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Level up your indoor cannabis garden with the Sea of Green (SOG) method. Get the biggest yields by growing many small cannabis plants and triggering the flowering phase early for a fast harvest.

Here, we’ll show you how you can set up your SOG garden.

What Is the Sea of Green Method?

The Sea of Green (SOG) method is a low-stress training (LST) technique that involves growing several small plants simultaneously in a tight space instead of a few larger plants.

Growing that many plants in a limited area creates the appearance of a “sea of green.”

The SOG method requires shortening every part of the plant’s two stages of life: the vegetative and flowering stages. Shortening the vegetative cycle speeds up the time to flower and triggers the plants to flower early for a faster harvest and a large yield.

Benefits of the Sea of Green Method

The continuous and fast harvests are one of the best parts of growing the SOG method. With a bit of experience, you can run your grow like a well-oiled machine.

Here are some of the benefits of the SOG method:

  • Short cultivation cycle
  • May reduce risk of pests and disease with defoliation
  • Short vegetative and flowering stages
  • May save space
  • Energy- and light-efficient
  • Increased annual harvests, ideal for commercial growers
  • Faster trimming due to high bud-to-leaf ratio
  • Less organic waste
  • Fresh smokable bud throughout the year
sea of green cannabis (SOG) growing indoors

Drawbacks of the Sea of Green Method

The SOG method may not be for everyone, but it can provide growers with a steady and sizeable supply of cannabis buds throughout the year.

Here are some drawbacks of the SOG method:

  • Only works with indicas and clones
  • Does not produce a lot of leftover trim, which could be used to make edibles
  • May be limited by your state’s home cultivation limit
  • May use excessive growing media every cultivation cycle
  • Less risk for pests and disease, but an infestation could ruin an entire crop due to proximity
  • May require more time and labor than other growing methods

How Much Does a Sea of Green Plant Yield?

On average, the yield is higher per square foot than traditional growing techniques. The SOG plant yield depends on various factors, including the plant’s genetics, duration of vegetative and flowering stages, grow light efficiency, and more.

Under optimal growing conditions, you can yield about half an ounce per plant or up to an ounce. If you’re growing 10 plants per square meter, you may have a yield of about 10 ounces. You may be able to harvest every 45 days and have several harvests per year. 

How Many Plants Per Square Foot?

We recommend growing one plant per square foot or two at most. Growing more than this amount can create a crowded environment, increase the risk of pest infestations and disease, and reduce the amount of light each plant gets.

What Do I Need for the SOG Method?

Here’s what you need for a complete SOG set-up:

What Size Pot for SOG?

You will use one pot throughout the growing cycle for a SOG grow, from clone to harvest. We recommend using a 2-3 gallon pot. This size is ideal for growing a plant 12 inches tall, the height when you can trigger the flowering stage.

How to Use the Sea of Green Method

The Sea of Green method can be done with seeds and clones, although clones work better in this environment because they are at the same growth stage and grow the same size.

Start with at least 4 plants for this method since it won’t work with fewer plants. Ensure your grow lights are evenly lighting the entire canopy.

Set one plant per square foot throughout your grow space and give them 18 hours of light until your clones are 10-12 inches tall. The duration of the vegetative stage depends on your growing needs. Some growers may end the vegetative stage when young plants are barely six inches tall or about 4-6 weeks old.

You decide when you want to trigger the flowering stage, which involves switching the light cycle from 18/6 to 12/12. Twelve hours of light and 12 hours of darkness make plants start growing buds. Plants are ready for harvest when most trichomes have turned from white to amber.

Best Cannabis Strains for Sea of Green

The success of your crop depends on many factors, including your plants’ genetics. We recommend growing indica strains, which have a fast flowering stage, have a single cola, and grow short. 

Sativas, on the other hand, tend to grow taller and at a slower pace than indicas. If growing sativas using the SOG method, consider topping the plants a few days before triggering them to the flowering cycle.

Should I Start with Cannabis Clones or Seeds?

Cannabis clones are the best option for the SOG method. Clones should be the same size (about 3-6 inches is ideal) and from the same mother plant. This ensures they grow at the same pace and height as they go through the same growth stage.

Seeds are usually not recommended for SOG since you must care for them during the germination and seedling phase. Clones have already been germinated. In addition, seeds may grow at different heights, forcing shorter plants below larger ones that get all the light.

SOG Growing Tips

Here are a few tips to level up your SOG grow:

  • Use netting: Your plant’s colas can grow big and heavy, requiring a trellis net to support the canopy to ensure the branches don’t break and they get plenty of light.
  • Add CO2: Supplementing your grow room with a carbon dioxide (CO2) tank and the regulator can improve your space’s ppm and light absorption. 
  • Prune plants: Defoliation is a big preventative measure against disease. Reducing leaf-on-leaf contact can keep an infestation from spreading and destroying a crop.

Cannabis Sea of Green Grow Method FAQ's

How does the SOG method differ from the Screen of Green (SCROG) method?

While the SCROG approach comprises fewer plants that are trained to grow through a screen, the SOG method emphasizes a high density of small plants with low vegetative development. On the other hand, the SCROG method encourages a broader spread and more even canopy.

How many plants per square foot are recommended for a SOG setup?

It is advised that one plant be grown for every square foot of space; however, this proportion can change based on the size of the pots and the particular strain that is being cultivated. Certain cultivators may install as many as four tiny plants in each square foot of space.

What type of cannabis strains are best suited for the SOG method?

Because of their compact growth pattern and faster flowering durations, indica or indica-dominant hybrid strains are typically recommended for single-located growers (SOG) setups. Indica strains naturally grow shorter and bushier than other types of strains.

How long should the vegetative stage last in a SOG grow?

The vegetative stage of a SOG grow is often brief, typically lasting between two and three weeks. This is because the objective is to shift to the flowering stage as soon as the plants have formed a strong root system from which they can grow.

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Is special equipment required for a SOG grow?

When it comes to the essential equipment for a SOG grow, it is comparable to that of other indoor grows. This includes high-quality lighting, fans for air movement, and possibly a carbon filter for odor containment. The number of pots and how they are arranged to make the most of the available space is the primary distinction.

How does the SOG method affect overall yield and potency?

Although individual plants in a SOG arrangement might provide lower yields, the overall yield per square foot might be quite high due to the large number of plants that are contained within the space. By using this method of cultivation, the potency of the buds is not impacted in any way.

Can the SOG method be used with autoflowering strains?

The answer is yes, autoflowering strains can be utilized in a SOG setup. In many cases, these strains are great because of their smaller size and shorter flowering time. On the other hand, as compared to photoperiod strains, the overall yield can be lower per plant.

Become a Better Grower at Cannabis Training University

Growing cannabis like a pro is possible at home. Learn about more cannabis growing techniques at Cannabis Training University. Our Master of Cannabis program includes indoor and outdoor cultivation training from top growers in the industry. Get industry certified today!

Luis Cordova
Luis Cordova

Luis Cordova is a distinguished author, and renowned expert in cannabis cultivation, who possesses a Master's degree in Plant Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Science. As a valued contributor to highly esteemed publications such as Cannabis Training University and Maximum Yield Magazine, Luis has emerged as a trusted source of guidance and knowledge in the cannabis industry. Having written thousands of informative articles, Luis is widely recognized for his comprehensive expertise on cultivating cannabis, both indoors and outdoors.

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