There are many ways to grow Cannabis plants, ranging from one large plant, to many smaller ones. Each has its pros and cons depending on what your project is, if growing with seeds or clones, the turnaround time you have and especially which strain you are working with. Below is explained about the Sea Of Green formation, the benefits and what to consider.
How Does It Work?
As the name suggests, there will ultimately be a sea of plants tightly packed together. In order for a S.O.G to be truly successful, the grower must use small plants and provide a very short vegetative time and induce flowering at the earliest convenience.
A floor plan should be created before filling a room with hundreds of small plants, as access ways, plant maintenance and feeding must all be seriously thought out. The size of the pot is important as the idea is to maximise the time frame you have with plants that will not grow too large, or require a big pot.
Once a walk way is created large enough for a gardener to tend to the plants, the grower can then focus on packing as many pots as closely together, with the end result of growing plants close to 60cm - 90cm in height depending on the cultivar.
The Advantages Of S.O.G
If you grow multiple small plants in the same space as one large plant, the end yield will most likely be very similar. However, from a financial perspective, vegging plants for a very short time and saving electricity and heating costs is highly beneficial, especially in the case of hitting targets and working against profit margins.
Another advantage is the fact that growers who have access to clones, can flower the clones immediately without the need for any vegetative time. Growers who use vegging rooms and flowering rooms in order to maintain a rotation every 4-6 weeks will benefit greatly from using clones with a Sea Of Green method.
Regarding maintenance, as the plants are so small and will be flowering for 7-9 weeks, the grower only needs to focus on nutrients created for the blooming phase. The savings over months of not having to buy nutrients for the growing phase of 18/6 and electricity bills are are bonus.
Once you do have a cultivar dialled in and are able to maintain a consistent garden with humidity and temperature, the ability to farm and produce a crop rotation is easily done and can be taught to farm hands and other gardeners.
What Strains Are Best Suited?
The best types of strains to use in a S.O.G set up are indica dominant, or hybrids. The reason is the short stature and flowering period of around 60 days will deliver the most profits, and keep the window of attack from pathogens and disease to a minimum.
Generally cultivars that produce one central cola are highly demanded by Sea Of Green growers, as they are easy to maintain and will produce a uniform canopy and crop. Strains with heavy side branching may be more difficult to work with as the plants begin to flower, with concerns to air flow. It is best to avoid taller sativa dominant hybrids that prefer to exceed 90cm in height and take over 60 days to flower.
Finding a short statured strain with a short flowering time will give any commercial farmer the edge when it comes to meeting deadlines and hitting targets.
What About Using Clones?
An excellent way to produce a crop in the shortest time, without any long veggatative periods. As clones are already rooted, once they are flowered they will not exceed much more in height and will yield one main top bud. Generally a room full of clones are what Sea Of Green growers prefer as it means the maximum production with the shortest time. Granted there would be another room of freshly rooted clones ready to replace the current crop once flowering is over.
From an investors point of view, using clones sourced in-house from a trusted mother plant and flowered immediately under a S.O.G setup equals profits and savings from purchasing seeds and high electricity bills and plant maintenance.
What Is The Difference With SCROG?
The abbreviation stands for Screen Of Green and is a version of S.O.G, however uses a screen as a way to enhance the top canopy and a point between what is classed as top growth and what foliage be pruned bare. This is a technique that is best performed on one large sized plant, that has been given long vegetaive times. During this period, various plant training techniques such as topping, low stress technique, super cropping and heavy amounts of pruning will take place.
SCROG is actually quite the opposite of a Sea Of Green in terms of plant maintenance, growing time under 18/6, plant count, pot size and the final size of the budded plants.
Top Tips On Sea Of Green Growing
- Make sure that you create a walk way that you can easily access to feed the plants. If you are not able to get into the middle of the S.O.G, this may cause problems if action needs to be taken.
- The shorter flowering time, the more profitable your grow operation will be annually. Strains such as Skunk, Afghani and Kush hybrids are better suited and are generally more resilient than sativa dominant cultivars.
- Create a small vegging room that will allow you to root clones in advance. This way once one crop is harvested, another set of clones, or seedlings will replace the room and keep a perpetual harvest occuring.
- If you are going to work with seeds, try and select a variety that is known for having a stable growth structure. You will want the plants to be as similar to one another to keep your crop as uniform as possible.
- Using drip lines is a really effective way to water plants without the need to hand water. If you are working on a large commercial scale, then using irrigation drip lines will save hours of work.