Great article. lots of people will find this helpful. ive deided to go the lst route so i dont get 6ft plants. here goes a pic of my ak-48. thanks for the advice!!
Hey everyone. I have explained to many people about the method of Low Stress Training, and more than one have told me that I should start a guide. So, here it is.
To start, let me explain just what low stress training is. In the thread I will refer to it as (LST). All a training is, is making your plant do something you want.The best part about LST, is the key "Low Stress". It doesn't stress your plant nearly as bad as other training methods exe. Topping. All LST involves doing is the tieing or staking down of a plants top/uppermost growth shoots in order to get more top growths. This bends the plant over and spreads the light to the undermost parts of your plants. When you do this, it makes the undergrowth bush out as well. However, spreading the light isn't what makes your plant bush out.
I can not stress enough the importance of this word. Auxins, as defined in the science world are a type of plant growth hormone. In marijuana, they are the most import hormone when it comes to vegetative growth. In an untrained, regular marijuana plant, the auxins are most heavily distributed to the top/uppermost growth. The plant identifies this growth as its top and strives to grow it up towards the light more than the other lower growths. This is where LST comes into play. When you bend a plants top growth over, the plant identifies that it's top growth is no longer growing up, and it works to gain a new top growth. In essence, the auxins spread throughout your whole plant and this creates new growth along your nodes that have the potential to be equal to a "top bud or cola". Here is an example on the growth a plant recieves from the auxins being redistributed via. LST.
sep11 flowers 011.jpgsep11 flowers 001.jpgsep 12 lst 001.jpgSep 15 005.jpgsep20 002.jpg
Please take note at the new growth between the nodes. This is the work of the auxins. Also, take a look in the last picture as to where the original "top growth" is, and where the new top growth is. The plant created new ones. When flowering, this will give you more top buds, but less smaller popcorn buds that formed along the bottom of a regular grown plant. This particular LST grow was done with a smaller plant, but you can do it with large plants.
Now, let's take a look at the reasons why we LST.
1. Space- Many of times growers do not have the space to allow their plant to grow through the vegetative and flowering phase straight up (PC grows, attic grows, box grows). This is where LST comes into play. By tieing/staking down your plant, instead of growing vertically your plant grows horizontally, allowing your plant to still develop to maturity without growing up against your lights..
2. Light- As a plant grows upward towards the light, you constantly have to move your lighting fixture up to keep from burning your plant. As your light gets higher up, it gets further away from your bottom nodes and leaves. This can cause for more scraggly buds and leaves on the bottom of your plant, and put a dent in your harvest. This is especially true when you have lower powered lights(t5, CFLs, etc.)However, if you LST your plant sort of grows horizontally, allowing all of your budsites that grow up to be more exposed to the light. You will still have upward growth, just not as much depending on how long you let your new growth shoots grow before flowering, or LSTing the new growth down.
3. Stealth- Many of times those outdoor plants you have growing by the fence in the backyard just get too tall. What to do? Instead of growing up, just grow horizontally. This can keep those pesky neighbors from knowing that you have more than tomatoes growing in the yard.
Last but not least, let's learn how to LST. LST can be done in many fashions. I will first explain how to do it the way I prefer (with a few pictures) and the others I will give a lowdown on how to do them, but no pictures so bare with me.
The ClosehangerFor this method, all you need is a closehanger, wirecutters, some string or wire, and a piece of ducttape. This is for younger and smaller plants.
Step 1: Cut your closehanger into straight pieces (8-12 inches depending on how tall your plant is). You want the top of the closehanger to be anywhere from 4-6 inches below the top of your plant.
Step 2: Put a Crook or a bend in the end of the closehanger piece. This allows you to put the 2nd node down from the top of your plant under it.
Step 3: This is called the countertie, and is probably one of the most important steps. Take your string or wire and make you a piece long enough to reach from the base of your plant to the edge of your pot. Tie your string or wrap your wire about 3 inches up the base of your plant and run it to the edge of the pot. Don't pull on the plant, just make sure it isn't loose. Tape the other end of the wire/string to your pot. This gives a counter resistance to your LST so that your plant doesn't get uprooted on the stake down.
Step 4: Place your closehanger in the dirt of your pot, with the crooked end up.
Step 5: GENTLY bend your plants top over and place it under the closehanger.
Step 6: As your original top growth, and new top shoots begin to grow up, you can continue to stake them down and get lots of new growth. Repeat the process until you are satisfied with the bushiness and amount of top shoots that are on your plant. At this point you may let your plant grow as tall as you want or just switch to 12/12. I reccomend for indoor growers with limited space, as soon as you have the amount of top shoots you want that you switch to 12/12 as the plant will bush out incredibly if you continue to veg.
That is just the way I do LST. I'm not saying it's the best way, or it's the most effective. It's all a matter of personal preference. There are many other ways to do this including.
1. Screw and string Method- This simply involves screwing screws into the lip of your pot all the way around (8-12 of them). You then tie your plants top down to the screw nearest it with string. As new top growths emerge, keep tieing them down to screws around the pot.
2. Weighting- All you need to do here, is get some sort of a weight (Fishing weights, clips, or anything your plant can't lift). You then tie a string to this weight, and tie it to your top node. It pulls it down, and as new top growths appear tie them down with more weights until you have the desired amount of new upper growths.
3.Object Tieing- For bigger outdoor or indoor plants, you can find some sort of an object that the plant can't move, and tie your shoots down to it. I have a friend who uses a ladder that he uses as his weight and just ties plants down onto it. They are huge plants though.
As you can see, there are tons of ways to LST. When it comes to Low Stress Training, there really is no wrong way. Just tie your plant down, spread the auxins, and watch the new growth.
I really hope this helps people better understand LST and get a better feel of what to do when it comes to training their plant.
Thanks a ton for reading my thread.
Last edited by Rollbluntz; 09-23-2010 at 06:10 AM. Reason: Spelling
Just started 3 plants 6 days ago with LST, im lovin it at the moment!!!! +rep. for the guide. Check my sig. its under first grow.
+rep great article.
I grow with DWC so the weighting method sounds incredibly easy and pain free. Just need some twine and some fishing weights, both of which I have already
Awesome as long as the top goes down it will work good luck with the grow and feel free to post pics of your lst if you decide to use it, I'm sure if you do, you will love the results.
I did this outside on my girl and well....... see for urself what the benefit is......this is a PPP outdoor, with Foxfarm trio nutes, snowstorm, and gravity and mollasses during the flush now......I tied it down all year long and now that it is flowering, im impressed with outdoor LST growing......Heres some porn for ur thread man
Oh did i mention this is 1 clone....
+rep for you sir
hey rollbluntz. when you LST do you ever top the main cola?
thanks for the advice. im not going to top i just wanted to get a second opinion. +rep
update: i thought i would share this with you since i asked you about topping. on one of my plants i was pinning back the plant and i accidently split the stem on the main cola. i decided to just cut it off so i could see the difference between a topped plant and a non-topped plant.
Last edited by rsharp; 09-23-2010 at 05:01 PM.