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Step by Step Guide to Super Cropping

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Today, there are some plant stressing tips that are really in vogue -- new ways to direct and prune plant development. One of them is called super cropping. Growers love it because it's quick and easy, and it changes the results of the plant cycle. But it can be a little confusing for beginners.

What is super cropping?

The idea behind super cropping is that you actually move the growth hormones down to the lower parts of the plant, so that they grow in a different way. Since the lower parts of the plant will grow more than the top parts, what you'll end up with is a whole lot more flowering tops. You end up with a kind of canopy that can be positioned under a goodgrow light to really get more out of each single plant.

Steps to super cropping:

Identify goals

The first thing you'll be doing is looking at your plant and trying to get a visual idea of how super cropping will work.

Say you have a small young plant with maybe 1, 2 or 3 “main stalks” in other words, a single stalk with two or three main branches growing up. You're going to form a kind of imaginary line where you're going to direct the lower growth to move above it. You can kind of visualize in your mind what that's going to look like in terms on vertical and horizontal axis. So that's going to direct your super cropping method.

When you're looking at that imaginary line, look at the spots on the stem that you want to super crop. You have to keep looking and keep observing as you go, to make sure you're directing plant growth.

Squeeze gently

When you find the right spots, what you're going to do is take your thumb and pointer finger and just pinch the stalk at the right spot. “Pinch” might be the wrong word because really you want to apply a very gentle pressure. You’re not breaking the stem or mangling it, you're just bending it. This is enough to direct the plant to grow in a different way.

Look for top fold over

In the end, you want to see the top slightly folded over so that the tops are subsequent to the lower growth. Over time, you're going to see those lower points reach a higher point, so that again, you get that flowing canopy.

Situate lights

If you don't already have your artificial grow light right in the center of the plant area, you have to do that. Use quality grow lights with the right lumens and intensity to nourish plants. Make sure they are located close to plants where they can do the most good, without burning the tops.

Look for growth toward the light

In general, every part of your plant is going to be growing toward the light. That's part of what generates this cropping effect. So look for this kind of response to make sure that super cropping is happening in the right way.

At the same time, you're going to still have to monitor pH levels, temperature and humidity. You'll be doing all sorts of labor-intensive maintenance to your other products to make sure that plant cycles are optimized. But it will all be worth it at harvest time. Remember you don't have to be a physicist or chemist to optimize your hydroponic garden. Like anything else, you just have to practice and get better at gardening over time through good old trial and error.

 
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