100% beginner on a (reasonable) budget

Gently pinch and roll it between your fingers along the length of the top area as you are bending it. Don’t pinch it so hard as you would in super cropping. Just gently squeeze while bending. Do it along the stalk so you are not bending sharply in one area. You will find out they are very pliable. I tie my tops over so they look like an upside down J. This sends auxins to the lower branches so they can grow up to the top shoot. I usually start my lst early on.

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Okay, here goes my first attempt at Low Stress Training (LST)!
I gently bent the stem in small sections just like @OldSchoolGrower said to do, and it made it pliable and easy.

I found what I think is a great tie-down for doing this: 1/8 inch nylon/polyester paracord. It is a nice diameter and soft. I bought it at the local hardware store, but here is an Amazon link for those that are interested:

160 pound 1/8 inch nylon/polyester paracord

I didn’t want to strain the plant too much, so I tied it a few inches down from the top:

The other end of the cord, I tied to a coffee mug to hold the plant down:

I’m not brave enough to bend them into an upside-down J shape like @OldSchoolGrower, but this is how far I bent them:

Super Skunk 1:

Super Skunk 2:

The White Widow plant isn’t as tall and was a little stiffer, so I didn’t bend it over as far:

Maybe after a few days I will try bending them over further. Or, maybe they don’t need to go further. I’ll wait for the experts to chime in.
With that said, I’m tagging @OldSchoolGrower @blackthumbbetty @Countryboyjvd1971 @raustin @Drillbit everyone I can think of to make sure this looks okay!!!


You did good. You can tie them down further in a day or two. Great job!

Work the stalk some more closer to your top. Also easier to use pipe cleaners. Just a simple loose wrap around and done. If you need to anchor down twist the other end of the pip cleaner into a eye loop and you can tie to that with your cord or plant wire. Your off to a good start, and the more you do it it will become natural and you can feel what the plant is doing while you bend it. I also prefer to start my lst early on around the 4th node. Plant is much more pliable and forgiving then. Give me a few minutes to dig through pics and I’ll post some.

Ok @TommyBahama here ya go Brother. You can stop training at anytime and switch to flower or veg longer and create a monster. As you can see it creates a lot of tops throughout all stages of veg. Your only limitation is time and space you want to commit to. That particular grow was my 1st grow in over 20 years. Started LST training back in the early 90’s. Man, I miss the plants I use to create back then. As you can see in the pictures I keep the plant very low. My whole plant is probably the same height as yours if not shorter. If you look closely at the 2nd pic, you will see the stalk in the center of the bucket. The plant was 1st tied in the direction of the wall. Once it passes the end of the bucket it is untied and allowed to grow up just slightly. Then I start tying it over in the opposite direction. The bend you are seeing is actually the 2nd bend. By continuing this the side branches grow then they are tied down as well, creating more branches. Hope all this helps. Any questions just give me a shout. More than happy to help out…


I made a post in “The Grow” section to ask about my soil drop and collect opinions on it. If anyone wants to view that thread, it is here:


Here’s info on what you asked me Tommy. Copy of it below your comment in my grow as well. Hope this helps. Just keep it tied over for now. So the side shoots can take off. I would keep your one anchor point where it’s at, so it will eventually hold in that position. Then I would take another tie and try to tie your very top of your main shoot over some more
. Keep it there for a few days, it will turn back up to the light. Keep it tied and let it grow up some. Hen start tying it in the opposite direction to the other side of the pot. As it keeps growing in that direction, keep working it til’ it reaches the other side. It should start filling out. Then start tying your new branches over. Dear is to keep the plant low while maximizing canopy coverage

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Oh shit Tommy, I just looked closer at your pics. You’re in flower. I wouldn’t really do much more to it so you don’t stress it. I cease all LST during flower. By the time I get to flower I’m done LST’ing by then

Are you sure I’m in flower? I asked above if those were preflowers or buds and @blackthumbbetty said those were buds. If this link works, it should take you directly to the post above where I asked the question:


I can take some more close-up photos if needed.

Yeah you look like your in early flower. What is your light schedule at right now?

I had go back through your post. I see your doing autos so light isn’t the issue. It’s going to keep on flowering. Yeah you really should have started your LST right out of the gate.

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Still in flower. :grinning:

So… I guess it’s time to switch from my Metal Halide bulb to my High Pressure Sodium bulb.

I have a few questions about that:
Should I set it at the full 1000 watts? I’m currently running the Metal Halide bulb at 75% (750 watts).
Any suggestions on height, or should I just go with the lowest height that still keeps the plant from getting too warm? The light is currently at 32 inches above the pots and about 20 inches above the tops of the plants.
Even though these are auto-flower, is there a suggested on/off time (e.g. 12/12) to use?

Tagging @raustin and @Drillbit who also gave lighting advice to me early on.

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I would just set it at 18/6 and 75% for a couple days and then start bumping it up. As far as light height raise it up and gradually bring it down a little at a time.

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I would do exactly what @OldSchoolGrower said, good advice.


It turns out that the Quantum digital ballast that I bought is not very compatible with all the HPS bulbs out there. I already returned the Ultra Sun bulb it came with in exchange for a Genesis bulb, which turns out to also be incompatible (it won’t fire either one of them at all). Now I am being asked to return it in exchange for either a AgroSun or Hortilux bulb. It sounds like there is a lot of incompatibility with this ballast - a warning to others considering purchasing it.

I’m torn whether to keep running my Metal Halide bulb until the replacement arrives, or go to my local hydroponics store and spend money on another bulb so I can switch right away.

Tommy, how many plants do you plan on running at a given time? Also do you plan on sticking with autos or do you have plans to run photoperiod plants?

I plan on only growing 4 plants at a time in my 4x4x6.5 tent. For now, I will stick with autos… someday I may venture into photos.

I should have done this 2 weeks ago, but life got in the way… today I finally went and got nutrients for my plants, which have been flowering for about 2 weeks. I got a bunch of Advanced Nutrients products after talking to my local hydroponics store about products that would be good/easy for a beginner like me.

The main product I purchased is the pH Perfect Sensi Bloom, parts A & B. These are the actual nutrients. I will start out using it half strength (1/2 tablespoon per gallon or 7.5 milliliters per gallon). I will water with the nutrients, let the soil dry, water with plain water, let it dry, repeat with the nutrients. The pH Perfect product makes it so that I shouldn’t need to adjust the pH of my water, but I am using distilled water in the first place.

I purchased a couple of bonus products as well. Bud Candy is a big carbohydrate boost for the plants. It may possibly change the taste of the end product, so I might only use it on one plant and compare later. Big Bud is supposed to increase the density of your flowers and buds. I was told to go ahead and use these products full strength, unlike the nutrients above which I will do half strength at first.

Bonus!!! The store threw in a jug of of Sensizyme for free! This product has enzymes that rejuvenate the roots (kind of like skin exfoliation as it was explained to me, the layperson) and help them absorb nutrients better. I was told to use this at full strength as well.

I am letting my soil dry right now and am hoping to mix some stuff up and start using it tomorrow night or the day after. I’m excited to see what happens next…

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Looks like you’ll be good to go. Can my girls come over to play?