First, we must point out that the Sea of Green method is a marijuana cultivation technique of dutch origins that is focused on accelerating the cultivation process and also optimizing it. Through this system, it is possible to achieve a good and abundant harvest in approximately three months. This process is carried out indoors, allowing us to harvest continuously throughout the year to compensate for the fact that plants grown indoors are usually smaller than those grown outdoors.
The Sea of Green technique, also known as SoG, is a horizontal and intensive cultivation method that is arranged as a kind of green carpet where plants are placed in a homogeneous way (size, shape) by placing them side by side to make the most of the light spectrum. Using SOG, cannabis plants outcrop quickly, preventing the plant from reaching great height or developing a large size. This technique can be carried out by starting the crop from seed or by means of cuttings which allow us to achieve the homogeneity that characterizes this technique.
Setting up your SOG, step by step:
The first step to be able to carry out your SOG crop is to measure the space you have. To give you an idea when measuring, SOG crops usually fit 20 sativa-type plants or 25 indica-type plants per m2. This number might seem too large, but keep in mind that because each plant is small, you are going to need every gram that each of the crop specimens gives you to make you very happy at harvest time.
2- Select the right strain
Selecting the seeds of the varieties you want to grow is very important to avoid problems as the crop progresses. For this reason, we recommend you make SOG with a single variety in order to optimize the crop. For example, if you want to grow “Skunk”, we recommend you grow only “Skunk.” This allows you to have a more uniform crop.
Another tip that we share with you is that it is best to select varieties of the same type. That is, if you want to make a SOG with “sativa” type varieties, we recommend you grow only sativa varieties. Now, regarding sativa genetics, we recommend making sog with genetics that are between 50% sativa and a maximum of 70% because varieties with a higher percentage can become more difficult to grow.
The purest sativa varieties are more difficult to grow because they have a natural tendency to be spiky and their thinner and taller structure often covers the spectrum of light, making the lower parts of the plant not visible.
3- The Perfect pot for growing
The SOG cultivation in coconut would require pots of about 3 liters, while the SOG cultivation in soil would require final pots of between 5 and 6 L. It is best to start in small cups and when the plants are already strengthened with strong roots and a powerful central stem, you can transplant them to the pots that we already described, depending on whether you grow in coco or in soil.
It is good to understand what type of pot is better, so here we tell you about square plastic pots and round pots. With round pots, the roots tend to develop more abundantly as they expand more optimally, although square pots tend to help more because of the space they occupy and the way they can be mounted indoors.
The first two weeks are the key. Remember that the objective of any SOG crop is for the plant not to grow too much, so you have to put them in the flowering phase as soon as possible. For Indica varieties, 4 weeks of growth are needed and 3 weeks for Sativa.
In these first days, it will be necessary to use an 18/6 lighting system and place the focus very low so that they do not sprout. I recommend that you rotate them so that they all grow equally. During this stage, water your pots every 2 days, adding growth stimulants.
Although, if you grow purer sativa strains like some typical landraces from Africa, Colombia, Central America, Thailand or the Caribbean, you may only need to use a light cycle of 12 hours light and 12 hours dark during the growth to avoid the spike of the plants and their lack of control indoors.
Prune the lower branches. As plants grow taller, lower branches and nodes are trimmed so energy is not wasted on developing lateral branches. These cuttings can be used for future crops. Using nets or other supports is also recommended as plants in a SOG grow produce very heavy top buds which the plant will struggle to support on its own.
As the SOG grow develops, make sure the plants are at a uniform height and receive the same amount of light. Once you move into the flowering phase, the light regimen will be 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. Once flowering has started, nodes and lower branches should no longer be removed, although cutting leaves that prevent light from filtering can be beneficial depending on genetics.
However, some gardeners consider cleaning excess branches and leaves when going from growth to flowering to be essential to better stimulate bud production. So, we recommend that you do it at this stage of the crop to avoid impacting the plant with extra stress.
7- HaRvest Time
In the SOG method, the plants will be smaller; however, the yield per square meter will be higher than traditional crops because by having a greater number of plants, a higher total of grams is made. Because the plants are more compact, they tend to develop a great central stem that is full of buds.
The harvest time of your plants grown with the SOG system will depend on the type of variety you have selected to grow. A good indicator is always the color of the plant’s trichomes. If they are cloudy white, it means they are ready to be harvested.
Advantages of SOG cultivation
As in any cultivation system, there are advantages and disadvantages. This is always good to keep in mind so that when harvesting you do not feel disappointed if you do not like the final result. Now, we will go over the pros and cons of cultivation with the SOG system.
1- The average yield per square meter increases considerably with a SOG-type crop and is higher than that of a traditional crop.
2- It is beneficial because different crops can be grown during 1 season. Therefore, the harvests also multiply.
3- The shorter growing time also reduces the risk of pests, diseases, or bugs. There is a much better chance that a crop will grow healthily during its life cycle.
4- You can use the SOG method in a small grow room because much less vertical space is needed. Here, the cultivation is of the horizontal type because the most compact and robust plants are the goal, rather than large and spindly plants.
5- More compact-sized plants like some indica strains also allow multi-tiered, vertical growing techniques.
6- This SOG growing method can be used with soil or hydroponics, indoors or outdoors.
7- Once the plants are ready for harvest, they can be trimmed quickly due to the high ratio of buds to leaves.
disadvantages of SOG cultivation
1- It is recommended to use the same variety to maintain a homogeneous canopy in the crop. You accumulate a good amount of substrate because more pots always means more substrate.
2- While the plants are less likely to attract pests or pathogens because of the speed of SOG cultivation, the entire crop could be wiped out if one plant gets sick because they are all close together. You must take into account the humidity and heat of your indoor room because when marijuana crops are crowded together, they are more likely to accumulate humidity, so optimal ventilation is essential.
3- Although most of the current genetics on the market are highly adapted to this type of cultivation, it is always good to do research to know what type of cannabis varieties respond best to SOG cultivation.
Genetics recommended for cultivation in SOG
We already pointed out that reserach should be done before selecting a particular variety for SOG cultivation. For example, the indica varieties tend to grow to the side like bushes, therefore, they will occupy a good space in the crop, even covering the plants to their sides. This is an issue that makes it impossible for them to absorb light in a good way. On the other hand, as we told you about the sativa varieties, they tend to glean and may grow a little taller than expected.
This feminized strain is mostly indica with a compact growth, so you must take into account that it will need cleaning of its lateral branches when it begins to flower. By growing L.A. Confidential x Afghan Kush in a scrog system, you can harvest between 400-500 gr/m2 indoors after a flowering period of 60 days.
L.A Confidential x Afghani Kush gives you harvests with buds of earthy, fruity flavors and notes of incense. In addition, the flowers have THC levels that are between 14%-19%, generating physical, relaxing, and calming effects for users, especially for people who suffer from insomnia.
Lemon Skunk is a feminized hybrid strain that has THC levels of 15%-19% and is perfect for making SCROG because it has the qualities of indica genetics and also sativas. For example, its flowering is short, between 55-60 days indoors, and gardeners can achieve great harvests, ranging from 750-800 gr/m2.
Keep in mind that this variety requires good nutrition because it is so productive that it needs a good amount of nutrients to be able to produce so many buds. Another detail is that its internodes can be a bit short in some specimens. For this reason, that bushy quality can tend to take up a lot of space in the crop, therefore, cleaning the lower and middle areas can help to maximize the yield during flowering, ensure top tip performance, and optimize the growing space.
First, we must say that this Gorilla x White Widow feminized cross is extraordinary because it grows robustly, featuring the qualities of both parents such as its robust character with leaves that become wide if they grow too much. Also, other characteristics stand out such as its short flowering time that goes from 8-9 weeks, during which time it produces buds that give off pine flavors with spicy touches and earthy notes.
If you grow Gorilla x White Widow strain feminized in a SOG system, you can collect harvests ranging from 400-500 gr/m2. Its buds deliver powerful effects that generate euphoria and then a good relaxation at the end of the flight. Defoliate this plant when it begins to flower because its buds are compact and require good ventilation which can be affected by the intense foliage that it manages to develop.
Now, you have everything to make the best scrog. You have the necessary step by step guide to avoid making basic mistakes and you have 3 recommendations of varieties that are perfect for growing with the SCROG system. See you on the next blog and don’t forget to apply each of the tips we have shared. They will surely help you harvest incredible plants.