Using a scrogging technique develops uniform canopy and provides support for plants with heavy colas.
Photo by Mel Frank

1. Fimming (FIM).

This pruning technique involves leaving a small portion of the growth on the main shoot and cutting the shoot with a razor blade or knife in an open-cupped shape. When done correctly, it will encourage the plant to produce four dominant shoots rather than the two you will typically see with topping. The same results can be accomplished with greater consistency by topping two times.

2. Monster cropping.

This technique involves taking clones from flowering plants, and rooting and forcing them to revert to the vegetative stage. The vegetative stage and time it takes for rooting may need to be increased compared to traditional cloning techniques; however, these plants tend to produce a larger number of dominant shoots, making topping and fimming techniques unnecessary.

3. Super cropping.

This technique involves pinching, crushing or bending stems and stalks, without breaking them, to damage the plant’s vascular tissue and encourage stronger stem and stalk growth, which improve the plant’s ability to transport water and nutrients, increasing overall yield. This technique is more frequently applied in indoor cultivation; in an outdoor operation, wind may do the work for the farmer.

4. Scrogging.

This training technique (screen of green) involves placing a screen or net above the plants and allowing them to grow through it, and training the plants to depend upon the net for support. This is especially helpful in indoor cultivation for providing support to the plants whose underdeveloped stems and stalks might not be strong enough to support the weight of heavy colas without breaking. It can be used in combination with monster cropping, topping and FIM techniques for optimal results.

5. Defoliation.

Some cultivation experts swear by aggressive defoliation of plants half-way through the flowering stage. This technique provides the best results in indica and kush cultivars, where nearly all large fan leaves are removed from the plant, leaving only the forming buds and smaller fan leaves to encourage the plant’s energy to be diverted to the growing buds.

Crystal Oliver is co-owner/founder of Washington’s Finest Cannabis, an outdoor cannabis farm licensed by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board since August 2014. She also serves as executive assistant for Washington NORML and sits on the Cannabis Farmers Council Executive Board.