When you first start growing plants, your goal is just to get from seed to harvest – with some sort of yield! But once you get a few growth cycles under your belt, you’ll undoubtedly want to start pushing the envelope and implementing more advanced tactics. This extra work can result in better quality, higher potency, and everyone’s favorite – bigger yields.

Today, we’re going to unveil a tactic that can help you get your plants to harvest fast – sometimes, in under 2 months. The best part? You still get some serious weight on harvest day! We’re excited to introduce you to the sea of green method setup – or SOG method, for short.

The sea of green technique is all about getting your plants out of the veg cycle and into flower as soon as possible. While your yields won’t be nearly as heavy as they would if you let your plant veg for 3-4 months, you can squeeze in more harvests per year. But this still begs the question – what is the typical sea of green yield growers can expect? 

Not so fast – we’ve got a lot to cover before we get into what you can anticipate from sea of green hydroponics. We’ll start by covering the basics of the SOG growing technique – including the history and what all this plant training tactic entails. Then, we’ll walk you through a sea of green setup tutorial so you can give this method a try yourself. Let’s not waste any more time!

What is the Sea of Green Method? SOG Growing Technique Defined

The sea of green (SOG) method is an indoor cannabis cultivation technique that involves planting many small cannabis plants instead of a few large ones. Outdoor hydroponics is certainly possible – but not with this particular setup, as you need to be able to manipulate the light with ease. 

The goal of the SOG technique is to produce a much larger yield per square meter/foot by canopy than what would be possible with traditional methods like SCROG (screen of green) or LST (low-stress training). 

What are the Benefits of the Sea of Green Method?

We know what you’re thinking…is it really worth all the time and effort to learn about and set up a sea of green hydroponics room? The answer is a resounding yes! Here are some of the benefits you can expect from using the sea of green method:

Impressive Yields Per Plant

This is the number one reason growers choose to use the indoor sea of green technique. When done correctly, you can achieve some seriously impressive yields – all while growing fewer plants. 

Now – it’s true that the sea of green yield per plant is lower than, say, a crop that was given 3-4 months to veg before being flipped to flower. However, plants also have a genetic limitation – and while you can try and squeeze out as much yield as possible by growing bigger plants, there is a point where you’re wasting electricity and resources. And, as you’ll learn in the next point, getting more harvests per year leads to potentially bigger yields annually.

Short Grow Cycles Means More Harvests in a Year

cannabis harvest

Since the goal of SOG is to get your plants out of veg and into flower as quickly as possible, you can fit more harvests into a single year.

For example, if it takes you 90 days to grow a plant from seed to harvest using traditional methods – you could potentially cut that down to 45-60 days with the indoor sea of green grow method.

That means you could get two harvests in the time it would normally take you to get one! While your sea of green yield per plant is lower, your yields over the course of the year will typically outweigh what they otherwise would be.

Maximize Your Growing Space & Other Resources

The sea of green method setup is perfect for growers who are limited in space. While we’ve definitely seen commercial cultivars implement this technique in their facilities, it’s far more common among hobby growers. Why? Simple – most home growers are limited in terms of space. 

Maybe you’re growing in a shed or your garage. Or, perhaps you’ve got a little tent set up in your closet. Whatever the case, the height of your growing space is likely the biggest limitation you’ll face. But by planting fewer, smaller plants – you can make the most out of a small growing area.

And, you also get to maximize the use of other resources – such as water, electricity, fertilizer, and more. Because you get your plants out of veg faster, you’re not spending as much money on lighting – you’ll get to flip from 18/6 (or 24/0) to 12/12 faster. And, smaller plants have less nutritional/water needs. All things considered, the indoor sea of green grow method is a more efficient approach to horticulture.

A New & Exciting Growing Method to Try!

Let’s face it – cannabis growers revel in the opportunity to try something new and exciting. The more grow cycles you get under your belt, the more you’ll want to try new things. And, the indoor sea of green growing method is just another tactic you can implement if things have gotten stale for you. You’ll feel like you’re growing for the first time all over again!

How Much Does the Hydroponic Sea of Green Technique Yield Per Plant? Setting Your Expectations

Now that you know all the benefits of the sea of green technique, you’re probably still questioning the yield. How much does the hydroponic sea of green technique yield per plant, exactly? While we’d love to give you a straight answer, that’s not possible. The reality is, your sea of green yields will likely vary from the next growers. Here are the factors affecting your sea of green yield:

  • The specific type of cannabis strain you’re growing – ask any seasoned grower what the biggest limiting factor is for a crop besides space, and they’ll tell you – it’s genetics. Certain strains produce bigger yields than others – so choose your genetics wisely.
  • Exactly how long you veg the plants – letting your SOG setup veg for 4 weeks will result in smaller yields than a grower who lets their SOG setup veg for 6 weeks – or 8 weeks, and so on. Finding the perfect balance of providing your plants ample veg time and getting to harvest quickly will take you a few cycles. But, nailing down this balance is how you maximize your yields while fitting as many harvests in a calendar year as possible.
  • Quality inputs lead to quality outputs – besides your genetics, the rest of your indoor grow supplies and equipment should be quality if you want impressive yields and potent buds. Be sure to use the best hydroponic fertilizer possible. We recommend quality LED grow lights, too. Of course, you can really maximize your yields by adding supplemental CO2 – along with other plant training techniques.

These are just a few factors that play a role in how much weed your sea of green plants will yield. In general, though, you can expect indoor sea of green yields to range from a quarter ounce per plant to over a half ounce per plant. 

It’s important to keep in mind that the sea of green method setup is geared more towards quantity over quality. So, don’t expect huge buds & record-breaking yields – but rather smaller, more potent colas that pack a serious punch. By now, you should be well convinced that trying out the sea of green technique yourself is worthwhile. But there’s still one more question – should you go with soil or hydroponics?

Indoor Sea of Green Hydroponics vs Soil: Which Approach Works Best for SOG Growing Method? 

The short answer – it depends on your preferences as a grower. It also depends on your experience level. We don’t recommend trying hydroponics for the first time while also trying SOG growing method for the first time. If you’ve got experience with hydroponics already, though, then you recognize all the benefits that soilless cultivation has to offer. 

  • You can achieve faster growth rates because nutrients are delivered directly to the roots.
  • It’s easier to control the environment when growing hydroponically – which leads to healthier plants overall.
  • This style is typically cleaner and can result in fewer pest/disease issues.
  • Hydroponic systems can be automated so you spend less time tending to your plants

All things considered, we recommend sea of green hydroponics over soil growing – but, in the end, you can enjoy success with either grow method. At this point, we’re ready to guide you through our hydroponic sea of green setup tutorial – keep reading to determine your next steps!

Hydroponic Sea of Green Setup Tutorial: Step by Step Guide 

While you may be under the impression that perfecting a hydroponic sea of green setup is complicated, it’s actually not. Because your plants are smaller, they’re more manageable – even despite the greater quantity of plants in your growing space. While we could write an entire book on a sea of green tutorial, we’re going to simplify the process into 5 easy steps. Step one – choose your genetics wisely!

Step 1) Choose Your Genetics Wisely 

We said it before – but genetics are the biggest limitation growers face in terms of yield and potency. You could have the best sea of green setup in the world – but if your genetics aren’t top-notch, you’re going to be disappointed come harvest day. Typically, indica varieties perform best in a sea of green setup – because they grow shorter than their sativa counterparts. Some of our personal favorites include:

  • White Widow
  • OG Kush
  • Cookies varieties
  • Northern Lights

In terms of propagation, we prefer hydroponic cloning for one simple reason – it’s faster and easier! However, you can certainly start seeds if that’s your thing. 

Step 2) Gather the Rest of Your Indoor Growing Essentials

Along with your seeds or clones, you’ll want to gather the rest of your growing equipment. Of course, you’ll need a quality hydroponic system (unless you’re growing in pots and soil). We recommend a deep water culture system or an ebb and flow system. You’ll also need all the other growing essentials – like lighting, nutrients, trimming scissors, harvest supplies, etc. 

We recommend buying a complete hydroponic grow package that includes everything you need – including the ventilation system. Now – two specific areas you should not skimp on quality are your lighting (we prefer LEDs) and your nutrients (check out our guide on the best hydroponic fertilizer). Remember – quality inputs = quality outputs. 

Step 3) Allow Your Plants to Veg for a Month or Less

Once you’ve got all your gear, it’s time to put your plan into action. Set up your hydroponic system and get your plants vegging. 

This is where you have some control over the process as the grower. You can veg plants for as little as 2-3 weeks – or, give them a full 4-6 weeks. Any longer than that, though, and your plants will start to exceed the standard for what a SOG growing method entails. 

Shoot for an overall height of 6″-12″ tall max. Because once you switch to the flower cycle of 12/12, your little plants will start stretching – and could potentially double in height in the coming weeks!

Step 4) Flip to Flower & Start Training Your Plants

Once you’re satisfied with the height of your plants it’s time to switch the photoperiod away from 18 hours on, 6 hours off (or 24 hours on if you’re really trying to supercharge vegetative growth as quickly as possible. The flowering photoperiod is 12 hours on, 12 hours off. Make sure to keep up with your feeding chart as nutritional needs will shift with this photoperiod change as well. 

Now is the time to start training your plants. In a sea of green growing setup, plants could easily start crowding each other. You don’t want plants stealing light from each other – so trim back growth and focus on just 2-3 big colas per plant at most. You can trim away excess shoots – and use these as clones for the next cycle if you’d like!

Step 5) Harvest Your Plants & Run Another Cycle!

After 4-6 weeks, your plants will likely be ready for harvest. We encourage you to invest in a quality handheld microscope so you can inspect the trichomes of your plants. This is the easiest way to determine when you should chop your plants. When you see as much as 20% of the trichomes starting to turn from a clear to a milky, amber-twinged color – the timing is perfect. You can then start drying the crop or trimming wet – whichever approach to harvest you prefer. Give the colas a chance to cure, and with a few additional weeks you’ll be ready to test the fruits of your labor!

But the fun part about the sea of green growing method? As soon as you chop those plants down you’re ready to start the next cycle. Remember – to really get the full benefit from SOG growing method, you need to squeeze as many harvests in a calendar year as possible!

Tips for Perfecting the Indoor Sea of Green Hydroponics Technique

Before we wrap up, we want to provide you with a few tips for perfecting the sea of green hydroponics technique:

  • Make sure you give your plants enough space. While SOG growing method does mean packing a lot of plants into a small space, you don’t want to overcrowd them. This will just lead to problems down the road. Leaf-on-leaf contact creates humidity, and if not properly managed – could lead to crop issues like powdery mildew.
  • Keep an eye on your nutrient levels. With so many plants in such close proximity to each other, it’s important to make sure they’re all getting the nutrients they need – and not competing for them. This is specifically for growers who have plants sharing a reservoir. If each plant has it’s own growth module, this shouldn’t be an issue.
  • Don’t let your plants get too big. As we mentioned before, you want to keep your plants short and stocky – no more than 12″ tall at the end of the vegetative stage. If they start getting too tall, trim them back or switch to the flowering stage sooner.
  • Train your plants early and often. This will help ensure that each plant is getting the light it needs, and also helps to prevent issues like leaf-on-leaf contact.

Parting Thoughts on the Sea of Green Growing Method

We hope this resource has provided you with clarity on the sea of green hydroponics growing method. You now know all about what the sea of green grow method entails, its rich history, and why you should consider setting up your own sea of green hydroponics system. 

Armed with the step-by-step guide and the tips we provided above, you’ll be amazed at the yields and potency of your first SOG crop – best of luck!