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How to SCROG Easily – Scrogging Guide for Beginners

Written by Sam North Oct 16 2023

Learn how to SCROG with this easy guide and start Scrogging today! The Screen of Green method is an amazing way to get better yields of amazing weed.

What is the SCROG method

What is scrogging?

Short for Screen of Green, the ScrOG method, or ‘scrogging’, stretches cannabis plant branches out onto a screen, creating an even canopy.

Not to be confused with the similarly named Sea of Green method, which is in essence just a large quantity of untrained plants close together.  (see ScrOG vs SOG if you really want to compare the two.)

There’s a big difference between using a screen (a taut net with ~10 cm squares) to ScrOG weed, and using a screen purely to trellis (support) your plants. 

Screen of Green

Trellising your plants will support them and help avoid breakages, while minimizing strain on branches. 

Scrogging will actively spread out your plants, increase future flowering sites, and level out the canopy, ensuring even growth and light maximization. This, in turn, maximizes yield.

Why SCROG?

One of the most common reasons people start scrogging their cannabis is to keep the amount of plants to a minimum. This is helpful for those living in states with plant count limitations. Why get 10 clones or seeds when 4-5 well scrogged plants can yield the same amount? Another reason people employ the ScrOG method is to ensure an even canopy. An even canopy means your light is hitting all branches equally, which promotes uniform growth. 

What do you need to start Scrogging?

If we assume you already have an existing setup, then things become VERY simple.

All you need to begin scrogging weed is the screen/net of your choice and a pair of sharp scissors for topping/pruning. For the best results, you can get some clips to tie your branches to the screen.

SCROGGING

You can definitely ScrOG cannabis outdoors too, it will provide the same benefits as doing it indoors. The scale of it will be bigger, so you may need additional supports for the screen, but that’s about it.

How to build a Screen of Green

Looking to learn how to grow a ScrOG? Following our ScrOG tutorial will help you on your way to achieving a great yield off a small number of plants. From seed to harvest, we will show you how to utilize this simple, yet effective method.

When it comes to scrogging multiple plants, there’s a fair argument for having individual screens for each cannabis plant. This approach makes caring for each plant easier, but requires a lot more setting up initially. Alternatively, you can have a screen for multiple plants, which brings setup time right down, but limits accessibility.

Once you have decided on scrogging plants individually, or separately, the procedure is essentially the same.

Position the plants

Care should be taken to select the same strains, or at least strains that grow at a similar rate. The entire point of the ScrOG is to have a level, uniform canopy. This becomes complicated if, for example, you have a Sativa next to an Indica, as these grow to vastly different heights.

Place your pots approximately 30-60 cm apart. This may seem too close, but you want the branches of one plant slightly interlocking with the branches of the plant next to it (if scrogging under a common screen of green). This configuration completely fills in the screen, which gives the best yield per square meter. 

If you are having individual screens, then avoid interlocking the plants as this makes it tricky to separate them, which is the main benefit of an individual Scrog system.

Top each plant

ScrOGs work best in conjunction with topping cannabis plants, which helps the plants grow wider, with more branches, and fill in more net squares. The end goal is to fill every net square with a single cola.

Install the screen

You should install the screen around 50 cm above the base of your plants. Be aware that Sativa’s will grow taller than Indica’s, so it’s best to use your best judgment as to the exact height. The most common screens are made from polyester and elastic with metal hooks on each corner. They come in all sizes and will suit any grow tent dimensions. There are many ways to DIY a screen if this doesn’t suit your scenario. If you are in a tent, then simply attach each metal corner hook to each tent corner. That’s it. You are ready to ScrOG weed plants.

SCROG in flower
Position the plants well to give each plant space but also close enough to develop an even canopy.

Once the screen is set up it’s best to let the plants grow into the net, as opposed to forcing it down over their branches, which causes unnecessary stress. Keep an eye on them and help guide them through the net squares as they grow. 

Tie branches horizontally to the screen

ScrOG technique relies on each plant being spread out as far as possible to maximize yield. It is important to fix your branches to the net/screen, so they keep growing in your desired direction. Use a plant clip or something that won’t cut into your branches as they grow. Try reaching the outer squares first, then working the plant inwards to ensure you don’t neglect the perimeter net squares, which happens often enough. It is advisable to give the plants a water after any heavy-handed scrogging, as this will help them bounce back quicker.

Prune lower branches

Once you have topped each plant and most net squares have branches sticking through them, you should begin pruning the lower branches under the net. This promotes airflow, and focuses your cannabis plant’s energy on what you will eventually be harvesting, which is all above the net. Basically anything under the net will receive no light, produce tiny amounts of substandard weed, and rob your plant of vital nutrients. Get it gone! 

Trigger flowering stage

Now you can trigger the flowering stage by switching your lights to a 12/12 cycle. This should be done only once the training has been completed and the net squares are full. You don’t want to be stressing the plant in flower by bending it all around the place. Some gentle rearranging is fine to do in flower, but the bulk of the work should definitely be done in veg. 

When to start Scrogging

When to ScrOG is a common question. Here’s the answer.

After topping but before the flowering stage. 

You should set your net up (around 50 cm above growing medium) before your plants reach this height and after they have been topped. Scrogging in the flowering stage provides little-to-no benefit, and it stresses them out, so ensure you are proactive and get your plants where they want to be before you start flowering.

Finishing SCROG training

Once you have trained each branch in the direction you want to maximize its footprint, and begun flowering, you will want to be on the lookout for any sagging colas. Sometimes one net alone cannot support the weight of the (hopefully) heavy buds. If this is the case, then you can add another net just to support the heads. Try to fill every square but avoid having multiple colas in a single square.  

Screen of Green yields

ScrOG yields can vary for many reasons but generally speaking, you should be able to get twice as much yield from a screen of green setup, compared to a plant that has just been topped.

Scrogging FAQs

Greenhouse scrog

Does SCROG give better yields?

Undoubtedly, yes. Cannabis ScrOG will not only provide bigger yields, but at a higher quality, with more consistent flowers. This is in part due to the thick, even canopy. As there is no light penetrating the canopy and no bud sites remaining under the net (these should be pruned as mentioned before), all your buds should be of a consistent quality and potency. No light and fluffy popcorn buds any more!

How many plants should you SCROG?

Your only limit is your imagination! And your budget, space, legalities etc. But apart from that, there is no limit to the number of plants you can have under a common screen, or individually. Scrogging cannabis is a very versatile method, but be aware that if you have a setup that’s tucked into a corner, you will have limited access to the plants at the back if they share a common screen. Good reach and a good back will only get you so far. This is where individually scrogged plants are perfect. They can be separated easily from the others if need be.

How high should you place the screen?

Around 50 cm above the base of the plant. This can, and should, vary depending on the strain of weed. People often use two nets if it looks like more support is needed for the heavy colas. Place the secondary net where it will provide adequate support to the most plant matter. 

Can you SCROG in hydroponics?

Yes. Hydroponic growing can speed up the entire process, and there is no downside to a hydro/scrog combination. 

Where should you position lights?

Lights should be positioned 30-90 cm from the top of the plants for a ScrOG grow. This wide range is due to the fact that everybody has different lights, growing conditions and strains. The goal of light placement is to get the most light hitting the canopy as the plant can handle. Monitor for light burn (upwards pointing leaves) and bleaching (white/yellow discolorations on leaves closest to light). 

Sam North

Sam North is a content writer with a passion for everything cannabis. After working multiple seasons on weed farms absorbing the ins and outs of cannabis cultivation and culture, he decided to transition into a role that would allow him to work from anywhere, anytime. Sam now writes for multiple weed publications. He has extensive experience with a wide range of canna-agriculture styles, from smaller artisanal farms to large-scale commercial operations, and is here to share his knowledge to give you all the best chance of cultivation success. About this Author

Sam North

Sam North is a content writer with a passion for everything cannabis. After working multiple seasons on weed farms absorbing the ins and outs of cannabis cultivation and culture, he decided to transition into a role that would allow him to work from anywhere, anytime. Sam now writes for multiple weed publications. He has extensive experience with a wide range of canna-agriculture styles, from smaller artisanal farms to large-scale commercial operations, and is here to share his knowledge to give you all the best chance of cultivation success. About this Author

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