I may try putting a trashcan over one of them in the late afternoon when it reaches the 12 hour daylight mark just to see if I can induce flowering in an outdoor photo plant. If that pans out I'll share the results. In the meantime I wonder if any of our GWE comrades have played with Light Dep?

    Here's a video narrated by the venerable Jorge Cervantes showing a commercial light dep setup in California ready to produce over 100 pounds of Girl Scout Cookies & OG Kush. There's even a Chihuahua watch dawggy on guard duty.

    I grow exclusively in large pots using soil comprised of the compost I make combined with Foxfarm or other quality commercial soils as an amendment. Appropriate nutes as needed. State of the art LED lighting and an evolving system of environmental controls allows me to pamper my plants and let them tell me what they need.
    My goal is epicurean quality rather than high yield.
    I'm learning how to create cannabis tinctures and hashish and I almost always use a vaporizer to spare my aging lungs.
    Despite my avatar name I'm generally amenable and helpful. So, if there's a question I'm qualified to answer, hit me up!


    Senior Cervantes! One of the few people I agree 'mostly' with At a record breaking 111f this week I think anything outside is pretty crispy by now so my grows are staying indoors for the time being. I wondered the last time I was in BC and saw KM after KM of commercial cannabis cultivation greenhouses how they were getting the best bang for their buck. I think maybe this is it, eh?
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