What is the Sea of Green method?
Jul 18, 2016
Categories : Cannabis cultivation
When you hear the term “Sea of Green” what is the first thing that comes to mind? In relation to cannabis, this can conjure up all sorts of euphoric imagery. Tall lush fields of cannabis for as far as the eye can see! Well with “Sea of Green” or SoG for short you wouldn't be too far wrong. Not quite like a scene from the 'The Beach' but somewhat more reserved. The term still refers to what could be called the mass production of cannabis, compactly planted buds grown at an accelerated rate with some handy tricks to produce a thick and lush canopy. A sea of green cannabis plants using a specific growing technique.
WHAT IS SOG?
The essential principle behind the SoG method is to reduce the time needed to grow and flower your weed plants whilst getting the best possible yields from a restricted growing space. Sounds simple enough but as you would expect does require a different approach to your conventional grow set up and cultivation.
Originating in Holland, rather than growing 4 large plants, the principle was to grow 12 smaller plants. Despite popular belief, it is not the size but the quality of the buds that your after. Twice or three times as many plants will only grow half as big but twice as fast. This will bring about maturity in your plants quicker and ultimately end with you enjoying your weed much sooner than you, though! This growing technique not only enables the most weed out of a limited space but can even save you money on lighting/growing costs due to the reduced time needed from start to finish.
Now before you start planting cannabis plants on every flat surface you can find, this particular method has some specific requirements. Plant management in this scenario really is the point of difference between success and failure and as such a uniform and precise approach is needed. The key thing to remember is that you want all the plants to grow at the same rate and size. Growing plants too big and you won't be able to see the bud through the trees, growing them at different rates and you remove the mass cultivation aspect.
TIPS FOR GROWING WITH THE SOG METHOD
#1 All For One, One For All
If you want you plants to grow identically then the obvious thing is to give them all exactly the same. This means; lighting, water, nutrients the works. For this reason, it is usually best to set up a drip system for each plant. That way you can ensure they are all watered equally and if additional nutrients are needed then they can be added as part of the drip feed. This will also save a vast amount of time, measuring out the same water for 12 plus plants would be a nightmare!
#2 Too Much of a Good Thing is Bad
In this particular case, we mean the essential stuff, water. frequent watering can encourage growth in your plants and in this situation we want to limit the grow due to our space restrictions. Having said that we don't want to cause undue stress to our plants through a lack of water. Keeping them all slightly drier than you normally would will help to limit that grow without hindering the quality.
#3 A Light in the Dark
Again being uniform is the name of the game here. This includes lighting. You want to avoid any lighting hotspots as this will encourage plants to grow at different rates. A handy tip for this is to raise your lighting rig slightly higher than normal. This will help to keep the lighting pattern uniform throughout, that or consider using less powerful bulbs than you would in a conventional grow set up.
#4 Keep it Trim
Pruning several times throughout the shortened grow cycle is essential. You want to encourage your cannabis plants to put all of their energy into those bulbous buds. Trimming away the bottom branches and excess foliage will not only help air flow in your dense canopy of weed but can also be used as cuttings for your next SoG grow!
#5 Choose your Strain Wisely
Of course, personal preference will always be the overriding factor here. However, it is worth noting that typically Indica strains are generally smaller and more compact than Sativa strains. Choosing an Indica strain does tend to lend itself to a SoG grow as the lighting will only penetrate the top canopy and they tend to grow with fewer side branches so can save you time on those pruning sessions.
Finally, it is worth noting that for SoG grows, they are usually done featuring clones or cuttings from the same plant. The key to success is being able to grow identical plants in a short space of time. With this in mind having cuttings from the same mother plant helps to keep the same genetics throughout so you know what you're dealing with. Different genetics can encourage varied rates of growth, flowering etc, making management of a SoG grow very difficult. Typically decreasing yields and removing that speed versus yields benefit.