The SCROG cannabis growing system
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The SCROG training technique is a growing system that allows us to get the best yields from our grow tent with very few plants.
SCROG are the initials of Screen of Green, a technique in which plants are grown, literally, through a mesh or screen.
Let's explain a bit more about this growing system.
Growing marijuana with the SCROG method
To use this method we only need from 1 to 5 cannabis plants for each m2 of crop. At the end of the flowering stage, the result will be the same regardless the number of plants, since we'll get exactly the same yields using one, three or five plants. The only thing that may vary is the time needed to harvest our plants.
To make a SCROG setup we place a screen or mesh (preferably made of 6/8mm diam. bamboo sticks) with 5-10cm holes approximately 20cm above the pots. As plants grow, we train their branches using the mesh to control their height, always leaving the tops at the same height than the mesh. This way, the apical growth of the plant decreases in favour of horizontal growth, developing more branched plants.
This process should be carried on until 70% of the available space is covered, what will highly depend on the chosen strain. Now we only have to change the growing photoperiod (18/6) to flowering (12/12). During the first days, our plants will continue growing and stretching, what allows the plant to fully occupy the growing space. During the entire blooming phase all our flowers will be at the same distance from the lamp, what produces first quality harvests of first quality buds, homogeneous and almost identical.
Flowering should be performed as usual, without any special care, doing exactly the same that we'd do in any other type of cultivation.
This method is highly recommended when flowering sativa marijuana strains that tend to grow too much and have a notable stretching during the pre-flowering stage, being difficult to control in small growing tents, but that can cover all the growing space (mesh) very quickly. It is also advisable when growing in small spaces. Any strain is suitable for this technique, just bear in mind that if you are flowering Sativas you only need to have 50-60% of the growing space covered before changing the photoperiod, while if you are flowering Indicas 80% of the space should be occupied by the plant before flowering starts.
If we want to use this method with a single plant, we must use at least a 25L container and grow our plant for 5-7 weeks before flowering it, so it occupies 70% of the available growing space. Once the mesh is covered, change the photoperiod to flowering and the plant will cover the rest of the space during its stretching or pre-flowering growth.
On the other hand, if we are using 3-5 plants per m2, we need 12L containers and give our plants about 3-5 weeks of growth before flowering them.
One of the main advantages of this technique, besides the forementioned saving in cuttings or seeds, is the easy maintenance of the system; once the plants stems have been properly trained through the holes we just have to water very few plants per m2, which is a lot easier than watering 20-30 plants, as is the case in other high-yielding systems like the SOG - Sea of Green - that we will discuss in another post further on.