What any grower wants is to get the biggest harvest possible. There are various ways to accomplish this while the plant is growing. Training is one of the approaches people take to get the most from their plants. Two of the high-stress training methods are topping and fimming.
While they stress out the plant, they improve the quality and quantity of your harvest. When it comes to topping vs. fimming, some people are curious as to which one is better.
Continue reading to get those plump buds that you have been dreaming of.
What is Topping Weed?
Topping is a method that growers use to get more weed out of a crop. It is a common high-stress training method that people use indoors and outdoors. You would prune the growing tip of the growing plant.
The technique promotes a sideways growth toward the bottom instead of only a vertical growth. Topping is effective and comes with some benefits. Still, it means the plants spend a longer time in the vegetative phase, so expect the stage to last anywhere from 4-6 weeks.
Advantages of Topping Marijuana Plants
Is topping plants worth it? The reason why it is advantageous for marijuana cultivation is that it distributes growth hormones. The hormones can go from the main stalk down to the lower sections of the cannabis, making it nice and bushy. The light also can reach every branch, which ensures a healthy plant.
Without topping, most of the energy goes toward one main cola. There are less dense buds around it, and the main cola could end up with less potency. The method encourages other buds to grow and increase your overall harvest.
When to Top Cannabis?
The best time to top a plant is in the vegetative stage. The cannabis should have 3 to 5 sets of shoots, also called nodes, before you begin. If you do the process too early, you harm the young plant. It may need more time to recover from the stress. At the same time, you will want to avoid topping in the flowering stage to prevent any damage.
Weed usually grows at least three nodes around 30 days into the vegetative phase. Keep in mind that each strain develops at a different pace. Autoflower plants typically have a 3-4 week window in which you can perform any training technique.
Materials You Need for Topping Weed
Topping does not require much in terms of tools. The method calls for some trimming, so you will need to get a pair of pruning scissors. The scissors give you the precision and accuracy you need for a clean cut. It is necessary to find one with sharp blades. Dull blades could cause a lot of damage to the main stem or even break it.
There are curved trimming scissors available to top plants effectively. However, some growers use a razor blade. You also should get a bottle of rubbing alcohol to disinfect the pruning scissors or razor blade. You can wear a pair of gloves as well.
Topping is not too hard to do, but errors can still occur. To top weed correctly, follow these simple steps:
Grab your pruning scissors or razor blade as you prepare to top your cannabis plants. It is a good idea to be ready to go when it comes time for high-stress training. Once you are sure the blades are sharp, use the rubbing alcohol to sterilize the blades.
Rubbing alcohol can help prevent the plants from getting infected. Infection from topping may not often happen, but it does not hurt to be safe.
Cut the tip of the main stem to remove the top growth. Most growers find the 5th node and cut right above it. This ensures that you have enough branches left on the rest of the plant. Not to mention, the location means a little less stress for cannabis.
Be sure to leave several millimeters of space between where you cut and the lateral branches. You have a reduced risk of removing them by accident. If you need to top the plant again, cut the third or fourth node. When you are done, you can move to the next step.
After topping, the plant should stop forming a single cola. You can see it grow two separate branches that have their own colas. It is important to keep an eye on the plant since topping can be a stressful process.
You only need to monitor your marijuana for the first few days. Be sure to give it plenty of light and water during this time. If you want to top again, wait a couple of weeks for the plant to recover.
What is Fimming Cannabis?
Another high-stress technique that some people do is fimming. FIM stands for “F**k! I missed.” It is a bit like topping, but it is not entirely the same. While you increase the number of colas, you would remove new growths instead of trimming between the nodes.
Growers with a small growing space typically use the method. Not every FIM is the same, so results may differ from plant to plant. If you choose to FIM, expect a longer vegetative phase as well.
Advantages of Fimming Weed
If you have one or two plants, you can benefit greatly from fimming. One of the advantages of fimming is the number of colas you can get. Several plants can produce four or more new colas.
The hormones that would have gone to the main stem can go to the secondary branches. However, a few growers have noticed how fimming is less effective in reducing stretching. Still, the yield makes the process worth it.
Besides a bigger harvest, the plants are easier to manage after the technique. As a result, you can balance them to achieve the best growth possible. Cannabis faces less stress, and the recovery time is shorter. You can perform fimming multiple times if needed.
When to FIM Marijuana?
Similar to topping, you should start fimming when the plant has 3-5 nodes. You should do it during the vegetative stage, and doing it too early can result in shock. The plant could experience stunted growth.
Plants need to focus all their energy on producing fruitful buds during the flowering phase. Also, they are less durable after the vegetative stage. For autoflower plants, you generally can start fimming 3-4 weeks after germination.
Materials You Need for Fimming
What you need to FIM your plants is a good pair of pruning scissors. The blades should be sharp for a clean cut. Another tool to use is rubbing alcohol to disinfect the scissors, especially when you move from plant to plant.
Some growers use a pair of gloves, so you can get some before fimming.
Fimming can be a quick process to do. There are only a few steps you need to follow. They are:
Gather your materials before you start, so you do not need to spend time finding everything. Luckily, there is not much stuff you need, which can save on expenses. Place the tools on top of a clean work area.
Wipe the pruning scissors with rubbing alcohol. Keep the bottle on hand to disinfect the blade in between fimming. Then, bring your marijuana plant in front of you, and you are good to go.
To start, locate the apical bud. Also called the terminal bud, it is the primary bud of the plant and is responsible for new growth.
The terminal bud is located toward the top of the plant, and it is near the uppermost node. You can find the top node by counting the leaf sets. The nodes are above or below each set.
Some people use the pinch method when they FIM. Grab the tip of the terminal bud in between your fingers once you find it. Then, you would pinch the part of the terminal bud off. Alternatively, you can use scissors to cut the tip from the stem.
The amount that you need to remove is about 75% of the bud. The plant should have a tiny bit of growth that will turn into multiple colas. Wait a few days for your cannabis to heal. Fimming is still a stressful event, and it will slow weed growth for several days.
After the waiting period ends, at least four branches emerge from the cut apical bud. You can FIM again or move on to another training technique.
Final thoughts on Fimming and Topping
Each technique has its pros and cons. One might work better for your strains compared to others. You can combine low-stress and high-stress techniques to maximize the potential yield. Feel free to browse our site or contact us to learn about other ways to get a bountiful harvest.