Best Support Options for Your Indoor Garden Canopy
Cannabis growers looking to really get a large harvest have several choices when it comes to supporting flowering cannabis plants. Kent Gruetzmacher explains the options and how they work.
Once cannabis plants are switched to the flowering phase with even 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark, they often double or triple in size. After they are done stretching, cannabis plants then direct their energy into producing flowers. It is generally at this time of growth that most cannabis cultivators opt to add their branch support system.
During flowering, every cannabis grower utilizes a support system of some sort. Yet, not everyone is in agreement on what type of branch support is best. The main methods used for tying up cannabis flowers include:
- Staking Branches
- Trellis Netting
- Tying Up with Yo-Yos
While there is not necessarily a right or wrong way to support your cannabis garden, there are certain situations where one method might be preferable over another. For example, someone growing in a tent will have different infrastructure support options than someone growing in a room.
If you are unsure of what branch support system is best suited for your needs, we wanted to walk you through this brief survey.
Staking branches is the most traditional way of supporting a cannabis flower canopy. This method is widely used for both indoor and outdoor growing.
When cannabis plants are still in the vegetative growth stage, they need to be supported with some sort of stake/bamboo. This solid support keeps young plants from tipping over and ensures their stems grow straight up.
While almost all growers use support stakes along the main stem during vegetative growth, only some employ staking during the flowering phase.
The best way to prep for staking branches during flower is to get a lot of bamboo. As each cannabis plant will require several stakes, you need a lot on hand to get started. Please note, the size of these bamboo stakes should be at least equal to, if not taller than, the branch you are tying.
Simply stick the bamboo in the soil so it makes contact with the flowering branch at the point where you want to make a tie. After that, tie the branch to the bamboo with a twist tie. AC Infinity makes several Garden Plant Ties that work great for this job. Repeat the tie-up process on every major branch, then move on to the next plant.
Pros and Cons of Staking
Staking only works in setups that have cultivation mediums in pots that can be used to support the bamboo. As such, staking branches is a great option for soil growers. One of the best perks for this method has to do with garden access. Because each plant is staked in its own pot, you can move the plants around to get chores done and implement your IPM strategy.
Trellising is another extremely popular option for supporting cannabis branches during flowering. Indoor growers generally run a single trellis net across their entire garden canopy, while outdoor growers often trellis individual plants using t-posts and bamboos to support the netting.
A successful trellis setup is dependent upon a solid frame. For example, many hydro growers opt to mount the trellising on the same support system that holds the actual hydro table. Trellis nets come in several sizes—leading manufacturers like AC Infinity sell them in sizes of 5x15 ft and 5x30 ft.
It is best to set up your trellising system at the early stages of flowering. By doing so, you allow your plants to grow into the netting when they stretch. As most experienced growers know, attempting to trellis a room full of sticky cannabis plants with maturing buds can be a real mess!
Some growers opt to use two layers of trellising for maximum support. However, there is no hard-and-fast rule on the topic.
Pros and Cons of Trellising
Trellising is an ideal support method for hydroponic cultivation. As wooden frames give most hydro tables their support, these frames offer an easy option to mount a trellis net. Even more, the shape of a trellis net is often an exact match for rectangular hydro tables.
Trellising is an immensely popular choice as, when implemented correctly, it is the least labor-intensive support method. However, because it binds all the plants together in a single net, trellising does not allow for easy access to the interior of the garden.
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Tying Up with Yo-Yos
Tying up with yo-yos is a less popular branch support option, but still has its place in certain cannabis cultivation scenarios. This method is almost exclusively practiced indoors with small grow tent-sized gardens.
The yo-yo method is largely dependent on a functional support system on the top of your growroom—such as the frame of a grow tent. You hang the body of the yo-yo on your chosen infrastructural support system, then extend the string from inside the yo-yo down to the garden canopy. Finally, hook the string on the branch that you are looking to support.
If you tie up with yo-yos early in flowering, the tension within the yo-yo will continue to keep the line taught as the branch grows upwards.
If you don’t have a dedicated infrastructural support system to mount yo-yos on your growroom ceiling, you can sometimes improvise with other pieces of equipment. For example, ducting that is strung across the ceiling can be a great place to hang yo-yos.
Pros and Cons of Tying Up with Yo-Yos
Tying up with yo-yos is likely the best branch support option for tent growers. A lack of space and infrastructural support in grow tents can make both trellising and staking difficult in these setups. Conversely, yo-yos are attached effortlessly to the internal frame of grow tents—leaving them in a convenient, yet out-of-the-way spot.
Summary: Which Support System is Right for You?
Every cannabis cultivator loves to see the explosive growth that comes with flowering. Yet, this growth phase also signifies the need to accomplish some laborious tasks—including trimming fans leaves, organizing your canopy, and setting up supports for heavy branches.
When it comes to supporting your flowering plants, you have several choices. Staking branches, trellis netting, and tying up with yo-yos are all great options that serve a purpose in different scenarios.
While your chosen method can sometimes be dictated by preference, oftentimes your cultivation strategy and growroom setup will guide you in making the best choice for a support system.
AC Infinity is the foremost name in air delivery systems, designing and developing the latest innovations in cooling and ventilation technology. They offer a suite of quiet inline fans that automate the growing progress and track key metrics. Visit acinfinity.com or contact [email protected] to learn more.