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How To Grow Cannabis With Sea Of Green (SOG)

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Added 19 November 2020

Growing Cannabis With Sea Of Green (SOG)

Wondering how to make the most of your floor space? The key to fitting as much bud into your grow area comes with planning. This article explains how to grow using the Sea Of Green (SOG) method, so you can achieve a decent harvest in a limited space. 

What Is Sea Of Green (SOG)?

SOG (Sea Of Green) + ScrOG (Screen Of Green)

There are many techniques for growing weed but not all of them will meet your demands unless they are used appropriately. If you're into growing cannabis, then you have probably heard of the Sea of Green (SOG) method. This is not the same as Screen of Green (ScrOG), which uses a net to feed branches and stems through to create an even canopy, with the intention to produce bigger buds.

Sea of Green is a little different, and focuses on shortening the vegetation cycle to grow in limited spaces or achieve harvests more quickly. The plants are grown in small pots and are vegged for no more than 2 weeks before flipping the light schedule to flowering.

Depending on how many plants are being grown in the space, the veg cycle is adjusted so that each plant has just enough room. There is generally no need for stress training as the goal is mostly to get the plants flowering as quickly as possible. However, SOG can be adapted to suit a grower's needs and stress can of course be applied wherever one sees fit. The grower may just need to spend slightly longer in veg. 

Cannabis plants grown using SOG typically grow one main cola with few side branches. Plants rarely reach over 50-70cm tall, allowing for much easier management in the grow room. The yields tend to be smaller per plant but you get to harvest more often. Overall, plants can yield more per square meter in comparison to other growing techniques.

Pros and Cons of SOG

SOG Can Yield Decent Harvests Per Metre Squared

We can take a minute to understand the benefits and drawbacks of using such a technique. Fortunately, Sea of Green is one of the more simple training methods used by growers and is considered a low stress technique (LST). Aside from giving faster cycles, SOG saves on resources while helping to keep your cannabis garden organised. Plants need less water and energy to reach flowering, and they do not grow huge.

On the other hand, the are some difficulties one must face when it comes to using SOG. More plants means there is a higher risk when it comes to the law. On top of that, setting everything up so the plants grow at the same rate takes a bit of organisation.

Pros of SOG (Sea of Green) Cons of SOG (Sea of Green)
  • Yield is larger per square meter than other growing methods


  • Short grow cycles means less room for error or pests


  • Good for spaces with floor space but limited height


  • Less foliage means harvesting is much quicker


  • Light is not wasted and no lower buds 'stealing' energy


  • Plants can focus on growing one apical top bud
  • Uses large quantity of grow medium and pots.


  • Disease can spread quickly when plants are grouped tightly. 


  • Not all strains grow well using SOG.


  • Plenty of preparation work to get the plants growing consistently. 


  • Even though they are small, more plants equals higher risk in terms of the legal limits.

How To Grow Cannabis With SOG

Growing cannabis with SOG can be done either in soil, hydroponics or using other soilless mediums. How successfully it goes depends on your equipment, the strain, as well as the usual environmental requirements of the plant. Many growers set up an automated irrigation system with drippers to make watering easier.


Cannabis Clones

It is recommended that growers using the SOG method choose clones for planting, rather than seeds. Growing from seed means one plant may be a completely different size to another, which is not favourable in this kind of setup.

Having identical copies of the same plant across the garden makes the process much easier to manage. Cloning may take some practice but it means less work for you in the end. Make sure you take cuttings from a healthy mother and allow them to root properly before introducing them to your SOG setup.

  • Take cuttings that are approximately 5 inches long.
  • Give clones at least 18 hours of light per day. 24 hours is best.
  • Once rooted and growing they can be transplanted to the SOG setup.

Grow Space/Lighting

SOG (Sea Of Green) Setup Example

The amount of plants you can grow is determined by the output of your lighting. If the light is not powerful enough and you have too many plants covering a wide area, the light will not be distributed fairly. To get a rough idea, you can grow between 16-32 plants in a 1x1m grow space using a 400-600w HPS with the SOG technique.

Tip: It is recommended that no more than 32 plants are crammed into a square meter otherwise efficiency may decrease. Stick with 16 plants or less to start with if you've never tried SOG before.


SOG (Sea Of Green) Setup Example

The size of the pots you use determines how big the plants are able to grow. Typically, in a SOG setup the pots are square and take up most of the floor space with little spacing between them. For example, if you use 3 litre pots you would be able to fit roughly 25 plants into a 1x1m tent.

Or, if you want don't want to manage as many plants, you could opt for slightly larger pots. A lot of it depends on how much height you have to play with. It makes little sense to have large pots if your plants cannot grow tall enough to make use of the grow medium. 


Indica Sea Of Green

Preferably choose strains that are small and do not bush out too heavily during flower. A SOG garden can become densely packed so just remember that plants tend to have their explosive growth period during the first 2-3 weeks of flowering.

Indica strains are well suited to growing with SOG because they aren't usually tall and stay relatively compact. Sativas may need some training and extra pruning. Some growers will even top their SOG plants before flowering if they know it's a strain that stretches heavily.


SOG Cannabis Plants Benefit From Pruning During Preflower

Depending on the size of your plants, you may want to prune some of the lower leaves or shoots during the stretch period. If plants are packed too tightly together you could see problems with humidity accumulating under the canopy. Pruning helps with airflow and encourages energy to be directed to other parts of the plant where it is needed most.

A dense canopy also does not allow light to pass through to the areas low down on the plant. The goal is to produce mostly top buds, so it can be a productive idea to apply some pruning so you don't waste energy on branches that could be better used by the top buds.

SOG (Sea Of Green) by URbanGrown from GrowDiaries.


There is plenty more we could talk about when it comes to SOG, but hopefully this article will give you a starting point. Most of the work comes in vegetation to get everything set for flowering. After switching your light schedule to 12/12, maintenance of your plants becomes much easier.

If you have any questions, feel free to engage with the community down in the comments section!

External References

Seed Germination Behaviour of Cannabis Sativa L. Under Different Temperature Regimes. - Kumar, Birendra & Zaidi, S & Singh, Vagmi & Venkatesh, K & Ram, Georgia & Gupta, Anil & Kumar, Narendra & Samad, A. (2020)

Night Interruption Lighting Equally Effective As Daylength Extension In Retaining The Vegetative State Of Cannabis Mother Plants. Crop, Forage & Turfgrass Management. - Whipker, Brian & Cockson, Paul & Smith, James. (2019) 

This article was updated October 2020.


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Sea of Green is a great technique, but the legal implications shouldn't be taken too lightly. Hopefully, now that much of the world is looking more favourably on cannabis than before, the law may well treat sea of green as the simple technique it is. However, I thought it worth mentioning that before the law started changing (some 20 years ago) it was purely seen as a grow with more plants and therefore a grow more likely to be for supply purposes. I used SOG practices in a hydroponic grow that was purely for personal consumption, 12 plants in a 1 sq Metre space. The company I bought the seeds from (mail-order as seed banks were few and far between in those days) had been arrested and prosecuted for selling clones illegally. That gave the cops all the power they needed to seize the company database and gain warrants to search the properties of ALL of their seed buying customers... 'Seeds for souvenir purposes? yeah right...' My case went through the legal system to quite a high level before a deal was done that kept me out of stir by a whisker. They said they'd have thrown the book at me if I hadn't got such impeccable references as they felt I was definitely growing to supply as I had so many plants. I had expert defence proving I'd easily get through that much weed every 6 months (about 1/2 Oz per week) but they said 12 plants were way too many despite. Just bear in mind that even if it is legal where you grow now, if they only let you have 3 plants or so and you are growing a dozen or two, they might not treat you kindly. Personally I'd stick to ScrOG if you have any concerns at all...