Cannabis 12/12 From Seed

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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. 12/12 from seed has a big problem. Learn about a better alternative called "Sea of Green" that gives you bigger yields in the same amount of time! If you're looking to maximize your yields but you are limited on space, maybe it's time to switch from your… by twistedpurple

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.

Is 12-12 From Seed Worth It?

Will the “12/12 from seed” cannabis growing technique give you huge yields? In a word, no… but there are benefits to initiating the flowering stage as soon as possible. Giving a 12/12 light schedule from seed germination is a great way to create tiny “bud stick” cannabis plants, which may be perfect for a small stealthy marijuana garden. When modified slightly, the same basic technique can create bigger plants and bigger yields while adding little to no extra time before harvest. And then there is the matter of genetics. Certain strains give better results than others.

See also  Growing Marijuana From Seed Outdoors

The “12 /12 from seed” technique aims to initiate the flowering stage immediately after germination. Learn about cannabis light schedules.

This creates small “bud stick” plants that are typically ready to harvest in 3-4 months. Check out this beautiful example of “12/12 from seed” by Fuel.

If you haven’t heard this term before, “12/12 from seed” means giving your cannabis seedling 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark each day from the moment of germination. Providing a 12/12 light schedule initiates the flowering stage and causes cannabis plants to start making buds. The idea of this technique is to get seedlings to start flowering as quickly as possible to reduce the time to harvest. Once a plant has started flowering, most strains are ready to harvest within 12 weeks. The sooner you get a plant to start flowering, the sooner you get to harvest.

There’s just one major problem… 12/12 from seed often causes stunted growth and small yields. This results in yields that are often less than 1 ounce per plant, even under strong grow lights.

This seedling took nearly 4 months from seed to harvest under about 150W of fluorescent lights and yielded only 1/2 of an ounce.

I think it looks kind of cool, but 1/2 ounces is not a great harvest after waiting so long. I’ve found you can tweak the light schedule to double or triple your total yield per plant without necessarily increasing time-to-harvest or plant height. More on that below!

12/12 from Seed – What You Need to Know

Something that’s a bit confusing about 12/12 from seed is it seems like seedlings should start flowering immediately. They don’t. I’ve found that photoperiod seedlings won’t start flowering until they’re 3-4 weeks old no matter the light schedule. That means your harvest won’t come any sooner if you initiate 12/12 before seedlings are 3 weeks old. When you give the plant 3-4 weeks of 18+ hours a day, THEN switch to 12/12, you often get better results because plants are quite bigger when buds start forming, without adding much (if any) time to harvest.

Most seedlings won’t make buds until they’re at least 3 weeks old from germination. There’s nothing you could do to get this little seedling to start flowering.

You often get better yields by giving plants 18+ hours of light a day for the first 3-4 weeks. These plants got 18/6 until they reached this size.

I started the 12/12 light schedule right after the above picture. They ended up yielding a lot more than my plants that were given 12/12 from seed in the same setup. Yet they didn’t get much taller or take longer to harvest.

Here are those same plants a month later after they started making buds (plants double or triple in height after the switch to 12/12, especially young plants)

A few weeks of extra light, in the beginning, seems to achieve plants with longer and fatter buds (why was this plant defoliated?)

Plants reward you for giving them a little more time to grow. For example, a solid 4 weeks of 18/6 before 12/12 creates plants that are ready to harvest around the same time as a plant given 12/12 from seed (3-4 months, depending on the strain), but significantly bigger yields.

If you’re worried about plants getting too big, you can gain complete control of plant shape by topping and bending plants to stay flat when they’re young. This increases the amount of bud produced without raising the overall height.

Many people who give 12/12 from seed have chosen this technique to ensure plants stay as small as possible. That’s why it’s common to see these plants in very small pots (like solo cups). Just like with bonsai trees, restricting root space is an effective way to reduce overall plant size. Plants kept in solo cups rarely get bigger than one long bud stick, especially when given 12/12 from seed.

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Restricting root size reduces plant size dramatically, especially when combined with 12/12 from seed. Look how big this plant is in relation to the lighter!

12/12 From Clone – When You Want TINY Plants

If you want to grow the absolute smallest plant possible, “12/12 from clone” may be a better choice than 12/12 from seed. A clone is a piece of a bigger plant that was removed and forced to grow roots. Since a clone is technically the same “age” as its mother plant, it’s pretty much a mini mature plant as opposed to a seedling. Because they’re already mature, clones start flowering almost immediately after getting 12/12. That can result in some REALLY small plants at harvest.

Unlike seedlings, clones will start flowering almost immediately after getting 12/12. If you start with small clones in miniature pots, you end up with short buds on sticks at harvest.

These “12/12 from clone” plants are cute and fun! Though not necessarily the most productive when it comes to actual yields.

Auto-Flowering Strains – When Time is of the Essence

Some growers want to use 12/12 from seed to get to harvest as soon as possible, but it’s not actually the best option for a quick harvest. If you’d like to be able to harvest plants even sooner than 3 months, consider giving autoflowering plants a try. Most autoflowering strains are ready to harvest just 2-3 months from germination. That’s less time than almost any photoperiod plant will take, no matter what light schedule you provide. Even better, autoflowering plants on average yield 1-2 ounces each (more if you care for them well), which is better yields than most “12/12 from seed” plants.

The “modern” version of 12/12 from seed is simply using an autoflowering strain. They don’t need special light schedules and are ready to harvest in just 2-3 months from germination.

Autoflowering plants are typically given 18-24 hours of light a day their whole life, which allows them to get bigger in less time than plants under a 12/12 schedule.

Auto-flowering strains are ready in 2-3 months from seed, and yield an average of 1-2 ounces/plant. You can yield even more with low stress training (LST) and great care.

Use “Sea of Green” (SoG) to Maximize Photoperiod Yields

If you want to grow photoperiod strains (or can’t get your hands on autoflowering seeds) but still want to produce big yields as fast as possible, the “Sea of Green” grow style may be a good option. Sea of Green is simply the idea of growing many small plants instead of just a few bigger plants. It works great for photoperiod strains to produce a quick harvest and great yields. It’s kind of halfway between “12/12 from seed” and a typical grow.

For this grow style, growers usually switch to 12/12 when plants are 4-6 weeks old. Since adding a little extra time to the vegetative stage often increases yields, you need to find a balance between getting to harvest as quickly as possible versus harvesting the biggest yields.

For SoG, wait to switch to 12/12 until plants are about this size or a little bigger (note: young plants like this can and will double or triple in height after the switch to 12/12)

SoG in Action – Make sure to fill the entire space under the grow light with plants and you will get a sea of buds!

Maximize Cannabis Yields With The 12/12 From Seed Method

If you’re looking to maximize your yields but you are limited on space, maybe it’s time to switch from your traditional cultivation techniques to the 12/12 From Seed method. Instead of cultivating from a clone, waiting through weeks of the vegetative stage, and growing plants that take up way too much room, the 12/12 from seed method produces high yields and maximizes your time, space and money.

Traditional indoor cultivation systems that run from clones maintain vegetative stage that lasts anywhere from 2-4 weeks, sometimes longer. The vegetative stage is maintained using an 18-24 hour light cycle, which prevents the cannabis plants from flowering. The 12/12 from seed method takes a different approach. By starting your garden from seed in stead of clone, you avoid potential problems like pests. By implementing a 12/12 light cycle from germination, you end up with a lean, dense plant, and by elimination of the veg stage, you will be able to harvest up to seven times a year. This makes it an ideal method of cultivation for anyone pressed for time and space.

See also  Hermaphrodite Weed Seeds

STARTING WITH SEEDS

While growing cannabis from clones may seem like a quick and easy way to get started, they have their fair share of drawbacks. First off when you grow from a clone, you are limited whatever selection the local clone shop has, as you can’t ship clones through the post. Buying from a respected seed bank gives you selection and confidence that what you are buying is actually what you are getting. Next there is the risk of contamination. Grows are affected by pests and mildew not because they are inherit in the plant. They are brought in from the outside, often on clones purchased from contaminated sources. It’s just not worth taking the chance. Starting with quality seeds is a fundamental part of the 12/12 from seed method.

SKIP THE VEGETATIVE STAGE

The vegetative stage is the early stage of a cannabis plant’s life. It is during this time that the fledgling plants are fed a high nutrient regimen and are kept under either 18 or 24 hour light cycles to prevent flowering. This vegetative stage is a time when young plants grow into a rigid framework on which the heavy cannabis buds can sit. High levels of nitrogen are needed to reinforce cell walls, strengthening branches, and creating a lattice of limbs strong enough to support the weight of the incoming fruit. The 12/12 from seed system of cultivation does away with this entirely focusing the light’s energy into a single robust cola surrounding the center stalk.

Once your seeds start to germinate, going right to a 12/12 light cycle will forever change how your plants will grow. By removing the four week veg stage, you force the plant to grow a single dense cola around the central stalk, as the many branches of the plant have not had time to form. This causes flowering to being almost immediately. The central shaft will be surrounded by only a few smaller branches close to the base. The end result is 85-90 percent of the budding occurs in the single central cola.

ADVANTAGES OF 12/12 FROM SEED

High yields in small spaces is one of the primary benefits of the 12/12 from seed method of cultivation. By design, plants grown in the 12/12 method start flowering from day one. This causes flower growth to follow a very consistent pattern of short, tight, single cola plants, with few smaller branches. This allows the maximum amount of energy from your lighting system to be focused into the single central cola. This eliminates most lower branches and the space they take up along with them. This is ideal for those who don’t have much space to play with.

In eliminating the four weeks or more of vegetative time, you are able squeeze in more harvests per year. Using the 12/12 from seed method growers have been able to harvest as many as six or seven times each year. More plants per square foot plus more harvests per year equals an opportunity to truly maximize the amount of cannabis you can produce in even the smallest of spaces.

Switching to the 12/12 from seed method of cultivation produces the same dense, high THC rich nuggets of its traditional counterpart, however, is designed for those looking to maximize yields in tight spaces. By eliminating the vegetative stage, you are able to squeeze in a few extra harvests every year which will save you time and money in the long run.

Author – Cory Hughes / Twisted Purple Media.
Twisted Purple Media is a cannabis content provider and original author of this article.
Twisted Purple Media holds the legal right to display or reproduce this content.
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@twistedpurple

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