Growing Cannabis Using the Sea of Green Method [SOG]

Our complete guide to the Sea of Green method


If you are growing weed indoors using artificial light, it is important to cultivate your cannabis as efficiently as possible. As a consequence, experienced growers use the Sea of Green (SOG) method to get the maximum yield possible from their crops. The idea is to grow a variety of smaller plants rather than a handful of large plants. When you use SOG correctly, you reduce the duration of the vegetative stage, fill a small grow space effectively, and maximize the efficiency of your lighting.

We recommend using SOG if you have limited space in your growing room. As it means your plants enter the flowering stage more rapidly than normal, SOG results in more harvests per year. Anyone who has ever grown weed indoors knows all about receiving big energy bills. With the SOG method, you might not reduce the cost of the lighting, but you will get greater bang for your buck.

It is normal to set up your grow room so that the light shines down on the plants from above. However, there is an obvious issue with this setup. The leaves and branches on the upper part of the marijuana plant prevent light from reaching the lower sections. As a result, certain sections of the plant never receive enough light and could wither and die. With the SOG method, a canopy of buds is created and makes the most out of the light.

If you have cuttings from a cloned plant, the SOG method is even more effective. As well as saving money by not buying seeds, using clones of a female plant is a guarantee that male plants won’t grow and pollinate your females. Although you don’t really need to prune plants when using the SOG method, there is no harm in removing unnecessary leaves to improve the airflow beneath the canopy.

Using the Sea Of Green Method

Here are a few tips to begin with:

  • Genetics are key. Don’t choose a plant that likes to grow wide and bushy because you will be packing numerous plants together as it is.
  • Don’t choose a plant that tends to stretch in the early flowering stage. Opt for a plant with a short flowering time.
  • Make sure all the cuttings you use are identical in size and from the same mother plant at the same stage of growth. Ideally, the cuttings you use will be 3-6 inches long and have tips that are actively growing.
  • We don’t recommend using seeds if you intend on using the SOG method. This is because the seeds will inevitably result in plants growing at different heights. As a result, the shorter plants will be left in the shade.
  • Make sure you use at least four plants because the SOG method won’t work with less. However, you must also be careful not to use too many. If there is an excess of plants, there will be greater branch growth but less bud production.
  • Indica varieties are the sensible choice because they possess a single primary cola and grow short. If you try to use a Sativa, make sure you top it several days before forcing it into flowering. The best Indicas to use for SOG include Big Bud, White Widow, and Super Skunk. The best Sativas include Super Silver Haze and Amnesia.

Once you have chosen your cuttings, make sure they are exposed to at least 18 hours of light a day until they are 10+ inches tall. About two weeks after transplanting your clones into bigger pots, tie a bit of string to each branch and gently bend the branch until it sits flat rather than reaching up. Take the string off once the branches thicken during the flowering stage.

If you want to pack lots of plants into a small grow space, you can keep vegetative time to as little as three days! Ideally, you will begin with six-inch pots which means you will have four plants per square foot of growing space.

At this stage, force the plants into the flowering stage by exposing them to 12 hours of light, 12 hours of darkness schedule. Once you see a dense canopy of buds forming, trim the branches underneath and use them as clones. Wait until enough pistils have turned brown or the trichomes become cloudy and harvest.

Although the SOG method provides you with lots of plants, the average yield per plant is lower than the traditional form of growing. This should not come as a shock since you are forcing the plants into flowering much faster than normal. On the plus side, your yield per square meter will increase significantly.

Experienced growers often top their seedlings by removing their tips once the plant has at least four pairs of leaves. By doing this, you can increase the number of bud sites. However, if you have several plants already, you don’t need to top because you already have enough bud sites.

You are not tied to a specific hydroponics method when using SOG. You’ll find that the Nutrient Film Technique (NFT), flood and drain, and dripper systems all work well. While you can also try Sea of Green with a Deep-Water Culture (DWC) system, the size of the system means you’ll have to plant several cuttings per bucket.

Sea Of Green Pros

  • Although you end up with a smaller per plant yield, the average yield per square meter is far higher. You also benefit from multiple harvests each year.
  • The shorter growing time also reduces the risk of pests, diseases, or error. As a result, there is a much better chance of your crop growing healthily for the duration of their life cycle.
  • You can use the SOG method in a small grow room because you need far less vertical space.
  • Once your plants are ready for harvest, you can trim them nice and quickly due to the high bud to leaf ratio.
  • As there are fewer fan leaves to remove, less organic waste is created.
  • You shouldn’t have to worry about underdeveloped lower buds.

Sea of Green Cons

  • Although there is less to do once your plants reach the flowering stage, you have to put in lots of work early doors. Tasks include finding suitable clones, taking cuttings, potting the plants, and setting up drippers.
  • While your plants are less likely to attract pests or pathogens, if they get sick, your entire crop could be wiped out because the plants are closely packed together.
  • You will need to dispose of large amounts of the growing medium after each harvest.
  • You can only use certain types of plant because of the way SOG works.
  • If you enjoy making edibles, the lack of trim leaves will be a blow.
  • You have to be very careful not to exceed your state’s legal cannabis growing limit. If you elect to grow plants continuously using SOG, there is a good chance you’ll end up breaking the law. Penalties for excessive marijuana growing range from a heavy fine to prison time.

Final Thoughts on the Sea of Green Method

If you use the SOG method of growing cannabis, you will benefit from higher yields per square meter, along with faster harvesting. You can force your plants into flowering in a matter of weeks and gain access to premium quality bud before your buddy who grows weed naturally.

It is a growing method that involves plenty of work initially, but once the plants hit the flowering stage, it should be relatively smooth sailing. However, you have to be careful not to use too many plants. For a start, you will pack the plants too densely so that the lower parts don’t receive enough light. Then there is the small matter of breaking the law by inadvertently growing too much marijuana!