There are about as many methods for growing cannabis as there are cannabis growers, and they all work under the right conditions. In New Mexico, home cultivators are limited to six mature plants and six immature plants per person (with a household limit of 12 plants per household, regardless of the number of adults occupying it). That means home growers are extremely limited in the amount of cannabis that they can produce and will need to look for ways to increase the yield of each plant. One popular method of making your plants produce more flower is known as the “Screen of Green” (ScrOG) method.
Left to its own devices, a cannabis plant will produce one main cola—a cluster of buds at the top—with some smaller flower sites along the side branches. The ScrOG method trains the plant to grow in such a way that it produces more than one cola, meaning more flower can be harvested. While wild marijuana grows in a Christmas tree shape, ScrOG produces a bush-shaped plant with multiple colas along an even top.
The key to ScrOG is the screen: a trellis net with holes around two inches in diameter. The branches of the plant are weaved through the holes in the net forcing them to grow outward instead of upward as they are inclined to do. Trellis nets can be made from any sort of chord, but there are plenty of pre-made nets for sale online that were made specifically for ScrOG growers.
Many ScrOG growers like to use a method known as “topping” to promote lateral growth in the plant (although it isn’t required). During the vegetative stage—after the plant has developed at least six nodes but no more than seven—cut the main stem above the fifth node. This will cause the plant to put more energy into side branch growth, and it will develop multiple “main” stems.
Position the net about a foot above the base of the plant and start weaving the branches into the net. You want each branch to get its own hole in the net. Be firm, but don’t force the branches to go in a direction that they don’t want to go as this could cause an accidental break.
Continue weaving through the vegetative stage and make sure to water your plant whenever you’ve finished weaving. The ScrOG process can be stressful for it.
Once you have this method down, you can also use other training techniques to increase the size of your colas as well! This can result in some massive harvests. The internet is full of unbelievable claims that the method can produce a pound of dry bud from a single plant, but one now-legendary Redditor was allegedly able to produce around half a pound of dry flower from one plant using this method, which he fully documented in a series of photographs and notes taken during the 140-day grow.