To get optimal yield and ensure best performance, often cannabis plants need some minor manipulation. Several growers think that cannabis plant training is performed only to keep them upright. But training cannabis plants can seriously influence their growth structure, final height, and ensure maximum production.
If you wish to enjoy these benefits for your cannabis plant then this post is for you. Below, we have shared everything you need to know about cannabis plant training including the most popular plant training methods.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Lower Stress Training (LST)
Think of this technique as tying down the plant. In low stress training, certain points of the canopy are lowered to form a uniform, multi-angled canopy and to render ample light to the plant’s inner parts. There are numerous ways to tie down side branches, such as using a metal wire, twine, and in some cases even weights. LST can be performed with a bare plant, where the main cluster of leaves (colas) is carefully bent so that the other budding spots have a chance at competing with it.
Sea of Green (SOG) Technique
The Sea of Green or SOG technique refers to the process of growing more plants than a standard grow. For SOG, it is best to have plants with a similar structure or from the same strain (ideally strains or clones like Lemon King and Jamaican Dream since they grow more or less the same height). SOG net squares act as a trainer and are used to guide branches. The ultimate aim to save on growth time and harvest sooner than normal yield duration.
Screen of Green (SCROG) Technique
Screen of Green or SCROG essentially uses the same principle as the Sea of Green (SOG) technique. However, when it comes to SCROG, there is an addition of a netted screen. The netted screen can be built from a simple rope, chicken wire, or even nylon netting. The purpose of the netting is to keep the cannabis plants’ height contained. In addition to this, it will also enable you to increase the number of buds being produced.
In a nutshell, SCROD is almost like a combination of low stress training and SOG, where the screen can be utilized to expose certain branches to light and manipulate other branches for greater yield. The ultimate aim is to have as many main colas as possible.
Once the screen is put on, you can tie the branches to the screen. This encourages more budding sites since there is increased light exposure. As your cannabis plants grow, the divisions will spread out, producing more colas and giving you huge buds to harvest.
Focus on Pruning
Commonly known as lolli-popping in the cannabis world, pruning entails the removal of selected foliage with the knowledge that the remaining portion will go to the rest of the plant. Doing this is useful for eliminating low-positioned popcorn buds, focusing on top-heavy canopies, and improving aeration around the cannabis plant’s base.
By eliminating lower branches that fail to produce our preferred quality of flower, the cannabis plant can efficiently redirect energy on sites where the best buds grow. With sterilized cutting tools, such as shears, scissors, or scalpel, start working your way up from the plant’s base and remove branches that you see fit. Just make sure not to remove more than 60 percent of the growth, or else there’s high likelihood that the plant would wither away and die. Also note that plant training isn’t suitable for auto flowering cannabis strains.
Choose Best Suited Strains
As you become more familiar with different marijuana genes and are able to distinguish between the basics of sativa, indica, and hybrid cultivars, you’ll understand which strain is better suited for plant training. As mentioned earlier, plant training essentially refers to the hands-on exercise of manipulating the canopy at your will. Therefore, it’s crucial to have set goals regarding growing time, and understanding which techniques and cannabis strains will work best for your experience/skill level.
Several seed breeders and banks will provide the strain description that will determine if that particular strain is suitable for a uniform Sea of Green (SOG) training, or some other technique like SCROG is better. For instance, Sativa dominant auto flowering cultivars like Original Auto Jack Herer and Original Auto Sour Diesel are ideal candidates for plant training, in contrast to Indica-dominant hybrids that are typically shorter and remain stockier in appearance.
Using the right plant training method at the right times will enable you to enhance overall plant yield while controlling the canopy. In addition to this, it will also allow you to be more active and hands-on with your plants. If you are unsure about how resistant and durable your cannabis plants are towards training, we suggest familiarizing yourself with seasoned cultivars for expert advice. Just keep in mind that high level of patience is crucial, especially when it comes to the healing and full recovery your plants.
Every cannabis plant will have a different reaction to different plant training techniques so ensure you’re well-prepared or else you may potentially ruin your entire harvest.
We wish you all the luck for training your green monsters!