STRATEGIES FOR IMITATING THE SUN CROSSING THE HORIZON
By Chris Gifford
To imitate nature is something man has always tried to achieve. Growing indoor is an example of the never-ending battle to achieve this task. There are many things in nature that people have tried to mimic growing indoor. We will be focusing on the benefits of imitating the sun crossing the horizon.
Growing indoor, when you change from eighteen hours of light a day to twelve hours of light a day induces flowering, taking your plants out of the “veg” stage. In nature the days become shorter after the summer solstice passes and you get closer to fall, this is when the female plant will begin flowering.
Every morning the sun rises in the east and the sun sets in the west, crossing the horizon and evenly lighting the landscape. Light tracks are one efficient and cost-effective technique that some people take advantage of as a way to spread the light throughout their room evenly. People have found that it makes their plants more symmetrical and even in growth and that they can cover up to 20% more canopy.
All strains will vary in results but doing a mono crop will make it easier for you to see the results in a shorter amount of time. Similar length, width, and height will be achieved. One of the other methods used for imitating the sun crossing the horizon is “the checker board method” witch would be to set the timers to half of your lights on for the first 1/3 of the day, all lights on for the middle 1/3 and the other half of the lights on for the remaining 1/3 of the daylight in a checker board pattern.
Most people “veg” their plants under t5’s or metal halide’s and flower under high pressure sodium. The checker board method is a good way of weaning your plants into a different spectrum of light without stressing them out.
After about 2-3 weeks it’s recommended to have all of your lights on in the room and to have the proper amount of lumens per square foot to ensure full, healthy, dense flowers. Essentially achieving the same thing a light track is doing by spreading light in concentrated areas throughout the room without using a motor, using less lumens and therefore saving money.
Something that is also recommended if you want to grow even, symmetrical plants is to turn your plants 180 degrees every time you water on both track and checker board methods. This will ensure even light penetration throughout the plant and give light to bud sites that would otherwise not have seen the light of “day.”
Over all, there are many opinions, many different strategies, but I have always believed that if you find something that works for you, something that you see results with, go for it. Don’t let hearsay keep you from trying new things. Every day people are developing new, more cost-effective, more efficient techniques and technology to grow cannabis that we should all be excited to see in the future.