Low Stress Training: what is it?

Sep 02, 16 Low Stress Training: what is it?

Low stress training: what is it, and how does it work?

You’re probably already aware that cannabis cultivation brings with it it’s own mountain of jargon. Whether it’s indica or sativa, topping or stretching, autoflowering or photoperiod, it’s often difficult to decipher what the language actually means. In this article, our boffins unpick another one of these strange terminologies, Low Stress Training, to find out the principles that underlie it, and the ways in which it works.
The first thing to know is that Low Stress Training (sometimes referred to as LST) is a means of training a plant to grow in a certain way in order to produce far bigger yields. There are several other plant training techniques used by growers but, in the case of LST, the plants are gently bent and tied down as they grow. This creates multiple bud sites, meaning a much larger harvest. Another added bonus of LST is that it enables growers to ‘teach’ the plant to grow into the desired shape and size, even if the growspace is very small.
By contrast, High Stress Training techniques, as the name suggests, are techniques which achieve the same objective but cause stress to the plant, such as chopping its top off or Super Cropping. LST, on the other hand, causes hardly any stress to the plant and doesn’t affect its growth rate. It’s completely free and it works on all cannabis varieties.
One of the ways in which LST works is that it allows the grower to create a canopy of leaves by gently bending branches away from one another and securing them in place. Not only does this prevent the plant from getting too tall, it also allows the leaves to get maximum exposure to the sun or other light source, since the leaves don’t overshadow one another. Hence – maximum yield from a short and squat plant.
If the plant is getting too fat, the same method can be used, but this time the branches should be wound around the main cola. As the plant grows, and the branches are wound, the lower growth tips will also rise up and turn into colas, themselves covered in buds. Viewed from above, this creates a ‘star-shaped’ effect and, again, allows for even distribution of light to all parts of the plant. Several large colas are more effective than a single large cola and so, once again, the yields are much bigger, despite the plant’s relatively small size.
An important point to remember: string, or anything else that’s sharp, should never be used for tying down plants because it can cut into the stems as they grow and create an ‘open wound’. Instead, soft wire ties (or other softer tying apparatus) should be used, so that the plant stays happy and healthy.
To conclude, Low Stress Training is an effective means of controlling a plant’s size while also producing bumper yields without hurting the plant. It’s simple, effective, and all that’s needed are a few pieces of wire – and it really works.

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