Trellising Cannabis: Everything You Need To Know
Technically, trellising is only performed outdoors. But it does have amazing indoor applications. The trellis itself is an ancient fusion of architecture and agriculture, formerly fashioned into a latticed wooden frame.
What Is Trellising?
Technically, trellising is only performed outdoors. But it does have amazing indoor applications, which we’ll address a little later. First, we need to wade into this agro-art before we take you deep into trellising territory. The trellis itself is an ancient fusion of architecture and agriculture, formerly fashioned into a latticed wooden frame. No one knows for sure when or precisely where trellising first originated, but it was around long before the Romans, and by the 19th century, it evolved into an art form in France.
Modern trellises are commonly made of lightweight netting or a combination wire-plastic frame. It’s really just a frame with grids for the shoots to grow through, so it hasn’t radically changed over time. Essentially, only the raw materials to make the trellis have changed. The principles have not.
Viticulture is most closely associated with trellising. Training vines and fruiting plants to grow through either vertical or horizontal frames for a heavier harvest is nothing new. The crossover applications to cannabis plants are obvious. You can order a trellis online or create your own with basic supplies from the local garden centre. Chicken wire, a pack of cable ties, and four posts are all you really need for a simple custom trellis.
What Are The Benefits And Challenges Of Trellising Cannabis?
By spreading out shoots and creating a flat canopy or “living wall”, depending on how you have oriented your trellis, more rays of sunlight hit more flowers. This is advantageous as the trellis supports the altered plant structure, maximises bud production, and overall, is the most efficient use of grow space in the cannabis garden. Air circulation is also improved, provided you defoliate lower growth liberally.
The challenge is the hands-on, perhaps daily plant care required to fill the squares of the frame with big, fat colas. Enter the espalier technique. This forerunner to LST is the ancient way to manipulate shoots to make a cannabis bush. Outdoors, espalier is probably more accurate of a system as monster plants trained into a horizontal trellis really do resemble a hedgerow—but let’s not get too fancy and stick with LST going forward.
Bending and weaving shoots through a trellis requires the touch of those practiced in LST. Most growers will also top or FIM their plants too to promote bushy growth and multiple main colas. So you really need to be a dab hand at marijuana manipulation before diving into trellising. Sure, the best way to learn is always by doing, but trellising is really too much for a novice to take on.
Trellising is by no means a quick win. You will have to work for that extra yield and those higher-quality top colas. Cannabis plants need a lengthy vegetative phase to develop enough secondary shoots and to recover from the pruning associated with trellising. If time is a factor and a quick harvest is your primary objective, then trellising is probably not for you.
How To Trellis Cannabis Outdoors
Outdoor growers who want to keep plant numbers low and yields high love trellising cannabis plants. If you really want to raise your outdoor grow game to an art form, then you need to trellis a monster marijuana plant. Tougher metal wire or plastic fencing with plenty of gaps for shoots are the ideal materials for trellising outdoors.
Trellising cannabis plants outdoors will invariably include quite a bit of DIY. Whether you choose a horizontal or vertical structure, be prepared to make modifications. For those that enjoy hands-on ganja gardening, trellising is the way to grow.
Recommended Trellising Kit
Option 1: simple online trellis for €20 or less
Trellis netting is widely available from grow shops online. This is suitable for indoor ScrOGs and outdoor trellising. Typically, trellis nets in the 1 × 1m and 2 × 2m standard sizes are perfect for a terrace trellis.
However, you can get rolls of this cut to size, as many metres long and wide you need. A dozen bamboo or metal poles about 1m tall are always handy and easy to make a frame for the trellis. Also, don’t forget to buy 4–6 net clamps to hold the trellis netting securely in position.
Option 2: garden centre trellis for €100 or less
If you require a sturdier trellis, check out the trellis options at your local garden centre. You might find an off-the-shelf trellis that’s perfect. But if you don’t, you’ll find all kinds of materials that can be easily adapted.
Chicken wire fencing, green plastic fencing, or even latticed wooden fencing can work. All you need is a packet of cable ties or a hammer and nails, depending on how you plan to fasten the trellis in place. Support poles, either metal, bamboo or plastic, and soft gardening wire will be useful.
Vertical Trellising: Train A Vertical Vine
The vertical trellis can work for outdoor cannabis grows. You can fix your netting or screen to a wall and train your plants to grow like vines. Depending on how tall you allow them to grow, you may even need a step ladder to continue weaving shoots through lattices late in summer.
Patio and back garden growers often prefer this growth pattern, especially if only one wall gets decent sunlight. Flowering tops will also be in direct sunlight perhaps an hour or two longer in the afternoon to early evening, while lower growth is shaded.
If you don’t have a wall to fix the trellis to, you can make a simple frame. Start by driving two poles into the dirt 1m apart. Next, stretch your screen or netting across the gap. Finally, secure in place with clamps or cable ties fastened to the poles. Plant your cannabis or place your pot beside it and bend the shoots through.
Horizontal Trellising: Create Hedges Of Beautiful Ganja
The horizontal trellis is the super-sized outdoor version of a ScrOG. Using the very same equipment described above, cannabis bushes can be created. Balcony and terrace growers with plenty of sunlight that want to maximise production and keep plants from reaching for the sky will align their screen or netting horizontally. It can be as simple as a couple of nails in the wall and stretching the trellis from one end of the garden to the other at the desired height.
Alternatively, individual plants can be trellised as follows.
- Drive a 1m pole 10cm deep into each of the four corners of your pot.
- Cut a square plastic screen to the desired dimensions.
- Secure your screen in place with cable ties or clamps to the poles.
Huge weed trees can attract unwanted attention. Plus, humongous, trophy-winning main colas are more vulnerable to bud rot. Securing a screen about 1m above the ground and training plants through it for a flatter, more dispersed canopy of flowers is a smarter option. Bend, fold, tuck, and weave, and just a few plants can fill the garden with a forest of fat colas.
Indoor Trellising: The Scrog Method For Maximum Production
The indoor version of trellising is known as the ScrOG or screen of green method. In fact, it’s the same thing. The most popular ScrOG configuration is a horizontal screen covering the grow area with plenty of gaps for the shoots to grow through. Sometimes it can be U shaped, or even like a wave of colas. But it’s still an indoor trellis. In fact, plenty of growers will use the same outdoor trellis netting or lightweight mesh screens for their ScrOG.
Indoor growers don’t just ScrOG for a bumper harvest of fat tops, many microgrowers must drop a ScrOG to control plant height. That’s right, the trellis can be tailored to suit your grow space. A trellis can work in grow-ops of all sizes, from a warehouse to a wardrobe.
Scrogging, like outdoor trellising, will prolong vegetative growth. Shoots will need to be adjusted and spread out, perhaps until mid-way through the bloom phase. Moreover, as indoor light sources are usually hanging stationary above the canopy, the grow lamp will also need constant adjustment. Maintaining the optimal light distance will become a task. Furthermore, the growth below the screen will need to be stripped away through a combination of defoliation and lollipopping.
If you’re gonna go deep into trellising, you better have plenty of game in the grow-op. Trellising is unforgiving to amateurs. But for those with green fingers and a little flare, well, trellising will make you feel like man discovering fire.
Pruning and training are proven yield-boosting practices for cannabis plants. Trellising combines both techniques for the heaviest harvest possible.
Best Trellis Setups for Growing Cannabis
by Jen Keehn – August 21, 2018
When cannabis grows naturally, it grows up in one single stalk. This single stalk will produce one large cola, with some smaller colas on lower branches. And while letting cannabis do its thing naturally will yield some good bud, there are ways to manipulate your plants to increase your yields. Many experienced growers will use a trellis for growing cannabis, which not only increases yields but also keeps plants healthy and strong.
What is Trellising?
Trellising cannabis helps to support or train plants during the growth cycle . Trellis is usually made from wood, bamboo, metal, or plastic rods and allows for gentle manipulation of your plants so they receive adequate light to each branch. Where topping plants will help them to branch out and develop more colas, trellising can help direct growth, support plants as colas develop into heavy buds, and increase space between buds.
There are both horizontal and vertical trellising techniques. Vertical trellis typically uses bamboo, metal, or wood rods to create a frame around the plant with connecting pieces running through and around it. This allows for the support cannabis plants need as buds become heavier and need support during flower. Horizontal trellising is typically made out of softer materials like netting or screens with holes and allow plants to grow through the trellis as they mature.
Trellising is beneficial for both indoor and outdoor cannabis grows, and if growing with the purpose of producing large yields, it can tremendously help you reach your goal.
Best Trellis for Growing Cannabis Indoors
Trellising cannabis plants works awesome for indoor grows, as the grow light is focused strictly on the tops of the plants. Using trellis allows you to manipulate your plants so each branch receives equal light, rather than light just reaching the top of the canopy.
One of the best ways to trellis indoor cannabis is to first create a row out of your plants that allow you to get to every part of them during the growth cycle. Trellis netting works excellent for indoor grows set up in such rows. Once a frame has been established on the outside of these rows, all you need to do is attach the trellis to the frame over your roll of plants. Just remember, your horizontal trellis needs to be attached flat and taught to the frame in order to support plants as they begin to grow heavier as buds develop during the flowering cycle.
Indoor trellis should be set up early (2-3 weeks into veg) to allow plants to grow up through the netting. This also ensures that you don’t damage plants later in the growth cycle by manipulating separate stalks through the grid or netting. As plants begin to grow and reach the netting, you will need to weave each top into the netting. If your plants begin to get heavy and start to collapse to one side, another layer of trellis can be installed above the first one. Once you’ve got the second layer installed, simply weave the tops that were flopping over, and they will receive the support they need.
Best Trellis for Growing Cannabis Outdoors
Growing outdoors is an entirely different story than growing ganja inside. When grown outdoors, cannabis plants can become huge. To increase yields of large outdoor plants, growers will use various topping methods that allow for the production of several colas rather than one large stalk. Trellising outdoor cannabis plants that have been topped will offer the support they need when colas begin to mature and become heavy.
There are several different ways to create trellis for outdoor cannabis plants. A common method is to use a metal cage that surrounds the plant. This should be done when the cannabis plant is in the pot it will finish out its growth cycle in so the plant isn’t damaged when it has reached advanced maturity. The metal cage offers the support for growing branches that will continue to grow off each part of the plant that’s been topped.
Bamboo stakes are also a popular trellis option for growing cannabis outdoors. When the plant is in its early stages of growth, bamboo stakes can be used to create a frame around the entire pot. Simply place 5-6 stakes in the dirt on the outer edges of the pot. Doing this when plants are young ensures that you don’t cause any root damage to the plant once it has matured. Adding more stakes horizontally and tying them to the outer frame with garden ties or tape will give plants the extra support they need when they begin to produce the heavy buds you’re aiming for.
Tomato cages also make a great trellis option for outdoor cannabis plants. They are an easy and effective way to give your plants the support they need. Just as with bamboo stakes, tomato cages should be put in the pot the plant will complete its life cycle in at the early stages of vegetative growth. If needed, you can add horizontal trellis inside the tomato cage to support any branches that need it.
Trellis WILL Improve Your Cannabis Grow
Trellising your cannabis plants is a huge benefit for growers who want to increase their yields. It allows for more light to reach each branch, resulting in more buds in the end. It’s important to remember to top or pinch plants as well to ensure that you’re creating the biggest, bushiest plants you can instead of only one main stalk. Trellising cannabis plants is one of the best things you can do to maximize your harvest . And isn’t that the goal of every grower?
Whether growing indoor or outdoor cannabis plants, a trellis is something that will dramatically improve your grow. The support trellising offers is truly unsurpassed for plants to grow to their maximum potential and become heavy with big, dense nugs .
while letting cannabis do its thing naturally will yield some good bud, there are ways to manipulate your plants to increase your yields. Many experienced growers will use a trellis for growing cannabis, which not only increases yields but also keeps plants healthy and strong.