Training your cannabis plants can be a great way to maximize yields. It allows your plants to occupy as much space as possible while collecting more light than an untrained plant would.
This technique involves bending stems to spread the canopy of the plant and increase light exposure. It also encourages multiple bud sites as the plant grows.
High Stress Training
The effects of different types of plant training on cannabis growth are varied and can range from boosting yields to making plants more robust. There are also negative aspects of training that can negatively affect your harvests, so it’s important to know what to look out for before implementing any type of stress training.
High Stress Training (HST) is a form of plant manipulation that involves cutting, bending and breaking sections of your cannabis plants to encourage them to grow differently. This process works by changing the way your plant grows, in turn increasing its ability to produce more buds and larger colas.
HST is often performed in conjunction with other forms of plant training, such as LST, to achieve the desired shape and size for your plants. It is typically best to apply this type of technique during the vegetative stage as it will allow your plants time to recover before flowering begins.
Topping & Fimming:
Topping is a common method of high stress training that aims to divert the energy of your plant away from its main stem and into lateral buds on both sides. This will create multiple, well-developed bud sites in your canopy and should increase the amount of weed you can expect from each plant.
In addition to this, topping will cause a spike in the release of growth hormones from both the main stem and the buds on the side branches, which will benefit all of the buds on your plants. However, this is a more difficult and imprecise training technique than fimming, so it’s recommended to use a clean tool and give your plant a couple of weeks to recover before carrying out any further training.
Super cropping is another method of applying stress to your plants that aims to reduce the height of your main stems so that they are shorter and more compact. This will cause your plant to emit growth repair hormones throughout its entire body resulting in enhanced production and resistance to pests and diseases.
Like most other types of plant training, high stress training can cause some adverse effects, but when applied correctly it can increase your yields and overall quality of your harvests. However, be sure to take care when applying this type of training as over-pruning can also damage your plants’ structures and leave them susceptible to breakage or mold.
Low Stress Training
LST, or Low Stress Training, is a plant manipulation technique designed to increase yields in indoor grows. It aims to flatten the canopy and distribute light evenly across a cannabis plant’s entire structure, encouraging multiple well-developed buds to develop simultaneously.
By applying this technique, growers can significantly improve yields from photoperiod feminised seeds, outdoor cannabis seeds and autoflowering seeds. It’s also a great way to make the most of your grow lights and ensure your buds get as much light as possible.
This technique is most effective when used early on in a vegetative grow and can be applied both outdoors or indoors. The ideal time to start low stress training is as soon as the stems and shoots of a cannabis plant have reached the 5-6 node stage. The earlier you begin, the more dramatic the results will be.
As soon as the stems and branches of your crop reach this stage, tie them in place with rubber coated garden wire or similar’soft feel’ ties which won’t cut into the plants as they try to force themselves back into an upright growth structure. You’ll want to check up on your crops every few days, adjusting the ties and positioning as necessary to ensure the best results are achieved.
Another important aspect of LST is to maintain a level canopy throughout the vegetative phase. This will allow your crop to receive more light energy than if it were growing with apical dominance and therefore produce larger, fatter colas and bigger buds.
The apical dominance of cannabis is a natural instinct which helps it survive by growing straight towards the main source of photosynthetic energy (light). By breaking this tendency, growers can expose more of their side branches to sunlight and encourage healthy colas to sprout from the plant’s horizontal grow pattern.
Although it is not a perfect science, Low Stress Training can significantly increase your yields. It is an easy, inexpensive technique that can be adapted to suit any grower’s needs and genetics. The key is to choose the right strain for this approach.
Topping is a common plant training technique in both indoor and outdoor growing. It involves snipping the tip of the main stem to create more bud sites and outspread the canopy for better light penetration. This can boost yields, but is also a highly stressful technique that requires accuracy and precision.
Topping should only be done when the plant is in vegetative growth and strong enough to withstand the added stress. In the flowering stage, however, topping can cause stunted plants that don’t grow buds as well.
When a cannabis plant grows naturally, it will often take on the shape of a Christmas tree with a single dominant cola, and multiple sets of side branches. The top part of the cola will contain a large and sticky bud for reproduction; we call this the terminal bud.
The aim of high-stress training is to break this apical dominance by breaking the top portion of a terminal bud and forcing the plant to develop multiple colas instead. This change of focus will allow more light to penetrate the lower parts of the plant, boosting yields and quality.
Topping can be performed with either pruning scissors or a sharp razor blade sterilised with rubbing alcohol to minimize the risk of infection and regrowth. It should be done as soon as the plant has a few 4-5+ nodes, and can be repeated several times over the course of the grow.
For best results, try to wait until the plant is at least a week old before making the cut. This will give it the best chance of recovery and will make the process less stressful for it.
One of the most important factors when it comes to growing cannabis is maintaining good soil, light, and watering cycles. These three ingredients are necessary to produce lush, healthy plants that will deliver the highest yield possible.
Keeping your grow rooms and grow tents clean and ensuring the best growing conditions for your strain will help you achieve a healthier, more vigorous cannabis plant. In addition, choosing the right type of plant training method will determine your results. Depending on your available space, strains, labor, and preferences, there are many different options to choose from.
Screen of Green
The Screen of Green (Scrogging) method is an easy way to increase cannabis yields without putting much stress on your plants. The goal of the method is to grow cannabis horizontally, instead of vertically, which allows an increased number of flower buds to receive more light exposure.
When using this technique, it is important to select the right strains for the job. This is especially true with sativa cultivars as they tend to have lanky branches that can be easily woven into your screen. It’s also a good idea to keep a record of your results so you can compare the outcome of this training strategy with other methods.
SCROG can be combined with other plant training techniques, such as low-stress training and topping, in order to maximize yields. This is a great technique for growing indoors as it allows you to control bud production and improve the overall quality of your crop.
To use the ScrOG technique, first you must erect a screen or netting to your grow room. This can be made from chicken wire or a similar material. Once erected, you can lower the screen over your canopy and work it down until the tops of your plants are about five inches above the netting.
Once the screen is positioned, it’s time to begin weaving the branches into the screen. You should make sure the branches are evenly spaced so they have access to light and air.
Another crucial step in this process is to trim off any branches that aren’t able to reach the screen. This will help the rest of your plant get the maximum amount of light and nutrients.
Once your plant has been tucked under the netting, you can enjoy watching it grow into a beautiful display of flowers that will be ready for harvest around the time your lights go on. You’ll likely spend some time each day tucking the branches under the screen, but it’s well worth it. The results will be a beautifully manicured display of blooms that sparkle under your grow light during late flowering.