The Screen of Green method, better known as ScrOG, is a technique for optimizing cannabis yield per square foot. The theory behind the ScrOG method is to manipulate the plant's branches to grow horizontally, rather than vertically, so that more flower nodes are exposed to the light source. Screen of Green ScrOg — not to be confused with Sea of Green or SOG — is a technique traditionally used in indoor growing operations to maximize the yield of cannabis plants. But forms of the ScrOG method can be utilized in outdoor grow operations to enhance the quality of the final product.
Here are four simple steps to help you create your very own ScrOG.
Step 1: Screen your green
One of the most important components of the ScrOG method is the screen itself. The screen serves as a support system for the buds as they develop, so it needs to be sturdy and able to hold weight. The screen can be created from a variety of materials depending on your budget, access, and grow room set-up. One is plastic trellis netting with t-posts or wood posts to hold the net in place. This works perfectly for canopies grown in long, community beds. On the other hand, some growers opt for metal screens while some like to make screens out of rope. The only real requirement is that the screen consist of sturdy material in two-inch squares.
Once you've decided on a material, it's time to install your screen. The best time to install the screen is during the vegetative stage when the marijuana plants have grown into thick bushes of fan leaves. Make sure the screen is securely attached to a wall or post, then gently bring the screen down on top of the canopy. Try to bring the screen down as evenly as possible, guiding the tops of the branches through the squares in the screen. Once the screen has been fastened halfway down the branches, you can fasten it permanently in that position. If any branches were bent in the process, straighten them so they shoot directly up through the screen.
Another method of ScrOG is to place the screen above the cannabis and let the plants grow up into it so you can manipulate the branches as they reach the screen. This technique may minimize any damage to the plants' branches. Just be sure to carefully pull the screen down into the canopy and then weave the branches through it to produce optimal results.
Step 2: Weave your plants
Now that the screen is in place, it's time for the fun part of ScrOG: weaving the plants. This is the step where you manipulate each branch to expose it to the most light possible, which will, in turn, give you more dense and resinous flowers.
Each plant should have 10 to 20 branches stretching through the screen. Starting with the outermost branches, begin pulling them outwards and weaving them through the screen, expanding the canopy with each manipulation. By looping the branch over and then under, you're ensuring the stability of that branch throughout the flower cycle and allowing room for air circulation. In other words, make sure a thread of the screen is wrapped gently around the branch so that it doesn't fall down from the weight of the developing flowers. Continue around the plant, weaving and stretching branches horizontally throughout the screen. Don't worry about the tips of the branches not facing towards the light because they will quickly adjust and straighten themselves out. Once you have woven most of your plant, you will notice that screen space is diminishing, leaving some branches in the center of the plant without a home.
For these center branches, the best strategy is to top them. Precisely cut the very top nodes off the branch at a 45-degree angle. This may seem counterintuitive, but by removing the very top of the branch, the lower nodes will start receiving more direct nutrients, air flow, and light, thus developing into their own full-on colas. With the extra air circulation, you are turning one cola into two colas, or possibly even four or five colas if you're lucky.
Pro-tip: If your cannabis plants are slightly brittle and not willing to weave through the screen, you can always use clips or ties to secure the branch to the screen without bending the branch too much.
These manipulations lock the plants in an optimum position, producing a beautiful, even canopy, a hallmark of the ScrOG method.
Step 3: Trim your green
In this step, you will be removing any branches that either aren't receiving light or aren't reaching the screen. Similarly, remove branches and nodes that are growing away from the light (pointing downwards) so that the plant's energy is all directed vertically towards the light. If you don't remove these branches, they will sap energy from the plant while producing wispy, impotent flowers. Focusing all the energy at the top of the plants creates the largest yield, the most potent flowers, and the happiest grower.
Step 4: Monitor your flowers
After all the manicuring and manipulation is complete, it's time for the flowering stretch. Since this is primarily an indoor technique, you have the power to start your plants' flowering cycle whenever you choose by switching the light cycle to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. During weeks one through three of the flowering stage, plants experience explosive growth. To keep your Screen of Green under control, revisit the screen every couple of days to tie down the new plant growth and make sure all the branches are exactly where you want them for the flowering cycle.
These four simple steps can enhance the quality of your harvest and double, or even triple, the yield of your cannabis strains. After one or two experimentation runs, you'll be a ScrOG master.