Is it possible for an indoor crop to be doing too well? One way a garden can go wrong is if plants start weighing themselves down with their own success; in other words, if heavy buds are causing the plant to sag.

Every grower wants a successful harvest, but if your plants are getting weighed down by heavy buds, your yields could suffer. If you see your plant buckling under the weight of a heavy bud, give it some support: an especially heavy bud can cause the stem to snap. Here are five tips for supporting heavy buds in an indoor crop.

1. SUPPORT PLANTS WITH STRING AND STAKES

String and stakes are used by many growers to prevent large buds from weighing plants down. Both of these methods are cheap, and you can probably find the materials lying around in your garage or greenhouse. If you only have string at your disposal, simply tie one end to the affected branch and the other end to the main stem. The string will work to pull the branch against gravity and help your plant deal with the weight. Try to avoid using twine and other natural strings as these can harbour mould. Use synthetic materials such as garden wire where possible.

You can also use stakes to ease the burden. Place a garden stake into the soil, parallel with the main stem and close to the heavy branch. Use string, Velcro, or another type of strap to securely attach the branch to the stake. Tie the branch off as close to the primary bud site as possible. This will help to shorten the lever and reduce mechanical stress.

Upon reading the words “garden stakes”, your mind probably conjures an image of bamboo. While these are the most common stakes—there’s a high probability you have more than a few at home—they may be harmful to both you and your cannabis crop. Many cannabis growers are abandoning bamboo stakes out of fear of mildew. These old-school support structures have a tendency to carry this fungal infection. Once it takes hold, the disease proliferates into a white powdery substance that stunts growth and rots plants. Err on the side of caution and avoid using bamboo stakes altogether. Alternative materials include plastic and metal.

Support Buds String

2. TRELLISING

Trellising involves using a mesh with a wide lattice to support the growth of your plants. Trellising has many benefits: it spaces out your buds, maximises grow space, and provides structural support.

Indoor trellising can be carried out in several ways. You can use vertical trellises, which travel alongside your plants, or horizontal trellises, which are suspended at a certain height above your plant’s level. Horizontal trellising is often carried out with the screen of green growing method, whereby the plant is cultivated such that most of the heavy plant matter is above the trellis. Screen of green requires a moderate amount of skill, as you will need to prune your plants, direct their growth, and lay out your garden with some degree of precision. If trellising is set up incorrectly, it can restrict sunlight and airflow to the lower parts of the plants, and cause stunted growth and other negative side effects. It may not be the best method for a first-time grower. Unless, that is, you really want to challenge yourself!

Horizontal Trellising Big Buds

3. USE WIRE TOMATO CAGES

You can place your weed plants in wire tomato cages to give your branches something to hang on to. As tomato plants and weed plants are shaped differently, this method requires some customisation. Wire tomato cages tend to be narrow at the bottom and wide on the top, while weed plants tend to be wide at the bottom and narrow at the top. As such, you’ll need to use string, velcro, or twist ties to attach the lower parts of the plant to the cage, as per the first method in this guide. This method may not be ideal for very young plants, as the cages could make it hard to get the lamps within range of the plants.

Tomato Cages Support Buds

4. ADD FERTILISER TO IMPROVE PLANT STRENGTH

If you want stronger stems and branches, you need to go to the source: nutrients in the soil. Give your plants fertiliser rich in calcium, potassium, and phosphorus to help them get buff. After all, the best case scenario is to have heavy buds and plants hefty enough to handle them!

One caution is to avoid giving your plant too much of any one nutrient. In particular, supplementing your plant with calcium while neglecting potassium and phosphorus can backfire in a big way!

5. PLANT YOYOS

Plant yoyos are an easy way to give your plant support while interfering minimally with its structure. Plant yoyos are small plastic hooks attached to a string, which then attaches to a mechanism which attaches to the top of your grow tent. Plant yoyos allow your grow tent to hold some of the weight of your plant. The plastic hooks are designed to touch a minimal surface area of your plant, and yet to distribute weight evenly so as not to cause damage. If you’re using a grow tent, plant yoyos are the simplest way to get those heavy buds some support!

Yoyos Support Buds

Supporting heavy buds is more art than science. To find out what’s right for you, listen to your plant, gauge its innate strength, figure out where it’s strong, and find out where it needs support. Happy growing!

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