How-To SCROG Cannabis to Increase Yields
By Canncentral Editor
Making the best of what you’ve got is an attitude that has provided great benefits to cannabis growers all over.
To overcome limiting factors faced by all growers, indoor and out, certain methods have been developed to improve the yields growers can achieve. Lack of growing space or limitations on the amounts of cannabis permitted to be grown legally have generated some innovative solutions to cannabis yield and potency gains.
If you would like to learn some more about some of them, keep on reading.
5 Methods of Increasing Your Cannabis Yield
Who doesn’t want to increase their cannabis yield? Let’s face it, everyone is out to get more buds for their bucks, not to mention their time and efforts. The good news is, there are plenty of ways to maximize your marijuana harvest. Try some of these:
Get the Balance Right
The main life-giver to your cannabis plant is light, of course, but they also need other nutrients too. Trouble is, when you tell people this, they tend to go too far the other way and give their cannabis plant excessive nutrition, which damages the plant and the yield. How can you tell if you are one of these people? Have a look at the tips of the cannabis plant; if you notice any yellowing or burning effect, reduce the nutrition levels. Get the nutritional balance right and you’ll have a healthy harvest.
Stabilize the Environment
Your growing environment is crucial to a healthy cannabis plant, its potency and its yield. Keep the temperature regulated; wild fluctuations here and your yield will diminish just as wildly. Conversely, regulate the temperature and humidity levels and you will be ‘’bringin’ in the weed’’ in abundance come harvest time
Let There Be Light
As we stated above, light is the giver of life to your cannabis plant. Naturally then, increasing the light intensity will also increase your yield. How? Extra light will increase the branch density and increase the size of the buds. So, if you want a little more, let there be a little more light!
Control the Growth
If you don’t want to have too many expenses with increasing your yield, the best thing to do is to control the growth of your cannabis plant. Low-Stress Training (LST) is a common method of controlling growth. With LST, you basically stunt your cannabis plant’s vertical growth, forcing it to grow out wider and more densely, producing greater yields.
Harvesting at just the right time could be the difference between having a good yield and having great yield. Getting your timing completely wrong and you’re in for poor returns come harvest time. Generally speaking, harvesting too early will reduce yield and potency; too late and the quality of your high will suffer.
What is a SCROG?
SCROG is and abbreviation of Screen of Green; a screen or mesh used for growing cannabis plants that brings lower hanging buds to the top so that they get more light. This method is referred to as scrogging and it has been used by many cannabis growers to improve their cannabis yields and potency.
A SCROG can be as basic as a nylon net or some chicken wire. Better ones are often made from thin bamboo sticks placed about 20-30cm (10-15 inches) above the cannabis plant. As they grow, the cannabis plant’s branches are ‘trained’ to stay at the same height as the mesh. Eventually, all the buds, higher and lower ones, will grow at the same height as the mesh getting the same amount of light.
The result is that your cannabis plant will have more branches and they will grow horizontally rather than vertically. You should continue the process until you have around 60-70% of the mesh-covered with cannabis branches. Once you’ve achieved this, you can start the flowering stage.
You can use a SCROG with any strain of the cannabis plant. You should take care when changing strains and consider the optimal mesh coverage. For instance, Sativas should only occupy around 50-60% of the mesh, whereas Indicas can cover up to 80%.
What are the Benefits of Scrogging
Scrogging will give you the following benefits:
- Help you maximize output from your cannabis plants. Some places only allow a small number of cannabis plants to be legally grown, so scrogging can help take away a bit of this pain by maximizing what you are allowed to grow.
- If you want to have several strains from your limited amount of cannabis plants, a SCROG will help you maximize the number of buds from each plant.
- Scrogging mesh will allow better airflow around your cannabis plants and help prevent bud rot.
- A SCROG will leave you with fewer if any, damaged branches because it supports the weight of the buds as they get bigger.
Setting Up Your SCROG
If you are new to scrogging and want to give it a go, here is what you will need:
400-watt MH lamp for the vegetative stage
400-watt HPS lamp for the flowering stage
9000 ft3 extractor
10500 ft3 filter
3500 ft3 inlet
Mesh or screen
How to SCROG Cannabis
When you are scrogging, the growth stages of your cannabis plants are exactly the same as when you are growing it traditionally. So, really it is only really the installation of your SCROG that is the difference.
To install your SCROG, you should hang the screen about 20-30 cm (10-15 inches) above your cannabis plants using cable ties or something similar. This will keep your cannabis plants close enough to the lamps to receive intense light, but far away enough to avoid being burned.
As your cannabis plants grow above the screen, pull them back and guide them to an empty part of the screen. Eventually, you want to have an even coverage of branches across the whole screen. The buds will all have access to plenty of light which will allow them to grow much bigger and improve your yield. Depending on the strain of your cannabis plants, you will enter the flowering stage when the screen is between 50-80% covered.
Types of SCROG
The function of every SCROG is to expose your cannabis plants’ buds to more light and make sure all buds get the same amount of it. There are different ways of constructing a SCROG to achieve this and here are a few of the more popular designs: