In nature, hemp that grows under optimal climatic conditions does not need any extra care. If the soil is rich in nutrients, the rainfall is sufficient and all parts of the plant get enough sunshine then growth and development are in full swing and the harvest is of the highest quality and quantity. However, if the conditions are far from ideal, or are created artificially in a grow box, the grower should think seriously about how to make them as favorable as possible. In addition to the right equipment and fertilizer, it is very important that the grow box gets enough light. Only then will you be able to get medical marijuana card florida online.
So to get the best results and increase yields, it is advisable to use different techniques to train the plant. There are quite a few of them, and in this article we will look at the main ones. We also have a selection of the best harvested varieties, which will certainly not disappoint you in terms of the number of buds you can collect.
The ducking method or LST (Low Stress Training)
This is the easiest and most flexible method to use. This method produces better yields and minimizes stress to the plants without lengthening their life cycle. Ducking can be used both outdoors and in a grow box, where changing the structure of the plant is particularly important. It’s also worth noting that LST is suitable for most cannabis varieties, including autoflowering.
The idea is to begin to bend the stem to the ground when 4-5 internodes appear, giving it a horizontal position, with the side branches stretching out to the sides as it grows. This simple method stimulates growth by developing more powerful secondary branches. During further development, this procedure is repeated, the rising shoots being attached from below to the ground or pot with rope or soft wire so that by the time the plant starts to flower, all parts are on the same level. As a result, this branched structure helps to ensure that light and nutrients are supplied evenly to all flowering stakes, thus increasing the quantity and quality of the crop.
Even though it translates as “supercropping”, it’s actually not about removing parts of the plant completely, but rather about damaging the vascular tissue inside the stem. When they are damaged, the plant begins to actively regenerate, transforming the small, narrow channels through which nutrients and water circulate into new, wider ones. As a result, the branches that have been pruned grow stronger and more massive, thanks to improved water and nutrient supply. This also gives more control over their direction of growth, allowing light to fall evenly on all areas of the plant. Using a technique on the main stem with a sharp 90-degree bend will slow down the growth of the crown for a while, redirecting energy into the development of the side branches. This way you can get more light into all parts of the plant.
This can be done during the whole growing season, starting a few weeks after the plant is a little stronger. You can do this by placing two fingers on the desired part of the stem or branch and then gently twisting and pressing on it. The main thing is not to damage the tissue too much, achieving only a slight sagging of the offshoot over the pruning point. Otherwise, do not worry – the plants are quite easily tolerated this kind of stress. But it is important to remember that each time you do this, the plant needs time to recover, which will increase its life span slightly.
ScrOG – “Green Screen” (bush stretching)
The ScrOG method is one of the most popular ways to increase cannabis productivity and was developed for limited space conditions. The screen ensures that the plant does not become too tall and that all shoots are at the same level and have better access to light at the time of flowering, thus increasing yields and product quality significantly.
If the bush has already been pruned and/or cropped at the age of a few weeks and has a relatively straight, horizontal shape, the screen should be placed towards the end of the growing season, at the level of the top shoots (30-50 cm). Further, as it grows, the branches are evenly woven into the structure of the wire mesh over its entire area. Meanwhile, the plant is transferred to light 12/12 for the beginning of flowering, at the initial stage of which it is necessary to continue distributing the shoots on the mesh. This also involves pruning the poorly lit lower parts of the plant that are not in the screen, so that nutrients are not wasted on their further development.
If you do not prune and form the bush for some reason (for example, if you grow an autoflowering hybrid), install the screen much earlier – as soon as the plant has 5-6 internodes. The installation height will also be slightly lowered (10-30 cm). Then the plant is also braided evenly over the area of the screen until it moves to the flowering stage. This configuration essentially replaces the LST ducking technology, with the difference that the plant shoots are anchored and stretched across the mesh, having more support later when gaining mass.
SoG – “Sea of Green” (many clones)
The SOG method (Sea of Green) makes the best use of a small grow room space for cannabis, improves the quality of the crop and most importantly, accelerates the time to ripening. This method uses recently rooted clones from the mother plant or young seedlings of 4-5 weeks of age. For a higher productivity, the plants are planted as close together as possible and in small pots.
The principle of Sea Of Green is as follows: plants at an early age, having undergone minimal vegetation, are quickly transferred to a light regime of 12/12. In that case, thanks to a program laid down by nature, the plants do not just start to bloom in a “dwarf” state, but make a precipitous growth spurt. The result is a great number of identical, compact plants, which fill the grow box as much as possible and are at the same level as the lamps, so the blooming is quick, even and very productive.
Pruning methods. Simple and advanced
Under natural conditions, the cannabis plant has a pyramidal shape resembling the structure of a Christmas tree. This is due to the fact that this structure helps the leaves best capture light from the moving sun. But when growing indoors, especially with a small area, this shape becomes not the most convenient and productive, as the light does not come unequally to the different “floors” of the plant. This is why different pruning techniques are used which modify the structure of the plant, helping it to take in more light in all its parts.
The classic “topping”.
Topping is the easiest method of cutting and removing the head when it is a few weeks old and can take the stress of the operation easily. You should cut it with a pair of sharp scissors at a 90 degree angle above one of the internodes. As a consequence, the plant redirects its energy by evenly developing side shoots and now instead of one main stakes, you may get two or more. Further, for a more balanced development, the branches can be kept at the same level by fixing them with ducking, and ScrOG technology can be used in conjunction with pruning. You should also remember that each high-stress workout takes time to recover the plant, so you should give it a rest if you plan to prune several times.
FIM Pruning or Topping (Fimming)
The FIM method of pruning differs significantly from topping because in this case only the outermost part of the crown is removed and a small branch of the upper growing point is left untouched, forming a kind of bowl. Since this operation requires a high degree of precision, it must be carried out carefully with small, sharp scissors. As a result, if successful, the main stem, after adapting to the new conditions, may divide into four new shoots or more, which will develop with equal priority. In this way, a large number of strongly developed stakes can be obtained, thereby greatly increasing the yield.
Otherwise, the same rules apply for fimbling as for conventional pruning: it should not be done too early, before 3 weeks of age, nor too late, at the flowering stage. The best time for pruning is at night or early in the morning, when the plant is under better stress.
Branching technique (Mainlining)
The Mainlining technique is a type of advanced pruning combined with ducking. The aim is to create a strong plant, with a branched and evenly developed stem, every part of which will become a massive stake. The stem will then be cut off in the 3rd week, above the lowest internode, so that it only has 2 offshoots. With no other shoots, a V-shaped trunk begins to develop strongly, effectively replacing the original one. This operation is then repeated at 5-7 day intervals with new shoots. Three pruning times is considered optimal in order to obtain 8 main stakes, but some growers do this operation a greater number of times, obtaining a strongly branched plant. It’s also worth noting that the more branches the plant has, the more the inflorescences will be proportionally smaller, although quantitatively the result may even be higher.
The name of this technique comes from the English word Lollipop, which means lollipop on a stick. This is how the marijuana plants are shaped by cutting off the leaves and all the branches on the lower tiers that are hard to reach by light. The bushes are shaped so that all the food is directed to their tips, but the main difference from other pruning techniques is that this is done at the end of the growing season, a few weeks before the flowering starts. The plants will be quite strong by this time, so Lollipopping is not suitable for a limited height grower, but rather for a narrow space. Lollipopping is usually done from bottom to top, and usually gradually. Note that the “lollipop” method combines well with other yield-boosting techniques, particularly SoG and ScrOG, to achieve better results. When this technique is used, the size of the inflorescences may be slightly reduced, but the quality of the crop will remain high and the quantity will increase noticeably.
“Monstercropping or Revegetation
This technique involves putting the plant back into vegetative mode after it has been harvested. Naturally, this manipulation can only be done with photoperiodic varieties. An important thing to do with this technique is to make sure that the trunk and branches of the bush are not damaged after cutting the cannabis harvester. Also, a small number of inflorescences and leaves should be left, so that the plant does not dry out and continue to live. As a result, the growth of the green mass is gradually resumed, so you need to choose the specimen for revegetation carefully, because the size of the grower must match the significant increase of the plant. In the course of growth, you can apply the well-known techniques of shrub formation, carry out ducking and pruning. The stronger the selected plant is, the faster and better it will complete its vegetation and be able to start blooming again. With “Monstercropping” it is possible to re-harvest in a shorter time than with a new plant, and it also becomes possible to save a favorite variety and remove clones from it, which makes this technique very attractive.
Defoliation of the plant (leaf pruning)
Defoliating cannabis involves pruning the leaves from plants that are beginning to flower, which is accompanied by an intense growth spurt. This procedure is done in order to improve the penetration of light to the inflorescences that are forming. Naturally, only some leaves are removed, namely those that are the largest and hinder the development of the buds. If you do it too early or too late, or overdo it, you can disrupt metabolism and photosynthesis, which can have a negative impact on plant health, so you need to be careful and perform this operation in time. With autoflowering cannabis cultivars, defoliation is not advisable either, except for yellowing leaves at a late flowering stage.