The first rule of different cannabis growing techniques is that there are no rules! You could have 10 conversations with different weed growers and get 10 different answers as to what are the best techniques to grow weed.
What works for them may not work for you and what works for you will inevitably be the result of some trial and error. Nevertheless, it is always advisable to experiment with different cannabis growing techniques, because that is the way you will find out what works for you!
This article provides a guide to the best techniques to grow weed indoor and also for the best outdoor grow setup solutions.
- LST Low Stress Training)
- SCROG (Screen of Green)
- SOG (Sea of Green)
Unless specified, the advice is orientated to plants grown from photoperiod feminized cannabis seeds. For growers interested in different methods for growing autos, consult this training article for autoflower seeds.
Also covered in this article is the different mediums which are popularly used by indoor and outdoor cannabis growers:
- Growing with soil
- Growing with hydroponics
- Growing with aeroponics
The most popular and effective techniques to grow weed
Most cultivators starting out their journey to grow pot in indoor grow rooms will grow plants the traditional way. ‘Traditional’ means just plant the cannabis seed/seedling and let it grow vertically! This is the natural growth pattern of the plant but it has its disadvantages:
- It’s difficult to control the height of the plant, especially in a restricted grow space.
- Big top buds receive all the light, but branch buds are less developed.
- With several plants in a grow space, they can be difficult to manage.
With practice and growing confidence, many growers will start to experiment to try and find the best growing indoor weed techniques that will maximize their grow space and deliver better yields.
Growing cannabis with SOG
SOG is the acronym for Sea of Green. This is a technique for growing indoor cannabis which revolves around filling the grow room with as many small plants as possible.
The idea is to reduce the time that the plant is in the vegging stage and encourage plants to achieve a uniform and (relatively low) height in flowering.
It’s this uniformity of appearance which inspires the name as, seen from above, the canopy below appears like a green sea.
What are the advantages of the SOG technique to grow weed?
- It’s a quicker growth cycle, with the potential to harvest every 8-9 weeks.
- There is less electricity used.
- There is less plant waste as plants are kept small with focus on bud development.
What are the disadvantages of the SOG method to grow weed?
- Plant management and tasks such as watering can be difficult if the grow room space is too filled out.
- Crowded spacing can cause air circulation problems and cause mold issues (especially if plants are touching the walls.
For growers researching the best growing techniques, find out more about the benefits of Sea of Green cannabis.
For indoor growing cultivators who are planning to use Sea of Green to grow weed in their setup, some essential SOG tips to help maximize potential yields and avoid common mistakes.
Growing cannabis with SCROG
SCROG is the acronym for Screen of Green. It is similar to the SOG growing technique, but uses a screen (or wide holed net mesh suspended above cannabis plants.
When the plants grow beyond the screen, they are trained to promote horizontal cannabis growth, by tucking the stems through the screen.
The aim is to create a canopy of bud tops in the cannabis flowering phase which ensures that all the bud sites benefit from maximum light exposure.
The SCROG method involves training the plant during (predominantly during the vegetative stage) using the LST technique, which is explained below.
It also requires some pruning, using the lollipop technique, in order to get rid of lower branches and focus the plant’s energy into developing buds.
What are the advantages of the SCROG weed grow technique?
- Using the SCROG method means the grower can achieve good results growing fewer plants.
- The SCROG technique exposes more bud sites to the light.
- By using SCROG the grower will achieve better air circulation in the grow room (a good defense against mold).
- Good Paradise Seeds varieties to use for SCROG include L.A. Amnesia, Atomical Haze, Ice Cream and Durga Mata.
What are the disadvantages of the SCROG weed grow technique?
- The SCROG growing technique requires more management, which translates as more work, to continuously train the plant and tuck it through the mesh.
For growers looking to try this cannabis growth method, consult this step-by-step guide for great SCROG tips.
Using LST and HST techniques to grow weed
The SCROG method of achieving bountiful growth involves ‘training’ the cannabis plant. Training is a cannabis growing technique that can be split into two categories:
- LST (Low stress training
- HST (high stress training)
LST is so called because, despite manipulating the branches of the plant, the grower is causing minimal stress. Cannabis plants are very malleable while in the veg stage and can be twisted and turned with minimal impact on the plant’s health.
More details about how to grow weed this way can be found in this comprehensive guide about the LST process.
HST is a more advanced training technique which is effective but carries some risks. because HST requires starting with strong plants and need a sufficient recovery period.
However, in the hands of a more experienced grower, these methods used to grow weed can deliver really effective results and boost yields.
For an insight into the HST process, this video from the Paradise Seeds Skunkworks series on Youtube features expert cultivator, Top Shelf Grower, explaining about the topping HST process.
The best techniques for indoor growing and the outdoor grow setup
To find the best technique for the grow space depends on how the cultivator intends to grow weed ie is the technique intended for indoor growing or to make the most of an outdoor grow setup. There are some obvious choices in this respect.
Best techniques for cannabis indoor growing
Best techniques to grow weed in a cannabis outdoor grow setup
Different cannabis grow systems for indoor use
Aside from the different grow techniques to choose from, there are a number of different cultivation systems which are used to grow weed. The most popular mediums are:
Growing cannabis with soil
Using soil to grow weed is the most traditional method because it has been used historically for thousands of years. It is still the most popular method used today, and soil based cannabis growing is a method used for indoor growing and by growers using an outdoor grow setup.
It involves the germination of cannabis seeds, which are then placed in soil, which is usually specially prepared ie using a bought soil mix or a home preparation mix. As the various growing stages of the cannabis plant progress, nutrients are usually added to boost growth and yield.
Growing cannabis with hydroponics
Using hydroponics to grow weed involves growing cannabis plants in a nutrient-rich water solution instead of soil. This technique, used for indoor growing, allows for faster growth and increased yields, but can be more complex and expensive to set up.
The growing cannabis with hydroponics technique involves germinating the cannabis seed and growing it in rockwool. To explore this technique to grow weed see our general guide to hydroponics plus advice on how to run the most effective system.
Growing cannabis with aeroponics
This is a form of hydroponic growing that involves suspending the cannabis plants in the air and misting them with a nutrient-rich water solution. Aeroponic growing is also faster than soil-based growing and can produce larger yields.
For more information, consult this useful guide to the process of using aeroponics to grow weed.
Growing cannabis with aquaponics
There is one more system used to grow weed which is probably the least used cannabis growing technique, but nevertheless is one of the more interesting!
This is the process of growing weed in an eco-system which includes living fish! Time to dive into some more insights into the slightly weird but wonderful world of aquaponics.
In summary, the search for the best techniques to grow weed is as much about which one works best for the grower’s own particular circumstances and growing environment.
While there are plenty of myths out there regarding marijuana cultivation techniques, there are also tried and tested methods which are popular for growing indoor, as well as providing the best outdoor setup options.
Remember that learning is all about having the confidence to experiment!