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Published: July 2nd, 2016
Categories: Cannabis Cultivation • How To
Growing cannabis is a relatively simple affair - there's a reason why they call it "weed." A few plants in a grow room are a good start for a budding hobby grower, but mastering some of the more advanced techniques of growing cannabis can really push thing forward. The "Sea of Green" (aka SOG) technique is just one of them.
One or two large plants in a small space is a pretty inefficient way to grow. Some clever cultivator figured it would be a much better use of space to grow multiple small plants in the space that would fit one or two large ones, maximising potential yields. This is where the Sea of Green technique comes into play. The basic premise is to force a cannabis plant to flower at a very young age before it can grow out into a huge plant. This causes them to go into panic and put all their effort into one large cola on top. As they are small and only have one main kola, you can fit multiple plants of the same age into a small space, creating an uninterrupted green canopy – hence the name Sea of Green.
The first thing you'll need to do is germinate your seeds. With Sea of Green, you'll find it's best to use a heavy indica/afghani strain, as they tend to be shorter plants with a higher bud density. Sativa dominant strains stretch out too much, which will interfere with the other plants in your grow.
After the initial seedling growth, your plants will begin to enter the vegetative stage of their life cycle. During this phase, the plants should receive light for 18 hours a day. Place your plants about 12cm apart. Cramming them into a space with this distance will ensure you get the most from this growing method.
During this period, it's ok to trim your plants a little. The aim is to get your plants to have one main central bud with just a couple of side branches. This way we get perfectly formed flowers directly on top of each plant. However, you do not want to do any excessive trimming, as you could risk putting the plant into shock.
After 10-14 days of this growth stage, you can induce flowering. This is achieved by switching the light cycle to 12 hours of light, 12 hours of darkness. Changing the light while they are still so young makes the cannabis think it is running out of time to produce its flowers, as such, they will pump all their energy into one main kola. As your plants grow the buds will become quite densely packed under the bright lights, so it's recommended that you bring your lights up a little higher as they grow. It's important to try and reduce the appearance of hotspots so you can achieve a homogenous crop.
During the flowering cycle, remember to prune your plants again. By training them in this way you have a lot of control over how your buds develop. Remove any excess outer leaves along with the thinner side branches that develop at the bottom. You want each plant in your crop to put all its energy into their top colas.
We like to use pots with a size of 5-6 liters. When you use this size your plants will range from about 30-50cm in height at maturity, short and densely packed. Try different strains and change the variables of your grow op to see what works best in your conditions. This method is great if you live in a small apartment or if you're gardening in a shed or grow tent. A completed grow truly looks like a "Sea of Green". Enjoy!