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Wait until your seedlings have developed between 5 and 8 nodes. It’s essential not to top seedlings too early—otherwise, they may not recover. Then, cut the entire plant down to the 3rd node (3rd pair of leaves from the base).
Remove all additional growths and vegetation below the 3rd node. Your plant should have a central stem with two large fan leaves branching from the very top (Y-shape).
With your two main shoots prepared, it’s time to tie them down—gently! Young cannabis plants are fragile, and it’s easy to snap new growths. The aim is to train shoots horizontally, parallel to the ground.
Secure the other end of your plant ties or cable ties to the edge of your container to keep shoots on the straight and narrow.
With your knowledge on manifolds established, it’s time to learn how to go about mainlining.
Wait until each branch of your manifold has grown four new pairs of leaves. Then, similar to before, top either side down to the 3rd node.
This time, however, you aren’t going to remove all of the growth below the third node. Instead, only remove the second node, leaving node one and three intact.
Repeat the process on the other side, and you should have eight shoots in total (two pairs of leaves on both of the main branches).
Uniformity is key to keeping plants under control, so ensure you adjust the ties to keep both central branches tied down, and the base of the newly created shoots parallel with the ground.
You want your newer stems to grow to the same height, so check back twice a week and adjust accordingly.
With your plant topped and tied down, it’s merely a case of fulfilling their needs with water, nutrients and light while waiting for them to grow. Once you’re happy with the height (will vary based on your tent, grow op etc.), flip them to flowering by changing the light schedule to 12/12.
If you’ve followed all the steps outlined above, well done! You’ve successfully mainlined your plants, and in a few weeks, you should have eight dense colas to harvest and enjoy. During flowering, you can continue to prune and manage plants as you normally would.
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