Hydro or Soil?
So, how are you going to do this scrog? Is it going to bubble, flow or just sit there? Here's some things you may consider before your plants get tangled up in the screen.
Hydro: No real problem here. I prefer to scrog with a bubbler system over soil anyday. The problem lies in the flush. I explain below.
Soil: Soil grows and scrogs are a wonderful thing. Orgainc buds rule. One problem I ran into when scroging with soil was the flushing of the medium at the end of the grow. Well, with the plants tangled in the screen. One can not just transport to the sink and flush. My soil buckets drain into catch pans. Then I have to drain the catch pans. Takes a while but it works. Hydro is much easier though.
Okay man, you just did something that will almost double your yeild in the next sixty days. So, how do you feel about that? The screen is set. Now its time to move on to other things. Lets take a look at whats going to happen when these babies start to grow through the screen.
Managing the Scrog Grow
You have done some things that are a little out of the ordinary from your usual grow regiem. Things look a little different. A wire screen has invaded your grow space and it looks weird in there. Maybe you even have a few inches growth through the screen. What in the **** am I gonna do now? lol.......Be cool man. Here's where the real fun begins and were the beauty of scrog growing starts.
Vegging: Here is where alot of people make mistakes. They get in a fired up hurry and get confused somehow. Flip their **** over to 12/12 way to soon and wonder why their screen never filled up. At that point the screen is nothing more than a support system for the plant. Normally one would veg a plant till the screen is 70-80 percent full before switching over to the flowering cycle. Having knowlege of how much your strain stretches is helpful when determining when to switch to flowering. For example: If one had a very stretchy sativa. You would want to start flowering her with much less of the screen filled. Just the opposite for a nice stunted indica. Timing has alot to do with scrog. We go over that soon.
Pulling It Back Through: Okay, so you've got some growth through the screen. Should have about 3-4 inches aye? Don't be a ***** here. lol....... If it breaks. I'll explain what to do later. Reach under the screen and pull that branch back under the screen and place it where you want it to be. Even if it takes tying it in place with the plastic twisty ties. Now I could really get technical and **** and start with the be sure there is an internode in each hole of the screen but it really doesnt matter man. Just get the growth under the screen first. In the next few weeks. You will see were to guide the new growth to best suit your needs.
Training: This can seem brutal to some. lol........ Scrog is not natural growth for the cannabis plant. I am sure of that. It must stress the **** out of them the whole cycle of life. Imagine taking a plant that usually grows anywhere from 3-12 feet and making it grow in a space no larger than 2 foot. Training begings in the pulling it back through section. Try to situate your main branches towards the barest parts of your screen. They will branch out the most and usually be the largest bud in the bunch. Use some kind of uniformity to your laying out of the branches. Crisscross/ zigzag whatever you use. Remember theres are going to be alot more branching when flowering kicks in high gear. So allow some room for that as well. Lesser buds that are now exposed to more light are then encouraged to grow upwards toward the screen through some leaf triming. An often debated subject but one I feel that is usefull in the scrog method.
Leaf Trimming: Now we need to chat about a touchy subject. Leaf triming. Like I said above. Scrog aint natural for cannabis. At least I dont think it is. Crammed in such a small area with all those leaves. Well, somethings gotta give and its not going to be bud. lol......Here's my rule on trimming. If the leaf is in the way of light for a bud site. Then it needs to be removed. Sometimes I tuck the leaf instead of removing it but most of the time I remove it. Now, when do I do this? Usually when I do a training session. Right afterwards. This trims away leaves and allows the new sites to get light. You will be surprised at how fast they will respond. Use good judgement when trimming. To much is not a good thing here.
Trimming continues into flowering ending during the later stages of flowering. I have found it not to be harmful at all to remove large fan leaves from buds during flowering. If they are blocking light to other bud sites near by. Its all about light penetration and bud sites in a scrog.
Timing: Timing is critical when it comes to a scrog grow. You must be paying attention to the progress of your grow in order to know when to induce flowering. Knowing what strain you are dealing with and what the growing characteristices of the plant are is very helpful when it comes to timing. I cant express the importance of having a good clone base for this purpose. As mentioned above if you induce flowering to early. You will have alot less of a yield. However, if one was to wait to long. The same can happen as well. An overcrowed canopy is just as much a mess. An out of control scrog is just that. A mess. Not something you want to deal with. Remember, the plants you start to flower are probably going to double in size. Stand back and get a visual picture of that in your head. Ask yourself some questions. If I start flowering now. Can I visualize how big they will get? Do I have enough veggative growth to start flowering? Do I have to much? Is it time? Time to start flowering?
Okay, so you've decided to start. Bravo! You are going to be amazed at the buds that come out of this grow. lol....... So, you have turned back the timer to 12/12 and it has been 4 days now. The growth from the stretch is starting to show. You get in there and pull all those new shoots back under your screen and put them where you want them to be. A few more days pass. More growth. Now the decision part comes into play. Just how far over the screen do you want your buds to be? If you stop training them early in the stretch. They will grow alittle above the screen (maybe 3-6inches depending on the strian). If you continue trianing them until they start to top out. They will grow only alittle more and most of the bud will form right in the screen. This technique is great for those stetchy sativa's. However when doing this method keep an eye out for mold and try to have as much air flow between the buds as possible. I have done it both ways and they are both awsome. It may take you a grow or two to get the timing down to where you want it but once you do. I am sure you will be pleased with the results.
Clones/Seed Grows: Here's an interesting topic that is sure to generate a few questions. I suggest clones for scrog growing over seed anyday of the year. Why? With clones you usually already know the characteristics of the plant and how it will perform. With seed its usually a guessing game as to which pheno your going to get unless they are true F1 seed. Plus with seed you dont know the sex yet. Ever tried untangling a male from a screen? Not something I would suggest doing. lol......Anyways, if you grow from seed. Be sure you have cloned the lot and know who your girls are first before going under the screen. This will save you alot of hassle later on.