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How I perform LST, low stress training, on my plants: lots of pics!

BigD13

Well-Known Member
If you go to the first posting on page 1, and you scroll down to the 5th photo, Shed posted this:

"Once they get this far into flower there is no more to be done except watch them grow! I do not untie them until I harvest the plant."

If you haven't already, I suggest going to page 1 and read through this entire thread. Lots of good info in here.
 

NorthernCosmos

Well-Known Member
Dayum! I did scroll through all that earlier today, but a little too fast it seems - It was right there and I managed to miss it :oops: The pretty pictures must be too distracting... yeah, I'll blame it on that :3:

It's an excellent thread, you're right about that. I'm getting great results based on the teachings of master Shed!

Thanks for the pointer, BigD13 :thumb:
 
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InTheShed

Member of the Year: 2018 - Member of the Month: Jan 2018, Nov 2018, Jan 2020 - Grow Journal of the Month: Aug 2018 - Plant of the Month: Oct 2018
Dayum! I did scroll through all that earlier today, but a little too fast it seems - It was right there and I managed to miss it :oops: The pretty pictures must be too distracting... yeah, I'll blame it on that :3:

It's an excellent thread, you're right about that. I'm getting great results based on the teachings of master Shed!

Thanks for the pointer, BigD13
Sorry for the delay...hernia repair, not that far down low ;).

No reason to take off the ties unless there are a couple that get in the way of watering.
If you go to the first posting on page 1, and you scroll down to the 5th photo, Shed posted this:

"Once they get this far into flower there is no more to be done except watch them grow! I do not untie them until I harvest the plant."

If you haven't already, I suggest going to page 1 and read through this entire thread. Lots of good info in here.
Thanks BigD! What's with the new "grateful" responses. I like "Thanks" much better :).
 

MrSauga

Photo of the Month: Sept 2018, Nov 2019 - Member of the Month: Feb, Dec 2019
Sorry for the delay...hernia repair, not that far down low ;).
Ya, well it's below your head so it's down lo :)
Good to see you back!
 

Brian420pm

Well-Known Member
Great thread and thanks for posting all your details. I too, did not want to top and pulled my main down and let 4 other laterals grow for a total of 5 bud sites. Next grow I'll not prune so many branches and have more bud sites, and that's what I would like to discuss. I saw one mention you had about waiting till later in flower to decide what branches to prune.

So just to step this out in detail... pull the main over, break the apical dominance and let all the lateral branches grow up. Now they all have easy access to light. This method keeps the plant growing without the delay caused by topping, plus retaining the main stem which should produce some amazing bud growth even if the apical dominance is spread out.

I'd like to deep dive the ADDITIONAL lateral branch growth that will pop up from the lower branches as they grow up. Do you ever prune them? They will show up at all stages of growth, so many will be underdeveloped going into flower and not have the same strong bud growth that the original 10 or so branches will have.

Would it be best to count how many first generation lateral branches to keep and then prune all others? This may be strain specific and may take one grow to learn how many laterals come off the main and that grow out in whatever veg time you use. This makes the most sense to me as I think about it as I write it :) Many people pick a number and do that, like 8 or 10, but it seems the largest yielding plants I've seen have 12-16!

As usual, it may just take experience to answer such questions, but I'm very curious to hear your thoughts on it to see if you can make any broader summaries that could help.

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InTheShed

Member of the Year: 2018 - Member of the Month: Jan 2018, Nov 2018, Jan 2020 - Grow Journal of the Month: Aug 2018 - Plant of the Month: Oct 2018
Glad you found this thread helpful Brian! You plant looks great even with the lowers you took off, and I'm not sure you would have much room for them had you left them on :). Nodes 1 and 2 have done the job of filling in the canopy along with the apical stem.

Once the job of evenly distributing the auxins is complete, then it's just a question of keeping the canopy even, so that the plant maintains that even hormone spread.
I'd like to deep dive the ADDITIONAL lateral branch growth that will pop up from the lower branches as they grow up. Do you ever prune them?
In an auto flower I keep training all new growth from the lower branches to ensure that the plant never thinks one stem is the new top. And I don't take off any lower growth until it goes into flower if I see it would never produce a bud worth trimming. Mostly because autos don't often get as large as the photo plants I grow.

For a photo (which would get much bigger for me), I would take off the lower branching as it becomes obvious that it won't make it to to the canopy and produce a top cola.

As you can see from this pic of the bones of the It's It Punch I featured a few pages back, all the growth that I left on the plant is approximately the same height, and everything else was trimmed away by the time I was done with the post-stretch thinning:


Does that answer your question? Let me know!
 

Brian420pm

Well-Known Member
Nodes 1 and 2 have done the job of filling in the canopy
To be more specific about my plant, the lateral branches that have grown OFF nodes 1 and 2 are filling in the canopy. Your method KEEPS more original nodes which would be older and more developed.

if I see it would never produce a bud worth trimming
post-stretch thinning
I see from studying your bones, you let 8 or 9 node branches grow up for a total of 16-18 main bud sites, and a few of those you allowed later growing laterals to grow out, but the majority of those later laterals are no longer visible so I'm curious exactly when you pinched/pruned them.

Growing out the first 8-9 nodes jives with my veg timing where I was around 9 nodes at 4 weeks from seed.
 

InTheShed

Member of the Year: 2018 - Member of the Month: Jan 2018, Nov 2018, Jan 2020 - Grow Journal of the Month: Aug 2018 - Plant of the Month: Oct 2018
I have no idea how many nodes I kept or how many branches I ended up with honestly. I just kept it flat until the rest grew up to where I thought I could let the top go up without being considered apical by the plant. Since it was grown outside, it vegged as long as it wanted to and flipped itself when it was ready.

Hard to tell what was what by the end!


In terms of when I pruned them, the answer is all along the way, the last being after stretch was over. I'm constantly fussing with my plants!
 

Sashasrs

Member
Greetings all! I've had members ask about how I do my LST (low stress training) on my plants so I thought I would do a pictorial on it. My pics are of two different plants but don't let that confuse you. It's just easier to demonstrate that way.

Let's discuss the theory behind LST for a minute. Cannabis plants grow up to the sun. They have a top (apical) cola and side branching. Most of the growth hormones (auxins) go to that apical cola, which is why an untrained plant often has a beautiful huge bud on top and then progressively smaller buds as you head toward the soil. Topping a plant tells the plant that there is no longer an apical cola (damage alert!!!) so it needs to send the auxins to other branches to assure its chances to pass on its genetics. You then end up with two tops from that one.

That's great for photo plants which you can grow as big as you want them to be before you flip them, but autos are on an internal clock. Now many growers top their autos and get great results. I don't. I try to stress autos as little as possible so I do LST.

LST is a method for tricking the plant into thinking it no longer has an apical cola without actually removing it. The method involves pulling the top down flat so that it's not higher than the rest of the plant. The plant still thinks it's lost its apical cola and begins to send the growth hormones to the rest of the branches, but there is no recovery time as there is with topping because nothing has been cut.

As each of the lower branches grows in response, it gets tied down toward the outside of the pot, allowing light and air to get to the rest of the plant, and forcing the plant to continue to evenly spread the auxins.

Let's look at some pics!

I used to start bending the plant when it was much younger. Now I wait until the stem will be close to even with the top edge of the pot after it's bent. This was my Blueberry Auto from last summer.

You can see that I used a rock to hold the stem in place as I bent it. It's important that the base of the stem be upright so you don't put stress on the stem/root connection. Now I use a rock as well as a tie holding the stem in the opposite direction to the bend. This is my current Blue Treacle:

Let's watch the progress of the Blueberry Auto as it goes from the first pic to full buddage!

You can see how I have begun to take the side branching and lay it out flat as well - away from any other growth - using the sticks and twist ties. Flattening each branch forces the plant to spread the auxins equally:

Once the branches outgrow the internal size of the pot, I tie the branches to the edge:

Once they get this far into flower there is no more to be done except watch them grow! I do not untie them until I harvest the plant.

Here is the Blueberry getting close to the end. Can you spot the apical cola? This produced over 4 ounces of dried buds. Not too shabby!

Now let's look at an auto I have currently going into the earliest stages of flower. This one is a Blue Treacle, shown in the second pic with the white wire holding the stem in place opposite the bend. Here is a top view:

And here it is from the side. You can see how flat the top is:

This plant thinks there is no apical cola and is trying its damnedest to develop a new one. Not going to let that happen! I want each cola to be the same size in the end, similar to the last Blueberry pic.

Time for a closer look at the restraints!




My main stem no longer has any room for me to get a pipe cleaner in between the bud sites. No matter! I just grabbed a top fan and tied that down!

And here you can see some of the exposed lower sites that get full light and are close to the same height as the rest of the stem...more hormones!

That's the way I do it. Post questions or comments! :cool:

I'll update this thread when the buds develop and we can see if they're as even as the Blueberry was!
FANTASTIC! Thank you soooo very much for all that information!
 

Sashasrs

Member
I have another question. Do you always top or down before you tie the plant down? My plant is only four weeks old from seed. When do I top and tie? About to transplant her into a bigger cloth pot. She has 3 very small nodes. Thank you again for taking the time to give us all that knowledge!
 

InTheShed

Member of the Year: 2018 - Member of the Month: Jan 2018, Nov 2018, Jan 2020 - Grow Journal of the Month: Aug 2018 - Plant of the Month: Oct 2018
Howdy Sasha and thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you found it helpful. In terms of your question about topping, I need to ask a few questions of you first :). Is this a photo or an auto? How tall is the plant? Can you post a pic here?

Generally, if I'm topping I don't tie any branches down until afterward, once the new top growth gets long enough to grab hold of and tie flat. Also, if I'm topping a plant with tight nodes, I try to wait until it gets taller first.

I don't top my autoflowers, though many do. I just do LST on them to give them a stress-free life!
 

InTheShed

Member of the Year: 2018 - Member of the Month: Jan 2018, Nov 2018, Jan 2020 - Grow Journal of the Month: Aug 2018 - Plant of the Month: Oct 2018
Because of the rapid growth of the Golden Tiger 2 in my winter grow, I have had to start training it flat to keep it under control. But because it's in a 1 gallon pot, it has already outgrown the width, which leaves me with nowhere to tie it. Enter barbecue sticks!

Here are some pics to explain.


Using barbecue sticks enables me to extend the tie-down point as far out as the sticks will reach, which is well beyond the pot's edge:

And since the new growth that needs to be tied hasn't given me enough room to get a pipe cleaner on it, I grab a leaf and pull that down:

Once the stem grows out I can wrap it around the stem, but this works well in the meantime.

Grow on! :peace:
 

InTheShed

Member of the Year: 2018 - Member of the Month: Jan 2018, Nov 2018, Jan 2020 - Grow Journal of the Month: Aug 2018 - Plant of the Month: Oct 2018

InTheShed

Member of the Year: 2018 - Member of the Month: Jan 2018, Nov 2018, Jan 2020 - Grow Journal of the Month: Aug 2018 - Plant of the Month: Oct 2018

780grow

Well-Known Member
Hey @InTheShed. Hope all is well and your plants are flourishing!
Was sent here by MrS....had a question on LST for autoflowers....people say not to train it when it is in flower, is this valid?

Based on what I've read and have been told, first day of flower is when pistils are shooting out from the calyx, if this happens early and my plants start stretching should I stop LST?
During the stretch would seem like the best time to LST as there is tons of growth during this time so being able to manipulate the branches during this time would be ideal no?
 

InTheShed

Member of the Year: 2018 - Member of the Month: Jan 2018, Nov 2018, Jan 2020 - Grow Journal of the Month: Aug 2018 - Plant of the Month: Oct 2018
Hey @InTheShed. Hope all is well and your plants are flourishing!
Was sent here by MrS....had a question on LST for autoflowers....people say not to train it when it is in flower, is this valid?

Based on what I've read and have been told, first day of flower is when pistils are shooting out from the calyx, if this happens early and my plants start stretching should I stop LST?
During the stretch would seem like the best time to LST as there is tons of growth during this time so being able to manipulate the branches during this time would be ideal no?
Hey 780, thanks for stopping by!

I would say that as long as the stem is bendable and you can keep it flat without damaging any of the flowering growth, there is no reason to stop LST once flowering starts. I continued to train my Amnesia Haze auto after pistils showed because it flowered at 23 days! I think that's the reason I did better than expected in terms of harvest. At some point though it's impossible to keep it flat because of how tight the buds are and how thick the stems get.

You won't be able to take full advantage of the boost in growth from the lower node growth that comes during veg though. And not every auto will stretch the same in flower. Some will double in size and some stay compact.
 
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