The Art Of Cannabis Trellising
No matter how or where you grow your ganja, you could be harvesting more weed if you used a trellis. If you want to crop the marijuana mother lode, you need to know about the art of trellising.
WHAT IS A TRELLIS?
A trellis is a framed screen or net with a lattice pattern. It can be positioned vertically or horizontally to maximise available grow space and light penetration in any cannabis garden. Indoors or outdoors, there is always a place for a trellis. The idea is to bend and weave shoots through the gaps in the structure. This allows the grower to dramatically increase yields. More shoots equals more fruits. Plus, a trellis allows the grower to manipulate plant growth and alter the pattern to best suit the cannabis garden.
THE ORIGINS OF TRELLISING
The truth is, nobody really knows when trellising was invented or by whom. We have references to trellising from ancient Roman times. So perhaps the Romans deserve the credit? Or maybe they conquered and killed the folks that did and took over the gardens? In any case, we can be certain that its resurgence in Europe coincided with the rise of espalier during the Renaissance. Espalier would later inspire LST.
Legendary French landscape architect Andre Le Notre designed the gardens at the palace of Versailles, and he was a big fan of trellises. In fact, trellises are everywhere, adorning both the interior and exterior of much of the palace, purely as decoration. Unsurprisingly, this style of architectural design is known as trelliage.
HOW TO TRELLIS CANNABIS
These days, you can buy or build a trellis for a very low cost. Outdoors, wooden posts and frames are common materials for their durability. Indoors, nylon and plastic are the materials of choice. Either way, the principle remains the same. It’s just a mesh screen at the end of the day. How tough it needs to be is contingent on the growing environment and the size of your plants. But netting can work just fine indoors or outdoors, so long as it is tightly secured in place.
The only barrier to entry is an adequate level of hands-on cultivation skills. Trellising goes hand-in-hand with a variety of pruning and training techniques. Topping, LST, defoliation, and lollipopping are essential to getting the most out of your trellis. Don’t mess with a trellis until you’ve got the skills and time to manage it. Trellising is a labour-intensive business.
The “living wall” concept can be applied to cannabis with a vertical trellis. Outdoor growers are more likely to use this method. Outdoors, a vertical trellis attached to a wall will promote vine-like vertical growth. Indoors, the vertical trellis is less common. However, it is used in cylinder-shaped custom grow-ops. These units are aimed at commercial growers housing hundreds of plants tiered along the outer walls with the grow lamps positioned in the centre.
HORIZONTAL TRELLISING AKA THE SCROG METHOD
The ScrOG or screen of green method is the standard horizontal trellis favoured by indoor growers. For those that want a comparable, and sometimes superior, harvest to a SOG, but from far fewer plants, scrogging is a must. Practised pruners and plant trainers that want to take yields to the next level will always drop a ScrOG on the crop.
Vegetative growth is the time for bushing out cannabis plants. Usually, a couple of weeks before the transition to bloom, the grower will install a screen with 5cm square gaps just above the plant canopy. This is only the beginning. The process of bending and weaving shoots to fill out this screen will continue perhaps until mid-way through flowering.
Below the screen, growth must be thinned out. This involves stripping away leaf material followed by lollipopping around week 3 of flowering. Plant energy is focussed on bud production in the sweet spot above the screen. Growers must ensure the optimal light distance is maintained and as many colas as possible are illuminated. Defoliation above the screen must be strategic. You don’t want to stress your plants, but you don’t want flowers shaded by fan leaves. Trimming should be an ongoing yet minimalist process.
Aside from the obvious benefit of getting more sticky green from fewer plants, trellising also improves quality. In fact, the harvest is almost exclusively chunky colas. Everyone prefers big buds to popcorn—no matter the strain.
OUTDOOR WEED TREES
The weed trees of Southern Oregon take trellising to the max. Limited to 6 plants for medical patients and to just 4 plants for recreational users by state law, Oregon growers have to make the most out of their crops. Master marijuana growers like Lambsbread cultivate 3m+ tall monsters with sprawling, flat canopies that are almost as wide. His giant cannabis plants are so humongous, he needs a ladder to fit a trellis.
The trellis brings architecture and horticulture together. Cannabis cultivators can beautify their gardens with more buds with trellising. Here’s how.
Best Trellis Setups for Growing Cannabis
by Jen Keehn – August 21, 2018
When cannabis grows naturally, it grows up in one single stalk. This single stalk will produce one large cola, with some smaller colas on lower branches. And while letting cannabis do its thing naturally will yield some good bud, there are ways to manipulate your plants to increase your yields. Many experienced growers will use a trellis for growing cannabis, which not only increases yields but also keeps plants healthy and strong.
What is Trellising?
Trellising cannabis helps to support or train plants during the growth cycle . Trellis is usually made from wood, bamboo, metal, or plastic rods and allows for gentle manipulation of your plants so they receive adequate light to each branch. Where topping plants will help them to branch out and develop more colas, trellising can help direct growth, support plants as colas develop into heavy buds, and increase space between buds.
There are both horizontal and vertical trellising techniques. Vertical trellis typically uses bamboo, metal, or wood rods to create a frame around the plant with connecting pieces running through and around it. This allows for the support cannabis plants need as buds become heavier and need support during flower. Horizontal trellising is typically made out of softer materials like netting or screens with holes and allow plants to grow through the trellis as they mature.
Trellising is beneficial for both indoor and outdoor cannabis grows, and if growing with the purpose of producing large yields, it can tremendously help you reach your goal.
Best Trellis for Growing Cannabis Indoors
Trellising cannabis plants works awesome for indoor grows, as the grow light is focused strictly on the tops of the plants. Using trellis allows you to manipulate your plants so each branch receives equal light, rather than light just reaching the top of the canopy.
One of the best ways to trellis indoor cannabis is to first create a row out of your plants that allow you to get to every part of them during the growth cycle. Trellis netting works excellent for indoor grows set up in such rows. Once a frame has been established on the outside of these rows, all you need to do is attach the trellis to the frame over your roll of plants. Just remember, your horizontal trellis needs to be attached flat and taught to the frame in order to support plants as they begin to grow heavier as buds develop during the flowering cycle.
Indoor trellis should be set up early (2-3 weeks into veg) to allow plants to grow up through the netting. This also ensures that you don’t damage plants later in the growth cycle by manipulating separate stalks through the grid or netting. As plants begin to grow and reach the netting, you will need to weave each top into the netting. If your plants begin to get heavy and start to collapse to one side, another layer of trellis can be installed above the first one. Once you’ve got the second layer installed, simply weave the tops that were flopping over, and they will receive the support they need.
Best Trellis for Growing Cannabis Outdoors
Growing outdoors is an entirely different story than growing ganja inside. When grown outdoors, cannabis plants can become huge. To increase yields of large outdoor plants, growers will use various topping methods that allow for the production of several colas rather than one large stalk. Trellising outdoor cannabis plants that have been topped will offer the support they need when colas begin to mature and become heavy.
There are several different ways to create trellis for outdoor cannabis plants. A common method is to use a metal cage that surrounds the plant. This should be done when the cannabis plant is in the pot it will finish out its growth cycle in so the plant isn’t damaged when it has reached advanced maturity. The metal cage offers the support for growing branches that will continue to grow off each part of the plant that’s been topped.
Bamboo stakes are also a popular trellis option for growing cannabis outdoors. When the plant is in its early stages of growth, bamboo stakes can be used to create a frame around the entire pot. Simply place 5-6 stakes in the dirt on the outer edges of the pot. Doing this when plants are young ensures that you don’t cause any root damage to the plant once it has matured. Adding more stakes horizontally and tying them to the outer frame with garden ties or tape will give plants the extra support they need when they begin to produce the heavy buds you’re aiming for.
Tomato cages also make a great trellis option for outdoor cannabis plants. They are an easy and effective way to give your plants the support they need. Just as with bamboo stakes, tomato cages should be put in the pot the plant will complete its life cycle in at the early stages of vegetative growth. If needed, you can add horizontal trellis inside the tomato cage to support any branches that need it.
Trellis WILL Improve Your Cannabis Grow
Trellising your cannabis plants is a huge benefit for growers who want to increase their yields. It allows for more light to reach each branch, resulting in more buds in the end. It’s important to remember to top or pinch plants as well to ensure that you’re creating the biggest, bushiest plants you can instead of only one main stalk. Trellising cannabis plants is one of the best things you can do to maximize your harvest . And isn’t that the goal of every grower?
Whether growing indoor or outdoor cannabis plants, a trellis is something that will dramatically improve your grow. The support trellising offers is truly unsurpassed for plants to grow to their maximum potential and become heavy with big, dense nugs .
while letting cannabis do its thing naturally will yield some good bud, there are ways to manipulate your plants to increase your yields. Many experienced growers will use a trellis for growing cannabis, which not only increases yields but also keeps plants healthy and strong.