All led grow lights are from ledhydroponics.co.uk
all grows are from ledhydroponics customers.
Growing cannabis indoors has seen a dramatic rise in popularity in recent years. When done properly it produces excellent quality stash which is usually much better than that sold on the streets.
hoosing a variety is of major importance.
Yields and quality of plants grown under artificial lights mostly depend on:
1. the seed variety,
2. whether the plants are grown from seeds or clones,
3. after how many days of growing the plants are put into flowering, and
4. the optimization of the climatic conditions of the grow-room.
How to grow cannabis
Apart from “true breeding” varieties, our seed collection consists of different F-1 hybrids. Crossing two “true breeding” strains (hybridizing) gives F-1 hybrids that possess the so-called “Hybrid Vigor”. This means that the F-1 generation is a lot more potent than either parent. F-1 generations also consist of uniform plants.
Growing cannabis indoors has seen a dramatic rise in popularity in recent years. When done properly it produces excellent quality stash which is usually much better than that sold on the streets. Growing cannabis indoors relies on the use of powerful artificial lights to replicate the effect of the sun. These lights typically take hundreds of Watts of electrical power to run and are commonly HPS (High Pressure Sodium) but fluorescent lights, metal halide, LED light and other kinds have all been used successfully.
Cannabis loves light and the successful indoor grower tries to deliver as much light as possible. Consider 250 watts/m² only as a minimum starting point and realistically aim for 2-3 times that level if possible. More light will mean bigger, denser buds and superior yields. As well as delivering high light levels the successful indoor grower keeps the plants as near the light as possible to maximise the light intensity reaching the leaves and buds. Often the personal medical or recreational grower will have a growing area of 1-2 m² designed below a single 400W or 600W high pressure sodium (HPS) lamp.
The indoor cannabis grower has to be careful that the plant doesn’t grow too near to the hot light and damage itself. If the light feels cool to the back of the hand it will be cool for the plant also. For a 400W lamp, growers may not want to allow plants to grow within 40-50cm of the bulb. Cannabis plants can be bent over and tied if they get too tall, some indoor growers deliberately train their plants this way to get as much of the plant as possible close (but not too close) to the high intensity light.
Certain strains respond well to having the growing tip of the plant pinched out (known as ‘topping’, ‘FIM’ or pinching) after the 4th or 5th leaf pair. The resulting plants are often smaller and bushy without the dominant main growth stem (or ‘cola’) and are preferred for some smaller growrooms.
Some indoor growers train the plants underneath a metal chickenwire-style screen allowing only the buds to grow vertically while the stem and growing part of the plant grow horizontally. This SCROG (screen of green) technique allows the indoor grower to keep as much of the bud growth as possible equidistant to the lamp, maximising the efficiency and yield.
Specialist suppliers offer ‘air cooled’ lights for the indoor grower that enclose the light in a glass casing. A fan forces air over the light and outside the growroom via tubing, keeping the grow room cool and allowing the plants to grow taller without burning.Grow rooms are typically kept between 24°C -30°C for optimum results. Higher temperatures can cause the plants to wilt and cooler temperatures may slow down growth. The plants will need a gentle breeze from a fan, and a steady supply of fresh air which can be from your house or from outside. Stale air from the growroom is normally continually extracted outdoors by a fan and de-odorised with a carbon filter.
Those indoor growers that do get caught are often betrayed by the smell of their growroom, so some also invest in ozone generators to further remove odours from the exhausted grow room air.
Germinating cannabis seeds can be done in various ways and the internet is full of cannabis grow forums that document various methods. One simple method is to simply place seeds about 1cm below the surface of firmly pressed damp soil. A film of kitchen cellophane over the surface helps keep conditions moist and after a few days of temperatures around 20-25°C the seeds should germinate. Growing from cuttings of ‘mother’ plants is an alternative to growing from seeds.
In the first stages of life the seedlings are happy to start with lower light intensities often a metre below an HPS light, or closer to fluorescent lights. The artificial lights are normally ‘on’ for 18-24 hours per day. During this time the seedlings are in a state of vegetative growth, they will continue to grow roots, leaves and branches but no bud.
By reducing daily light to ~12 hours the cannabis plant transitions into the ‘flowering’ phase. This stage normally requires 8-10 weeks (but more for certain strains) and it is during this time that the female flowers form. During this stage the plants gain a lot of bulk and will tolerate more nutrients and very bright light.Some growers introduce supplemental lighting to ensure the very best yields. At the end of this process the plant is cut down and the buds (unpollinated female flowers) are dried. Some growers harvest the plants when they see the trichomes start to transition from clear to cloudy (this requires a powerful magnifying glass/scope to see). This often coincides with the bud producing lots of red/orange pistil hairs. Some smokers prefer bud harvested early, others prefer late- harvested bud. When growing- your-own it is you that decides exactly how you like it!
All led grow lights are from ledhydroponics.co.uk
all grows are from ledhydroponics customers.
In general, longer periods of vegetative growth will grow larger plants and support greater yields during subsequent flowering. Typically 2-6 weeks of vegetative growth are used and during subsequent flowering the plants may increase to 2 or 3 times their original height. Some growers use the ‘sea of green’ (SOG) method, this uses just a few days of vegetative growth before switching to ‘flowering’ conditions. This technique produces small plants of low/medium yield, but allows for fast production.
Male plants are nearly always destroyed by the indoor grower as they don’t yield any buds, and given the chance they will pollinate the female plants reducing them to seed.
Feminised seeds are popular with the indoor growers as they virtually eliminate the possibility of male plants. For many indoor growers feminised seeds from a quality supplier are regarded as the only way to go. If male flowers appear at the end of a female flowering cycle don’t panic, simply pinch off the male flowers. The female buds are mature and unaffected by the appearance of isolated rogue male flowers late in the flowering cycle.
The indoor growroom allows plants to be grown in soil or any number of other grow mediums. When growing in soil the cannabis plant benefits from 25% perlite or coco fibre being included. This allows better aeration of the soil. One common mistake by inexperienced growers is the tendency to overwater soil-grown plants. Get to know the weight of your plant pots and water only when the plants need it. Over watering soil-grown plants will reduce yield/quality and slow down plant development.
Growing cannabis indoors will require use and understanding of plant feeds. This is not complicated, all the plant feed does is deliver essential nutrients to the roots, it doesn’t matter whether the roots are growing in clay pebbles, rockwool, coir or a hydroponic system. Even soil-grown plants will need additional nutrients when the soil has been depleted. Read the instructions on the nutrient labels and avoid the beginners temptation to exceed recommended levels. The experienced gardener can ‘read’ his plants and will learn when to water and feed plants.
Indoor growing allows the plants to develop under closely supervised grow conditions without the normal array of outdoor pests. Once the grower has the right system in place it is a predictable way of growing great quality cannabis, a lot better than weed sold by street dealers. The main challenge for many indoor growers is dealing with the characteristic cannabis smell so that no-one notices it.
Recreational and medical cannabis popularity now extends far outside the earths warm/tropical climates, so for many growing cannabis indoors is the only option. Growing cannabis indoors has never been as popular as it is today, nor has it been as easy to produce superb quality weed. Professional seed suppliers, equipment providers, advice and information are all available on the internet.
Of course it all really begins with great quality seeds – get them from a supplier you can trust.
info by Dutch passion.
Growing cannabis is not that difficult, cannabis is not called ‘weed’ without good reason. Cannabis can grow indoors using bright lights, it can grow in greenhouses and of course it can grow outside. Cannabis can grow in soil or artificial grow mediums such coco fibre, clay pebbles and hydroponic systems. It can be grown from seed or itcan be grown from cuttings. Cannabis is a highly adaptable plant. So long as you have the correct basic grow conditions and seeds of a stable, potent strain then you are pretty much guaranteed to get a never-ending supply of great quality stash to meet your recreational or medical needs.
All led grow lights are from ledhydroponics.co.uk
all grows are from ledhydroponics customers.
However even seeds from a top seed-supplier will not perform well if the grow conditions are poor. Cheap seeds from a low quality seed vendor will never produce the best stash even if grow conditions are perfect. Growing great quality cannabis needs a combination of quality seeds and good growing conditions.
For many people growing cannabis is a more reliable, safer and convenient alternative than buying from dealers. Growing cannabis is also great fun, satisfying and rewarding. Growing your own cannabis means ensuring a predictable supply of cannabis which is often of much superior quality to the inconsistent bag-weed that is sold on the streets. Ironically the dramatic increase in home grown cannabis is a result of many years of cannabis prohibition. There are now lots of growers who feel that self sufficiency is simply less complicated and less risky than trying to find a reliable weed dealer. On top of that is the fact that it has never been as easy to grow your own stash, there are a growing number of internet sites that provide all the information you will ever need, with many books that explain everything you will need to know in great detail.
The starting point for growing great quality weed is to get good quality seeds from one of the better seed suppliers. The best strains were not created by accident, they often took years to breed and stabilise, so don’t expect to get fantastic quality seeds for the lowest possible cost. Successful growers do not cut corners when it comes to choice of seed. Successful growers regard the seed as an investment, not as an area to economise in. You may be able to save a few €uro’s per seed by buying from a low cost seed supplier but why take the risk when there are several seed companies with track records of outstanding contributions in the cannabis seed community?
Many growers prefer growing from seed rather than cuttings (or ‘clones’) since seed grown plants are larger, stronger and more resistant to pests and diseases than those grown from cuttings which often result in smaller and less sturdy ‘dwarf-like’ plants. Growing from feminised seed is the best choice of all, not only does it give better consistency than growing from ‘regular’ seeds but potency is at its best for 80% of all strains when grown from feminised seed stock.
When looking for a strain, choose one with the right characteristics for you. You may have specific requirements so make sure you get them, ask your preferred seed supplier for advice. Growing equipment is widely available; either from gardening centres, the internet or specialist hydroponic suppliers. In simple terms cannabis simply needs sufficient light (natural or artificial), sufficient root space, enough nutrients (though not excessive levels) and enough space and fresh air to grow in.
Whether you are growing indoors, outside or in a greenhouse may affect your choice of strain. You may be looking for a strain that grows large mature plants that will fill a greenhouse (we recommend you look at our Mekong High variety) or perhaps you are looking for a smaller, bushy variety which will hide itself from your neighbors in the corner of your garden. Perhaps you are growing for medical needs, or maybe you have a specific preference for a certain Indica or Sativa variety.
For many growers feminised seeds are the preferred option, this may restrict your choice of supplier and strain so choose carefully.
There are many varieties that are highly potent, yet easy and forgiving to grow. Dutch Passion often recommends feminised strains such as Orange Bud, Skunk#1, Skunk #11 etc in these cases. Growing your own cannabis allows the connoisseur to experience many different varieties before settling on a few ‘favourite’ strains. Even within the Dutch Passion staff it is surprising to see so many people have quite diverse favourite varieties. Everyone is different and quite clearly there are lots of strains which will appeal to some more than others. That is one reason why Dutch Passion introduced the ‘Colour mix’ packets. These packs contain 3 strains, 2 seeds per strain. These packs have allowed growers to savour 3 great quality carefully selected premium strains and are a good choice for those not sure which strain to grow.
Whether growing cannabis indoors, outdoors or in a greenhouse it is not difficult to get top-drawer results. Growing cannabis indoors will need a safe growing room with a light, an extractor fan and air filter (to eliminate the characteristic cannabis odour). The equipment needed to grow safely indoors is neither complicated nor expensive and as little a 0.5m² – 1m² of floor space can be enough to keep you supplied all year with ample herbs. But growing indoors is not for everyone.
Growing in a greenhouse is the preferred method for some. Greenhouses can often be painted with an opaque greenhouse ‘shading’ paint which makes them private and keeps them cooler on the hottest days. Plants can be grown in containers which may restrict plant size and will need regular watering or plants can be rooted directly into the ground allowing them to reach their full growth potential. Greenhouses can grow seeds over the full growing season (typically April to October in the northern hemisphere).
Dutch Passion’s new autofem seeds take just 10 weeks from seed to bud whether grown indoors, in a greenhouse or outdoors. In the tropics 4 harvests a year are possible using Autofem seeds. In Mediterranean climates such as Spain three harvests are possible each year. Even in more extreme northern latitudes Autofem seeds can grow in the short summer season (June/July) in northern Scandinavia, Canada and Siberia. Autofem seeds mean that outdoor growing is possible in just about any location on planet earth!
Growing outdoors with regular seeds is also possible in a wide number of countries. Dutch Passion have carefully bred their outdoor strains to grow consistently well in northern latitudes such as UK, Germany, Belgium and Holland. When cannabis is grown well outdoors the potency and flavour is often breathtaking though it is important to ensure that the plants are grown to maturity and the resulting buds are properly cured.
Those that grow their own cannabis rarely want to go back to the days of spending money on over-priced street weed. Once the initial growing arrangements have been made then ‘growing your own’ is easy and many people are amazed at the quality improvement over the weed they had been buying from dealers. The arrival of feminised seeds, autofem seeds and hardy outdoor varieties from the quality seed banks mean that cannabis growing is possible wherever you are.
To get the best seed germination results, we advise you to germinate the seeds according to our standard procedure, with which we obtain germination rates of ± 95 % for all varieties:
• use a grow room with a stable temperature of 20/25 degrees Celsius.
• use soil with a pH-value of ± 7.0.
• the soil should not be too dry or too wet.
• sow the seeds in a container about 5 mm deep.
• after sowing press the earth lightly, this stimulates even sprouting.
• spray the soil lightly with water.
• cover the container with thin transparent plastic foil to achieve an optimal greenhouse effect.
• after 1 to 10 days the seeds will have sprouted. Now remove the plastic foil.
• sprinkle the soil regularly with water, wait till the upper layer has dried out, and sprinkle again with water.
• after 1 – 2 weeks the seedlings will be strong enough to put them in a larger container.
ALWAYS GET GOOD QUALITY SEEDS.
The primary method through which cannabis plants reproduce is by cross pollination which allows seed production. Cannabis seeds are a natural product of the cannabis plant allowing the offspring to carry characteristics from both parents.
Whilst there are a growing number of dangerously amateur seed suppliers, there remain a number of high quality seed suppliers who today offer an array of good quality stable strains.
Cannabis, just like other plants, can be bred to favour certain characteristics by selectively choosing and crossing offspring with the desired features. The ability to do this professionally is generally something best left to the experts who have decades of experience in the art. The bulk of those that buy cannabis seeds today are private individuals looking to grow their own personal stash for recreational or medical use. At Dutch Passion everything we do is geared towards providing those growers with the best possible cannabis seeds. We were one of the first seedbanks to be formed in the 1980’s, though our roots and our seedbank genetics go back to the early seventies.
Creating outstanding cannabis seeds is a craft that combines natural selection with scientific assistance. The finest cannabis seeds are produced by design rather than by accident. Often we will work on a specific project with an end-goal, the creation of a fast maturing Haze (Dutch Haze) was one such recent example from Dutch Passion. At other times the breeders will grow plants from our research gene pool looking for exceptional individuals. Often hundreds of plants are grown from seed with the goal of finding just one with genuinely special properties.
Nowadays this is a high-tech business using laboratories that measure precise levels of THC and other cannabinoids, allowing us to produce strains exactly the way our customers want them. Identifying exceptional plants is only the start of the process. Much of the work to produce great cannabis seeds is done to ensure as much stability as possible in the resulting plants. Dutch Passion place top priority on creating and stabilising our own F1 cannabis seeds. ‘Copycat’ seedbanks often take these F1 (first generation) seeds to produce and sell F2 (second generation) seeds. But the F2 seeds confer, in our opinion, too much variation.
Producing cannabis seeds with stabilised top quality features often takes years of effort. Many of our customers grow just a few plants each year for their own use, they choose Dutch Passion not because we are the cheapest cannabis seed supplier but because we offer the most stable versions of the best cannabis strains on the market. Why cut corners to save a few euro’s on a seed? Join the thousands that trust Dutch Passion and grow some of the best cannabis strains known to man.
What is skunk?
What is skunk? Unfortunately for some smokers ‘skunk’ has simply become another generic word for cannabis, but true Skunk is a quite independent strain with its origins dating back to the 1970’s. Skunk remains a top quality strain that offers an excellent ‘high’ with good yields, it is also a forgiving strain which can grow well under a range of conditions indoors, outdoors and in greenhouses. Even today, the combination of qualities which made Skunk famous are still used as a benchmark against which other strains are measured.
In some countries, such as the UK, the term ‘skunk’ no longer necessarily refers to a specific strain but is a general term which refers to good quality marijuana of perhaps unknown genetic origin. Young people in several countries are increasingly calling their home-grown ganja ‘skunk’. Not only is the generalisation ‘Skunk’ inaccurate, it also undermines the true genetic identity of the weed.
In order to preserve the true Skunk heritage Dutch Passion have trademarked their original Skunk #1 name. The other ‘quality’ seedbanks are also quite clear which of their strains have true skunk lineage. The remaining seed suppliers may be supplying reasonable quality strains that use the ‘skunk’ name but this does not necessarily mean that the strains still resemble the original skunk.
The Acapulco Gold and Colombian Gold strains were top quality sensimillas of their day and even today they would still be highly appreciated though are difficult to find in their original form. These strains were popular with breeders in the 60’s and 70’s and old timers will remember them for their great unbeatable ‘highs’. Incidentally, it is quite ridiculous that some of the modern anti-cannabis prejudice is based on the so called ‘fact’ that todays dope is very strong whilst that grown 30 or 40 years ago was comparatively weak. That is simply not true, ask anyone that can remember how good the weed was back in the 1960’s. Acapulco Gold even manages to get several mentions in songs from bands such as Rush, Soda Stereo, The New Riders and more recently the rapper MF Doom. Colombian Gold was a similarly iconic and highly potent strain.
People have been enjoying good quality weed (10%+ THC levels) for thousands of years. Strong weed is not just a modern phenomena, there has always been strong weed. But unfortunately the anti-cannabis crusaders like to have a ‘key’ argument to maintain the illegality of the worlds favourite herb. 20 years ago they claimed cannabis should be illegal since it is a sinister ‘gateway drug’ that leads invariably to heroin. That argument was of course debunked as utter nonsense, so it has now been replaced with a new argument…. “modern weed should not be smoked since it is several times more potent than that used by the hippies in the 1970’s”.
Again, the argument is false and like so much anti-cannabis rhetoric the arguments are based on hype and prejudice rather than logic and fact. No wonder the cannabis community are doing their best to replace bigoted intolerance with science-based fact. Remember too that cannabis has been used medically and recreationally for thousands of years without killing anyone. It has only been illegal for the last century and during that time its popularity has, ironically, boomed like never before and is showing no signs of diminishing. If cannabis was made illegal to limit its use then the strategy has backfired in spectacular style and the approach needs a radical overhaul. In the 21st century cannabis is used safely and responsibly by more people than ever before, all the anti-cannabis laws are doing at the moment is criminalising large sections of society.
But back to the original question, what is skunk? We use the words ‘painstaking and careful’ to describe the creation of skunk since this strain was developed to preserve potency whilst retaining a desirably low ratio of leaves to buds. This allowed the strain to deliver excellent yields with long, thick bud growth. The low leaf ratio makes this an easy strain to manicure after harvest. Some of the lesser so called ‘skunk’ strains are easily identifiable by the compromises made during breeding which deliver reduced yields.
Skunk#1 was stabilised as a true breeding variety in the 70’s and has been inbred by Dutch Passion since 1978 making it one of the most consistent and predictable strains available today. The dense and luxuriously thick buds may be susceptible to mold in the last stages of flowering simply because of the sheer quantity of the buds produced. The buds themselves may vary in colour from green to a beautiful gold appearance. Despite the very obvious and characteristically strong smell the Skunk buds also possess an alluring sweet and soft scent, try running your fingers through a mature Skunk #1 female and smell the wonderful aroma it imparts. The ‘high’ is of course quite excellent and it set the world alight in the 70’s when skunk was the strain that everyone wanted to talk about and grow for themselves. Even today many feel the Skunk high is quite unbeatable. For Dutch Passion the Skunk strains sell massive quantities of seeds and this allows the seeds themselves to be mass produced at very affordable prices.
Of course, genetics of the quality possessed by Skunk#1 are popular with breeders/seed producers and Skunk has been extensively used for cross breeding. When Dutch Passion themselves have produced other Skunk varieties they have been very cautious to only use the ‘Skunk’ name when the master breeders have produced a variety which is absolutely ‘true’ to the skunk heritage. In Dutch Passions case, Skunk #11 is one example of a strain which justifiably bares the ‘Skunk’ name. Skunk #11 was the first Dutch Passion strain to sell a million seeds and remains an undisputed classic. Ultra Skunk, Skunk Passion and Orange Bud are other examples of top quality members of the Dutch Passion Skunk family.
So Skunk is not just a general term that should be used as a blanket description for all weed, it should remain a term used only for a very specific strain or family. But remember also that many of the so called ‘skunk’ varieties available today often bear very little resemblance to the true genetic heritage of this cannabis classic. If you want to try growing some original Skunk we strongly recommend that you opt for a strain from one of the proven and longest established seedbanks that can trace their skunk breeding right back to the original lines.
If, and when, the ridiculous prohibition laws affecting cannabis are repealed medical cannabis will have been a major factor.
Cannabis has been used for its medical benefits for thousands of years. Prohibition has been with us only for the last century and, ironically, during that time the use of recreational andmedical cannabis has grown significantly. The dramatic increase of home-grown medical cannabis has come as a direct result of prohibition which has forced people to grow their own medical stash. Medical cannabis grown using high quality seeds allows the user to grow their own herbal medicine at a fraction of street prices as well as guaranteeing premium medical quality.
In parts of the world medical cannabis is openly available and legally tolerated; some areas of California, Canada and Holland have led the way. Meanwhile medicines based on cannabis extracts are becoming increasingly available. One of the best known licensed cannabis medicines is called Sativex from GW Pharmaceuticals. This is extracted from cannabis rather than synthesised and is delivered as a mouth spray. It is available in a growing number of countries and is being used for the same applications that medical cannabis is already used for. Some medical cannabis supporters claim that medicines made from extracts of naturally grown cannabis are superior to synthesised cannabis medicines since the natural extracts contain the full range of cannabinoid compounds. These compounds are thought to have important interactions with each other that allow the full medical benefits to be experienced by the user.
With every year of medical research into the use of cannabis comes new medical applications for cannabis. Some of the uses of cannabis are well known, and some are very surprising. Better known uses for cannabis includes restoring appetite in AIDS and cancer patients, treating pain in a range of medical problems and reducing the nausea/vomiting associated with chemotherapy. Cannabis is used to aid sleep by insomniacs, it was said to have been used by Queen Victoria of England for menstrual pain and today it remains a popular medicine for the same purpose. Research has been conducted into the way cannabis relieves symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis and spinal cord injuries as well as inflammatory bowel disease, fibromyalgia, migraines, schizophrenia, anxiety and numerous other illnesses.
Some studies indicate that cannabis helps cancerous cells destroy each other in a process known as autophagy. This is an area thought to be receiving intense behind-the-scenes funding from pharmaceutical companies.
Any cannabis user that has had the winter flu will be aware that cannabis not only gives a significant improvement in the overall sense of well being but it also reduces aches and pains, aids restful sleep and of course restores a (very) healthy appetite.
The list of medical cannabis studies grows every year. Doctors are now investigating cannabis to help treat alcoholism, anorexia, arthritis, asthma, digestive diseases, Parkinsons disease and even post traumatic stress disorder. Very recent studies from California have found THC (one of the active ingredients in cannabis) helps prevent formations of deposits in the brain related to Alzheimer’s disease. One surprising area of research has also found that smoking cannabis doesn’t lead to any enhanced risk of lung cancer or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
What is clear within the medical cannabis community is that the prohibition of marijuana and the resulting prejudice is taking many years to undo. However the number of applications for medical cannabis seems to grow each year as does general support and sympathy for medical cannabis from society as a whole. Only the most fanatical of cannabis opponents are sticking to their belief that cannabis has no medical value.
All strains of cannabis appear to have medical benefits, but increasingly some of the better quality seed suppliers are beginning to breed strains of cannabis specifically for medical use. In the case of Dutch Passion, growers and users have provided feedback on the medical benefits of various strains. This has allowed Dutch Passion to create their first strain specifically designed for the medical cannabis community. This strain is called Ortega Indica and is the result of many years of research and cooperation between Dutch Passions expert cannabis breeders and the medical community. Ortega Indica has a range of medical benefits and is the pinnacle of medical cannabis breeding. Like all Indica strains it promotes relaxing sleep, yet it does this without any subsequent drowsiness the following morning. This is a major benefit over tranquilisers and sleeping pills and Ortega Indica is seeing strong growth in the international medical community as more and more people seek natural alternatives for pain relief, sleeping assistance and treatment of their medical symptoms.
Mankind in general and lawmakers in particular have learned little from the USA attempts in the 1920’s (‘prohibition’) to outlaw alcohol. Not only did the criminalisation of alcohol cost the US government millions of tax dollars overnight it also presented organised crime with complete and absolute control of the alcohol industry; production, quality standards, importation policy and pricing. It also resulted in the criminalisation of thousands of decent citizens and of course did absolutely nothing to reduce consumption of alcohol. The prohibition of alcohol allowed the 1920’s mafia to finance itself just as modern drug prohibition laws allow modern day gangs to finance their organisations. Today the same delusional lawmakers spend $€billions of taxpayers cash trying to prohibit the use of medical cannabis and to criminalise those that they catch. However attitudes are changing rapidly and it is likely that medical cannabis will see improved levels of acceptance in coming years as more and more countries change their historical anti-cannabis bias.Pre-1937
In a few years time society will look back on the medical benefits of cannabis and wonder why we allowed a small minority of people to have criminalised cannabis in the first place. Until that point Dutch Passion will continue to support the medical cannabis community in every way possible, using sales of the remarkable Ortega Indica seeds to continue funding research into other medical cannabis strains.
What is Hashish, or hash
Hashish, or hash is a cannabis product made from the compressed resin glands found on the cannabis plant. These resin glands are known as trichomes (or ‘crystals’) and are responsible for the white sparkling coating that is often seen on good quality marijuana.
Hash, like cannabis, can vary in quality and strength. It can also vary in appearance, from black, brown, reddish and even creamy blond. It may be hard and brittle, or soft and pliable. Hash can be smoked in a pipe/vapouriser or mixed with tobacco/marijuana in a ‘joint’. Some people use hash in cooking, it is most soluble in fatty materials such as butter, cream or oils.
Hash / hashish is thought to have originated in the Pakistan/Afghanistan/Indian regions of west Asia. Anyone who has had the pleasure of running their hands through mature female plants will be familiar with the sticky resin that transfers from the plants to the hands. By lightly rubbing the plants this resin will accumulate on the hands and can be scraped off and collected. This was probably the first method used to make hash, and dates back many thousands (and quite possibly tens of thousands) of years to the times when man first began to use cannabis. In Northern Pakistan hashish is often referred to as ‘Charas’ and is available in different quality levels.
Hash can also be made by mechanically beating the dried cannabis plant, or using motorised tumbling devices and collecting the powdery resin which is known as ‘kief’ and sometimes incorrectly referred to as ‘pollen’. Fine sieves are often used which allow the small resin particles to pass through but prevent larger vegetative matter such as leaf material. The ‘kief’ is often, but not always, compressed into blocks. Recent innovations in hash production have involved mixing cannabis plant material in icy water to remove the trichomes. Sieves are used to separate the trichome material which is dried prior to use. This is known as ‘bubble hash’.
Hash remains a popular alternative to marijuana though its image may have been damaged in recent years by unscrupulous criminals who add harmful adulterants during the manufacturing process.
Insider’s Grow: 5 Tips for Sea Of Green (S.O.G.) Growing
Few growers can argue that Sea Of Green (S.O.G.) cropping methods are some of the most productive ways to reach your medicinal harvests goals fast with amazing results.
S.O.G. growing methods (which should not be confused with SCRoG) make use of the principal that when grown in a controlled environment, individual plants can be very productive in less space. Likely originating from flower growing management practices, S.O.G. gardening is highly suited to cannabis production, although it may be prohibitive to some.
The S.O.G. method gets it’s name from the fact that plants are grown and harvested in relatively higher planting densities. Finished the plants tend to be short, almost identical in stature and tightly packed, giving the appearance of a sea of green.
There are some real advantages to be found for bud growers with S.O.G.
Yields per watt tend to be very high because no space is wasted. Every inch of linear under a high intensity grow light is packed full of buds — there is little space wasted and just enough for air and light to reach all parts of the plants.
Crops can be harvested very quickly. There is little or no time required for vegetative growth. Rooted cuttings are established in one gallon containers or four- to six-inch growing blocks (like Rockwool Cubes). After just a few days in a vegetative growth plants become established and gain vigor. After propagation they are ready to enter the bud phase.
Because the planting density is so high, the plants quickly fill the space — no time is required in vegetative growth to ensure that the space has enough branches.
Because plants finish faster, there is less time for insects or other potential problems to become established before harvest.
Trimming and handling are simplified too, because every plant is a top bud!
S.O.G. gardening is more management intensive, and there are some principles that should be adhered to for the best rates of success:
1. Avoid light hotspots in the canopy. To keep the crop canopy even, raise your lights a little higher than normal or consider using led grow lights
2. At least twice during the budding cycle, do serious pruning of all the plants in the garden. Remove excess foliage and thinner side branches. Train the crop to put all of the energy into the top buds, which are packed tightly together under bright lights.
3. Keep fertilizer strengths lower, and be cautious with nitrogen levels. Too much fertilizer can create stretching with higher planting densities of smaller plants.
4. Avoid excessive watering, and keep plants drier to can help to control growth — but don’t water-stress plants.
5. A flow of air across the top of plants encourages a healthy exchange of gases in the dense canopy of buds and leaves. It also helps keep plants short and squat.
Strain selection will have a lot to do with the results and how you need to manage your S.O.G. bud garden. Indica dominant strains tend to grow dense with fewer side branches. Typically, S.O.G. plants range from 9 to 24 inches in height at maturity. Yields can be be double over conventional methods when all factors are optimized.
Bigger Plants, Better Yields
ow container size and trellising can have a big impact on your harvest.
Many growers associate immense yields only with commercial or industrial-sized grow operations. While it’s true that larger spaces afford more opportunities for heavier yields, it’s also true that techniques deployed in large-scale grows can be incorporated into home gardens.
While the primary focus for those interested in larger yields is on growing larger plants, growers should not sacrifice quality for quantity. This means that growing larger plants isn’t the only objective; we also want happy and healthy plants. Plants that are stressed will not achieve their full potential in terms of both quality and yield. By using some simple and effective horticultural techniques – such as larger plant containers, a smart pruning program, and trellising – growers can achieve a heavy harvest with quality flowers.
To begin, young plants should be transplanted into large containers during their vegetative stage. Depending on the space available, growers will usually opt for containers that are no less than 20 gallons when growing for heavy yields (some indoor and greenhouse growers may even go for 50- or 100-gallon containers). It is important to remember that the size of the plant’s root structure ultimately dictates the size of the plant. Therefore, using larger plant containers is the first step in obtaining larger plants.
The type of container – not just the size – can play a key role in determining both yield and how happy your plants are.
The newer fabric pots offer some of the best features for plant containers: They are not only durable and easily drained, but they ensure maximum breathability for the root zone, allowing air – most importantly, oxygen – to permeate the grow medium and reach the roots for uptake. Keep in mind that roots take in oxygen (O2), while the rest of the plant breathes carbon dioxide (CO2).
Many people new to growing in the great outdoors imagine that they have unlimited “container” space, as they envision the earth as one giant pot to plant in. However, even outdoor gardens require specialized plant sites – and this doesn’t just mean containers, but also a properly prepared grow medium. Often, regular earth soil is not of a high enough quality to grow healthy pot plants, and most topsoil will require some amending.
In fact, many outdoor growers either use gigantic plant containers such as grow bags (in the volume of hundreds of gallons) or construct their own frames for growboxes. In both cases, the plant’s roots are free to extend down into the earth, but most of the time they remain in the containers, where they can find the rich medium (usually compost and peat-based soilless mixtures) and nutrients they need to thrive.
The next step in creating bigger, bushier plants is to employ a smart pruning program. Pruning cannabis plants is generally done in the earlier stages of development and not during the flowering stage. Pruning is essentially a tradeoff: The grower removes one branch in order to get two more. Depending on the technique, some pruning methods may garner four or even eight times as many branches for the price of sacrificing just one.
This occurs because when a plant suddenly loses a limb hormones called auxins signal a growth spurt in the pruned or damaged area. However, growers must take care not to overprune their plants, which can put them in a state of shock and burden their internal processes with too much stress, causing slower development.
Most growers who employ a pruning program prefer to take off the top, or terminal, shoot. The result is that two offshoots directly below the cut begin to grow vigorously and become two main top shoots, creating a pair of top colas instead of just one. If this technique is employed sparingly around the top and sides of the plant, it will create more main shoots and increase not only development, but also yields.
Trellising is perhaps one of the most underrated techniques in all of cannabis horticulture. It can be used in any setting in both indoor and outdoor gardens, and is one of the few practices that is wholly agricultural and not found in nature.
A trellis is a system of latticework or crosses, created with any material such as wood, steel or string, that helps to support a growing plant’s limbs; the trellis can also be used to train the plant to grow in certain ways. When used in conjunction with smart pruning techniques, a trellis system can help to increase yields by as much as 20 or 30 percent.
Trellising should be put into place over a garden while the plants are still very young and in their vegetative phase. Indoor growers often use string or rope netting, as it is extremely flexible and can easily be cut to fit over any size garden. When using string trellising in an indoor garden, it is usually advisable to secure the trellis system about six inches above the garden canopy to allow the plants to begin to grow up and through the trellis naturally. As the plants start to get pruned, new offshoots will grow vigorously and should be carefully trained outwards and up through the net.
In greenhouse and outdoor grow ops, where space is less of a concern and plants can grow much larger, various types of trellising can be created to suit a garden’s needs. In many large-scale grows, the trelliswork is typically deployed in a vertical fashion, as opposed to horizontally in smaller indoor gardens. This is mainly due to the fact that outdoor plants grow more like actual trees and can reach heights of 10 to 14 feet (or even taller). In these situations, many farmers utilize tall wooden or metal structures to help stabilize plants and spread their limbs to encourage outward growth.
In an outdoor setting, growers have a choice of many materials from which to create a trellis system. Perhaps one of the most ingenious employs basic metal-wire rebar used for concrete forms. Rolling this material into a cylinder (approximately three feet in diameter) and placing it around individual plants can work wonders: As the plants grow upwards and bush outwards as the result of smart pruning, the additional limbs are pulled through the squares of the trelliswork.
Aside from the support the branches get, there are other important benefits of trellising. As the limbs are spread apart, there is much better light penetration allowed throughout the entire plant. The spreading of limbs also allows for maximum airflow. The added respiration aids in photosynthesis and also helps prevent moisture buildup that can lead to mold or botrytis. But the primary function of the trellis is to support and stabilize the top and lateral shoots created via pruning. In the end, these extra limbs are what produce the added weight that will boost your yields come harvest time
LST (Low Stress Training) – How to Grow a Short Sativa or Haze
by Nebula Haze
Use LST to Force Any Marijuana Plant to Grow As Short As You Want
LST allows you to train any marijuana plant to grow short and bushy.
This gives you the power to grow a short Sativa, a short Haze, or basically force any strain to grow short. With LST, the idea is to train your plants to grow in the exact shape you want.
To do this, you must actually ‘bend’ or otherwise gently manipulate the plant to control growth so it grows in the desired shape.
The low stress training (LST) techniques described below are considered a “low stress” way to control your marijuana plants. Low stress training includes techniques such as bending, tying down, and supercropping, as well as techniques that involve cutting your plant.
I highly recommend getting a spool of twisty tie (soft, bendable wire) to tie your plants down with. This can be tied to weights, to the pots your plants are in, your hydroponics bucket, or most anything. It’s wire, so it can be easily hooked around branches without having to tie anything and get your hands in the plant.
Why Does LST Work?
Like many plants, the marijuana plant generally has apical dominance.
Apical dominance means it tends to grow with one straight “trunk” with many branches in a triangle shape, much like the conifer tree pictured to the right.
Strains Grown For Marijuana Buds
Now the strains that we grow for cannabinoids have been specially chosen over the years to produce bigger, more potent flowers.
These strains often grow a bit differently than wild hemp, though there are some similarities. By looking at what’s the same, and what’s different, you’ll gain a better understanding of what you need to do to train your plants to grow exactly how you want.
Here’s an example of cannabis plants in the wild:
There are 2 major phenotypes that marijuana plants tend to display. These are often referred to as “Sativa” and “Indica,” though almost any plant you grow is going to be a hybrid which will display a mixture of characteristics.
If you leave these plants to themselves, and don’t control their growth with training techniques like LST, then…
Sativa-dominant strains tend to grow very tall, with thin leaves, while Indica-dominant strains grow shorter with fatter leaves, often in a Christmas tree shape.:
Remember! It is almost impossible to obtain a “pure” indica or sativa strain, most marijuana strains will show a mixture of these traits!
The problem is that both these shapes are not well-suited for indoor growing.
They are made to maximize the light received by the sun, which moves across the sky. These plant shapes do not efficiently use the light produced by grow lights, which are oftenlocated directly above the plants.
Therefore, for indoor grows, there’s lots of benefits to training your marijuana plants to grow short, bushy, and to create a horizontal “table” of buds.
These plants are better able to use your light, like this plant pictured here.
Notice in the top view how there’s a much wider “spread” to catch light?
Training your plants to grow flat and short this way maximizeds your grow lights, resulting in better yields for the dedicated grower.
LST (Low Stress Training)
The marijuana training technique you will learn today is called LST, which is short for low stress training.
The point of LST is to break your plant away from how it naturally tends to grow, and force your plant to grow in a specific shape, like the topiary pictured to the right.
LST can be used to train indica-dominant or sativa-dominant strains to grow into just about any shape you want.
Today I’ll show you how you can use LST to train your marijuana plants into a “Star” shape, to make the best use of your indoor grow lights.
LST gives you the power to grow any strain indoors, including Sativa and Haze-dominant strains, which tend to grow too long and thin to produce good yields indoors, yet are sought-after for their unique energizing high and medicinal effects.
So how exactly do you grow a short Sativa indoors?
Yet today, we’re going to look into the simplest and cheapest way you can gain complete control over how your marijuana plants grow.
The secret is LST.
So what exactly is low stress training?
LST or low stress training means the process of using physical manipulation to train your plant to grow the way you want.
In other words, you’re bending plants to your will, so they grow in the exact shape you need for your grow space.
As you increase the amount of plant surface area which is receiving direct light, you increase your overall plant growth and bud development.
Low stress training is used on many different kinds of plants, from bonsai trees to cannabis.
With LST, you can train your plants in the marijuana vegetative stage to grow as short as you desire. Take a look at the pictures below by likebigbudscannotlie.
Notice how much leaf surface area there is to catch light
Yet this plant has been kept very short
Pictures by likebigbudscannotlie
LST is rarely used alone. It is almost always combined with a cutting technique to produce multiple colas (such as topping or FIMing).
The purpose of cutting techniques is to break the apical dominance of a marijuana plant. When you cut the main “trunk” of a marijuana plant, she starts branching out and making multiple colas.
Because of this, in addition to allowing your plant to make better use of your indoor grow lights, as you can see from the picture above, LST also encourages your plant to grow multiple main colas instead of just one.
Each of these colas will produce buds, giving you plants that look like this as you approach harvest:
How to LST Your Plants
Step 1: Top or FIM your young plant when she’s only got 3-5 nodes.
The purpose of any marijuana cutting technique is to break the apical dominance of a marijuana plant. When you cut the main “trunk” of a marijuana plant, she starts branching out and getting bushier.
Topping or FIMing also makes a marijuana plant more accepting to low stress training after she’s recovered.
Using either of these techniques (FIM or top) will encourage your plants to start growing more wide and bushy.
I prefer to FIM plants since this forms a more symmetric 4 colas instead of only 2, and because this is less stressful to the plant and barely slows down growth.
The truth is, both FIMing and topping are very effective ways to produce more colas, and it’s a matter of personal choice which one will work best for you.
Step 2: Spread out your branches so they lie flat and secure them. Think of creating a “star” shape when looking down from above.
In the beginning, you want to bend branches away from the middle of the plant and tie them down. Here’s the sort of star shape I’m talking about:
Some strains/branches will bend more easily than others. Young growth is almost always easier to bend than old growth.
You can tie down branches with anything, though gardening wire (soft wire tie for the garden, often found at gardening stores) works perfectly since you can easily bend it to any shape you want.
I usually bend the wire to form a hook on each end. I hook one end to a branch, and the other to my pot, or anything else you can think of.
Some growers will drill holes in their containers to make tying plants down even easier.
Another popular option for Low Stress Training is zipties, since they’re strong, cheap, and can be adjusted.
It’s best to hook your ties to something that will always remain level with your plant. You can also hook your ties to fishing weights or even stick them straight into the soil.
The last common LST is using a technique known as ScrOG, which means that you use a screen to force plants to grow horizontally (using a screen made of homemade string fencing, netting, or anything else that can be used to secure plants).
LST can be used to create incredibly short plants in a very short amount of time.
No matter how you secure your plant, the main idea is for it to hold down the branches in the shape that you want, while still allowing you to easily tend to your plants as they gets bigger.
That’s worth repeating, don’t tie down your plants in such a way that you won’t be able to tend them or move them! You’ll regret it later!
Step 3: Supercropping (optional)
Some growers also gently bend flexible branches until they snap slightly or crush the bent part between their fingers to cause slight damage to the bent point. This technique is known as super cropping.
This illustration shows a perfect example of a super crop, one that doesn’t even need tape. Use tape if you go a little overboard.
Manipulating your plant with bending or super cropping causes the entire plant to naturally grow more bushy, while you’re also controlling the parts of the plant that aren’t growing the way you want.
Basically you’re training the plant to grow into the shape you desire, like a marijuana bonsai tree. You train the plant slowly and take care not to hurt you plant. You don’t want to snap any of the branches, and never try to bend stiff branches or they’ll just break off.
By using this method alone, you can grow a plant that conforms to any shape that you want.
If I am growing two strains of marijuana, and one tends to be taller than the other, I’ll bend over the taller one as much as 90 degrees so that it is the same height as the shorter plant.
I also bend the tallest branches down, crush the ‘joint’ between my fingers, and tie the branch down to the pot she’s growing with (or to fishing weights on the floor, or anything else you can use as an anchor).
Most growers want to avoid the Xmas Tree shape because it’s hard to get light coverage and instead encourage a plant to grow with more of a flat plane of buds.
This allows a more even distribution of light and the the whole stem of the bend plant will get equal access to the light. Eventually all the buds on a bent branch will start growing upward toward the light. After initially bending your plant, growth will be slowed for few days as the plant recovers.
In addition, one of the natural reactions to being extremely bent over is the marijuana plant will stop trying to grow upward as much.
As a result, all the lower branches will start getting more bushy.
Bending, supercropping, and other low-stress training are great ways to maximize your marijuana yields whne you have a small amount of vertical room.
Step 4: Repeat Step 2-3 throughout Vegetative stage and continue into first few weeks of Flowering Stage
LST In Vegetative Stage
It is essential that you start any LST as soon as possible. It’s best to start when your plant is very young, though with LST, it’s better late than later, and better later than never.
Continue to LST your plant throughout the vegetative stage. When you’ve transformed your plant into a horizontal table, you’re ready to start flowering
LST In Flowering Stage
Once your plant starts flowering, you will need to continue to use LST for the first few weeks as your plant goes through her final growth spurt.
After the first month of flowering, your work is pretty much done. Your plant is putting all her energy into making flowers/buds, and your plant structure will not change much during the last several weeks of flowering.
This late into flowering, it’s best to only use LST when you have a troublesome branch that is cutting off light to other parts of the plant.
It is NOT recommended that you start LST in flowering. Proper LST must begin when the plant is young, because by the time you get fully into the flowering stage, the majority of the plant structure has already been formed.
If you’ve LST’ed properly in the vegetative stage, your plant should naturally start growing rows of colas along the flat table you produced, and you’ll get plants that look like the incredible trophy pics displayed on this page.
As you spend time training and observing your plants, you’ll begin to get a much better understanding of how this plant grows
Sour Kush SCROG Pics @ 37 days in Flower
HOW DID OGKUSHOG GROW THESE MAGNIFICENT PLANTS?
The Power of SCROG – Using a Screen or Net to LST Your Plants Into A Horizontal Bed of Buds
The time I spend tending my plants really varies on where in the cycle the plants are.
The plants are vegged under low wattage fluorescent light for 3-5 weeks after the rooted clone stage before going under the 1000W light to veg for 21 more days.
These plants looked like this on their first day of 1000W veg, after a month of vegging under fluorescent light and being sculpted into that starting shape.
If you look closely you can see a few strings already being used to LST them so that they fill the canopy.
The first week of veg there is minimal pruning and topping.
The next two weeks of veg are probably the most critical time (but not time-consuming) because that’s what really ends up sculpting the plants into the final shape; any work after that just builds on what was done during this time.
I usually spend 30 minutes to an hour every other night during this time doing mostly topping and pruning but virtually no lollipopping. I do a little bit of supercropping but not nearly as harsh as other people, I just pinch a few of my favorite dominant colas late in veg to the point they get a nice knuckle on them and swell a lot.
This is what these plants looked like right after being put into flower at the end of their 21 days of veg under the 1000W. I topped them so many times I lost count.
Here are those same plants 21 days later, right before they get put into flower
The first two to three weeks of flower are probably the busiest for pruning and lollipopping and also pretty critical as this is when you take the framework you sculpted in veg and really get your final canopy shape dialed in. I’d say during this time I spend 1-2 hours per night just on pruning/lolipopping and rearrangement of colas.
During the fourth week of flower the time spent SCROGING tends to wind down when the colas’ final stretch is nearly done.
At this point if you stayed diligent pruning thus far then there is minimal pruning needed for the remainder of flower except for little tweaks here and there to the shape and removing smaller popcorn nugs beneath the canopy.
How Many Plants: 6 Plants
Expected Yields: Hopefully at least my average of 25 ounces. The best yield I ever had of 31 oz was on a tray of 4 Sour Kush and 2 Sour Diesel, and that was several years ago.
Uses CO2: Yes! I can’t stress CO2 enough. If I didn’t use CO2 my yields would definitely be below 20 oz. You can’t see it in any of the pictures but the CO2 tank tube is fed into a small oscillating fan that is above the plants and bathes the entire canopy in CO2.
View His Last Grow!
Introduction to ScrOG (Screen of Green)
“ScrOG” has become a term used for the “Screen of Green” cannabis
The purpose behind Scrogging is to manually change that by putting all the bud on an even layer by bringing the low stuff up (by getting screen good and low) and bringing the main cola down (by oping it via topping), to the canopy.
The rough pics below illustrate my point.
Group A – Scrog Examples
This diagram shows the structure of a proper Scrog
These plants have all been scrogged
Group B – These are NOT Scrog!
This diagram shows the common structure of cannabis plants under screens which have not been properly scrogged.
The following picture has a beautiful under current, but this is not a Scrog. Skeletal support at best, but again, not an example of a real Scrog.
Now to break down the main cola and get the plant growing horizontally, I suggest trying my 4-way LST and ScrOG setup method…
Scrogging, or screen of green, is a form of LST (low stress training) where the main goal is to maximize the footprint of your light. With standard, Christmas tree style plants, you can only lower the light until it’s close enough to the top cola. ANY bud from there down is getting less light. With a traditional setup, the lower each bud is on the plant, the less light those buds get.
The scrog process is done by dividing, or breaking down the main cola, in conjunction with raising all the lower bud up to the canopy.
We grow the plant horizontally until we are a few weeks into the Flowering stage.
This is a key point as many attempts at Scrogging turn out to be merely a skeletal support structures for standard plants, not real Scrogs.
A Scrog is when you bring those arms up and run them lengthwise under the screen. All those would-be popcorn buds become real buds because they become part of the canopy and receive direct light.
Lower buds are brought up to the screen or the screen is lowered, allowing them to become a part of the canopy.
This is only a few weeks later, with more than a month left in the flowering stage
Now that you’ve learned how Scrogging works, are you ready to start using a screen during your next grow?
I have tried pretty much most of the standard things you can use for screen. Below are the 4 main ones used, listed in my order of preference
1.) STRING – The very best. Laces up quick and easy and you just snip, snip, snip come harvest time. Throw it away and lace up a new one.
2.) Twine/hemp cord – Pretty much the same ease of use as string but you get hairs in the buds from fraying.
3.) Plastic fencing – works well but is kinda sloppy looking.
4.) Chicken wire / fishing line – The 2 worst
Chicken wire is terrible because the buds actually grow into it and you have to “cut” your harvest out. Snipping up chicken wire into a bunch of smaller pieces sucks, you get poked a lot and is an overall nightmare compared to string. Does it work as a screen? Quite well, but chicken wire sucks to remove.
The fishing line is also bad news as it can cut a stem, arm etc, very quickly and easily. Consider it to be “sharp”. I have only used 12 lb test, I imagine something in the 30+ range might work pretty good though. Avoid any “braided” fishing lines especially
This is my version of a screen that is both easy to work and re-usable forever. I simply lined a square of 2×4’s with eye hooks
Making the frame is simple, simply get some lumber and measure it out. Make a square frame with 2×1 or 2×3 and then add eye hooks, every 2.5″ inches
I tie the cable ties loose around the screen. You want to anchor it but not restrict it’s growth in any way
Many build feet for their screens. This somewhat limits you.
I like having screens where the height can be adjusted either by a peg system or some other ingenious way.
I use shower curtain rods for mine and they work well, but you have to get used to not leaning on the screen or disaster can be right around the corner. To me, it’s worth it not to have legs in the way. It allows more room for “under canopy” cleaning and maintenance.
How secure are these shower rods?
You have to get used to not putting pressure on them but they were handy because of all the extra room for cleaning by not having the 4 legs on the screen. I don’t have any problem with the plants lifting up the screen.
I have a set height now, 4″ above the bucket lid, so I just built in stops to rest it on, works great.
The shower rods were great too though,…cheap, effective and adjustable. Like I said though, the key is to get that screen real low and I think at 4″, I’ve maxxed that.
Do you have to build the screen to the exact length of the closet?
Yes, but it’s not THAT exact. It has about 5 inches of play side to side.
This is a quick vid I made to show folks how to maximize a small space, back when I was still learning to scrog (not that you ever stop learning…) It shows how the curtain rods are used
So now that we are all laced up and ready to go, let’s talk about a key element to Scrogging,….Veg time.
Topping is a cannabis plant training technique that splits a main cola into two.
This tutorial is about setting a plant up for a scrog. The topping we are doing here is strictly to spread the plant out horizontally and to do that, you need to split that man stalk into 2. That’s why we are topping here.
By topping, we create more of these arms to spread out across the screen.
That, to me… is the whole point of a Scrog.
If I didn’t top, I’d have 1 cola higher than the rest, thusly, limiting my light height.
By topping, that main cola gets pided down the buds are all level on the screen, allowing you to get that light right down on them for nice, even coverage. The expanse of the footprint will limit your height before heat does. (I have a/c lights)
The above plant was topped once. This gave me 2 arms to run under the screen, split like a V at the base where I topped the plant.
I normally build a plant using my 4-way LST tutorial. I grew this one out specifically to illustrate how to run a branch horizontally under the screen. It will have 2 main colas, large, not XL as it was pided once already.
One more topping (4-way) and that pretty much pides the main into 4 med to med/lrg buds. Perfect.
As I said, this one was grown specifically so you could see how to grow an arm horizontally. This plant, if you wanted to name it, got “2-way” LST, which basically means it was only topped once. I run 4 plants under a 4×4 screen and top twice (in hydro) (4 times when I ran soil).
Top any more and you’ll get MORE… SMALLER buds.
This style of LST (low stress training) is to increase canopy square footage, not so much to make a plant fuller or bushier although that is definitely another side benefit. This style of LST is very good for ScrOG grows.
This method is not possible without topping and is not for auto-flowering strains or clones. Topping and 4-way LST go hand in hand and it really does help if you have a plant of good genetics, but it works on any and all plants.
Put simply, what we are doing is taking a plant that wants to grow straight up as 1 main arm and splitting it so it becomes 4 main arms and then we train them to grow horizontally, symmetrically, in preparation to go under the screen. This ensures a proper scrog where you maximize the footprint of your light to cover a perfect blanket of bud.
First thing you do is plant a seed.
After your seed has sprouted, you will have a young marijuana seedling.
Let your seedling continue to grow until the first set of full leaves have formed (5-leaf in this case).
When the 5th leaf set starts to come up between the 4th set be prepared to begin topping, Let them (5th set) get about 1/4-1/2 inch and then squeeze the base and pluck them, both at once and this is what will be left with.
Soon, you’ll see the new growth.
The 2 new main branches will grow and thicken.
Now let it grow out a bit. During this time, I like to keep a fan right on the plant, lots of movement, building that main stem nice and thick and you’ll soon have a top view like this.
Now, normally, this plant would consist of 1 main with 2 secondaries coming out the sides. By topping it, we create 2 mains and by LST’ing those down, we allow those secondaries to come up and be full blown colas. So the 2 mains you creat from topping, plus the 2 secondaries gives you a “4-way” plant. You can clearly see above, how this plant is now “symmetrical”
For the next step, you’ll need 4 “U” shaped spikes. I used clothes hanger wire like the one below (or anything that will hold down the 4 arms like you see in the pics, remember, get creative, be resourceful, making your grow your own isn’t a bad thing)
Gently fold down one of the 4 mains and spike it in place. When you do the other 3, make sure there is equal pressure on all 4 so the main stem isn’t getting pulled in any 1 direction.
You want that center stalk to be straight up and down. The arrows below show where the clothes hangar spikes are.
In a day or so, she’ll look like this
Now it’s time to do some topping again. All those nice new sprouts coming out of the middle of each arm……pull ’em! Everything DOUBLES again!! (below)
I personally stop here. I am leaving the rest of this tutorial up so people can see what you get if you keep topping.
One thing we need to understand is that when you “top”, you are dividing that main cola into 2 cola’s. They will not be of the same size the original one would have been but that’s ok, the 2 will weigh more than the 1 because of the increased leaf surface area getting direct access to the light. (explained better in the scrog tutorial below)
Based on size of ScrOG, stop topping and give plants a week before switching to 12/12
But for scrogging purposes and the size of my screens, this is the point where we stop topping and give them a good week before switching to 12/12. From there, we continue on with the Scrog tutorial.
Additional topping CAN be of benefit to the few out there who are EXTREMELY limited height wise, but be warned, each time you top, you divide again so each time, you decrease the size of the buds.
Now let’s explore how the plant develops if you continue to top past the previous picture
First, you let it grow for a bit. Keep topping now about every 3rd set on the new stuff.
Let her start to grow vertically a bit. When she has a little height, LST again!!
I should have used the 6 or 9 gallon feed bucket for this plant. It’s shallower but wide. With this plant, I used the rim and the soil to anchor her down for the 2nd round of LST.
Here are some shots showing her vertical growth and a few close-ups to show how I used the rim and soil to spike her.
This time around, there should be 12-16 branches to fold down (remember, you’ve been dividing / “piding” and piding and piding )
And here is what she’ll look like when she’s all bent down
And here she is a a few hours later, already recovered.
Now below is an illustration of how the growth changes exponentially with each topping and lst treatment. The 2 combined build a plant that is low in height and full.
Before the 2nd LST, 18-19 bud sites
and AFTER the 2nd LST, the plant has 29-31 bud sites
Question: I broke a branch, what do I do?
I broke a stem doing this today =/ but that’s ok. What’s the best way to repair this? So far I just gave it support and now I think I’m going to try Zip tying it.
Answer: I like to use duct tape to mend broken stems. Either that or just make it a cutting (clone) and move along! Good luck!
Question: What would happen if I FIM’ed rather than topped at the beginning stages of growth (In terms of bud production)?
Answer: Not much difference. You would get 2 more tops but I wouldn’t do it on purpose. If you top the plant, as described in this tutorial, the middle of the plant will fill the extra space with all those minor arms coming up.
Question: Is it too late to top?
My plants have been veging for 4 weeks already… Is TOPPING still necessary? All my plants are far past the 5th leaf they are more like on the 10th leaf. Is it to late for me to top my plants? Can I do the scrog without topping or should I just not do scrog with this grow?
Answer: It’s not necessary but highly recommended to top. You can top any time during veg but to follow this particular technique, you need to do it as early as possible. You CAN still scrog but you’d probably be better off just growing it out and trying with the next one.
Question: How long should you spend in the vegetative stage when growing under a Scrog screen?
Answer: Veg time varies greatly mainly with method, and how well your plants respond to the topping/training process in your setup.
With Hydro, it’s much shorter. I used to veg 6-8 weeks in soil and now in hydro, that’s cut in half.
Here’s a general rule to follow: the screen should be no higher than 8” above the medium or plant base. You then fill your screen during the stretch by tucking (that’s coming) all those arms into the empty voids.
Important: In Scrog, the screen should not be more than 8″ above the base of the plant. Instead of letting plants grow tall, you must use tucking to “fill in” your screen during the flowering stretch.
The truth is, the length of time spent in the vegetative stage is something you just have to play with to really learn. You need to gain the experience of actually running a screen that could have taken more plant to fill (needed more veg time) and also running one that is too crowded.
Once you get these experiences under your belt, you’ll really have a feel for veg time. You must tailor the veg time according to how many plants you’re growing and how big the screen is. Sorry I can’t help more on this category, but this is the one you have to do to learn.
This is where the first part of the tutorial ends. Get them under the screens and check out my Scrogging Method tutorial below. This is a cumulative step-by-step Scrog tutorial with advice from a few of the guru’s. Now that it’s been compiled, you can see the golden standard for those looking to scrog properly.
Believe it or not but the majority of the screens out there now are not scrogs, they are skeletal systems for standard plants. What we do is highly different and very specific with an amazing result. With Scrog, it really matters what you do in the flowering stage!
We grow the plant horizontally until we are a few weeks into the Flowering stage. This is important!
Until A Few Weeks Into the Flowering Stage, Use Tucking to Keep Plants Growing Horizontally Under the Screen
This is a key point as many attempts at Scrogging turn out to be merely a skeletal support structures for standard plants, not real Scrogs.
Tucking is easy but takes care. ALWAYS TUCK SLOWLY AND CAUTIOUSLY
This is what I mean by tucking:
While those arms are stretching, you allow each one to grow up and through a square in the screen. I like to get them about 2”-3” above the screen and then I GENTLY, pull it below the screen and move it to the next square away.
You continue to do this all throughout the stretch, …continuing until about 2-3 weeks into the Flowering Stage.
Remember, you are controlling where that arm is going by moving it 1 square at a time. You can change your mind tomorrow if you see the need for it.
The screen takes constant manipulating until the last stretch is over but once it’s done, so are your Scrogging duties.
To obtain maximum control don’t be afraid to work add more bondage if needed. Zip ties are awesome and can be easily cut out with the fiskars pruners later.
This is the final result, what you are looking for. You want a 6-8″ bud above the screen when the stretch is done.
At this point, your Scrogging duties are over! You just let your beauties finish flowering.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Do you find that certain strains work better with this method?
Like maybe Sativas due to their tendency to stretch?
Answer: It can be done with either, but the stretchers just make for a little more work.
I also like to control just what stretches and how much. By trimming very specific fans about a week before the flip, depending on how they look. When you trim both fans at a node, tyou drastically limit it’s ability to stretch so if I’m running something with high sativa tendencies, there will be more lst, supercropping and defoliation in preparation for the screen
Another tip,…If you have some “not so planned for” stretching and it wants to now go towards an area of the screen that is already too full, you can redirect it by zip tying it to the actual screen itself in a few spots and send it in another direction
Question: It seems like a lot of people use Scrog with their hydro setup. What do I need to know about Scrogging in soil?
Answer: A key element to scrogging in soil is that you do need access to the dish under every pot for testing runoff, etc
That’s one of the many reason I switched to hydro. Watering them isn’t hard at all but testing the runoff in the back 2 plants was a pain in the ass (running 4 in a square, in a closet, so access to front of screen only)
I’m sure there is a decent way to do it though, just a matter of getting creative. Right away, I’m thinking if all the plants were elevated a bit on a table, maybe 10″ off the floor, you could somehow fabricate a runoff drain for each pot or something like that…..
Question: What’s the best way to tie plants down in a hydroponic setup?
I noticed this grow is in soil but I saw you mention that you have switched over to hydro. I grow in bubbleponics and wonder if you have any tips for holding the plant down (spikes wont work so I was thinking string and tape). Also do you have any other hydro specific tips (in addition) on how to shorten veg times.
Answer: Let me explain….
I’ve done hydro for a few years as well and found a few things that work.
The beauty of any LST type training is you can get creative as all hell. In hydro tho, I always would put the plant under when it was about 5″ above the screen (height wise).
To get the plant in there I would lift the screen and drop it in the bucket and then have someone else inch the screen down as I would tuck. If you have multiple plants, do them all at once.
At 5″ above the screen, I had the perfect amount to fill a 3.5 x 3.5 screen after the stretch.
Many hydro set ups are different… problem solve that shit. I was running 4 smaller plants per screen so my options were limited. Single bucket set ups with independent screens… you have many options
Grow ‘Em Up!!
Question: What size pot do you like to flower in? I know I like a large pot with a nice diameter for a wide canopy spread.
Answer: Let me explain how I do it, and I’ll also share how other growers do it.
First, remember, I do it a little differently than many scroggers, I like to get the screen as very low as possible and grow out all that understuff whereas most scroggers go a bit more vertical, trim the undebrush and max out just the tops.
With my method in mind, when I was in soil, I used 7 gallon deck pots (the plastic square pots for your deck at lowes that you put a potted plant inside so you can take it out and bring inside if needed) and then went even lower when I found some 7 gallon horse feed buckets that were much shallower and wider, like an oil change catch pan, kind of, little higher on the sides.
In hydro, currently, I’m very limited with height, we came up with this method by tossing around ideas to squash the plant down and out reducing height and not yield. The resulting yields were just a big benefit.
Running 3 flowering screens, 4 plants per screen,avg 3-5.5 per plant, we have more than enough meds to keep myself and (Currently) 4 patients supplied.
So in hydro I am currently using 3.5 buckets w/ 1/2″ plumbing in a closet with slanted roofs (3rd floor) but if I had room and were looking to really max out my numbers or space, I’d be in 5gals at least, if not 18g rubbermaids and 1″ plumbing. I’ll go as big as my space allows, if I were outdoor, I’d be in 350g smart pots.
More roots – more buds.
Question: Do you run perpetual harvests with this method?
I do perpetual harvests, and I’m not sure if that would work with this method… You’re definitely right that more root = more bud! I’m diggin on the 7 gallon for the greater training possibilities. I totally agree it all depends on space though, everything is built around the space.
But since I do perpetual, I don’t screen anything. I just super crop and LST each plant individually. The last 7 gallon I did I got about 4 quality zips which is just fine by me. If I can dial it in and duplicate those results every time I will be happy
Answer: I run perpetual also, allowed 12/12 so I run 3 screens, 4 plants each, each offset by 4 weeks.
2 of the screens get a 400 each and the third screen is longer and gets a 600 on a mover. 4 per plant is the perfect balance right there and damn skippy if ya ask me.
Sometimes you’ll get a strain that pumps it out, sometimes you’ll run one that spits golf balls, either way, you learn from each and every run. The 600 w/ a mover is the cat’s meow though.
I’m on run 3 with it and the gram/watt has gone up with each run, can’t wait to see where it tops out. Looking at hopefully 22-24 ounces for those 4 plants this run, that’ll be a personal best for me indoors.
Question: Can this technique be used for clones? Or just seeds?
I understand that the method you detailed here is specifically for seeds.
What would be the best way to get clones ready for a Scrog grow?
I saw your reply to another post that said clones have a different plant structure, so would it need less topping maybe or somethin completely different?
I’d totally be down for seeds but clones are a lot easier and cheaper for me to get. I’ve seen other Scrog grows with clones, but I like your style and want to know your input on it.
Also, how do I know where to top a clone (since the nodes aren’t symmetrical)?
Answer: This 4-way LST method is for “from seed” only. No clones or autos.
This exact method is only possible from seed like you read and if I were to give any advice about scrogging ANY other way, I would redirect you to the scrog thread by woodsmantoker in the advanced section of Rollitup.
Lots of different methods are discussed but the standard scrogging style is the main body of the discussion and some of those guys have it down quite well.
I do grow clones once in awhile but don’t have a rhyme or reason to how, I just get the plant to a size I want and then just get it under the screen and start pulling arms through the holes.
Nothing fancy or specific but again, some guys have their ways, and their results are, quite frankly, better than mine when I attempt to grow their style.
4-way LST (as explained on this page) is the way for me with screens but if you don’t have beans and clones are available, don’t hesitate to get your hands wet there first. You’ll want to try both ways eventually anyway.
Note from grower Shwagbag:
Clones are a feel, you have to play around and go with the flow. Once you do it enough it will be a cinch!
There is basically no exact method to using clones for me. It’s mostly going with a feel and giving them a “haircut” from time to time.
Hope you don’t mind if I share a couple pics since you get this question a lot. .
This clone was supercropped constantly, topped several times and given a few “haircuts” to keep growth even and consistent.
She’s a Bubble gum clone (topped, super cropped, LST with a paper clip and a little haircut to promote more consistent growth).
How I start my clones
She will stay in this 6″ pot for a bit longer.
End of Veg Pics
10 Days into Flower
Comment by LBH: That plant came out perfect for a Scrog screen! I didn’t mean you can’t scrog with clones, just that you can’t do the 4-way LST method exactly as I’ve described in this tutorial.
If any one else out there is going to use clones in a screen, take the time to veg them up like this right here and you’ll be happy with your results.
For me, the time involved in veg, being a perpetual, a clone only gets to be one nice arm by the time I need to move it to the screen where’s from seed. With the 4 way LST, I can move them to flower a little quicker with similar to same results