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vegetative growth - training/pruning

How do I prune and start supercropping ?

 

How I like to prune...

 
 



This branch's top is less than half the way to the top, so it's useless to me.
First, I like to start at the bottom of the plant. I make sure that there's nothing to stop airflow under the plant. Air flow is extremely important in getting healthy plants with good yields. As the leaves use up the CO2 and produce O2, small pockets of useless O2 are collecting under the leaves. If your garden has good circulation, this won't be a problem, the air is constantly moving throughout the entire surface of every leaf, however gently. So, I start by cleaning up useless leaves and branches that are at the bottom four to five inches of the plant. NO GREEN will exist here except for the branches themselves.



Snip the bastard right off!




I am not very conservative in my pruning. I will attack a healthy plant just as it shows first signs of flowering. This is also the last time I prune any branches. I know at this point how much taller they will get, and I am trying to keep them at a certain height and a certain thickness.



This is a better scene, but...



I will go on to make sure that none of those tiny branches starting at the bottom of the plant remain. NO GREEN!



This is also when I attack the leaves...



All I am interested in at this point (first signs of flowers) is exposing as many bud sites as possible here in the first stages of flowering. This exposure to the light source early on will establish many more prominent bud sites than just letting the plant overgrow itself. Carefully look at the plant from the top, where the light comes from, and look for bud sites that are not exposed to your line-of-sight because of a leaf. Take that leaf off.



All this vegetation will return soon, don't worry about that.



Can you see what was stuck in the shadow of the leaf in the above picture? Not any more! Notice the lighter shade of green the shaded leaves and bud site have. That's from lack of direct light. This should darken up and fatten up now that it has access to more light.



This is an example...



of what happens when you prune branches for the effect of making your plant bushier. Notice I sniped the center branch about a week ago. Back then, those two side branches were just barely visible tufts of green, not yet leaves or branches. Now they're doing exactly what I had pruned for, to produce two branches at the same top level where before there was only one. Access to the greatest amount of light by the greatest amount of branches, and therefore bud sites, is a way to ensure heafty harvests in healthy plants.



I supercrop to increase yields



I have supercropped before and have recently come to the personal conclusion that it does really work. My largest and most developed colas last crop were on supercropped branches. Just take a tender branch in your fingers and pinch and twist at the same time until you feel the insides start to collapse under the pressure of your fingers. The branch might droop slightly, but this is what you want. You're actually damaging the insides of the branch. We are trying to damage the vascular (water and nutrient carrying "veins") tissues so that they double in size after a week or so of healing themselves. As in human muscle, we must slightly damage our muscle tissue (by exercise) before it heals, larger and better able to move fluids to and from places in the body that need them. So by supercropping, you're creating body builder Pot plants!



This is the flowering...



area after pruning leaves, branches and supercropping. I didn't take a picture before, but if I had, you'd see that they used to be very very cluttered with light blocking leaves and useless bottom branches which never catch up to the producing branches, and actually cause a drain on resources more than anything. In a week these will be covered in young but well-lit bud sites. The front half of these girls are Yankee Platinum clones the back are NL.



To help increase yield...



and to decrease overall height of the plant, I top (snip the main growth shoot) when the plant has four to five sets of leaves. This is at the fourth set. This action will cause your plant to react by extending those tiny green tufts of green on the side of the stem into full-blown branches.



Proof that it works...



This is what happens after about 5 days to a week after topping. You can see the great increase of side shoots. These will, with some training and future pruning, all compete for light at the top of the plant, instead of being relegated to the middle or bottom of the plant, shadowed by the main cola that you didn't snip when you had the chance to do so.