Sometimes an idea comes along that so completely challenges the status quo it momentarily blows your mind. The groundbreaking book Three A Light does just that with its extreme approach to pruning that gobsmacks most growers.
“I’ve converted guys who’ve been growing for 40 years,” says expert grower and author Joshua Haupt about his vanguard cultivation methods. “People are hesitant to the process at first, saying things like ‘Did you really mean to do that?’ But they soon come around.”
It’s a familiar refrain from cannabis growers who open the book and leaf through the pioneering (and at times shocking) methods employed by Haupt to attain the Holy Grail of weed cultivation – 3 pounds of killer cannabis grown under one sodium light. But before growers can enter the promised land, they’ll have to place their faith wholly in the hands of Haupt.
To offer some perspective on how extraordinarily far out his 3-pound declaration is, consider that for years an acceptable yield of cannabis produced under one high-intensity lamp was somewhere in the neighborhood of 1-1.5 pounds per grow light.
In fact, most cultivators would be dancing around the grow room if they could consistently hit 1.5 pounds of indoor-quality cannabis per light. So the doubling or tripling increase in yield that Haupt is suggesting is a quantum leap forward for growers.
Haupt, 30, who was diagnosed with epilepsy as a teenager and uses cannabis for his condition as an alternative to pharmaceuticals, says it all started with a tiny plant he cultivated in his backyard.
“I began growing cannabis when I was 15 years old with a few Mexican seeds,” he says. “Since I was in charge of caring for the vegetable garden at our house, I thought I’d throw [the seeds] in to see how they did. They did great and by the time my parents had noticed what I was up to, they thought the plants were too pretty to kill.”
The main method that Haupt employs to ramp up flower growth – a technique he calls “Schwazzing,” which he learned from mentors over the years – includes heavy pruning at key times during the first 20 days of flowering growth. The resultant view of the garden at the end of those three weeks is astonishing. Where most growers would expect to see a big, beautiful “screen of green” canopy, Haupt trains his plants to grow more vigorously by cutting them back to literal nubs.
Haupt points out that marijuana fan leaves act as small sugar factories that feed the flower. Remove those leaves and supplement the plant with micro- and macro-nutrients through a special feeding schedule, and much of the new energy travels right up into the building of mammoth buds. Cutting back fan leaves also provides optimal light penetration, which means even more accelerated growth.
The particular photos that stun growers are about a quarter of the way through the 215-page book: shots, before and after, of a room that’s just been flipped into the flowering stage. One photo shows a pretty, lush garden of about 50 adolescent plants basking in the warm glow of sodium lights. The other photo shows that same room post-Schwazzing – a frightening view like the aftermath of an errant weed-whacker attack.
Haupt has heard all the bewildered comments. That’s why the only content on page 55 reads reassuringly in large typeface: “Don’t be alarmed. Your plants will bounce back quickly with our feed schedule. Shocking them will only make them stronger in the long run.”
One of the key aspects of his Schwazzing method is the nutrient schedule that the cultivator has developed over more than a decade of growing cannabis. His Success line of nutrients breaks down exact amounts at exact times in a direct, no-nonsense manner.
Three A Light makes growing easy
That is really the beauty of Haupt’s Three A Light – his writing is straightforward and made with a beginner audience in mind. He doesn’t bog down pages with scientific jargon that might confuse or distract readers. His growing procedures are offered in a step-by-step fashion with large, clear photos and a scaled-back style accessible to all levels. And he wraps the whole shebang in an elegant package with beautiful photography and clean design.
Says Haupt, “Think as user-friendly as an Apple product but with a Louis Vuitton feel.”
And the luxury price tag of $500 per book, how does he justify that?
“Most growers wouldn’t bat an eye at a new light costing $500 or a new line of nutrients for $800,” says Haupt. “To most growers, that knowledge is worth much more than $500 – not to mention when you take two seconds to do the math on what Three A Light truly means for your harvests!”
After making that comment, Haupt’s phone rings – it’s a recent buyer of the book calling for user support. Imagine that, calling a customer care line and instead of reaching some outsourced voice in a faraway cubicle, you get the author himself walking you through your issue.
“Sorry, I’ve gotta take this,” he says politely excusing himself. “This is what it’s about, giving customers value and getting everyone producing like we know they can.”
TELL US, have you read Three A Light?