The perpetual harvest style of growing is a godsend to hobby growers and commercial growers alike. We are constantly looking for ways to increase our yields: more powerful lights, different nutrients, supplementing with CO2, and even trying new training methods,
However, the most obvious way to yield more is to fit more harvests in a year. It goes without saying that more harvests per year will be more fruitful than trying to squeeze an extra couple ounces out of your plants each growing cycle.
We are going to teach you everything you need to know about perpetual grow rooms, and how to fit more growing cycles in each year. First, let’s share some general information.
What is a perpetual harvest?
A perpetual harvest style of growing means you are constantly harvesting plants. Instead of waiting 8-12 weeks for a plant to grow, you can get ahead of the curve.
While one batch of plants are flowering, you have another vegging, and another set of clones or seeds preparing. As one cycle ends, another is already taking place!
A perpetual grow requires multiple chambers in your indoor grow room for each phase of growth. At the very least, you will need vegetative and flowering chambers. If you want to get really serious, you can have even more chambers - one for seedlings or clones, one for mother plants, one for veg, and a couple for flowering.
What is needed for a perpetual harvest?
As you can probably tell by this point, a perpetual harvest requires more out of you than a standard, one-cycle-at-a-time grow. From financial investment to time, you will need to devote more to this style of growing.
Plenty of space
You don’t need to devote an entire bedroom to your perpetual harvest, but you will inevitably need more space than normal. You can still fit a perpetual grow in a closet, but the more space you have to work with the better. At the very least, you will need to dedicate two separate spaces to your grow - one for veg, and one for flower.
Multi chamber grow tent
If you want to make your grow as simple as possible, grab a multi chamber grow tent. These are a perpetual grower’s best friend, as they contain different chambers for veg and flower. Instead of trying to seal off two separate areas of a closet or garage, you can just use one of these tents. These will keep your photoperiods from interfering with each other, and prevent light leaks.
The alternative is to utilize two separate grow tents. In fact, if you want to dedicate a ton of space to your grow, you may be better off with veg and flower tents.
Plenty of time to dedicate to your grow
Since you are going to be constantly harvesting plants, there isn’t the same downtime between growing cycles that you would normally have. As soon as you harvest one round of plants, the next is already starting to flower.
You will constantly be working in the grow room or garden, whether it be popping new seeds, stripping clones from your mother plant, training your veg plants, or harvesting, drying, and curing your flower.
Extra growing equipment and supplies
With a typical grow, you can buy nutrients and other supplies in smaller quantities and less often. However, since you are always growing, you will need way more of this stuff. You will need multiple grow lights, more nutrients, and more storage supplies for your buds.
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How to set up your perpetual harvest
Setting up your first perpetual harvest is actually really simple. You'll start it just like you would any other grow, because at first, the process will be the same. However, things start to fall into place once your first plant is deep in veg, and your grow becomes actually perpetual.
Start with your seeds or clones
Your clones and seeds come first, and it is not a bad idea to have a separate chamber for these guys. Otherwise, you can keep them in the corner of your veg chamber, as the conditions for clones and veg plants are similar.
Clones and seeds love extra warmth and humidity, and should be kept on a lighting schedule of 18/6, just like your veg plants. Let them build their root system for around 2 weeks before beginning the veg cycle.
Move your plants into the veg chamber
When your baby plants have hardened off and are ready to start growing, go ahead and place them in the veg chamber. This chamber needs a photoperiod of 18/6, and the focus here should be on robust, leafy growth. For plants in this stage, you could benefit from supplements such as growth enhancers, silica, cal-mag, and micronutrients.
The schedule of your perpetual harvest is entirely up to you, and you can let plants veg for a few weeks or a few months. All that matters is your timing. Remember that you want to let your clones harden and root for two weeks before you bring them into this chamber. So, make sure they're ready to come into this chamber at the same time you move plants into the next chamber.
Move veg plants into the flower chamber
When you are satisfied with the size of your plants, the number of bud sites, and believe they are ready for flower, go ahead and move them.
The flower chamber should be a little bigger than the veg chamber, giving your plants plenty of room to bloom and ensuring that they aren’t blocking light from each other. Here, the photoperiod should be 12/12. To produce heavier yields, add supplements such as bloom boosters, sweeteners & sugars, and finish up with a flushing agent.
As soon as you bring plants in here, you should have clones ready to move into the veg chamber.
Harvest your first crop
Make sure you remember your timing, and have your next batch of clones on standby. The second batch of veg plants will move to the now empty flower chamber, and clones will replace those.
When your plants are ready for harvest, chop them down and get started! While this initial crop is drying and curing, your second set of veg plants moves into the flower chamber, and your next set of clones into the veg chamber. The cycle repeats, and you fit more harvests in the same 52 weeks we have every year! If you are a new grower looking for more info, check out our beginners guide to harvest, drying, and curing.
Sample perpetual harvest schedule
Because this process can get messy, let’s simplify it with an example of a perpetual harvest schedule you can follow.
Start with 10 clones, and allow them to root for two weeks. Select the best, and bring them into your veg chamber. Then, let them grow for two weeks undisturbed. After this, you will train and prune them to prepare them for the rest of their life.
Allow them to veg for four more weeks (six total weeks of veg), at which point you will move them into the flower chamber. At the fourth week of veg, prepare your next set of clones so they are more than ready to replace this first set.
Allow your first crop to flower for 4-6 weeks. This timeline is less set in stone, as different strains and even different plants of the same strain will be ready for harvest at different times. At the fourth week of flower, you should start preparing your next (third) batch of clones.
By the time you harvest these plants, your second batch of veg plants are ready to flower, and your third batch of clones is ready to veg.
Following this simple schedule, you can harvest 8 times a year! This is a very simple schedule, and there are many ways to improve upon it. For example, you can play with the timeline, add extra flowering chambers, etc. If you want to see more examples on how to setup your perpetual grow, check out our post on grow room design!
Pros and cons of a perpetual harvest
The perpetual harvest sounds like an awesome growing strategy, and it truly can be. However, there are also a few reasons it may not be for you. We are going to cover the benefits and drawbacks right now.
Benefits of a perpetual harvest
- Unlimited bud - The most obvious reason to consider a perpetual harvest style of growing is that you are constantly pulling bud off your plants. You often end up with more flower than you could ever use.
- Safety net - Any unexpected chaos in your grow room, such as pests or diseases, are no big deal. There are fresh plants ready to take their place should anything happen!
- More control as a grower - With a perpetual harvest, you can actually achieve more impressive growth and heavier yields because you can put more focus into each growing cycle.
- More fun - This style of growing will certainly keep you busy, and challenge you as a grower. This can be really fun, and allow you to try growing more strains per year than normal.
Drawbacks of a perpetual harvest
- More work - Way more attention and work is needed from you as a grower. There is always something to do, whether it be pruning, cloning, harvesting, or feeding.
- Differences between strains - Not all strains will work well in a perpetual grow. Some grow way faster or slower than others, and the time for flower or harvest may not line up perfect. Others grow way bigger than your perpetual grow room will allow, so more strain knowledge is required on your end.
- Cost - Perpetual grows require a higher initial investment than a typical one-cycle grow. You need more supplies, and more space, but with the yields you achieve, it may be unfair to consider this a drawback.
Start your perpetual harvest today!
If this style of growing sounds interesting to you, check out our multi chamber grow tents and get started! Our Covert multi chamber tents are perfect for someone looking to experiment with a perpetual harvest style of growing without breaking the bank.