LST, or Low Stress Training, is a technique used in cannabis cultivation to shape and manipulate the growth of plants without causing significant stress or damage. It involves gently bending and tying down the branches of the plant to create a more even and controlled canopy, which can result in increased yields and better light penetration.
The goal of LST is to encourage horizontal growth and create an even distribution of light throughout the plant canopy. By bending and training the branches, growers can ensure that more bud sites receive adequate light, resulting in better overall bud development and increased yields.
Here’s a step-by-step overview of the LST process:
- Timing: LST is typically performed during the vegetative stage when the plant is still actively growing and flexible. It is important to start LST early to allow the plant ample time to recover and adjust to the training.
- Bending: To apply LST, gently bend the main stem or branches of the plant horizontally. This can be done by carefully using soft ties, such as plant training wire or soft plant ties, to secure the branches in place. The idea is to create an even canopy by spreading out the branches.
- Tying: Use the ties to secure the branches to the desired position, ensuring that they are not too tight to cause damage or restrict the flow of nutrients and water. It’s important to be gentle and avoid any excessive bending or twisting that could harm the plant.
- Adjusting: As the plant continues to grow, regularly monitor and adjust the ties to accommodate the expanding branches. This ensures that the canopy remains even and light is evenly distributed.
The benefits of LST include:
- Increased yields: By training the plant to grow horizontally, more bud sites receive direct light, leading to improved flower development and potentially higher yields.
- Enhanced light penetration: LST allows for better light penetration into the lower parts of the plant, which helps develop more robust and evenly sized buds throughout the canopy.
- Improved airflow: Spreading out the branches helps create better airflow within the plant, reducing the risk of mold and mildew formation.
- Efficient use of space: LST is especially useful in limited growing spaces as it allows plants to grow wider rather than taller, optimizing space utilization.
It’s important to note that while LST is generally considered low stress for the plant, some stress response may still occur. The key is to avoid excessive bending or causing damage to the branches. Each plant will respond differently to LST, so it’s essential to observe and adjust the training technique accordingly.
In summary, Low Stress Training (LST) is a technique used in cannabis cultivation to shape and manipulate plant growth without causing significant stress or damage. It involves gently bending and tying down branches to create an even canopy, resulting in increased yields, improved light penetration, and better airflow. LST should be performed during the vegetative stage and requires regular monitoring and adjustment as the plant grows. When done correctly, LST can be a valuable tool for maximizing the potential of cannabis plants.