So you’re taking the leap and starting to grow your own cannabis! If you’re like most, you might be a little nervous and pretty confused about how to grow the best plants. That is why you have us to help.
Maybe you’ve never grown before, or maybe you’re ready to take your cultivation game to the next level, whatever the challenge, Grobo is here for you. One of our passions at Grobo is sharing our growing knowledge with you so you can become a more confident and successful grower.
10 Advanced Cannabis Growing Techniques
Achievable with a bit of practice and support from the Grobo Team!
Topping involves cutting off the top of your plant to encourage it to grow more thick and full. It might seem like a crazy idea to cut the top off of a perfectly healthy plant, but it is a tried and true method used by farmers of many plant types. Instead of your plant growing tall and skinny, topping will make your plant grow more bushy and lead you to a higher yield.
Topping keeps the plant wider which means more of the plant will be directly under the lights, letting the whole plant grow stronger. With this practice, you will have to add some additional time to vegetative growth as it does cause some stress for your plant.
2. Fimming (F***, I Missed)
This is more of a training technique for young cannabis plants, which encourages bushy growth, increases extra flowering and lateral branching. This technique popped through people's mistakes while trying to do the Topping technique.
Now to the big question – how does fimming work?
Generally Fimming is not used intentionally, hence "f*** I missed". Topping your plant is a much more effective growing technique for your cannabis plant. Topping will more reliably encourage a healthier, bigger cannabis plant.
Lollipopping is where you remove the side branches and the small low branches on your plant. Once you remove the small branches your plant will be able to put all of its energy into the main branches. It’s very similar to the regular pruning that is done to trees and other plants.
This practice is done when you don’t want the small branches sucking the energy from your plant. Removing the sluggish lower branches that often sprout along the base will also allow better air circulation for your young cannabis plant.
Check out THIS Video (skip to 7:45 for the lollipoping process!)
4. LST (Low Stress Training)
Low Stress Training involves bending the branches slowly so that they grow in a certain direction. This is similar to putting braces on your teeth.
You might be wondering if it’s okay to stress plants, but the truth is plants are able to undergo stress, just like our teeth! The reason we stress plants is to bend our stems into a shape that best fits the available space and makes sure it is growing in the right direction.
5. Monster Cropping
This technique has the name Monster Cropping because it results in so many flowering plants, it has almost a monster result. Monster Cropping is where you take clones of a plant during the flowering phase and replant them. When you take clones during this growing phase, the clones very quickly flower as well, which leads to many, many flowering plants all at once!
A benefit of flowering clones is that they grow very bushy, with lots of nodes and side branches (remember how Topping and Fimming were trying to do just that? More side branches means more of the plant is exposed to the light).
One of the cool things about Monster Cropping is that you don’t have to keep the mother plant in order to let the clones grow. Many times the mother plant becomes big and spreads out, which takes up valuable space. When you take many flowering clones and replant them you can increase your yields and maximize your space.
6. Super Cropping
One of the toughest things to manage in any indoor garden is height. Sometimes you come across a strain or plant that wants to become a tree. In this case we can utilize several methods to keep the plant away from burning on the light.
If you are getting close to the light still, you can Super Crop your plant. This is basically bending it once to get it to a new (often horizontal) position. It is achieved by selecting where you are going to bend your plant and in which direction. Then simply hold the stem in your fingers and pinch, twist a bit and bend. You are wanting to soften the stem enough to enable you to bend and not break it. You will be able to achieve a 90 degree angle, allowing for extra space and for the buds to grow up again.
Imagine a candelabra where the buds all stretch up off of a common stem. If you do snap the branch, all is not lost. You can use masking tape to ‘bandage’ the break and often the plant will heal itself after a week or so.
This is a great way to increase your yields if you have a species of plant that can tolerate the stress. Folks call this method "high-stress training". You need to be careful to use this technique on a plant that can withstand the stress and then super cropping can grow a cannabis plant that is bushier with more buds.
7. ScrOG/SCROG (Screen of Green)
Screen of Green is when a screen (usually of netting or chicken-wire) is attached at a certain height above the plants. This makes sure that your plants only grow as high as you’ve chosen. Once your cannabis grows to the height of the screen it will start growing out to the sides, making the plant wider. A shorter, wider plant makes sure that more of the plant is directly exposed to the light above. This is a technique that typically results in a healthy plant and very high yields.
8. SOG (Sea of Green)
Sea of Green is a fast growing technique that lets you quickly grow many small plants. This is a good method for people who are short on time and need short plants due to height restrictions.
Sea of Green is where you put many small plants very close together in your grow space. By packing them in tightly you may be restricting their room to grow, but you are ensuring that there isn’t wasted light or wasted space in your tent. Through this technique the plants need a very small amount of time to grow and enter the bud phase, letting you harvest your plant quickly. The restricted space will also mean that there is far less trimming you need to do because it is less likely to grow small branches that can pull the energy away from the main plant.
Flushing is where you pour clean water through the soil of a plant in order to flush out all of the nutrients and solids. This is done if the plant is in distress and needs to start with fresh nutrients and growing medium. In a hydroponic system, the water reservoir is drained and refilled with fresh, plain water.
Flushing forces plants to use the nutrients stored inside them. If unused or in excess, these nutrients can alter the taste and quality of the final yield. Some growers also find that flushing at the end helps bring out preferred characteristics – like a slight colour change.
10. Main Lining
Main Lining is a way to make your cannabis plant grow a certain way using one or more of the techniques we’ve listed above. The goal of Main Lining is to make sure every branch has a direct connection to the main stem. On a regular plant the main stem has large branches coming off it with smaller and smaller branches coming off of those. This leads to the large branches receiving more nutrients that the little ones growing off them. Main Lining ensures that every branch is getting the maximum amount of nutrients and every branch gets the same amount.
In order to Main Line you might use previously mentioned techniques such as Lollipopping, LST or Topping. Once you Main Line your cannabis plant you can be confident that every branch is receiving the same amount of nutrients and has access to the same amount of light!
And there you go, 10 Advanced Growing Techniques you can use to maximize your yields. Good luck growing, we’re rooting for you over here at Grobo!
Stephen has been a medical cannabis patient for the last 15 years in Canada. His passion for growing has led him to become the horticulturalist and customer success lead at Grobo.