Nature, in all of its beauty, brings about a cycle of seasons each year. Each one is special in its own time and its respective attributes affect our environment in different ways. Today we celebrate Spring and the sun and the rainfall that come with it. It is in this time of year that seeds hatch, flowers bloom and trees boom. Growth is all around us in the vegetation and within us as well. In nature we can observe growth and when it comes to the seeds that we have sowed and the plants that we care for, we can influence the plant itself in ways that will further increase its potential and crop yield. In a world where cultivating marijuana can become a career or a full-time job in itself, it is essential to remember that with or with-out us, the weed will grow. As we continue the dance with the majestic Sheeba once the seed has been planted and sprouted, there is an opportunity to care for this plant in a couple of ways that can maximize its growth potential.
Plants, like all living beings, absorb and transfer energy. Photosynthesis is occurring from the moment the first leaves open up and see light. As the plant grows it begins to follow a natural process of life and reproduction. It is in these early stages of life in which we can maximize the yield of our harvest by cutting the plant at certain points. These ‘’cuts’’, rather than harm the plant, help to direct the energy of photosynthesis in a balanced way throughout the plant. It is these essential cuts in early life that give shape and body-form to the plant.
When to Top, FIM, or LST?
Marijuana grows in sets of leaves that come in two. After the 5th set of leaves the plant may be trimmed so that two new branches will stem from the top. This will cause the plant to look bushier and give greater yields. If the space is available, this technique can be especially useful. Keep in mind that the plant needs to recover after it is trimmed in this way, and although a plant may be trimmed or topped at any time during the growth phase, it is recommended to not trim or top the plant during the flowering stage.
Topping – The most common technique used by many growers. Simply use your finger nails or a pair of scissors to cut the stem of your plant just below the upper most node, where the new leaves would sprout. Cutting the plant at this point will create two new branches, making the plant wider and adding more volume to the leaves. Ideally, this technique is suitable for plants growing outdoors which have lots of space and receive a generous amount of natural light.
Fim or (Fimming)- ‘Fuck, I missed’. Legend has it that this technique and its name came about by mistake. Instead of cutting the stem itself, one can cut the very top the new sets of leaves so that two Apex buds will form at the very top of the plant vs two new branches forming. Although it is essentially the same as topping, fimming a plant can be useful with plants that have less room to grow, or if there are many plants growing in one place. Cutting the plant at this point will stress the plant in a way that more energy is put in to the main buds growing at the top and less at the bottom. Essentially, the cut is being made where four new nodes are growing.
Trimming and Low Stress Training- Every plant needs a haircut from time to time. Remember that big leaves absorb more light and require more energy to be maintained. With appropriate timing, one can trim the plant two or three times during the vegetation stage to maximize flowering potential. Although a plant may be trimmed at any time, it is best to cut off the bigger leaves that absorb most water and receive the most sunlight. Simply trimming these bigger leaves will give the plant a growth boost. This is referred to as ‘Low Stress Training’ by some growers because the plant can recover quickly and use more of its energy for the younger sprouts.
The Rhythm of the dance
Growing a marijuana plant can be a complicated process or a romantic affair. Patience and appropriate timing are required to train the plant so that it is robust with health and full of body. Each plant is different but the principles apply to all green things under the sun. Leaves that receive natural light and roots that are watered regularly will certainly give the richest of fruits when the time for harvest arrives. Remember that once a cut is made on the plant it will need time to recover. The process of trimming, waiting, watering, watching, is nothing but a dance. The rhythm, just like in nature, should be natural and never too stressful. Timing is the essence.
Did you get inspired by Antonio, lover of all green things? Check our seed collection for more ideas.