The Screen of Green (ScrOG) method is a popular cannabis cultivation technique designed to optimize yield by controlling plant growth. Employed in both small-scale personal grows and large-scale commercial operations, this method allows growers to manipulate the plant’s natural growth patterns to maximize the efficiency of light distribution and ensure even growth. Understanding the principles and application of the ScrOG method can be valuable to those interested in enhancing their cannabis cultivation processes.
Concept and Principles
At its core, the ScrOG method involves placing a horizontal screen over the plants, which allows growers to train and guide plant growth. The screen is typically positioned 15-25 inches above the base of the plants. As the plants grow towards the light, they reach the screen, at which point growers can spread and secure the branches along the screen’s surface. This process, known as “low-stress training” (LST), encourages the plants to grow horizontally rather than vertically.
The objective of ScrOG is twofold: to make optimal use of the growing space and to increase light penetration to lower branches. The concept behind ScrOG is based on the principle of limiting vertical growth to encourage a dense, uniform canopy of top colas (buds). This approach ensures that all parts of the plant receive adequate light, promoting more efficient growth and a higher yield per watt of light compared to conventional growing methods.
Implementing the Method
The implementation of the ScrOG method starts from the moment the plants are introduced to the grow space. When employing the ScrOG method, it is crucial to carefully manage the vegetative phase of the cannabis plants. This phase, which follows germination and precedes flowering, is when the plants develop most of their foliage and root system. The growth during this period will determine the plant’s potential yield during the flowering stage.
In the early vegetative phase, growers can start low-stress training. As plants grow and reach the screen, their branches are gently bent and secured to the screen to promote horizontal growth. This process should be repeated until the entire screen is filled with growth, ideally just before the flowering stage commences.
After switching to the flowering stage, vertical growth will continue for a while due to a phenomenon known as “flowering stretch”. This should also be managed via the ScrOG screen. Pruning can be employed at this stage to remove lower branches and leaves that receive little light, channeling the plant’s energy to the top colas.
Benefits and Challenges
There are several benefits to employing the ScrOG method. By spreading out the plants and creating a uniform canopy, growers ensure that light is evenly distributed, reducing the chance of plant overshadowing. This allows for a more efficient use of space and light resources, resulting in higher yields per square foot. Additionally, the ScrOG method can help to manage plant health, as the increased airflow can reduce the risk of pest infestations and diseases.
However, the ScrOG method also comes with its challenges. It requires a higher degree of management and hands-on involvement from the grower, especially during the vegetative phase. Also, the plants’ access for routine care and inspection can be somewhat restricted due to the screen, which can make pest control and disease prevention slightly more complicated. Finally, while ScrOG method can increase yield, it may also increase the time investment for growers, who must carefully monitor and adjust plant growth throughout the process.
The Screen of Green method offers an efficient way to grow cannabis by encouraging a dense, even canopy of buds. Through strategic use of a horizontal screen, growers can manipulate plant growth to maximize light usage and improve yield. While the ScrOG method requires a more hands-on approach and can be time-consuming, the resulting increase in yield can make it a worthwhile investment for those committed to optimizing their cannabis cultivation. It’s a testament to the ingenuity of growers, constantly exploring ways to enhance growth patterns and yield of their crops.