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Screen of green or SCROG method of growing marijuana has many benefits. While, there are other methods, this one is taking on a life of its own. It is important to train your marijuana plants. If you were to leave one plant inside a pot to grow by itself and not train it, you may find that will only develop as one central plant. When you use the screen of green method, you will have all branches expand into a nice sized cola. What this means is that the method forces higher yield from even a single plant.
Growing marijuana using the SCROG method will result in homogenous buds. During the screen of green method, the branches of the marijuana are trained so that they hover over the screen that is inside the canopy. What does this mean? Well, the method allows the branches to be all at the same distance from your lighting. Each flower will have a chance to get as much light as is necessary. When the screen of green technique is used, your crop will always be consistent. You can guarantee this.
An untrained weed plant can have its main cola higher than the rest of its branches. In this set-up, each lateral branch below the main cola gets increasingly less light the further down you go. In a SCROG set-up, your lights are equidistant from every cluster of flower buds. The separation of branches ensures your plant has proper airflow above and below the canopy. A fan can increase the airflow if needed.
Sativa and Indica Plants
This method is specifically helpful when you are growing sativa plants. Why? Well, these plants tend to want to grow vertically tall during the pre-flowering stage. It is possible that you will find it challenging growing them indoors as they usually get very tall and require more pruning. Indica plants also do well with the SCROG method. You’ll need to set up your netting higher for sativas than for indicas.
For a SCROG garden, you need to start with the right weed plants. SCROG growing usually takes one to three weeks longer during the vegetative stage compared to the Sea of Green method. For this reason, autoflowering plants are not the best for this method since they automatically flower after a certain period of time without the need for a changing light schedule.
The SCROG method can work well with both seeds and clones, but most growers prefer to start off with clones since you’ll be able to predict its growth structure. Growing with seeds requires you to ensure the plant is growing evenly and the bud clusters flower at the same time.
Another reason for using this technique is the simplicity in maintenance. This means that with the screen of green method, you do not have to randomly tie down the branches. Instead, the screen helps to provide a grid that you can use. In addition, you can use feminized marijuana seeds and cuttings with this practice.
With the screen of green method, you may be left with some branches in the center above the canopy. Many growers choose to top their plants, which means cutting the top of the branch at a 45-degree angle to direct nutrients and energy to the lower nodes. When weaving your branches through the net, you’ll need a delicate touch to avoid breaking off lateral branches and shoots. If you do end up breaking any shoots, for instance, your plant will focus on replacing the shoot. Lower branches will need to be pruned to direct energy into the growth of the upper branches where the buds are concentrated.
When it’s time to flower, reduce your lighting cycle from 18 to 12 hours. SCROG plants will see considerable growth during the first three weeks. As your buds get denser, the lower leaves and branches may get less light and turn yellow. Push excess leaves down through the net to expose the buds to the most amount of light. Check on your flowering plants every couple of days to keep new growth contained.
In many states with legal weed, adults are able to grow a small number of plants. The SCROG method is the perfect low-stress training technique to get the biggest yield possible with a few plants and a small space. SCROG is an accessible training technique for beginners to learn and commercial growers to depend on to maximize yields and resin production.
For users who want to get a large harvest from a few plants, SCROG is the best training technique. Unlike the Sea of Green method, SCROG doesn’t work if the plants are too close. Plants should have some space between them, but not enough to leave large openings in the canopy. With the proper training, plants can produce about a 20 percent increase in yield compared to other training methods.
There is also the SOG method, which is touted ‘sea of green.' This particular method promotes high yields too. However, it does have some variations to the SCROG method, ‘screen of green.' The SCROG method utilizes only a few marijuana plants and then creates multiple budding locations. The SOG method, though, utilizes up to forty marijuana plants and places emphasis more on developing one main cola.
After two weeks, clones will be established and then the grower would switch to flowering. Clones will then go into overdrive, showing thicker stalks and a very impressive-looking flower. You have to use clones with the SOG method since in a few cases, the marijuana plants will grow tall and only produce a tiny bud. When seedlings are quickly switched to flowering, they do not react in the same way. Moreover the sea of green method needs additional maintenance and intense lighting. You will definitely save on water when you use the SCROG method. With the SCROG method, however, you can’t combine plants of varying heights because they need to create an even canopy when growing. One last thing to be aware of – SCROG methods do well with sativa plants and the SOG method does better with indica plants.
Choosing What is Best
Because the SOG method gives a high yield and is a much quicker process than the SCROG technique, many marijuana growers use the former one. However, a home grower will benefit more from the latter. It allows the home grower to start with a single plant and get a considerable crop. The SOG method calls for more plants in its initial stage and so has the potential of causing legal issues.
Setting Up the Screen of Green
When choosing your screen for your garden, make sure it can support your buds as they grow without breaking them or cutting into stems. Some experienced growers create their own screen out of string or hemp and twine. Hemp and twine, however, can leave behind tiny hairs from the fraying. Pre-made netting can be made from plastic, nylon, or metal. Choose a net that’s able to stretch and adapt to different tent sizes and plants. Just make sure the net has squares about 2” in diameter.
Growers should set up their screen before the flowering period begins, ideally during the vegetative stage. Secure your screen to post or wall using a hanger or other fastening fixture. Once installed, the screen can be lowered over your canopy. Ensure you bring down the screen evenly without damaging any branches. Work the net down until the tops of your plants are about five inches above the net.
Gently bend and weave the tops through the screen and stretch them toward the edge of the screen. Start by tucking in your outermost branches and working your way into the plant. Ideally, you want to reduce your canopy height by about five inches. After bending your branches through the net, they’ll look a bit beat up. Don’t worry. They can regain strength in a short while. Some growers choose to water their plants within 24 hours after installing the net as an added boost.
The Ease and Simplicity
It is good to note that the screen of green method is so much easier. Once you get to the vegetative stage, all you have to do is to begin weaving your branches through the available screen. Because you use a canopy, your plants will appear trim and neat. They will be easy to maintain.
Your main objective is to pay attention to the flowering time as this is the time when the marijuana plants will start to get tall. You don't want it to get out of control because it might fill out your grid and start to stretch beyond your imagination. So, it is safe to say that the screen of green method results in a higher indoor yield with little work. This is ideal for the novice marijuana grower.
If you want to know more about screen of green or SCROG technique and how to grow cannabis, go to the Cannabis Training University.
Luis Cordova is a distinguished author, and renowned expert in cannabis cultivation, who possesses a Master's degree in Plant Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Science. As a valued contributor to highly esteemed publications such as Cannabis Training University and Maximum Yield Magazine, Luis has emerged as a trusted source of guidance and knowledge in the cannabis industry. Having written thousands of informative articles, Luis is widely recognized for his comprehensive expertise on cultivating cannabis, both indoors and outdoors.