This deceptively simple method is the key to growing more bud.
Photography by Jonathan Coward for Herb
SCROG stands for Screen of Green, which concisely describes the methodology of “scrogging.” Rather than allowing your plant to grow straight up like a Christmas tree, where only the top buds are getting sufficient light, the SCROG method forces the plant to grow outwards, like a bush.
The objective is to maximize your yield by maximizing the amount of cannabis exposed to light. To do this, the plant is “trained” by bending it horizontally, and weaving it through a screen so that all of the buds get about the same amount of light.
Many recommend that you only grow your plants horizontally until your plant is a few weeks into its flowering phase.
The SCROG method seems difficult at first, but once you grab the basic idea, it’s easy to execute. Here’s how to execute the SCROG method in just three steps.
Step 1: Make a screen, then mount it.
You can make your own screen with wood, eye hooks, and string. Choose four 2×1 pieces of wood, and connect them at 90° with a drill and wood screws so that you end up with a square wood frame. Then, screw eye hooks into the top of one side of the wooden square at intervals of 2.5 inches. Fasten lengths of string into the eyeholes so that they create a net of squares. Don’t tie the string too tight, so that as your plants grow the string has some room to stretch.
To make it easy to set up and adjust the screen, try mounting the frame in a space where the walls are fairly close together, like a bathroom shower you’re not using. This means you should also build your frame to the measurements of the space you’re hanging it in. Measure how close the walls are to each other, then build the frame so that it will have a few inches of space between it and the wall.
Many people use shower curtains to mount their frame—the type that you can adjust the length and jam between two walls. Using this type of adjustable mount will allow you to move the height of your screen lower or higher as you wish. Just make sure you don’t lean or put pressure on the shower rods. Otherwise, they’ll fall and your plants could get crushed.
Step 2: Topping your plant.
To execute the SCROG method, you’ll need to divide your plant’s main cola. So, once your frame is set up, you’re going to want to “top” the main cola of your cannabis plant. The point of this is to split the main cola into two halves so that you now have two stalks that will grow in a “V” shape. This will allow you to spread the two stalks across the net.
Step 3: Feed your plant’s stalks through the netting.
Feed the stalks through the netting, and as the branches grow upwards, gently tie them to the netting with plastic twist-ties so that they continue to grow horizontally, and you don’t have branches growing upwards. As the branches continue to grow, continue tying them to the open spaces of the netting so that your plant continues to grow horizontally outwards.
More branches will grow as you switch your lighting cycle to 12-hours of darkness and 12-hours of light to begin the flowering phase.
Pro tip: Make sure there’s sufficient air circulation in your growing room. Your plant will be thicker after applying the SCROG method, and therefore will require more air circulation.