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1. Training techniques 2. Low Stress Training LST3. Hi Stress Training HST4. Topping5. Fimming6. Supercropping7. Sog8. Scrog9. Stress before harvesting 10. Splitting, cleaving11. Ice water12. Dehydration

Training techniques

A plant always grows towards the light. This also applies to the cannabis plant. Light allows the plant to convert nutrients into energy. This is called photosynthesis.

How to train a cannabis plant

The plant will do its utmost to grow as high as possible in order to capture the most light. But it is also important for reproduction that the plant grows as high as possible. The higher the plant, the higher the chance of catching pollen. The tall plant has one main top that gets the most light and at the bottom the tops become less thick because of the shadow of the leaves hanging above. If you are growing cannabis outdoors you would rather not have your plant exceed the height of the fence so that you can see what is in your garden from afar. Nor is it desirable in an indoor grow-tent that one top should rise to the height and benefit on its own from the ideal light of the lamp. Because of the size of the grow tent you are limited in height anyway. By training the plant you can adapt its height and shape, as it were, to its growing environment. By applying the various techniques you create the most ideal conditions for most of the plant, resulting in a higher yield. How it works and what training techniques you can apply, you can read in this blog.

Low Stress Training LST

Low Stress Training is simply bending the stem and/or branches of the plant and then locking them in this position. By applying this cultivation technique, you can manipulate the growth of the plant. By doing so, you prevent the main bud from growing taller. At the same time, the lower branches will get more light and will develop more strongly. The small, still young plant is still quite flexible. Bend the stem vertically as far as possible and secure it with plasticized iron wire or tie it to the edge of the pot with string. Preferably use binding wire or twine, this is suitable for this. You can secure the string with a piece of tape, but drilling a small hole in the pot to tie it is better. Let the plant rest for a day and bend the trunk again a little further. In this way the stem will grow vertically. This makes it possible for the buds to bloom at an even height. The lower shoots will receive less light due to the foliage. The tops here will become less thick and compact. Therefore, prune away the lower shoots, this is called thinning or lollipoping. Now the plant can focus on the top buds that get the most light. Low Stress Training, the name says it all, is not a real strain on the plant. If you are a little careful, you can get fine results with this. 

Advantages LST

  • The technique is simple and easy to apply to outdoor and indoor growing.
  • As the name suggests, this provides little to no stress to the plant. The plant can handle this well and will not experience any stagnation of growth.
  • With several main buds per plant at the same height you will make efficient use of the light source. This will result in a higher yield per plant.
  • The technique is applicable to both photosensitive plants and autoflowers.

Disadvantages LST

  • By using this technique, the plant will have to stay in the growth phase (vegetative phase) longer. The cultivation round will take a little longer, but a higher yield can make up for this.
  • When grown outdoors the plant can grow enormously in width. An advantage is that they will not grow above the fence. The side branches can become large and heavy with the chance that they break off in a strong wind. You can prevent this by supporting the branches with garden wire or bamboo sticks. 

Hi Stress Training HST

By applying high stress training you extend the growth phase. You do this by pruning away shoots. You then focus on the remaining shoots in order to guide them for the most efficient cultivation. It is a bit of a shock at first. With care you have let the seed germinate and grow into a beautiful young plant. And then you put the scissors in it. But don't worry, it will be fine! High stress training can be carried out in various ways. The best-known and most applied ways are: topping, fiming and cropping.

Topping

Topping simply means to remove the main shoot from a young plant. By cutting off the shoot just above the first branch, the two shoots in this branch (and the branches below it) will now take up growth hormones. The two small shoots will grow out and the plant will now have two main buds. Capping is an ideal way to fill a grow tent properly and make use of as much light as possible. Let a plant grow until it has three nodes. This means a stem with the main shoot at the top and three branches. Cut the top shoot and the bottom two shoots of the plant. Now you only have a stem with side branches in two places. Now the top and bottom two shoots will grow into four main buds. Low stress training combined with high stress training is called Mainlining. With this you can grow low compact plants with several main buds at an equal height. Something that can be very advantageous in a grow tent.

Advantages of topping

  • The technique can be applied several times to one plant. This allows you to grow more main buds.
  • With this technique you can increase the yield of a plant considerably. If you dare to take a little risk, it will reward you well.
  • In this way, it is easy to adapt a plant to its environment.

Disadvantages of topping

  • It is not a technique for a novice grower. Once you understand how the plant grows and what level of stress the plant can handle, only then can you take advantage of it.
  • If the stress is too high for the plant its growth will stagnate. Or worse, the plant will become sick. As a result, the harvest will be disappointing.
  • Not all cannabis strains are suitable for this. So pay attention to whether this is mentioned in the description when you buy your seeds.

Fimming

Fimming is slightly different to topping. Instead of cutting away the whole shoot, you only cut away the top part of the top. The main bud will then branch into three parts to create three main buds in one plant. Another way of fimming is to fim the top at the beginning of the flowering period, about the second week of flowering when bud formation begins. By applying stress at this stage, it gives the plant the incentive to make wider thicker buds.

Benefits of fimming

  • As with topping, you create a plant where the shape looks less like the traditional (Christmas tree) shape. With therefore a more even distribution of light on the buds.
  • Higher yield due to efficient shape.

Disadvantages of fimming

  • Because fimming is all about timing, this method can be time consuming. You will have to check every day to see when the moment is right to use the scissors.
  • Fimming is precision work. The trick is to cut away the top part of the top straight and in the middle. The term fimming comes from: Fuck, I missed.

Supercropping

Cannabis is a very strong plant. If a branch cracks and is not completely broken off and you are quick to catch it, you can tie the two parts together and the plant will simply continue to grow and flower. Cropping, cropping or supercropping in the deliberate breaking and snapping of the stem or branches. You do this very carefully, of course. By grasping the upper part of the stem between thumb and forefinger and gently squeeze and massage it. Move the stem gently back and forth. Slowly feel that you can bend the stem all the way around. Think of this as the magic spoon bender. The side branches on the part which is now horizontal, will now turn towards the light. At the place where the plant is bent, a thickening will form. This can do no harm.

Advantages supercropping

  • An outdoor plant in bloom that is still increasing in height can be reduced in height in this way. This way they do not grow above the fence.
  • The same applies to an indoor crop to prevent the buds from getting too close to the lamp.

Disadvantages supercropping

  • When supercropping, pieces of the stem can burst open, in which inflammation can form. The plant can then eventually get sick. With a well-ventilated growing space this almost never happens.
  • Because cannabis is a strong plant it tends to bend back to its original position. You'll have to re-bend a few times or secure the branch with twine.

Sog

Sog is the abbreviation for Sea Of Green. In illegal cannabis cultivation, a lot of plants are grown to generate as much money as possible. 25 plants in one square meter is no exception. Due to the very short growth period, one grows 25 main buds in this way. By mainlining one plant, you then top this plant several times, and you apply Lst with a longer growth phase, you can grow 4, 8, 16 or even 32 buds on one plant. With a good mainline you will grow a canopy of buds at one height. A sea of green. Once you master this technique, there are no drawbacks, only advantages.

Scrog

Scrog stands for Screen Of Green and this involves a lot of stress training. The plants are topped at a young stage so they will grow bushier and wider. Then a piece of gauze, a net or a grid is stretched above the plant. The still growing branches are guided horizontally through the net, grid or gauze. The shoots from the branches will grow straight up through the holes. Each shoot will form into a tasty top. By thinning or lollipopping you remove the lower branches. These get little light and only take up unnecessary energy from the plant.  The scrog is the improved form of a Sog. With the screen you create a very proportional and efficient growing surface. The sides of a screen are often bent upwards so that the entire screen receives optimum exposure. The so-called bright-spot. In a grow tent this technique can be used to great advantage. It is also very suitable for an autoflower. An autoflower will flower when it is mature. So you can finish flowering with 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness. With this you can generate a huge harvest with one plant.

Stress before harvesting 

By stressing a plant you are, as it were, training it by allowing it to recover from damage. Just like an athlete trains his muscles. By suddenly changing the environment or removing one or more elements, you inflict stress on the plant. The following techniques are used by growers just before harvest.

Splitting, cleaving

This technique is mostly used in outdoor cultivation. The underside of the trunk is split and a piece of wood is pushed into it, so that the trunk does not grow closed. The idea behind this is that it disrupts the sap flow of the plant. This stress may cause the plant to produce additional cannabinoids in response. 

Ice water

Some growers only give ice water from the second week before harvest. The sudden cold gives the plant an extra stimulus to produce resin. The plant is not pollinated, so does everything it can to reproduce. In this case extra resin, so more potent plants. In some species, the buds turn a beautiful purple because of this stress.

Dehydration

Finally, the easiest stress method. Let the plant dry out. By not watering in the last week before harvest, you make it hard on the plant. Its leaves will droop and the plant will crave moisture. This is another way the cannabis plant's survival mechanism kicks in, resulting in the plant producing more resin and therefore will contain a higher amount of cannabinoids.

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