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How to Measure Grow Tent Yield

Are you wondering about your grow tent yield? Do you know how grow tent yield is measured? Initially, yield numbers referenced by breeders were measured in grams per meter squared. A 600g cultivar was outstanding and folks would keep something that harvested 300g per meter squared. This was largely due to the fact that breeders were predominantly working out of Amsterdam in the 80s and 90s. When indoor growing started the goal was a gram a watt. If you had a cultivar that produced 600g under a 600w HPS, you had a really good plant and coincidentally were producing about 600g a square meter. This held true from 1997 until around 2012 even as 1000w HPS lamps were introduced that illuminated approximately sixteen square feet vs a square meter at 10.76 feet squared.

Grow Tent Yield - How to Measure It and What to Expect
Grow Tent Yield – A Meter Squared – This harvest was 375 grams under a Philips 315w Ceramic Discharge Lamp

Today the metrics have changed again with the introduction of LED, CDL, and DE HPS bulbs. Talking about yield per watt doesn’t tell you anything about the plant. It tells you about your lighting efficiency coupled with a plants yield. Measuring per light is also meaningless. Three pounds a light under DE HPS? 1000W LED? A hybrid system? Mixed Light Greenhouse? 

Therefore, we are back to grams per square meter or grams per square foot if we are going to compare lighting and growing methods.  300g a square meter is okay for indoor grow tent yield. Likewise, 28g a square foot is okay indoors. However, 60g a square foot is incredible….regardless of your light source. Outdoors in the United States we will eventually be talking pounds per acre.

If someone tells you they harvest three pounds a light, ask them how many square feet each light is growing? If they’re honest, it’ll be about 25 square feet.

As always – check us out on Instagram and what see what GoVan Seeds has to offer!

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Multi State Operators (MSOs) love Big Government

There is a reason the MSOs avoid Colorado and Oregon and gravitate towards markets they can control in Nevada and Illinois. MSOs need limited licensing and complex regulations that gives them generous margins. In Colorado or Oregon anybody with a legal location and around ten grand can get a license. Getting a license in Nevada will cost a million on the low side. In Colorado and Oregon, MSO quality weed sells for $100 an ounce or less. Phenomenal weed will sell for about $250 an ounce in Colorado and Oregon. MSOs regularly get $400 an ounce in Illinois and Nevada for mids. MSOs use regulation and limited licenses to pad margins at the expense of consumers. GTI, Cresco, and the rest will never be able to compete in a free market. They are top heavy and produce mid-tier product. If they had to make a living on $100 ounces, they would get out of the cannabis business and the fact is that is the most their weed is worth in a competitive marketplace.

Cresco Labs in Illinois grows Mids and charges premium prices. $400 a zip for the weed in the picture?

The cannabis business is agriculture, processing and retail. MSOs need sexier numbers than those industries typically provide and they are using regulation to pad margins and screw the consumer. Free the market and the weed will improve and the prices will drop.

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Because It Was Illegal #3 – Growing in Humboldt, Trinity and Mendocino Counties

A lot of great weed has been grown in Humboldt, Trinity, and Mendocino County since the 60s. This cannabis tradition is going to shrink dramatically and may even end in the next ten years.

The terrain in these three counties lends itself to establishing guerrilla grows. The counties are sparsely populated, have a Mediterranean climate, and are mountainous. This combination made the Triangle a prime place to grow cannabis illegally. The climate allows harvests to extend into October, low population meant few police, and the mountains made access and therefore enforcement extremely difficult and dangerous for authorities. Securing a scene in the mountains of Humboldt is impossible. 

With legalization, satellite surveillance, and cease and desist notices, government has made growing black market indica extremely problematic.

Watching the Grass Grow an hour away from an unincorporated town of 1,200 in the Triangle

Growing legally in the Triangle for the legal market has a limited future. The terrain that made growing in the Triangle make sense For the black market adds cultivation expenses other parts of California don’t face. Most of the area has limited power and getting new electrical service is difficult and expensive if not impossible. This means freezers for concentrate raw materials, power for support buildings and living areas, and power for drying and curing weed all have to be supported by expensive generators or located in Eureka. Hauling gasoline and diesel becomes a full time job on some farms. Imagine having to drive an hour on unmarked double track with multiple unmarked turns just to get gas to your generator. Worth the effort at $3000 a pound and a waste of time if you are going to get a $1000 a pound. Water also presents a serious problem. If you can find legal water on your property, good luck getting it to the plants. Bears chewing through lines, dead generators, guerrilla growers messing with your gear, and the three mile round trip all add to how much it costs to grow a legal pound in the Triangle.

The labor situation is sketchy at best and the lack of black market money has thrown the region into a severe recession with businesses closing and people moving away.

The Triangle is beautiful country, but you can grow a pound in the Central Valley for half the cost and when Kentucky legalizes you won’t even have to buy dirt.

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Growing Marijuana Without Pesticides

I’ve been growing marijuana without pesticides in my personal grow for four years. It’s like the COVID-19 lockdown, limit the movement of the potential hosts and once you’re clean, you should stay clean. This only works with indoor growing when you have excellent control of the air you bring into your grow and the grow’s environment and you don’t bring in plants that have not been through tissue culture (six month process).

To grow marijuana without pesticides, my best advice is to trust no one when you bring plants into your grow. The High Times Cannabis Cup winner could be a scurvy bastard with fusarium root rot and russet mites in the larval stage. You won’t even know he wrecked your shit for sixty days because you have to have 60X scope to see the little buggers. If the plants aren’t perfect don’t accept them . When you do get new clones, spend a month applying systemic pesticides and inspect them daily. Continue inspecting the plants for signs of disease for an additional month. At this point, the only plants I bring into my grows go through tissue culture.

When you grow your own weed, you know what’s in it, and how it’s been treated

What if you can’t grow marijuana without pesticides for some reason?

If you are growing in a environment where you are worried about contamination, I recommend a two pesticide regimen. First use a foliar application of BioSafe Systems ZeroTol plus Azamax in a tank mix once every two weeks. Apply just before the lights come on or in the early morning (6am) to avoid phototoxicity. Also use Zerotol in the root zone at the rate of 2ml per gallon. This will oxygenate the root zone and retards the growth of algae and molds.

If you are having an outbreak, the pest or disease will dictate what you do. Bhang aphids outdoors in soil will demand one response. Powdery mildew indoors will demand another. If you are having problems, contact us and we’ll see if we can help you out.

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Because it Was Illegal #2 – Growing Inside

Growing cannabis indica inside is stupid. During the last ten years we have moved an incredible amount of production to outdoor farms and controlled environment greenhouses, but we have a long way to go.

A lot of growers don’t believe that premium grade cannabis can be grow outdoors or in a greenhouse. They are limited by their experience. Growing indoors was the norm because growing weed was illegal and we had to hide it. During the 90s and 00s, outlaw growers got really good at producing world class weed under artificial light. This is truly amazing considering the life giving power of the sun. This black market success confused folks about how to grow great indica and it has taken ten years for folks to realize that great weed can be grown in a controlled environment greenhouse and outdoors in the right location and with the right weather.

A little tent growing 5 pounds a year under a 600w HPS in the 00s

The only reason we ever started growing indoors under artificial light was because it was illegal. We need to focus on reducing the cannabis industries energy footprint and use the free light that we have.

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End of Cycle Spikes in Humidity

The most difficult fifteen minutes everyday in a controlled environment grow is when the lights go out in a flower room after week four in flower. Even if you have sized everything perfectly, you’re humidity will spike. It’s like a distance runner stopping cold after a run and standing still. The runner will drip sweat. The same type of thing is happening in your grow.

Once you clear 60% rH at 70 degrees your in trouble – there is fungus among us

How do you prevent a humidity spike?

The best way to handle this problem is not to add more gear. Instead, manipulate the lighting to slow down the photosynthetic process the last half hour of each grow day. You can accomplish this by putting each rooms lights on two timers and have your lights wired in a grid pattern. I have also used dimmable lights, but dimmable units seem to be less reliable. If you are in a controlled environment greenhouse, you can close your blackout half way. Half the lights will be on an 11.5 hour cycle and half will be on a twelve hour cycle. 

Long, short – thirty minutes before “dark” reduce the amount of light by half and watch the spike in humidity in your grow go away.

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Because It Was Illegal #1

Prices held at $5600 a pound for high grade indica for fifteen years from about 1988 until 2002 in the United States. After legalization in California, Oregon and Colorado, wholesale prices dropped to about $4800 a pound in 2009. By the fall of 2011, prices began to plummet and hit $1800 a pound. Now, depending on the time of the year and the state, pound prices can drop to as low as $600 a pound.

Is the weed worse? No, it’s probably better on average.

Why have prices dropped so much? The risk premium has dropped to virtually nil with regards to incarceration. The more government treats cannabis indica like any other plant, the more the price will drop. If the government limits access to licenses regulation will artificially inflate retail prices. In a free market (think like avocados), wholesale pound prices will drop to about $600 across the United States for most of the year.

Government regulation should only relate to public health and safety. Everything government does either drives up prices and props up the black market or creates market opportunities for incompetent companies (Franwell’s Metrc anyone?)

Marijuana’s Value has always has more to do with the law than the value of the crop
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Stupid Regulation – Counting Roots

The legal cannabis industry is dramatically over regulated. One example of crappy regulation is that millions are spent tracking root counts as if it will limit diversion. Root counts create a market for plant tags and software and it changes what growers grow. Counting roots does not limit diversion, it just adds cost with no benefit to consumers or the industry.

Counting roots and tying licenses to root counts causes growers in those states (think Colorado) to focus on growing big plants versus focusing on how much they can produce per square foot. The result is that cultivars that are short with a single large cola flower don’t get grown – Good bye Grape Ape, hello Gorilla Glue.

Metric Tags produced by Franwell are worthless . No meaningful enforcement action has ever resulted from counting roots.

The regulated market should focus on consumer health and safety and nothing else. Let the market decide who stays in business, and let law enforcement chase the black market. In a free legal market, the black market will truly disappear and everyone will have the same shot of making it.

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The End of High Times Magazine

I say good riddance. The magazine started as a response to the controlled substances act in 1970 and they have provided crappy information, helped entrench the druggy profile of marijuana users, supported the misidentification of cannabis indica and cannabis sativa, run crooked Cannabis Cup competitions, stiffed performers, and generally been a net negative force for fifty years.

Nug Porn was the only thing good about High Times Magazine
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What is Sativa and Indica?

Cannabis nomenclature became completely confused in the 1970s with regards to sativa and indica. I don’t know if it was High Times Magazine, crafty lawyers in Northern California, or a cultural misunderstanding, but the common designations of sativa, indica, afghanica and ruderialis became muddled and confused in the seventies.

Everything that we refer to as classic drug producing cannabis is indica. However, multiple indica strains exist with distinctly different characteristics. There are broad leafed indica and narrow leafed indica. There are indicas with tight internodes and a maximum height of six feet. While other indica’s morphology is marked by long internodes, heights over twelve feet and buds that are bigger than your forearm. Still other indicas have long internodes, broad leaves, and dense buds. However, all of this cannabis is indica. If a cannabis plant is cannabinoid and terpene rich, it is an indica.

This example of cannabis indica is terpene rich with high THCA levels.

Sativas are hemp. These plants are grown for fiber, oil and seed and have minimal drug characteristics. Sativas, therefore, do not produce drugs. That’s why all of the seeds I produce are cannabis indica, I’m not sure who would want to smoke cannabis sativa.

We need to stop confusing morphology and what a cannabis plant produces, we all are smoking cannabis indica.