What is SCROG?
SCROG is a method of growing cannabis plants that is born from the old-school Sea of Green (SOG) method. SCROG’s use the same methods as SOG, but add a few new tricks.
Sea of Green growing is one of the most effective ways to get a monster yield in less time using less space. Plants are placed very close together in comparison to average rooms. The clones or seedlings are established in four liter pots. They are transplanted to seven or eight liter pots and placed into flower using a 12/12 light cycle after just two weeks in the vegetative growth stage. Pots are placed so that they are touching each other. Growers keep the underside of their canopies trimmed bare so that the plant focuses its power bud production up top. This allows for superior circulation and increased yields. Keeping the canopy even is very important, so avoid hotspots. Keep lights at least 79-90 cm above the plants.
Avoid using fertilizers unless they are absolutely needed, especially nitrogen, which causes plants to stretch. Keep plants on the dry side, but not overly dry, in order to keep plants shorter. Using the SOG method, no space is wasted, resulting in much higher yields for their wattage dollar. Sea of Green method helps to develop plants that are short and squat but higher yields than with other methods. Both SOG and SCROG are an excellent option for keeping plants shorter in stature so they fit in smaller growing rooms.
A SCROG is the SOG method with the use of additional screens to help train plants. Most growers will create a wooden frame, much like a picture frame, and attach fasteners every two to four inches along all four edges. Nylon cord, fishing line or rope is tacked to the fasteners, creating a screen.
This device is lowered to just below the top of the canopy. The screen helps separate the plants’ branches and filter more light to each cola. When top colas are moved out of the way, the weaker branches rise to the top, get stronger and produce just as much bud as the top cola. Side branches develop into main branches and the plants bush out.
In order to ensure light exposure and the best bud production, trim away most of the large fan leaves. This will also facilitate better air circulation and avoid mold growth. When this is done, it will help keep plants shorter too; perfect for growing in small spaces.
Be sure not to place the net too low, or it will stunt plant growth and negate the positive effects of the net. Give the plants just a little bit of leeway to grow, and avoid tightening the net’s strings too hard. When placing your net, set it at a height that is a few centimeters below the top colas.
A true SCROG allows the branches of the plant to reach all corners of the screen before plants are allowed to flower. Tuck the top branches into the net as they grow up during the transitional growth phase and begin to really fill out the screen. Allow the bottom branches to grow up and fill out any remaining open space in the net.
TIP: Don’t choose trains that are too short and squat or that aren’t bushy. The plants will take too long in vegetative growth. Don’t use strains that grow one giant cola and many side branches. This won’t work for a SCROG because you won’t have enough branching to fill out the screen.
IN THIS VIDEO
In this video, BudsonBuds shows us how to create a SCROG in a small grow tent. This strain is Blue Dream, a sativa dominant hybrid. The plant is placed into an 18 liter bucket and has been in veg for about four weeks; longer than is traditional for the SOG method. He is giving the plant about 9 cubic meters of space to grow, of which he will only actually use about ¾.
In the beginning of the video, he is using a 400w MH bulb, but finishes with a 400w HPS bulb. This plant was topped and aggressively super cropped to induce thick branching. Because training plants does create a lot of underbrush, it is important to lollipop below the canopy, meaning cut away the excess foliage. Once the underbrush has been lollipopped, the screen can be lowered and the branches are woven through the screen. In this video, the plant fills in the SCROG’s screen before the plant is placed into flower. Though there are a few branches that are taller in the beginning, the rest of the plant quickly catches up. The grower continues to tuck branches back into the screen as the plants grows. This ensures a very even canopy.
By the end of the video, it’s plain to see how well Budson Bud’s SCROG worked with this gorgeous blue dream plant. Weak underling branches became strong, producing massive colas ready for the picking. Without a doubt, the SCROG method boosted this man’s production to an almost unbelievable level.
Some plants are better for a SCROG than others. Successful SCROG’s often use heavy indica strains that because they are typically busier than sativas. Some sativa dominant strains will tripe in height during the first two weeks of flower while many indicas won’t stretch at all. We advise using Spliff Seeds Strawberry and Medical Kush: two strains that are ideal for SCROG.
The best plants for a SCROG grow are the strains you know well and will fit the characteristics needed for a successful grow. Choose wisely and grow well!