When I train my plants, I spread it out so the little branches can get more light. I don’t “kink” the branches (aka super cropping). Super cropping is more of a HST method (High stress), because the plant must repair the damaged tissue. I generally do whatever it takes to spread out branches so they are not on top of each other, without kinking.
See how the middle has filled in? Plants spring back. No matter how much you bend them, they have a way of righting themselves again. This is why some people KINK or “supercrop” their branches. If your branches keep popping up, you can keep bending them down or you can tie them down. In the above picture, you can see where I tied down these two main branches.
Then pinch it off. Pinching it off, instead of cutting it, tends to help close the wound a bit, rather than having it “bleed” from a fresh razor cut.
LST (low stress training)
LST simply means a way of training our plants to grow a certain way, without radically hurting them. Typically, when we refer to LST, we are talking about bending or holding down branches in order to expose more light to lower future bud sites. When we level the canopy, auxins are spread out more evenly to all branches. As I said before, the end result is a few dozen colas (bud masses) of the same size, rather than a few massive colas (prone to mold because they are too big) and many little ones.
Knowing when and where to top: You will get the feel for when it is time to top your plants. Wait until the plant has about 4-5 sets of fan leaves, then top. Once the plant grows a bit, you can top it again, making even more branches. This is about the size the plant should be when we top it for the first time: (and this is how clean your growing area should be)
Here is what this plant looked like a couple days after topping it. See the two lower branches growing now?
Now, let’s tie it down. You will need to SLOWLY bend the branch over a 4-5″ area, in order to bend it without kinking the branch. In addition, BE CAREFUL not to put too much pressure on, or you will break the center stalk. Work slowly, and after a bit, your branch should stay bent over. Then you can tie it to your pot so it doesn’t pop back up over night.
When we TOP a plant, we take off the terminal shoot; meaning, the very top of the branch that is making upward growth. When we do this, it causes the two lower branches (bud sites) to grow more equally, instead of a single dominant shoot.
But she is getting too tall, it’s time to bend her over 😉
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