Cannabis cultivation has grown significantly both in scale and sophistication over the past few decades. As growers aim to optimize their yields and the quality of their plants, several training techniques have been developed to manipulate the plant’s structure and maximize its potential. This article will provide an overview of the best practices for training cannabis plants, aiming to offer a comprehensive guide for growers, both amateur and professional.
Introduction to Cannabis Training
Training cannabis involves manipulating the physical growth of the plant to achieve specific objectives. The primary goals are usually to increase yields, improve light exposure to the lower parts of the plant, and manage plant height. Training can also result in more even canopy growth, which facilitates consistent maturation of buds and efficient utilization of available space. The methods discussed in this article have been proven effective and are widely adopted in cannabis cultivation.
Overview: LST is a technique where growers gently bend the branches and stems of the cannabis plant to change its shape. This method doesn’t involve any significant cutting or damage to the plant.
- By exposing more of the plant to light, LST can increase bud production and size.
- LST can reduce the plant’s height, making it more manageable, especially in indoor grows where height is often limited.
- It can also result in a more uniform canopy, ensuring even light distribution.
- Start when the plant has at least 4-6 nodes.
- Gently bend the main stem and branches away from the center, trying to create a more flat or circular shape.
- Use soft ties to secure the bent parts in place. Ensure the ties aren’t too tight to avoid damaging the stems.
- As the plant grows, continue to adjust the ties and train branches outward.
Topping and Fimming
Overview: Both topping and fimming involve cutting the plant to promote the growth of more colas (flowering sites) and a bushier structure.
- Increases the number of main bud sites, potentially leading to higher yields.
- Creates a bushier plant with more branches and leaves, enhancing light absorption.
- Topping: Cut off the main shoot’s tip above a node. This will split the main stem into two main colas.
- Fimming: Instead of making a clean cut like in topping, fimming involves removing around 75% of the newest shoot’s tip. This often results in the growth of four main colas instead of the usual two from topping.
Screen of Green
Overview: ScrOG involves growing cannabis plants under a horizontal screen or net. As the plants grow, their branches are woven or tucked into the screen, creating a flat and even canopy.
- Ensures that all parts of the plant receive equal light exposure.
- Can help manage the height of the plants, especially beneficial for indoor grows.
- Promotes the growth of many bud sites, potentially increasing yields.
- Set up a screen about 20-25 inches above your pots. The squares in the screen should be roughly 2×2 inches.
- As plants grow, gently weave or tuck the branches into the screen.
- Continue weaving until about 70% of the screen is full or until the flowering stage begins.
Overview: Super cropping involves gently breaking the inner tissues of a stem without severing it, causing the plant to heal stronger and thicker.
- Creates stronger stems capable of holding heavier buds.
- Reduces the plant’s height, useful for space management.
- Stressed plants often produce more trichomes, potentially enhancing potency.
- Choose a stem that’s growing taller than others.
- Gently pinch and twist the stem until you feel the inner tissues break. Ensure the outer skin remains intact.
- Secure the bent section with ties or tape until it heals in a few days.
Training cannabis plants can significantly influence their growth pattern, yield, and quality. By adopting one or a combination of the techniques discussed, growers can effectively optimize their cultivation setup. As always, care should be taken when handling the plants to prevent unnecessary damage. Remember, the goal is to guide the plant’s growth, not hinder it.