5 LST Techniques To Boost Your Cannabis Yield
Introduction to LST
LST techniques are essential for any cannabis cultivator looking to boost their crop’s yield. Whether you’re a master grower or a beginner, LST can transform your cannabis plant’s growth, resulting in massive harvests. But what exactly is LST, and why are these techniques so effective? In this section, we’ll explore the fundamentals of LST and the benefits it can bring to your cannabis garden.
What is LST?
LST stands for Low Stress Training, a technique used by cannabis growers to control the height and shape of their plants. The goal of LST is to manipulate the plant’s growth pattern to increase the number of colas, the sites where bud growth occurs, and ultimately maximize yield.
LST techniques involve bending and shaping the branches and stems of the plant, usually with the help of wires or ties, to encourage lateral growth instead of vertical growth. By doing so, the plant will receive better exposure to light and will develop more evenly, resulting in larger yields.
There are many different LST methods that growers can use, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. Some of the most popular LST methods include mainlining, the ScrOG method, SoG method, topping, and super cropping, which we will be discussing in more detail later in the article.
Regardless of the specific method used, LST is an effective way to maximize cannabis yield while also promoting a healthy and strong plant. However, it requires careful attention and patience to ensure that the plant is not stressed or damaged during the process.
Why Use LST Techniques?
LST techniques are widely regarded as a useful tool for increasing cannabis yield. Here are some reasons why you should consider using them:
- Maximize Space: LST techniques enable you to control the height and width of your cannabis plants, allowing you to grow them in limited spaces. By training your plants to grow horizontally, you can increase the surface area of your canopy and expose more of your buds to light, resulting in a bigger yield.
- Improve Light Penetration: LST techniques create more even distribution of light across your plants. With a more evenly distributed light, your cannabis plants can photosynthesize more efficiently, resulting in bigger and denser buds.
- Promote Airflow: By manipulating the shape of your plant with LST techniques, you can make room for better ventilation and reduce the risk of mold and other unwanted ailments.
- Optimize Inflorescence Sites: With LST techniques, you can take advantage of secondary inflorescence sites and create more buds, which can lead to a higher yield.
- Reduce Risk of Damage: By adapting the height and shape of your plant, LST techniques allow you to better support your buds and prevent damage caused by heavy branches or strong winds.
LST techniques are a reliable way to increase your cannabis yield while ensuring that your plants grow healthily and robustly.
Top 5 LST Methods
When it comes to Low Stress Training (LST) techniques, there are a variety of options available to growers. These methods can be used to increase cannabis yield and improve overall plant health. In this section, we will be exploring the top 5 LST techniques that have been proven to be effective in maximizing yields. By using these techniques, growers can manipulate their plants’ growth patterns to increase bud production and potency. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the five best LST methods for cannabis cultivation.
Mainlining is a LST technique that involves creating a symmetrical plant canopy with multiple main heads. This technique maximizes yield, ensures ease of maintenance, and provides efficient light distribution to all parts of the plant.
To perform mainlining, you will need some materials such as pruning shears, a trellis net or stakes, and some string or plant ties.
Step-by-Step Guide for Mainlining
|1||Start by selecting a healthy plant with a strong central stem and no signs of disease or damage.|
|2||During the vegetative phase, remove all lower growth and branches so that only the topmost two nodes remain on the plant.|
|3||Once the second node has developed, gently bend the stem down sideways so that it is parallel to the soil. Secure the stem in place using a plant tie or string.|
|4||Wait for the two new nodes that will develop at the bend in the stem to grow to the same height as the first two nodes.|
|5||Repeat the bending and securing process on both of the new nodes. This will create four main colas on the plant.|
|6||Repeat the process of bending, securing and topping until there are eight main colas on the plant.|
|7||As the plant grows, train the main cola heads to grow horizontally along a trellis net or stakes. This will create an even canopy of buds.|
|8||Prune any leaves or shoots that grow below the trellis net to ensure all energy is focused on the main colas.|
|9||Harvest the plant once the buds have matured and are ready for harvest.|
Tips and Tricks for Mainlining
– Make sure to carefully select a healthy plant with a strong central stem to ensure success.
– Keep your plant well-watered and nutrient-rich throughout the growing process to promote healthy growth.
– When bending and securing the stem, be gentle to avoid breaking or damaging it.
– Train the branches regularly to ensure even growth and an even canopy.
– Use a trellis net or stakes to provide support to the branches as the plant grows.
– Prune any low-hanging leaves or branches to promote healthy growth and maximize yield.
2. The ScrOG Method
The Screen of Green (ScrOG) method is a popular LST technique that involves using a screen or mesh to train cannabis plants to grow horizontally. This technique is particularly effective for maximizing yields in small spaces.
Principle: Growers place a screen above the plants and weave the branches through the holes in the screen. By removing the growing tip of each branch as it grows through the screen, the plant is forced to grow new colas (groups of buds) along each branch, creating a dense, even canopy of buds.
Materials needed: A screen, gardening stakes or rods to support the screen, plant ties or soft wire to hold the branches in place, and pruning shears or scissors.
|Step 1:||Set up the screen above the plants at a height of around 1-2 feet (depending on the size of your growing space).|
|Step 2:||Choose the main stem or trunk of the plant and remove all side branches for the first 6 inches of growth.|
|Step 3:||As the plant continues to grow, gently weave the branches through the holes in the screen, being careful not to damage the branches or leaves.|
|Step 4:||Once the branches have reached the edges of the screen, gently tuck them back down under the screen, allowing new colas to grow through the holes.|
|Step 5:||As the plant continues to grow, regularly trim away any growth beneath the screen, as it will not receive enough light to produce significant buds.|
|Step 6:||Throughout the flowering stage, continue to remove any growth that appears beneath the screen and prune away any buds or branches that are not growing through the screen, as they will not contribute to the overall yield.|
Tips and Tricks:
– Use a soft, flexible screen to avoid damaging the branches and leaves as you weave them through the holes.
– Start training your plants early, as it can take several weeks to fill the screen with foliage.
– Use plant ties or soft wire to hold the branches in place, as they are less likely to damage the branches than string or twine.
– It’s important to keep the canopy as even as possible to ensure that each bud gets enough light and airflow.
– Be patient and gentle when training your plants to avoid damaging them.
The ScrOG method can be a highly effective way to maximize cannabis yields, particularly in small spaces where vertical growth is limited. However, it does take some skill and patience to master, and it’s important to be careful when training your plants to avoid damaging them.
3. SoG Method
The Sea of Green (SoG) method is a popular LST technique that involves growing a large number of small cannabis plants to maximize yield. The key to this method is to train the plants to grow into a dense canopy of evenly spaced colas. Here’s a breakdown of how to perform SoG:
|Small pots: You’ll need small containers to start each plant.|
|Seedlings or clones: You can start with either seeds or clones.|
|Pruning shears: You’ll need to trim off any unwanted growth.|
|Trellis net: This will help support the plants and guide their growth.|
1. Start by germinating your seeds or taking clones from a healthy mother plant.
2. Once you have your plants, transplant them into small containers and allow them to grow for a few weeks until they have developed a few sets of leaves.
3. Begin pruning your plants to ensure they grow into a single, strong stem with a few evenly spaced side branches.
4. Once your plants have a few sets of leaves and are around 6 inches tall, it’s time to transition them to the vegetative stage. Move them under a light cycle of 18 hours on and 6 hours off.
5. Continue pruning your plants as they grow, removing any unwanted growth to keep them in a compact, even shape.
6. As your plants continue to grow, install a trellis net over the top of them. This will help support their weight and guide their growth into a dense canopy of evenly spaced colas.
7. Once your plants have reached the desired height, switch them into the flowering phase by changing your light cycle to 12 hours on and 12 hours off.
8. As your plants flower, continue to prune any unwanted growth and monitor their progress regularly.
Tips and Tricks:
1. Use high-quality genetics to ensure a high yield.
2. Keep your plants tightly packed under the trellis net to ensure they grow into a dense canopy.
3. Monitor your plants’ progress carefully and be prepared to make adjustments as needed.
4. Make sure your plants have plenty of ventilation to prevent mold and other issues.
5. Use nutrient-rich soil or hydroponic setups to maximize growth and yield.
Benefits of SoG Method:
1. Can produce a high yield in a relatively small space.
2. Can be used with a variety of cannabis strains.
3. Maximizes light exposure to each plant, resulting in greater yields.
4. Reduces the amount of time spent training and pruning plants.
Risks and Challenges:
1. Requires careful monitoring to ensure even growth and avoid mold or other issues.
2. Can be time-consuming to set up and maintain.
3. Requires a significant investment in equipment and supplies.
4. May not be suitable for beginners.
The Sea of Green (SoG) method is a powerful LST technique that can help you maximize your cannabis yield. By following these steps and tips, you can successfully train your plants into a dense canopy of evenly spaced colas and enjoy a bountiful harvest.
Topping is a pruning technique that involves removing the top of the plant’s main stem, causing the lower branches to receive more sunlight and grow more vigorously. This results in a bushier plant with more colas or flowering sites, a larger yield, and better light penetration. Here is a step-by-step guide for topping your cannabis plants:
- Sharp, sterilized pruning shears
- Alcohol or disinfectant wipes
- Wait until the plant has at least 4-6 sets of true leaves.
- Choose a node where you want to perform the topping. This should be right above a set of healthy leaves and a node where you want to promote new growth.
- Disinfect your pruning shears with alcohol or a disinfectant wipe to prevent the spread of diseases.
- Cut off the top of the main stem, leaving about 1/4 inch of stem above the node. Make a clean, angled cut that will allow water to drip off and prevent damage to the plant.
- Remove any leaves or stems below the topping node that may not receive enough light or energy to grow well. This will redirect the plant’s energy to the main cola and the new growth sites.
- Water the plant as usual and watch for new growth to emerge from the topping node within a week or two.
Tips and Tricks:
- Don’t top the plant too early or too late in the vegetative stage, as this can stress the plant and slow its growth. Aim for when the plant is about 3-4 weeks old.
- If you want to create a more symmetrical plant, you can top both the main stem and the resulting two new stems on either side, creating a Y shape.
- Some growers like to combine topping with other techniques like LST to train the plant to grow in a specific shape or direction.
Benefits of Topping:
- Topping allows you to control the shape and height of your plants, making them more suited to your growing space and your yield goals.
- By removing the top of the main stem, you can create more colas and flowering sites, resulting in a larger yield and more potent buds.
- Topping can also increase the overall health of the plant by redirecting its energy to the lower branches, resulting in a bushier and more balanced plant.
Risks and Challenges:
- While topping is generally a safe and effective technique, it can cause stress to the plant if done improperly or at the wrong time.
- If you cut too close to the topping node, you can damage or even kill the plant’s growing point, leading to stunted growth or death.
- Over-topping or stressing the plant too much can also lead to slower growth, lower yields, and weaker buds.
5. Super Cropping
One of the most effective LST techniques for maximizing cannabis yield is super cropping. This technique involves gently damaging the plant’s stem to encourage it to grow more branches and ultimately produce a larger harvest.
To perform super cropping, the following materials are needed:
- Gloves: To protect your hands from any damage.
- Snips or scissors: To make a precise, clean cut on the plant’s stem.
- Support stakes: To help support the plant as it grows.
- Zip ties: To gently secure the branches to the support stakes.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to perform super cropping:
- Choose the right time:
- Locate the right spot:
- Cut the stem:
- Bend the stem:
- Secure the stem:
Select a time when the plant is in the vegetative stage and actively growing. Avoid performing super cropping during the flowering stage, as it can stress the plant and affect the quality of the harvest.
Identify the area of the stem that you want to super crop. Choose a spot that is about the thickness of a pencil and not too close to the plant’s base.
Using snips or scissors, make a precise cut about 1/3 of the way through the stem. The cut should be clean and not tear the stem.
Using your fingers, gently bend the stem over until it is at a 90-degree angle. Be careful not to break the stem completely.
Using a support stake and zip ties, gently secure the bent stem to the stake. This will ensure that the stem stays in place and does not break as it heals.
Repeat the process in several spots along the stem, about 4-6 inches apart. This will encourage the plant to produce more branches and ultimately a larger harvest.
It is important to note that there are risks and challenges associated with super cropping. Plants can become stressed and may not respond well to this technique. It is also important to be careful not to damage the plant too much, which can stunt its growth or even kill it.
With proper technique and care, however, super cropping can be an effective way to maximize cannabis yield and produce a bountiful harvest.
How to Perform LST Methods
Are you ready to try LST techniques for maximizing your cannabis yield? Great news! We’ve got you covered with a step-by-step guide on how to perform some of the most effective LST methods. Before you get started, make sure you have the necessary materials and follow these tips and tricks for optimal results. Let’s dive into the world of LST and take your cannabis cultivation skills to the next level.
Performing Low Stress Training methods can maximize your cannabis yield, but before you get started, it’s important to make sure you have all the necessary materials. Here is a list of what you will need:
- Plant ties: Soft plant ties like garden wire, plant clips or plant stakes will help you secure your plant to the structure you are using for LST.
- Scissors or Pruning Shears: You will need to cut and trim your plant to control its growth and shape.
- Gloves: Wearing gloves can protect your hands from irritation and damage caused by handling cannabis plants.
- Trellis Netting: If you are using the ScrOG method, you will need to invest in a trellis netting to support the canopy of your plants.
- Potting Soil: You will need good quality soil to ensure your plant receives the necessary nutrients for proper growth.
- Grow Light: A grow light is essential for indoor cannabis cultivation. Make sure to invest in a high-quality LED grow light or HID light for best results.
- Plant Pots: You will need plant pots that are adequately sized to accommodate the root system of your cannabis plants.
By having all these materials on hand, you can perform LST techniques with ease, get the most out of your cannabis harvest and avoid unnecessary stress on your plants.
Performing LST techniques requires a certain degree of skill and patience, so it’s important to follow a step-by-step guide. Here is a detailed guide on how to perform LST techniques for maximizing cannabis yield:
|1||Choose the Right Strain
Choose a cannabis strain that is known to respond well to LST techniques. Some of the recommended strains include Sour Diesel, Blue Dream, and Green Crack.
|2||Prepare the Tools and Materials
Make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials such as scissors, stakes, ties, and training wires before you begin performing LST techniques.
|3||Start Training Early
Start training your cannabis plants when they are still young, about two to three weeks old. This will give them plenty of time to recover and adapt to the LST techniques.
|4||Identify the Stem to Bend
Identify the main stem that you will bend and twist to spread out the plant canopy. Choose a healthy and thick stem.
|5||Bend the Stem
Bend the stem gently to a 90-degree angle but make sure that it doesn’t break. Use soft ties to hold the stem in place.
|6||Stake the Plant
Insert stakes into the growing medium and tie the bent stem to the stake. This will help support the plant as it grows and prevent it from collapsing.
|7||Repeat the Process
Repeat the bending process on the other stems that you want to train. Make sure that the plant canopy is spread evenly.
|8||Monitor the Plant Growth
Regularly check your plants and make sure that they are growing in the right direction. Adjust the ties and stakes as needed.
Stop training your plants two weeks before the flowering phase begins. This will give your plants enough time to recover and maximize their yield.
Remember that the success of LST techniques largely depends on the skill and experience of the grower. Take time to practice and experiment to find the LST technique that works best for you and your plants.
Tips and Tricks
To ensure successful implementation of LST techniques, there are some tips and tricks that can help maximize cannabis yield. Here are some of them:
|Be Patient||While LST methods can be effective, they require time and patience. Don’t rush the process and allow the plant to mature before making any major adjustments.|
|Use High-Quality Materials||Using low-quality materials can lead to failures in LST methods. Make sure to use high-quality materials, such as stakes and ties, to ensure stability and proper support.|
|Be Gentle||It is important to be gentle when using LST methods. Avoid breaking or damaging the plant while bending or tying down the branches.|
|Monitor Growth Progress||Regularly monitor the plant’s growth progress to ensure that the LST techniques are working. In case of any issues or problems, make necessary adjustments immediately.|
|Use Clean Tools||Ensure that your tools are clean and sanitized to avoid spreading diseases and infections to the plant.|
|Know When to Stop||It is necessary to know when to stop LST techniques. Too much stress on the plant can lead to damage and reduced yield, so stop LST methods once the plant reaches its desired size or when the flowering stage begins.|
By following these tips and tricks, growers can ensure a successful implementation of LST techniques and maximize cannabis yield.
Benefits and Risks of LST
As with any plant training technique, utilizing LST methods for cannabis cultivation comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. As a grower, it’s important to understand both the potential benefits and risks before implementing these techniques in your own grow. Let’s explore the pros and cons of LST for maximizing your cannabis yield.
Benefits of LST Methods
Using Low Stress Training methods can offer a host of benefits for cannabis growers. These benefits include:
- Increased yield: LST techniques can help maximize yield by allowing for better light penetration and more even distribution of growth hormones throughout the plant.
- Better use of limited space: By training cannabis plants to grow horizontally instead of vertically, growers can make the most of limited space and maximize their plant count in a small area.
- Improved plant health: By promoting more even growth throughout the plant, LST can help prevent the development of weak or uneven branches that are more prone to breakage or disease.
- Reduced need for pruning: By training the plant into a desired shape early on, growers can avoid the need for extensive pruning later in the plant’s life cycle.
- Improved quality of buds: By promoting even growth and allowing for better light penetration, LST can help promote the development of dense, high-quality buds.
LST can help growers increase yield, optimize limited space, improve plant health, reduce the need for pruning, and grow high-quality cannabis plants.
Risks and Challenges
Cannabis growers who practice low-stress training (LST) techniques should be aware of potential risks and challenges that come with the process. Here are some of them:
|Infection and Disease||Proper sanitation and handling of equipment is crucial to reduce the risk of infection and disease. Growers should also be mindful of over-stressing the plants, which can make them more vulnerable to pests and diseases.|
|Reduced Yield||While LST techniques are designed to increase yield and maximize plant growth, improper implementation or over-stressing of plants can actually reduce yield. Proper planning, careful implementation, and monitoring of plant growth can help mitigate this risk.|
|Delayed Flowering||LST techniques can sometimes delay flowering, which may impact the grower’s timeline or desired outcome. It is important to carefully consider timing and the strain being grown to minimize this risk.|
|Stunted Growth||Improper implementation of LST methods that cause too much stress on plants can lead to stunted growth or even plant death. Ensuring proper support and gradual implementation of techniques can help reduce this risk.|
In addition to the risks, growers may also face some challenges during the LST process. These include:
– Time and Effort: LST techniques require time and effort to properly implement and maintain. From preparing equipment to monitoring plant growth, growers should be prepared to invest their time and effort in the process.
– Skill Level: Proper implementation of LST methods requires a certain level of skill and experience. Novice growers may need to take extra care with the process or seek guidance from more experienced growers.
– Strain Variations: Different strains of cannabis may respond differently to LST techniques. Growers should research and consider the characteristics of the strain they are growing to ensure successful implementation of LST methods.
LST techniques can offer substantial benefits for cannabis growers, but they should also take into consideration the potential risks and challenges. With proper planning, implementation, and monitoring, these risks can be minimized and the rewards of a successful LST harvest can be reaped.
As we wrap up our in-depth exploration of LST techniques for maximizing cannabis yield, it’s important to highlight the key takeaways. The benefits of LST methods for improving cannabis growth and yield are clear, but there are also potential risks and challenges to consider. By utilizing the top 5 LST methods and following the step-by-step guide and tips we’ve provided, cannabis growers can increase their yield and achieve a more bountiful harvest. Let’s summarize the main points and offer some final thoughts on the topic.
Summary of the Top 5 LST Techniques
After exploring the top 5 LST techniques for maximizing cannabis yield, it’s important to summarize each method for quick reference. These techniques can be combined and adapted to suit individual growers’ needs.
1. Mainlining: This method involves training the plant to grow a single, symmetrical main stem by removing all side branches early on. The plant is then topped to create a “Y” shape, and each branch is trained to grow horizontally along the canopy. This technique maximizes light exposure and encourages even growth.
2. The ScrOG Method: Abbreviated for Screen of Green, this technique involves weaving a screen over the plants and training the branches to grow through the gaps. The screen is raised as the plants grow, allowing for a level canopy and maximum light exposure.
3. SoG Method: Stands for Sea of Green, this method involves growing multiple small plants in a limited space and training them to grow taller instead of wider. This creates a dense canopy of bud sites and maximizes yield per square foot.
4. Topping: Topping involves cutting off the plant’s main stem above the second or third node to encourage the growth of two main colas. This technique creates an even canopy and increases yield per plant.
5. Super Cropping: This method involves lightly squeezing the plant stem until it “cracks” without breaking it completely, creating a knuckle-like bump. This allows for better nutrient and water uptake and can increase overall yield.
Each of these methods requires careful attention and adjustment to ensure success. It’s important to research and understand the unique requirements of each technique before implementing them.
LST techniques can be an effective way to maximize your cannabis yield. It requires attention to detail and patience, but the results can be worth the effort.
Some key takeaways:
- Mainlining can create a symmetrical plant structure and produce consistent yields.
- The ScrOG method is a great way to manage the height of your plants and optimize light penetration.
- SoG is best for indoor growers with limited space who want to maximize yields per square foot.
- Topping can help increase yield and create more colas.
- Super cropping can help strengthen the plant’s structure and increase yields.
When practicing LST methods, keep in mind:
- The importance of patience and consistency in training your plants.
- The potential risks of overtraining or causing damage to your plants.
- The need for proper equipment and materials to ensure successful training.
Ultimately, the success of your LST techniques depends on your attention to detail and consistent care of your plants. With practice and experimentation, you can find the method that works best for you and your specific growing environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best time to start LST?
It is recommended to start LST when the plant has about 5-6 nodes, which is usually around 2 weeks after germination.
Can LST be used on autoflowering strains?
Yes, LST techniques can be used on autoflowering strains, but it is important to avoid stressing the plant too much as they have a shorter life cycle.
What materials do I need for LST?
You will need soft ties such as string or twist ties, wires or stakes, and scissors for trimming.
How often should I perform LST?
It depends on the method used, but generally it is recommended to perform LST every few days in order to keep the plant in the desired shape.
How long does it take for LST to show results?
It can take a few weeks to see noticeable results from LST techniques, but the overall yield can be significantly increased because of it.
Can LST be used in combination with other techniques?
Yes, LST can be used in combination with other techniques such as pruning and defoliation for even better results.
Is there a risk of damaging the plant when performing LST?
Yes, there is always a risk of damaging the plant when performing LST, but as long as it is done carefully and gradually, the risk can be minimized.
Can LST be used on outdoor plants?
Yes, LST can be used on outdoor plants, but it may require more maintenance and attention due to factors such as wind and weather conditions.
What is the best way to train an indoor plant for maximum yield?
This will depend on personal preference and the specific strain being grown, but topping and the ScrOG method are often recommended for indoor growers.
Is it necessary to use LST techniques for a good harvest?
No, LST is not necessary for a good harvest, but it can significantly increase the overall yield and improve the quality of the buds.