Extend the Vegetative Cycle
Rooting, growth, leaf development, flower site formation...it mostly happens in veg.
One way to get bigger, stronger plants is to extend the vegetative cycle.
We did it after overwintering a chilli plant.
Why do it?
Like any living thing, plants have one real goal - to reproduce.
Veg is where plants prepare to reproduce...or flower.
If you let plants veg for longer, they'll be able to produce and support a bigger yield.
How to do it
Sometimes, all you need to do is maintain an 18hr cycle. You're basically mimicking the season plants veg in (longer days).
Most plants won't start to flower until you switch to a 12hr flowering cycle.
However, some plants automatically start flowering of their own accord. Chillies are a good example - it's why you sometimes hear about people flowering chillies under an 18hr cycle.
If plants begin to flower
Just pinch out the flowering sites until you're ready to bloom.
Don't forget to dose plants with SuperThrive or another stress reliever!
It sounds drastic, but it's only what happens in nature.
Think about a freak hail storm in late spring. Any chilli grower will tell you how easily their flowers drop.
In fact, it's not uncommon for chilli plants to lose all of their flowers.
All that happens is the chilli plant quickly adapts and produces more flowers in the same season.
Top 3 Tips
1. Use 'Grow' nutrients & boosters
Don't switch to 'Bloom' nutrients and boosters until you start flowering.
2. Use the biggest size pot available.
Bigger plants need bigger roots.
Bigger roots need bigger pots.
The more space you've got, the better.
3. Prune your plant
If you're going to keep your plant in veg for some time, you'll need to prune it.
If it gets too tall, prune the main stem so energy is focused more on the remaining stems.