The moment the seedlings emerge, this may seem like a trivial stage, but it actually marks the start of the vegetative phase. This stage is characterized by immense growth where the sole focus of the cannabis plant is to grow and increase in size. There are several techniques which you can use to ensure that the vegetation phase goes through seamlessly. The first technique up your sleeve, and one that has been shown to be very effective is the provision of a minimum of 18 light hours.
The principle of using 18 light hours is so that the plants are subjected into thinking that it is summer time so that the rate of growth is heightened. Some Cannabis farmers will give the plants 24 hour daylight, while others will settle for a light schedule that works with 18 hours daylight and 6 dark hours. This is really a matter of choice, but it is also important to take note of the fact that some strains are strained with extreme light schedules as is the case in 24 hour light schedules. There are two schools of thought- those that believe a few dark hours will go a long way in improving yields, while some think that additional light should serve the same purpose.
A rule of thumb that you could make use of is that the amount of light is really dependent on the particular strain that you go for. Many strains of Cannabis will thrive when given adequate light. For the Cannabis farmer who is concerned about cutting costs on electricity, an 18 hour light and 6 hour dark schedule is the most appropriate option. Research has shown, however, that optimal results are obtained with a near-24 hour light schedule during the vegetative phase. Noteworthy is the fact that the Cannabis ruderalis strain seems to excel with just 18 light hours in a day.
If you decide to grow the Cannabis indoors, the light schedule that you use is determined by how large you want your Cannabis plant to grow. Many farmers are of the opinion that it is way better to have a small plant that you could harvest regularly as opposed to having large Cannabis plants which produce irregular yields at the time of harvest. If you would like to have small plants, the idea lies in keeping the plants in the vegetative phase for a shorter period of time. This is simply attributed to the fact that the amount of time that the plant spends during the vegetative phase determines the height that the plant acquires in the end.
Another technique that you could make use of is to alter the Cannabis plant so that it enters the flowering phase when it attains a height of between 10 and 18 inches. A good estimate is to take the plant into the said phase when it is half the intended height, keeping in mind that some strains will double in height during this period. Whichever way, be sure to keep an eye on the garden.