• Matthew Sheahan

Avoiding Downtime

Plant cultivation is a seemingly nonstop process that takes serious time and dedication. From tracking the seasons to paying close attention to your plant’s life cycle, plant cultivation doesn’t offer a lot of downtime. And, when it does, that typically means you’re on your way to losing some money.


That’s why, today, we’re talking all about how you can avoid downtime during cultivation, maximize productivity, and get the most out of your plant cultivation all year long.

What is Downtime in Plant Cultivation?


When we talk about downtime in plant cultivation, you can think about it like the downtime in your everyday life: when you’ve run out of things to do, or there is a lapse in between your projects/errands, you’re left with a bit of downtime to get creative. In our daily lives, downtime can feel both positive and negative. While we need a break every once in a while, sometimes, this lack of action can feel as though we’re wasting time when we could have been productive. This is similar to downtime in plant cultivation.


Just as it sounds, downtime in plant cultivation is the time in between grows where you don’t have cultivation to worry about, and you’re just, well, waiting around. Any grower knows that time spent not growing or cultivating is money wasted. Thus, many growers have struggled to avoid downtime, strategically planning their harvests so that this boredom can be avoided. But, how?


While there are many tips and tricks you can do to minimize your downtime--as we’ll discuss in a moment--every farmer is different. What works for your crops may not be what works best for others, so always do what aligns best with your personal growing methods.


How to Minimize Your Downtime


First thing’s first: what causes downtime in your greenhouse? For many farmers, downtime is caused by the end of a plant’s life cycle or the need for a system cleaning. Both of these factors can seriously throw off your schedule. System cleaning, for example, is a long and arduous process that most growers tackle in-between grows. However, this causes quite a bit of downtime in between harvests, usually causing farmers to lose money during this time.


When it comes to cleaning your greenhouse, you must take the time to truly plan out your cleaning schedule alongside your plant’s schedule. Most of this intense cleaning cannot be done while plants are in the greenhouse, so it’s best to plan for these deep cleanings to be done within 24 hours of your next grow.


More standard cleaning procedures, however, can easily be done while plants are in the greenhouse, but they should be at stages where your focus is truly on the cleaning at hand. We highly recommend conducting routine, standard cleanings while your seeds are still germinating to avoid any downtime.


Another huge factor that contributes to downtime is your plants’ grow cycles. Often, you will finish a harvest and are left waiting week after week for your new crop to start growing. Again, these weeks of downtime can seriously impact your revenue, as timing is thrown off and you’re left with a period of lack of productivity. Instead, plan ahead!


Many growers strategically map out their plants’ grow cycles, so that the harvesting of one crop will line up perfectly with the germination of a new crop. In fact, many farmers plan for their plants to still be growing as their second crop germinates, allowing for easier plant transportation when it is time for the first crop to be harvested. This kind of planning also allows farmers to see clear set times when it is appropriate to do the cleaning without affecting the plants or your productivity. No more downtime, here. Instead, you’re left with a fully packed schedule, day-in and day-out.


The Benefits of Avoiding Downtime


It goes without saying, but avoiding downtime during your plant’s cultivation brings serious benefits to farmers. As we’ve mentioned throughout, and what is usually the biggest driving factor to minimizing downtime, is that this saves farmers money. By allowing these schedules to line up perfectly, never leaving you without something to do, you’re continuing to be productive with your farm, your business, and your crops. Even if the harvest itself isn’t horribly successful, you’re still continuing to work and improve your skills.


Along these lines, avoiding downtime also helps you stay sharp and focused on the task at hand. Often, when we have too much downtime, we can find ourselves losing motivation, becoming lazy, or even just frustrated due to poor planning. All of this can so easily be avoided by just thinking ahead, mapping out your ideas, and staying vigilant.


Yes, avoiding downtime is going to take a bit more effort than if you just let your harvest go with the flow. However, this effort isn’t wasted, as you’re caring for more crops and continuing to benefit your cultivation business.


Getting The Most Out of Your Plant Cultivation


At the end of the day, reducing downtime during plant cultivation is all about getting the most out of your crops. Here at Luna Cultivation, we know firsthand all that it takes to cultivate a perfect harvest, and how frustrating it can be when it doesn’t result in the return you were hoping for. However, by taking the time to truly minimize your downtime through proper scheduling of your plant’s life cycles and greenhouse cleanings, the productive results are more than worth it.


So, the next time you’re worried about downtime in between harvests, don’t be! Take a step back and try to re-evaluate your timing. Trust us, there’s a cultivation schedule that works well for every person, allowing farmers of all kinds to maximize both productivity and profit. You just have to start planning.