What is folks’ take on the earliest proper node to top above? 2nd? 3rd?
I recently heard a podcasts where the speaker was explaining that topping the main head is not advised. For lack of the technical term he said the “Brain” is in the main tip and topping slows a plant by a week to 2. He suggests super cropping or LST bending to prevent the lag.
I top photo’s and auto’s around the 3rd or 4th node, sometimes I will let it get to the 6th node and top it down to the third, especially with photo’s and that top is my first clone.
Everyone will have different opinions on this subject
I top at the fifth node. I’ve done side-by-sides (top/no-top) with both autoflower and photoperiod plants and it doesn’t appear to slow them down at all. Within 24 hours they are right back in business.
That’s been my experience, too. I top at the fifth, and leave the first 3, leaving 6 main branches that all grow like tops, but smaller. All you’re doing is splitting energy from one stem into two. All else being equal, the plant will produce more when you top, because you’re spreading the plant out and allowing more light to penetrate deeper into the branches. If you have plenty of height to work with, I’d go for those big, fat, top colas. If you’re restricted on height, train, top, or even scrog, to spread the plants out as much as possible to make the most of your light footprint. You won’t have the same giant buds, but you will have more weight, total, and instead of one or two huge ones, a few medium sized ones, and a bunch of popcorn, you’ll get all, similar-sized buds.