When do I top? I've heard everything from the third week of growth for space buckets to topping the second terminal node developed by the plant.
~ Mr. A."
Cheers, Mr. A!
Why do we TOP or FIM? To reassert Nodal Dominance.
Another way to look at it: we hack the plant's code.
Nodal Dominance is the reflex of your plant in response to Trauma. Like in the Wild: a deer came and made lunch out of bae's top cola.
Your plant starts off telling itself to grow one (1) cola. When Trauma occurs above a nodal growth, the plant releases chemicals telling the two lower nodes to pick up the pace - Just In Case the top growth cannot grow. So your plant will grow two (2) colas in response.
Nodal Dominance is an evolutionary survival trait. Bae wants to get to Flower any way she can! Two colas have better survivability than one, eh?
Parts of the Cannabis Plant
TOP'ing is when we cut (Traumatize) a cola-growth off right above the node. This reasserts nodal dominance to the two (2) lower nodal growths.
FIM'ing is when we cut (Traumatize) the newest top growth off but do not cut the nodes. This reasserts nodal dominance to the two (2) lower nodal growths - plus it can reassert additional nodal dominance in the nodal growths missed. (Hence the term: "Fuck, I Missed!" F.I.M.)
At least we aren't as haphazard in choosing what to TOP or FIM as a deer would be. nom nom nom.
4 colas with LST - Early Vegetative Stage
With TOP'ing and FIM'ing we hack the plant's code into thinking she needs to develop more colas in order to survive: you are training her - telling her what to do.
Multiple toppings: multiple colas.
Multiple colas: greater yield!
4 colas with LST - Late Flower Stage
When bae grows all natural-like without any FIM'ing or TOP'ing, she will climb up towards the light as a single cola with her lower growth getting wider and wider - like a Christmas Tree!
When you TOP and FIM you now control not only how many colas she will have, but how she grows as well. And that's where LST comes in.
Untrained Clone #01 - Beginning PreVeg Stage
So, when can we begin TOP'ing and FIM'ing? As early as the 6th nodal Growth.
Untrained Clone #01 - Beginning Vegetative Stage
When bae develops her 6th Node, this is a sign she is entering into Vegetative Stage. With a developed root bundle able to take in more nutrients and a full set of Fan Leaves she will burst with growth.
Always leave at least three (3) nodes remaining after TOP'ing or FIM'ing so bae can bounce back swiftly. TOP above the 3rd Node for the first TOP'ing, then wait 3 days for her to return to her normal growing pattern.
You can TOP or FIM to train bae to grow the amount of colas you desire. Always ensure there are 3 lower nodes after TOP/FIM and bae will bounce back in no time!
Girl Scout Cookie Mother Plant - TOP'ing with LST
Combined with Low Stress Training and Supercropping, your bae will produce a hearty bounty for you to enjoy. Excelsior!
And that's how TOP'ing and FIM'ing do.