The Scrog Method
SCROG or SCREEN OF GREEN is one of the most productive and easiest ways to grow indoors when the number of plants matter according to local laws. Now let's not get this confused with the Sea of green method. SOG involves no training nor does it have one item a SCROG always has. A screen in most cases I have a screen to tie up bud weight even for SOG. SCROG has been around for many years. Before HID's were introduces many used floro's with this method with great success.
Now let's talk about the SCROG for a little bit. What is a SCROG? What is SCReen Of Green? Well, it is just that. A screen is the main character of SCROG. It is usually made of wire or something sturdy enough to hold back the growing canopy. This wire should have some holes in it about 2x2 inches minimum to 4x4 inches in size so that the plant mater can easily grow up through the wire and be supported by it. The wire is secured between the grow medium and the lamp at a distance determined by the size of your lamp , strain and stretch of your strain. We will get into that later. The plants grow through the screen about 3-4 inches and then are pulled back under and spread out where YOU want them to grow.
This is the hard part. Getting started ,This isn't rocket science. If you've already got an area where you established plants growing you are halfway there.
Remember at least 2x2 inch squares 4x4 is what I recommend [concrete wire]. You can use chicken wire as well or even some tightly strung rope but I would suggest wire. You need something strong to support the buds and hold back the canopy growth. The screen needs to be cut to size. The size of the screen is determined by the size of your lamp or growing area. Remember that to get the good bud formation you want from 50 watts per square foot so your screen size should not exceed that. Check the examples below.
150hps screen size 1.75ft x 1.75ft
250hps screen size 2.25ft x 2.25ft
400hps screen size 2.91ft x 2.75ft
600hps screen size 3.45ft x 3.45ft
1000hps screen size 4.4ft x 4.5ft
If your screen exceeds the 50wpsf[watts per square foot] . That's perfectly okay. Just don't over do it. Now once you've determined the size of your screen and cut it to size. Situate it over your grow area and secure it into place. Just a few screws will hold it in place. Your mounting a screen. You need to figure out where to set the screen. First, a few questions to ask. Is your lamp air cooled and what size is your lamp? These two questions determine how close you can get to your canopy. This is very important stuff. The closer you get the better off you are my screen is modular and comes apart easily. If you do not have air cooled lamps then a simple fan blowing between the canopy and the lamp should do the trick. Okay, now let's set that screen. Here's some examples of screen settings for hps's. These are not exact settings. They are just a baseline idea. If you can get your lamp closer. Good for you. If you can't. That's okay too. Don't worry. If you've got the right watts per footage they will produce.
150hps 10-12 inches
250hps 12-15 inches
400hps 16-20 inches
How Many Will I Need Under The Screen?. I go with as few plants as I can whenever possible. my space is 3x3ft. That's 9 sqft. 9 to 25 plants can be done in that space. So, the rule does not always need to be followed. if you use clones from a flowering plant[rejuve them] it will have plenty of branches that will veg thru the screen.
Spacing Let's talk about the spacing between the plant medium and the screen. This space [dead space] will need to be large enough to allow you room to manipulate your plants during the training phase. I usually use around 8 to 12 inches. Some people use more/less. 12 [indica] seems to be just enough for me but when working in a 3x3ft space it is still a tight space I have modular system and can go up to 22 inches [sativa].
What Is The Best Strain To Grow In A SCROG? Most any plant strain can be grown without much difficulty using a SCROG. The secret is in the screen. Some strains require more training than others but that is the only difference. Heavy yield Indica's are excellent SCROG candidates but the unruly sativa can really shine with proper training and timing.
Hydro or Soil?
doesn't really matter.
So, how are you going to do this SCROG? Is it going to bubble , drip flood and drain, flow or just sit there? Here's some things you may consider before your plants get tangled up in the screen. I use a recirculation drip system to a 3x3 pan that drains free flow to the reservoir , and my light cover a 4x4 area.
Hydro: No real problem here. if you do a double reservoir[one higher than the other for flushing].or a drain hose with valves to a bucket can serve the same purpose.
Soil: Soil grows and SCROG are a wonderful thing. Organic buds rule. One problem I ran into when scroging with soil was the flushing of the medium at the end of the grow. Well, with the plants tangled in the screen. One cannot just transport to the sink and flush. My soil buckets drain into a pan that free flows to the reservoir. Then I have to drain and clean the reservoir. Takes a while but it works.
Okay , you just did something that will double to triple your yield The screen is set. Let's take a look at what's going to happen when plants start to grow through the screen.
Managing the Scrog Grow
A wire screen has invaded your grow space wow. and it looks weird in there. Maybe you even have a few inches growth through the screen. the beauty of SCROG growing starts.
Vegging: Here is where allot of people make mistakes in less you did flower clones. They get in a fired up hurry and get confused somehow. Flip over to 12/12 way to soon and wonder why their screen never filled up using reg clones. At that point the screen is nothing more than a support system for the plant. Normally one would veg a plant till the screen is 70-80 percent full before switching over to the flowering cycle. Having knowledge of how much your strain stretches is helpful when determining when to switch to flowering. Timing has allot to do with SCROG.
Pulling It Back Through:
So you've got some growth through the screen. Should have about 4-6 inches . Reach under the screen and gently pull that branch back under the screen and place it where you want it to be. Even if it takes tying it in place with the plastic twisty ties ect. Now I could really get technical.[but wont] Just get the growth under the screen first. during the next 2 weeks. You will see were to guide the new growth to best fill the screen. Every day you will be pulling and training them for awhile.
This can seem brutal to some. intense training is .It will stress the shit out of them the whole cycle. Training branches and pulling it back through a section or tying them down or in place. Try to situate your main branches towards the empty spaces of your screen. They will branch out . Use some uniformity to your laying out of the branches. Crisscross/ zigzag trellis ect. whatever you use. Remember there are going to be allot more branching when flowering kicks in high gear. So allow some room for that as well. Lesser buds that are now exposed to more light are then encouraged to grow upwards toward the screen through some leaf trimming you may need to trim as you go to give light only where needed. An often debated subject but one I feel that is useful in the SCROG method only trim if you have to.
Leaf Trimming: Now we need to chat about a touchy subject. Leaf trimming. Like I said above. SCROG isn't natural for cannabis. Crammed in such a small area with all those leaves. Well, something's got to give and it's not going to be bud. Here's my rule on trimming. If the leaf is in the way of light for a bud site. Then it needs to be removed. Sometimes I tuck the leaf instead of removing it. Now, when do I do this? Usually when I do a training session. Right afterwards. This trims away leaves and allows the new sites to get light. You will be surprised at how fast they will respond. Use good judgment when trimming. Too much is not a good thing here. Trimming continues into flowering ending during the later stages of flowering. I have found it not to be harmful at all to remove large fan leaves from buds during flowering ,If they are blocking light to other bud sites nearby. It's all about light penetration and bud sites in a SCROG. I do not remove or trim leaf that is not blocking a bud site.
Timing: CRITICAL when it comes to a SCROG grow. You must be paying attention to the progress of your grow in order to know when to induce flowering. Knowing what strain you are dealing with and what the growing characteristics of the plant are is PARAMOUNT when it comes to timing. I can't stress the importance of having a good clone base for this purpose. As mentioned above if you induce flowering to early. You will have allot less of a yield. However, if one was to wait too long. The same can happen as well. An over crowed canopy is just as much a mess. An out of control SCROG is just that. A mess. Not something you want to deal with. Remember, the plants you start to flower are probably going to double in size. Stand back and get a visual picture of that in your head. Ask yourself some questions. If I start flowering now. Can I visualize how big they will get? Do I have enough veggative growth to start flowering? Do I have too much? Is it time to start flowering? don't worry. if you start flowering when your SCROG sites have branches in them perfect time.
During Flowering period
The growth from the stretch is starting to show about 4 to 10 days. You get in there and pull all those new shoots back under your screen and put them where they need to be. A few more days pass. More growth. However when doing this method keep an eye out for mold and try to have as much air flow between the buds as possible.
Clones/Seed Grows: Here's an interesting topic that is sure to generate a few questions. I suggest clones for SCROG growing over seed any day of the year. Why? With clones you usually already know the characteristics of the plant and how it will perform and I prefer flower clones to veggie clones cause they have many branches to scrog with. With seed its usually a guessing game as to which phenos your going to get unless they are true stable seed. Plus with seed you don't know the sex yet. Ever tried untangling a male from a screen? don't worry as I cut them in place and pull them thru or let them die there, Not something I would suggest doing. Anyways, if you grow from seed. Be sure you have cloned the lot and know who your girls are first before going under the screen. why I have a modular screen.
Damage Control: When you move branches around , bend and train them , sometimes ya break one .. It's not the end of the world . Cannabis is an amazing plant that can recover from allot of damage naturally without help from humans but in this case ya want to help if ya can. First aid for the injured cannabis plant is simple. Just support her wound and leave her alone. She will take care of it on her own. Unless you break her completely in half she can be saved usually. You can splint the wound or support it with some heavy gauge wire around the stem. If the break is not that bad and the branch can somewhat support itself. Leave it alone. In all cases. A knot will form at the break and most times an explosion of growth will happen above the damaged area. At times even new growth sometimes sprouts from the knot formed ,survival of the species.
Flowering Cycle continued: Once a few trimmings , training ect are done and all is set in place flowering in a SCROG is pretty uneventful. time to start thinning out your undergrowth. I take clones around 30 days 12/12. I clean out the undergrowth when the buds are forming.
Undergrowth: I mentioned it above but thought I should mention it again. The undergrowth is not that big of an issue here. It's an area that should be kept clear of dead leaves and you should also ensure that proper ventilation can get through the canopy via the undergrowth. This is an area that is dim and often humid. Some people have mentioned putting a light down there I use a reflective mulch and uvb lighting to kill molds. It is a good idea to clear out your undergrowth as your SCROG takes shape and you have taken the clones that you need for the next grow. Trim all remaining sprouts left on the stems and any other undergrowth. Now let's not get to crazy here. Leave a little growth. Use some common sense here. Take out the sites you know are not going to make it to maturity. This will help the plant direct more energy towards the larger buds instead of wasting energy on the smaller ones.
Ventilation: Here's an issue that cannot be overlooked. Once a SCROG has been established it is a leafy sight to behold. Air circulation becomes critical as the buds begin to form and things start to get packed in the box. 24hr air movement is suggested 7 days a week. Better safe than sorry. Mold sucks.
Maybe I should not put it in those words. Your canopy does not have to be perfectly even. Just close. The idea behind this is even light distribution. We are looking for a field of buds here not a forest like in SOG. If a dominate bud is allowed to overtake the canopy. It is defeating the purpose of the SCROG. Tame that bitch. Bring her down to size with the rest. You want a somewhat even field of buds to deal with. Not a forest of untamed trees. The even canopy is easy to accomplish if you have been following the steps outlined above.
Tricky Tip: Occasionally you will have a stretcher that decides that she wants more light than the rest of her friends. This often happens when the branches are competing for light. If one gets out of hand there is a simple solution to taming her back into the fold of the others and possibly giving her a burst of growth. Reach under the screen and find her stem. Half way up her stem start to pull her back through the canopy till she is even with the rest. Now where she is bent. Crush her at the bend with your fingers. Don't smash it in half. Just crush the stem so as it would not be able to support itself if it were to stand alone. As mentioned above. It will heal with vigor and you have solved your canopy problem. the screen will hold her up.
The Productive SCROG
This is by far one of the best methods to grow a crop second only to 12/12 seed to harvest grows. SCROG is best when you have restrictions in the number of plants you can grow. if you have no such restrictions then 12/12 from seed is the best. This is a compilation of many contributors. ALL THE PICS ARE MINE. AND GROW IS FROM SEED.