So i was just wondering what does everyone think of different training techniques? like do you prefer topping or FIMing? and do you recommend SOG or such and what everyone thinks about there favorite techniques. here's a list of different techniques and how there done. NOTE*: Copied from Highgrade-Seeds Forums/Blacky! I take no credit for this piece of literature. LIGHT BENDING Light bending occurs when a plant grows at an angle toward the light. You may have noticed plants on the perimeter of your grow area bending toward the light to try and get their share. If your plants bend too much they will eventually grow toward or even into another plant and block other plants from the light. Also, during flowering the buds will become heavy and may cause plants to fall over. A simple way to avoid light bending in an indoor grow environment, is to simply switch your plants around. If a plant leans too much in one direction, then move it toward the middle of the grow space or turn the plant around. It only takes a day or two for the plant to straighten. If your plants can't be easily moved, as is the case with hydroponic setups and outdoor gardens, then you may have to tie your plants so they don't bend. If you are growing outdoors and have a major problem with light bending you may have to cut away surrounding foliage to allow more light to reach your plants. If this is not possible, try using thread and small stakes, such as bamboo, to keep your plants upright. Remember: if your plants are bending they are trying to tell you that they need more direct light. PRUNING FOR YIELD Pruning is the action of manipulating the number of node regions (potential bud sites) that your plant creates and has nothing to do with the thinning process. Cutting a plant at the stem will automatically result in Hopping'. For this reason, plants that are thinned via cutting will end up growing more than one top cola. Topping is discussed in the next section. This section covers pruning to increase yield. By using stakes you can also control and separate branch growth after pruning. Prune cuts are made using clippers held at a 45-degree angle to tbe shoot being cut. For every stem or branch that you prune, the cut area will develop two more branches.This process is natural: just look at any tree to see how the stem divides into branches which sub-bivide into more branches which divide into new shoots and leaves. Marijuana plants grow branches out from the stem. Any filling out occurs when new leaves and branches develop at the node regions. Some of these branches may develop new shoots, but these are somewhat smaller and thinner and don't support as much bud growth. If you prune your plant 0you can make it more like the example of the tree. If you learn to prune your plant properly you can produce small bushy Sativa plants that grow in tiny spaces. Without pruning, a Sativa plant can stretch to five feet or more. Keep in mind that there is a limit to how much you can prune a marijuana plant. If you prune the stem, it will split in two. You can prune both of these new stems and end up with four stems. You can 0000to prune each of these four stems to create eight stems, but results will depend on the strain and its genetically predetermined branching limit. You might be able to prune some of the lateral branches, but again, if the plant has reached its threshold it will not produce more branches. All strains are different in this respect. TOPPING Some marijuana growers will take a pair of clippers to the top of their plant just above the last branch formation during the third or fourth week of vegetative growth. The top is removed by shearing it away at the stem. What happens next is that the main stem splits off in two or more directions, creating a V-shape at the top of your plant. The end result after flowering is two or more top colas instead of one. Now, two top colas instead of one does sound appealing and some growers have even managed to force a plant to grow more than six top colas using this method. Unfortunately this topping method of pruning doesn't always lead to better results. Depending on the strain and the growing environment, the 'topped' plant may produce two small top colas instead of two big ones. Also, each strain has a threshold for bud production that cannot be improved upon because it is a genetically predetermined factor. On the other hand, some plants when fully grown without topping do not reach their threshold. The strain Blueberry is a good example of this. If you grow Blueberry without topping you won't achieve maximum bud production from that plant, but if you top the Blueberry, you will. Other strains aren't so flexible and the two top colas will simply share the same volume of bud that a single cola would have produced on the same strain. It's advised that you keep in mind that pruning for yield using the topping method is strain-dependent and experiment carefully with this pruning method. Do this with 2 out of 10 plants in every grow. You'll find in time that during this vegetative prune you will be able to shape your plant. Plants are generally pruned three to four weeks into their vegetative cycle, but can be pruned sooner or later or more than once. Pruning during flowering is not advised as the plant will be forced to divert its energy from bud production into branch and leaf production. This results in a slower rate of bud growth. For optimal growth finish your pruning well before flowering. FIM Technique There is a topping method known as the FIM technique. If you push the leaves apart at the very top of the plant you should see a small bud (not flowering bud but an actually leaf bud). Use a pair of nail clippers to pinch off about 3/4 of the bud. This should result in more than two top colas being developed. In a single FIM clipping you can produce up to eight new top colas. The origins of this technique are humorous. As the story goes, FIM was discovered accidentally when a grower messed up a topping exercise. FIM stands for: "f**k I Missed". Super Cropping Technique Another method of topping is called Super Cropping'. By taking a branch between your forefinger and thumb you can gently crush the branch, causing it to develop multiple branches above the crushed area. You must crush it on the correct side or risk breaking the branch. Just squeeze lightly until you feel the branch give, then let go. If it gives easily then you have crushed it on the correct side. If it is hard to crush and the branch splits then you have chosen the wrong side. Practice makes perfect with Super Cropping. Super Cropping should be carried out during the second or third week of vegetative growth and does stunt the plant. You should also note that plants that are Super Cropped can remain in the vegetative growth stage for twice as long as normal but the end result is a very bushy plant with multiple node regions that should all produce bud. Many growers have thrown Super Cropped plants away because they believed that the plants were not flowering in time. If you Super Crop your plants make sure that you have the patience to wait until the process is finished which usually about four to six more weeks of vegetative growth. HOW TO MAKE CANNABIS BUSHES Some people prefer their plants small and wide. Fortunately for them, making cannabis bushes is a simple process. During the third week of vegetative growth prune half the plant's branches. Cannabis plants need at least 50 percent of their leaves in order to continue growing without experiencing fatal stunting problems. If you prune off more than 50 percent of their leaves, you may end up killing your plants.* Do not prune only one side of the plant; prune both sides to achieve the 50 percent. You may also prune the main top cola if you want to split it into two or more parts. If the prune cuts you previously made grow new branches and leaves, you may wait until the fourth or fifth week of vegetative growth and prune again, leaving 50 percent growth. During the seventh week of vegetative growth you'll notice that your plant has started to grow outward more than upward. Let's say you have a plant with eight shoots. That means it is four nodes high. You prune the plant and end up with 16 shoots, but the plant is still only four nodes high. Now this does not mean that you can keep doubling shoots forever. Pruning merely pushes the plant to grow all of its shoots early. If you keep pruning a plant that is four nodes high until the eighth week of vegetative growth, the greatest number of shoots you will get will be about 32. Most marijuana plants will not grow much beyond this factor, but again this is strain-dependent. Now each new shoot has a junction point or a node that it grew from and each node should produce bud during the flowering stages. It is possible to create a marijuana plant that droops over the sides, completely concealing its own pot. With the right strain, it is also possible to have a single plant spread over an entire 6x6 foot space using this method. Creating cannabis bushes usually requires a few additional weeks of vegetative growth. TRAINING Training simply means tying down your plant's main stem so that it grows in an S-shaped pattern. You can also train your plants to bend into other shapes but the S-shape is the most common. Training is mainly used to prevent plants from reaching their natural vertical height without pruning, although you can also prune trained plants without a problem. Training does not stop your plants from growing to their natural height but instead promotes horizontal instead of vertical growth. You can also prune trained plants if you want but most growers just rely on the training to achieving optimal results. Training is accomplished by bending the plant over, attaching a piece of thread to the stem and securing the thread to either another part of the stem or another plant or object. By tightening the thread bit-by-bit, day-by-day, you can successfully bend your plants without causing them undo stress. Fishing line works very well in cannabis plant training. Some of the threading may be located very close to your lighting and heat can cause some threads to snap or even burn. Fishing line works best because it is one of the most durable and heat-resistant filaments you can buy. Make sure not to tie your line too tightly around the stem or you could end up cutting into it and causing plant stress, topping it or even killing it. People have managed to grow plants of all sorts of shapes using this method from corkscrews to full circles. Some growers even like to grow their plants horizontally during the vegetative growth stage with just a single 90-degree bend at the base of the plant. When done correctly with the right strain, training can lead to excellent overall bud production. If a stem breaks during training, simply hold it in place using a stake/stick and bind it with cheesecloth or a porous cloth bandage wrap.There are many types of plant waxes that you can buy from gardening stores to help close the wound. If you do not have a wax, applying honey to the wound also helps. Honey has healing properties that help rejuvenate plant wounds but must be carefully examined every day for fungi development on the honey-treated area. Watch for any new growth at the break area and trim these away, because they will try to break away the upper part of the stem, effectively topping your plant. It is not uncommon to find roots trying to grow out from a damaged area although the high percentage of air outside of the break zone will prevent the roots from growing much more. CLONING Cloning is a simple method of replicating your plants. In most cases a clone is taken from a mother plant and grown into a new plant that contains the exact same genetic code as its mother plant. In a selection of 30 seeds you may find a nice mother plant that you wish to keep. You can sustain and keep using her genetic profile indefinitely through cloning. Any cannabis plant can be cloned once it's been grown to a certain height and has developed a number of node regions. The best place to take a cutting for cloning is above a node that has at least two nodes above it. The smallest cuttings on average are three inches in length. Once the cutting has been taken it is placed in the growing medium and should form new roots over the next one to three weeks. One hundred and twenty clones rooted in rockwool! Cloning straight to soil can have a low success rate and is very dependent on the type pf soil that you are using. Use the wrong soil and the clone will fail quickly. The best soil for cloning is a standard loam type with an even N PK ratio. Avoid using seedling or cutting soils as most of these have added hormones and nutrients that are not suitable for cannabis or cannabis cuttings. Cloning in water also has a low success rate because the roots need air to breath once they have developed. If they remain submerged, the cuttings will eventually die. In water cloning, the cutting needs to be transferred to another medium, such as soil, rockwool or a hydroponics system. This means that the clone will have to move through a number of mediums before finally being transplanted to the main growing environment. Multiple transplants can lead to stress and the overall success rate can decrease because of this. Some advanced growers like to use an aero cloning kit that acts like a miniature aeroponics systems for the propagation of clones.These systems can be expensive, however, and tend to require a lot of practice before getting cuttings to successfully root in the system. In order to increase your success rate with cloning you may wish to purchase a rooting solution, which can be bought from most grow shops. Make sure you that use a clean instrument, or better yet a sterile instrument, when you make your cut. Try to take a piece of stem of no more than three inches between the cut zone and the next node level. The longer this section is, the more difficulty the cutting will have in the uptake of water and nutrients it needs to grow and produce roots. Take the cutting and dip the cut area into the rooting solution before placing it into the medium. Make sure that you close any holes where the cutting may have punctured the medium to prevent air from reaching the cut zone, which can stunt root growth. Do this by simply filling in any gaps with little pieces of the medium. Clones don't need much light to root. Try to avoid using the bigger grow bulbs for cloning as this can be a waste of electricity and bulb life. A simple window with some outdoor light is all you will need for the clone to root. Many people use fluorescent lights for clones. When the clone takes root in the rockwool you will see the roots jut out from the sides of the cube. It is best to keep the cube size small so that you can observe the roots' progress. A two-inch squared cube is ideal for rooting cuttings. Any bigger and it will take longer for the roots to grow outside of the cube. When they do the clone should be transferred to its new grow medium: soil, hydroponics or aeroponics. This is the most successful way of producing clones. The great thing about cloning is that you can create hundreds of female plants from a single mother. Clones also flower more quickly and you know what you are getting in the end because you have already seen, smoked and grown the plant that the clone was taken from. Two labeled trays of fresh clones. After a few days of rooting the clones will look more vigorous. Although you can take clones at any time during the plant's life it is best to do so during the vegetative stage of growth. Clones carry the same age as the parent plant. Some clones used by seed-bank breeders are actually more than a decade old. They have been propagated for years and years by constantly taking cuttings from clones and then taking further cuttings from these cuttings. If you take a cutting a week before the plant is mature enough to display sex then the cutting should only need a week after rooting before it is able to flower. If you take a cutting during flowering the clone should be able to flower right away after it has rooted. If you want to revert a cutting from flowering to vegetative growth simply keep the cutting under 24 hours of light and clip away any calyx or flower formations that appear. After a short time under constant light, the cutting will revert to vegetative growth; however any manipulation of the photoperiod will throw the plant back into flowering almost instantly. Clones that are taken from a plant during vegetative growth are much easier to control than clones that are taken from a flowering plant. That is why we generally take clones during the third or forth week of vegetative growth. Growers can use cloning hormones or rooting hormones, which come in two main formats: powders and gels. Powder hormones are generally used for cloning in soil. The powder is tapped into a small hole in the soil and the cutting is placed into this hole. A small amount of the powder is then added to surface of the soil so that, with successive watering, the powder will seep down into the soil and promote root growth. Rooting gels are much better because they act as a seal, preventing air from reaching the cut zone. In addition, gels are not water soluble, whereas powders tend to be.This means that gels have a longer lifespan than powders. A proper rooting hormone should contain the vitamin Bl (Thiamine). As an experiment, cut some roots from a test plant and place half of the 'dead' roots into a solution of water and the other half into a solution of water and vitamin Bl.The roots in water with added thiamine will continue to grow for quite some time, while the roots in the plain water solution will die. The time it takes to root a clone depends on the strain and the cloning method used. Some strains, like Blueberry, are notoriously hard to clone. Others are much easier. On average it takes about a week and half for a clone to develop a root mass suitable for transplantation. Do not be surprised if you find that it takes a set of clones more than three weeks to develop a root mass.The best way to tell whether or not your clones are rooting properly is to clone in batches from the same strain. If some of the clones do not develop a root mass after the others have, chances are that these clones have failed to root.Take one of the clones without any obvious root mass from the medium and pull it up to check for roots. If none have developed then the cutting has failed to root and should be discarded.