How to Start Low Stress Training So Your Plants Achieve Their Very Best!
Low stress training involves a multitude of techniques which involve bending and manipulating the shape and structure of your plants for higher yields!
Why should I LST?
The cannabis plant can be described as being apical dominant. This term refers to the natural Christmas tree shape the plant takes on naturally. Apical dominant refers to 1 cola site which resides in the main stem of the plant. LST involves bending and tying up the plant stems. This is done because the more exposed your plant is to light- The more areas are available for photosynthesis, this increases stem development and encourages multiple developed colas. Inside the shoots of the plant is a hormone known as Auxin.
As we bend and manipulate the shape of the plant, we ultimately help the shift of Auxin through the plant which encourages growth. The LST technique can be used to reduce the height of marijuana plants that are getting too tall for your setup, or are growing taller than your other cannabis plants. LST allows you to keep an even canopy and get as much bud as possible from your light.
How Does Low Stress Training Work?
The majority of growers use LST is trying to keep their plants short and wide to take advantage of grow light, this means that you want to bend any stems down and secure them away from the other stems, so you’re creating a larger canopy with many colas.
If you want to initiate LST here is a step by step to start it effectively.
Step 1 if you have branches all of different size select the branches which if you bent and tied would then create an even canopy across your plant.
This picture shows a large cannabis pith large branches of different size. Select the tallest ones and make them the same height as the lowest branches.
Step 2- Bend and tie down the branches selected in step 1
Now all the branches are the same size, this will promote an even canopy as well as even light distribution.
Step 3- Your plant will now start if not already producing multiple cola sites, which in flowering will be your bud sites.
Through the addition of LST this plant has had its apical dominance broken whilst allowing the plant to flourish will multiple cola sites. Producing a yield not possible without LST!
Pruning or Topping?
Many cannabis growers pinch or cut off the tops of their plants before starting low-stress training. This isn’t required but as mentioned earlier it can be useful as doing so can break the apical dominance of your plant, dividing the main cola, and allowing for multiple sites to grow evenly.
What equipment should I buy to get started on low-stress training?
The great news is that you don’t have to break the bank to get started on low-stress training. Here are some ideas for your shopping list:
Tools for Low-Stress Training
• Soft Twisty ties or Plastic Clips
• Sharp scissors
• Duct tape – this is fantastic in getting a tight a damaged stem to repair, or to help keep lanky seedlings up right!
• To provide support for the bend, there is a range of options. You could use bamboo canes or drill small holes near the rim of the pots to attach on to.
WHERE AND WHEN TO LST YOUR CANNABIS PLANTS
A lot of people think LST is for indoor growers only but this is far from the case. Don’t forget, plant training isn’t exactly new, and it began as an outdoor method originally. If you live in a colder climate such as the UK and other parts of Northern Europe, outdoor LST can be a good way to increase yield during the summer season. A plant that you tied down for a flatter canopy won’t just give you better yields, but will also draw less attention compared to a towering weed plant somewhere out in the wild!
As for when you should start with LST, the answer here is: as soon as possible. Once your plant is comfortably in its vegetative stage, it will be ready for manipulation. You don’t want to go too early before the plant has established a few good nodes, but too long can cause issues later down the line. It is recommended to have started and finished LST before you go into full flower. At this stage, the plant’s stems may be too rigid to bend, and you risk potentially snapping a branch. This aside, however, you can start LST at pretty much any time during the vegetative phase.
Now you have the steps towards a greater more fruitful harvest. Happy Growing!