The SCROG cannabis growing system
List of contents
The English denomination SCROG (Screen of Green) would come to be translated as green netting, and the name comes from the fact that with this cultivation system, the plants are literally made to grow by means of a support mesh that serves as support and guide, so that this method allows you to optimize the production of your garden with the least number of plants, something that in many cases can be a great advantage.
We are talking about a cultivation technique used since ancient times in agriculture, today and for decades applied to marijuana. SCROG is a technique widely used in indoor crops, but it has increasingly taken center stage in outdoor gardens, where discretion must be greater every day and this method offers obvious advantages.
SCROG and indoor cannabis
One of the great advantages of this system is that it is only necessary, at least, one plant; as the number of them increases, the growth period will be inversely proportional to that of the specimens, that is, if you take 1 m2 of culture as an example and use a plant, you should prolong the growth phase for a long period with help of the mesh as a guide until approximately 70% of the surface is covered (the weeks of growth depend on the genetics, the culture system and the culture parameters). On the contrary, if in that same square meter you use, for example, 4 plants, you will have to make them grow for less time to cover that 70% of the surface you need. As we have been saying, the fewer the number of plants you will need, the longer the vegetative period, so the total electricity bill (of the entire crop, growth plus flowering) will increase proportionally.
SCROG cultivation allows you to optimize crops with few plants, creating a homogeneous canopy. You will see that in the lower parts of the plant(s) little light will penetrate, so it is advisable to carry out a good pruning of the lower parts so that the plants do not waste energy in that area and transfer it to the crowns, where you are interested. to concentrate It must be taken into account that by needing longer growth periods the plants will demand more nutrients, so the use of larger pots will always be recommended.
How do you grow with SCROG?
Cultivating in SCROG involves placing the mesh above the pot, approximately 50cm, although this may vary depending on the vigor and structure of the plant you are going to grow. This mesh will serve as a tutor and support to guide the growth of the branches so that they "colonize" all the available surface in your grow tent or room. It is important that there is good ventilation in the lower area of the plants, which is why we previously recommended pruning this area. One of the most common ways to guide the growth is to bend the main stem so that it extends under the mesh, so that the side branches and the apex will always go in search of the light, generating a large number of central buds. If you master the technique of topping, you will see that covering the surface is faster than it seems.
Growers use a wide range of different techniques in order to control the height and size of their plants and improve yields. In this article we tell you several pruning techniques so you can get the most out of your grow!
Since SCROG allows you to largely control the height of the plants and their vigor, this technique allows you to grow highly vigorous and stretching sativa strains, the kind that really stretch in the first weeks after changing the photoperiod to 12/ 12 (flowering), some can even triple their size in this pre-flowering phase. In addition, and taking advantage of this vegetative vigor, you will be able to shorten the growth period considerably. Of course, it can also be very useful for closets or places with low ceilings, where the height of the plants is a problem.
SCROG and outdoor cannabis
The netting or trellis of plants is a cultivation system that has been used for years in agriculture. For example, trellised crops (we could call it vertical SCROG) are a way to control production and the available space, which is often used in cucumber crops or to facilitate automated vine harvesting.
In locations such as terraces, balconies, or those close to small fences (borders with neighbors) the SCROG is a good solution that allows you to contain the height of the plant, also increasing yield and minimizing prying eyes. In mother soil, bending the central apex of the plant or pruning it with the corresponding training pruning is a good alternative to grow sativas or sativa-dominant hybrids, allowing height control and increasing yields in less space even starting cultivation in early spring.
Advantages of SCROG
- Low number of plants
- Fewer plants to maintain
- little height required
- Homogeneous maturation and caliber of bud production
Disadvantages of SCROG
- Long period of growth at 18/6 (increase in the electricity bill)
- Increased use of fertilizer and larger pot size (optional but recommended)
- Depending on the system used to mesh the plants, it is not possible to move the pots (only if we put individual mesh per pot, normally used outdoors)
- Difficulties to water on certain occasions (flood irrigation or automatic drip irrigation is recommended)
- Using an Irrigation System or a Grow Tray: Sometimes it can be really difficult to water your plants once the entire canopy is built, so a tray that allows for flood irrigation will make things much easier for you. The use of automatic irrigation systems will also greatly facilitate the maintenance of plants.
- Change of photoperiod: you should bear in mind that most commercial hybrids double - at least - their size once you change the photoperiod to flowering, so do not overdo it by growing and entangling the plants. As a general rule, it switches to flowering when the branches have covered 70% of the mesh (a little more if you see that the growth of the plant is slow, a little less if you are dealing with particularly vigorous plants).
- Cultivation with clones: if you use cuttings of the same variety, you will ensure practically identical growth of the plants and the same maturation date. On the contrary, if there are parts of the seeds, there may be differences, especially at the time of harvesting, resulting in something laborious in some cases to be able to harvest the earliest plants. However, it is totally feasible to do so, although you should take it into account to facilitate the harvest.
- SCROG outdoors: outdoors, the application of this technique is somewhat different, since the most common is to SCROG with one or - at most - two plants, so there will not be that much difference when using seeds or cuttings. The main thing to remember here is that you will need to take the cuttings outside much later than you would plant the seeds so they don't start to flower, around June in the Northern Hemisphere. For this reason, and starting with seeds that are also especially vigorous, you will be able to cover a much larger cultivation area than in the case of using clones.
As always, you can leave us a message if you have any questions or comments that you want to share with us and the rest of the readers, we will be happy to answer you. We wish you a happy growing and, as always...