The Screen of Green technique (ScrOG) is an increasingly popular advanced growing technique that allows an efficient use of small grow spaces. ScrOG involves the use of high-stress training techniques – such as topping and lollipopping – in combination with a screen to create a dense, structured canopy. With the help of this method, plants are trained to grow horizontally during vegetation, thus receiving an equal amount of light.
Why use SCRoG? Let’s look at how this training method can help you make the most of your plants.
What Is ScrOG?
ScrOG relies on topping buds and then using a screen to encourage horizontal growth on each branch, starting from vegetative growth all the way to a few weeks into flowering. Each branch is weaved into the holes in the screen until a beautiful, even canopy of colas is created.
A keen eye for pruning is necessary as the lovely, thick canopy of buds blocks any light from reaching buds and leaves below the screen. These should be pruned to prevent the plant from wasting energy that could otherwise be redirected for growth elsewhere.
Why ScrOG Your Plants?
The main benefit of ScrOG is the big boost to your final yields, since the horizontal growth of each branch exposes multiple nodes to the light, which in turn encourages the development of multiple buds. ScrOG is also a popular technique for space-conscious growers. The time dedicated to horizontal growth can drastically decrease final plant height, which can be particularly useful for Sativa-dominant plants that tend to grow quite tall.
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Equipment For ScrOG
Here are all the things you’ll need to get started.
There are a number of materials that can be used for the screen itself, but the most popular are string, twine/hemp cord or a pre-made nylon screen. Stay clear of chicken wire/fishing lines, as these have a tendency to cut into your buds and stems.
These are essential for pruning underneath the canopy. For best results, make sure they’re sharp and sterile.
Your plants need to be transferred into their final pot (> 5 gallons) before the screen is used, as once it’s on, you can’t move your plants around. They’ll be tied to the screen and moving them will only undo all your hard work!
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How To Grow Cannabis Using ScrOG
Follow this simple Screen of Green tutorial for best results:
Set up a screen:
- between 8-10 inches (20-25cm) from the pot for Indica-dominant varieties
- between 15-17 inches (40-45cm) from the pot for Sativa-dominant varieties
- between 20-25 inches (50-60cm) from the pot for extra tall varieties like Thai or Haze.
Top your plants between the 3rd and 5th node to create extra colas.
When the tops start hitting the screen, weave them through the holes to encourage horizontal growth and secure with ties if required.
Prune any side branches or large leaves beneath the screen.
Switch to flower when you’re happy with the horizontal growth, or when 70% of the screen is covered.
Continue horizontal growth for a few weeks into flowering for the most even canopy.
Let your plants grow vertically until you’re ready for harvest!
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Ideal Plant Placement For ScrOG
When implementing the Screen of Green growing method, it’s important to find the right balance for plant placement. You don’t want them to be crowded, but having large empty spaces in the canopy is also undesirable. A good rule of thumb is 11 x 11 inches (30 x 30cm) per plant, which allows enough space for growth while still retaining an even canopy.
Setting Up The Screen
Whether you’re using a pre-made nylon screen or creating one yourself with string, you want each hole to have an area of 2 x 2 inches (5 x 5cm). The screen needs to be connected at four points; most cultivators use a vertical extension at each corner of the tent where the screen can be attached. You can either attach this one corner at a time, stretching as you go, or you can attach it loosely to all four points at once and then tighten it later. Screens are generally placed as close to the light as possible.
Vegetative State & ScrOGing
Plants need to be topped between the nodes, as this creates the ‘arms’ which can then be encouraged to grow horizontally. Often used in conjunction with 4-way LST, this is the practice of topping each main cola, twice. This creates 4 symmetrical arms poised for horizontal growth while still delivering big, juicy buds.
Flowering Stage & ScrOGing
During this stage, your plant is going to try its hardest to grow vertically, and it’s your job to make sure it doesn’t. Try to gently guide each branch into its own hole within the screen – this will ensure it has enough space to grow into. It will be very helpful to work methodically; take one plant at a time, beginning with the corners and edges of the screen before working your way to the middle.
How Much Does ScrOG Increase Yields?
The short answer: a lot! The average cultivator reports a 20% increase in yield when using the ScrOG technique in comparison to traditional methods. For example, cannabis grown under 600W LED lights, depending on the strain, can normally yield up to 300g (10.5oz) of bud. That said, for the same strain Screen of Green yield per plant will be 360g (13oz)!
The added benefit to the ScrOG yield is also the high quality of buds obtained, as the even canopy ensures that each bud can bloom to its maximum potential.
Which Strains Are Good for ScrOGging?
Most strains will respond well to this technique, Sativas and Indicas alike. This also means it can complement hybrid genetics well. The key characteristics needed for a good ScrOG strain is a short flowering period, steady growth, a small to medium final height, and strong yet flexible branches.
However, we suggest using photoperiod strains for Screen of Green. While autoflowers can still be grown with this technique, they have a set vegetative growth period, which makes it more difficult to make ScrOGging possible. On the other hand, photoperiod strains can be kept in the vegetative stage for as long as needed to fill the net and form a good, broad canopy.
Check out the strains below that will make your first ScrOG grow a pleasure due to their features.
Blueberry Hill is a fantastic Indica-dominant cannabis strain for ScrOG due to its short flowering period and steady growth! With THC levels of up to 26%, you’re sure to love growing this happy hybrid!
Bruce Banner #3 is a classic strain that needs no introduction. A cross between Ghost OG and Strawberry Diesel, this 28% THC hybrid grows exceptionally well indoors, bringing in yields of up to 800 g/m2 (28oz/ft2).
Maramalate Early is the perfect strain for ScrOG growth due to its robust genetics that give it excellent tolerance to the high-stress techniques involved with ScrOG. Growers love this fruity strain for its great taste, excellent growth pattern and a 45-day flowering period!
It's just a couple of examples of cannabis strains for ScrOG that we have to offer!
To ensure best results from the ScrOG method, follow these tips that will help you avoid mold issues and protect plants from diseases.
Creating a dense canopy can affect the air flow within your ScrOG set up, so keeping an eye on this is crucial as it can cause mold. Using air-cooled lamps is an effective way of controlling the temperature and humidity.
Make sure to keep an eye on any growth underneath the screen and remove fan leaves on the bottom. This will help to stimulate the canopy growth and fatten up your buds. Besides, regular pruning is a way to prevent diseases resulting from the lack of light to bottom leaves.
With its intricate appearance, ScrOG can seem difficult to those who are new to advanced cannabis cultivation techniques, but we hope the tips given in this article will give you the confidence needed to start your own ScrOG grow!
What strain will you ScrOG first? We’d love to see your comments and learn about your own ScrOGging experience!