Imagine sailing on an endless sea filled with nothing but the dankest of weed. Get the Sea of Green (SOG for short) growing method right, and you’ll be doing just that. SOG involves minimizing time between harvest and utilizing space for the best yield possible. The idea is that a large amount of smaller plants is better than a small amount of large plants. By increasing the plant count, and decreasing the plant size, the Sea of Green technique tries to maximize the harvested output of any grow area. Due to the smaller plant sizes involved, this method has been used successfully for years by growers with small rooms and tight spaces.
To get the Sea of Green grow method going in your garden, you need to start with clones. Not just a few, but an army of them. Keeping a few larger, healthy mothers plants is essential to success and replication. Clones are potted into small containers so more can be filled into the grow room. Pots for Sea of Green are usually no more than 1 gallon. The plants will remain in these pots for the duration of their life, all the way through harvest. If you are wondering how long to veg for Sea of Green, most growers aim for the shortest amount possible, which is never longer than three weeks. It is recommended to give at least 1 full week with 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness before flipping to a flowering photoperiod.
When the light cycle is switched to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness, the small clones will be forced into a flowering period. The tiny soldiers start to produce one large bud each, or a few slightly smaller buds if topped. Even though each plant has a smaller yield compared to a single traditionally grown plant, the combined weight of all the small plants will exceed what larger plants would have in the same space. There is strength in numbers, plus by speeding up the veg time you shave 1-2 months off your typical time until harvest, making it possible to have more harvests per year.
Different grow room setups can be used for Sea of Green, and hydroponic systems can be put together to further increase yields. For a SOG hydroponic setup, you’d want to use smaller plant containers as well, but have them space apart slightly more than a soil-based grow to allow more room between the eagerly growing plants. Hydroponics cannabis plants tend to grow a bit larger than plants in soil.
Strains for Sea of Green
The best cannabis strains for SOG techniques are going to be fast flowering and shorter indicas. When selecting the right strain for Sea of Green, the most important factor is growth rate. You want a strain that is vigorous and can grow quickly.
A strain like Bubba Kush might not be suitable due to its slower growth rate. Skunk and other indica-dominant strains seem to do the best in SOG gardens due to how fast they grow and how quick their flowering time is. Sativa strains don’t make the best candidates due to their stretchiness and longer flowering period. The more stout, squat and robust the plant, the better for SOG systems.
How to Train a Plant for SOG
In a typical Sea of Green grow, each plant is left to form one main apical bud, no topping necessary. Depending on the strain and veg time though, topping could be beneficial by allowing more branches to develop. Be sure to experiment with both topped and untopped plants in your SOG garden.
Careful pruning of the under section of the Sea of Green canopy is essential for a mold and mildew-free harvest. The basic rule of thumb is to remove any of the lower branches and buds that are not receiving full light. This way, you can direct the growth of the main buds to maximize yield. Careful pruning also allows more air flow through the canopy helping to prevent pockets of stagnate and humid air, which are breeding grounds for bacteria and fungi.
How Much Work Does it Take to Run a SOG Garden?
A Sea of Green system can be pretty labor intensive. The increased amount of plants means more time watering (if doing it by hand). More sophisticated setups utilize modern irrigation technology and make watering easier. Expect to spend a little more time pruning with a SOG setup as well. Each plant will need some individual attention and deleafing a few times throughout the flowering period, and this can get time consuming. Finding the right strain with a low leaf-to-calyx ratio can help cut labor.
Getting the right environmental conditions in your grow room can also be a chore, not to mention expensive. Depending on the size of the space, the temperature and humidity of your local climate, and the amount of plants you are growing, you might need to invest in dehumidifiers, humidifiers, heating, cooling, exhaust fans and oscillating fans. Don’t allow air to sit stagnate in the grow room. Keep a constant flowing exchange of fresh air moving through the canopy. Using a decent thermometer/hygrometer to monitor the max high and low temperature and humidity, try to avoid any large temperature swings and keep the humidity between 40% - 60%.
Some gardeners prefer to have a multi-phase, perpetual harvest SOG system running. A good example of this is to take your flowering space and divide it into four equal sections. Every two weeks, fill in a section with a batch of clones. After eight weeks, harvest the first batch you planted and replace it with clones. Two weeks later you are harvesting the second batch and replacing it. With this set up, you’ll be having a small harvest every two weeks as long as you keep replacing harvested plants with clones.
The Sea of Green technique is a good option for a small or micro grow room.
Any gardener trying to maximize production and utilize time in the most efficient way should be considering this method. With a little practice and patience, a good gardener can master these techniques and sail the Sea of Green.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Sea of Green Mean?
Sea of Green is a cannabis growing method to maximize yield in a certain area, over a certain period of time. It involves using high plant counts with minimal veg and flower periods. When done correctly, Sea of Green (or SOG) gardens look like a vast sea of green buds.
How Much Does a Sea of Green Plant Yield?
Since plants are grown much smaller in a SOG grow, a single plant will only be yielding a ½ oz to 1 oz of final product.
What is SOG training?
Training and pruning for SOG depends on the strain. Some strains may need to be topped prior to flower, others are best left with apical dominance. It's a good idea to prune any lower branches not receiving any light.
What Size Pots Should You Use for the Sea of Green?
The smaller the better. The idea is to maximize the plant count and shove as many plants together as possible. Square pots that hold about 1 gallon of medium or less work great. Keep in mind the smaller the pot size, the more water the plant will require.