When it comes to growing cannabis, there are no definitive rules. If you ask ten different growers about their preferred techniques, you’ll likely receive ten different answers. What works for one person may not work for another, and it often takes trial and error to find the best approach for your specific needs. Nonetheless, it’s always a good idea to experiment with different cannabis growing techniques to determine what works best for you. This article will guide you through the top techniques for indoor and outdoor weed cultivation.
- LST (Low Stress Training)
- SCROG (Screen of Green)
- SOG (Sea of Green)
Unless otherwise specified, the advice provided here is focused on photoperiod feminized cannabis seeds. For those interested in growing autos, consult our training article for autoflower seeds.
This article also covers the different mediums commonly used by indoor and outdoor cannabis growers:
- Growing with soil
- Growing with hydroponics
- Growing with aeroponics
The Most Popular and Effective Weed Growing Techniques
Most cultivators start by growing their plants in the traditional way, which means simply planting a cannabis seed or seedling and allowing it to grow vertically. However, this method has its drawbacks:
- It can be challenging to control the height of the plant, especially in a limited space.
- Top buds receive more light, while branch buds are less developed.
- Managing multiple plants in a confined space can be difficult.
As growers gain experience and confidence, they often begin to experiment with different techniques to maximize their grow space and achieve higher yields.
Growing Cannabis with SOG
SOG stands for Sea of Green, a technique that involves filling the grow room with as many small plants as possible. The goal is to reduce the vegging stage and encourage uniform, low-height plants during flowering. When viewed from above, the canopy resembles a green sea.
Advantages of the SOG Technique:
- Quicker growth cycle, with the potential for harvest every 8-9 weeks.
- Lower electricity consumption.
- Less plant waste, as plants are kept small to focus on bud development.
Disadvantages of the SOG Technique:
- Managing plant tasks, such as watering, can be difficult in a crowded grow room.
- Crowded spacing can lead to poor air circulation and mold issues, especially if plants touch the walls.
If you’re interested in the benefits of Sea of Green cannabis, learn more here. For cultivators planning to use the SOG technique, we have essential SOG tips to help maximize yields and avoid common mistakes. Recommended Paradise Seeds strains for SOG include White Berry Feminized, Tangerine Sorbet Feminized, and El Dorado OG Feminized.
Growing Cannabis with SCROG
SCROG stands for Screen of Green, a technique similar to SOG but involving a screen or wide-holed net mesh suspended above the plants. As the plants grow above the screen, they are trained to promote horizontal growth by tucking the stems through the mesh.
The objective is to create a canopy of bud tops during the flowering phase, ensuring maximum light exposure for all the bud sites. The SCROG method involves training the plants, primarily during the vegetative stage, using the LST technique (explained below). It also requires some pruning, such as the lollipop technique, to remove lower branches and focus on bud development.
Advantages of the SCROG Technique:
- Good results can be achieved with fewer plants.
- More bud sites receive optimal light exposure.
- Better air circulation in the grow room, reducing the risk of mold.
- Recommended Paradise Seeds varieties for SCROG include L.A. Amnesia, Atomical Haze, Ice Cream, and Durga Mata.
Disadvantages of the SCROG Technique:
- Requires more management and continuous training of the plants through the mesh.
If you’re interested in trying the SCROG technique, consult our step-by-step guide for helpful SCROG tips.
Using LST and HST Techniques to Grow Weed
Training is an essential aspect of achieving optimal growth, and it can be divided into two categories: LST (Low Stress Training) and HST (High Stress Training).
- LST involves manipulating the branches of the plant to promote growth without causing significant stress. This technique is most effective during the veg stage, as cannabis plants are highly flexible and can be gently bent and turned without harming their health.
- HST is a more advanced training technique that carries some risks. It requires strong plants and a sufficient recovery period, making it less suitable for beginners. Examples of HST techniques include fimming, topping, and super cropping, which should only be attempted by experienced growers.
For more details on how to grow weed using this technique, refer to our comprehensive guide on the LST process.
To learn more about the HST process, watch this video from our Paradise Seeds Skunkworks series on YouTube, featuring expert cultivator Top Shelf Grower explaining the topping HST process.
The Best Techniques for Indoor and Outdoor Grow Setups
The best technique for your grow space depends on whether you’re growing indoors or maximizing an outdoor setup. Here are the top choices for each:
Best Techniques for Indoor Growing:
Best Techniques for Cannabis Outdoor Grow Setups:
There are several different cultivation systems used to grow weed aside from the various techniques mentioned above. The most popular mediums are:
Growing Cannabis with Soil:
Using soil is the most traditional and popular method for cannabis cultivation. It has been used for thousands of years and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor growing. The process involves germinating cannabis seeds in specially prepared soil mixes and supplementing with nutrients as the plants progress through different stages of growth.
Growing Cannabis with Hydroponics:
Hydroponics involves growing cannabis plants in a nutrient-rich water solution instead of soil. This technique allows for faster growth and increased yields but is more complex and expensive to set up. Plants are germinated in rockwool and transferred to a hydroponic system. Check out our general guide to hydroponics and tips on running an effective system.
Growing Cannabis with Aeroponics:
Aeroponics is a form of hydroponic growing that involves suspending the plants in the air and misting them with a nutrient-rich water solution. This method offers faster growth and larger yields than soil-based cultivation.
For more information on using aeroponics to grow weed, refer to our guide on aeroponic systems.
Growing Cannabis with Aquaponics:
Aquaponics is a less commonly used technique that involves growing cannabis in an ecosystem that includes living fish. While it may be unconventional, it offers a unique and fascinating approach to cultivation. Learn more about cannabis aquaponics systems here.
In conclusion, the search for the best weed growing techniques is highly dependent on individual circumstances and growing environments. While there are many myths surrounding cultivation techniques, there are also tried and tested methods that are popular for both indoor and outdoor setups. Remember, learning is all about having the confidence to experiment!