I have been experimenting with some training systems like one node and flip popularized by the Jungle Boys and leaf stripping and want to compare results with these defoliation techniques.
Above are 4 plants trained using the one node and flip technique on day 9 and day 14.
Below are 4 plants that received a total leaf stripping on day 19, now at day 25.
One Node And Flip Vs Leaf Stripping – Which Is Better?
Here is a video comparing my grow closets and the two techniques.
It is too early to make a full comparison between the 2 methods and one grow is all Wedding Cake while the other is Wedding Cake and 3 other strains. They are also 10 days apart. But there are a few important take aways from both.
There are obviously many more leaves in the one node and flip closet and it is likely some will be removed later. The canopy is not as deep with this method so more light will get to all the buds. There are no lower buds so there will be no larf and less smaller buds.
The closet that was leaf stripped has a much deeper canopy and therefore less light getting to the lower buds. I feel pretty sure there will be more small buds with this system.
Implementing this training system is much easier because it is done just before flowering. With a leaf strip most growers wait until day 21, but one I know does it on day 14. Either way, all this has to be done with the trellis already up so it is much more difficult to do. If you have ever used this technique you know it is very labor intensive and time consuming.
I have had problems leaf stripping. It sets the plants back and has resulted in smaller buds for me. The plants appear stunted to me. There were some other factors that may have led to stunting like light levels that were too high for plants to use without additional CO2. I wrote an article about this on my sister site and you can view it here: http://420grower.org/how-much-led-light-for-weed-and-is-750-w-cob-led-lighting-too-much/
Many successful growers use leaf stripping with great success but they are also running CO2 and I think this makes recovery easier and faster.
I would not recommend leaf stripping unless you also have CO2. I think you can get the same or better results using one node and flip and it is faster and easier to implement.
Right now I think the closet with one node and flip training looks better and I think yield and bud size will be better. The closet that was leaf stripped still looks a bit stunted but with lowered light levels I am seeing the buds start to size up and grow new white hairs. I will update the results as time goes on. Can’t decide? Here is a detailed comparison:
Defoliating Cannabis Explained In Detail
I want to leave you with 2 videos from 2 different master growers showing these 2 different defoliation techniques in more detail.
The first video is from Grand Master Level and shows him doing a complete leaf strip on his Death Bubba girls. It’s long but definitely worth watching.
The second is much shorter and from HiGrowGroup and explains the one node and flip technique. Interestingly enough, he used to do a total leaf strip in flower like Grand Master Level does , but now he is using the one node and flip technique and explains why.
A Look At My One Node And Flip Plants On Day 21
My plants are looking much better than the ones that received a full leaf stripping. They look healthier and more robust.
The biggest advantage I see to the one node and flip technique is that it does not slow plant growth down in any way. My plants that were defoliated always took at least 3 days to start recovering and growing again.
Since the one node technique is done just before flower the plants do not slow down at all. I was not sure how much these girls would stretch so I did not use any N.M. Decision at transition to flower. Once they started getting tall I did give them some around day 16 hoping it would slow stretch down a bit. Not really sure if it had much effect.
I don’t know if stretch is over at day 21 or if they will stretch a bit longer. Some colas are much taller than others and close to the light. The problem is worse with multiple strains too because they have different growth rates.
In the end I think some fine tuning is needed. For example the GG4 did not stretch upwards as much as the rest. Instead it got wider. The canopy is dense and may need some stripping or branch thinning. So on a strain like that, in a 2 foot wide closet, 4 nodes may be too much.
So I am going to wait until day 28 at least before I do anything. One option might be to leave everything until day 42 and then do some leaf stripping.
ONE NODE AND FLIP DAY 28
Everything is looking really good and I just finished doing some training on day 28. Some plants have grown thick canopies that needed training.
This was mostly true on the GG4 and the Wedding Cake. I did remove some fan leaves but most of the training was removing smaller bud sites and low branches. Some strains make a lot of side branches and they can quickly create tops that are too dense for good light and air penetration.
By removing them I was able to open up the canopies and hopefully send more energy to the larger top buds. Trimming buds is tedious work especially if there are a lot of small buds. My goal is to eliminate as many as I can even if it means a slightly lower yield.
So far the one node and flip technique has worked well. It does not stall my plants out like full leaf stripping did. I need to refine it a bit though. Either by leaving less branches or less nodes on strains like GG4 that like to get tall and bush out. If I do it right I should need to do much less training after going into flower.
Here is a video showing how things are going. I also share a bit of info about my next grow and about dealing with powdery mildew in flower. Watch it. You will enjoy it.
ONE NODE AND FLIP TECHNIQUE DAY 35
So after comparing the one node and flip technique with a total leaf strip I definitely prefer one node and flip. It doesn’t set the plants back at all which could result in an earlier harvest. Over all the plants look healthier to me. Here is my day 35 video:
Here are pictures from both closets. The first two were taken of plants that received a total leaf strip. They are on day 46 and the next two were taken on day 35 and trained with the one node and flip technique.
Not a true side by side but same cuts and nutes and same lighting. Although they will produce some nice buds the day 46 plants don’t look that happy to me.
Also the 2nd picture appears to be a different pheno even though they came from the same mom. Stress induced? I don’t know but it was not set back as hard as the other plants. It is already starting to fade and is taller than the others. Bud structure shows more cookie influence and finer less spikey pistils.
Now compare these plants to the ones trained with one node and flip. They are 10 days earlier and honestly I think the buds have better trichome development and are the dame size or maybe even a bit larger. See for yourself and then you decide if I am being biased.
Here are some shots of the rest of the closet taken on day 35
ONE NODE AND FLIP TECHNIQUE DAY 42
Today is day 42 and these ladies are coming along nicely. I have seen some significant bulking up this week and buds are gaining frost and starting to look way more mature.
I think the Tropicana cookies have made the most impressive gains this week. I dont think it will be a big yielder but the tangerine smell these girls put out is amazing.
The Pink Lemonade is getting heavy and branches are starting to lean from the weight. She is an earlier finisher than the others and is starting to show brown hairs now.
Wedding Cake and GG4 are also chunking up and getting frosty. The GG4 surprised me because it is the shortest plant in the closet. It has been taller before but this time it really went wide instead. It needed the most training after the one node and flip because it was so crowded. I think if trained this way it needs less branches than the others.