Are you interested in getting the highest possible yields from a small, indoor grow? You’ve come to the right page. The screen of green (SCROG) technique uses stress training and an adjustable grid to coax large, high-quality flowers from your plant. This article covers everything you’ve ever wanted to know about SCROG. Here’s how you grow cannabis with the screen of green method.
What is SCROG?
Screen of green (SCROG) is a method of indoor cannabis cultivation that trains plants using a fine screen. This form of growing increases the yields of small grows.
It does this by allowing maximum canopy space, which takes full advantage of available light. SCROG works very well in small growing spaces.
If you want to truly get the most out of your indoor plants, SCROG techniques are the way to go. This method produces several bud sites and gives each flower plenty of opportunity to develop.
Once you have your screen set up, you can easily use it to produce crop after crop of high-quality cannabis.
Benefits of SCROG
If you leave a single plant in a pot to grow without training, chances are it will develop just one central cola. With SCROG, every branch develops into a decent sized cola. This coaxes out high yields from as few as one to five plants.
SCROG growing produces homogenous buds. All of the cannabis branches are trained to hover atop the screen in a canopy. This means that they are all equal distance from your light, giving every flower the opportunity to soak up as much solar juice as they need. Using SCROG, you’ll get a consistent crop every time.
This method is particularly useful when growing sativas. Sativas tend to stretch tall during the pre-flowering phase. They can also be difficult to grow indoors since they tend to be tall plants. Though, indicas perform equally well in this method.
Using a screen also simplifies maintenance. There’s no need to tie down branches in random, wonky ways. Rather, the screen provides a simple grid for you to use. You can also use both cuttings and feminized cannabis seeds in this technique.
SCROG vs SOG
The sea of green (SOG) method is another type of growing technique that encourages high yields. In a way, it is the exact opposite of SCROG. SCROG uses a few plants and creates multiple, highly developed budding sites. SOG, however, uses many plants (30 to 40) and focuses on the development of one primary cola.
After clones are given 1 to 2 weeks to establish, they are switched into flowering. This causes the clones to go into overdrive. Their stalks begin to thicken and they start to produce a single, impressive flower.
In rare cases, the plants simply stretch tall and produce a small bud. For this reason, SOG can only be done with clones. Seedlings do not react this way when rapidly switched into flowering.
SOG requires very intense lights and more maintenance. You save quite a bit of water with the SCROG technique. You can also get away with less light using SCROG.
While sativas take nicely to SCROG, indicas are best suited for the SOG method. Plants in SOG rarely reach a height of more than 12 inches (30 cm).
The SOG technique is quite a bit faster than SCROG. The SOG method is typically used by professional growers who need high yields very quickly. SCROG is better for the average home grower, who wants to get a ton of product out of just a few plants.
The high number of plants used in the SOG method also makes for greater legal troubles in some areas. In most legal states, you can only grow 4 to 6 plants. This makes SCROG a better option for most people.
Overall, you can get a similar yield using both methods.
How do you use SCROG?
The cool thing about SCROG? It’s easy. During the vegetative phase, you simply start weaving branches through the screen. Under the canopy, your plants will look very neat and trim. They’ll also be easy to water and maintain. The one thing to really pay attention to with SCROG is flowering time.
Some strains tend to stretch more than others during flowering. Before you try SCROG, look up some general growing information about the strain you’re planting. If it tends to get tall and grow vigorously during flowering, you can shorten the time your plant spends in the vegetative state.
A stretchy plant will fill out the grid during flowering. If you have a nonstretchy plant, leaving it in vegetative phase a little longer will help it take up more grid space. Another tip to remember is that you want to train your plant for ample lateral growth.
Without further ado, here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how you use SCROG:
- Screen with 2 to 4 inch (5-10 cm) diameter holes (something like this. Many people also make their own screens out of bamboo stakes)
- Plastic plant ties or string
- 5 to 6-gallon pot (25 L) for one plant, 3-gallon (12 L) pots for more plants
- Pre-prepped growing space
- Place mesh about 8 inches (20 cm) above your pots. You want it to be as close to your light as possible while leaving room for large buds
- Give each plant about 12 square inches (30 cm) of screen
- Guide branches through the screen and only allow the tops to hover atop the mesh
- You can use plant ties or string to secure branches if necessary, but you might find that the screen itself will hold them in place after a while
- Continue training until an average of 70% of the screen is covered before switching to flowering. If you are growing a sativa, aim for 50 to 60% coverage before flowering.With an indica, up tp 80% of the screen can be covered
- As plants continue to grow, they will fill up the remaining space
- Once plants are moved into flowering, keep an eye out for more branches underneath
Throughout the growth process, be sure to prune back fan leaves. During flowering, you can also tuck fan leaves close to the bud underneath the screen. The idea is that you want your light focused on the buds. Fan leaves suck energy away from flower development.
In a method like this, your plant can thrive without extra leaves thanks to the canopy structure. But, don’t let those leaves go to waste!
Cannabis leaves are highly nutritious. Throw a couple into a green smoothie or try them to use in a calming tea.
Fan leaves may not be loaded with psychoactive THC, but they do contain cannabinoid acids. These acids have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They’re also vitamin rich. You won’t want to miss out on these health benefits.
The thick canopy SCROG creates means that quality air circulation is essential. When buds are densely packed together and encouraged to grow large, you create the perfect environment for mold and mildew.
If possible, use an air-cooled light. Make sure you have at least two fans going: one to pull fresh air into your grow room/tent, and one pulling hot air out of your space.
As mentioned before, one of the nice things about SCROG is that it can save time while watering. Make sure you only water when your soil is completely dry. Overwatering is one of the most common rookie growing mistakes, and it will only increase your chances of a mold, pest, or pathogen outbreak.
Well, that’s it. Those are the basics of SCROG. This technique will give you a lot of bang for your buck. Home growers are often limited to just a few plants.
Screen of green techniques give you the highest possible indoor yields for arguably very little input. This method is worth a try for anyone diving into cannabis cultivation.
Disclaimer: cultivating cannabis is still illegal in many regions. Always familiarize yourself with the laws in your areas before you grow.