As autoflowers have a short growth cycle compared to other varieties, techniques such as ScrOG can be hard to pull off properly. Some cultivators think that the effort isn't even worth it. However, with care and patience, it is certainly possible. Our Autoflower ScrOG guide will be able to help you answer any questions you might have concerning this growing technique.
Setting up your Autoflower ScrOG grow
While there are some different factors when using autoflower strains, setting up an Autoflower ScrOG grow requires many of the same steps as when Scrogging photoperiod feminized seeds. If you need a step-by-step guide to learn how to apply this technique, you can always consult our ScrOG Grow Guide.
Can you ScrOG autoflowers?
Many feel that autoflower seeds are not suited for ScrOG. Plants grown in a Screen of Green need several weeks in the vegetative stage to be able to develop sufficient branches to fill the grow space. This is difficult as many autoflower plants have a limited grow time of about three weeks. So while you can ScrOG autoflowers, you need to keep in mind that there is little margin for error, and you will need to begin training during the brief vegetative phase.
Is it worth applying ScrOG to autoflowers?
It can definitely be worth applying ScrOG to autoflowers. Scrogging allows an even distribution of light to all your plants, allowing an increased yield. Scrogging autoflowers does require one thing, and that is a considerable amount of time manipulating how your weed plants grow. This, in turn, requires time and patience, but once the growth tips are in the correct place and each plant has her own space, all you need to do (until harvest) is occasionally prune the plants, taking away the foliage that exists below the screen.
What makes applying ScrOG to autoflowers tricky?
Autoflowers bloom automatically, so there isn't a way you can leave the plants in the vegetative phase for as long as it takes to spread through the screen. This makes Scrogging autoflowers a bit more tricky, and you need to pay attention to several factors. The type of auto you grow will have an impact, for example. There are two main autoflower strains of autoflowers; regular and super.
You need to be aware of the type as they require different methods for Scrogging. Autoflowering plants that flower rapidly need to be trained very early, and can be trained as soon as the second pair of authentic fan leaves emerge. Regular autos can also be trained during the start of flowering as they will continue to grow for about a week, and you need to optimize this bud site growth by training them as quickly as they can grow.
Super autos spend longer in the vegetative phase and have a more extended pre-flowering period, so it is possible to increasingly extend them through the green screen and achieve much higher yields. Super autoflowers can also be trained during the first week of flowering, but growers usually aim to stop training with the appearance of these early buds and allow the bud sites to grow through the screen towards the light.
The advantages of an autoflower ScrOG
The screen of green offers many advantages to cultivators of autoflowers:
- Increased yield – Scrogging can lead to a dramatic increase in yield because it allows you to maximize light exposure and enable more of the leaves to benefit from the energy, resulting in more growth and denser buds.
- Ideal for compact indoor grow rooms - A ScrOG screen can be installed at a distance of as little as 20 centimeters from the container, which means that you can keep the overall profile of your plants low, so you can grow in small places.
- Less wasted energy - Exposing more of your autoflowers to the light source, means that you are optimizing the total sum of energy transmitted from the lightbulb to your plants - hence less wasted lumens and energy.
- You don't need as many plants - Scrogging allows the growth of bigger plants, so you don't need as many, and fewer plants are more straightforward to manage.
- Harvesting is easy – You can simply chop the buds that are above the screen and dry them. Without scrog, you have to spend time selecting the best branches and removing buds one by one, using the remainder for hashish.
- Easy to maintain – ScrOG is less hassle and easier to maintain than other methods, such as LST. You don't need to worry about any hooks or string, or drilling holes in the walls of containers.
- Maximizes space – Scrogging is particularly suitable for small grow spaces with little room.
Disadvantages of an Autoflower ScrOG
Sadly, ScrOG is not a viable option for fast-growing types of autoflowers. Some cultivators feel that the 6-8 weeks of vegetative growth required for a ScrOG covers almost the entire life cycle of an auto.
While a ScrOG doesn't really require much maintenance, it does require some love, care and attention. Monitoring and maintaining a ScrOG takes some time. Vegetative growth also takes longer, and the grower must be patient. A ScrOG certainly doesn't take care of itself, and sometimes you have to get rid of shoots every day, at least until halfway through the flowering period.
As a beginner grower becomes more experienced and knowledgeable about the various methods of plant training, applying ScroG is certainly at the more advanced end of the spectrum. It takes time and skills (when it comes to tucking the stems), as well as a deep understanding of the ways in which autoflowers grow. The main advantages of growing with the Scrogging method are that the plants will only produce large, top-heavy buds; there is no need to worry about smaller-sized buds. Below the screen needs to be kept completely clear of foliage, and pests, which is optimal in terms of circulating airflow and reducing mold around the base of the plants.
Final thoughts on Scrogging autoflowers
While applying the ScrOG technique on autoflowers is possible, and does have its benefits, it can be quite tricky. Many beginner growers can pick up autoflower seeds and start growing without any issues; using ScrOG on autoflower plants is only reserved for advanced growers. If you are willing to put in the work and have grown autoflowers successfully many times before, applying this method successfully can help you with increasing the amount of buds you will be able to harvest.
Another grow technique to maximize your yield, that can be applied to autoflower strains, is 'Topping'. If you want to learn more about this technique, read our Topping Autoflowers Guide. In case you want to refresh your knowledge on growing autoflowers, you can check out our guide on 'How to grow autoflowers'. And if you grow your autoflowers inside, and want to know more about light schedules, you can consult our article 'Best light schedule for autoflowers'.