12/12 from seed is an intriguing concept and one of the latest trends in the cannabis growing community. If you want to grow short and quick plants, read our 12/12 from seed guide, where we tell how to minimize the cons while enjoying the pros. The 12/12 method of cultivation does not need any special care except changing the duration of its light cycles. The plants are still to be treated as… This is an experiment where we take cannabis seedlings and place them under 12/12 lighting, in red solo cups, while skipping the vegetative stage.
12/12 From Seed: Doing It Right
Some of the most sacred rules of cannabis growing tell us that in order to grow and successfully harvest photoperiod strains, you need to let the plants grow and gain mass during their vegetative period. Now, what if we told you that some rules are meant to be broken? Thanks to some daring enthusiasts who weren’t afraid to take a risk, we now know that even photoperiod strains can be grown 12/12 from seed – in other words, put straight into the flowering phase the day they germinate. Should you try it? Is it worth it? What about the yields from 12/12 from seed? In the true spirit of experimentation, we’re going to answer these questions and many more in this Herbies article, so read on!
12/12 From Seed: The Method Explained
We know, it’s exciting to find out that there’s a way to stop all the questions about exactly how and when to transition plants grown from photoperiod seeds into the flowering stage. With the 12/12 light cycle from seed, you give your weed plant 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness every day without exception, from the day the seed pops until the day you snip off the buds. That’s one problem less – but at what cost does this convenience come?
The Role Of Veg And Flower
Of course, if cannabis plants naturally go through both vegetative and flowering stages, they need these periods for certain reasons. During the vegetative stage, which lasts while photoperiod strains receive more than 12 hours of light per day, cannabis plants actively grow, become thicker and taller, and often reach their maximum possible height, signaling that they’re mature enough to procreate and make buds.
When the schedule is switched to 12 hours of light per day or less, the plant can still stretch a little, especially if it’s a Sativa, but from that moment on, it will direct all its accumulated power to making those sticky and smelly buds we grow cannabis for in the first place.
Apparently, however, you can skip the vegetative phase entirely and set your cannabis to 12/12 from seed. So, what are the consequences of skipping the veg?
Cannabis Light Schedule
What Happens When You Skip The Veg?
If you decide to skip the veg and carry out the 12/12 from seed grow at home, you need to understand that by switching cannabis plants to flowering straight after germination, you deprive them of the time and light energy they would normally use to grow, mature, and prepare themselves for developing buds. With the 12/12 light cycle from seed, your photoperiod cannabis plant will only reach the minimal mass and height that it can use to start procreating. As the result, plants grown on 12/12 from seed become extremely compact, and thus yield less than their counterparts that went through the standard vegetative period.
However, such a bold move proves that there’s still much to learn about cannabis growing. While we wouldn’t have dared to even think of skipping the veg before, we now know that cannabis won’t die, and indeed will still yield buds, if we use 12/12 from the day the seed pops. If you’re looking for proof, there’s lots of it in the special 12/12 from seed Growdiaries section, where growers share their experiences with skipping the vegetative period.
Now let’s move on to the pros and cons of this growing method. Give it a read-through and decide whether 12/12 from seed is worth it for you.
The 12/12 Method: The New Craze in The Canna-Cultivation World
Cannabis growers all over the world are constantly seeking new methods and ways of cultivation; this is especially true for indoor growers because of space restriction. They believe that having limited space should not hinder their plant growth and yield.
The introduction of a new method known as the 12-12 from seed method has gained wide acceptance among the indoor cannabis growers. The photoperiod cannabis strains usually flower based on their light cycle, this is usually recreated by the indoor cannabis growers to keep them in their vegetative phases and enable them flower. The 12-12 in the name refers to the 12 hours each of light and darkness the plant is exposed to immediately after germination.
The normal method which has been used for a long time is to use an 18/6 cycle in the vegetative phase which takes about 2-4 weeks before switching to a 12/12 light cycle for the flowering phase. However, the 12/12 technique skips the traditional vegetative phase entirely to force them into flowering immediately by making use of the 12/12 light cycle. Rather than the plant focusing on developing its size and leaves, it is tricked into flowering immediately in a bid to reproduce.
It is especially appealing for growers who have serious space problems as the plants grow much smaller and manageable than the regular plant which went through the vegetative phase. They are a lot less bushy and have fewer branches and can produce an average of 5 harvests per year in some cases thus making it more attractive for those growers who don’t have a lot of time. The 12/12 photoperiod growing method is an economical and space-saving way of growing your cannabis plant. It takes an average of only 7-9 weeks straight from seed to harvest which is quite faster when compared to the regular cannabis growth.
The 12/12 method of cultivation does not need any special care except changing the duration of its light cycles. The plants are still to be treated as always, receiving care and love from the grower as always in terms of growing medium conditions, nutrients, pest and disease control among others. This should be monitored most especially while the plants are young just like it would be during a normal bud cycle.
They are easier to maintain as there are far fewer leaves to handle while trimming thus freeing up your valuable time.
It allows for good light penetration to the plants and an easier maintenance routine as the plants are accessible and can be moved around.
They are capable of growing in a tiny area
it is money-saving as there is a reduction in demand for resources like water, nutrients, and electricity across the board and reduces wear and tear on the moving components.
It allows for efficient space-saving as the plants have fewer side branches and do not spread excessively like those grown using the regular method.
The 12/12 cannabis growing method has both its opponents and proponents as some believe that plants that are produced using this method give growers lower yields as a result of being unable to produce budding sites and have lower concentrations of THC. On the other hand, some growers say it is so effective that it produces very good and bountiful cannabis harvests with some of them claiming to get as much as one gram of weed per every watt of light used. Although this might not be the case, the 12/12 cannabis growing method has its merits and will continue to be adopted by many cannabis growers over time.
Resterilizing the grow area after every crop is important to keep it clean and sanitized.
Keep mold and mildew at bay by regularly checking your plants especially those in areas with less light.
The right cannabis plant variety is important for this cultivation method as some varieties like Indica are known to not work well with this method. Hybrids and the Sativa varieties are known to work well as their growth and root development make them ideal candidates for this method.
Powerful lighting and air circulation system ensures that your plants get strong lighting and enough air to develop well.
Your plants will notice any abrupt changes in lighting so use the right one such as the HPS lamps from the beginning and a poor lighting system will result in stunted growth.
It is important to keep in mind that a cannabis plant that has undergone the 12/12 method of cultivation will look different from your regular plants. This is because the photosensitive hormones on your plant make the largest cola its highest point and the plant will likely have a few short branches with only a major bud. However, this is where the difference ends as there is no means of identifying cannabis grown through this method through flavor and effect.
Growing marijuana under 12/12 light cycle from seed, Part 3
This article continues our series on growing under 12/12 lighting from seed.
For this experiment, we sprouted our seeds using the paper towel method, and then planted them in a red solo cup with coco coir.
In Part 1, our seedlings were only 5 days old, and just above the dirt. We fed these seedlings water with basic veg nutrients under 18/6 lighting.
In Part 2, our seedlings were 12 days old, but only about 4 inches above the dirt. Still a very tiny plant. We decided to give them one more week under 18/6 lighting before switching them to a 12/12 light cycle.
Now, our plants are 19 days old and we are going to put them under a flowering light cycle.
Why use the 12/12 light cycle from Seed?
The purpose of this experiment is to see if you can skip the vegetative light cycle and go straight to 12/12 from seed. Why would someone ever care to use only one period of growth for a photoperiod plant?
Time. That is why.
If you can skip an entire vegetative cycle, you get to flower your plants sooner, which means you get smokable herb sooner. And this is a legitimate objective for a grower.
How much time are you saving by skipping the 18/6 Veg cycle?
As we’ve discussed before, the vegetative stage can be 2 to 8 weeks or more, depending on the goals of the grower. At the end of the day, the indoor grower can control the veg period and make it really short or really long. But if you can skip it altogether, you no doubt will save time.
Typically, our plants spend 4 to 5 weeks in the Veg Room, under 18/6 lighting. However, that time is calculated from a potted clone. If you recall, our clones will spend about two weeks in the EZ-Cloner before we transplant them into a pot.
Once potted, we then start counting the weeks in veg, which usually amount to about four or five weeks total under 18/6 lighting.
If we are running with seeds (which we rarely do in our normal production schedules), we would add about two weeks to the amount of time spent in the Vegetative Stage. The reason for adding two weeks is that seedlings are tiny for the first ten days or so.
Why did we wait three weeks before using the 12/12 light cycle?
We initially decided to do an experiment of planting seeds in soil in red solo cups and then flowering them. However, it took close to a week for the seedling to even push above the dirt.
After a full two weeks, we still thought the plant was just too small to flower. These plants did not have anything you could call a “branch.” Instead, just small “leaf-lings” attached.
Yes, I know the purpose of the experiment is to see what happens when you use the 12/12 light cycle from seed. But we decided to wait another week.
Therefore, these plants spent a total of 19 days under 18/6 lighting. Does that ruin our experiment? You can be the judge of that.
At Day 19, we decided to flip the seedlings into a flower room under a 12-on, 12-off light schedule.
Using Red Solo Cups as the potting container for marijuana seedlings
Another variable in this experiment is our potting container. We are using a red solo cup, which is sufficient for the seedlings, but will not be for a flowering plant. That is our theory and we are going to test it.
What type of bulbs used for our 12/12 light cycle?
For this experiment, we chose to put the seedlings under our Agnetix LED lights. These lights are 1200 watts of full spectrum LED. The environment is a bit warmer, and a bit more humid. This creates the perfect “rain forest” like atmosphere.
So while the grow container might not be great, the atmosphere and lighting are as good as it gets for flowering cannabis.
Eight More Weeks of this Experiment
It’s been three weeks already, but our seedlings are now under 12/12 light schedule. It’s time to see what these red solo cups can do!
In Part 4, we will review our seedlings after their first week of the flowering period and see what changes can be observed.