Yo, what up everyone? My name’s Dan, and I’m here to tell you all about low-stress training (LST) for your cannabis plants. If you’re looking to get mad yields and use up all the space in your grow area, then LST is the way to go.
LST is a dope technique that involves bending your plant’s branches down to grow horizontally instead of vertically. This lets new growth shoot up from those horizontal branches, filling out the canopy area with a ton of equally tall branches. It’s perfect for controlling tall sativa strains in smaller grow spaces or tents.
Now, if you’re new to growing, you might be intimidated by the thought of bending or cutting your plants. But don’t trip – LST is the easiest form of plant manipulation out there, and even experienced growers use it all the time. Plus, yields can increase just from using LST alone.
There are two general methods of plant training: LST and high-stress training (HST). HST is more intense and involves breaking or cutting the plant, while LST is gentler and safer for your plants’ growth cycle.
So why do we use LST? Well, cannabis needs hella light to grow to its full potential. By creating a level canopy with LST, most of the bud sites are at an equal distance from the light source, so you can put your lighting fixture closer to them. This increases light efficiency per watt and promotes the growth of larger buds.
LST also breaks apical dominance in your plant. This means that instead of having a central stem that grows more than the lateral branches, you’re spreading out the growth evenly across all branches. This helps increase their size and yield.
Another perk of using LST is increased airflow in your grow space. When branches are tightly packed with foliage, it can create micro-climates within the canopy that trap in stale, warm air and lead to mold issues. Using LST to spread out your branches can help reduce this risk.
To get started with LST, you’ll need minimal materials. You’ll want something to tie to the branch you want to manipulate and something to attach it to. Rubber or protective-coated wire works well for tying down branches – avoid thin metal wire that can cut into your plant as it grows. You’ll also need an anchor point for your wire, like the sides of your pots or binder clips attached to the lip.
You can also use a SCROG net for LST – this is a plastic or polycarbonate netting that you can guide your branches through to fill out the grow area. When done right, a single cannabis plant canopy can fill an entire 122 cm x 122 cm grow tent.
The best time to start LST is during the early vegetation stage when your plant’s stem and lateral branches are soft enough to bend. Focus on maintaining a level canopy by tying down any vertical growth until flowering begins.
And if you’re worried about using LST on automatic strains because of their short growth cycle and limited recovery time, don’t be! LST is gentle enough that it won’t stunt their growth or recovery time.
So there you have it – everything you need to know about low-stress training for your cannabis plants. Have you tried LST before? What shapes do you aim for when increasing yields? Let me know in the comments! Peace out, growers.