Growing cannabis indoors means growing as efficiently as possible, since limited growing space and the expense of climate control systems and artificial light mean that resources must be optimized. A multitude of techniques can be used to increase the level of cannabis production indoors. And the Sea of Green (SOG) method is one of the most widely used, since its simplicity is very suitable for both professional growers and newbies in the field.
The ‘Sea of Green’ method is used to maximize yield in a reduced growing space. In this method, cuttings are used and are allowed to vegetate for a very short time before being triggered to flower. In addition to having a short vegetative time period – often as short as two weeks – inter nodes that would normally result in lateral branching are also removed from the plants, in order to encourage single, central colas which take up a small amount of space.
The goal behind all of this is to pack as many small plants into the same space as possible. With this method, it is possible to pack as many 36+ plants in an area of 1m2.
The crowding of many plants together will encourage vertical stretching, and this in combination with removal of would-be lateral branching means that each plant takes up a very small footprint within the garden. As each plant produces a single large cola, this is often how you obtain the most of the very best buds, with the biggest yield in the space you’re working with. As your plants begin to flower, you’ll see a beautiful blanket of buds start to form, which resembles an ocean of cannabis – hence the name, “Sea of Green.”
Those who use this method also enjoy a shorter overall growing cycle. As a result, the number of annual harvests can be increased. In fact, once you have gained enough experience, it is possible to get large harvests of the dankest bud every 8 – 12 weeks, so 5 harvests in a year is not impossible or unlikely.
In short, this accelerated growing process allows for higher yields by making the most of your grow lights in a smaller room and with a reduced vegetative time period.
The number of plants you’ll fit in your space and the success of your SOG grow depends significantly on the genetics you are working with. Some genetics do very well with grow methods which promote one single cola and reduced lateral branching. On the other hand, other genetics will favour a slightly smaller number of plants in the area, and 2 or 4 main colas, as these plants really like to be bushy. This still counts as a SOG setup, so get to know the genetics that you are working with. Many growers prefer to work with hydroponic setups for SOG grows, however the SOG method works just as well for soil setups.
Basically, these are the steps to follow:
You don’t need to have any special skills for the SOG method to be effective, all you have to do is understand the concept. The lack of training techniques makes SOG one of the easiest methods of growing cannabis. But, like everything in life, it has its pros and cons:
As experienced growers know, not all techniques are suitable for the different cannabis strains available in the catalogues of seed banks. But most of them claim that the best results for the SOG method are based on using cuttings, to obtain genetically identical specimens that have the same height and produce the same amount of flowers while also needing less time than seed for vegetative maturation.
Seeds can also be used, although they will probably result in plants that grow to different heights, and vegetative time should be extended.
Genetics with classic Sativa growth patterns are great candidates for the Sea of Green method. Using this method, you are usually able to get much larger harvests in the same space than you normally would from these genetics.
Indica genetics also do well in a SOG environment, however savvy cultivators know to give more space per plant with Indica dominant varieties as they to like to bush out and branch out laterally.
Here are a couple of sativa-dominant hybrid strains present in the Seedstockers catalogue that are worth considering, such as:
Here are some Indica dominant genetics to consider, also from our seed bank: