How to decide which group to join for the Plant Training Grow Challenge

The Plant Training Grow Challenge is starting soon, and many people are asking, “Which group should I join?” You can get an overview of what a grow challenge is and what the groups are at , but there is much room for interpretation and a fair amount of overlap in the groups, so you might still be scratching your head after reading that. Here are my thoughts on how to approach the decision. 

Should I even join the Challenge?

First of all, you have to decide if you want to be a part of the grow challenge at all. The short answer to this question is “Yes!” Seriously, though, you want to do this. I joined the Coco for Cannabis Community just eight days after the start of the Spring Auto-Flower Challenge. I had already started my photo-period seeds a few weeks earlier, and I didn’t join the challenge. The community here was very helpful in showing me the ropes on my first indoor grow, but I kept feeling just a bit wistful that I wasn’t part of the challenge. It looked like so much fun with everyone growing auto-flowers all at the same time and sharing their experiences in grow journals and in the Chat Room. I wish I’d known about the challenge (and about early enough to take part, and had some auto-flower seeds to start. So, yes, you do want to be a part of the challenge. You won’t regret it!

Still undecided? Did I mention prizes and giveaways? There are amazing items like grow tents, grow lights, and exhaust fans. How much better could it be? You get to grow cannabis, you will learn from the rest of the community, AND you could win something! Why wouldn’t you do this?

Do you know how you are going to train?

So you’ve decided you are going to take part. Welcome aboard! Before you can choose a team, the next question is, “Do you know what kind of plant training you want to try for the challenge?” Which of these best describes you?

  1. I know exactly how I want to train my plants for this challenge.
    Great! You can skip ahead to Choosing a Group
  2. I’m not sure. I’d like to learn a bit more about some of the different kinds of training.
    You may want to start by reading about Mainlines and Manifolds at
  3. What is plant training?
    You should definitely read the training tutorials, starting with . C’mon back here when you are done.
  4. I read all that stuff, and I still can’t decide.
    Why not stop by the Chat Room and chat with some of the other growers in the Coco for Cannabis Community and see if they can help?

Choosing a Group

Now that you have decided how you are going to train your plants, let’s figure out which group to join. The following training types are not in any particular order. Find the one that closes matches the kind of training you are planning on:

If you are going to mainline your plants, the obvious group to join is the Mainliners! But, what if your mainline techniques are kinda funky, and you want to go your own way? Like, maybe you only want to top twice and have four giant colas instead of eight large colas? Well, you could still be a part of the Mainliners. Or, because you are topping, you could join the Toppers and call your technique Quadrophenia or something. But what if you want to try a mainline, and you want to only grow it to the 4th node and top early to the 3rd node, and then scrog the Octopus of eight branches to grow horizontally under a scrog net? Well, then the Misfits are probably going to love you!


Cannabis Grow IMG 6732

You probably want to join the Mainliners as well, since they are the place for Mainlines and Manifolds. But, you have other options. Let’s say you are going to do a manifolds by topping once, then scropping (super-cropping) the main branches, then using LST (low-stress training) on all of the branchlets off of that, and you never top a second time. That might be a good candidate for the Toppers. And, if you do a manifold by growing a plant to 6 or 8 nodes at one end of a window box, then pinching off the top leaf set, scropping the whole plant over on its side and training the twisty maze of little branches using LST, you are definitely a Misfit!

Sea of Green

Cannabis Grow IMG 3646

Growing 16 clones or auto-flowers in small pots and filling your canopy that way? Non-Toppers is the place for you. Unless you are growing 16 different strains, in which case, you might be more at home with the Misfits.

Screen of Green (ScroG)

Cannabis Grow IMG 6224

There are so many ways to scrog. If you do it by topping first, you could join the Toppers. If you FIM (f*ck, I missed), well, that’s kind of topping, so you could join the Toppers, or you could join the Misfims, I mean Misfits. If you just use LST to Scrog, the Non-Toppers might be a good home for your grow.

Low-Stress Training and Just LST

Cannabis Grow twistylst

(Photo from @prof-knows-it-all)
If you are going to gently bend down the branches and the top and everything, but that’s it, Non-Toppers would be a great place to try this out. Of course, Misfits is an option, espeically if you are growing the plant upside down.

I don’t have a name for what I do, but it involves cutting the top off the plant at least once.

Cannabis Grow IMG 6717

You would be welcome in the Toppers, unless your personal style draws you to the Misfits.

I am filling the bottom of my tent with dirt, throwing a bunch of magic beans in it, and I’ll figure it out as I go.
Do you really need to ask? Misfits is your home.

I am going to get really high every night, and ask the plants what they want me to do that day.
The Misfits are calling you. Listen to the green goddess.

I have this grandiose plan to develop a new training method that I am calling cross-training that is kind of like a manifold, but not exactly and I haven’t completely gotten it completely figured out yet. 

Cannabis Grow IMG 6125 (1)

Oh, wait. That’s me. Some people say I’m a Misfit, but I chose Toppers. Why? Because I am topping, and because I have a dream that someday I will perfect this, and people will think I am a genius. Okay. Not really. Mostly, I just liked the name of the group.

What about the Party Cup Challenge?

This is an optional just-for-fun challenge. If you are overwhelmed by the idea of adding anything to the Plant Training Grow Challenge, you could pass this one by. But it is just one seed and just one cup, so why not try? Some people are planning to put the party cup in the same tent as their other plants and run just a single journal (I've already seen clip-on cup holders and tiny hydro halos in the Chat Room!). Others are building tiny custom grow boxes just for the party cup and are considering a separate grow journal. How do you train a plant that grows from seed to harvest in an 18-ounce (about 530-ml) party cup? Who knows! You could try training it the same as your other grow, or you could try something completely different. Anyone grow bonsai trees? Or just do whatever it takes to keep the plant alive. Is it even possible to do this? That's all part of the Party Cup Challenge. And did I mention there will be separate prizes and awards?

Don't Forget

  1. Sign up for the PTG Challenge now if you haven't already.
  2. Decide on how to train.
  3. Decide what group you want to be a member of.
  4. Plan when to start your seeds so they will start flowering on or close to October 1st.
  5. Once the PTGC section has been added to the Grow Journals section of the Forum, you will be able to start your PTGC grow journal in the section for your group.
  6. Grow your cannabis! Have fun! Make friends! Win prizes!
Posted : 08/04/2020 12:49 pm Tropa, TerpTitties, siscoweb and 2 people liked
Prominent Member
Practicing Grower
Completed Grows

Lovely intro and welcoming 💪


Posted : 07/29/2021 8:26 am berkshirebud liked