Growing weed indoors requires efficiency, limited growing space, and sufficient artificial lights. The expenses associated with these resources sometimes compel growers to minimize these resources and production time, boost yields and maximize supply and profits.
For the past four decades, cultivators have invented and tried out different techniques to realize this objective. One outstanding technique that has grown in popularity within the marijuana cultivation industry is the Sea of Green (SOG) method.
What Does the Sea of Green Mean
The sea of green method, otherwise referred to by its abbreviation “SOG”, is a simple method of cultivating several small cannabis crops together instead of a few larger ones to produce maximum yields within a limited growing space.
SOG entails moving your propagated THC and CBD plants into the vegetative stage within 3-4 weeks as opposed to the usual 4-6 weeks used in other techniques. After 3-4 weeks you can adjust lighting accordingly so the environment can sustain the flowering stage. As the canopy of buds closes in, you can improve airflow by trimming off the lower mature branches. Your SOG-grown crops should be ready for harvesting at this point. More details below.
The idea of the sea of the green method is that if small crops are grown together in a limited growing space, they will most likely develop to half their average size, hence accelerating the cola development and flowering stage.
With this method, the small cannabis plants take less space and less time to flower, making it highly viable. Small THC and CBD plants are grown together in a small space form clusters of close quarters under quality grow lights.
As the plants develop, they produce an awning of buds that glistens in the indoor grow lights, forming a “sea of green.” With proper plant training, nutrition, and care, you can successfully reap much yield per plant using SOG in a limited space within your indoor grow tent.
How Much Does the Sea of Green Plant Yield?
The amount of produce you can reap from a SOG crop depends on the number and types of cannabis plants you intend to cultivate. Once a SOG-grown plant reaches the flowering stage, it produces one large cola at the top. Apart from the routine plant training and fertilizing, SOG-grown cannabis plants only need a little extra care to produce buds.
Typically, small THC and CBD plants do not produce several colas, at least not as much as the average Sativa. However, when grown in a small space using the SOG method, they can yield as much as a ten-foot-tall Sativa.
The secret to achieving impressive yield per square foot with SOG gardening is by maintaining a conducive grow space. Furthermore, small THC and CBD plants that are grown using the SOG method require the following growth factors:
- Plant pots of appropriate size
- The right type of soil (must be compatible with the cultivator)
- Suitable environmental conditions
- Reliable and lighting and durable lighting source
- Water pH
As a cannabis grower, never underestimate the importance of these factors. If you can invest in them, you can reap bountifully out of your sea of green crops.
Step by step to achieve Sea of Green (SOG) for massive yields
Now you may be thinking that the sea of green method is a complicated and daunting cannabis growing technique. Far from it. SOG method is a simple, low-stress strategy with a few practical steps which, if followed, can successfully boost your CBD venture. Here are the five growing stages for a successful SOG growing method:
Prepare the Seeds or Clones
The first step is to germinate the seeds you want to use for SOG. Alternatively, you can source for other plant cuttings if you want to use the cloning method. Using clones for SOG is a better option because it helps you ascertain if the plant is of the same cultivar type and whether they can all grow similarly if the conditions remain constant.
Having settled on your desired plant type with seeds or clones ready, the next step is to prepare the grow space. Fill up several plant pots with the correct type of soil. Ensure the soil is enough to sustain healthy roots which go deep into the soil.
Ideally, the plant pots should be around 10-12 inches in diameter. Place at least two seeds or clones per pot per square foot, taking care not to overcrowd them. By not placing the plants too close together gives them ample surface area to develop seamlessly while minimizing the chances of the plants competing for light and nutrients.
When plants compete against each other for survival, they become stressed. This is dangerous for your SOG crops. Stressed plants stagnate in biomass which results in low buds production and ultimately low yields.
Once your plants have budded, it’s time to light up the grow tent with quality grow light. You should provide an average of 18-24 hours of uninterrupted light per day (DLI) until the plants are about 12 inches tall. Ensure that all the plants are of the same height to enable them to receive the same amount of light. This will minimize possible stunted growth among your crops and may result in little to no buds at all.
Give Extra Care in the Vegetative Phase
With everything set and your small THC and CBD plants proliferating under the grow lights, the next growing cycle for your crops is the vegetative stage. How long your crops stay in the vegetative stage largely depends on your preferences.
Some cultivators will leave the plants lighted up for at least 18 hours a day until they reach around 25-30 cm or 10-12 inches in height. Others prefer to switch off the lighting phase after two weeks or when the plants are about six inches tall.
Switching off the lighting when the plants are under 6 weeks is highly discouraged. This is because the SOG-grown plants need to be at least two months to attain the flowering stage. Therefore, interrupting the vegetative stage can result in limited bud production and, ultimately, limited yield per plant.
As your plants approach the end of the vegetative stage to usher in the flowering stage, you need to develop a delicate strategy that does not shock or stress your plants. Rather than switch off the lighting completely, reduce it to a minimum of 12 hours a day. Twelve hours of light and another twelve hours of darkness enable your plants to adjust accordingly and flower efficiently.
Each plant will then develop a wide canopy of green flowers then channel their energy to producing one large cola. To mitigate the development of a possible hot spot, ensure the lighting is proportionally and evenly distributed away from the smaller plants. Also, trim off the underneath branches on the mother plant to preserve them as clones for your future SOG crops.
Once the canopy is fully developed, and each plant has produced a single large cola, then it’s time to prepare for harvest. To know if your harvest is ready, check the condition of the trichomes of your buds. If they appear white and cloudy, then your sea of green plants are ready for harvesting.
Sea Of Green Method: Growing Small Plants For Huge Yields
Better yield per plant depends on how much time you allowed them during the vegetative stage. It also depends on the time and quality of resources you have at hand. Some cultivators will give their crops at least 6 weeks of quality light to vegetate. Others may not have that much time, cutting short the vegetative stage when the small THC and CBD plants are about 14-21 days old.
Having larger plant pots can be very beneficial. With larger pots, you won’t need to place your crops too close together per square foot. You can simply plant more crops and give them ample time of around 7-8 weeks to complete the flowering stage.
The extra space in the pots allows the roots to spread evenly, resulting in healthy plants. However, this is no rule of thumb. You can practice different SOG growing methods until you find what works for you. The secret to a successful sea of green venture is knowing the balance between growing conditions, resources, better yields, and accelerated harvest time.
Are Clones or Seeds Better for the Sea of Green Growing Method?
Ideally, the sea of green growing method is more compatible with clones. A clone is a branch of a mature cannabis plant that you can cut off when the plants start to develop cola. You can replant the cuttings at the next planting phase to produce new buds.
Cloning saves you the hassle of sourcing for new seeds (which may include male seeds), using poor quality cultivar, and time. This is not to say that cloning does not have its own set of challenges; rather, it means that with the right resources, proper care, and training, they tend to develop faster and yield more per square foot than seed plants.
Furthermore, clones tend to mature faster since, by the time they are replanted, they are already far ahead in their development stage, unlike seeds which take time to germinate. With clones, you can be sure to have similar plants in your SOG grow tent. This will, in turn, guarantee that your canopy will be of the same height and the same flower type.
Additional Tips For The SOG Method
Before buying cannabis clones for your SOG, you need to understand that the flowering stage depends on each specific cultivar. There are several cannabis varieties, and each has a definite flowering time regardless of which SOG method is used. Some may only need a few weeks to flower; others may take longer, while others may not be compatible with the SOG growing method.
For instance, indica varieties naturally perform better than sativas. They develop shorter plants, and their flowering time is naturally fast. You should, therefore, analyze each cannabis strain to understand their average development and flowering time before settling on a particular clone. This is very crucial if you want your SOG to produce a thriving canopy of buds.
Final Thoughts on Growing With the Sea of Green Method
So, there you go. You now understand what the sea of green growing method entails. You also learned why growers love SOG and what it looks like. Most importantly, you also learned how to do it yourself!
If you would like to venture into this method of growing cannabis, then take your time to understand every variety and which ones are compatible to use with SOG. Successful SOG requires the right resources, so invest in those as well.