What is the Screen of Green (SCROG) Method?
The Screen of Green Method (SCROG) is a growing technique used indoors to maximize yields per square foot. Naturally, cannabis plants grow more vertically than they do horizontally. This technique helps to restrict vertical growth and manipulates the branches to grow horizontally. The taller branches are weaved down and outward using the screen, while the lower branches are tied up and outward to form one even canopy. The flower nodes being on one even plane allows for more to be exposed to the highest amount of light possible.
Choosing the Strain
When choosing which strain to use with the SCROG method, it is better to consider a strain that is stretchier, so you can easily weave the branches without risking damage. Sativa-dominant strains are typically favorable due to their stretching.
Implementing the Screen
There are different options of materials that can be used for the screen, such as metal screens, plastic trellis netting, or rope. The only requirement is that it has 2-inch squares and is sturdy enough to support the heavy buds that will develop. Make sure to also have something to secure and hold the screen in place, such as walls or posts. Place the screen about 7-12 inches above the seedlings, then allow them to grow up through the holes.
Topping Your Plants
Once your plants have developed about 5 nodes, you will want to top the highest node to help distribute more growth to the other stems and encourage horizontal growth. This is done in the early vegetative stage.
Weaving Your Plants
As each plant grows through the screen, start to direct them into the nearby openings. Do not tuck the seedlings towards the holes directly above them, but rather the next one away to start initiating the horizontal growing process. As the plant grows bigger, each should end up having 10 to 20 branches going through the netting. Weave the branches outwards, over and under the screen structure, making sure it is secure enough to hold the heavy weight of the buds that will soon form. You might even need to gently secure some of the branches with ties to ensure they are stable. Do not overcrowd any hole with too many branches since that could negatively affect air circulation and light exposure. Repeat this process of weaving the tops back daily to train the plants to grow laterally.
Trimming Your Plants
Once your plants start to form one even canopy, you need to begin to trim the bottom stems that aren’t receiving light or forming with the canopy in or above the screen. This is because light cannot penetrate the lower stems, therefore they are utilizing nutrients that could be more effectively diverted to the upper canopy. By trimming the lower stems, energy can now be focused on the upper flowers to develop even more. Trimming also helps with airflow.
- Maximizes grow space; ideal for limited vertical room
- Maximizes yield per square foot
- Simple process
- Reduces energy use and waste
- Increased cola size and resin production
- Even light exposure for canopy
- Good airflow below canopy