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The Best Supporting Method

The Best Supporting Method 0

Reprinted from Big Buds Magazine

And The Best Supporting Method Goes To…
Screen of Green, For Its Starring Role In Marijuana Gardens Everywhere!

P SCROG Primary

by 

In our first article in this series, we outlined the screen of green technique and its pros and cons.

To recap, screen of green, or SCROG, was created by growers working with limited ground space and/or vertical height in their garden area. It’s useful for small spaces, and in situations when a grower can only grow a few plants.

SCROG growers train their plants’ branches to grow into and along a horizontal support screen that’s suspended above the plants.

Training the plants, known as low stress training, or LST, creates plants with multiple main branches that yield more bud weight. This form of marijuana growing is especially useful for maximizing yield per harvest.

The key component of a SCROG garden is the screen itself, which consists of a flat support structure to allow for horizontal mounting of screen material such as netting or string.

Two main types of screening apparatus have been popularized for SCROG cannabis cultivation. One type is fixed in place and mounted over a cannabis gardening system that might be a grow table, ebb and flow table, or deep water culture bucket system.

Multiple plants grow under the screen; their branches are woven or otherwise fastened to the horizontal screen.

Meet Scrogger, Innovators From The Lone Star State

Instead of that approach, we recommend the second style of SCROG cultivating, which involves having an individual plant in its own grow container served by its own apparatus.

This kind of growing is facilitated by the P SCROG system made by Scrogger, a company headquartered near Austin, Texas.

Scrogger specializes in SCROG gardening and has created state-of-the-art, multilayered, adjustable screen kits to fit almost any SCROG garden size or style.

P SCROG by Scrogger features a height-adjustable apparatus, several screen options, and a base that can support up to 250 pounds of weight. Said base is mounted on casters so the entire system and the plant within it can be rotated in a complete circle, and can be easily moved to another part of the grow operation.

This mobility and ease of access erases the disadvantages of SCROG gardens that have several plants growing under and sharing a large fixed screen, including difficulty with watering, trimming, even accessing the lowest parts of the plants in the middle of the arrangement.

Margo Mermelstein co-founded Scrogger in 2015 along with her husband Gary. The family-run business owns the patent for its revolutionary gadget that now sells nationally, as well as in Australia and Canada.

Margo explains, “Our unique selling point is the screens. They are, if you will, our secret sauce, because they are clear, flexible, reusable — and that’s what people like. Whether growers are using our portable units or the 2×4 or 4×4 [units], which are not portable, we’re finding the commonality that runs through all of it is our unique screen.”

Scrogger screens are made from polycarbonate, with an impressive flex strength of 13,500 PSI. You can almost bend this material in half and it won’t break.

They’re built to resist degradation factors common in indoor marijuana gardens such as water, nutrients, ultraviolet light and heat. They’re nonporous, washable and food-grade, meaning the polycarbonate doesn’t contain any dyes or recycled plastic that’s harmful to humans. In addition, the food-grade designation means no other harmful chemicals were used in either the resin or in production of the plastic container.

This is in contrast to materials commonly used as screens, supports and trellising in SCROG gardens. Growers often resort to DIY methods for constructing SCROG apparatus. Some SCROG growers use metal wire, string, cheap plastics, wood, PVC pipe and conduit for their plant supports. These materials cause a variety of problems including off-gassing, unstable supports, sagging, disease vectors, and transfer of harmful toxins into the plants.

Scrogger systems eliminate those issues. They’re elegantly engineered plug-and-play tools created specifically for serious growers, and can be customized to fit your budget and your needs.

Such patented systems allow maximum versatility as growers train their plants, because the gadgets can be precisely height adjusted as plants grow, and the systems also allow for stacking secondary screens above the primary training screen that sits closest to the root zone.

Check out the below YouTube video to see how to assemble a Scrogger system.

“[The screen is] great for people who have smaller number of plants, 12 or less, so they can turn them around, trim them — do all kinds of things, including adjust the screen’s height as the plant grows,” Margo continues.

“People who get up into 50 plants or more are looking to use our screens by themselves in higher configuration. It really depends on the individual and what they’re doing for their grow.

“Plus it’s great for people who are handicapped, because it gives them more flexibility.”

When you have a SCROG unit encasing each plant individually, the grower is afforded full access and is likely to enjoy superior gardening outcomes.

We recommend Scrogger because the engineering and materials are top-rank, and because the company’s customer service is excellent, as is it unusually comprehensive product warranties.

Especially for marijuana growers who haven’t cultivated crops with SCROG before, the Scrogger systems are much easier to assemble and use than other pre-fabricated or DIY plant support systems. These systems give you the ability to more easily and quickly maximize the benefits of this style of marijuana growing.

In our next articles about SCROG, we’ll take a deep dive into LST, as well as customized grow lighting, root zone and feeding techniques.

Changing nutrients under a DWC ScrOG

Changing nutrients under a DWC ScrOG 1

ScrOGging with Deep Water Culture (DWC) presents unique challenges compared to other methods of growing under a ScrOG. The biggest issue DWC growers struggle with is topping off and changing out nutrients (nutes). However, DWC growers can enjoy all the benefits of ScrOG without ever removing the net pot, disturbing the plant, ScrOG or root zone with this simple method. 

2 x 5 gal DWC individual ScrOG
2 x 5 gal individual portable DWC ScrOG using P SCROG Primary Kits

2 x 5 gal DWC framed and fixed 2x4 ScrOG
2 x 5 gal DWC under framed and fixed P SCROG 2x4 Kit

Like anything else, there may be many solutions to this issue. One solution you may find quite useful involves exchanging nutes with a pump and topping off between changes with a watering can.

Nutes can be changed using a common small utility pump found at most hardware stores.

UTILITY PUMP 

AmazonHome Depot, Lowes

It is best to prepare your buckets at the beginning of the grow. Drill a hole in your net pots big enough to receive the end of a garden hose and buy rubber stoppers to plug holes when not in use.

Netpots with rubber stoppers

Amazon, Home Depot, Lowes

The pump utilizes common garden hoses to transfer liquids. In the case of DWC, the nutes are sucked into the pump and pushed out the other end. The flow is unidirectional so the gardener uses the pump's input to suck old nutes out. Then the pump's output hose is used to push old nutes into an empty "old nutes" bucket. Old nutes can be used on outdoor plants, don't throw them away!

The pump's hoses are reversed to add new nutrients to your grow's DWC buckets. Then the pump's input hose is used to push fresh nutes into your grow's buckets.

Pumping nutes

IMPORTANT!

DWC reservoirs of healthy cannabis plants are full of robust and abundant root systems that will burn out your pump if sucked into the intake side. This is easily addressed with "hose filters" found at hardware stores. Some pumps come with filters.

The filter should be placed in the end of the hose that goes into the reservoir, not the end that screws onto the pump. This placement makes it easier to clear any accumulated debris during pumping.

 Hose filters

Hose Filters
Amazon. Home Depot, Lowes

Root debris will accumulate in filters during the process and should be kept clean to avoid blockage and burning out the pump.

In between exchanges, nutes can easily be topped off using a common watering can through the same holes.

Watering can

 

Note

Reservoirs and root zones can be kept clean through use of H2O2 after each nute exchange and/or through the use of Hydroguard.

 

If you have another solution you would like to share, please reply to this ScrOG blOG.

"Grow Your Own" state cannabis laws 1

Home Grow
pictures from "Weeds"

State by State Home Cannabis Cultivation Laws

While cultivating cannabis and hemp remains unlawful on a federal level, many states and the District of Columbia have adopted state laws to govern home growing. Below is a list as of the date of this writing, borrowed from Leafly

 

Alaska
Grow Limits: An adult over the age of 21 may possess, grow, process, or transport no more than six (6) plants total, with no more than three (3) plants that are mature.


Arizona
Grow Limits: A medical marijuana patient or the qualifying patient’s designated caregiver may cultivate up to twelve (12) plants if they live more than 25 miles from the nearest medical marijuana dispensary.

California
Grow Limits: Adults over the age of 21 may cultivate up to six (6) plants per residency. Medical marijuana patients and their primary caregivers may cultivate up to six (6) mature cannabis plants, or up to twelve (12) immature cannabis plants. With the recommendation of a physician, medical marijuana patients may be permitted to grow a greater amount per the patient’s needs.

Colorado
Grow Limits: Any adult resident of Colorado may grow up to six (6) plants per person, with no more than three (3) plants in the mature/flowering stage at any time. Non-Colorado residents may not cultivate cannabis. No more than twelve (12) total plants are allowed per residence regardless of the number of adults living there. Cannabis plants must be kept in an enclosed, locked area out of view. Homegrown cannabis may not be sold to others.

District of Columbia
Grow Limits: It is legal for a person who is at least 21 years old to cultivate within their residence up to six (6) marijuana plants, no more than three (3) of which are mature.

Hawaii
Grow Limits: A registered medical marijuana program participant that indicates their intent to grow on their application may grow an “adequate supply,” or no more than seven (7) plants total and no more than 4 oz. of usable marijuana jointly between a registered patient and caregiver. qualifying patient may designate a caregiver on their application to grow no more than seven (7) plants total on their behalf. A caregiver may only grow for one patient at a time. Whosoever is designated to grow medical marijuana should tag each plant at the base with their 329 card number and expiration date. Act 241 eliminates the ability of a caregiver to grow medical marijuana on behalf of a qualifying patient after December 31, 2018 (unless the patient is a minor or adult lacking legal capacity or resides on an island without a dispensary).

Maine
Grow Limits: A maximum of six (6) mature plants per Maine resident may be cultivated for personal use. Anyone who elects to cultivate marijuana plants must keep the plants in an enclosed, locked facility unless the plants are being transported. Minors, incapacitated adults, homeless qualifying patients, and registered patients in hospice or nursing facilities may not cultivate his or her own marijuana. Only designated primary caregivers or designated dispensaries may cultivate on behalf of a qualifying patient in this case.

Massachusetts
Grow Limits: Adults over the age of 21 may cultivate up to six (6) mature plants per person for personal use, and plants must not be visible to the general public. A qualifying medical marijuana patient with a hardship cultivation registration may cultivate a limited number of plants sufficient to maintain a 60-day supply solely for that patient’s use. He or she may apply for a hardship cultivation registration if the patient can demonstrate that his or her access to a registered medical dispensary (RMD) is limited by:
  • Verified financial hardship
  • Physical incapacity to access reasonable transportation (an inability to use public transportation or drive oneself), lack of personal caregiver with reliable transportation, or lack of RMD that will deliver to the patient’s or personal caregiver’s primary address
  • Lack of a RMD within a reasonable distance of the patient’s residence and lack of a RMD that will deliver marijuana to the patient’s or personal caregiver’s primary address
To obtain a hardship cultivation, a registered qualifying patient shall submit:
  • A nonrefundable registration fee (unless waived due to financial hardship)
  • Information supporting a claim that access is limited to one or more of the above circumstances
  • An explanation including lack of feasible alternatives to mitigate limitations claimed
  • A description and address of the single location that shall be used for the cultivation of marijuana, which shall either be the registered qualifying patient’s or personal caregiver’s primary residence
  • A written explanation of how the qualifying patient will cultivate marijuana
  • A description of the device or system that will be used to ensure security and prevent diversion of the marijuana plants being cultivated
  • Written acknowledgement of the limitations on his or her authorization to cultivate, possess, and use marijuana for medical purposes
The Department shall review and approve or deny an application for a hardship cultivation license within 30 calendar days of receipt of a completed application.

Michigan
Grow Limits: A primary caregiver who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty if the primary caregiver possesses an amount of marijuana that does not exceed 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana, or twelve (12) plants kept in an enclosed, locked facility for each registered qualifying patient that has specified that the primary caregiver be allowed under state law to cultivate marijuana for the qualifying patient.
 
Montana
Grow Limits:
 A registered cardholder may possess up to four (4) mature plants, twelve (12) seedlings, and one (1) ounce of usable marijuana. A provider or marijuana-infused product provider may possess four (4) mature plants, twelve (12) seedlings, and one (1) ounce of usable marijuana for each registered cardholder who has named the person as the registered cardholder’s provider.

Nevada
Possession/Use and Grow Limits: The holder of a valid registry identification card is prohibited from cultivating, growing, or producing marijuana if a dispensary opens in their county of residence. If the holder of a valid registry identification card resides in a county with no dispensaries, the holder of the card is exempt from state prosecution for:
  • Possessing, delivering, or producing no more than 2 ½ ounces of usable marijuana
  • Twelve (12) marijuana plants, irrespective of whether the plants are mature or immature


New Mexico

Grow Limits: Qualified patients may apply for a license to grow their own supply of medical cannabis. The license must be posted or kept near the growing area. A Personal Production License (PPL) allows patients to grow up to four (4) mature plants and twelve (12) seedlings at any given time.


North Dakota

Grow Limits: If a qualified patients resides 40 miles or more away from an operating dispensary, the patient is permitted to cultivate up to eight (8) plants.

Oregon
Grow Limits: Recreational marijuana consumers 21 years of age and older may possess up to four (4) plants per residence. A registered Oregon medical marijuana patient may possess up to six (6) mature plants, which must be grown at a registered grow site address. Caregivers, or OMMP growers, cannot be growing for more than four (4) patients at a time, and cannot grow more than six (6) mature plants per patient.

Rhode Island
Possession/Use and Grow Limits: A patient cardholder who has in his or her possession a registry identification card shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty for the medical use of marijuana, provided that the patient cardholder possesses an amount of marijuana that does not exceed twelve (12) mature marijuana plants and two and one-half (2.5) ounces of usable marijuana. Said plants shall be stored in an indoor facility.
A primary caregiver cardholder, who has in his or her possession, a registry identification card, shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty for assisting a patient cardholder, to whom he or she is connected through the department’s registration process, with the medical use of marijuana; provided that the primary caregiver cardholder possesses an amount of marijuana that does not exceed twelve (12) mature marijuana plants and two and one-half (2.5) ounces of usable marijuana for each patient cardholder to whom he or she is connected through the department’s registration process.
A cardholder shall be allowed to possess a reasonable amount of unusable marijuana, including up to twelve (12) seedlings, that shall not be counted towards the limits of this section.

Vermont
Grow Limits: A registered patient may comply with possession limits and cultivate no more than two (2) mature marijuana plants and seven (7) immature marijuana plants (if the registered patient elects to cultivate marijuana). A designated registered caregiver for the purpose of assisting a registered patient may cultivate up to two (2) mature marijuana plants and seven (7) immature marijuana plants for the registered patient who has named the person to serve as caregiver. The collective possession amounts between the registered caregiver and the registered patient must meet the total possession limit.

Washington
Grow Limits: The qualifying patient may also grow, in his or her domicile, up to six (6) plants for the personal medical use of the qualifying patient and possess up to eight (8) ounces of usable marijuana produced from his or her plants.
If the health care professional determines that the medical needs of the patient exceed those amounts, the health care professional must specify on the authorization that it is recommended that the patient be allowed to grow, in his or her domicile, up to fifteen (15) plants for the personal medical use of the patient, and may possess up to sixteen (16) ounces of usable marijuana in his or her domicile.
*Adults without a medical marijuana authorization are not permitted to cultivate cannabis for personal use.
Pictures from "Weeds", a Showtime production
He thought of ScrOG in jail

He thought of ScrOG in jail 3

On October 26, 1989, the DEA in conjunction with dozens of other law enforcement agencies raided hydroponics stores in 46 states, arresting 119 people, seizing several indoor gardening shops and thousands of cannabis plants. The largest single seizure belonged to Wolf Segal (Farmer in the Sky), 12,000 + plants growing as "Sea of Green" (SOG). Operation Green Merchant became known by the early cannabis pioneers as "Black Thursday" as many people swept up were hauled off to serve time in jail.

The Sea of Green method and cloning cannabis plants were techniques learned and brought to the US from Holland in the 80s. SOG is used to create "perpetual harvests". The method involves high plant counts per cu ft/m and short grow cycles. Clones are introduced to 12/12 flowering with little to no veg cycle. Many growers cannot use SOG due to local plant count limitations. 

It was the high plant count associated with SOG that got Wolf "top grow bust" recognition. And while serving time in jail, he came up with the concept of Screen of Green (ScrOG). The concept was to grow short bushy plants with longer veg cycles that were 2x3 times more productive than traditional growing methods. This method would allow Segal to have big yields with lower plant counts.

Wolf explains the concept in this video shot at IndoExpo, Denver 2017.

 

MAXIMIZE YIELD
P SCROG support 7 days a week - 512-528-6028
or
SupportOurPlants@SCROGGER.com

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SCROGGER Staff

Margo and Gary Mermelstein hadn’t planned to get into the hydroponics industry, but they also didn’t hesitate to jump right in when their opportunity arose.

It all started when Gary offered to help solve the issues a friend was having with a DIY screen of green (ScrOG) set-up. Not only was this friend having trouble reaching all of his plants to do the low-stress training necessary for ScrOG, but his friend had “virtually destroyed” the whole set-up trying to solve a problem with one plant.

So, Gary scrapped the bamboo and trellis netting his friend was using and designed an accessible and versatile alternative out of clear polycarbonate. It didn’t take him long after that to recognize that this new design had the potential to fill a niche in the hydroponics market.

“Many want to ScrOG in a more-convenient, less-time-consuming and more effective way,” Gary says. “All of our products provide tremendous convenience to the grower who desires to use plant training techniques.”

Gary’s design, which is now sold as the P SCROG Primary and the P SCROG Pro, consists of one or two growing screens attached to a base by four supporting rods. The system’s base can accommodate 250 pounds and is wide enough for any container measuring between 10 and 22 inches. The whole thing sits on casters, which is a major selling feature. “Customers are enthusiastic about the benefit of being able to rotate the plant on the casters to trim, spray and care for their plants,” Gary says. “Some of our customers are disbled and can’t reach or lift as well as they used to, so being able to turn the plant is a huge advantage.”

Cannabis P ScrOGs

The screens on both P SCROG set-ups are also easily adjusted. Growers can raise or lower each by 12 inches, helping to force horizontal growth and to provide support for swelling buds. As mentioned above, the screens are made from polycarbonate—a tough, flexible material used in bullet-proof glass. “The flexural strength of this plastic is 13,500 PSI,” Margo says. “You should see the look on people’s faces when we flex the screen, they wince, expecting a snap; then they say ‘Wow!’”

 

You Tell Us: SCROGGER

 

In addition to the screens being strong, they are reusable, have a UV inhibitor, are non-porous and are food-grade. They provide a clean, almost clinical look in the growroom and are washable. They can also withstand temperatures far greater than you’d ever experience in the growroom. When they finally do wear out, the screens are 100 per cent recyclable.

To be sure they were bringing a viable product to the masses, the Mermelsteins knew they had to research the market. They had prototypes made in September 2014 and toured hydroponics shops in Phoenix and Denver to gather input from potential customers. As they hoped, the response was incredibly positive. At that point, they were ready to go for it. After incorporating the company in June 2015, they produced CAD drawings, filed a patent for their design and invested in the tooling needed to make plastic injection molded parts. It took nine months of engineering, but it was worth the effort when the first SCROGGER products were sold in January 2016.

“Since we launched the P SCROG, the most common comments we hear were things like, ‘Brilliant,’ or ‘I see how it works, no need to explain,’ or ‘I could really use something like that that,’” shares Gary. Similarly, Margo says they have not had a single customer complaint about the quality or assembly of their products. “Our main components to the P SCROG—the screens, base and junction caps—are molded right here in the USA,” she says. “The system is very well constructed with high-quality materials.”

 

You Tell Us: SCROGGER

Recently, the company expanded their lineup to include the P SCROG 4×4. This set-up is designed for growers with large, multiple plants using 4×4 or 4×8 trays and tables. These frames can be daisy chained together for large commercial applications.

In addition to their solid product line, great customer service has been one of the company’s strengths, with seven days a week support just a phone call or email away. “We are always happy to talk to shop owners and growers about the P SCROG,” says Gary.

Today, SCROGGER sells both on the web and in about a dozen hydroponic stores across the US, but they expect that number to grow rapidly. The company also works with a distributor in Canada and has its products in Australia. “We are adding more hydroponic stores every month,” says Margo.

While the Mermelsteins believe the hydroponic market is very different from their prior business experience, they feel the opportunities the industry presents are excellent, and they believe SCROGGER will play an important role in providing convenience and simplicity to growers everywhere.

*Original article published in Maximum Yield

MAXIMIZE YIELD
P SCROG support 7 days a week - 512-528-6028
or
SupportOurPlants@SCROGGER.com