There are many ways of growing Cannabis indoors, and one of the more complicated and long-winded ways is a method known as a Cannabis SCROG, or Sea of Green. You may already be familiar with SOG or Sea of Green technique, so in this article we explain all you need to know about how to SCROG Cannabis, how it works, which strains work best, the plant training required and the benefits associated.
What exactly is a Cannabis SCROG?
The term Screen of Green simply means that there is a high volume of buds growing through a screen net. The way that a Cannabis SCROG works is by manipulating the canopy of the plant, and allowing the primary growth to exist above the screen, with everything below the screen completely stripped and pruned. The purpose of the screen is to allow as many growth sites through the net which are manipulated and weaved through parts of the net over the vegetative period.
The screen is designed to sit above the plants which are then trained using low stress techniques, topping, super cropping and pruning, with the intention of growing upwards into the spaces in the net. When making a Cannabis SCROG, you can simply use a net, metal chicken wire, wooden bamboo canes connected as a grid or make your own version with pea netting.
● Plants will need long vegetative times and constantly trained to grow through the net.
● The net does not act as support, however, a guide to creating the biggest yielding plants.
● SCROG requires advanced experience and a skill level which is best for experienced growers.
● Screens can be homemade to any size and shape and are cheap and highly effective.
● Chicken wire is often the easiest and most practical way to create a wooden framed trellis.
● Growers with a small plant count of 1–4 plants will find SCROG to be most beneficial.
The benefits associated with a Screen of Green
The main reasons why growers will spend such a long time weaving their plants through various parts of the net, with persistent training, is to grow enormous plants with high yields. Another reason is those who prefer to keep a low plant count and will operate 1–4 plants, will find with extra vegetative time and lots of patience, they can make up for the yields with the same amount of plants as someone with a Sea of Green with 9 or 12 plants in the same space.
One of the main benefits of a Cannabis SCROG, is the fact that the growers are able to be much more hands-on with their crop, and learn about incorporating different low and high stress plant training techniques. During this time, they will also learn about how the plants respond, healing time between training, and how much of the net they want to fill prior to flowering.
Long vegetative times and high electric use
Unlike the SOG method that involves a short vegetative time of 18/6 for 7–14 days and then flowering, the Screen of Green technique is actually the opposite and requires a vegetative time of 6–10 weeks. Some growers may even take up to 12 weeks, depending on their ambitions and space. Due to high energy prices, the idea of growing a few plants for such a long time under 18/6 may be expensive in regard to nutrients and electricity bills as well as the time invested, may not incentivize most which is why SOG is commercially the most viable business model.
Complex plant training
In order to achieve a successful Cannabis SCROG, it is important to build the plants up to become miniature trees that have the ability to knock out massive yields of only dense and fat buds. In order to do this, there are a number of plant training techniques that need to be systematically performed, with healing time between each training session to be considered in advance. Below are the different training techniques that should be performed when growing Cannabis with a Screen of Green.
L.S.T - Low stress technique plays a very important role when carefully feeding the shoots of the plants through the screen, with the goal of creating a uniform and even canopy. With the aid of L.S.T and a SCROG net, the entire structure of the plant will change and become stocky and very bushy.
Pinching / Topping - In order to grow as much foliage as possible during the vegetative stage, topping your plants as they grow will allow the crown shoots of each part of the plant to multiply and become 2,4, 8 and so on. This is mainly what causes a Cannabis SCROG to take so long to prepare before flowering.
Super cropping - Referring to when the inner cell wall of a branch is purposely broken using a twist and snap technique created from pressure using your hands. When super cropping is successfully performed, the part of the branch which was broken becomes repaired with a thick wooden knuckle. As a result, the plants are flushed with growth hormone, allowing the plants to become durable and tough and yield greater.
Heavy pruning - Considering that the Screen of Green technique is about converting the plants' energy to above the screen, then pruning the plants and ensuring that below the screen stays completely empty requires lots of pruning. This can be performed slowly week by week, or done is one sitting. It is important to check that there is no new growth forming later under the net after pruning.
Which SSSC strains work best for a Cannabis SCROG
There are some strains that will work better than others when it comes to a Cannabis SCROG, and those are usually hybrids or sativa dominant strains. It is possible to grow a very good SCROG with indica dominant plants which stay low, produce short internal spacing with a little stretch once flowering has begun.
We recommend growing Karel’s Haze or any other Haze from our collection.
5 Top Tips for growing Cannabis with the SCROG method
Top Tip #1 - The SCROG method takes time and patience, so be prepared to invest between 16–20 weeks in total with the vegetative and flowering time combined. This means high energy bills and nutrient use.
Top Tip #2 - Make sure that the spacing of the netting is large enough for the foliage to easily pass through. Using chicken white that is 3 inches wide per square is ideal and will allow large branches to grow with no problems.
Top Tip #3 - It is best to set the screen between 45-60 cm above the top of the pots and allow them to grow through. You can always lower or raise the net, however, this will produce the best plants once flowering starts.
Top Tip #4 - Make sure that between plant training and the various low and high stress techniques, the plants are allowed time to fully heal. Allowing 5 days between each training technique should be enough to not cause the plants too much stress or permanent damage.
Top Tip #5 - It is better to work with sativa dominant hybrids that have a tendency to become bushy with a high volume of side branches. Indica can work well, but may be more impractical to flower compared to hybrids.