marijuana sea of green method

Learn about two popular low-stress training methods to get more from your cannabis harvest.

When growing marijuana indoors, space is often an issue. The lack of an extensive grow room requires some creativity, and the Sea of Green (SOG) and Screen of Green (ScrOG) growing practices are two efficient ways to maximize the yield in a relatively small area, known as “LST” or low-stress training methods.

Whether you’re looking to harvest more quickly, grow more plants, or simply expand your cannabis gardening know-how, this article can help! Read on to learn more.

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Sea of Green (SOG) Cannabis Growing Method

  • Want to maximize the use of space in your grow room? Use the SOG method.
  • Want to harvest buds more quickly/multiple times each year? Use the SOG method!
  • Want to grow a lot of marijuana plants, but aren’t as worried about yield? SOG is for you.
  • Planning to use indica or indica-dominant marijuana strains? Go for SOG.

Growing Cannabis in Short Spaces

The SOG method is useful for growers with a limited amount of vertical space.  The marijuana plants are forced into flowering much earlier than traditional or ScrOG methods, resulting in smaller marijuana plants of uniform height.

In addition to limiting height, SOG also minimizes the length of time before the marijuana buds can be harvested.  The flowering period is induced when the plants are just 10 to 12 inches tall – usually two or three weeks after germination – as opposed to the four or more weeks generally allotted for the ScrOG method.

cannabis gardening sea of green

Sea of Green is a relatively simple method ideal for low-ceiling spaces.

Get More Marijuana Plants in Your Grow Room

Though this limited growth period means the yield will be much less for SOG than that harvested from taller plants, the smaller size allows the grower to double, or even triple, the number of marijuana plants grown in a small space (2-4 per square foot rather than one).

SOG is considered a relatively simple method of growing marijuana indoors, as it does not require training like some other methods, including ScrOG.  As long as the light and dark periods are changed at the correct time (before the plants have grown too tall), the plants should mostly take care of themselves, and create your “sea of green” with relatively little effort.

Sea of Green for Indicas and Sativas

The final height of plants grown using SOG will depend on the marijuana strains you choose to grow, as well as the intensity of the light source.  Sativa-dominant strains often continue to grow vertically for up to two weeks after flowering has begun, while indica-dominant strains cease stretching almost immediately, and turn their efforts of bud production and filling out horizontally.

Both marijuana types are suitable for SOG growing, though if vertical space is severely limited, the grower may choose to shorten the vegetative stage even more when using sativas, to allow for the additional growth during the flowering stage. It is always useful to understand the traits of your chosen strain before beginning to grow, with Sea of Green, or any other method.

The Best Cannabis Strains for Sea of Green:

Read More: Methods for growing cannabis indoors

Screen of Green (ScrOG)

cannabis screen of green how to

The screen of green method uses basic LST for optimal results

Why use the ScrOG method:

  • Want to maximize the use of space in your grow room? ScrOG might be for you.
  • Do you have extra time to allow for more growth? Go ScrOG.
  • Don’t want to grow a lot of marijuana plants, but want a good yield? You need ScrOG.
  • Planning to use sativa or sativa-dominant marijuana strains? ScrOG can help!

Get Larger Plants with Screen of Green

The ScrOG method is similar to the SOG method in that it results in a full canopy of marijuana buds, all of which are equally exposed to the overhead lights.  The difference between the methods is in the size of the plants.  ScrOG plants are allowed to grow for their maximum vegetative state, even one to three weeks longer than the recommended time, before flowering is induced.

How To Start the Screen of Green Method

During this time, ScrOG plants are grown horizontally – a type of “low stress training” (LST).  A screen with 2” wide holes – constructed from plastic fencing, string, or wire – is placed above the new plants, 15” to 25” above the ground.  When the marijuana plants reach the screen, they are manually repositioned, and tied if necessary, to the underside of the screen so they can continue growing horizontally along the bottom of it.  This repositioning makes ScrOG a more labour-intensive method than SOG.

About two weeks into the flowering period, branches and leaves no longer need to be tucked under the screen, and the developing bud sites are allowed to grow straight up through the holes.  By this time in the ScrOG cycle, branch and leaf growth has mostly ceased, so the tops of the marijuana plants poking through the screen should be uniform in size.

marijuana gardening lst screen of green

By exposing the length of the marijuana plant to light, Screen of Green lets you maximize bud growth

Get Cannabis Flowers All Along Your Plants

By growing the marijuana plants horizontally, the ScrOG method allows equal light to reach all along these stems and branches which would be shaded from the lamps in traditional growing methods (and also in the SOG method).  This encourages growth of the buds at multiple sites along the branch, buds which would otherwise remain underdeveloped and essentially useless.

With the Screen of Green method, a single plant can produce more than a dozen budding sites, resulting in a considerable yield, especially if the vegetative state is extended.  As for the best type of marijuana to use, sativa strains tend to grow taller than indica but due to the longer vegetative period, most strains, regardless of parent type, are suitable for ScrOG.

The Best Marijuana Seed Strains for Screen of Green:

SOG and ScrOG methods work using soil or hydroponics. Many growers recommend trimming the excess branches and leaves that develop below the canopy, once it is fully formed.  As long as it is done with care – ensuring no branches that feed the canopy are removed, pruning allows the majority of each marijuana plant’s energy and resources to be redirected to the canopy growth.

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