When it comes to growing cannabis plants, the main objective that every grower has towards the end of this activity is to ensure that the are getting high yields. Afterall, it is the end product for which you are putting so much effort! Getting to smoke your own weed is quite a divine feeling and you want to make sure you’re getting the best quality as well as the best quantity of marijuana! One of the best ways to increase your yields is by using the SCreen Of Green technique – AKA to ‘SCROG’ your plants.
SCROG, over time, has become a part of the common vocabulary of growers. ‘Scrogging’ is a technique that growers use to ensure they get the maximum possible yield out of their process of growth. Scrogging basically involves having a nylon screen placed atop a plant through which the buds grow. This is a very common process that an increasing number of growers have been using of late and we’re sure you must have seen pictures of growers scrogging their plant all over the internet.
Over the course of this article, we shall help you on how to scrog your cannabis plants and how to get the maximum possible yields out of the marijuana plant. In addition to scrogging, we shall also take a very quick look at some other methods which can be used along with it to get better results and higher yields but the focus, once again, will be on how to scrog your cannabis plants. Let us first begin by understanding what is scrogging:
What is SCROG? How Does it Help Cannabis Plants?
To ‘SCROG’ your cannabis plant is to basically use the ‘Screen Of Green’ method of growing on it, which makes sure that your plant gives your plants the maximum possible exposure to light, which in return, ensures bigger buds. By scrogging your cannabis plants, you would be ensuring that they grow more bushier and provide you with a bigger return, and along with that you would also be making sure that you are using the available space in the best possible manner.
In order to understand scrogging, you need to first understand the role that light plays in the process of growing marijuana. When you grow your plants the natural way, sunlight is the biggest factor which helps your cannabis plants grow. It is in the direction of the light that the plants grow towards. Furthermore, the biggest importance of sunlight is that it helps the plants with the process of photosynthesis and the generation of chlorophyll, both of which are critical for their growth. If you are growing indoors, you might be using a grow light to replace the sun as the source of light. However, it is critical that your plants get an optimal amount of light.
Scrogging basically stretches the branches and the buds with the help of a nylon screen in such a way that the buds are on the top and they are well spaced out and the horizontal coverage of the plant becomes quite wide, ensuring maximum possible light coverage. Scrogging is a method of ‘training’ marijuana plants and under normal circumstances, most growers like to scrog their plants along with using other training techniques such as topping which gives them an even better yield.
Why Should You Scrog Your Cannabis Plants?
Using the screen of green technique is quite important for growers due to multiple reasons – first off, it guarantees them a higher return on their investments. Growing marijuana plants is not a cheap task and growers would like to have the maximum possible benefit out of what they are growing. Hence, it becomes essential for them to scrog and train their plants to get the maximum possible number of buds.
Furthermore, the core idea behind scrogging your cannabis plant is to stretch the branches enough to create a wider horizontal coverage area. Now there are two benefits of having such a wide area on top. First of all, this process will make sure that maximum possible light falls on to the canopy of the plant. Then, another huge benefit of stretching the branches is that it will also make sure that the air circulation is optimal. Sometimes if branches are too close together or the foliage is too dense then the air doesn’t get to pass through the inner portions. However, this fixes that problem as well.
In addition to these benefits, having a screen of green will provide an additional support layer to your branches which will make sure that even if the buds become thicker and heavier, the branches won’t fall off. The branches that pop out of the screen of green will be the ones which will be absolutely loaded with buds and will get good sunlight and air. You can then simply prune off the portions on the bottom as those won’t really be needed by you anymore because they’re just consuming the plant’s resources without really giving you any benefit. By pruning this all the resources will be concentrated on to the buds and give you better tasting and more potent buds.
These are some of the benefits of scrogging your cannabis plant. Now that you know why should you do this, let us take a look at how to do it properly:
How to Scrog Your Cannabis Plants: A Step by Step Process
By now, we hope that you have gotten a fair idea of what scrogging is and why is it important. Let us now take a detailed look at how to scrog your plants. This is a step by step guide to scrogging and we hope that if you follow this in a careful and detailed manner you would get an optimum result:
Step 1: Before You Begin
Scrogging would require you to ideally get a bunch of plants together which are likely to grow the same height and more or less at the same pace. The process would also be the most beneficial if you know that you don’t have to move your plants around once you set everything up. Many growers set up the screen of green right when the plants are young seedlings and they start bending automatically once they hit the appropriate height. We shall be following a similar method here. However you also need to know that there will indeed be a need for some bits of touching up every now and then and sometimes you’ll need to manually move branches around while sometimes you’ll have to adjust the screen a little. This process of scrogging your cannabis plants requires you to be quite attentive.
Another thing that we recommend you to keep in mind here is that make sure you place your plants in such a way that they are not too close to each other. If you are doing this at the seedling stage you would need to have a little foresight and not keep them right next to each other.
Step 2: Setting Up the Screen of Green
The screen needs to be stretched and tied across four support points where you are going to tie it all up to. Usually growers set up four posts on four corners and then tie it all up. It’s ok if the screen is tied in a little loose in the beginning. As you proceed you can choose to have it tightened up as well. If you are doing this at a seedling stage, it is then recommended that you adjust the screen of green to a point where it is above 15 inches from the base. Then wait for the plants to grow to that level of height. Also leave about 20-25 inches above the screen empty as there needs to be sufficient space for the grow light as well.
Step 3: Topping
Topping your plant is an important process of the screen of green technique of growing marijuana plants. Topping is a high stress training process which will ensure that your plants grow more colas. The process is as simple as cutting off the top portion of the plant. However, there are a number of nuances to topping that a grower must know about. If left to the natural cycle of growth, a marijuana plant would grow in a random shape, and it would grow one main stalk of cola around which smaller ones would grow but the focus would be on the main branch. Topping the cannabis plant will make sure that this does not happen and resources are distributed in a better manner.
Basically what topping does is that you cut off the main stalk, resulting in the ones around it growing better and bushier. Then when they’ve grown sufficiently, you cut off them on top as well, allowing the colas around them to grow – a geometric expansion of the plant takes place and it grows wider as well – making it beneficial for your screen of green process. Topping has to be done while the plant is still in its vegetative stage because it takes a while to heal and it takes a while to grow and the vegetative stage gives you the right opportunity for all of that.
Step 4: Branch Arrangement and Placement
So once the topping process has been done and the plant gets sufficient time to heal and grow and reaches the screen of green – here comes the important part. Now you need to arrange and place the branches in a way which supports the maximum possible yield as well as a rapid growth. First off, once your buds have begun to grow and flowers have started to appear, prune everything below that, which will make sure that the flowers and buds get the maximum possible nutrition.
When your branches start passing through the screen on their own first see how they are growing naturally. Then after a few days you will need to arrange them. Try and arrange them in a manner that only one branch passes through one square. Another thing that you need to take care of is to not leave any square empty – that would be a waste of space and would beat the whole purpose of scrogging your plant. Sometimes you will need to pick up and stretch the branch through the screen on your own. If needed let the branch take the support of the screen and have it rest on it.
An ideal way to start arranging and placing your branches through the screen is to start at the corners and then move towards the center. This will make sure that there’s maximum spacing and minimal waste of space. Also, another pro-tip is that you should consider going plant by plant. First get done with one entire plant and only then move on to another one.
Step 5: Maintenance
Now that everything is said and done and the plants have been set up, topped and the branches have crossed the nylon screen, you now need to take care to maintain the plant really well. One thing that you need to know is that sometimes right after the scrogging process, you would start to feel like as if your plant is drooping a little or it is almost wilting. Don’t worry too much about it as it tends to happen because you are altering the natural course of growth of the plant. You would now need to provide it proper lighting for a few days and the branches will jump back to the state that they were before altering their course. Since there’s a lot of high-stress movement, you would also need to ease things down for the plant and provide it with water within about 24 hours of the process of scrogging. Keep a close eye on your plants and provide them with the needed touch-ups every few days and they should be fine.
Pros and Cons of Scrogging Your Cannabis Plants
We hope that by this point in the article you are fully aware of what scrogging as a technique is, what it’s benefits are and how to scrog your cannabis plants. Let us now take a quick look at some pros and cons of scrogging:
- When you look at the pros of the screen of green method, the first thing that stands out is that it helps you get higher yields.
- Scrogging ensures that your buds are on the top and are evenly spread out, thereby ensuring that maximum possible light reaches them.
- Scrogging your cannabis plants also creates sufficient space for the growers to ensure sufficient airflow through the plants
- In scrogging you usually prune all the parts below the screen making sure the flowers get the best possible use of the plant’s resources as all the other parts have been removed.
- This method has been found perfect for growing sativa strains in a limited space.
- This is quite a complex process where you need to spend a lot more time on observing the health and growth of your marijuana plants.
- If scrogging isn’t done properly some branches might wilt or break off due to the high-stress process that they have just gone through.
Growing Cannabis: How to Get Maximum Possible Yield
Using the screen of green (scrogging) process, you can get a high yield. But there are a few more things that you need to take care of. First off, you need to look at the nutrients that you are providing to your plants. Getting proper nutrition is the best way to boost the growth. Some growers tend to stop at just providing the right amount of NPK nutrients – you need to take a step forward and provide your plants with the right amount of organic matter as well as the right amount of micronutrients which they need to grow well.
Humidity and temperature are two additional factors that often go unnoticed. In order to get the best possible yields make sure that humidity levels are slightly higher during the vegetative phase and low during the flowering phase. This is because having high humidity would ensure the roots aren’t stressed out and leaves can absorb water directly from the atmosphere. However during the second half of the growth cycle, plants need a lot of nutrients to boost the flowering activity and hence the water and nutrients need to be absorbed via the roots so the humidity levels need to be reduced. All of these things put together will give you a high yield.
Frequently Asked Questions: FAQs About Scrogging Cannabis Plants
1. How many plants are ideal for scrogging?
You can choose to scrog as many plants as you want to, but the only thing you need to make sure is that all the budding branches are above the screen and that there’s ample amount of spacing allowing the buds and the foliage to grow. The screen that you choose to use might be bigger than the area your plants will occupy but you need to make sure it is not smaller than that because then the plants will grow close to each other and beat the whole purpose of spacing them out.
2. At what height should the screen be set up at?
The ideal height is about 15 to 18 inches from the base. The higher you go, the more difficult it gets because you’ll need to prune a lot of portions below the screen then.
3. Is it compulsory to top the plants?
Scrogging ensures that the plants get a proper horizontal growth. However, topping controls the vertical growth of the plants and it is essential that you top them. Topping also increases the surface area as well as the number of buds – both of which are quite important for the growers.
We hope that this article has helped you understand the screen of green method of growing marijuana in a detailed manner. By this point in the article we expect that you can easily create a basic setup for scrogging your plants on your own. Do let us know in the comments below or drop us an email if there’s something more that you would like to know from us or if there’s something that you feel we might have missed out on. Till then…
…Happy Growing and Happy Scrogging! 🙂