What is the Screen of Green method of growing?
Screen of Green, often abbreviated as ScrOG, is a technique used when growing indoors. The method was developed to maximize yield in small spaces, while optimizing energy use and reducing waste. Sounds great right? The aim is to maximize the amount of flower produced per square foot. This is done by using a screen to force the plants to grow horizontally instead of vertically. What this does is allows an increased number of flowers (especially those at the bottom of the plant) to have more access to the light source instead of being hidden below the upper leaves and stems that often take most of the light. Normally, an herb plant will grow up, reaching toward the light source. The ScrOG method forces lower branches to grow higher and the top of your plant to grow lower because of the screen.
Advantages of using ScrOG:
- Maximizes yield per harvest since the entire plant has an equal amount of light.
- Optimizes available space. Most home growers have a larger harvest from a single scrogged plant than from multiple untrained plants.
- Reduces fungal pathogen risk by having increased aeration above and below the plants.
- Saves electricity and water, which saves you money per harvest.
- Minimizes waste. Less plants with more bud means less leaves, stems, and soil needed.
What is the difference between Screen of Green and Sea of Green?
ScrOG is just one of many herb growing methods that have been developed and used over the years by expert cultivators, who want to get the most from each grow. While they may sound similar, Screen of Green (ScrOG) and Sea of Green (SOG) are two different growing techniques. Where the ScrOG method focuses on getting the highest yield from the least number of plants, the SOG technique requires several plants grown shorter and very close together. The plants are kept petite by giving them a short vegetative cycle (roughly 30 days) and a longer flowering stage (60 days). On the other hand, the ScrOG method requires a longer vegetative stage so the bottom branches are able to grow upwards and the plant can develop the most buds as possible. Both methods of growing aim to achieve a short, horizontal canopy that captures light as evenly as possible over the most surface area.
How to grow using the Screen of Green method
Choosing a strain
Because this technique calls for weaving branches, it’s important to choose a strain that will work well with this type of manipulation. Sativa plants grow tall with lanky branches that are easy to weave into your screen, while indicas are often short and bushy, which will require more plants to fill out the screen. If you want to experiment growing multiple strains in the same harvest, check to make sure that they all have similar average heights. This will reduce the amount of time you need to spend weaving branches. Of course, your personal preferences, climate in which you’re growing, and the grow space available should also be taken into consideration when choosing the right strain.
How do I set up a ScrOG screen?
Cultivators use many different types of screens, which will depend on your grow space and budget. Metal screens, homemade rope screens, and plastic trellis netting are all viable options. No matter what type of screen you choose, be sure that the posts holding the screen are sturdy and that the setup can hold quite a bit of weight. Ideally, you’ll want to install the screen during the middle of the vegetative stage. Place the screen over the top and try to make it as level as possible. Just the tops should be poking through the holes of your screen. Once secured, pull any branches that are smashed down through the holes so they are pointing up through the screen.
Now for the fun part! Once the screen is installed, it’s time to weave the branches so the most surface area is exposed to the light above. Weave long branches out from the stem going over and under the holes in your screen. Make sure there is still space for air to circulate between branches. As long as the branches won’t fall once it develops buds, you’ve done a good job. Once in place, the branches will begin growing towards the light source. When you get to the center, you can top these branches, which will allow the rest of the plant to get more nutrients, light, and increase airflow. If you're having a hard time weaving, try using a clip or garden tie to secure the branches in place. Continue to tie down and weave new growth, even during the flowering stage.
The final step in the ScrOG method is to give your now horizontal plant a little haircut. Trim off any branches that begin growing downward and don’t reach the screen, or those that aren’t receiving any light. This is a key step since these branches soak up energy and nutrients from the rest of the plant, limiting the plant’s potency and yield.
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