Growing monster sized cannabis plants takes months and months of work…and tying down, snapping stems, pinching tops and pruning can be a really tricky part of the process.
Thankfully, we have compiled all of the important factors on plant training you should consider when taking on your next project.
High Stress Training
This method of training sounds like it would be counter productive to your precious plants. However, Super cropping is just the opposite. This method involves physically breaking the main stem of the plant and rupturing the inner cell walls of the stem.
As growth repair hormones are sent upwards towards the necessary repair, a calcified knuckle will begin to form, acting as a support and also a permanent natural growth regulator. As a result, you will produce bigger plants with a more vigorous stature.
It is not called super cropping for nothing and is a well known technique that has been used by farmers indoors and outdoors for centuries.
Low Stress Training
Many methods of plant training fall into this category. Some of those methods include tying plants down, pinching the tops of plants and fimming.
When you are performing Low Stress Training, you will want to use string to bend the top part of the shoot beneath the others. What this will do is create a wide, open, bushy canopy where a main shoot can no longer be identified.
This will prevent the growth hormone Auxin from being sent to the plant.
Canopy control is the art of growing your plants so when they are flowering, there is an even distribution of light which will lead to uniform buds from every shoot.
You will learn that the lowest part of the plants will produce nothing substantial in terms of weight, so apart from stripping for clones, you should be allowing your plants to focus all of their energy on the existing, established woody branches.
Super cropping is an excellent technique for canopy control and a way to set your stems in place and to recover in a set position. Using string to tie plants down also allows the grower to have total hands on control over the canopy. Pinching and fimming can also have many benefits in carefully shaping a multi branched bushy shrub.
Using A Screen
Utilising a homemade screen for your cannabis plants to grow through is well advised.
The easiest and cheapest solution is to buy chicken wire which has gaps of around 50mm wide. You can also make your own screen with bamboo shoots, ensuring you leave gaps large enough for the shoots to grow through. Another cheap solution is plastic netting.
Clearing The Lower Canopy
Using a screen is a great example of how to correctly clear the lower canopy. The top of the plant above the screen will hopefully be full of thick buds. Anything that is underneath the screen and has not made it above, will simply be cleaned up and manually removed.
This is a great opportunity to take strong hardwood clones. Just ensure that the air circulation around the bottom and top of the plants is more than adequate.
Even if you do not have a screen and are simply working with a plant that has been super cropped, you will still need to clear away the bottom 1/3 of your plant.
One of the most underrated variables with growing cannabis indoors. With so much focus on lighting and keeping the tops of the plants cool, many growers forget to circulate strong air currents around the base and lowest parts of the canopy.
Adding an oscillating fan to the lowest parts of your trained plants will allow for a fresh circulation of air and will also eliminate any chances of mould or mildew forming. This can make a huge difference to your plants and is a very simple task.
Longer Growing Times
If you really want to take full advantage of plant training, then it highly advised that you extend your growing times to accommodate for the lengthy work that is required.
If you are growing bushy multi-branched plants and pinching tops, fimming, L.S.T or scrog, then you will need to consider recovery times and also be prepared to add 4-6 weeks of vegging time on.
A good tip here is to veg your plants for 9 weeks and flower them for 9 weeks. This means that you will be replicating the longer summer months that plants naturally enjoy when growing outdoors.