How to Double Your Cannabis Yield!
The older cannabis plants get, the more their appearance changes. The leaves become progressively thicker and fluffier and look less like a maple leaf and more like a Christmas tree shape, tapering towards the top. However, dense foliage also has disadvantages for the plant. For example, less and less light hits the lower leaves. The solution to this problem is low stress training or LST, and in this post we would like to explain to you exactly what this means.
What is low stress training?
Low Stress Training, or LST, is used by growers when the goal is to maximize yield or change the shape of the plant as a whole. LST has evolved from centuries of cultivation and pruning practices. Thus, fig trees were taught to grow along the walls in ancient Egypt. Other methods are found throughout the history of horticulture. Low stress training, especially in cannabis breeding, is mainly used in indoor growing.
In terms of methodology, LST is similar to growing small bonsai trees, where the shape of the plant depends on the will of the gardener. It is bent and manipulated to achieve various purposes:
Plant height is adjustable
The shape and size of the plant is controlled
The incidence of light is controlled
LST allows manufacturers to achieve maximum performance with limited space and light resources.
The history of the method:
Not only in hemp, but also in other types of plants, larger cones form at the top, which take the form of a pyramid. So for centuries, people have developed low-stress workouts, cut and bent plants, and used a wide variety of methods. The goal was to make optimal use of available light, space and all other resources. In the 17th century, fruit trees began to be planted in long rows, each very thoughtfully trimmed. This allowed for a larger crop and a more pleasant landscape.
How is low stress training going?
LST means little stress to the plant. Unlike high-stress training, which often cuts entire branches off the plant, low-stress training is much less invasive. The procedure is more gentle, and the plant needs less time to recover. The risk of LST is minimal and the plants will reward you with healthier, stronger growth and bigger buds.
Here's How LST Works With Cannabis Plants
To begin with, you should start by reducing the top dominance of the plant. Apical dominance is responsible for the fact that a plant like the sunflower hardly develops lateral buds during growth and instead grows taller. Start by gently bending your plant's stem down towards the edge of the pot. To do this, you can use a thick rubberized wire or wool. If you drilled a hole in the pot, you can attach wire or twine here. Thus, you have already laid the foundation for future horizontal growth. More light will hit the sides of your plant and you'll end up with a bigger crop as a result.
With LST, you must be sure that all branches are at the same height in the long run. If the plant is focusing all of its energy on individual shoots, you can also bend them to the side to ensure even light distribution. Focus on the form. If a branch is accidentally broken off, the plant usually recovers without problems.
LST is not just for grow boxes
LST is not just for indoor growing. The history of garden technology shows that it is not only small plants that can be manipulated in a grow box. Test your new knowledge about LST, for example when growing vegetables or other plants.
When should you start low stress training?
Start the process as early as possible. As soon as cuttings enter the growth phase, the first activities should begin. Otherwise, the risk of branch breakage is too high. Before you start with LST, the plant must be of sufficient size. Ideally, your plant is still young and the seedlings have formed their first leaves.
Frequently Asked Questions About Low Stress Cannabis Plant Training
Low stress workouts are very different, so only a few basic statements can be made. However, below we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions that may help you.
What materials are best to use?
The good news, especially for those new to indoor growing, is that LST doesn't have to be expensive. Just to start, you will find many materials in your household. The following items are suitable for LST shopping list:
Stabilizers such as bamboo sticks or holes and eyelets on plant pots.
What are the learning objectives?
The goal of low stress training is to increase plant growth without the severe effects of stress. This includes, for example, bending the upper branches. This gives growers more control over their plants. This method can more than double your yield if done correctly.
What to do if a branch breaks off?
If something goes wrong, don't panic right away. You can usually fix a broken branch easily with duct tape. This puts little stress on the plant and the injury usually heals quickly. If you want to do something good for your plant, you can treat the damaged area with some aloe vera to increase the chances of recovery even more.
What time of year should LST be started?
There is no specific start. You will achieve the greatest effect by starting with seedlings. Once the plant has largely stopped growing, you can stop manipulating it. While you can still bend the plant to provide better light for the entire plant, this will no longer affect additional branches.
Other methods that are commonly used
You can't just get your plants in shape with low-stress training. We would like to introduce two more methods to you.
Topping involves cutting off the top of the plant. Thus, the apical dominance must also be broken in order to form more side shoots in the future. The plant becomes shorter and wider and develops more branches. Especially when grown indoors, this has the advantage that the plants become more manageable and more uniform. Apply the topping once the plant has about four leaf nodes and cut off the top with sharp scissors.
When weaving, the net is stretched horizontally over the plants to induce flatter growth. The goal is for plants to be able to use light more efficiently, thereby increasing yields. Plants grow less tall, which means that a smaller growing room can be used. Install the support net horizontally above your plants in a grow room or grow tent. Fasten the mesh so that it only flexes a little. Manually place the branches of your plants under the net to optimize growth. Whenever branches protrude from the mesh, you can manually place them back under it. For even growth, you should aim to grow one branch for every hole in the net.
We hope we were able to help you with this post. LST is an important issue not only in cannabis cultivation. Of course, follow the laws and regulations in force in the region for growing cannabis. However, LST allows different plants to be prepared for optimal growth at maximum yield.