If you could have your way, would you want your plants to provide insanely high yields of trichome-rich buds? You can attain that by super cropping – the most aggressive form of high-stress training. In this article, you are going to find out how to do just that. The secrets of marijuana horticulture experts – revealed.
How Super Cropping Enhance Potency And Boost Yields
Avoiding unnecessary stress cannot be overemphasized. Like humans, marijuana plants can tolerate stress to varying degrees. Once it becomes too much, plant growth slows down. They become more susceptible to pests and diseases. If the affected plants were to reach full maturity, the quality of the buds and the size of the yield would be mediocre, unless we remove the stressor early on.
As our ancestors found out, it is possible to use stress to our advantage. In this case, deliberately “stressing” the plants activate its defense mechanism – produce more THC or buds. Super cropping lets us have both.
This training technique involves bending stems to simulate an attack by a predator. It triggers a hormonal response, stimulating the production of THC and other cannabinoids and terpenes. Trichomes, in which these compounds are found in the highest concentrations, are meant to repel the enemy. For us, they are strikingly beautiful and contain the compounds responsible for marijuana effects.
The process of super cropping also alters the structure of the plants. By bending select branches, allowing light to reach low-lying shoots. As a result, more buds develop fully in size. No other training method can coax the most out of marijuana plants.
- Proven to be effective in enhancing bud density and increasing yields
- Great for maximizing indoor space
- Promote better air circulation
- Does not require special tools or advanced gardening skills
- Not suitable for auto-flowering marijuana strains
- Can cause severe injury if not careful
- Plants need a long recovery time if injured
- Can be labor intensive if growing multiple plants
How To Super Crop
Before you super crop, here are some things to keep in mind.
- Small plants may not be ideal for super cropping if the distance between nodes is too short. A decent gap is required for new branches to grow.
- Auto-flowering plants are also not suitable for super cropping. They grow at a rapid rate and do not have the time to recover from stress and injury.
- The best time to super crop marijuana plants is when it is 3 to 4 weeks into the vegetative stage. It should be healthy, free of pest infestation or disease, and has already grown a few sets of leaves and nodes. Ideally, it should already be at 12 inches tall.
- When choosing a stem, it should be one that is soft and grows upward. Woody stalks and branches should not be bent as they are too brittle and could break.
- You can super crop plants multiple times. If you already did that to a branch, remember to crop them at the equivalent height.
So, what do master growers and other experts in the field of horticulture know and do?
- Gloves (useful when super cropping more than one plant to avoid excessive resins sticking to your fingers)
- Grafting tape
- Garden ties or regular zip ties
Step 1: Choose The shoots
Starting with only a few branches to test the plant and see how it reacts to be sure it can tolerate high levels of stress. Make sure that the stems are green and bendable.
Step 2: Squeezing & Bending The Side Shoots
The ideal spot to super crop is between the two leaf nodes of a branch. If your plant has more than one cola, crop each one at the same height. For single cola plants, crop the greener top.
Having chosen a spot, use your thumb and forefinger to exert gentle but firm pressure to pinch and soften the inner tissues of the shoot. Next, twist and wiggle it between the fingers back and forth for 5 to 10 seconds or until you feel a soft crack.
Once it feels wobbly, gently bend it to the desired position at 90 degrees angle. Be extra careful so as not to cause any tears.
Step 3: Mend External Tears & Tie branches
As a first-timer, you may exert a bit too much pressure and cause damage to the outer tissue. That is why you prepared a grafting tape. Use it on the injured spot not only to hold but also to aid the plant in producing a woody nodule.
If pinching and bending went well, then you do not need the grafting tape. You should now tie the super cropped branches to a bamboo stick for support. Tie the trunk side, not the bud site, to avoid further damages.
Step 4: Check And Monitor
If you had to use the grafting tape, it should stay on for around 10 days before removing it. Do so carefully and inspect the injured spot. You will know if it has healed when you see a discolored “knuckle” or node. On the other hand, you would have to tape it again if the bent spot appears grey and wounded still.
When you do it right, the plant would have healed and grown supporting branches. If any of the crooked shoots straighten, then reinforce them using garden ties.
Super cropped plants are short and bushier than if untrained or trained with other methods. As they would have more colas, you can expect a bigger harvest of potent buds.
Super Cropping Is Easy
The secret is out. Super cropping is among the easiest training method you could apply to the marijuana plants. It is also the most aggressive in terms of providing you the highest yield possible. More importantly, the buds would contain more cannabinoids and terpenes.
You may accidentally bruise a stem or two, but that is only at the beginning. Once you get the hang of it, you should be bending like a pro. Now, all you have to do is to wait until your plants are ready and go do it.