There are a few different ways of
supercropping, this is one that I find most beneficial.
An alternative name for this technique I?m going to
describe would be Tie and Train, and I find it to be a
lot like a scrog, but without the screen, and they are
similar in the way they create a mostly flat even canopy
of buds. This allows us to move the grow light closer to
the top, obviously reducing the loss of lumens through
distance. Also, this technique cuts in half the amount
of plants needed to cover a given area.
Supercropping relies on far fewer lateral buds
growing vertically and more on multiple colas in a small
space. Yield on a supercropped plant will be gathered
from the length of the stem, light size dependant. My
400 HPS that grew the plants in this thread will give me
10 to 12" of bud down the cola. Bigger lights, bigger
buds and more of them further down the stem.
There are several ways to achieve a room of
multi-cola plants forming an even canopy. The current
description in the GrowFAQ uses topping only. I agree
this is one way to the end result, but the book is still
out on if it affects yield or not. Other disadvantages
to topping are the continuation of vertical growth. 12
full inches taller than tied plants with training
techniques performed at the same time and at the same
node. Keep in mind, these plants are from seed, so
genetic vagaries are expected.
Another way is to
tie the plant?s tip to base for a week to induce lateral
growth, as I like to do, and a third way is to simply
tie the plant over 45 degrees early in the vegetative
stage of growth. I?ve only topped six and tied six (my
way) in this thread.
Once lateral growth is
achieved, and the tieing method is the only way to
nearly cease horizontal growth from the mainstem, the
branches are observed over the course of a week or so to
see which ones grow faster. These branches are gradually
tied to the outside of the planter. Smaller growing
shoots either get tied to the inside or made into clones
or discarded. Obviously, we're tieing the faster growers
to the outside so the smaller shoots can keep up with
them height wise. 12 Rosetta Stone plants
from seed at 3 weeks..
Grown in MG Prefertilized potting soil
cut with 1/2 perlite. No chemical fertilizers were added
during vegetative growth, only 1 tsp. of kelp extract
per gallon of water.
I do employ the snapping of
the hurd technique, but only to lessen the possibility
of the stem folding or snapping when the tip is tied to
base. So, pick your spot in the middle of the plant.
Using the thumb and forefinger from each hand, slightly
above and below the spot, counter-rotate your hands till
you feel a light breaking inside the stem. It may or may
not happen. If it doesn?t, don?t worry. Twist back and
forth a few times to create a general loosening in
rigidity of the plant. It should lean a bit, like this.
Take your tying material, I use a 10,000 foot
roll of twine from Wal-Mart, and circle it loosely
around the base and top of the plant. You want to pick a
top node with some decent sized leaves (1"+) on it to
prevent the plant from slipping its bond. They do try
hard to do this.
Slowly compress it down to the
shape you see here and cinch the tie. A bit of pressure
at the top of the circled stem will help prevent
folding. If the stem does fold, don?t worry. It really
doesn?t appear to make a difference in the plant, except
for the ease of tying it later. The plant WILL recover
as long as its not severed, sometimes even to spite you,
You can see she badly wants to turn
that grow tip towards the light. The week in tie,
through hormonal responses, forces the plant to stop
primary growth from this tip and focus on growing out
all the branches at the nodes just above and below the
tie. Until it is released of course, when the meristem
once again begins to receive a share, though not the
main share anymore.
This is just before
This is shortly after release, and
it has already almost resumed its vertical stance. It?ll
grow like this for a week and then we'll begin the tying
for training. See where the damage is and look at the
growth from the nodes under it compared to the growth
You can clearly see my goal with
I start with the countertie down low. It
should be opposite of the way the stem is leaning from
the tie for training. Far enough over that it is leaning
in the other direction. Put the next tie on the stem,
above where the hurd was snapped. Pull the plant over
like shown. These ties will remain in place for the
duration of the grow, and may have to be adjusted if the
plant grows too far off of one side of the planter.
Several inches of movement in any direction from center
is possible. These two ties will also have to be watched
carefully to make sure they don?t constrict the plant as
it thickens. I use the twine because it has a lot of
friction against itself and a single 1/2 knot is all
that?s needed for most branches.
two ties are pictured here..
Already adjusting to
the new shape..
Its has some ties in place already, but when I?m
done there will be a ton more. All the flower tops you
see are at different heights before training.
This plant is several weeks
All tops that have been
pulled over will reorient themselves toward the light in
a matter of hours. They?ll also be at the same height.
I tied down the six topmost branches
that resulted from topping, but that only succeeded in
making the top so broad it was like an umbrella.
Eventually I had to build a platform for the tied plants
to be even.
Sexing of the plants was certainly
The results were:
- 2 out
of 6 topped plants were female
- 5 out of 6 tied
plants were female
I draw no conclusions from
this until the next time I grow plants from seed, but
the results are something to be researched for sure.
Perhaps the stress of topping has some effect on
expression? Maybe the different stress of tying has some
effect in conjunction with keeping the main grow tip. I
did end up with 7 of 12 female, so that?s right in line
with the law of averages.
After seeing them at
the finish, I would have kept only the top flowers you
see here and not much else. The topped plants wasted too
much energy on growing stem compared with the tied ones.
Here is a side by side from a couple of
weeks ago. See the difference in the internode spacing?
Some on the topped plants are 4" apart! The tied ones
clearly have nodes all the way down the stem only an
inch apart. You can also clearly see where the topped
plant was cut. Had I allowed the branches to grow
unfettered, they would easily be a foot or more taller
than the tied ones. Keep in mind these all had their
training technique performed at the same time.
They do grow up to be pretty similar
even from seed..
My favourite plant..
The reason for
doing all this..
An even canopy of buds just a week
from harvest. That?s it, another viable alternative for
small space and/or small light growers that want to