Scrog tutorial

Everything you need to know about the Screen of Green

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Welcome to our ScrOG Tutorial!
Here we are going to go in depth on what SCROG is all about. From the definition to the equipment needed, passing by the advantages and a step by step guide, we’ve tried to gather everything we know about this growing technique 🙂 Personally it’s one of my favorite ways of improving yield by using the beauty of the plant.
Before we get into it, here a table of content of the tutorial if you want to jump straight to the part that interests you:

What is SCROG, aka the Screen Of Green ?

SCROG is the acronym of Screen of Green. This Marijuana cultivation technique allows you to have multiple Apex’s on your plant.
Scrogging is training technique that optimizes light us. The idea is to have a screen over the canopy of your plant, giving the branches a direct source of light.
With more access to light your branches will be able to produce more energy, giving you some nice big buds!

Look at the image on the right, you can see new branches starting to sprout up on the screen.
Those little branches will be full grown flowers soon enough.

Personally SCROG is one of my favorite training techniques, it takes longer to produce but once you get the hang of it you save a lot of time.

Before learning How to set up a Scrog, lets go over the pro’s and con’s of scrogging.

2 Blue thai plants starting to cover the screen

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the Screen of Green technique?

THE PRO’S:
  • High yields of buds per plant
  • Less plants to take care of
  • Reduced time to water the plants
  • You get some MASSIVE plants
THE CON’S:
  • Longer vegetative stage
  • More nutrients per plants are needed
  • Guiding and clipping branches is time consuming
  • Danger of breaking the branch when weaving the plants if you’re not careful

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When to do a SCROG?

Choosing when to ScrOG can depend on different factors, here we’ll cover the major ones.

  1. You don’t have many plants within your grow room but still want maximum yield.
  2. Reducing the time needed to take care of your plants is an objective of yours.
  3. You want to maximize the yield produced by each plant.
  4. Looking to make some massive plants.
  5. You’ve heard about it and want to try it out.

Looking around these have been the main reasons why growers choose to go for a Scrog.

top branches and leaves passing over the screen
Big Buddha Cheese ready to start being weaved onto the screen

Equipment needed for a screen of green

In terms of equipment you don’t really need much, all you need is:

  1. A screen: Try and have square spacings of about 10cm wide. You can either make it yourself of buy one at a gardening store.
  2. Large buckets or pots: In order to scrog your plant will need to have a strong root ecosystem during its flowering phase, so don’t hesitate to get her at least in a 10L bucket.
  3. Scissors or a razor: You’re going to need to trim leafs and branches pretty often, to do so a pair of scissors or a razor is best.
  4. Clips and/or string: In order to guide your plant you’re going to need to guide the branches on the netting. To do so I find string to be just perfect, not too aggressive for the plant, flexible and allows you to pull it in the direction you want.

Soooo you have all that equipment except for the net? No worries, we had the same situation and turns out, it’s real simple to make 🙂 
All you need is couple supplies and some time : we covered all the steps in a full DIY guide over here, we’re just going to go over the main steps here but check out the article for more details

Making the frame

Adding the netting

And voila! You have a screen ready for your Scrog

Read more about automatic drip systems:

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How to prepare Marijuana for a SCROG?

In order to have a nice scroggable plant your going to have to train it very early on. The objective of this training is to make the plant stop focusing on her main Apex a bring nutrients in an equal manner to each section. The second target is to start developing the branches early on so that by the time flowering stage comes you’ll have some nice sturdy branches able to handle their weight.
That’s cool on paper, but how to you do this in the real world… here’s a couple easy steps to get this done!

Training Weed for a Scrog Easily - Starting from a Seed

We’re going to show you how to do so with a newly germinated plant and with our Big Buddha Cheese cutting 🙂 so that you can see that it’s simple and generally doable.
We’ll start off with 2 pictures before we started training them, then get into the steps. By the way, if you want to follow the life of these little one’s, check out our weekly grow reports 😉

Blue Kush before training

You want to wait until the 3rd stage of leaves before doing anything. In the picture above we must wait a little before starting to train this one.
Blue Kush about 15 days old before starting the scrog training

Step 1 – Pruning the Apex

Once your plant has grown her 3rd stage you’re going to want to cut (prune) the top section of the plant with a pair of clean scissors or a blade.

As we show in the picture below, you’ll want to do this just above the knot, be careful not to damage the side branches that are forming!

Blue Kush about 15 days old before starting the scrog training

In the next step you will be able to see what it the plant will look like without the Apex. If you’re worried about the fact that the Apex is supposed to be her strongest and best bud, don’t worry, you’ll get that bud x10 😉

Step 2 – Let the 2 new Branches Grow

After cutting the Apex you’re going to want to wait until each side branch has developed a new stage of leaves.
2 strong branches growing where apex was cut

Step 3 – Prune Tip of the 2 new branches

Now as you can see we waited a little too long to cut the tip of the side branches. Generally you’d want to cut it before the growth of the next stage in order to avoid any waste of energy.

 

With that in mind, we’re still going to keep the 1st stage branches, in time we’ll prune the 2nd stage growths and that top leaf that’s shading the branch.

2nd round of branch pruning to train for scrog

Step 4 – Let the new sets of branches grow

You should see pretty quickly 2 new branches growing on the knot near the cut and each side.
At this point you’re going to want to let each sprout grow a little before starting to train her. You’ll have 2 options.

The first, prune them again, making a total of 8 branches. The other, letting the grow and placing the screen once they’re tall enough (we cover that further below).

You should see pretty quickly 2 new branches growing on the knot near the cut and each side.
At this point you’re going to want to let each sprout grow a little before starting to train her. You’ll have 2 options.

The first, prune them again, making a total of 8 branches. The other, letting the grow and placing the screen once they’re tall enough (we cover that further below).

new set of branches growing near the cut

Step 5 – Training the branches

In order to improve the growth of the side branches you need to give them direct access to light. As soon as they are big enough to start creating shade to one another you’re going to need to give them room.
You can do this by attaching and pulling each branch away from the other.

rope tied to branches in order to increase light penetration

Once you’ve reached this stage you can keep on training your plant, multiplying the number of branches, or start placing your screen and get the branches through for the weaving process, it’s really up to you.
If you decided to keep pruning and training you just need top repeat steps 3 through 5.

 

Here’s what the stalk of this plant looked like at the middle and end of the vegetative stage :

You’re not scrogging from the seed and you have hesitations with the step by step above ? 

We got you, here’s the same step by step but starting with a Big Buddha Cheese cutting (oh how I miss her)

Scrogging with cuttings ? Here's the step by step

Big Buddha Cheese before training

You can’t really tell on this picture, but the cutting on the right has a nice potential of starting of as a perfect V. Pretty exciting for since we had planned to SCROG anyway.

2 BBC cuttings showing strong deficiencies

Step 1 – Transplanting and Pruning the cuttings

As you saw in the image above, these cuttings were alive but showing strong deficiencies. We also said that one little one showed a nice V shape potential.

As you can see in the image, with a nice leaf pruning and a transplantation it’s definitely there now.

 

If your cutting doesn’t have this shape naturally, which is most likely the case, top the plant like in Step 1 of the seed training

V shaped BBC strain ready to start scrog training

Step 2 – Leaf and branch growth

As you can see within a small week this little one recovered beautifully.

If you also have a cutting they’re can sprout many site branches, don’t hesitate to cut of the sites that won’t be developed (too low, too close to another one, etc)

BBC cutting recovering after transplant

Step 3 – Increase light penetration

This little one was starting to grow some big leaves creating a lot of shade. Instead of pruning we decided to take advantage of that nice V and pull the plant apart. The main thing to be careful here is not to make a tight knot around the stem of the plant.

The last thing you want to do is obstruct the flow of nutrients or break the outer skin.

Training plant by tying the stem to the pot

Step 4 – Growth of new branches and Leaves

By now we’ve got 4 strong branches and many smaller one’s starting to grow. We could start placing the screen and start weaving her on it, but the other plants are far from ready.

 

Taking that into account, we decided to keep training her with string in order to increase the amount of side branches and overall size of the plant, which will be our next step.

strong foliage growth, about ready for screen

Step 5 – Branch training to improve light penetration

By looking at her like this you might this this isn’t good, maybe even cruel for this little marijuana plant. But by attaching her to the 4 corners like this we’re actually increasing her ability to get a direct source of light, thus stronger photosynthesis capabilities.

In just a few hours she had already started standing up, by the next day she was thriving.

strong plant training, spreading her to the 4 corners of the pot

Just like when you start from a seed, once you’ve reached this stage you can keep on training your plant, multiplying the number of branches, or start placing your screen and get the branches through for the weaving process, it’s really up to you.

If you decided to keep pruning and training you just need top repeat steps 3 through 5, but keep in mind that during the stretch you’re plant will grow from 50% to 200% depending on the strain, so plant accordingly !

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How to do a Screen Of Green ?

There are multiple steps to setting up your scrog and as you’ve seen in the steps above the plant training can start early on in the vegetative stage, so make your decision early on!
Let’s cover the steps on how to set up the scrog Method

How to SCROG in 5 easy steps

Step 1 - Setting up the screen for a SCROG

So what you want to do here is get your screen at about 40/50cm (15/20 inches) of the top of your pot, and attach it to the four corners of your grow room. I use metallic string for this (cf image), attached on the 4 corners of the room.

 

As a safety I also add 3 strings, attached from the top of each side of the room onto the sides of the screen, just in case something happens. Once those branches start invading the screen you don’t want it to move.

Gently Slide the Screen Down

Once your screen is fixed you’re going to want to slide it down so that the plants’ Apex starts to go over the screen. Do this gently, you don’t want to break anything!

The main advantage of doing this is to save some time, since scrogging already strongly extends the vegetative stage, might as well save some where we can right?

Slide the screen down until it reaches the top of the plants and start passing the stems and leaves through each whole.

After this step all the leaves and branches that are touching or nearly touching the screen should be guided towards a hole.

Lower the screen again

At this point you’ll want to do the same thing as the previous step. You should have more branches and leaves that and tall enough to pass or weave through the screen.

 

On our end we would of liked to lower in tad bit more during this grow but if we did we wouldn’t have enough room to water and all.. So we stopped here, but you can repeat this as much as needed!

Step 2 - Pruning your leaves and branches

Once you’ve entered the stretch and stopped weaving the plant the process is pretty much the same as with any marijuana plant.
Here’s a couple pictures of our babies once they had started forming their buds, you can see that the they’re still more or less still at the buddlet form at this point.As always, click on the image for a full view.

The Early Flowering Stage – Buds forming

Trichomes starting to appear

While the buds keep on fattening up you’ll start noticing a sticky power-like dust on and around your buds called Trichomes. These little guys are produced by the plant for many different reasons, such as defense (unwanted invaders get stuck). In our case they’re interesting because that’s where the THC and CBD will be stored.

 

Now keep in mind that at this point in time there is no THC what so ever within the plant, if you harvest now you’ll be wasting all your efforts for nothing.

Trichomes starting to appear on flowers and leaves near the flowers

Trichomes starting to appear

During the next couple weeks the plant will keep on growing its flowers. You’ll see the pistils go through one, two maybe even 3 rounds of browning pistils. Just sit tight and wait until those trichomes are just right for you, personally we uppers so we go for milky Trichomes, when the THC is at its highest.


If you want some chiller bud, wait until they start to become a brown/golden color, the THC levels will be lower and the CBD will be higher, giving out some chiller effects. Here’s a couple pics of this stage

Choosing the moment when to harvest is really linked to the status of the Trichomes. As we said above, milky trichomes are a sign that the THC levels are at their highest, whereas if you wait a little they will start deteriorating, turning a golden/brownish color. This is a sign that the levels of THC are reducing and the CBD is rising.

Don't feel like reading ?

I Love Growing Marijuana put together a pretty neat video explaining the different steps to scrogging, check it out:

 

That’s all for this one folks! 
Until next time, be safe and grow easy

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