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SCROGING ON THE FAULT LINE

 

Disclaimer:

      This is a tutorial with instructions on how to grow marijuana, and is intended for persons who have a legal right to grow marijuana. Be aware of the laws in your community and act accordingly.

Introduction:

       SCROG stands for "screen of green" which is a method of growing marijuana. The method described here works best with a small to medium garden, let's say 15 plants, grown in flower pots. There is a lot of information on line about this method of growing, you can check out the online newsgroup alt.drugs.pot.cultivation. When growing indoors in flower pots, scroging is a way to keep your plants at a consistent height. This is important because light intensity falls off substantially from the top to the bottom of the plant. This isn't a problem outdoors but with artificial lights the plants should all be approximately the same height and the same distance from the light.

      Instead of the plant growing in the normal vertical method, plants are grown under a horizontal screen. The screen is mounted about 9 inches above the soil. As the plant shoots grow through the screen they are pulled back under the screen. TIP: If the branch is too rigid, try squeezing the branch slightly where you want it to bend. This will soften the branch enough so you can make it bend. Scroging keeps the plant from developing a dominant stem and keeps all the branches at about the same height. What we have now is a carpet of buds just above the screen. This results in evenly sized buds that are supported by the screen. Heavy buds won't have to be tied or propped up which is often required when growing conventionally.

 

Materials needed:

      Tomato Cages: Standard tomato cages available at any garden supply. They measure 28 inches tall with three rings - the largest being 12 inches in diameter.

      Screen: I use a metal screen I found at Home Depot. I was told that this screen is used to reinforce concrete. It has square holes that are 2" square. I have seen hexagonal screen at the hardware store with 2" openings. This would work well too. Screen with smaller then 2 inch openings won't work.

      Alligator clips: These can be purchased at a hardware store or Radio Shack. Use these to clip the screen to the top of the scrog frame. It's easier to use this clip on method and necessary when a large screen is required, but if you form the screen around the top of the scrog frame (see picture) you can more easily move your plants around because the screen edges won't get hung up on each other.

 

Assembly:

      Cut the smallest bottom ring off the tomato cage. This can be done with heavy duty wire cutters. Now you should have a tomato cage with 2 rings and 3 legs.

 
      Cut a piece of screen about 14" square. This can be clipped to the top of the scrog frame with alligator clips or better yet cut the screen in a circle and bend the edge wires around the top of the scrog frame.
 

How To Use:

 

 

 

      When your plant gets to be about 13 inches tall it's time to put the scrog frame into the flower pot. Push the scrog screens legs into the flower pot until the smaller of the two rings touches the soil.

 

 

 

      When a plant shoot reaches a height of 3 or 4 inches above the screen it's time to pull it under. From under the screen , gently pull the branch down. If the branch is not flexing enough try gently squeezing along the bending area to make it flex a bit more. Line up the bud sights on the stem so each bud site will have its own screen opening. Ideally there would be a bud growing out of every opening in the screen. Since so much depends on light, genetics, nutrition, and so many other things that getting a fully occupied screen isn't lightly.

      "Working the screen" is done throughout the growth stage as well as in the flower stage (12/12 light). When the light is switched to 12/12 there is a spurt in growth, this is called the stretch. This is the busiest time for pulling shoots under. After about 13 days the stretch is over and you won't have to work the screen anymore.

 
When the screen is full and it's harvest time cut everything from the top of the screen. A larger yield can be obtained by leaving the remainder of the plant (what's under the screen) in 12/12 light. The smaller buds will gain weight. This picture shows a plant almost ready for harvest.  
Here's another picture of a different plant from a higher angle. you can just barely see the edge of the scrog screen at the upper left.  
     
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