How to Understand the Difference Between SOG and SCROG for Growing Marijuana
There are many schools of thought about marijuana growing practices. Two particular growing methods, ‘sea of green’ and ‘screen of green’, have really taken the cannabis growing community by storm. Whether you are new to growing marijuana or an old pro, knowing how to carry out these growing methods properly is essential to getting maximum yields out of your plants. This guide makes SOG and SCROG growing techniques easy for all.
The Basics of SOG
Sea of green is a growing method that allows marijuana growers to harvest much faster than they usually would. By forcing the flowering stage at an early age, growers reap a harvest in a much shorter time, making the growing process less time-consuming. As with any growing method, starting with healthy plants is critical.
For sea of green to be effective, there are a few steps that must be carried out. The very basic premise of this growing method involves only allowing your cannabis plants to remain in the vegetative stage for around two weeks. Shortening the vegetative stage ensures the full focus of the growth period is placed on the flowering stage.
What are the Benefits?
Sea of green (SOG) allows you to grow many more plants at a time, which is ideal for those who are limited on space. Thankfully, the process is not complicated, even for those who are new to growing marijuana seeds. Consider the following benefits.
- Increases marijuana plant yield
- Reduces the time until harvest
- Allows for growing in small spaces
- Offers a more efficient use of lighting
This method of marijuana growing is often implemented by commercial growers who need to keep up a steady supply for their customers. Because it is so practical and straightforward, even home growers can utilize these growing methods and see positive benefits with each harvest.
One of the most important benefits of using SOG growing techniques is the ability to effectively and efficiently harness the power of the lights you are using. Indoor weed growers use a variety of light systems that hang above their plants. Read i49’s lighting guide for more details on how to choose which system is the best match for your grow set up.
While these lights are mostly beneficial, they do create shadows where parts of the plant are not receiving adequate light. To combat this issue, growers have come up with sea of green, which creates a canopy of marijuana buds that all receive equal light and grow more efficiently.
Understanding the Disadvantages of SOG
There are a few cons with sea of green to consider as well. You will need to thoroughly understand both SOG and SCROG to make a proper decision that works well for your growing needs.
- There is a lot more work involved in the early stages of growth than with other methods. Although SOG is certainly straightforward and even simple in its approach, it should not be considered an entirely easy way of growing marijuana.
- While it is unlikely your plants will become ill or be attacked with pests, because of how tightly packed they are in the space, it is possible to see the entire crop destroyed quickly when disease or pests strike.
- If you are one who enjoys edibles, you are not going to have much to work with in this type of growing method because lower branches are trimmed away and used as clones.
- You should be fully aware of your state’s laws regarding growing limits. If you are growing medical marajuana seeds for personal use, it can be very easy to go over the restrictions because of the number of harvests you can bring in each year.
- It is not uncommon to have to throw away a lot of growing medium after each cannabis harvest, and this can become expensive in the long run.
Most growers simply want more marijuana harvests, which is why they employ SOG methods. Sea of green is not right for every grower. If you are growing at least four plants, do not mind not having edibles, and want frequent harvests, SOG is likely going to be the right choice.
How to Get It Right
The best part of using sea of green is you do not have to have any special skills to be successful. This step-by-step guide will help you to know exactly what needs to be done so you can perfect sea of green and experience all the benefits of this marijuana growing method.
- Germinate the seeds to start them growing. If you want to save time, you can also take cuttings to create clones. Growing with clones is an excellent method of getting started on sea of green because you will be sure there are only healthy female plants. Our online store also offers guaranteed feminized seeds that can take the worry off your shoulders, as well as an easy to follow germination guide to ensure your success.
- Tie your branches with string and bend them. Carefully bend the branches to ensure they lie flatter rather than taller. This will cause some minor damage to the marijuana plants, but it will help to train them to grow out bushy instead of growing too much in height.
- Give them 18-24 hours of light a day. Grow your marijuana plants under lights until they reach around twelve inches in height.
- Space your plants Make sure there are about four plants for every square foot. Once the plants are spaced correctly, you will need to change their light schedule to 12 on and 12 off. Make sure the 12 hours of darkness are entirely dark to ensure the plants are forced into the flowering stage.
- Trim lower branches. As the flowering stage continues, you will soon notice a lush canopy of green beginning to develop. Make sure to trim the lower branches and use these as clones for your next planting.
- Harvest your crops whenever you are ready. With this growing method, you will typically be able to harvest within forty-five days, depending on the strain and how long you wait. Do not harvest too soon. Make sure to wait until there are plenty of brown pistils or until the trichomes have become cloudy in appearance.
How to Set Up a Continuous Harvest
If you are a regular connoisseur of marijuana, you are going to want constant harvests. Having a plentiful supply of weed is one of the biggest reasons growers use sea of green growing techniques.
For the best results, you should have a vegetative and flowering area that is devoted to each stage. As soon as the plants are ready for trimming you can start them off as clones so there is a harvest every thirty days or so, as long as you keep the cycle going.
If you take a streamlined sea of green growing approach, this should become effortless. You are merely creating much smaller plants and taking them to the flowering stage much faster than usual.
Which Marijuana Strains are Best for SOG?
If you truly want to maximize your yields with the sea of green growing method, Indica varieties are going to be best. These varieties naturally grow shorter and bushier than Sativa, so they are ideal for growing with sea of green.
Helpful Tips for Growing with Sea of Green
Although using sea of green is not overly complicated, it is possible to make mistakes. Using the following tips will help you to become an old pro.
- Choose short flowering cannabis seeds that will give rise to plants that flower more quickly. You do not want to use plants that go into long flowering stages. Choose plants such as Big Bud, Super Skunk, and white widow.
- If you choose to germinate seeds, make sure to select plants that are all the same height. This is why many people decide to grow clones so they can cut their plants to all the same height.
- Genetics plays a critical role in successfully perfecting sea of green. Use plants with good genetics to ensure the harvest is a healthy one.
- To make sea of green work, you are going to need at least four plants. Anything less will not develop a healthy canopy of green, which is what makes the sea of green growing method so beneficial.
- You can cut down the vegetative stage to only three days, heading towards harvest in a very short amount of time.
- Once you become experienced in SOG growing practices, you can top your plants. Removing the small tips of the plant once it has at least four leaves will help to increase the number of buds it produces.
- Hydroponics can easily be used with the sea of green method, and you are not tied to any single approach. Dripper systems, flood and drain, and nutrient film techniques all work well with SOG.
How Does SCROG Differ From SOG?
Now that you know all the ins and outs of SOG, it is time to delve into the topic of SCROG. While SOG focuses on harvesting as quickly as possible, SCROG is more focused on producing significant amounts of bud.
SOG is more about keeping the plants bushier and smaller by trimming the bottom branches, while SCROG uses a unique supportive platform and string to create a screen of green canopy. This screen of green helps to ensure all buds can achieve the same level of light exposure, and they grow healthy and strong.
Tips for Using SCROG
The goal of using SCROG is to increase the yield per square foot. Thankfully, scrogging is relatively easy, though it does require constant maintenance and careful training. Consider the following steps, and you will be able to carry out the scrog method properly.
- One of the first steps is choosing your plants. With the SCROG method, you can use both seedlings and clones, depending on your preferences.
- The goal of the SCROG method is to bend and manipulate your plants. You can use twine and a frame to efficiently train your plants into growing in a big green canopy. Some companies sell SCROG kits for easy setup.
- To prepare the plants, make sure you learn to top appropriately. Topping simply means removing the top growth. The goal of doing this is to encourage the growth of two colas instead of one.
- You can also lollipop your plants for SCROG. To lollipop a plant, you will need to remove all the lower branches, leaving behind only the top flowers. Remember, in the SCROG method, that the lower limbs will not be receiving as much light. By training the plants, you give all the buds the same access to light.
The Right Plants for SCROG
Choosing the right plants is essential for any growing method. To get the best results with SCROG, you must choose a plant that is hearty and thrives. The right plant will be one that can be trained without causing undue stress that leads to death. The following strains are some of the best for the SCROG method.
Which Growing Method Is Best to Use?
It would be difficult to fit every grower in a single box and determine which growing method would work for all. If you are compromised on space and want to hurry a harvest, sea of green is likely going to be the best choice.
If you have more time on your hands and want more buds, SCROG is ideal. SCROG methods require more maintenance and time, but they can be used to harvest more bud.
Whichever way you use, you must start with very healthy plants. Plants that are weak with genetic predispositions will not thrive well using either of these methods.
Growing with the SOG and SCROG methods is fun and innovative. It does take more work in the beginning stages, but many marijuana growers feel it is well worth the effort they put in. You may not get the strategies perfect right away, but with time, both of these methods of growing marijuana will seem more natural and less intrusive to your day to day life.
Both options give you a canopy of beautiful buds that are just waiting to be harvested. With the right approach, you can set up your growing rooms so a new harvest is coming about every thirty days when using SOG. If more buds are what you want, try SCROG.
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