The procedure can be repeated several times during the vegetative stage for even better results. I would like to point out that the vegetative stage is not set within a certain time frame. You can extend it as far as you like in order to have more time to shape the plant. Most plants won’t start flowering until they are put under a 12/12 light schedule.
I usually wait at least until I see preflowers before I put the plants into flowering stage, this also gives me enough time to work with the plants. Low Stress Training (LST) Topping the plant or Super Cropping it can be considered High Stress Training (HST), which might upset the plant to some degree. There is however another option called LST or Low Stress Training. Topping and low stress training work quite well together but it’s not necessary to top the plant in order to start the training. Some people prefer to leave the plant untopped and tie down the main shoot at ground level instead. This will have the same effect as topping it because once again, the centre for growth control located in the main shoot will dictate how the plant takes shape. When the main shoot is tied down, all shoots above it will grow more rapidly as the plant now assumes that the main shoot is gone. These diagrams, originally posted by big_buddha, illustrate what I am talking about. These are excellent diagrams so many thanks to the creator.
It is possible to keep tying down each new branch as it pops up, which will result in a plant that grows into a dense bush with an even canopy. LST training combined with topping can be a very effective way of creating a plant that makes use of all the available space. If there is enough time for it, top the plant several times and keep the internodes as short as possible by bringing the light in closer. More nodes means more bud and less stem means less energy wasted. Training the plant in this manner takes some time and there is no way to reach good results by being in a hurry. As you can see, the plant in this picture has been both extensively topped and trained. If you look closely you can see where the branches have been tied to the pot. Tying down the branches in a circular fashion will help the plant to take on the desired shape. There are many ways to train a plant and each plant requires a slightly different treatment. The goal is however to get a plant that looks like the one in the picture above. Once that plant goes into flowering it will have numerous shoots with many nodes. Once the bush gains size and starts to stretch, you will have to start pruning it carefully and wisely. Just to demonstrate how many different ways a plant can be trained, here are some pictures of plants in early training. By training a plant you can also slow down the stretch, especially in pure or sativa dominant plants that tend to stretch more than indicas. This Oldtimer’s Haze was stretching a lot and had quite long internodes so I topped it and trained it to grow around itself and eventually it grew into a sphere. This Kali Mist plant was stretching for the light but did not like to be topped so I tried to slow it down by tying down the branches horizontally. In the end this plant preferred a few main colas so I stopped the training shortly after. Some plants will resist any attempts of training and respond poorly when you try. These plants will probably yield more when left untopped. Here is an example of Ingemar’s Punch that went through some serious LST training. This plant resembles a creeper vine more than a bush. Here the goal was to keep the plant as low as possible but usually the plant is allowed to grow in size and height so that it produces a larger crop. This example however illustrates the possibilities when it comes to training. Remember that even if your grow room is limited in height, you are not restricted to growing solely Lowryders or other strains that stay low and small, as any plant can be trained to grow in any manner or shape.
This opens up possibilities for stealthy cab and pc grows. You just have to reserve some time for the training during veg and perhaps you will have to continue the training during flowering as well, like in the example above. Scrogging, or Screen of Green means that you suspend a net over the plants and allow them to grow through it. This makes it easier to separate the growing branches so that they eventually cover the entire area of the grow room.
The Scrog net also provides support as the buds can often become so heavy that that the branches cannot support them anymore and break under the weight. Thereby the Scrog net also removes the need for noisy fans, used to make the stems stronger through the waving effect.