how do i top my plants and wen is the best time to do it???
Hey bongzilla420, topping, (HST), is a method of growth modification used to maximize growth to the area of growth. It's used primarily inside for using the most of the available area under the lights and to prevent the plant from getting too tall for it's environment and outside to help reduce the total height of the plant to help hide it from detection by the piggys and thieves.
The difference in the yield of the plant will be marginal. If the plant were to remain unchanged and only one top Kola, the cured weight will be very close to that of a fully pruned and topped plant. The primary difference will be that when pruning, (LST and HST), the harvest will be many, many top buds of lesser size, but equal accumulative weight with the one top bud in an unpruned plant.
This fact is widely unknown to the majority of MJ growers. I've heard stories that would make you roll on the floor laughing about increased yield by pruning. IF you have restricted area, and you use maximum LST and HST, the yield can be slightly better than growing a single main Kola with severe height restrictions, but this has more to do with the allowed time of growth than the capability of the plant if given unrestricted growth area vertically.
Another factor you may wish to consider is the harvest time needed. One single Kola plant takes about a tenth of the time to manicure than one that LST and HST was used on.
I use both methods. My last grow of Big Bud was done with maximum LST and HST. I wanted a shit load of smaller buds for smoking instead of picking at one large Kola. I had 4 plants with over 130 top buds. The cured weight was near 3 pounds.
For my current grow of Snow White, I'm going to use 20 plants and NO LST or HST. I'm growing them straight up with no modifications what-so-ever. I want to have 20 main Kolas when I'm done. I expect each Kola to weight about 2-3 ounces for a total of 40-50 ounces of bud, (2.5-3.1 pounds).
Good luck to you man. I hope I answered some of your questions.