Why trimming the plants?
Cannabis pruning techniques. Most growers have found themselves in a situation on which they needed to control the growth and the type of growth of their plants. When it comes to indoor culture, sometimes we want to grow different varieties. As we know, each variety has its own morphology and grows in a different way. Some plants are tall and thin. Some plants are fat and short. Only cuttings are equal. Therefore, unless you decide to grow cuttings from the same mother, you are going to trim, one way or another, your plants.
Of course, not all techniques are suitable for all strains. Depending on if you want to prune or not, and depending on the way you choose to trim, you will have to decide what strains are the most suitable for your indoor culture. And moreover, your pruning techniques will depend on the dimensions of your growing area.
Pruning is a good idea for both indoor and outdoor cultures. Obviously, indoor requires a most accurate precision because the space is much smaller than is a regular outdoor culture. In outdoor cultures, the privacy and discretion is what forces the grower to prune.
In this article we are going to see the different pruning techniques: pruning lower branches, topping, FIM and super cropping.
Pruning the lower branches
Pruning the lower branches is quite efficient in both outdoor and indoor cultures. When it comes to indoor culture, it is almost obligatory because it is the only way a regular grower has to get uniformity and, above all, is the only way we have to get the light reaching all the leaves of the plants. It allows the grower to direct the energy to the top of the plant and optimize the yield.
It is another of the most popular training techniques used by the growers. It can be done outdoor and indoor. The topping technique allows you to control the height of your plants and to optimize the space available in your growing area. Many growers use this system to be discreet in outdoor cultures. Basically, topping is the removal of the tip of the plant. It is recommended to use a pair of clean scissors.
No need to say we can use this technique during the growing period and never during the flowering phase. The correct time is when the plant is well formed and just before the flowering period. When it comes to indoor culture, the topping should be made about 5 or 8 days before switching the photoperiod to 12/12. In outdoor cultures in the north hemisphere, the topping should be made in early august or a little before.
Topping the plants, the auxins hormones are distributed on the secondary branches, which will develop a much bigger buds. Instead of concentrating all the energy on the top of the plant, it is distributed all over.
FIM are the initials of the words “fuck, I missed”. In fact, it is a mistaken made by the grower while topping his plants. He cut the top in a wrong way and he shouted “fuck, I missed!”.Or at least it is what the legend says. “Fimming” reinforces bushy growth and a wide lateral and upper branching. This technique is basically cutting the head of tips and not the whole branch. You must cut about 2/3 of the new branches and so, the remaining part will regenerate and new heads will shoot to become flowers. The result is a new pair of shoots, at least, and eventually up to five pairs.
This technique consists on snapping very slightly the inner fibers of the tips in the branches you decide. But you don’t have to cut them; you bend them. It is important to pay attention to avoid damaging the outer tissue. If you do it, you will weaken your plant. If you “overdo” and don’t do things properly, a great fissure from excessive bending can result in loss of the area you are treating. You must be patient.
Why do you use this technique? Using this method you want to control the vertical growth of the upper tips by forcing them to grow horizontally. Obviously, after you bend them, you must tie them down. If we use this technique properly, super cropping produces an even distribution, which means a bigger production.
This technique can be used to optimize the production and to avoid certain problems. It is a way to limit vertical growth when your plant is getting too near to the lamp and, therefore, could get burned.
SOG (Sea of green)
MUJICA GOLD by KETAMA SEEDS with pruning technique Sea of Green
This method allows you to reduce growing time and increases the yield. Thanks to it, you can start the flowering phase earlier and train your plants to receive all the light on the canopy, where the flowers will show.
The most important advantages of this way of growing are:
Large production in small areas
Faster growing and flowering periods
Better use of the light
Good way to obtain cuttings for clones
It is advisable to use cuttings (clones) to obtain more advantages while using this technique. We will put one plant within 1 sq.Ft area (12×12”) of each other.
About two weeks after you transplant your cuttings into bigger pots, tie a bit of string to every branch of your plant and, careful, bend it a little bit, so that it sits flat instead of going up. You must be sure to keep an eye on your clones and be ready to remove the string off once the branches become bigger during the flowering phase (about 5 weeks).
Growing phase. It is important to give a growing time of about 2-3 weeks (18/6).
Flowering phase. After the weeks of growing period mentioned before, you must start the flowering period (12/12) until your plants are ready to harvest.
It is important to be sure your plants are at an even height. This method allows you to create a wider canopy and, therefore, more flowers. A wider canopy means the light can reach all the buds.
You must prune regularly the branches and excess foliage. Trim the growth below the canopy and your plants will use all the energy for flower production.
Obviously, the plants you obtain using this technique will be smaller than regular plants. This happens because you force the plant to create flowers instead of stem and leaves. However, the final yield of flowers per square meter is larger. You will obtain many smaller buds. But, all together, the result is better.
Beware! Not all the varieties are viable to do “SOG” culture. The most appropriate are those that are short and fast flowering. The longest plants with long branches aren’t suitable for it because they tend to focus on branch and stem growth and less bud production.