Marijuana laws and regulations have changed dramatically over the last several years. While it is now legal to grow cannabis crops at home, restrictions apply to how many plants a single household can cultivate. This means getting the most out of your legal limits is crucial. For commercial growers, maximizing yields while minimizing costs and effort just makes good business sense.
Scientists and self-made experts have developed dozens of methods for boosting bud production, growing more plants in less space, and other helpful aspects. Many of them are effective, but some strategies place too much strain on the marijuana plants. Others are far too stressful for growers. Certain measures simply cost more than the payout is worth.
With low-stress training for marijuana plants, you can get the highest possible level of bud production without subjecting your plants to undue harm. At the same time, this yield-boosting strategy does not significantly increase your workload or budget. It is a safe, easy, and effective alternative to high-stress techniques.
What is Low-Stress Training?
Traditionally, each cannabis plant has one primary bud site and a few smaller ones. The main bud site is usually the uppermost portion of the plant that receives the lightest. Secondary bud sites receive a bit less light than their larger counterparts, so their buds grow smaller.
In low-stress training, the goal is to spread around the light a little more evenly to create multiple sites for large buds to grow. You do this by gently coercing the plant and its various branches to grow in specific directions. They will still reach up toward the light, but they will branch out more to give each other better access to the light they need for photosynthesis and bud production to occur.
Exploring the Benefits of Low-Stress Training
One of the most significant advantages of low-stress training for marijuana plants is the dramatic increase in large buds. Since more branches get exposed to optimal lighting, an increased number of potential bud sites develop. Those buds will often be denser as well. Of course, that is just the tip of the iceberg.
- Ramped-up Potency: When placed under stress, plants’ defense mechanisms spring into action. Prolonged periods of high stress will have a negative impact on growth and production, but the mild strain of this training technique ramps up plants’ natural defenses at just the right levels. As a result, you will have highly potent buds that are rich in THC.
- Greater Height Control: Some cannabis strains can grow to impressive heights while others seem to have a mind of their own and grow erratically. Using LST allows you to control how tall the plants grow, so you can keep them away from prying eyes. This is especially useful when growing in states where the laws are not in favor of growing recreationally such as Tennessee. Training can also prevent certain plants and branches from being starved of light, and even add a decorative appeal to your marijuana garden.
- Simpler Harvest: With traditional growing techniques, the buds closest to the light source are usually the first to appear, and they are ready for harvest before the rest. From there, secondary buds ripen at varying intervals. Keeping up with progress can be difficult. LST gives all buds equal exposure to light, so most of the buds are ready to gather at about the same time.
- Better Mold Control: Marijuana needs high levels of water and humidity to thrive. Unfortunately, extra moisture increases the chance of mold growth and other pathogens. Spreading out the canopy of your weed crop allows for better airflow, and this reduces the risk of mold destroying your buds.
- Fewer Adjustments: Cannabis plants require certain amounts of heat and light intensity. As they grow taller, you will probably have to continually raise your grow lamps to keep from burning the plants. Since you are controlling the height with LST, you are unlikely to have to make constant adjustments to your growing area. As an added bonus, your plants will benefit from greater consistency.
For most growers, those advantages are reason enough to try low-stress training. Still, there is yet another benefit to consider. LST is simple and inexpensive to implement. Even first-time growers can successfully implement this strategy. That is a benefit that few other training techniques provide.
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