beginning grower

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Feb 2, 2006
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since the outdoor season is right around the corner im trying to gather all the last bits of information i need. i pretty much have everything under control resource wise but since this is going to be my first grow i dont have any experience. although topping is optional, it seems by topping my yield will be higher. i am not growing with intent to distribute but i would like my yield to be as high as possible because i want to hook some of my friends up. here is my question. how and wear should i top my plant if topping is necessary? i have read about this but it seems every time i read a new guide i get a differentn answer. what should i cut my top shoot with? where should i cut my top shoot? should i only top once?


depends, if you are growing a few plants you can experiment for yourself

I usually top once, basically cut of the top 2cm of the plant with a pair of clean sharp sissors about a week before flowering begins

My friend tops once the plant has 8 nodes and then tops the 2 emerging sprouts a couple of weeks after

Stoney Bud

It's been proved that if two plants are allowed the exact same conditions and are grown to a natural maturity outside, it makes no difference in yield of the plant is "topped" or not.

Where this is NOT true is when the plants are grown inside using artificial light and other variables can be adjusted to maximize yield and plant height. A plant that is only allowed 5 feet in height and is not pruned in any manner and not trained in any manner will have much less yield than others that have had these additional methods applied.

If a grower uses a combination of LST and HST, maximizes the light that the plant can use and totally fills the growing area with branching, the yield of that grow will be multiples of a grow with none of these factors applied. If CO2 is applied in a manner that maximizes the plants ability to use CO2, this also will multiply the weight and potency of the yield. I've never used CO2, but this information is readily available from many scientific sources.

So, in conclusion, yes, topping is much better on inside grows but makes no difference on outside grows in terms of yield. When secrecy is a factor outside, topping will help reduce the chance of the plant being discovered by reducing it's overall height.


Well-Known Member
May 25, 2005
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When you top is up to you.
For maximum yield, do it early.
I would top when the plant was about 1' tall.
I'd cut off the top 3" or 4", midway between nodes. It's best to use a clean sterile razor blade for the cut, at a 90-degree angle (straight across).

Keep in mind that when you top a plant, especially early, the plant will ultimately need more roots than an untopped plant to supply itself with add'l water and nutrients. Instead of a hole 3' x 3' deep, you should increase that to about 4.5' x 4' deep. Use a top-quality, non-prefertilzed potting soil. You can refill the hole with 1/2 potting soil and 1/2 existing soil, but 100% potting soil is best. The best brands of potting soil are Fox Farms Ocean and Forest and Black Gold potting soil.
Most growers add more perlite than most potting soils come with, bumping the perlite content to 25%. This provides aeration.
If you can't find Fox Farms or Black Gold, look for a brand that has lots of organic amendments, such as worm castings, seabird/bat guano and seaweed/kelp. Your soil mix should also contain hydrated lime, to buffer pH.

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