Have you heard about the importance of using trellis in your cannabis garden? Perhaps you’ve used trellis or bamboo sticks for support when your plants go wild.
In our first attempt at growing, we vegged for a really long time, and used 5 gallon pots and our plants got tall! And so we ran out of bamboo trying to support them. Meanwhile, we had plants falling over left and right.
Well, we’re not here to talk about using tools to support your towering plants. We are here to show you why using trellis netting is absolutely critical if you want to maximize your yield potential, maximize the density of your buds, and minimize the amount of larf and fluff.
Growing Cannabis Vertically vs. Horizontally
Your plants will straight up like a corn husk if you allow them. But you do not want a tall and skinny plant. You want a fat bush with lots of big hunky colas.
In order to get a fat, bushy plant, you must train your plant to grow horizontally, as opposed to vertically.
A plant that grows wide will occupy a broader canopy, accessible to more light, and will produce more flower. A plant that simply grows straight up and down will have a fat cola up top, and everything below it will be smaller and smaller until it’s not even worth hanging and trimming.
You want the former, not the latter. There’s a few things you can do to achieve it.
Top your plants in Veg to create a wider plant in the flower stage
While your plants are still in vegetative stage, you should top them. This will create more tops, which will help produce more in the flower stage. Once you have flipped your light cycle to 12 on, 12 off, your plants will go through the post-veg stretch. This is your opportunity to train, or force, your plants to grow wide and not tall.
Using Trellis to spread your plants wide to create a broad canopy
Before you flip your light cycle, stretch our your trellis netting above your plants. You can purchase 3-inch squares or 6-inch squares. We use the 6-inch, but either will work.
Your netting should be a few inches above your plants. Then, switch your light cycle to 12/12. By the end of the first week, you should see some growth of your plants. By week 2, you should be weaving and tucking.
Take each long vine and stretch it away from the center of the plant, taking it out as far as you can, and poking it up through one of the trellis squares.
As your plants continue to stretch into Week 3, you should continue spreading the plant and weaving through the trellis. You should also perform a heavy defoliation by this time, if you haven’t already.
You should have a second layer of trellis above your plants to be used by Week 3 or 4. You should be continuing to spread your plant wide through the second layer of trellis.
By topping your plants in veg, and then spreading those new tops wide using the trellis, you will grow you plant horizontally, as opposed to vertically, and you will yield much more.
More Reasons to Use Trellis Netting when growing cannabis indoors
Do you need further justification to use trellis netting? Don’t worry, there are plenty more reasons.
You have a fixed amount of Light, so use it!
This rule applies if you are using a tent, but it really makes a difference in a grow room. When you have a room full of lights, you should have the widest, broadest canopy as possible. Otherwise, you are not using the light that you are already paying for.
When you see light on the ground, between aisles of plants, or on the drip pans, between the plants, you are wasting light.
Your objective inside that grow room should be to use all of the light you are paying for. That means you must have one single canopy basking in the artificial sun; not a collective of individual plants. There is no way to achieve this other than using trellis netting, and training your plants to occupy the squares.
When you hear people throw out numbers light “2 pounds per light” or even “3 pounds per light,” you must know that those metrics are not the result of just growing some weed.
To hit these targets, you must be doing everything right, plus have the right genetics. And among those items you must be doing, using trellis netting is one of them. Otherwise, you will have too many lights in the room and not enough yield to justify the watts.
Take Advantage of the Areas with the highest PPFD
When you place multiple HPS lights in a room, there is actually a higher PPFD (i.e. density of light) in the aisle between the lights then directly underneath them. Sounds counterintuitive, right? It is, and most of us do not figure this out until later in our growing journey.
We you place two lights above a 4×8 drip pan, your plants will bask in the light directly overhead. Now, let’s assume you have another drip pan nearby, also with two lights above it, same number of plants. Both sets of plants will benefit from the peripheral light that comes from the other set of lights.
Now, imagine that you set a group of plants between these two tables or drip pans, but with no light overhead. This groupd of plants will still get light, this time from the crossover of both sets of rays from the other lights. And sometimes, this crossover lighting can having a higher PPFD reading then the light directly underneath the lamp.
By using trellis, you can take advantage of these high PPFD areas by stretch more plants into them, to create a single canopy. Even if the area is not higher in PPFD, it will still be sufficiently high enough to grow more colas. You should take advantage of that opportunity.
Maximize the Potential of the Top of your Plants
If you’ve grown weed before, if this is not your first run, then you already know that the bottom is trash. So why bother with it at all?
The top branches produce the biggest and most dense buds on the plant. The lower you go down the plant, the smaller and more larfy the buds become.
You are better off removing that foliage altogether and focusing on the top. By using trellis netting, you can spread the vines wide. These branches, once laid down in a horizontal manner under the light, will produce more bud sites that grow into colas.
You should create a canopy of thick colas, and completely remove everything underneath it.
If you don’t use Trellis netting, you will not grow the best weed
In sum, trellis netting is absolutely critically to hitting all goals and targets for an indoor grow operation. You will not yield as much flower as you could, and you will be paying for light that you are not fully using.
Further, you will be too focused on the middle and lower branches, because you will not have maximized the upper branches. This will result in a mixed bag of buds, some big, most small, and most lacking the density of the upper nugs.