Be warned that this is my first grow, these genetics are inconsistent at best, and that I really don't have any idea what I'm doing, or any real long-term plan. Whew, disclaimer out of the way, we can get on with this.The Halfass HazeDaze Training Overview
Hokay, so I use a combination of light and heavy stress training in different applications, as needed. Let's start with the high stress. High Stress Training
Once the plants get about this big, I begin to pinch the new growth tip. Once you tie them down or get radical with pinching/topping and they start growing more new tips, you will have more to choose from.
This practice helps to redistribute primary growth hormones within the plant, causing it to grow out more, and up less. Pinching stalls primary upward growth for a week or so, allowing the plant to focus on it's branching and lower growth.
I pinch about once a week after the plants show 5 nodes. I will only do this maybe three times to each plant, after that it starts to slow the growth significantly. I will part the upper-most fan leaves, exposing just the growth bud. Definitely wait to do any pinching until the growth bud has just created a new node, and there are not full new leaves coming out
. Otherwise you will mess up the new fan leaves and the pinching won't have much of an effect. Pinch whichever growth tips are growing faster and higher than the rest. Remember that you're trying to create an even canopy of growth. Slow down the fast growth, and help the slower growth.
So far, pinching seems to be hit and miss. Sometimes I will pinch and the plant just grows a new main stem instead of slowing down at all, or growing two. Pinching is sort of a backup technique, something simple to reinforce the bush growth pattern we're aiming for with the Low Stress Training. I reccomend FIM or topping over pinching I think.
Sorry, no overview of FIM for this post, I don't think I've ever actually done it correctly. Haha. Moving on.Low Stress Training
I use mostly low stress training to achieve the results that I want. Do you grow or veg with CFLs? I highly, highly
recommend you use some of these techniques.
The backbone of this kind of training is the stem pinching technique. The idea is to decide which growth you want where, and then pinch the stem at the critical place to weaken it and allow it to be moved/bent. This is what I mean.
Check out that growth tip on the upper left. I achieved that bend, and all the others, with stem pinching.
Pick a spot on any stem at which you would like the stem to bend and go somewhere else. Taking the stem between your thumb and index finger, slowly apply increasing pressure. As you pinch, roll the stem back and forth a little (less than 45 degrees, if you want to get specific). You should pinch until the stem is no longer tough/hard and becomes more squishy and rubbery. The amount of pinching required for a stem to be squished varies with plant age, and stem position on the plant. The thicker and woodier the stems are, the more pinching you will have to do. Newer growth is easier, so get on this before your plants get too big...
Gently bend the stem back and forth, it should be almost unable to support itself. Now you have a choice to make.
You can bend the stems down well past the point of being perpendicular to the main upright stem, and just leave them to reorient themselves. Or, you can bend the stem, put it where you want it, and tie it down.
In this picture, the two second-highest stems were bent down and left to recover. Look close and you'll see them at the third node down from the top.
I just tuck them down and leave them a lot. The plants will raise the stems back up within 24 hours, and you will have noticed a significant growth spurt in the stems you bent by 48 hours. The same plant, five days later...
All apologies for the poor angle of that shot, but you can see that Gladys is becoming a nice little bush.
This also helps the plant focus it's growth on the branches lower than the ones you bent, and therefore grow out; not up.
This can (and should) be done to the main stem as well, and in this way you can get the kind of thing Cannadude posted earlier- horizontal plants. I didn't really follow that method to the T... but being creative and trying new things usually ends in me learning a lot. I would recommend adapting these techniques for yourself, try new stuff!
I like to tie the stem down at a 90 degree angle to its original position. Like this.
You can, however, take that one step further. If you carefully bend your plants further down, eventually they can be tied to themselves, causing a 180 degree bend in the main stem. This is easy, and will give you great results.
Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of this, but it worked out great for me, I guess you'll just have to trust me on that. When the stem is tied to itself, suddenly all the lower growth is getting direct light. This causes the plant to react and send Auxins down the stem to new places, causing more new growth shoots to develop. But you've read enough about that already.
You can tie your plants to whatever, really. I used a paperclip and a lighter to melt little holes in the rims of my pots. Use some nylon, hemp, or whatever kind of rope, and you're in business.
Or, use some $Free.99 metal garden screen you have or come across. I wrapped it around the pot and bent it together to keep it there, like so.
Suddenly you have plenty of tie points, and with your handy dandy pinching techniques you can make your plant look however you would like it to look.
Go to town. I leave mine tied for about a week at a time, before adjusting the placement and tying them again. This is what I got.
I wondered as well, what happens when you just tie them once and leave them? It turns out, this.
This is Henrietta. Here you can see I pinched her terminal growth bud, causing the main stem to split. I think this can be done earlier than topping, but I'm not sure. It worked for me...
She went from this...
One pinch, and two ties that I never untied. It really couldn't have been easier. The other plants, being tied and untied on a weekly basis, have required a lot more maintenance than good ol Henrietta.
You can see how easy it is to do this... you can get some fairly solid results if you just top/FIM/pinch and tie down once.
Hopefully this shed some light on something new, or at least gave you an example of just how half-assed you can do this and still get great results.
Peace out, and remember that the important thing is to grow weed. Haha