September 18, 2018
Flower-in-Place: Why Eliminating the Veg Room Might Work For Your Grow
A plant’s natural life cycle responds to the transition between the seasons. Ideally, a grow facility should closely replicate the cooler light for an artificial spring, warmer, more intense light for summer, and then a transition back into lower levels of light for autumn and winter. Adjustable LED lights with advanced spectral tuning capabilities allow the cultivator to mimic the transition of seasons. When these lights are successfully implemented, cultivators can streamline their operations, starting with the “veg room.”
In the “veg room,” lights replicate a springtime environment to allow plants to transition from an immature stage to adolescence. The correct lighting technology – specifically LED lights with spectral tuning capabilities – can render a “veg room” unnecessary.
Eliminating the “veg room” has several benefits:
- Reduces labor and time; no need for replanting.
- Most accurate indoor representation of natural cycle of seasons.
- Encourages resilience in the crop against pests and disease.
- More power over the final results, such as height, plant mass and appearance.
What makes seasons special?
With seasons comes the lengthening and shortening of days, complemented by varying light spectrums and intensities. New seedlings for many plant species sprout in the spring, as the days are lengthening. As summer approaches, the light becomes more intense and plants gain more mass by growing taller and producing more leaves. The summer solstice, June 21st, represents equal hours of daylight and night — following this date, the days shorten as autumn approaches. At this point, many plants begin to flower, releasing seeds before the colder months set in.
Plants have evolved specifically to respond to this natural rhythm. It makes the most sense for our grow facilities to recreate this environment. However, growing techniques relying on outdated technology result in plants thrust from an artificial spring — with low intensity, cooler light — to the middle of summer, when the light is at its most intense. This is done so plants will flower — but it does not support a plant’s most basic biology.
As a result, many plants go into shock, become more susceptible to disease or even fail to reach the flowering stage at all. They react to the sudden change in temperature, light intensity and location. This sudden change from spring to the height of summer is often unnatural and detrimental to crops — in the natural world, plants simply are not accustomed to these dramatic shifts.
Every day is not June 21st — and we should remember that with indoor cultivation
Dave Spillman, head of research and development for ProGrowTech, explains: “It’s not June 21st every day, but that’s how we’ve been treating growing. [Plants can] go into shock for three days and we lose production. It’s like waking you up with headlights. No one likes that.”
LED lights offer the most accurate replica of natural sunlight — and why not accept that Mother Nature is our greatest teacher? With spectral tuning, the cultivator can easily adjust the intensity and temperature of the light the crop receives. With these advancements in lighting technology, growers are given the power to almost perfectly recreate the seasons in their grow room. Even better: with indoor grow facilities, the impact of bugs, storms and other potential obstacles that easily arise in outdoor agriculture is drastically reduced.
“What’s great about the PGT lights is everything is programmed,” says Spillman. “All the important light sources are on board. We can coddle the most delicate of flowers under cooler spectrums and lower intensities to our most robust, by just changing it. We can emulate the seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter.”
This adjustability is a powerful asset to any facility, whether cultivating cannabis, greenery or edible foods. The end result is a resilient, healthy crop.