How can I train my plants for a lower profile?
I grow in a confined space measuring 2 feet in width by 3.5 feet in height and 1 foot in depth. This restriction in height causes most cannabis plants to overgrow the space within a few weeks.
As documented by many FAQs, implementing SCROG type propagation techniques from seed is far from ideal. They are fantastic methods to maximize yield in a small area from clone though.
As I am growing from seed, I will have to sex them at the lowest profile possible. This will still allow a screen to be fitted above the remaining females for complete control of the plant's profile.
Note: Click on images with borders to enlarge
A few household items:
A length of earthing wire
Side cutters or wire cutters
A number of self tapping screws
A Phillips screwdriver
The most difficult item to source is probably the earth wire. This is thick copper wire used for earthing certain electrical devices and can be bought cheaply at most electrical suppliers. This wire has a soft rubber coating on the outside protecting from the wire. Also the copper is malleable enough to be formed into whatever shape is required and doesn't lose this shape with growth.
Staking and training:
The stake can then be removed and repositioned to again train the main growth tip downwards. The lower branch growth accelerates and can also be trained using the stake method. This again reduces the overall profile of the plant.
Training continues into flowering until the males have been identified and removed to leave the females to be trained into a screen. The plants can then effectively be controlled using Scrog techniques to maximize light efficiency and yield.
Here is a dark purple stemmed LifeSaver from BOG.
This plant has been vegging for 19 days now and is approximately 9 inches in height, on its eighth node.
This pic shows where the crook is placed.
It is positioned above the first or second node with the other end of the wire laying against the top of the plant's pot.
Where it touches the pot, a self tapper is screwed in as high as possible. This is to reduce the likelihood of a leak when watering. The wire can then be cut to length and wrapped around the self tapper.
This pic shows the trunk tie in place.
It's wrapped off to the self tapper to a length where the tie is tight against the main stem to keep it vertical.
This pic shows the gentle bending of the main growth tip over in the opposite direction to the main trunk tie.
This must be done progressively to avoid snapping the main stem off. A small break in the stem isn't a problem as the plant will recover.
If it does break off completely, leave the plant! It takes a week to get over this shock but they then react as any topped plant would.
This pic shows the second length of wire, again with a crook in one end.
This time it is used as a stake to pull and hold the main growth tip in place. The crook is placed under the fan leaf stems of the upper most node, with the other end of the stake being pushed into the soil about an inch or two.
There must be sufficient distance between the top of the growth tip and the stake crook. This is to stop the main growth tip from popping out from the crook of the stake. The distance the stake is pushed into the soil determines how low the growth tip is trained.
It must be trained to below the next node or further for maximum increase in lower branch growth and reduction in profile.
This pic shows the trained main growth tip with the trunk tie and stake to hold it in place.
This effectively reduces the vegging plant from an eight to a four inch profile.
All three LifeSavers after their tying and staking session...
The final pic shows the plants after 12 hours of HPS light.
They have all shifted the top half of their profile towards the light and exposed all the lower growth shoots. This gives them maximum exposure to the light and therefore potential for growth.