As growing weed gradually moved from outdoor to indoor cultivation, growers quickly came to the conclusion that placing weed plants close to each other had numerous advantages. This is how the cultivation method ‘Sea of Green‘, abbreviated to SOG, came into being.
What is the Sea of Green (SOG) cultivation method?
Simply put, the Sea of Green (SOG) method is to place cannabis plants close together in a small interior space with the aim of harvesting in the shortest possible time. It is mainly the commercial growers who use this setup, but home growers can of course also use the SOG method. Keep in mind the maximum number of plants you can grow indoors to avoid breaking the law(!).
By the way, SOG should not be confused with ScrOG. Scrogging is a method of growing plants in width, which increases the yield per weed plant considerably. An ideal method in countries where you are only allowed to grow a few plants. You can read how many marijuana plants you can grow per country in our blog ‘Is (online) buying cannabis seeds legal?’’
Why do you get a better yield with Sea of Green?
Commercial growers prefer the SOG method. Not surprising because no other method delivers such a high yield per plant. The duration of the growth phase is shortened considerably, but still the plants can produce the same amount of buds. A Sea of Green grow makes it possible to harvest quickly and moreover, thanks to this method you can grow all year round.
Advantages of Sea of Green (SOG-grow)
The SOG method is superefficient for growing weed indoors and in greenhouses. If you apply the method correctly, you will benefit from the advantages below:
- Continuous cultivation all year round
- Suitable for small spaces
- Save on energy costs
- Faster harvesting
- Ideal for cuttings
You can start growing a new group of weed plants, while another group is almost ready to harvest. This way you can continue growing all year round.
Because the plants are close together, you need much less space. Moreover, you don’t let the weed plants grow in height and you can stack the crops on top of each other using planks, for example.
You can save a lot on your electricity bill. The explanation is simple: because the plants are close together, you need fewer lamps. And because the plants grow faster, you also need less time to grow them.
Thanks to the SOG method, plants grow faster. They grow less tall and can therefore produce buds faster, which means faster harvests.
The SOG method ensures that your plants start flowering almost immediately so you don’t have to repot them. Once the cuttings are rooted, you can use them directly to clone.
Disadvantages of a SOG grow
SOG is a brilliant method, but there are also a few drawbacks. We’ll sum them up for you:
Instead of maintaining a single weed plant (e.g. an autoflower) you now have to deal with a sea of plants. This requires daily maintenance and control.
If you want to use the SOG method as a hobby grower, it is tempting to grow a little more plants than is allowed. If you decide to do this anyway, you want to stay under the radar which means: No Smell, No Tell and No sell.
If you want to grow different strains (e.g. Sativas and Indicas), this is a huge challenge because each species requires its own approach. Growing is therefore even more labour-intensive.
Because the weed plants are so close together, fungi and pests can spread quickly. So it is wise to check your plants regularly.
If you like to make hash, the lack of lower leaves is a disadvantage because they are hardly present.
Step-by-step Sea of Green method
How does a SOG grow work exactly? In order for the method to succeed, it is important that you perform the first step correctly, namely placing the weed plants. The plants have to be close enough to each other to form a nice and even deck. But they should also not be too close to each other because they will hinder each other’s growth, leaving you with fewer buds. With our SOG step-by-step plan we explain to you in detail how it works.
Each plant should be about 30 cm away from the other. This means that you place four plants on 30 square centimeters. You may be able to place them a little further apart, but then you will benefit less from the advantages because you will use more space. However, you should not place them too close together, because then the plants will squeeze each other and not all of them will get enough light. We also call this the ‘jungle effect’.
Experienced growers often use planks to stack multiple growing levels on top of each other, so you can store more plants in the same space.
It sounds a bit strange, but you are going to train your weed plants to adopt a ‘broad’ position to prevent them from growing in height. We call this the low-stress training (LST) which stimulates the young plants to grow sideways and outwards instead of upwards. This technique involves bending the plants slightly and securing them with a string so that the posture is fixed. After a week the plant is used to the position and you can remove the string.
Make sure it forms a nice and full roof of buds. In this way the upper parts can catch the light as much as possible. The lower branches will not get a lot of light, so you don’t have to expect buds there. However, you can use the lower branches to clone.
The vegetative phase, also called the growth phase, is the most important phase of your plant. During this period it develops into a full plant and determines the final harvest. It quickly produces branches, leaves and the top. In this phase, the light cycle is important. So make sure that the plants receive the necessary light to grow. Depending on the species, this can be 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. When growing autoflowers the light cycle is less important. In our blog ‘Indoor weed growing’ you can read more about it.
SOG is about a fast harvest. You start the flowering phase as soon as you can by adjusting the light cycle to 6 hours of light and 18 hours of darkness until the plants show signs of harvest ripeness.
You will need to keep a close eye on the plants to allow them to enter the flowering phase because the exact time from flowering to harvest is not an exact science. Misjudging the beginning of the flowering phase can significantly reduce the harvest.
Applying the SOG method with cannabis seeds
Even though SOG is more suitable for cuttings, you can certainly use seeds. The disadvantage of seeds is that they grow at different speeds. Moreover, you also have to wait for the seeds to germinate, so the time to harvest is a bit longer. If you still want to grow with seeds, we recommend:
Almost all autoflower seeds are suitable for SOG, but the buds deliver less potent weed thanks to their Ruderalis genetics. Something to take into account.
Tips for growing according to the SOG method
You now know how to grow according to the Sea of Green method. As you have been able to read it is not very complicated, but you will have to take your time and keep a close eye on the plants. Precisely because the growing process is a lot faster than normal. To increase your chances of a full harvest we give you some extra tips.
- Choose Indica plants instead of Sativa. Indica naturally has a fuller crown and is also slightly more compact compared to Sativa. Autoflowers are also very suitable for SOG because you don’t have to worry so much about the light cycle. If you still want to grow Sativa, choose Super Silver, for example.
- Choose a cannabis plant with a short flowering time. These vary from variety to variety. The flowering time can be found on each seed page under ‘Properties’.
- If you use cuttings, make sure that all cuttings are of a similar size and come from the same mother plant. They should all be the same age and between 3 and 7 cm long.
- Uniformity is the key to success with the SOG method. Each plant should have the same amount of water, light and nutrients.
- If you are going to prune during the growth and flowering phase, be careful not to remove too many leaves. If you are too ruthless with the pruning shears you could put the plant into shock and eventually get fewer buds.