Few growers can argue that Sea Of Green (S.O.G.) cropping methods are some of the most productive ways to reach your medicinal harvests goals fast with amazing results.
S.O.G. growing methods (which should not be confused with SCRoG) make use of the principal that when grown in a controlled environment, individual plants can be very productive in less space. Likely originating from flower growing management practices, S.O.G. gardening is highly suited to cannabis production, although it may be prohibitive to some.
The S.O.G. method gets it's name from the fact that plants are grown and harvested in relatively higher planting densities. Finished the plants tend to be short, almost identical in stature and tightly packed, giving the appearance of a sea of green.
There are some real advantages to be found for bud growers with S.O.G.
Yields per watt tend to be very high because no space is wasted. Every inch of linear under a high intensity grow light is packed full of buds -- there is little space wasted and just enough for air and light to reach all parts of the plants.
Crops can be harvested very quickly. There is little or no time required for vegetative growth. Rooted cuttings are established in one gallon containers or four- to six-inch growing blocks (like Rockwool Cubes). After just a few days in a vegetative growth plants become established and gain vigor. After propagation they are ready to enter the bud phase.
Because the planting density is so high, the plants quickly fill the space -- no time is required in vegetative growth to ensure that the space has enough branches.
Because plants finish faster, there is less time for insects or other potential problems to become established before harvest.
Trimming and handling are simplified too, because every plant is a top bud!
S.O.G. gardening is more management intensive, and there are some principles that should be adhered to for the best rates of success:
1. Avoid light hotspots in the canopy. To keep the crop canopy even, raise your lights a little higher than normal or consider using 600W HIDs where you might typically use a 1000W grow lamp.
2. At least twice during the budding cycle, do serious pruning of all the plants in the garden. Remove excess foliage and thinner side branches. Train the crop to put all of the energy into the top buds, which are packed tightly together under bright lights.
3. Keep fertilizer strengths lower, and be cautious with nitrogen levels. Too much fertilizer can create stretching with higher planting densities of smaller plants.
4. Avoid excessive watering, and keep plants drier to can help to control growth -- but don't water-stress plants.
5. A flow of air across the top of plants encourages a healthy exchange of gases in the dense canopy of buds and leaves. It also helps keep plants short and squat.
Strain selection will have a lot to do with the results and how you need to manage your S.O.G. bud garden. Indica dominant strains tend to grow dense with fewer side branches. Typically, S.O.G. plants range from 9 to 24 inches in height at maturity. Yields can be be double over conventional methods when all factors are optimized.