Using molasses into the last 2 weeks of flowering
Molasses are a powerful addition to any nutrient regime, we’re big fans of using molasses because they’re cheap, easily available and my plants have always loved it! We’ve written extensively about them in the past but one thing that we get asked quite often is:
Should I use molasses during the last 2 weeks of flowering?
The short answer is yes, you should continue to feed your plants unsulphured molasses right up until the end of flowering, this will ensure that your plants, whether photoperiod or autoflowers will have sufficient sugar and starch reserves for when the flushing process begins.
You should gradually reduce the levels of molasses within your nutrient solution. During the last 2 weeks of the flowering phase, reduce the dosage to 50% of the normal flowering feed and reduce the concentration to 25% for the final week.
Why are sugar/starch reserves in cannabis plants important?
Sugars and starches play a massive role in the development of not only cannabis plants, but all plants! however, perfecting the sugar levels for your phenotypes can be tricky but if done correctly the rewards are amazing.
Sugar production is one of the most important factors when aiming to increase yields, It may seem odd as sugar isn’t touched on much when talking about increasing yields, the bulk of the discussion is usually centred around nutrient schedules and fancy lighting but experienced cannabis growers will agree that sugars do drastically increase and improve yields and are not something to be sniffed at!
Adding un-sulphured molasses can amplify the photosynthesis process resulting in overall larger harvests. It’s recommended that a stronger dose of molasses is applied during the vegetative stage to address the new foliage that you don’t want to remove.
As a result of the additional photosynthesis, your buds will begin to swell and harden fatter and denser than ever before due to the increase in sugar production, you will also notice that not only the weight of your buds has improved but also the quantity as molasses can promote new bud site growth.
Adding molasses as a sugar source directly into the nutrient feed is a great option, however, for optimum results, we recommend implementing some other known methods which are proven to help increase and redirect sugar production:
Trimming encourages sugar production:
By far one of the most popular methods of naturally boosting sugar production is defoliation (also known as trimming), this process speeds up natural sugar production by redirecting sugars to the buds rather than the newly removed leaves.
Be careful not to remove too many fan leaves as this could render the whole defoliation counter-productive by stalling photosynthesis, I personally like to trim/remove new foliage as it begins to develop to prevent wasted energy which could have gone into bud production.