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Plant Manipulation: Supercropping

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Plant Manipulation - Supercropping

What is the point of Supercropping?
Supercropping allows you to accomplish 2 things. One, first and foremost, is a potential increase in bud size through an increase of nutrient travel in areas of the plant adjacent to the healed wound, and the second benefit, if managed right, is an increase in overall production by opening up more of the underneath bud growth to available light. I have witnessed this quite a bit on lower shaded out branches on outdoor plants. Nodes close to healed supercropped wounds tend to have larger buds than those not cropped, and redirecting the direction opens up more of the under formed buds to create a better overall harvest.

The second thing Supercropping does, is it allows you to shorten the overall height of a branch, so it doesn't get light burn indoors if its getting too tall for the available vertical space, or perhaps for stealth purposes outdoors to keep it below surrounding vegetation or below a wooden fence.
I have messed with Supercropping for over 3 years now. I do two types of supercropping. One type is done to create a wound thats easily heals, and deals little stress to the plant. I have done this on outdoor plant on side by side branches and i have found that most strains indeed get better formed bud on nodes surrounding the healed wounds. This is the effect caused by the increase in nutrient flow available in surrounding nodes from the increased cellular structure when the wound heals.

Technique - Light Supercropping(LSC) First thing you do is grasp the branch you want to supercrop between your thumb and forefinger. Then you apply increasing pressure while rolling the branch between your forefinger and thumb until you feel the plants walls start to collapse. Once you get the knack of this technique, you will find there is no tip droop and there is no setback in growth.
Pic of Light Supercropping Knuckle:
IMG_6817.JPG


The second type of Supercropping done, I call Supercropping Redirection. This technique is used when height needs to be reduced, or to better manage the canopy. Using the whole available space and controlling the canopy is a key factor in pulling the maximum amount of fine bud from your available space, whether you are growing indoors or outdoors. This type of training is more stressful for plants than the first technique, and sometimes the tips will droop for a couple of days before the wound heals and it stands back up.

Pic of Supercropping redirection Knuckle:
IMG_6875.JPG


Technique - Develop a plan for canopy management, and figure out where you would like a branch to end up before you start cropping. The more evenly spaced the branches are and exposed to strong light, means more bud in the end, so plan accordingly. The technique used for low stress Supercropping is used as described above, but as you feel the walls collapsing you manipulate the upper half of the branch to the direction you want it to go. Using a piece or two of plastic coated wire you will be able to secure it exactly where you want it for maximum effectiveness. Branches manipulated this way will eventually turn themselves upright, and grow up toward the light. Using plastic coated wire you will be able to control their direction further., controlling its height and allowing secondary branches to catch up to the main growing tip. Grow a plant with a perfectly managed canopy and you will increase bud size, bud quantity, and also the depth of well formed buds.

Apical Dominance - This is a good article to explain apical dominance and how it affects growth. This is the definition of Apical Dominance when relating to plants. "Apical dominance, the phenomenon whereby the main, central stem of a plant is dominant over other side stems."
This means that the growing tip closest to the light source(the main cola top tip on a standard untrained plant) will grow the best, and receive the most growth energy that the plant can muster. If you pull that main growing tip down further than another secondary branches growing tip, you will essentially transfer the growing energy to that tip, pushing it to grow faster and eventually develop more bud. Every growing tip wants to be the apical dominant tip with the best light. Creating an even canopy with most growing tips competing for the best spot will give the best results, especially if canopy management is done properly, and each of the growing tips receives lots of light, and therefore maximizes bud production during the flowering cycle.

So if you pull the main tip down past another secondary branch tip, you will transfer the main source of growing energy to the tip(s) closest to the light. In an ideal world, there would be a perfectly even canopy, where all growth energy would be evenly be distributed amongst the branches receiving adequate light by being spaced out sufficiently. Scrog(Screen of Green) and SoG(Sea of Green)growers have proved that creating an even canopy is certainly one of the best ways to produce top producing crops of perfect buds, and that is due to the perfectly managed and spaced canopy.

Okay....so lets see some examples of supercropped autos!! This auto night queen was supercropped in several branches and produced some really thick bud!
IMG_6722.JPG


This Mephisto 24C got too tall for the limited vertical space she was grown in, and the main stalk needed to be supercropped to not grow into the lights.
IMG_6724.JPG


Same with this DutchPassion autoeuforia. The main top was heavily LST trained to reduce height and due to the pressure she supercropped her own top. This plant left a really nice even canopy and produced very well for her size.
IMG_5087.JPG


The healed wound on redirection supercropping is often far more of a "ball" than that produced by a healed wound with the lower stress supercropping method.
Light Supercropped knuckle
IMG_6818.JPG


Redirection Supercrop knuckle:
IMG_6880.JPG


The first step in experimenting with higher stress techniques, is first learn how to grow healthy plants. I would not advise using stressful techniques on malnourished nutrient deficient plants, or plants dealing with other high stresses. There comes a time when you can add adverse effects by adding additional stress on plants. Also, not all strains show a drastic improvement in flower production. Its effect is variable how well it works, strain to strain, and plant to plant, just like defoliation or LST(low stress training). Some plants like the effect more than others, but supercrop redirection is one of those techniques that can improve overall production when done correctly on virtually any strain.....but not all the time!! Which leads me to the finale of this article.

When disaster strikes - If you are supercropping especially the redirection supercrop, eventually you will comes across a plant(usually one with very hollow stalks) that when you go to make your bend, instead you hear a SNAP, and there it is, the main growing tip in your hand, completely broken off!! Rarely this will happen, and is one of those things that can happen in supercropping redirection as well as plants being LST(Low Stress Trained). Okay so now you have a plant that has been topped...damn!! Grow out the remaining branches, and you may be surprised how well they do!! If the main tip didn't totally break off, you might be able to fix the break with some garden plastic tape. Hold the tip so it has a good connection with the main stalk and wrap it in the garden(or black electrical tape). You will know with a couple of days if it is reconnecting. As with any traumatic experience in a Cannabis plants life, watch the flower closely for signs of hermaphroditic traits, as intense stress "can" prove to be too much for some plants and force hermaphroditic traits. Leave the tape on for at least a week to 10 days to ensure the wound has healed, then carefully remove the tape and inspect the wound. Generally you will know within a couple of days if the join was successful.

Final thoughts - One of the very cool things about supercropping is that it doesn't Have to be an all in technique, like topping or fimming. Do you want to see it work on a controlled basis? Select 2 branches of equal size on the same plant, and supercrop only one of those two branches. I did this a few seasons ago on an autoultimate outdoors in limited light, and I really noticed a difference. Unfortunately I didn't take pics.

Here is a short video with some supercropping theory and practice



"Not for a free weed country or continent, but for a free weed world. Unite and grow, for a better, kinder planet" 912GreenSkell
 
Last edited:

    EP3

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    Thank you for the write up. I am about to start an auto euforia and i want one of those ones please!! Lol. Going to try LST for the first time.

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Thank you very much my friend!! If anyone spots any errors, or sees something that is missing, please let me know....i have 7 days to work this article and then my edits time will be up and this article will be permanent.
Six lines from the bottom, typing correction needed. Leav ethe is what's there
 
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