Light Dep with Americover’s BOLD Products
Light deprivation cultivation is on the rise, creating a demand for quality ‘light dep’ products. If you’re a professional cannabis grower, it’s good to have an understanding of light deprivation and products that best support the process. Americover’s BOLD® (Black Out Light Deprivation) tarps and BOLD® EZarm™ are specifically designed for light deprivation growing.
The Light Dep Process
Why light deprivation?
Because cannabis is a photoperiodic plant, it flowers or makes buds when reduced light hours trigger the change. Controlling that process, known as light deprivation (or light dep) produces higher cannabis yields and makes off-season sun-grown harvests possible, so growers can supply the market year-round.
The advantage of having the ability to produce cannabis year-round regardless of the weather or natural sunlight is a key advantage. Increasing the number of harvests per year will inevitably lead to profit increases. Additionally, having control over when your plants switch from their vegetative to flowering stage, letting you decide exactly when to switch to flowering offers you market flexibility.
What are cannabis light requirements in the vegetative stage v. the flowering stage?
In the vegetative stage, cannabis plants need lots of light, anywhere above 13 hours daily. However, once you get your plants to the flowering stage, switch to a classic schedule of 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness per day.
How do growers simulate these photoperiods?
Growers mimic the photoperiods of late summer and early fall, which trigger plants to flower. To do this, light dep cultivation requires covering the entire greenhouse to block all light and simulate nighttime conditions.
The key is uninterrupted darkness – cannabis doesn’t like its sleep interrupted. Moon and stars are fine, but any artificial light or sunlight can disrupt the cannabis night cycle and trigger the plants to stop growing buds and revert back to their vegetative growth stage. That’s why most cannabis plants will begin flowering when the days start getting shorter, peaking in late summer/early fall. Too much disruption can lead to hermaphroditism, which poses a threat to your entire crop.
Light Dep Techniques
Light deprivation techniques vary from something as simple as attaching ropes and pulling by hand to more sophisticated automated systems that operate off a timer. Most light dep setups require some type of greenhouse frame to support a blackout system. The most common greenhouse frame options are PVC piping, aluminum, galvanized steel, and wood. Growers then choose a method to cover and uncover the blackout tarps daily.
Manually operated blackout systems have been the most economical choice for large-scale cultivators. There are prefabricated options that consist of a set of poles or arms like the BOLD® EZarm™. Each arm is installed in a cement foundation at both ends of the greenhouse structure to allow the blackout tarp to be attached and pulled over the structure for the blackout period. This process of covering and uncovering the structure is done twice daily for at least two months.
Americover’s BOLD® Tarps
If there’s one product you need to create reliable darkness for your cannabis, it’s the Americover BOLD® Black Out Light Deprivation Tarp.
Americover’s BOLD® Tarps are the top-selling reinforced greenhouse cover nationwide due to their 100% light blocking and no pinholes or perforations composition. BOLD® Tarps are made of two sheets of high-strength virgin polyethylene film laminated together with a third layer of molten polyethylene. A heavy scrim reinforcement is placed between these plies to enhance tear resistance. Diamond reinforcement instantly responds to rips and tears by surrounding and stopping them.
What makes our BOLD® Tarps so durable?
Each BOLD® Tarp is made of 8-mil black/white string-reinforced polyethylene film manufactured with a mix of virgin polyethylene resins. The white outer layer contains UV inhibitors and thermal stabilizers to reduce heat build-up. The black layer contains carbon black to ensure total light deprivation.
We added more carbon black to enhance outdoor life expectancy and increase the light-blocking capability, and additional UV inhibitors and thermal stabilizers were added to the outer white layer to reduce heat and condensation build-up. Neither side has micro-perforations that could leak light, and the diamond reinforcement instantly stops punctures from becoming tears or rips to protect your sensitive plant species.
BOLD® Tarps withstand both heat and cold (-70 degrees to 180 degrees F operating temperatures), and the cover’s superior tear resistance makes it even easier to lift with Americover’s BOLD® EZarm™.
Americover’s BOLD® EZarm™
The BOLD® EZarm™ allows a single person to easily cover and uncover a greenhouse without additional help in less time. Specially designed to secure BOLD® blackout tarps, the BOLD® EZarm™ makes the twice-daily light dep task easy for both novice and professional growers. One BOLD® EZarm™ set includes 2 arms and covers greenhouses up to 15’ high, 30’ wide, and 100’ long. Each base assembly is mounted to a concrete foundation (not included) to ensure the arm assembly stays firmly in place.
The BOLD® EZarm™ is 100% manufactured in the United States exclusively for Americover and can be ordered through your local grow supply store. The BOLD® EZarm™ withstands demanding outdoor conditions and the weight of light dep tarps. It is the most durable arm on the market. Horticulturists also use the BOLD® EZarm™ to grow sensitive plant species like chrysanthemums, mushrooms, Christmas cactus, and more.