In the previous article we talked about the Sea of Green, a technique to increase the yields, fit for reduced spaces. This time we will discuss the SCROG, another one of the most popular methods used to maximise production. It is fit for indoor as well as outdoor crops, ideal to control the height in crops set in balconies or terraces, where there could be onlookers.
What is SCROG?
The SCROG (Screen of Green) consists of placing a net serving as a barrier, thus impeding the apical development and favouring horizontal growth.
We set all the plants’ tips at the same level and therefore we make the most of our lighting system.
What do we need to do the SCROG?
- A cultivation area
- Cuttings from the same mother
- A SCROG net or mesh (sold in growshops in different sizes)
- A strain of good quality
- Artificial light or solar light
- Commitment to work and patience
How to make a SCROG
The first step is to place our plants in the chosen space. Once set in place, we will fix the net between 20 and 30 centimetres above the pots. With that space, the plant will have time to grow branches. It is necessary to prune the plants as they grow.
When they develop and surpass the net, we will have to pull down each branch down the same hole it came up and move it towards the next hole, preventing it from coming out. We will maintain this procedure until the net is full. You can use some binding to attach the branches to the net.
We will have to keep doing the netting process until we have covered 60 to 70% of the mesh. The rest will be filled during preflowering. In this stage, plants can double and even treble their size. Preflowering can last 15 to 20 days depending on the variety.
The SCROG is a technique that involves a lot of work, but the effort is rewarded at harvest time.
Once the flowering starts, the hardest part is over and all that is left is to do is watering and fertilising until harvest time. For a right nourishment it is necessary to control pH and EC.
As well as in any other type of crop, 15 days before harvesting we will carry out a thorough washing of the roots.
You can place between one and four plants per square meter. For one plant, 100 litres of substrate; for two plants, 50 litres per pot; 4 plants, 25 litres per container. During growing and preflowering stages it is necessary to apply preventive treatments for fungus as well as for insect plagues.
Also, to prevent fungi, we need to prune all the branches that remain under the net. This way we will favour ventilation in the lower part of the crop. This method is known as lower growth removal or lollipopping, and it causes the plant to increase its size on the upper half by not wasting strength in the lower branches and directing all its efforts to the upper ones.
If we grow indoors we need to be in possession of fans: an air intake fan and an extractor. This will allow the right air circulation for our plants. It is a technique fit for cultivating in reduced spaces with low roof and the use of LED panels is advisable in this case because of the little space they take.
Choosing plants of sativa predominance usually facilitates the adaptation to this type of techniques. A good recommendation is to use cuttings from the same mother plant. This way we ensure all the plants have the same needs.
Never use regular seeds! Imagine the plants totally entangled in the net and when flowering comes some turn out to be male. That means all the work was wasted. If you want to do it from the seed, they need to always be feminised seeds.