Super cropping or High Stress Training (HST) marijuana plants will drive a bigger yield by stressing them. Here we discuss why we do this and how to successfully super crop your marijuana.
Of the 483 known compounds in Cannabis, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the pharmacologically principal psychoactive component of cannabis you will find present in its leaves, buds and flowers, well noted for its hallucinogenic properties.
The second major constituent is CBD, which compared to THC is non-psychoactive, it is also considered to have a wider scope of medical applications such as in treating epilepsy, anxiety disorders, nausea etc.
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Why do we ‘stress’ the marijuana plant?
We firstly need to fully understand and identify what is going on in the plant in order to do a better job. After all we want to produce the largest and the most hallucinogenic buds so we must know what causes this thing to happen
Digging deeper and taking an assessment of the elements of cannabis besides knowing that every process and every element is for a reason in nature, the logical question to ask is, why does this plant have the need to produce THC. So, why does marijuana need to produce something which causes these psychotropic effects? It is this simple – this plant uses THC as a defence mechanism for its own protection!
You will now understand the process in producing this ingredient is a nifty technique to help the plant defend itself from predators. Funny thing is that what protects it from predators makes it prey for the most dangerous of species –humans. Other mammals that may accidentally come in contact and feed on the plant however, will certainly avoid its consumption because not only does it taste bad to them but they will certainly not like the follow-up effects.
Indeed, marijuana does exert their resourcefulness when they “feel” stressed in order to safeguard against a possible predator they usually react in a specific way. The defence mechanism inbuilt in the plants will push them to produce much more cannabinoids and buds, which as we already know are the main constituents that cause the psychotropic effects on mammals.
One may ask why we need such information, when all we want is to simply appreciate and identify the mechanism for super cropping marijuana. It is important because these processes that cause the plant to create buds which become laden with cannabinoid are the essential ones which make us grow marijuana.
What is the secret of super cropping?
In the next few lines, you will learn the secret of growing high quality yield. As mentioned above marijuana will produce the finest of heady buds when it is stressed, therefore as a consequence of its nature, will drive a process of protection. So if you strive to harvest the best and the largest buds you should know the techniques of how to correctly stress the plant that will result in an increase in the production of cannabinoids. If you aim to get a better harvest, this is the basis that leads to what is better known as “super cropping” which is by far the best method of stressing your marijuana before harvesting.
Produce as many branches / heads as possible
The main idea of super-cropping is in getting your marijuana to produce as many branches to induce more leaves, buds and flowers. All you will need then, is the simple knowledge of how to do it the proper way, super-cropping marijuana then, is something every person can do – yes, it is that simple!
The term “Super Crop” is non-other than what is known as a High-Stress Training technique (HST). To apply it means that it will require a certain amount of stress to be applied to your plant by exerting gentle pressure that will slightly damage the tissues in an intentional manner. It can intensely escalate your marijuana yields because of the special stress response that takes place within the plant. For its own survival, its growth mechanism will cause the plant to become bushier, thereby creating an environment for increased bud production that will result in higher levels of THC.
The technique is really simple once you know how to apply it.
What you will require:
- Just some grafting tape or any strong tape to repair and support possible outer damage
- Some supporting props and tie bands
- A good dose of common sense and the information given below will do the trick
- You should also have some understanding about how to properly stress the plants for the purpose of super cropping. This requires a few simple steps to follow.
Step one – Super cropping
Choose the most suitable branches you want to super crop.
You do so because even though the method can be applied to every plant, not every one of them will react in the same way. Start by doing only a few branches at a time, you will make sure that the plant reacts well to the stress technique.
The best time to practice super-cropping is in the plants’ vegetative or growing stage. This is usually in the second or third week when it will be most effective. How will you know to identify this stage? It is when the plant is producing a few vigorous branches but has not yet got into the fully flowering stage. Remember that a good amount of growth takes approximately from one to two weeks to start.
A good point for you to remember when selecting a plant to super crop is that growth becomes dormant once flowering has started. Super-cropping such plants are a waste of time.
Remember to choose stems that are mature, but are still supple and green. The ideal position is the stem area between two leaf nodes. One, if there is just the main cola and the other is when several colas are present branched out of one leaf node.
In the first instance super-cropping is best done on the supple greener growth nearer the top and in the second instance – the super cropping is done at the matching positions on the numerous colas.
Step two – Manipulate the branch
After selecting the spot, gently hold the branch between the thumbs and forefingers of your hand and while gently exerting firm pressure, soften the inner tissues and carefully rotate your hand holding the branch, by half a turn. Now you will notice that by doing this the branch has become pliable and you are able to manipulate the branch in the direction you plan to have it face, which is always towards the light, while making sure no outer bruising is caused.
Continue bending until the inner wood slightly snaps. It cannot be helped if at times, especially when you are still inexperienced, to overly bruise the plant. No worries, this can be remedied with a bandaged like repair with grafting tape. As long as the branch is not severed completely it will hold good.
It is also good for you to be aware that cannabis can be a remarkably resilient plant which means if the branch is not being bent firmly enough, it will bounce back in just no time at all to the same position you started from and there will be no result.
If you are in a hurry don’t try to grip the branches one by one and try to quickly snap them, it will only result in damaging the outside tissues which will require taping of the bent area to avoid separating the breakage. Have patience and do not rush the job. Come back if you don’t have the time.
To find out whether your job was successful and correctly done, the plant should appear broken at first sight and resting at an angle of ninety degrees while the manipulated branch remains down.
To avoid added problems, you should be really careful because all you aim at with this method is to induce the plant to throw out a greater number of colas and new leaves. Following the logic of nature, this would happen because the plant is deceived into believing that it is under attack by some force and therefore it will compensate by putting out additional new growth.
Step three – Grafting
You should not require any grafting tape if you have done a good job of bending and have successfully super cropped the plant without exterior bruising and the plant remains quite whole. In case of having a severely damaged branch which may be beyond natural repair, then applying grafting tape or any type of strong tape or duct tape will help to strengthen the damaged branch which will also help in the healing process. The branch, in the process of healing will grow a protective woody nodule to strengthen the damaged area. This will ensure that transpiration of essential plant nutrients and water is not restricted towards maintaining good health and turgidity of the plant.
Once you feel satisfied with your efforts you can give it a little support by strapping it to a prop such as a strip of bamboo planted firmly in the ground or pot. The idea is to keep the super-cropped branch steady and safe from accidental breakage.
Step four – Check your super cropping
In the fourth and final step wait for about a week and a half before any tape is removed. It is completely normal to have some discoloration on the damaged side. However, if you feel the wound has not healed properly enough when the tape has been removed, replace the tape and wait until the plant has repaired itself. This is noticed by a thickening of the damaged area.
The reinforcing and support of the binding tape during the recovery period will help the plant to continue to be able to transport nutrients independently maintaining all the natural growing processes. The plant will try to repair itself by growing new supportive branches, when this happens just tie them down. By this method of super cropping, the plant is now adjusting to your will and the training.
In properly applying the technique of super cropping you will enjoy a shorter and more controlled plant that produces a greater number of branches and buds. Even though keeping in mind that the plant will need a little more time to recover, the action of super cropping will not retard the growth of the plant as compared to pruning of the tops or picking leaves to induce growth. After all, this method gives you the same results and benefits compared to other LST or HST techniques. Above all, you must remember that no matter what, you cannot rush nature, so have the patience for the natural processes to kick in and finish the job you started which usually takes from about four to six weeks of growth. Don’t forget to water and feed it!
Have fun and Happy Super-cropping!