The Dude Grows Show

Let’s Talk Topping

Hey guys and gals I am curious as to learn more about topping and the most advantageous way of doing it to find the best number of tops and method for size of container.   Say you have plants that take topping well.   I think I may have been overdoing it.  Creating at least 16 tops if not more in a 3 gal.  My stems seem too weak to support the flowers much past week 4 or 5 having this many.

  1. How many tops should you have on a 1 gal, a 2, 3,4,5,6,7 etc…  (i know it’s plant dependent, just talking generally)
  2. At what node do you like to top?  I have always topped at the 3rd node but I think it may have been Rasta Jeff who said he likes to top at the 6th node if I am not mistaken.  Which method creates the strongest canopy?
  3. When do you start topping on a fresh cut or seedling.  I have done it almost immediately taking the barely visible tops when they appear.  I did it so long I don’t know how much I have been slowing them. I guess I mean how many nodes should you have on the plant before removing the top.
  4. How long should you wait after that before removing the tops again if going for 4 and 8 and so on.  (I guess what I mean what size should the growth be before removing the new tops or how many nodes on new growth before removing the next section)
  5. How long should you wait after your last topping before moving into flower?  Nodes on tops that will stretch before flip?
  6. Is there a formula for tops and pot size?
  7. Plant size per pot size before flip to flower.
  8. what do you do about plants where the structure isn’t side by side but alternating at the nodes
  9. I have some at like 9 nodes and ready to repot if i topped them once and moved them from 4-6 inch pots into 1 gals how long would i need to wait before going into flower… assuming in that situation everything went well.

I don’t want to under or over top… I don’t want to sacrifice yield for thicker stems but I don’t want to hurt it by creating too many tops either.  I know it is strain dependent on a lot of it but there has to be some kinda general guide. The picture below isn’t mine but I would like to create plants more like that.  Or at at least not be hurting myself by creating too many skinny stems instead of a decent number of thicker ones.   I am not in a huge rush with them to get done but I don’t wanna cause myself extra months by overdoing things either.


9 responses to “Let’s Talk Topping”

  1. J Mystro Avatar

    The number of tops is subjective. What you do want for maximum yield and efficiency is to have an equal amount of bio mass below as above. Meaning you want to build a root system as big and thick as your canopy.

    1. BarelyBurningBurleyBurnHardt Avatar

      I usually end up with a much bigger canopy than root system. Seems mine always stretch way way more than the plant above and I try to flip them sooner and sooner each time. I mean its always a learning thing but seems as though I get decent results from the way I have been doing it but it could be better. I meant to post more pics and forgot I will make a post tom and show more what I mean. The plant above looks like it has a ton of tops and it doesn’t look like they could have possibly topped it that much due to size or am I missing something here? lol I guess we all struggle for that ideal structure you wish you could do with every plant.

    2. uncle luke61 Avatar

      The struggle is real. I’m a topper bender sadist. Lol

  2. Sunnyinbectopia Avatar

    Well, I was looking for the answer to that too. But I guess it is situational. One thing I definitely like to do and hope it’s the right thing to do is get all my topping done at least a week before flipping. That can be kind of hard because I take clones. And I don’t know if I’m just shooting myself in the foot constantly?

    1. BarelyBurningBurleyBurnHardt Avatar

      That is one thing I was wondering thanks for the answer. I think I gave my last about a week after the last top as well. Before I thought it needed a lot longer and ended up with super stretched stuff. That is me, always wondering if by doing this I am shooting myself in the foot. lol I am trying to find something worth cloning right now from some random stuff. Have noticed widely varying phenotypical expression in these. Some super frosty some purplish.. Been studying tissue culture a bit and there are some really interesting concepts that would let you preserve your genetics if you find a good pheno.

  3. hulie Avatar

    wow right on looks amazing way two grow. i cant imagine better success than what you have been able two achieve topping plants looks like it works for you right on.. i have always gone with pots if i have a 1 gal i can grow a healthy 1 foot tall plant same with 2 3 5 i think i herd some ware once that a a plant pot size can determine the hight of your plants…but that is on a reg grow since you take extra time with the topping that would bring up root bound issue’s and being one of the most important issues when growing ( never two do it ) that is there is a fine line,, i have got better yields belive it or not from a 3 gal than a 5 but i began two notice the root bound causing stress was more of stress for the plant and even though they could do it.. a 5 gal was way better for the overall health for my christmas tree grows i have topped but personally i have never noticed that big of a difference in yield two make me want two take the extra time… what ever your doing just keep getting better and better at it.. good idea about changing the size of the container.. just compare the grows the overall health and yield is really the only way… cant wait two see your grow pic’s…

    1. BarelyBurningBurleyBurnHardt Avatar

      How in the world do you get a plant in a 1 gal to get 1 foot tall???? lol I tell ya dude I put some in 1 gals and they were less than a foot probably and immediately stretched up to 3 or almost 4 ft lol. One got taller than those in my #5s which kinda left me befuddled. . Now I did have luck a while back getting some to stay about a foot tall in red cup and actually they did pretty dang good. They grew a top comparable to one I would get off of one of the large plants. Keeping them a manageable size is my toughest thing. I don’t see how people use smaller tents. I am experimenting with these sizes trying to figure out what is best. Finding the smaller ones are tougher and easier to keep from experiencing issues. That plant in the photo isn’t mine… that is what I would like to do more similarly.. Course some of its probably the genetics. I did 5 gals last time around and was not impressed with the difference in them and the threes as well. Which is why I went back. Hoping to cut these here soon and do something different. Thinking maybe 2 gals (just because of timing and access to the pots I need gonna have to create some, fyi dollar tree mop buckets with holes in the bottom make great two gals lol)

      1. hulie Avatar

        you would controll the plants hight by your lite bro… keeping it at the minimum distance…oh i flower plants in a 1 gal and it def can be done, but for plant health that is not the ideal way two grow… you controll your growth with the light or when there almost a foot tall flip them 12/12 mabey but still be on the light distance as much as you can.. if you take a plant and pop and twist it will give you a solid 3 days or more of shock controlling the hight that way is possible.. there are all kinds of ways… but still i have always herd the 1 gal pots you can safely grow a 1 foot tall plant…same with all the other gal but again just what i hear…. ha ha ha so a mop bucket… awwwwww hell ya way two grow bro sounds very cleaver…i prefer grow bags there only 10″ high these new led lights the distance cant be two close or you will fry your plants… led lights are acuwally lazars…kinda

  4. NayHay Avatar

    “16 tops in a 3 gal” are you crazy? Then I saw your pictures, and apparently not crazy. Well done. I aim for four tops in a 3 gallon, but, like the invite code says, it is strain dependent. Some plants go nuts when you top them and want to produce a ton of tops and you can hardly keep up by trimming off all the lowers. Others are cooperative and produce 4 even spears. That’s what I like, but it’s really up to the plant to decide.

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