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Swimming in a Sea of Green

July 27, 2016

Do you have permission to grow a boatload of plants, but you have only a small space to grow in? Never fear, the sea of green is here!

The sea of green (SOG) technique was developed as a way to pack as many cannabis plants in an enclosed space as possible. Not only does it take advantage of small spaces, it also maximizes your light usage—which is good when you get that electric bill at the end of the month and think, “Did I really use that many watts?”

In states like Colorado and Washington, warehouse space for professional grow operations is almost impossible to find right now. Luckily, you don’t need a giant warehouse to grow quality flowers. With a little pre-planning and a lot of green thumb, you can still pull off a successful grow with a tiny space.

How It Works

SOG works by pushing your plants out of vegetative and into flowering much sooner than they naturally would. This means those little sativas and indicas don’t reach their maximum height, but that’s precisely what we want to do in a small space.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Get your seedlings or clones together.
  2. Space them roughly 1 to 2 square feet apart. You need that horizontal space to make up for the lack of vertical height.
  3. Keep the plants on a vegetative light cycle (18 to 24 hours of light) until they reach about a foot in height. This should take about two weeks.
  4. Do some serious pruning. Remove all fan leaves and thin, flimsy branches.
  5. Once the plants reach the desired height, switch to a 12/12 light cycle to force flowering.
  6. Keep pruning. You want to focus only on the topmost buds, since these will be closest to the light sources.
  7. Once you’re done, harvest and cure your plants. If you did it correctly, you should still have some impressive yields despite your small growing space.

Some Tips

The key to a successful SOG operation is the pruning. Removing excess branches and leaves ensures that the plant puts all its nutrients and energy into the buds. By doing this, you’ll grow a lot of big, dense flowers using a minimal amount of area.

Additionally, be sure there aren’t any hotspots caused by the lighting. You may want to raise your lights a little higher than you normally would, or even switch out to lower-power bulbs. If there’s too much heat on the canopies, you risk burning your plants.

To prevent burn, point your fans over the canopies. The constant airflow will keep the plants from not just getting too hot, but also from getting too moist. Too much moisture can easily wreck a SOG operation.

And finally, be incredibly mindful of your fertilizer schedule and how much you’re adding. These plants are much smaller than your typical run-of-the-mill cannabis plants. They don’t need as much fertilizer as a Christmas tree-sized sativa. Too much fertilizer will burn the plants from the ground up rather than from the top down (like you’d get with hot lights).

Other than that, SOG is just like any other grow. Once your buds are ready, hang them up and cure as you normally would.

By Randy Robinson
Cannabis Cultivation Today articles are for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal guidance or advice on grow practices. You should contact an attorney or a qualified cultivation consultant for specific compliance and cultivation advice.


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