The SOG cannabis growing method

Sea of Green

SOG or Sea of Green is a marijuana growing technique used to take advantage of all the available growing space. Basically, we only need to completely cover the whole space with relatively small pots, as many as needed. The number of pots used will depend on both the size of the pots and the available space. For our example, we will use a 1m2 growing tent and tell you a few tips that everyone should remember in order to achieve a successful SOG crop.

SOG indoor cannabis crop

SOG indoor cannabis crop

The main goal of this kind of cultivation is reducing as much as possible the time needed to grow and flower the plants, while getting the best possible yield of our growing space. With this method, one can achieve the same results in two months – using cuttings – than in 3-4 months when growing cannabis seeds . Saving money in our light bills or being able to perform more crops per year are some of the benefits from this interesting growing technique.

How to set up a  SOG crop

After getting all the needed growing gear (pots, lighting systems, fertilizers, etc.), the first thing to do is growing a motherplant from which we will take cuttings . For this kind of cultivation, it is very important having identical cuttings from the same motherplant – or at least from the same genetics – to achieve a homogeneous crop. Working with several genetics will surely cause problems regarding size, height, flowering time, nutrient needs, and a number of factors that will decrease the overall yield of the plants.

Once we have our motherplant ready, we should determine how many plants we are going to use per m2.; the amount of cuttings may depend on several factors and needs, but 25 plants/m2 is a good number to start with. Now we know how many cuttings we have to take from our motherplant and how many pots are needed to plant them.

It is advisable taking more cuttings than needed; this way, we can keep the best 25 ones for our growroom and discard the rest of them. We must choose the stronger and healthier ones, with similar heights, discarding those that would not form a homogeneous crop, what is crucial when using the Sea of Green method.

Ak47 clones ready to start a SOG crop

Ak47 clones ready to start a SOG crop

Another important aspect of this system is the type of irrigation that we are going to use for our plants. The best option is setting up an automatic watering system with dippers, connected to a nutrient solution tank. In this way, all plants will receive the same exact amount of nutrient solution, what will equally increase the production of all the plants.

Growing cannabis cuttings using the SOG technique

Plant each cutting in its respective pot ; we can perform a couple of transplants before flowering our plants, and the final pot’s size will depend on the used substrate. If we are using coco coir, 3-4 liter pots will be perfect; otherwise, if we use soil, we should use bigger containers, about 5-6L. Transplanting our plants saves space, helps to control the height of the cuttings and promotes growth with a shorter internodal distance, improving yields.

As the growth period of our clones will be short, we must use a quality root stimulator to enhance root growth, so they can quickly develop a well-formed rootball. Roots will drastically slow their growth after the pre-flowering stage – 2nd/3rd week of flowering – so we can stop adding root stimulator to the nutrient solution at this time.

Our plants should only have a main central bud with 2-3 side branches. We can prune the lower parts of the plants if needed, for we only want perfectly formed buds which usually only develop at the tops of the plants.

Plants should be about 35-50cm tall at the end of the flowering stage, so growing either Indica or Sativa strains is of key importance. We don’t want taller plants since the light emitted by the bulb would not reach the lower parts of the plants, developing few and squalid flowers. Indica marijuana strains are generally smaller and more compact than Sativas, which take more time to stop growing once the pre-flowering stage ends; for this reason, if we are using Sativa varieties we’ll flower them a bit sooner than the Indicas.

SOG of Ak47 marijuana plants, 3rd week of flowering

SOG of Ak47 marijuana plants, 3rd week of flowering

Cannabis SOG, almost ready to harvest

Cannabis SOG, almost ready to harvest

February 2, 2015 | Marijuana growing systems
33 Comments


33 comments on “The SOG cannabis growing method

  1. Papa Indica

    The sea of green, (SoG), method is something that I’ve thought many times about trying. The issue for me is that, while I do live in a state where I can legally grow for medicinal purposes, the law says I can have no more than six plants flowering at one time. Chances are, nobody will ever be checking me to make sure of how many I have, and I have certainly spent most of my life ignoring marijuana laws but, I’m quite happy to be able to grow legally, and I don’t want to jeopardize that right. So, I guess for me, SoG is something that will have to wait.

    1. Dani Alchimia Post author

      Hi Papa Indica,

      The SOG method was developed mainly by Dutch farmers as intensive growing system. It can be a good way to reduce the time between crops, but it is truly dangerous in countries where the number of grown plants is legally established. Even in countries (like Spain) where we don’t have a number of “legal” plants, it is not the same telling a judge you had 6 plants than telling him/her you had 30 plants. Not to speak of having motherplants at home, or growing more than 1m2…

      All the best!

  2. 420badger

    Nowhere does it state how much shorter the flowering period is? Growing smaller plants means they can be harvested quicker?
    So from my usually 20/30liter pots 10 weeks flowering plant… The SOG method in 3liter pots will take 6weeks?

    1. Dani Alchimia Post author

      Hi 420badger,

      Not at all, the flowering period will always be the same no matter how big the plant is. The pot size (and of course the length of the growth cycle) will determine how much the plant will grow, but if your plant takes 10 weeks to flower it doesn’t matter if it’s 50cm or 2m tall, it will still take 10 weeks. What happens with the SOG method is that you don’t need prolongued growth cycles since you want to harvest small plants; you save time, but shortening the growth stage, not the flowering stage.

      All the best!

  3. 420badger

    My feed schedule in flower
    Wk 1… A+B
    Wk 2… A+B / BigBud
    Wk 3… A+B / BigBud (introducing small amount of PK13/14)
    Wk 4… A+B / PK13/14 (reducing amount of BigBud)
    Wk 5… A+B / PK13/14
    Wk 6… A+B / PK13/14
    Wk 7… A+B / PK13/14 (introduce small amount Overdrive)
    Wk 8… A+B / Overdrive (reduce amount of PK13/14)
    Wk 9… A+B / Overdrive
    Wk10. A+B
    Flush

    This is for my standard growing method, how would this change if I was doing SOG?

    1. Dani Alchimia Post author

      Hi 420badger,

      Growing with the SOG technique basically means using lots of small plants per m2, which have been for a short period of time under a growth photoperiod (usually, the best option is using clones). In this way, if you’d like to do a SOG you would use the same feeding schedule, since your plants would need the same period of time to bloom.

      Best vibes!

  4. Scott

    Can any one help ?
    I’m new to the game of growing cannabis, and looking to grow indoors with the SOG system in an area of 5′ 5″ Long by 2’3″ Wide and 5’5″ High…
    Could any body tell me the best lighting system to use that can do the job well but doesn’t bring much attention to the electric bill.
    Also, providing all go’s well, and all the variables are correct, how much yield would i expect on average with 10 plants spaced in this area with 30cms sq each over a period of say 8 weeks.

    Cheers
    Scott

    1. Dani Alchimia Post author

      Hi Scott,

      First of all, most grow tents on the market are square to take advantage of the light emitted by the bulb at most. Thus, rectangular grow tents are designed to fit two lighting systems, which spread light much more uniformly. With the dimensions that you mention, and taking into account that you don’t want your electricity bill to be too high, I would probably choose LED systems. While notably more expensive than HPS systems, they’ll produce little heat (something interesting for you, since your growing space is relatively small). A cheaper option would be 250 or 400W HPS systems, although you’ll probably need a potent extractor fan in this case.

      With those dimensions, and if everything goes ok, you should get around 400-500gr of dried buds (always depending on equipment, strains grown, feeding, environmental conditions, etc).

      Hope it helped! 😉

  5. Tim

    20 years ago I was doing nft sog with about 40 clones on a metre square table and was getting about 30 to 40 zips a crop dry other done any since then life circumstances ect but thinking of getting tent and small nft tank what I would like to no is if I grow 2 plants from seed it’s a 80 x80 x140 grow tent under mars hydro 48 reflecter led light dutch passion mazer feminisedseeds what kind of weight should i get thanks

    1. Dani Alchimia Post author

      Hi Tim,

      According to the manufacturer, the Mars Hydro 48 can be compared to 100W HPS and is recommended for 70x70x160cm grow tents. According to the power of the LED system, I’d expect around 100gr of dried buds, almost 4 ounces. Still, it all depends on nutrients, genetics and environmental factors like temperature and humidity, CO2, etc.

      Hope it helped!

  6. Tim

    I have only ly ever grown cuttings before so I like the thought of growing proper Christmas tree type plants lol

    1. Dani Alchimia Post author

      Hi Tim,

      The SOG technique is normally used with plants that develop a prominent main stem and few side branches, and ideal for cuttings!

      😉

  7. Tim

    Yea I mean I’m going.g back to 94 ish it was.harder then you get stuff you needed I made my nft table out of 4 by2 s and plywood but very successful had accses to good clones shiva skunk silver pearl ect 3 quid each at the time I got 40 on my table under 2 metal halides 400.wat and 2 hps for flowering I used to average 40 ounces a group not done anything since the 90s wow how things have changed grow tents leds.but I’m still doing the same thing

    1. Dani Alchimia Post author

      Hi Tim,

      Often, old school growers keep on using the same “old” techniques (most times with excellent results, I must say). The game has changed a lot, but many of us are still growing like we did in the 90’s, perhaps with slight variations but we’re basically doing the same that we were doing 20 years ago. Grown tents are affordable, come in many different dimensions, are easy to assemble and provide amazing results. Also, LED systems and new generation HPS lamps (which we’ll be soon offering) are being increasingly used, especially by professional growers. Not to speak about new genetics!!!

      😉

  8. Tim

    Thanks for your reply right helpfull all going well 2 mazers 2 suger kush scrog there f……kin….lovely lol

  9. Tim

    Oh and I got another marshydro 48 in there now so bout 200 wats but they say the spectrum of the leds make them better than what it sounds like 200 wats from hps ain’t as good as 200 wats from led s is this correct it certainly seems like it seems pretty much the same kinda results as 400 wat sodium

    1. Dani Alchimia Post author

      Hi Tim,

      Good Led systems provide excellent results. They’re often compared with twice the power in HPS (200W LED = 400W HPS). In my honest opinion, this comparison is a bit too optimist, but yes, LED systems are usually more efficient than HPS lamps.

      All the best!

  10. Brett Strong

    New to sog. What is the best feeding and watering cycle to follow? It is ok to contact via email.

    1. Dani Alchimia Post author

      Hi Brett,

      Since small plant pots are usually used in SOG setups, I’d recommend an automated irrigation system. Basically, you need a tank for your nutrient solution, a water heater to keep the solution at about 20 degrees Celsius, a water pump, some hose and drip stakes. This will save a loooooot of time!!

      We normally irrigate the plants 2-3 times a day for a couple of minutes during growth, and then 4-5 times a day during bloom.

      Please, feel free to contact me at dani@alchimiaweb.com, I’ll be glad to help!

      Best!

  11. Tay

    Want to try sog but could you veg for like two weeks indoors and flower outdoors

    1. Tim Alchimia

      Hi Tay, sure, you could definitely do it like that as long as the photoperiod outdoor is correct for triggering flowering (less than 14 hours daylight).

  12. Tay

    Thanks for the reply and I hope all is well

  13. Sandra Deanq

    When is the best time of year to take cutting for overwintering clones from an outdoor grown female motherplant?

    1. Tim Alchimia

      Hi Sandra, thanks for your question, it’s a good one. Coincidentally I’m about to take the last batch of cuttings from my outdoor plants over the next week or so, as they transition into flower and start to stretch a bit. I like to do it at this time because they’re full of vigour, and the stretch period gives them a bit of extra growth to choose your cuttings from. I’ve even taken cuts while they’ve been in flower, they’ll root perfectly well and then start to re-veg after rooting, given the correct photoperiod, although i prefer to take cuttings earlier if I can help it.

      Hope that’s helped you out, all the best and happy growing!

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