Crop Cycle Overview
Production rate, efficiency, and risk are three fundamental and independent issues every grower comes to terms with. It's to those ends on which he will base an ongoing series of decisions concerning which combination of resources and strategies best serve his particular needs or interests. The order and manner in which these decisions are made will change from person to person, time to time, and region to region (depending on laws). All three are very personal issues, and so far reaching in scope that they touch virtually every aspect of growing. Starting with the most basic decisions over how much to grow, which lamp to buy, what space to hang it over, and how many plants to use under it, these three issues always loom in the background and in some way, shape or form govern the decisions we make about the ways we grow.

Efficiency Comparator

Risk Profile

Crop Cycle Production Rate (CC-PR)

Addresses efficiency interests. The combined result of four key efficiency ratings are shown. Each have been given equal weight so as not to presume a preference. However, if you do have a preference because one of the four efficiencies carry a special significance for you, for example Labor, then use Labor's individual ratings to decide which is the more efficient garden in that regard.

Addresses legal interests. Unlike efficiency and production rate, a higher rating is not desirable for many growers. Also note, when comparing risk for two gardens, one may be less risky in the short-term (1 crop) but more risky in the long-term, depending on how often repeat crops need to be grown. To test how long-term risk stacks up for your particular situation, see Calendar Simulations for more on personalizing Annual-PR.

Addresses both production and temporal interests, or grams & growing time. Based on the crop cycle, it is a realistic short-term benchmark upon which to form a long-term strategy, or how often repeat crops need to be grown. The higher the CC-PR, the fewer repeat crops are needed. CC-PR answers the question - How Much Is Enough - and works together with your own Annual-PR to simulate the repeat work a long-term strategy holds in store, thus answering the question - How Often Is Too Often. See Calendar Simulations for more on personalizing Annual-PR.

For more on these topics please see the column headings in the form.

Growers devise separate strategies to deal with each issue, often by trial & error, until a balance is struck that delivers acceptable results for all three. The interrelated (give & take) nature of these issues force a grower to make value judgments when gains made from changing one strategy are offset by the losses it creates in others. For example, using fewer plants is advantageous to risk and efficiency ratings (less risk and less work), but a disadvantage to production rate (longer crop cycle time). However, too few plants introduce unacceptably long crop cycles; whereas too many introduce unacceptable risk and work. The number hanging in the balance has no right or wrong answer, it is a personally motivated value judgment for which the definition of acceptable changes from grower to grower. This unique combination of interrelated strategies ultimately evolves to become part of a grower's unique personal style.

Short-Term versus Long-Term Strategies (CC-PR vs Annual-PR)
Although growers will gladly yield as much as they can from each crop cycle, they are not of the same mind when it comes to the yearly growing cycle due to the duplication of work involved with tending multiple crops. A grower schedules his calendar to keep pace with the ongoing supply he needs or wants, thus his annual production rate can differ significantly from his crop cycle production rate (a one-time supply). This adds yet another strategy to those already mentioned, but here a long-term strategy is devised to strike a balance between the work & risk a grower is willing to expend on one crop and the frequency with which he's willing to repeat it over a year's time. The choices range between having an intense unrelenting annual growing schedule or a more leisurely one, which gives good reason for forward-looking growers to question the usefulness of garden comparisons based solely on annualized data.

Being the shortest term in which a garden can cycle repeat crops, the Crop Cycle Overview presents statistics that also serve as the basis for a garden's long-term usability, or interval at which crops need to be repeated over time. The frequency, of course, depends on the grower, as production needs and garden sizes vary among them, especially a grower making use of comparisons to see how another's garden would fit into his own long-term strategy or growing style. This important point of contention is overlooked by those entertaining the notion that the art of indoor growing can be boiled down to a single number or yield expression. Such a number presumes that all growers are driven to the same long-term strategy, which is clearly untrue. Instead of cherry picking only one or two garden variables and then offering up a single number for comparison, this overview uses more than 25 garden variables and offers results for the 3 fundamentals growers are most interested in. Decisions by which growers form their strategies, and ultimately their growing styles, are not overlooked here. Furthermore, Calendar Simulations allow every grower to determine for himself how well a garden would fit into his life style by previewing the work involved and the pace at which he's willing to turn over crops. The end result is an at-a-glance snapshot of each garden's efficiency, risk and short-term production, as well as a long-term plan that each grower can tailor to his own unique situation.