The ultimate question for any new indoor grower is “how long should I veg before flipping to flower?”
Why is this such an important question?
Because the flowering stage has a fixed length of time. It is more or less around 60 days.
But the duration of the vegetative stage is not fixed; at least not when you are growing indoors. The Veg Stage indoors can be as long or as short as you want it to be.
So if it’s up to me how long I veg this plant before flipping, what is the optimal amount of time? How long should I veg for?
The answer is, “it depends.”
How to decide “when to flip” your plants into flowering stage
There are several things you should consider.
- How often do you want to harvest?
- Do you have yield targets?
- Do you prefer growing fewer, but larger plants?
- Do you prefer growing smaller plants, but more of them?
- Do you have the space for a large plant? Or is your space better suited for small plants?
The reason you must ask these questions is that how long you veg your plant will impact the outcomes of these scenarios.
A longer veg, such as 12 weeks, will give you a larger plant when it comes time to flip. That plant will get even larger during the flowering stage, which will ultimately yield much more bud. But it will also consume more time of the year, which means you will get less harvests per year.
If you veg for a shorter amount of time, you will end up with a smaller plant being flipped into flower, which will ultimately yield less at harvest time. But you will get to do it more times per year.
Most of us in the indoor game prefer the latter to the former, because we would rather go through more harvest cycles each year. That is actually how you end up yielding the most. It’s frequency of harvesting.
How Long to Veg when your goal is large yields per plant
For large yields, measured on a per plant basis, and not on an annual basis, then go for a longer veg period, in excess of 8 weeks.
Ten to twelve weeks will give you a very large plant going into the flowering period. Just make sure you have enough space for this monster.
How Long to Veg for maximum annual yields
If your goal is measure yield on an annual basis, then you want to maximize the number of times you flip during the year. This is true for the home grower or the commercial grower.
If maximum number of flips is your goal, then you must have a separate veg space and a separate flower space. These can be two separate rooms or two separate tents. Either will work. The point is that you must be able to have plants simultaneously in each stage.
If you do this correctly, you can get five flips in a year. It’s actually possible to get six flips in a year if you run an incredibly tight ship, that is wholly focused on deadlines and nothing else. This also requires running the correct strains that will allow this schedule.
So what ends up being the correct amount of veg time for maximal flips?
About 8 weeks. Most indoor growers veg plants for around 4 to 8 weeks. This can include the approximately ten day to two-week period after planting a seed or cutting a clone. Or it can not include it. As you can see, it’s a range.
But this is about how long most in the game do it.
For us, our veg time is about eight weeks, and that includes cutting a clone, putting it in the easy cloner for a root, transplanting it, vegging and transplanting again, and then flipping it at around the eighth week. Give or take.
Other growers will veg for as little as 3 to 4 weeks, then flip the plant into flowering. This shorter veg practice allows for a larger plant count, as you can fit way more of these plants into your flowering space.