Low Stress TrainingI figured I would start off Bagz Monthly with a favorite of mine, LST. This method will increase your yield, control your plants height, cause very little stress, and allow for some very beautiful looking marijuana plants.
By tying the top of the plant down, you are creating a horizontal plane of growing, in other words, parallel with the soil or ground. This will stimulate branch growth, and will eventually result in an even canopy. This is the key to LST, you’ve taken your lady and given her stem more light. Why does this MJ grow like this? Instead of redirecting the hormones as you do in topping, you are achieving the same hormonal redirect having the grow tips lower than the rest of the plant Keeping up with the method, your plant begins to look like a bush, with an even canopy. Once you begin to flower, the tops of ALL those branches, just became colas. Depending on how well your light penetrates determines how big each of those colas will get. This method works well even with CFL’s, the process naturally exposes the plant to more light than you could have letting her go traditionally. This technique is definitely hands on, you will get better as you see how this plant grows and changes. This is one for those who like to spend time in their garden.
Other than starter pots, this will have to be a 2 pot process. Once you get going with this, there is pretty much no turning back. You’ll be spending enough time with this grow, don’t need to add extra transplants to the list. After you have established a couple weeks growth, 2-4 is good. What your looking for is to be able to pull the top of the plant down so that it is parallel with the soil. You’ll want some room for the branches to develop, so let it get a little growth. I prepare a little ahead of time with my ladies, I plant my clones just off center, so when I do pull them over, they don’t hang too far over my pots. So with my first pot I put 2 screws just under the lip. The first screw goes behind the stem where its closest to the pot edge, and the second goes directly opposite the first screw. Next, I tie the stem to the closest screw, snugly, not too tight. Place the tie on the stem as close to the soil as possible. This will act as a counter-tie. It will prevent you from uprooting your lady. Now we can place a tie near the top of the plant, like below a node or two. And gently bend the plant towards the opposite screw. If it feels resistant, don’t worry, we can do this gradually. Bend it toward the screw as far as you feel comfortable, and secure it. Every day, bring it a little closer to parallel with the pot. If by chance you do crack the stem, grab your first aid kit, and pull out the gauze, or any porous cloth, and wrap the break. You’ll probably have to support the rest of the plant. There are products on the market for plant injuries including a plant wax.
Give her some of the usual TLC for a few weeks. During which you will transplant into your final pot. Prepare this pot by placing 8 screws evenly around the lip. Remove the ties from the plant in the original pot. Place your root ball carefully into your pot, make sure the back of your stem is directly in line with one of the screws. Fill in your soil and re-tie your counter-tie, and the main stem, as they were in the original. When your branches get a little height, begin to tie these down in the same manner you did to the stem. Fan them out a little using the other 6 screws around the pot. I know it looks funky now, but give it a few days growth and you will begin to see how this will work out. After another week, you could put it into flowering, or. . . tie down again, thus creating more branches. This is where LST becomes art! I have seen grows where the branches are tied in a spiral pattern, and I have seen them go so far as to look like a SCROG. Although, I wouldn’t recommend going that far, just do a SCROG, if that is what you want. It would be MUCH easier.
While your in flowering, I wouldn’t recommend anymore major tying. You can maintain an even canopy by pulling down slightly the longer branches. These are mostly the older ones and tend to be taller then some of the others that formed. Just give them a little tightening, to bring them down a notch.
- Growers use a variety of different ties, I use plastic coated gardeners wire. Makes it much easier when supporting. You also don’t have to tie around the stem. You could make a loose loop around the stem, reducing the risk of cutting into the plant, as with fishing line, or thread. The stem won’t try to grow around the tie either, the gardeners wire remains loose and mobile, while still doing the job.
- As I said before, if you crack your stem, use some porous material, not tape. Plastic doesn’t breathe and it will cause a place for disease and mold. Look for first aid gauze, cheese cloth, etc...
- Some growers untie and retie their plants weekly. In theory it suppose to help strengthen the branches. I have tried this only a few times, and I still ended up having to stake and support the colas, IMO, it doesn’t strengthen them enough.
- I like to keep my plants mobile, so I use a long stake placed in the center of my pots. During the support stage of the grow, I tie the colas to this stake. Some growers use a frame at the top of the cab or ceiling, and secure their ties to this.
- With this method, you can train your plant to what ever shape you wish, the benefits of this would be to fit certain shaped spaces, and can be used with Topping, to really bush the plant out.
- And finally, I work with clones, so I am fairly certain of the sex of my plants. I would hate to have to look for males with LST, the vegetation inside the plant can get pretty dense. Also, clones and LST seemed to be made for each other. They are naturally bushy and have multiple branches from the start.
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