What is super cropping?
Super cropping is one of the High-Stress Training (HST) techniques. Compared with Low-Stress Training (LST), HST is more difficult and can be uncontrollable. For those who have never tried it, you might be a little intimidated because super cropping stresses your plant by inflicting physical damage on it and if you don’t do it correctly not only will you reduce yields but your garden be destroyed entirely. Risk and opportunity coexist: if you do it properly your plants will grow more buds, increase yields, and produce higher THC levels. This is the dream of all of us farmers so super cropping is quite popular and techniques are consistently improving.
Why choose super cropping?
Super cropping is stressing the plant by bending the branches to break the inner fibers (keeping the outer structure intact). This may seem strange but it is actually in line with the laws of nature. The cannabis plant is the only known plant that produces THC naturally (and other cannabinoids like CBD). Cannabis plants were wild until humans discovered their utility and cultivated them on a large scale. In the wild, elk, deer, or other animals would eat marijuana flowers but since animals don’t seem to like the taste or the effects of cannabinoids, they usually just taste it instead of using it as food. The destroyed cannabis plants that survive will desperately shoot more buds than usual and produce more cannabinoids to protect their lineage. That’s the thought behind super cropping—stress the plant to trigger excessive growth. Originally this was the cannabis plant’s instinct to protect itself, but maybe they didn’t expect the emergence of a cannabinoid-loving species like humans. On the other hand, this also protects marijuana, at least they are unlikely to go extinct in the short term!
How to super crop your plants
Choose the right branches
Start super cropping in the mid to late vegetative stage when your cannabis plant has grown a lot of healthy shoots but has not yet reached the flowering stage. Be sure to choose completely healthy plants—those with any problems such as disease, pests, or nutritional deficiencies are not suitable for super cropping because the stress will be too great. The target branches should preferably be mature but not old, and shouldn’t be those that are significantly taller than other branches, because super cropping requires you to build a flat canopy.
Squeeze and bend your branches
Grab the target branches, pinch them with your index finger and thumb, and bend them in the direction you want, taking care to crush the stems but keep the surfaces smooth and flat—you are just aiming to break the internal structure. While maintaining the pressure, swing the branches back and forth slowly for a few seconds, eventually releasing them where you want them to be. The key to the whole process is to crush it gently and shake it back and forth to make sure it doesn’t break—don’t force them, as they may snap.
Fixing any surface ruptures
There’s a good chance you’ll go overboard while crushing the branches. There may be some tearing on the surface of your branch—don’t worry, there are still ways to remedy it. Use duct tape to secure your bends so they can heal properly. If your plants are perfect on the outside, then you just need zip ties or a small rope to hold your stems in place—this is important because otherwise, your plants will try to return to their normal shape. After all, this is done, all that you need to do is wait. The bends you made grow into large knots, delivering more water and nutrients to your plant for better harvests.
Remove any bandages
If you’re doing super cropping for the first time it can be difficult to get every branch perfectly. There will always be a few that will need you to use tape to help them recover. Be sure to remove any tape you put on after about a week—discoloration of the healed parts is normal but if they are still wounded continue to tape them until the wounds grow into large knots. Don’t worry, your plants will recover eventually.
Super cropping is an advanced growing technique that can significantly increase yields. If you have mastered some simple ways to train your plants, don’t hesitate to try super cropping, you only need to master a little skill and have a little patience—it will definitely pay off in the long run.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!
And be sure to check out our other blog posts for useful tips on becoming a great grower!
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