After growing your first few rounds of cannabis you may start looking into getting more out of your plant. Low-stress training methods are considered advanced techniques but are easy to pull off.
The sea of green (SOG) is a method of cannabis plant training that even beginner growers can take advantage of. If you’re growing autoflowers then this technique will work well for your plants.
This article will explain what SOG is and how to do it so that you can start experimenting with your next cannabis grow.
What Is The Sea of Green (SOG) Method?
The Sea of Green method is designed to force the cannabis plant to focus its energy on the main cola, or bud. Placing the plants together in a tight space will make them grow into an even canopy.
The idea is to get the plant to focus on diverting energy to one main cola. With only one main cola to worry about you can squeeze many plants together under one light.
Maintaining your plants while using the SOG method involves pruning side branches and undergrowth away. Very little light will reach through the canopy, causing the plant to waste energy underneath.
It can be tricky to get underneath a large number of plants, so keep your crop small. It’s better to focus on getting a bigger yield from a small number of plants than the other way around.
Using this process is especially effective on autoflowers since they don’t grow tall (around 80cm on average). Maintenance for SOG autoflowers is minimal since they flower fast enough to avoid unwanted growth.
It’s best to use an indica dominant strain because they will stay short and bushy. If grown correctly, the SOG method can produce large, quick yields per cycle.
You can also do something called progressive harvesting if your canopy gets too thick. This involves snipping off buds at the top of the plant as they finish and then letting the buds right underneath it grow up and ripen for you to harvest later.
Pros And Cons Of Growing Autoflowers Using SOG
There are other methods for improving yields, but none quite as suited for autoflower strains. There are many positive reasons to use SOG for your autoflowers. However, some perceived negatives could influence your final decision to use it.
- Meant for fast-growing plants
- Least invasive LST method
- More plants, less space
- Consistent yields
- A lot of defoliating and maintenance are required
- Plants nearby can be prone to pests and mold
- Not all strains grow well using this method
How To SOG Your Autoflowers
The sea of green method isn’t difficult to pull off. It is important to note that due to the fast flowering nature of autoflowers, you may need to defoliate much less than stated here. It’s all depending on airflow and if you need to increase it for pest or mold control.
Here is a quick way to get started:
- Start your group of plants from clones. You want them all to be of uniform size and shape.
- As your plants grow you will need to defoliate and clear up areas where airflow is stagnant. The airflow keeps pests and mold from proliferating on your plant.
- Make sure to put your plants as close as possible but try to limit touching until they grow up more.
- Eventually, as the canopy closes in above you will trim all of the lower parts of your plants that aren’t getting any light.
How Many Plants Do You Need?
You’ll want to group all of the pots. You can grow up to 32 plants together under a 1×1 meter space with a 600-watt light.
If you choose pots that are 3 inches in diameter then you can get about 25 plants in a 1×1 meter area.
How Much Does It Yield?
If your plants are supported correctly and have had an optimal growing life then you could get at least 1lb/m2 which isn’t a terrible yield for autoflowers.
Is It Better to SOG Or ScROG Your Autoflowers?
The screen of Green (ScROG) is another popular technique in the growing industry. It’s a technique better suited for photoperiod cannabis as it takes advantage of the long vegetative and flowering phases.
To ScROG your plant involves making your plant grow many colas instead of just focusing on one big one. Your cannabis plants are spaced further apart and are left alone to grow up through a net or trellis.
Once they start to poke up above the netting, you pull the branches down and weave them through. The plant will now start growing a new cola out of the nodes as they will be reaching upwards the light.
It’s an excellent technique to increase yields but since autoflower cannabis has such short life cycles, it doesn’t make any sense since it takes a lot of time to grow the new colas.
Autoflower cannabis growers will see more of a benefit when they use the Sea of Green technique. The quicker grow time itself makes more sense to focus on one main cola instead of trying to get a bunch of them going.
Since autoflower plants are also generally a lot smaller, you want to fit as many plants as possible in a small area. Using the ScROG technique will make the plant canopy grow out very wide and tall, reducing the number of plants you can have in a given area.
You may be limited on effective techniques to get the most yield out of your autoflower cannabis plants based on the dynamics of the plant itself. However, the sea of green technique is one solid hitter that can help you increase yields.
As a beginner grower, you might be hesitant to try something that will potentially alter your yields for the worst. This technique is pretty much harmless to the plant as long as you are meeting all of its needs for nutrients, light, and airflow.