What is the screen of green, or SCROG marijuana growing method, and what benefits does it give you?
Basically, SCROG is a growing technique in which netting or a wire mesh screen is utilized to limit your plant’s height.
Check out the below YouTube video from BudsonBuds, which shows you how to install the screen for a SCROG garden.
So why would growers want to do this?
The SCROG method was developed by growers who wanted maximum harvest weight when they only had a small space in which to grow. It was especially developed for those among us who had limited vertical height in their grow-op area, as in a crawlspace or the eaves of an attic
Growers also developed SCROG to maximize yield per plant when state compliance hampered the number of plants a grower could legally cultivate at one time.
The increased yield comes from the SCROG technique of low-stress training, or LST. This process involves special trimming and plant manipulation techniques that change a cannabis plant’s profile from natural, Christmas-treelike to a horizontal, lower growth profile.
So instead of a vertically oriented cannabis plant with a main flowering top towering above shorter side stalks in a pyramidal shape, LST and SCROG create multiple main tops and horizontally oriented branching.
A skillfully trained and shaped SCROG cannabis plant could be four feet in diameter but only 2–4 feet high, and able to yield more than a taller plant allowed to grow into its natural pyramidal shape.
What You’ll Need For SCROG
The essential pieces of equipment in a SCROG marijuana garden are the screen and the support frame that holds the screen in place.
Growers use various types of screens suspended above plants, including chicken wire, nets and trellises.
These can be easily constructed using pieces timber, industrial staples and string, as in the above YouTube video.
After the plant has a well-established root system and has been trimmed to even out its canopy so it has several sets of main branches, the grower then weaves or tucks the branches into the screen to force horizontal growth. Some growers use plant tape to fasten the branches to the screen.
The Pros And Cons Of SCROG Growing
First, the pros:
- SCROG gardens tend to yield more per square foot than regular marijuana gardens.
- They usually have fewer plants than regular marijuana grow ops, which is beneficial in the most restrictive legal or prohibitionist marijuana states, where the amount of plants you’re growing can determine whether police take action against a grower or turn a blind eye.
- SCROG gardens are best for small spaces, where the grower has limited vertical height or little cooling capacity. However, SCROG techniques have been successfully adapted to full-size grow ops and even outdoor cannabis gardens.
- The SCROG method is ideal for growers who don’t want to pay for the full-size grow room expenses like grow lights, HID bulbs and climate control.
- Once harvested, you can hang the buds to dry from the net; no need for string or wire to hang them up.
And now the cons:
- More labor intensive than regular marijuana gardening because SCROG plants have to be carefully shaped using LST. This is a time-consuming process with a steep learning curve that requires a grower truly masters LST and SCROG gardening to make a success of it. (However, those among us who relish the painstaking process of weaving and tucking the plants might find this process to be very zen.)
- SCROG plants become part of the screen and screen scaffolding that support their branches. They’re not portable, nor are the plants’ structures as easy to access and maintain as regular marijuana plants.
- It takes longer to harvest SCROG plants because they’re interwoven with their screens.
- A canopy setup tends to mean limited access for trimming plants that are in the middle or back of the pack.
SCROG is one of two cannabis cultivation methods designed to get the most from a small garden area or one that’s limited in vertical height. The other method is called sea of green, or SOG. Although SCROG and SOG share some superficial similarities and some growers confuse the two, they’re quite different from each other.
In a future post we’ll explore the differences between SCROG and SOG, and provide you with ways to maximize yield and convenience from both styles of growing.