Tag Archive for Growing Cannabis Indoors

Screen Of Green Cannabis Growing

Growing Cannabis Indoors

Growing A Screen Of Green

Screen Of Green Growing Technique

Achieving the heaviest yields from your plants, requires the creation of many large, dense buds that fill the entire area, this is commonly referred to as the canopy. The more even spread and dense the canopy, the greater the overall yield.

Many beginner and novice Cannabis growers start by germinating the seeds potting them, and allowing the plants to grow and develop as nature intended. To watch a plant grow, flower and mature, producing Cannabis yourself, is truly a wonderful experience, and caring for them can be relaxing and very therapeutic. However, many growers quickly become unsatisfied with their final harvests, and although the quality is almost always very good, the overall yields are often less than many expect, or feel they have been led to believe the plants are capable of producing, per square metre.

To address this issue we need to summarize what is meant by the description ‘yield per square metre’, how it can be achieved, the correct strains to use and where.

Girl Scout Cookies Extreme StrainFirstly, lets define the perfect harvest for a one metre square grow tent, cupboard or area. Novices may opt for a small number of large, tall plants that have grown as they wish, producing nice long, big fat buds sat in the center of the plant with plenty of room around it, where the lateral branches have developed, creating several budding sites and a large swollen end bud. However, the ‘cash-cropper’ or commercial grower cannot let all that light and space go to waste, and knows that the best harvests are achieved with the formation of a canopy that produces multiple budding sites, creating a ‘hedge’ of buds, with a far greater yield than can be achieved any other way with few seeds.

Overall yields of 400 grams per square metre can only be produced with a good, solid canopy of buds, each receiving the maximum amount of available light and fresh, CO2 rich air. Until you understand and adopt these techniques, the maximum potential yield from your seeds can never be achieved.

Many of the Cannabis seeds we promote produce their best yields when grown using this Screen-of-Green (SCROG) methods, while smaller, more compact plants are better suited to the Sea-of-Green (SOG) method. Read more about Sea-of-Green technique here.

One of the major advantages of the Screen-of-Green (SCROG) method is that it requires fewer plants to fill an area. Unlike Sea-of-Green, where plants are grown close together, this method encourages the plants to produce strong branches and spread out horizontally as much as possible.

 

Setting Up A Screen Of Green

 

Setting Up A Screen Of Green

Once the young seedlings have established a reasonable rooting system, they will need to be potted into either a hydroponic unit, or a large pot of growing medium, big enough to allow the roots room to grow throughout their entire cycle.

At this point there is no need to secure the screen in place, the priority now is to develop the best, strongest lateral branching structure possible and a healthy rooting system. As the plants begin to develop, a selection of techniques can be utilised to help generate the growing traits we desire.

TOPPING – Removing the very top shoot of the plant causes the remaining branches to develop stronger and more rapidly than they would with the main stem in place. This can be performed several times during the vegetative stages, allowing the plant to produce a bushy canopy.

SUPER CROPPING – Often used to describe the complete range of techniques, super-cropping is actually a method of its own. It involves gently crushing the soft tissue inside the main stem and stronger branches and bending it. This damage is subsequently repaired by the plant, thickening the affected area and allowing more nutrients to pass through.

BENDING – One of the most commonly used methods and when performed correctly can produce a very strong branching structure. Similar to super-cropping it works by increasing the flow of nutrients through the branch. By bending and applying pressure to the branches from a young age, they will thicken around the knuckle joint, the more severe the force the bigger the knuckle becomes. Even if they almost snap off, with a little first aid bandage and splint, you will find the repaired area produces a far stronger branch with a greater yield, than standard, unbent branches that haven’t been subjected to any levels of stress.

STAKING – This is an extreme form of bending, where pressure is applied to actively pull the branches and main stem down, forcing the plant to grow horizontally, rather than vertically towards the light. It swells the knuckles where the branches meet the main stem, increasing the flow of nutrients down the branch. When used in conjunction with topping, it produces a plant with multiple strong branches that will create many budding sites along their length.

PRUNING – This involves removing the lower parts of the plant to improve the growth in more productive areas. Shoots and weak branches that do not make it to the canopy will not produce the buds or flowering sites needed to fill the area. By removing these weak parts, the plant will focus its resources on the most productive areas, producing more sites and bigger buds.

Train Wreck Cannabis SeedsDuring the next few weeks the aim is to promote the strong growth of as many branches as possible, and keep all the growing tips at an even height. Once the desired level is achieved, it’s time to place the screen into position. A simple framework made with chicken wire will suffice, secure it into place and spread the plants and branches out as evenly as possible. Remove all lower, weak branches and shoots (Pruning) as the canopy will be formed over the screen, so they won’t receive any light once it’s completed anyway.

Once the plants are in position and achieved the desired height, with a good even spread of branches under the secured screen, it’s time to turn the plants to a 12/12 photo-period and begin flowering. Until now, the choice of strain makes very little difference, however, for the Screen-of-Green method to reach its full potential, the plants should contain a heavy Sativa influence, causing a stretch during the first few weeks of pre-flower.

During these first few weeks of flowering recommended SCROG plants can grow rapidly, producing ‘running’ shoots along the branches, which, if the plant was left to grow naturally, would form the long, ‘foxtail’ colas that Sativa’s create. The aim of the Screen-of-Green method is not to create several large colas, but to have multiple buds being formed that cover the entire area. To do this the branches need to be secured to the screen, forcing them to grow along it, many growers physically weave the branch in and out of the gaps, sending each branch in a different direction. The subsequent shoots that are produced, will grow vertically, with each receiving an even amount of light, air and nutrients to flower and bud to its maximum potential.

Growing Cannabis indoors using this method is highly productive and profitable. A canopy of almost any size can be created with enough care and plant training, and the number of plants can be as many or as few as you decide to grow, check out the picture at the top of the page and below, great examples of two Cannabis plants grown using the Screen-of-Green method.

Perfect Screen Of Green Growing

Performed correctly, Screen-of-Green will easily achieve the stated yields for each strain, often providing as much Cannabis as the Sea-of-Green (SOG) technique, but with far fewer seeds. Many beginners may believe that bigger plants produce bigger yields, but that is simply not the case, bigger canopy’s produce bigger yields, and unlike the SOG method, which primarily focuses on producing a large central cola, SCROG grown plants produce multiple, medium-sized buds that far outweigh one large one, have greater bag appeal, and are less prone to mould issues as maturity approaches.

There are a couple of drawbacks with this method. The first is time. Screen-of-Green growing requires a longer vegetative period than Sea-of-Green growing. The principle of growing the plant to a minimum height, while forcing the branches to develop at a similar pace requires extra vegetative time, compared to growing a straight plant, whose tip will reach the minimum height far quicker if the branches are minimal and weak. Training the branches to develop along, and under the Screen will not only require time for the plant to achieve, it will require time, care and effort from you to train and secure them in the direction you require. In general, SCROG plants are Sativa dominant, to achieve the stretch needed to form the canopy once flowering is induced.

Pineapple Haze StrainSativa based Cannabis plants, in general, require longer flowering periods than Indica based Sea-of-Green recommendations, once again, requiring more time. Lastly, harvesting. Unlike small compact ‘cola-on-a-stick’ Sea-of-Green plants, these are a mass of medium sized buds that have grown between the gaps of the screen you constructed. Each bud will need to be chopped off the stem, untangled, manicured and left to dry at the same time. A long, time consuming process that makes bored seem interesting, and unless you have a pack of latex gloves handy, forget ‘skinning-up’ your fingers are so sticky they are glued together! But once done, the harvest is amazing and when dry, a ‘cash-croppers dream!!

The second disadvantage with this method is the necessary skill level needed by the grower. This is not a method for beginners. Although many beginner strains are great for SCROG, a grower really needs at least a small amount of knowledge, skill and understanding to produce a successful crop this way. Certain seeds may forgive mistakes such as incorrect nutrient or Ph levels, but flushing the roots correctly without removing them from the growing area can be tricky, especially in a tent-grow which may have pots at the rear and restricted access. Any mistake can appear amplified as many buds are produced from a single stem, therefore an error in watering or using an incorrect feed can have devastating consequences on a large section of the crop.

Although less of a problem now than a decade ago, all the plants must be guaranteed females that are used in the SCROG method. Intertwining a male, or hermaphrodite plant without realizing it during the vegetative stages would have devastating affects, pollinating the females, sending them into seed, rather than bud production. This can be avoided by purchasing only feminised Cannabis seeds.

Personally i prefer the Sea-of-Green method. Although it requires more seeds, the pots can be moved throughout flowering, are easier to flush should you make a mistake, and are faster to mature and harvest. But if you are looking for the best return per plant, or want to minimise your risk to a single plant, then the Screen-of-Green method is an ideal method, whether hydroponic or soil based.

Sea Of Green Growing Technique Explained

Growing Cannabis Indoors

Growing A Sea Of Green

Sea Of Green Growing Technique

Sea of Green is a term often used to describe a specific method of growing Cannabis seeds, often used indoors, and sometimes in conjunction with other ‘Super-Cropping’ methods. The aim is to maximise the harvest from a given area, in the shortest time possible.

Many growers become confused when they first try this method, as most have grown plants before, and the aim then, was to make the plant as big as possible, achieving the maximum yield per seed. Sea of Green does not produce the heaviest yields per plant, it does however, focus on producing as many large buds and colas as quickly as possible, returning more buds per square metre, per year than almost any other growing method. Screen of Green techniques may produce a slightly higher yield, but requires a longer vegetative cycle.

Setting Up A Sea Of Green (SOG)

The aim of this techniques is to grow just the top section of the plant, developing the heavy top buds and colas, and reducing the lower, undeveloped section. Growing taller plants usually yields a heavier harvest per plant, but, taller plants require larger pots to develop an adequate root system, and the large buds big plants grow, often have a lot of space between them. Harvesting larger plants often shows only the top third of the plant has any real buds or weight to it, the lower two thirds are just branch and stem, littered with a few ‘popcorn’ buds. Growing larger plants this way will never achieve the yields per area that you read about in any Cannabis seeds description.

Sea Of Green (SOG)

How Do I Get 500 Grams + Per Square Metre?

All of the Cannabis seeds on this site are given an average yield per square metre, This is neither the upper-most limit, nor the minimum you should expect. The average return is based upon achieved harvests performed by many different growers of varying experience and working out the average harvest achieved.

It’s fair to say, that those growers with a greater level of experience, better equipment and a more controlled environment, achieved far higher returns than those of lesser experience, who may have been less able to invest in equipment or lacked the knowledge and environmental controls needed to achieve extremely high yields.

However, from growing in a pot under a single growing lamp with an oscillating fan, to purpose built rooms with electronic environmental controls, CO2 injectors and digital thermostats to control the temperature, one point all growers agree on is that the fastest, most efficient method for achieving high yields per square metre in the fastest time possible is to employ the Sea of Green method.

Half A Kilo Of Cannabis In 12 Weeks?

As we explained above, growing the average yield stated is not about large plants, large pots, or even a huge initial investment, it’s about technique, and Sea of Green is the most simple and quickest of the two (Screen and Sea of Green). So, how do you set it up, what do you do and how soon will you be harvesting half a kilo of weed?

Buying The Seeds

Why get the seeds first and not the equipment? All the Cannabis seeds offered by I Love Growing Marijuana, who we recommend, are dispatched directly from Amsterdam within 3 working days. Add postal time…not the quickest in the UK and it may take up to a week before you receive your seeds from the time you ordering them online.

With super-stealth packaging, all inclusive costs, and most of all guaranteed delivery to the UK, USA, Canada and Europe, there is no doubt of you receiving your seeds. If, for any reason you do not receive your purchase, an immediate replacement will be dispatched to you, totally free of charge. That’s the I Love Growing Marijuana delivery guarantee!

Many growers in the UK use either 1 x 1 or 2 x 2 metre grow tents. In a standard one metre square tent, you will need twelve healthy plants to achieve the optimum Sea of Green canopy.

Germination and Planting

Sea Of Green TechniqueOnce your chosen Cannabis seeds have arrived it’s time to germinate them. For the first 24 – 36 hours leave them to soak in a cup of water. This allows the hard, outer husk to soften and activate the germination process. Once soaked, the shell will crack, exposing a white ‘tail’ or tap root. Place in a damp tissue pad, in a warm, dark area for a further 24/36 hours. The tap root should now be fully exposed and ready to plant.

Place the germinated seed into a small pot of good quality soil, and cover with clingfilm, or inside a propagater. Place them under a grow lamp or fluorescent tube, spray them twice a day to maintain a high humidity and water them. After about a week, the seedlings will be strong enough to re-pot into their correct pots and positions.

Pot size is vital in a Sea of Green indoor Cannabis garden. Too small and the roots become bound and reduce the growth potential of the plant and subsequent buds. Too large and not only do you increase the chances of over-watering, but the increased dimensions of the pot reduce the number of pots that can comfortably sit in a 1 metre square area.

A 10 litre pot is an ideal size, and twelve pots will fit comfortably into a one square metre tent. Fill the pots with good quality soil, and carefully plant the seedling. Once completed, your area should have twelve pots, with a small seedling in each, equally spaced into four rows of 3 pots.

Growing and Flowering

The vegetative period is very short in a Sea of Green garden, the aim is for the plants to cover the area in a canopy of green leaves. As the plants grow and develop, they will spread, filling the area and touching each other. At this stage, the area has a full canopy and is ready to commence flowering.

Allowing the plants to grow taller from this point will not produce any more bud. The growing area should have a dense canopy already and without more room for the plant to fill, further vegetative development would be a waste of time.

Many of the recommended Cannabis seeds for Sea of Green growing contain Indica dominant genes. Indica Cannabis plant do not stretch as much as Sativa’s during the first few weeks of flowering, preferring to focus on bud production and building the main cola, making them a perfect choice for this system. Indica plants usually mature quicker too, allowing for a much quicker ‘turn-around’ from your garden.

Over an average of eight weeks, the plants will grow, flower and mature. Approximate heights are between 50-80 cm tall for Cannabis plants grown in a Sea of Green, and the general look of the garden should be that of a solid canopy of healthy green leaves and large, swollen buds.

Very little of the plant is wasted with solid, dense buds almost from the base of the plant. The reduced height allows the light to penetrate through the canopy to the bottom, unlike taller plants, where the bottom section is often barren, lacking any real buds or weight.

Harvesting Your Sea Of Green

Sea Of Green Bigger Harvests

Harvesting is quicker and far easier too. Instead of lots of long, thin branches, yielding separated buds, Sea of Green grown plants are squat with short branches and easy to manicure buds. Simply cut the plant at the base, remove the larger fan leaves and hang to dry for 5-7 days.

Once dry, cut the buds from the stem, manicure and place in an air-tight container for a few days to cure, opening the lid and refreshing the air inside several times a day.

With a good, 600 watt light emitting the correct red spectrum, good nutrients and plenty of fresh air, your plants will produce a healthy harvest of approximately 500 grams of high quality, dense buds per square metre in as little as twelve weeks from now.

We offer a selection of high quality Cannabis seeds that are suitable for Sea of Green growing set-ups. All the seeds are feminized, guaranteeing you grow female-only plants, and with the delivery and germination promise, each seed you purchase is guaranteed to produce a healthy crop of Cannabis buds.

COMPACT SEEDS

Reflective Materials For Your Grow Room

Growing Cannabis Indoors

The majority of Cannabis grown in the UK is grown indoors. This is due partly to the climate, which, unless you live in Southern England, can be quite grey, lacking any guaranteed sunshine hours, even during the Summer months, and also because Cannabis can be better maintained and hidden when grown inside.

Light Reflectors

Light Reflectors

As all experienced Cannabis growers know, plants perform best given the correct environment and an abundance of light. The intensity or amount of lumens in your growing area will depend on the lighting rig and bulb you are using, as well as any reflection of the light that can be achieved.

Almost all bulbs are covered over the top with a reflector which bounces the light back down, increasing it’s intensity in that area. It’s just a very efficient lamp-shade really. The majority of light that hits the walls, or any other surface is absorbed, unless the surface is reflective, in which case the lumens are increased as the light is reflected back to it’s point of origin.

Using reflective material on the walls surrounding your growing area increases the amount of light your plants are receiving, improving the efficiency of your lights and returning a greater yield from your plants. If you are growing in a cupboard, constructed area or complete room, using some form of reflective material will always assist in increasing, and maximising your yield will.

If you’re using a pre-fabricated, purpose built grow tent, reflective material is already on the inside, and helps to reflect the light and stop light penetration during the flowering period.

Choices Of Reflective Material.

There are several types of reflective material available, each having differing degrees of efficiency. If you are setting up a permanent growing area, we recommend buying the best available, however, if  finances are short, and you really can’t afford to line to walls, white paint is a very cheap, and although not as effective, still has some reflective properties.

Black and White Sheeting.

Black and White Reflective Sheeting

This is the basic and cheapest option offered by most grow shops. There is often a choice of several grades of plastic sheeting, often black on one side and white on another. The white surface should face the plants to aid reflection, while the black on the reverse side helps to block out light, and in the slightly more expensive varieties, helps to block the heat and thermal image given off from your lights.

Black and white sheeting is commonly used to line complete rooms, increasing the protection against thermal imaging cameras. It is fairly cheap to buy and can assist in containing the light in a given area, with some reflective properties.

Mylar

Mylar Reflective Sheeting

Mylar was one of the first reflective materials available by the meter and sold directly to the public by the grow shops back as early as the 1990’s. It’s highly reflective surface was perfect for lining walls and increasing the amount of light the plants receive.

The low cost of Mylar made it very popular and it proved to be highly effective, easily repaying the small investment within the first crop, by helping to produce larger buds and cola’s, as well as increasing light to the lower parts of the plant.

The main drawback with Mylar is it can be quite difficult to work with. It isn’t very thick or durable, and if care isn’t taken, it can easily rip and tear.

Diamond Reflective Sheeting

Diamond Reflective Sheeting

This is similar to Mylar in that it is a highly reflective material that can be purchased off the roll to any required length. The embossed diamond pattern across the surface helps to disperse heat better than standard Mylar, creating less ‘hot-spots’.

Diamond reflective sheeting is a lot more expensive, but is far more durable and can be taken down and used again, unlike Mylar it doesn’t rip or tear as easily and can be wiped clean without fear of damage.

Most experienced growers agree that the extra cost of this material is worth the investment. It produces great results and once in place, can last for years with regular cleaning.

Orca Sheeting

Orca Reflective Sheeting

Considered by many to be the ultimate n reflective sheeting, Orca is very durable and purpose made for the indoor grow room. Orca Grow film is a revolution in highly reflective light diffusing sheeting. No other reflective sheeting can match the 94% reflection, 99% light diffusion and 50% increase in Lux reflection.

Orca reflective sheeting is expensive, but like any equipment you buy to grow Cannabis indoors, should be looked upon as an investment. It’s superior reflective properties will help to produce larger plants and ultimately buds.

If you have spent extra money on obtaining the best lights, fans and environmental controls, this is the final piece in building the ultimate grow room for your Cannabis plants.