Last weeks video was the September outdoor grow update, and you may have noticed the plants looking a little bushy. They were due to be thinned, and Lindsay went out and did it right after I had recorded the video. This what the plants looked like then, now lets watch her thin the Blue Fire.
There are the five main reasons that we keep our plants thinned, and they are all interrelated. First off is to allow better light penetration into the center of the plant. Weather you are growing indoors or outdoors, you want the light to be able to penetrate into every part of the plant. This forces the plant to put all of its energy into the flowers and the fan leaves that you leave behind. At this point getting the flowers to bulk up is the main concern, other than keeping the plant happy and healthy.
Secondly, this increases air movement thru the plant. Right now, humidity is your enemy. As the flowers bulk up, they become more susceptible to bud rot or botrytis. This fungus loves to take hold at the worst of times, and right now any growers on the west coast are probably getting hit with it. Here in Oregon, we spent several weeks with smoke and ash falling from the sky, and we ended up with super humid air the entire time. Cool, moist still air is what mold loves best, and it moved in with a vengeance. We have not gotten hit super hard, but after last weeks video we did a pretty thorough inspection and found a couple of rotten buds on The White. You may remember that I mentioned how leafy those buds were, and it created a perfect environment. We but back any of the offending area, and will keep a close eye on the rest of the plant. If necessary we will harvest that one early, but so far it looks like the mold was fairly isolated.
Third, this will help to keep pests down to a manageable level. Every pest, from spider mites, to budworms to russet mites to thrips and aphids love the still air and protected environment that a bushy plant provides. By opening up the entire plant, it makes it much harder for all of them to gain a foothold in your garden. It is important to be proactive and prevent that foothold, and thinning is one of the many parts of our IPM strategy. You can see one of the other ones inside the plant there, our sachets of predator mites that get added to thru the season.
Fourth, keeping the plant thinned is going to make harvest and trim easier. Every leaf that is removed now is one that you do not have to deal with at the end. This lets you spread that work out over more of the growing season, which is a good thing. We are going to get lucky this time and it looks like the plants are going to be able to be harvested sequentially, but when you have to take all four plants right in a row any time reduction you can get is a welcome one. Fifth, the plants just look better when they have been thinned. The next day the branches are all stretching and reaching towards the sun, and you can see everything adjusting the new amount of light and space that they have been given. How often do you folks thin your plants? Let us know in the comments down below.