Here is the key for the diagram:
Light Brown : Pot Outline
Green thick Lines : Main Stem
Small Thin Lines with Green Balls on top : Fan leafs
Yellow Lines : Side Branches
Red : Tiedown Metal Hooks (or thread whichever item you use, i use Hooks its easier)
The Text in the box : First digit is Step No. and Second Digit is Pot Size, below the numbers is the type of view your looking at (either from the SIDE or from the TOP)
Now that thats out of the way lets get it on..
Please note, you dont have to do it this way, its just the idea of how to do LST, this is the way i did it . Some may opt to use the eggcrate method where you utilize an eggcrate around the pot and tie it down to that with zipties instead of using string or hooks running from the pot itself... this way you can cover more square footage and maximize your yield even more.
Ok heres the STEPS PICTURE for you to follow along with:
STEP 1 : Grow your plant from Seed or Clone to 3 or 4 leaf sets, some use 5 but i always use 3 because after 3rd leaf set the main stem starts to harden and it will be harder to bend over your plant properly without breaking the main stem.
STEP 2 : Using a metal hook (I cut small sections of clothes hanger and bend a 'U' shape at the end as a hook) bend over your plant with metal hook at the last internode (space between the last set of fan leaves and the next to last) and stick the metal hook into your dirt to hold down the stem.
STEP 3 : This is really not a step, just waiting time... Take note of how the top of the plant that was bent down will bend back upwards towards the light, this could take anywhere from 3 hours to 1 day. Under my 1000 Watt Metal Halide light it does it in under 3 hours.
STEP 4 : Veg and dont tie down until you have a new leaf set. You will notice Side branching has started already because good light is getting to the main stem areas next to each fan leaf stem intersection with the main stem.
STEP 5 : Depending on your starting pot size you may have to transplant. If you started out with a large pot, repeat step 2 over and over again holding the main stem down with hooks until you reach the end of the pot. In this illustration to save time and drawings, I started out with a small pot and it reached the end of the pot after the first tie down. I repotted it into a 10 inch pot which will be my final pot size for this plant in order for me to continue the LST Bends around the inside edge of the pot.
STEP 6 : Now that your new leaf set has formed you have enough length in growth since the first bend(s) to allow you to start bending the stem horizontally around the inside edge of the pot. Use metal hooks again to keep this bend in place. Side branches should be coming along very nicely.
STEP 7 : Continue repeating steps 4 and 6, allowing the plant to grow and then keep tieing it down along the inside edge of pot using metal hooks (or whatever your using) Side branches should be forming and growing up towards the light.
STEP 8 : Continue to repeat step 7 until you are all the way around the pot... when you reach the point where your plant first met the edge of the plant Top the plant (cut off the very top of the plant ) and hold it down horizontally with a metal hook.... During all this time of repeating step 7 you should also be tieing down horizontally the new branches that have formed from the main stem as much as possible until you use up as much space as possible inside the pot as well , the outter branches growing over the outside edge of the pot you can hold down as well with string to keep those tops even with the inner branches.
STEP 9 : After you have used up all possible space inside the pot (or your eggcrate) its time to just let it flower.. This is a side view of how it will and should look by that time with all the side branches growing upwards towards the light.... these will all become colas unlike a non LST plant will only have one cola.
During flowering and even before due to lack of light on the main stem fan leafs which is all the way to the bottom almost against the soil those fanleafs will die off anyways, i usually cut these off the main stem right after the branch has grown out in that area, keeps things neat down below where you will need good air flow during flowering.. so go ahead and take off any fanleafs coming off the main stem that is going around the inside edge of the pot.
Set you timer to 12/12 and watch it bloom.
STEP 10: Two days before we harvest, Leave the lights OFF. dont let light touch them. When you do this, the female plants think they're dying (winter is coming) and extract all the resin (THC) out of there system, thus, making stronger more potent buds with the same tast.
STEP 11: HARVEST!! if you followed step 10 the buds will be covered in THC crystals. they will be beautiful, have a NICE SMOKE
TIP: Make sure you have just watered your plants, they bend easier and tend not to snap..