When do you “top” and why?

Hello everyone, I am just finishing up my first grow and they are autos. I have three plants in vegetation right now that are photos. They are a gelato fem, sour patch kids and San Fernando OG Kush. I did not cut on the autos besides defoliation. I am looking for opinion’s of others as to when they top their photos and why exactly they do at the time they do it. Everyone’s opinion is greatly appreciated! Thanks all!!

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I top mine based on intuition and size of the leaves these days, but I was taught to top around the third or fourth set of leaves. That’s what I did the first few times until I could dial in the energy, if that makes sense? Believe it or not, in the beginning of new adventures, I follow instructions perfectly. Hahaha! :rofl::v:

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Perfect sense, kmac. Thank you for your input.

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You’re welcome! :v::upside_down_face: Insert words.

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i agree with kmac after 3rd or 4th node, in my last grow, i think i topped too many times, got many tops with smaller flowers, my current outdoor grow no more than 2 x…i left a couple un topped, experimenting…

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Thank you for your support. :v:I appreciate it. One day, I’ll venture outside.

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I also like to top at the 3rd or 4th node.

Why do it at all? I’m only allowed to have 6 mature plants. Through topping and training, I’m able to turn those 6 plants into 60-100 main tops.

The plant naturally wants to grow taller, and generally focuses most of its energy on the highest node. By removing that highest growth tip, the lower branches are allowed a bit of time to catch up, while the 2 new tops are developing. This process can be repeated as needed.

Why do it at the 3rd or 4th node? I’ve found that I can only really develop 3-4 of the lower branches into main tops. Any more than that, and they just will never reach the upper canopy. If I wait longer, I’ll just have to prune away those lower underdeveloped branches anyway (but you can turn them into clones).

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Excellent and informative, thanks Curr!

We like to let ours veg for quite a while and then top,and in turn make the top in to another clone/mom . I like to see at least 6-8 nodes before i consider topping. The bottom will shrub out like crazy giving you plenty to flower while preserving another life from the same plant for future harvests,if that makes any sense. Just my 2 cents lol. :slight_smile:

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Mike…you can overtop…nothing wrong with smaller buds. As a matter of fact, smaller are more preferred than bigger. Bigger are eyecandy for public consumer. Smaller are better, more potent, more control of the terpenes…
Too much overtopping is stress. It can cause stunting. You are the deciding factor. As long as they are healthy, and timing is on, the choice is yours. I top based on size of the container. I average 8 or 16 tops maximum (more is more difficult to watch for: hermies, nanners, mold…etc. 8 tops is kinda what we aim for

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im ok with smaller buds, but i feel like i had way too many tops & stunted growth, & ended up with nanners on a damaged plant that i brought back to life.i cut up the larger buds anyway to fit in jars & make sifting easier…i think 8 tops would be ideal.

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@Jram_13

!

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Does it help to take the top two sets of fan leaves? Your experience shows here dollar, very impressive.

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@Jram_13 just trim a little each day as you see fan leaves get in the way or on autos trim the leaves just under the fan leaves. (on autos you won’t have many weeks to trim much as they are always in 8-10 week finish mode) on regular and fem seed i wait until 7 sets of leaves have grown. after 7 you’ll notice the new growth in leaves/bud nodes will stagger and only grow one side a leaf up a little and the other side a leaf. so at most strains 7 sets of leaves is the last set of even leaf growth

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Dollar Bill are the pics above Autos or Photos?
I see the buds starting not long after you cut them.

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@PopPop65 overhead photo 8 and 9 are where i flipped the light to 12/12 at 8 weeks or so. ever now and then i accidently hit perfect timing

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