I usually train the plants for up to two months before flipping the switch, which means that they are thick stemmed and quite large in size. If you can arrange for a separate vegging and flowering area, you can start training plants in one room while the others happily flower away in the other. Although plants can be kept very low with training, my aim is to grow large and busy plants that produce the maximum amount of bud. Due to the long vegetative period, the plants are strong and healthy with an abundance of bud sites. Keep in mind that the plant also stores up energy in the leaves.
This energy will then be used during the flowering stage to produce bud. Naturally, the plant continues to feed on the nutrients in the soil but the energy reserves ensure that your plant will maximize its yield. I try to keep the canopy even by topping the plants that stretch more but sometimes that’s impossible, especially when growing both indicas and sativas at the same time. One has to make adjustments according to the needs of the plants and direct longer branches to the corners of the grow room. Sometimes the only option is to bend down and tie the branches horizontally so that they are resting on the Scrog net. This can be a strange sight as the flowers keep growing vertically out of the side of the bud. The basic idea is that the training should be complete by the time the plants start flowering and grow through the net. Sometimes a second Scrog net or string is necessary higher up if the plants need further support.
There are also different methods when it comes to Scrogging, some people tilt the net so that one side is higher than the other, as this provides a greater surface area for the buds. There is also vertical scrogging, which is a unique method of growing, where the light is hung vertically in the centre of the room and the plants are trained to grow around it. This is perhaps the most efficient way to make the most out of indoor lighting. Look it up if you are interested, there are some very good guides here on the forum. Sea of green or SOG is the method of growing where a multitude of smaller plants are grown instead of few large ones. These smaller plants will mature faster and in less time than larger plants and one crop can be started while another is maturing. This saves the grower a lot of time and money as less time is required between crops. This method is also good for those wanting to make the most out of their smaller grow area. Twice as many plants grown half as big will fill the grow space twice as fast, so harvests take place almost twice as often. Although SOG is more of a style of growing than an actual technique that can be applied in order to increase the harvest. I still wanted to mention it here as this method of growing will under the right conditions actually increase the harvest. As opposed to growing a few larger plants in the same area, that is. Since you want the buds to cover as much of the grow area as possible, 1-4 plants per sq. More light in the grow room also allows for more plants. Plants should naturally not be topped when using the this method as the idea is to harvest the main cola from a whole bunch of smaller plants and topping them defeats that purpose. Plants that favour the main cola make excellent sog plants. The light can be kept closer to the plants and it reaches all the way down since the plants will be a lot smaller and shorter than in a normal grow. The SOG plants do not require any training as that will only slow them down and delay the harvest. It is probably better to just grow more plants instead and fill out the entire surface area with as many plants as possible. In case the smaller plants do not fill up the entire area of the grow room, some minor LST training might be needed in order for them to branch out a bit more. The SOG grow can also be Scrogged for further control over the plants. In order for this method to be truly effective, all the new plants would have to be clones from the same mother. That means that all the little plants will grow at the same rate, which is important for keeping an even canopy. Although no topping and training is needed when growing SOG, the trimming of branches and fan leaves, especially lower ones, becomes a must because every little bit of space counts towards the harvest.
By removing excess fan leaves that would otherwise block bud sites, the SOG grower improves on his yield. Since SOG grows usually contain a great number of plants in a relatively small area, the need for trimming fan leaves becomes apparent. After all, what we are after is a bountiful harvest and different methods apply to different styles of growing.
Monster Cropping or Flowering Clones is another method of growing that was brought to my attention by one of our members; JWP, who also was kind enough to provide the pictures for this part of the guide. This method involves taking clones of flowering plants and then forcing them to root and re-veg, which eventually leads to very bushy plants with a great number of branches and nodes. I named this technique Monster Cropping because that is what you will get, real monster plants, but also because this method was introduced to the scene by a grower named greenmonster714. He in turn credits a grower named Feral for discovering this technique. You start by taking clones of a plant that is about 21 days into flowering.