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How to mainline cannabis plants?

A cultivator always seeks to increase yields and enhance the organoleptic properties of cannabis seeds, which translates into a plethora of possible cultivation techniques aimed precisely at improving their performance. In fact, it is possible to both prune and trellis your plants. Therefore, this article delves deeper into how to mainline cannabis plants, as well as the positive and negative aspects of this technique.

What is Main-Lining?

The term Main-Lining is an English expression meaning “Main Line” and was defined by a well-known cannabis grower and photographer named Nugbuckets. This cannabis grower is known for regularly participating in forums to share his experience and knowledge, especially regarding this technique.

The aim mainline cannabis is precisely to define a line, a main height, and level the rest of the branches. To achieve this, this technique combines two other methods simultaneously, such as Topping, which is apical pruning, and a low-stress training technique called Low Stress Training (LST).

mainline cannabis

This ensures better space optimization and energy distribution resulting in a more significant development of the flowers and even the lower ones, and therefore, better performance, as well as better ventilation to avoid mold on cannabis plants.

How to mainline cannabis step by step

If you want to carry out this method step by step to obtain quality results, here is a guide to follow:

Step 1

The perfect time to start performing Main-Lining pruning is when the young shoots show at least 5 or 6 nodes since growth began. This will indicate that the root system is no longer strong enough to withstand the stress it will suffer.

Step 2

For this step, you must cut the top from the third node, starting from the bottom. Then, remove everything below this node with the intention of focusing energy on the chosen points. Then, tie the branches to the pot or the central stem to ensure horizontal growth; the final aspect of the plant resembles the letter Y. If the branches are still too small to tie, they will have to be allowed to grow a bit. Each time a ‘topping’ is performed, the number of main buds doubles.

Main lining outdoors

Step 3

The plants will begin to grow vigorously. Wait until the remaining two branches develop four nodes each and appear healthy. The process should be repeated also from the third node, removing the leaves and shoots below and tying the branches at a 90° angle to the ground. The goal is to obtain at least eight branches, but it is possible to create 26, 32… and optimize the space better.

Step 4

Carefully monitor the development of the plants and continue to perform the technique until obtaining the desired buds. In the case of this technique, all the work must be done at the beginning of cultivation; afterwards, it is only necessary to ensure suitable conditions for proper growth and flowering.

Advantages and disadvantages of Main-Lining

Firstly, we will expose the multiple advantages of applying this technique in your plant crops.

  • It is an ideal method for small spaces due to size control of the plants.
  • It is a fairly simple technique.
  • It allows for better utilization of light.
  • It reduces energy loss.
  • Higher yields are obtained.
  • It aids in uniform growth.
  • It reduces the risk of mold or other fungi problems.
mainline technique

On the other hand, it also presents disadvantages:

  • The stress suffered is high, and the plants need time to recover.
  • It is not suitable for autoflowering plants.
  • A longer duration of the crop is obtained.

In conclusion, to mainline cannabis is useful technique for those with the goal of increasing yields in a cannabis plant crop, although initially, more attention must be paid to the plants and more time must be devoted to organizing your cannabis plant crop properly. Once you have all the desired branches, nothing more needs to be done beyond maintaining the correct parameters for optimal development.

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Erik Collado

Con más de 10 años de experiencia en la industria del cannabis, sus experiencias y aprendizaje son la base del éxito de GB The Green Brand.

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