When to start lst?

BROMAN

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reading over the guides and sticky there is no mention of when to start lst. "I assume there must be some height to the plant. 4 nodes maybe?.. 6"or so? My plants are approaching 2 wks on the 26 and looking good. I've got 4 1/2' of height so I'd like to bush the plants out and maybe even give a scrog a try.
 

pcduck

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Depends on your space but most start at the 3rd node.
 

Lesso

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I start real soon...as soon as i see real leaves.
 

BROMAN

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thanks Duck, Lesso. I will get on it. that third node is developing. the nodes are nice and tight so they are still short.
 
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reading over the guides and sticky there is no mention of when to start lst. "I assume there must be some height to the plant. 4 nodes maybe?.. 6"or so? My plants are approaching 2 wks on the 26 and looking good. I've got 4 1/2' of height so I'd like to bush the plants out and maybe even give a scrog a try.
I am figuring that this is a typo: 2 weeks old and 4-1/2 feet in height. So, I will assume you meant 4-1/2". If you are saying that your plant grew 4-1/2 inches in 2 weeks and has 4 nodes, I am guessing that you have a lot of stretch going on--not good so early. Can we get a pic? You still have a while before you have to start lst. I prefer fimming as opposed to having all those strings around the closet.
 

BROMAN

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lol.. I'm sorry for not being clearer. I've got - 4 1/2' of vertical growing space. the plants are developing there 3rd node now and, they are very tight thanks to the 400w mh cool tube. I've got till the end of Feb for this run. this gives me just enough time for a decent 5 1/2wk veg and the 9wks of flower the breeder states plus, an extra wk just in case. wont fimming/topping slow growth?
 

Lesso

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Fimming will stop the vertical growth for a short while and allow the side branches to catch up. Makes bushes.
 

BROMAN

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thanks all.. so Lesso your saying it (fimming) wont add time to the veg for the plant to recover? time is of the essence.
I've got them tied down using twist ties and rubber bands. the fourth node is actually developing now.
 

Lesso

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It wont slow them from maturing any faster, but it will keep them shorter. It will seem like they have stopped growing for a bit because the side branches are growing.
 

Hushpuppy

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Lesso is correct on that. I prefer to let mine get about 5-7 nodes before doing FIM because the FIM will cause the secondary branches to shoot out and up, creating a multiple top cola plant that looks like a candelabra. The plant will take as long as it wants (genetically predisposed) to reach sexual maturity. Until that point, you don't want to switch to flower if you can help it. But doing the FIM will slow down the vertical growth, allowing them to mature without growing too tall.
 

BROMAN

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thanks folks.. Hush I'm glad you showed up as, I had some other questions for you. 1st MP seems to really advocate the long veg to maturity. I've seen others go 12/12 from seed with great results and claim high powered smoke. I've also seen folks here (who I respect greatly) down the sog method (buddogmut) for the short veg. will yield and quality really suffer if you flower early? isn't it about bending this plant to our needs as dictated by space and circumstance? I've got 5-5 1/2 wks to veg my ladies. in that time I'd like to grow them as tall and wide as I can and fill as much of a screen as I can and throw them into flower and let the stretch do the rest.

I'm growing 2 cotton candy and one strawberry blue both sativa dom but looking rather indica. the cc I want to put under a 4x2 screen and the sb under a 3x2. they will flower under a dual 400w cooltube, separately. Hush I read a post where you said you grow hydro using coco. do you or, have you used straight coco? the plants are in coco in party cups with a little high n castings in the bottom. I want to transplant to mass p buckets but, I'm not sure what size the buckets should be or if multiple transplants are needed (after reading another thread on transplanting). the wet/dry cycle was the concern. Hush or anyone else can you advise?
 

Hushpuppy

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5 and half weeks is cutting it close but you should be ok to do what you want to do in that time. If you were a well seasoned grower, it would be a non issue, but for a new grower, it can prove challenging. Genetics often decide the lower limit on when a plant gains sexual maturity but environmental factors and manipulation can affect that. The problem is that there is a trade off for every action done to the plant that doesn't allow the plant to progress naturally. In some cases the trade off is actually positive (in the case of high stress and low stress training) but in other cases it can be detrimental.

Doing plants in SOG is not necessarily a bad thing if the strain is the type to work in that method. However Sativa dominant plants are not made for SOG in my opinion. They are better suited to scrog because of their nature to become very "branchy".

There are people who have tried the 12/12 "forced flower" from seed germination, but unless you specific needs require such a set up, it is not the best method by a long shot. The trade off is that the plant doesn't have time to develop as it is naturally inclined to do, and because of that, you don't get the level of yield (nor the level of quality I believe) that is achieved by fully matured plants.

Your situation is somewhat unique because of your time constraints. However, 5 weeks is right on the cusp of sexual maturity(typically 5-8wks depending on strain) so forcing flower at that point may not hurt you, especially if you are doing scrog. If you keep them very healthy and then do your FIM around the 5th or 6th nodes, get them bushing out and set the screen when they reach about 12-15", they should do well.

I would say to set the screen over them and then give them about 1 week to begin spreading under the screen (with your help at continually tucking the growing tops back under as they grow up through the openings), or longer if you haven't reached the end of the 5 and a half weeks of veg, then immediately flip the lights(to 12/12) and cut the nitrogen rich nutrients in half and begin bloom nutrients. Continue tucking and bending the shoots and tops to keep them under the screen until you see the buds forming, then allow them to grow up through at that point.

Another little trick that encourages the plants to switch to flowering is to begin the flowering phase by turning off the lights for 24 to 36 hrs then set them to 12/12. This long dark spell will boost the switch over of the hormones that control the phases of growth. Its not a huge difference so if you don't do the dark period, it won't hurt anything as it works better with some strains than with others. It won't make it happen overnight but I have seen it work to quicken the hormone response for those strains who need more encouragement to switch over.

I do use coco in both hydro and soilless setups. I use about 25% coarse pearlite to keep the coco from compacting. I haven't used "mass P buckets" but when I do mine in soilless coco, I go from the cups of coco straight to my final 3gal containers. I would suggest that you use totes or the larger Kitty Litter buckets, as both of these work quite well. However, you will need to drill some holes in these and then set them in some kind of larger shallow tray to catch runoff. I ffound some plastic totes that held about 3-4gallons of coco which is cheap to get, and that works very well for me. You just have to wait until the plants are nearly root bound before transplanting to the bigger containers.

What kind of nutrients do you intend to use?
 

BROMAN

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:afroweed: first thank you for the guidance. you and the other MPers are always great.
I realize my plans are rather ambitious. I just figure scrog and later sog will be my best methods going forward with necessary closet grows and, I like visiting with the plants (too much attention's what killed first ones). the way you've laid it out is how I figured on doing things. thank you for the lights out suggestion.

I've got 5gal buckets already(free) and was thinking I would cut them down too 4 if 5gal was too much. I will go with the 4gal. I've got plastic containers with wheels to catch runoff that are also part of my scrog design. I've got the perlite and a huge brick of coco along with high p guano, high n castings, kelp, alfalfa n bone meal to amend the buckets and to make tea. waiting for the chlorine to evaporate from the water to brew the tea. I've been using canna a&b in the mean time.

I will fim as you have mentioned around 5-6th node to get the branching and the 2 or more new tops. the lst is working already. i will start preparing the screen and my flower partition this week so im ready in advance. how will i know when the girls are almost root bound and ready for transplant?
 

Hushpuppy

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If you keep a close eye on them as they grow, you will see subtle differences in their growth when they get root bound. Sometimes they stop growing and sort of stall out. I would say when the canopy of each plant is as big as the container or a little bigger, then they are ready to transplant. So it sounds like you are going to grow basically in organics. So be sure to get some Mychorrizae, or even better is to get some Espoma's Biotone.

Go ahead and mix up all of the medium that you are going to use in your buckets. The 5 gallon will work but it that is too tall, you can cut them down to 4gal if you want. When you mix up your coco, mix about 1cup of Biotone into each bucket along with your other amendments and then let it sit for a good week or two before you transplant. I would also use a little molasses in the water that you rehydrate the coco with as that will give the microbes in the Biotone some instant energy to get them going. You will also need to get some Espoma Lime when you get the Biotone, and use about 1/4 cup per bucket of medium. That will help to balance the pH with the microbes and give the plants some cal/mag that they need. :) Green n gold grow mojo :)
 

BROMAN

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many thanks my dude.. I will run with your suggestions. if you haven't read the Mass Producer coco bucket thread it accounts for the things you mention. molded coffee grounds for the mycho, egg shells for the calcium, Epsom for the mag and molasses to feed the beneficials. I just checked out the "biotone starter plus" is this the right product? good bet. much cheaper than the other mycho products I've seen. I will try the 5gal hoping the roots hit the rez around the time the stretch actually starts giving a boost and growth spurt.
 

Hushpuppy

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Yeah I believe that Biotone Starter is correct. It is made by Espoma and it has more than just Mycho, it has a bunch of different beneficial microbes. I think they will do just fine in the 5 gal buckets as long as you have plenty of height for them to grow up. :)
 

BROMAN

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no one has the biotone and because of the holiday it's arrival is estimated around the 10th if I order on line. I'm going with the moldy coffee grinds. I'm transplanting tomorrow.. you think the 5gal could cause a height issue even with the scrog screen? I just want to fill that screen. 4gal?
 

Hushpuppy

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The 5gal will not be an issue for height with the scrog as you will set that where you want it (say 15" above the soil) and then the plants will not grow any higher because you will tuck the new growth under it as it tries to grow up through. Then once the flowers(buds) begin to form, you allow them to grow through the screen and up toward the light. The buds will grow 8"-16" above the screen, so you only have to raise your light up toward the end of flowering. Until the buds begin reaching for the light, you can leave it at 12-16" above the screen.
 

BROMAN

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bet.. I cut the buckets to 4gals. the girls are looking great, bushing out. it's really great to see the results of fimming. its really great to put these methods into practice. big fun.
 

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