The Defoliating technique often called "schwazzing" has been a part of my methods for some years now. It is done at specific times in the bloom cycle to help promote bud development by removing the "unnecessary" fan leaves from the plant. The theory being; that the plant does not need those large fan leaves, and can focus energy into the budding sites. This happens on day 1 and week 3 of bloom. I have tried doing this method on many different days. As late as day 10 for the first defan, and day 28 for the second. My personal results have proven best when defoliating on day 1 and around day 21. This gives the plant more time to recover from the stress of having the majority of its foliage pulled. I noticed that when i did the defan in week 4 they were not recovering as quickly and the bud development slowed.
There are a couple things we can do to also help the plant relieve some of the stress of the defoliating. Increasing the relative humidity in your flower room to 60-70% RH will help the plants draw moisture equally from the soil as well as through the stomata. The second trick to keeping your plants happy during a heavy defan is increasing the Brix counts in the plants. Brix is a measure of sugar content and higher levels of Brix leads to stronger plants and bigger yields. Cyco Platinum Series Suga Rush is the perfect way to up the Brix counts. I double the amount of Suga Rush in my mixture the feed before and after defoliating. On top of being a pure source of carbohydrates, Suga Rush aids in node stacking!
Here is a picture of some plants after the day 1 defoliation. You can see the nodes have been cleaned off the plant up to a point, as well as the majority of the major fan leaves are gone. I keep the top several large fans on the plant, but some growers remove them as well. Surprisingly, by week two these plants will look like this never happened. They will have replaced all those fan leaves.
The next pictures are some larger plants defanned at day 22. I pull more of the top fans at this point. Plants will not be producing new foliage any longer. You can still see the remainder of the room has fans that are about to be pulled. But its obvious there was vigorous growth from the day one defoliation into week 3.
Finally we have the two trays completely defoliated and ready to fatten up for the rest of bloom.
"Schwazzing" is a lot of work, but in my opinion pays off in the overall development of the bud sites early and allowing for light penetration to the lower parts of the plant.
If you have some cool tips and tricks for other growers then share them here.
2 posts • Page 1 of 1
Im not knocking your technique , but why did you stop posting the weekly updates on the Schawazzing Tech you call it ? Id like to see the final results. Im sure that your facts are correct about the Brix levels and how you would want to double the amount of levels in the cultivar to replace the lost drivers of the plant (fan leaves) due to the one node stripping you do and the fact of the light penatration. There is other facts your overlooking that overshadow them as well to where the pros and cons start to weight in . By stripping the plants to where there are 3 fan leaves at the tops is perfect IMO and your not over stressing the plant cause your leaving 30% of the fan leaves never takeing more then 70% witch is extremly dangrouse for cannbis plants causeing seed pods and hermies to come out . The light intenseity is overwhemling with most lights and you can only pack so much light into one canopy and all the extra light is unused and just burns the plants . More light is good to an extent and then its unseable , thats why co2 is added for more income of light when its no longer useable . Stressing your plant by doing any stripping past week 3 day 21 is absolutly going to give you stunted growth , less yeild and boney speary plants . If you strip them , be decent and dont ever take more fhen 70 % at one time and leave the top few to power the plant . Adding double the amount of sugar rush will absolutly offset the nutrients regime , ppm and levels of other stuff. Higher brix can be achieved other ways but again , im not disrespectinf but I can pick apart more and more and dont feel like typing more them I already have . So peace -realthor89