by Greg Green
This really only applies to outdoor growers, but some indoor set-ups such as ScrOG, SOG and BOG may need to be thinned.
Growers like to grow their plants in a uniform condition. That is – growers like all their plants to be the same height. That way we perfectly arrange our light so that it is too far away or close to the tops. If one plant is racy then we would have to adjust the light to suite that plant. This means that we may end up with light gaps like the following.
Distance from Plant A to light is 1 meter.
Distance from Plant B to light is 0.5 meters.
Distance from plant C to light is 8 inches.
In this case you could imagine the plants in a slope shape in there grow environment. Obviously we are going to be wasting light, not to mention space on this set-up so we need to prevent this slope from happening. That is where thinning comes into play.
The reason for the slope or curve is because some plants might tend to be a bit racy. Some of the plants will try to grow quicker than others to try and receive more light. If this happens the racy plant will cause the smaller ones beside it to receive less light. To control racy plants we use a process called thinning.
If you discover a few racy plants then just cut them down to the same level as the others (called pruning) or remove them all together. Once you have done this you will see all your plants growing nicely along at the same level.
Now, do not throw away the cuttings from the thinning before you read the next line.You can clone these cuttings into new plants!
By the time you have finished your thinning you will have an even grow area with some clones that you can use to grow more bud.
Now the other thing to remember is that some people may tend to thin the other way round. That is – leaving the taller ones and remove the smaller ones. Again in Cannabis growing the taller plants are generally male and the smaller ones are female if you have started from seed. Do you want a garden full of possible males?
During the thinning process you may want to tackle some dead leaves or leaves that have some mould build up on them. Mould looks like a rust or fluff on the leaves and will most of the time spread to other parts of the plant. So why not cut these away too while you thin your grow area.
Thinning your grow makes it look nicer and tidier and helps to improve your overall yield.