Home Forums Cannabis Cultivation Newbie’s introduction to LST

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    • #4948
      Keith
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      Points: 6,116

      <p style=”padding-left: 40px;”>I thought we could start a thread dealing with the basics of LST.  Mostly bc that’s all I know, but I thought if we all put in a bit of knowledge and personal touches we could have a thread that someone could read through to have a good understanding of the basics.  I’ll show you guys what I did on my last grow.  I was very happy with it.  I had an even canopy up top and plenty of room down below to water.   Here a pic of what the plant looked like towards the end.  Then I’ll get into how I trained them.</p>

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    • #4958
      Keith
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      Points: 6,116

      It made it easier for me to understand when I simplified it.  All you’re really doing is opening up the bud sites.  Topping it will create more bud sites.  Basically taking one large cola up top and turning it into 2.  When you bend the top of the plant down and you see those buds sites turn towards the light it becomes really obvious what you need to do from there.  So after topping, that’s the first bit of training I do.  It may seem obvious but it wasn’t to me, that you need to support the base of the plant.  You’re not tipping, you’re slowly bending.  This picture is from today, I didnt get any pics of the base support during the last grow.   Also I got started on lst pretty late due to space issues.  Typically you’d want to start shortly after you top it.

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    • #4960
      Keith
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      Points: 6,116

      I supported the base and bent down the top.  From there I just spaced out the nodes as evenly as possible.  Attempting also to keep them at the same height.  On these I pinned back the fan leaves bc they were blocking a lot.  After a day or 2 they’ll re-orientate themselves and if they’re still blocking ill usually just hang a clip from a green wires weighing it down.

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    • #4963
      Keith
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      Points: 6,116

      This is them the next day.

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    • #4967
      Nate
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      Points: 470

      This one was a bit of a late scrog, since I had bad luck and had 3 of 4 plants turn out to be male. So I reset the one female under the full trellis.

      This was my first scrog or trellis, which entails tucking the branches under the net as they grow upwards to open up the lower bud sites which will then grow upwards as well. Most training techniques that I can think of force the plant to redistribute the hormones that govern growth from the leading tip to the lower and side branches changing the plant from a pine tree shape to a bushier plant with more leading tips.

      • #4973
        Keith
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        Points: 6,116

        That’s good stuff right there.  I struggled to understand what to do with the scrog net at first.

      • #4983
        Nate
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        Points: 470

        Thanks man. I think the whole thing about it is you have to set it lower than you’d think in order to have the branches close enough to bend them outward. The main idea behind it as far as I can tell is to have a wider more even canopy. It can be a bit of a pain to have to work under though. I’ve seen some larger setups that have their pots on tables to be at a working height, and the the trellis is like 8 inches above that.

      • #5011
        Somatek
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        Points: 6,637

        Scrog nets are an easy way to keep the canopy even with the idea being you keep tucking branches under as they grow and try to become dominant so the plant keeps bushing out until 75% is filled and then you flip, by the time stretch is done it should be filled and you have an even canopy of prime buds grow up without any being too large.  Large buds mean less weight as there’s more stem, the contract with compassion clubs use to state that no buds over 3″ would be accepted as they wanted consistency and quality, not donkey dicks to brag about.

      • #5045
        Keith
        Participant
        Points: 6,116

        What is compassion club?  That’s really good stuff.  I never wanted huge buds bc I’m worried about mold or rot.  Not sure if there’s a difference between the 2.

      • #5064
        Somatek
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        Points: 6,637

        Compassion Clubs were the medical co-ops that existed during prohibition to supply patients in need with medicine, although some are still running like the BCCS (BC compassion society), or at least were until semi recently as someone was telling me they were being shut down.  Toronto Compassion Club, CALM or the Montreal Compassion Club (which made Jean Guy famous) are the big ones I remember across Canada but I’m sure there was more that have slipped my mind.

        Training/prunning/topping is all about controlling the hormones to affect growth but it’s rarely discussed in these conversations.  The more you understand what plants are doing in response to us, the more we can work with them instead of against them.

        I’ve never really had problems with mold/rot in grows regardless of bud size as there should be adequate ventilation to keep the climate in a good zone.  I did lose some of the biggest buds I ever grew indoors from sloppy drying though, back in the early 2000’s I grew Spice from Mr Nice seeds and ended up with massive, fruity buds we affectionately called baby legs a they were big fat buds that reminded me of pudgy baby legs.  Since the humidity was so low (under 40%) I decided to dry them in a cardboard box that I’d open for ventilation daily to control humiidty.  Except I forgot about them, got distracted and when I finally remembered and checked 2 or 3 days later they were completely rotted out.  Mold generally isn’t a problem until you let the conditions get to the point where it becomes one.

        Botrytis (bud rot) and PM are both fungi but some pathogens are bacterial or viral.

    • #4968
      Keith
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      Points: 6,116

      And this is them 5 days later.  The fan leaves are still there they’re just trained down to the sides now.

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    • #4976
      Keith
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      Points: 6,116

      A couple days later a bit of light defoliation again to keep the bud sites open.

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by Keith.
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    • #4980
      Keith
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      Points: 6,116

      Then they bounce right back.  This was also when the tent opened up so they got moved into there.

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    • #4987
      Keith
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      Points: 6,116

      From there is just more of the same.  As the branches get taller you continue to pull them even with the rest.  Pulling out and down, or over and down, just wherever they need to go to get more light.

      I’m not going to comment any on scrog bc I don’t feel like I know enough about it.  But someone will.

    • #5012
      Somatek
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      Points: 6,637

      Great post and solid explanation.  To elaborate a bit LST works as the tallest point on a plant, the apical meristem, has more hormones that dictate and restrict growth in the rest of the plant (called apical dominance) which is why most if left alone will grow into an xmas tree.

      If we top a plant or use LST/super cropping to shape it that removes/alters the apical meristem and the hormones controlling growth so all the branches have a growth spurt to try and become the new top shoot.  By successive toppings or training as those shoots grow up and try to become dominant we can keep the plant in a controlled growth burst outwards.  Which gives us the nice even canopy for even light distribution as the inverse rule of light intensity shows how quickly it diminishes (the intensity of light diminishes equal to the distance square, ie at 2ft it’s a 1/4 the intensity, at 3ft it’s 1/9th, etc).

      • #5047
        Keith
        Participant
        Points: 6,116

        That’s what I’m talking about.  That’s super a super helpful thing to read for someone attempting lst.  I think if you can just help someone to understand why we do lst, then it’ll come naturally.  You can’t really teach them how bc every plant is different. All you can do is tell them why and explain what’s happening.  And you did that very well.  I was really hoping for your guys input.  I could not carry this thread, lol.

      • #6262
        Somatek
        Participant
        Points: 6,637

        That’s very true, some plants will naturally have less apical dominance and tend to grow as a bush instead of an xmas tree or columnar shape, so need little topping but just training to keep the canopy level.  A columnar plant though with very strong apical dominance that wants to grow as a single cola would need lots of topping to create the same effect and are really better suited to growing in a SoG which matches their growth tendencies instead of fighting them.  The key is understanding how hormones dictate growth and gaining enough experience growing different plants to understand the differences so you can work with the plants instead of fighting them.

    • #5015
      Cannabliss
      Participant
      Points: 4,164

      Lst is an awesome way to improve yield by just bending the plant over. Stabilizing the base helps with strengthening out that stalk a whole lot. Topping does as well. I’ve grown a plant that was topped in sessions. In the end I had 32 colas on a canopy so even, you could stack a house of cards on it. It’s literally my trophy plant project. Pics to come.

      • #5048
        Keith
        Participant
        Points: 6,116

        Yeah dude you gotta show us.  I’m genuinely interested.

    • #5017
      Cannabliss
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      Points: 4,164

      Same plant that was in there with my auto clones.

      Subliminal meaasage in here is: Never let them tell you that you took off too much in veg.

      Should I make a thread here from start to finish on her training?

      LMK. I put in some work on this girl. Veg time was 122 days. Flowering time was 64 days.

      Ocean forest soil & Advance nutes. 150W led

      • #5043
        Keith
        Participant
        Points: 6,116

        Yeah def.  That looks really good.  I would love to see how you did that.

    • #5023
      Brad104
      Participant
      Points: 767

      Damn straight, show us the life from beginning to end of you don’t mind @cannabliss your definitely one, who’s grows I enjoy watching and discussing what ever it is that you post! I appreciate everything you share and help me with @cannabliss.

      Keep them coming bro!

    • #5102
      Cannabliss
      Participant
      Points: 4,164

      I’ll work on it today. Like I mentioned.. this was my favorite grow. Took forever, but worth the experience.

    • #5616
      Atom
      Participant
      Points: 691

      I like to use lots of different methods of plant manipulation. As others already mentioned its all at the end of the day a way to increase yeilds and even out your plants.

      I’m no pro at super crop but here’s some shots of my bending them early on, then using LST. Once they go into bloom I’ll use a net for a scrog style finish.

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      • #5623
        Keith
        Participant
        Points: 6,116

        So you twist too?  I’m having a hard time super cropping since I started using silica.  The branches are too hard.

      • #5629
        Atom
        Participant
        Points: 691

        Yes, as I’m squeezing the stem I’m sorta twisting it little more and more. Slowly massaging it basically. Then when it feels soft I’ll bend it way I want. It helps minimize damage to the stem. It’s the technique kushman uses.

        They can be hard to get to bend especially on older growth or extra hearty plants. I bent these at only about 3 weeks old and there about 10 weeks in the pictures. I did do it again at about 7 weeks a little more. I you look around the pictures you can probably see more higher up.

      • #5730
        Keith
        Participant
        Points: 6,116

        Maybe I’ll give that a try.  That twisting action makes me hella nervous though.  I was just squeezing them until I heard a pop before.  That twisting action introduces a whole other way of fucking it up for me.  Plus with how hearty they are I would be worried it’s got less bend or give to it.  I’m just going to carefully try a few branches and see how it goes.

      • #5733
        Atom
        Participant
        Points: 691

        Don’t be scared my bro, even if you do mess up it’s not the end of world. Every thing is experience and going to make you that much better of a grower.

        This is plant in the exact same batch as the previous ones I’ve shown. I thought for sure it was going to die off, I all but snapped it off. But sure enough it did fine, even the next day it was still looking pretty good. Shocked the hell out of me. It goes to show how strong these plants are and how they want to survive.

        Grab that bull by the horns and go for it I say!

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      • #6885
        Brad104
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        Points: 767

        After I learned to Lst every plant I have from hear on out will go through Lst and some topping too  Of course we keep on veging until time to put them under bud once and for the all.

         

      • #6191
        Somatek
        Participant
        Points: 6,637

        Twisting branches to break the inner pith/connective tissue between the vascular bundle is the safest way, much less likely to cause significant damage by breaking the vascular bundles then by pinching or squeezing them.  Think of the structures involved; we have a hardened pith core giving it strength surrounded by parallel tubes carrying nutrients/sugar (the vascular bundles) up and down joined by connective tissue.  When pinched or squeezed there’s more risk of compressing the tubes and restricting nutrient flow, twisting puts pressure on the weakest point (inflexible inner pith and weaker connective tissue) and causes that to break without causing compression.  Hope that makes sense and helps give you confidence to twist not squeeze your stems.

        On another note it’s important to say that the more super cropped a branch/stem is, the harder it gets to work as the tissue grows back stronger each time becoming more fibrous.  Which is why I rely on other techniques more and only use super cropping when needed to make drastic re-shaping without breaking stems.

      • #6243
        Atom
        Participant
        Points: 691

        As always you nailed it Somatek. I’d like to add the the twist also allows better control of where you place the bend. I used to just pop it and hope it would go exactly where I wanted but that didn’t always work out. With the twist, you are less likely to break the cell wall structure and cause a hole in the stem as well. If you zoom in on my crappy super crop attempt in the last pictures, I didn’t twist and it opened up the stem quite a bit. I’ll likely be cutting that out because when I damaged it, it took longer to heal so now what was a top no longer want to be a top.

        It took me many years to build up from LST to trying super cropping. If your interested in trying it I say just go for it. As always I like to suggest starting slow, just on one plant, or even just one branch if you have only one. Dont be afraid of trying new things, that’s where the sweetest juices are squeezed. 🤘

         

      • #6263
        Somatek
        Participant
        Points: 6,637

        I personally don’t worry when the vascular bundles split like that and show the inner pith, the plant will recover and grow just fine as they phloem/xylem aren’t broken (just the connective tissue holding them together) so nutrients can still flow.  All you need to do to get it back to being a main top is pull the taller growth down which will spur all branches to grow giving it a chance to become a dominant grow shoot again.  I try to avoid cutting off biomass as much as possible as that’s resources that have gone into growth which are being wasted.  Obviously it’s beneficial to make sure the canopy is even so there’s no competition (branches shading each other cause the shaded branches to elongate their internodes, which means more stem and less leaf/bud for any beginners reading this) but I try and do that by pruning growing shoots when the first form.  Before the plant invests energy into them.  Of course that’s just my priorities which may or may not be relevant to other growers.

      • #6384
        Keith
        Participant
        Points: 6,116

        I left way too many small branches this last grow.  How do you determine what should be cut?  I thought these little branches would produce a little bigger buds.  They were just under the canopy though.

      • #6264
        Keith
        Participant
        Points: 6,116

        Dang that was really well explained.   I def wouldn’t want to crush that and restrict nutrient flow.

      • #6281
        Somatek
        Participant
        Points: 6,637

        Like GI Joe always said, Knowing is Half the Battle…  I’m a bad person for co-opting anti-drug messages to push my pro pot agenda lol

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