Growing cannabis with the Sea of green (SOG) Method

What is sea of green? How to do sea of green? The sea of green grow method is a technique of growing lots of small cannabis plants quickly, to get fast heavy crops.

With sea of green (often called simply ‘SOG’), the plants are often grown in small containers to allow dense packing in the grow room. Growth of side blooms is de-emphasised in favour of growing a heavy main bloom.

If you select the most suitable genetics, the sea of green technique is a way of producing rapid and heavy crop cycles. Little time is spent on vegetative growth, making harvests faster and more frequent.

With smaller plant containers, sea of green growers often have 4-6 times as many plants as normal, sometimes more. For those growing where cultivation is illegal, the extra plant numbers can deter people from trying the sea of green method. But for those that have mastered sea of green growing, there is no other way quite as fast at producing heavy crops. Read on to find out more about the sea of green growing method and why so many growers would never try anything else.


  • What does SOG or Sea of green stand for?
  • Sea of green grow method essentials
  • SOG growing method step-by-step guide
  • How much does a sea of green yield?
  • Sea of Green method pros and cons
  • Best cannabis strains suitable for SOG
  • How to SOG with maximum yields

What does SOG or Sea of green stand for?

SOG, or Sea Of Green, is popular with lots of growers including commercial growers. The technique of growing in small containers, with large plant numbers and low/no veg time is in contrast to SCROG growing. In SCROG grows, small numbers of plants are grown in large containers often with long periods of veg growth.

Dutch Passion Power Plant grown with the SOG method
Power Plant grown indoors with the SOG method.

Sea of green grow method essentials

Perhaps you have heard about sea of green cannabis but never fully understood how it works or what the benefits are. Perhaps you are interested, but worried that the increased plant numbers are too risky for your personal grow situation. Whatever your thoughts, this sea of green grow guide will explain all you need to know and all the essentials that will allow you a successful  harvest.

When and how to start your sea of green grow

Some will grow their plants from clones, others will use feminised cannabis seeds. Clones have the advantages that you can select a proven mother plant. This means you know exactly how tall she will grow, what her nutrient requirements are as well as the expected potency/yield.

The clones are often selected from a specific phenotype of a strain which is particularly suited to the sea of green system. One other advantage of growing sea of green marijuana from clones is that you are guaranteed a grow room of uniform, identical plans with the similar nutrition needs.

You will need to prepare and root a large number of cuttings/clones. Or you will need plenty of good quality feminised cannabis seeds. Then you will need a standard grow room, with the usual features. That means powerful light coverage, nutrients, fans, filters etc.

How many plants for the sea of green method?

If you are used to growing in large 20 litre containers then you will probably find that a sea of green set up will have around 4 times as many plants as your normal grow. Maybe more. With 4 times as many main blooms you won’t be too worried about the loss of buds from the side branches. The sea of green yields should more than make up for it.

Sea of green soil is just the same as normal. You won’t need to buy specialist grow medium or specialist sea of green nutrients.

12 Auto Colorado Cookies plants in a tent (SOG)

What size of pots for SOG grow?

A sea of green pot size of 4-6 litres is not uncommon. The small container size allows you to compress more plants into your grow space than usual. Often sea of green specialists use square plant containers to allow them to utilise their space more efficiently and cram in as many plants as possible.

The small volume containers also prevent the plants from growing too tall. This forces the plants to concentrate their resources and growth on the main bloom. With many more plants occupying the same space, side branches have less light/space and produce fewer buds as a result. Much of the yield comes from the canopy (or ‘sea’) of main blooms.

Some growers use sea of green netting to prevent their top heavy plants from toppling over. For many, this is easier than trying to step over a crowded sea of green crop trying to insert canes and tie plants to them.

Many of those that have a sea of green soil grow find it difficult to reach each individual container with the watering can. One expert tip is to slip a piece of rubber/plastic tube over the end of your watering can. This is an easy way to allow you to reach the furthest plants and extend the reach of your watering can.

Sea of green hydroponics

The sea of green growing method in soil is perhaps the easiest way to start. But many hydroponics (soil free) growing specialists use sea of green hydroponics. This has the benefit of faster growth, but it may come with added complexity as you try to set up e.g. several ebb & flow systems in a small space with limited access around your plants. If you can manage the extra demands that come with a hydroponic sea of green set up then you will benefit from possibly faster harvest cycles and increased yields.

Auto Colorado Cookies (SOG) by Antonio.
Auto Colorado Cookies (SOG) by Antonio.

Growing cannabis with hydroponics

SOG growing method step-by-step guide

This sea of green growing guide may be useful if you are new to the technique. Remember that the sea of green yield per plant will be smaller than normal since you are growing shorter plants in smaller containers with tiny branches/side blooms (if any).

However, with perhaps 4-6 times as many plants, the sea of green yield per square foot should be higher than average. This sea of green growing method step by step guide may be useful.

Dutch Passion's Power Plant (SOG)
Dutch Passion’s Power Plant (SOG).

Step 1: Setting up your SOG system

How to start the sea of green growing method? You will be filling your grow room with more plants than before, so now is a good time to ensure your lighting is up to the job. If you were worried about low light levels in the tent corners then now would be a good time to consider some supplemental lighting. LED may be expensive but it is the lighting choice of the professionals.

LED delivers improved quality, reduced heat, superior reliability and a superior light spectrum. An LED bar system is ideal to get even light PPFD levels from corner to corner.

Remember that access to your grow room will get progressively more difficult as the plants grow. So ensure you can access those difficult-to-reach plants. Arrange your plant containers in their final positions with their cuttings/seedlings. 4-6 litre containers are quite usual for sea of green. While the cuttings/seedlings are small, it can be a good time to get the sea of green net in place to help support the top-heavy plants later on in full bloom.

Step 2: Vegetative growth in SOG

With your cuttings (or seedlings) in your containers you are aiming for minimum amount of time spent in vegetative growth. Remember, you are not aiming for 1m+ plants that are as wide as they are tall. In a sea of green grow box the idea is to grow and bloom the plants in the shortest period possible.

If your sea of green grow room set up is with feminised cannabis seeds, many growers will begin bloom immediately or within a week or so of germination. Remember to use feminised seeds, it will be difficult spotting/removing male cannabis plants in a full grow room.

If your sea of green system is based around cannabis clones then you will need to allow a week or two for your clones to fully root before putting them under a 12/12 light regime to force bloom.

Many sea of green growers start their feminised seeds under 12/12 light straight after germination.

All about the cannabis root system

Step 3: Training your cannabis plants in SOG

With so many plants packed into your grow room, you can’t expect lavish side blooms nor do you really want them in a sea of green system. Only the main bloom will get the space and light required to reach full potential. Many growers remove the side branches that are below the canopy to allow the plant to focus growth on the main bloom. The side branches and shoots below the canopy can be removed and used as new cuttings for your future sea of green grows. The presence of separate rooms for veg and bloom greatly simplifies the life of the sea of green grower.

Depending on the strain used, your plants will grow quickly and should produce ‘a sea’ of green blooms. With identical genetics, the structure, height and finishing times should be similar on all your plants.

Step 4: Trimming and removing leaves in SOG

Many sea of green growers like to defoliate and remove leaves and branches. Any growth that is below canopy level is often ruthlessly removed. Many use these removed branches for future clones. Often, sea of green enthusiasts keep two grow rooms. One is kept in 18-24 hour light to maintain mother plants and clones. The other is kept in 12/12 bloom conditions, allowing for sea of green perpetual harvests.

One benefit of removing lower branches and defoliating is that it will improve air flow in (and through) a packed canopy. This will reduce the chances of mold or bud rot.

Step 5: Flowering cannabis in SOG

Once in 12/12 light conditions your plants will bloom with much of their resources focussed on the main cola. Don’t expect your plants to reach the same height as normal, remember they are growing in small containers with no veg time (or very little veg time). Side branching will be limited too. But with so many extra plants, yields should be higher than average.

Your harvest will be easier to trim than normal – most of the time you will just be trimming a long main bloom. Plants often tend to be somewhere around 30-50cm tall at harvest. Quality levels will be the same as normal, so will aroma and taste. Once your sea of green harvest is complete, the dedicated SOG grower will already have his next plants ready to go.

How to cut, dry and cure cannabis

Sea of green with autoflower seeds?

Most sea of green growers prefer growing feminised photoperiod strains rather than growing autoflower seeds. Yes, in a small container an autoflower will grow in a smaller structure with a lower height and reduced side branching. However you can’t force an autoflower straight into bloom. The plant, rather than you, chooses the moment to bloom.

How much does a sea of green yield?

Many growers often compare their particular set up before and after SOG to compare the difference. Usually, a SOG grower gets heavier harvests with a sea of green set up. The actual level of increase will depend on many factors, but the organised SOG grower may claim that their grow room productivity will increase by 30% or more for each harvest.

Those that run a sea of green perpetual harvest would struggle to find another production method that could compete with such heavy harvests in such short timeframes. This means that a new sea of green cycle starts immediately after the last one was harvested.

Many commercial growers would simply refuse to consider alternative grow methods. Whilst the home grower actively enjoys growing their plants, offering plenty of loving attention to each one, the commercial SOG grower as a different ethos. Sea of green growing allows heavier yields which are difficult to match with any other technique. But it comes with added complexity and perhaps the need for separate veg and bloom grow rooms. Is sea of green for you? First of all you need to consider the relative pros and cons for sea of green and see how they apply to you.

Dutch Passion Kerosene Krash grown with the SOG method
Gorgeous-looking buds of Kerosene Krash grown in SOG.

Sea of Green method pros and cons

Some large commercial cannabis growers simply couldn’t operate their grow operation without the sea of green method. But not everyone wants to grow with SOG. If you are seriously considering setting up a sea of green farm then you should consider the following points:


  • Heavier yields from the same grow room.
  • Faster crop cycles thanks to the reduced vegetative growth period.
  • Low crop heights mean that multi-level (stacked grows) can be placed on top of each other.
  • Sea of green growing is perfect for those with restricted vertical headroom.
  • A proven, popular technique with commercial growers who love the additional yields.
  • Particularly (but certainly not exclusively) suitable for indica cannabis strains.


  • You may need two grow rooms, one in veg conditions and one in bloom. This allows you to prepare the mother plants and cuttings for each crop.
  • You will have many more plants than normal, which can cause additional paranoia for those growing in illegal countries.
  • Sea of green growing can be more complicated and demanding to plan, implement and maintain.
  • It’s difficult to mix indicas and sativa together. Not ideal for multiple strains in the same grow.
  • Daily maintenance time is increased since there are more plants to deal with, check and feed.
  • If you are unlucky enough to get pests/diseases they can spread like wildfire in such cramped conditions.

Best cannabis strains suitable for SOG

Looking for the best strains for sea of green? You will need strains that work well with no (or low) veg time and still produce a heavy main bloom. Ideally you want strains that will grow naturally without heavy side branching under typical sea of green conditions.

HiFi 4G, feminised seeds with excellent fit for sea of green

These hybrid indica/sativa genetics are ideally suited to the sea of green method. HiFi 4G feminised seeds can be grown under 12/12 light directly from seed or given a week of veg growth first. Expect long heavy blooms full of resin! HiFi 4G is a select member of the exclusive extremely high THC seed category.

Type: Feminised seeds

Genetics: WiFi OG X Glueberry OG

Family: USA Special

Plant type: Hybrid

THC: Extremely High

Flowering: 8 weeks

Yield: XXL

Mazar, legendary classic delivers superbly with the sea of green method

Mazar is a cannabis cup winning best seller. This indica strain produces very high THC levels, expect harvests with 20% THC, more in optimum conditions. The buds are firm with a powerful Afghani hash aroma. They deliver an unbeatably relaxed anti anxiety high. The plants produce beautiful and huge main blooms when grown well in a sea of green growroom. Highly recommended, a member of the Afghani Kush family of cannabis seeds.

Mazar grow review

Type: Feminised seeds

Genetics: Skunk#1 X Afghani

Family: Afghani Kush

Plant type: Indica

THC: Very High

Flowering: 8 weeks

Yield: XL

Bubba Island Kush, heavy yielding USA special seeds perfect for sea of green growing

USA special cannabis seeds combine some of the most potent recent genetics with heavy yields as standard. Bubba Island Kush is one of the best recent USA indica strains we have seen. She is perfectly adapted to the sea of green technique, with very heavy and sticky main blooms. THC levels are also very high with this easy growing indica. This strain does require at least a week or two of vegetative growth to yield well. Bubba Island Kush is very fast in bloom, taking as little as 7 weeks in perfect conditions.

Type: Feminised seeds

Genetics: pre ‘98 Bubba Kush X (Grandaddy Purple x OG Kush)

Family: USA Special

Plant type: Indica

THC: Very High

Flowering: 7 weeks

Yield: L

Power Plant, feminised seeds with a great track record with sea of green growers

Power Plant is a compact South African sativa which delivers excellent results for sea of green growers. Under SOG conditions Power Plant seeds grow into short/medium sized plants with most of the buds stacked in a heavy main bloom. THC levels are high, this is a powerful and enjoyable sativa with huge numbers of repeat growers. Part of the Dutch Passion Classics seed collection. Power Plant cannabis seeds can be grown under 12/12 light immediately after germination.

Power Plant grown under 12/12 light from seed

Type: Feminised seeds

Genetics: Original South African Power Plant

Family: Classics

Plant type: Sativa

THC: High

Flowering: 8 weeks

Yield: XXL

Outlaw Amnesia, Amnesia seeds that deliver heavily with sea of green

Outlaw Amnesia seeds use genetics from Super Haze x Amnesia. Despite being a stretchy sativa, Outlaw Amnesia is a favourite with many that use the sea of green technique. The unusually potent buds qualify this variety as a proud member of the Dutch Passion very high THC seeds. Expect THC levels around 20% in good conditions.

Outlaw Amnesia grow review in soil under 600W HPS

Type: Feminised seeds

Genetics: Super Haze X Amnesia

Family: Classics

Plant type: Sativa

THC: Very High

Flowering: 9 weeks

Yield: XXL

How to SOG with maximum yields

The committed sea of green grower is aiming for maximum yields, preferably in the shortest possible time frame. Therefore it makes little sense to cut corners with low quality grow lights, poorly designed grow rooms or unproven genetics.

Instead, the sea of green farmer tends to have already fully mastered the art of grow room design/layout. Ensuring optimised light levels is critical for maximum yield. You want to have a uniform crop of identical blooms, so make sure they are all growing under optimised PPFD light levels.

Temperature extremes slow down growth and compromise quality. Try to ensure your grow room temperatures and humidity are under control. Sea of green nutrients also need to be carefully managed, avoiding over/under feeding. Ideally, the plants need to be kept in the nutrient sweet spot all the way through to harvest.

Many SOG growers use cuttings/clones from a variety which they already have good experience with. Not all strains are suited to producing a dominant main bloom without a significant period of veg growth. To get the maximum sea of green yields you need to use a strain that produces heavily and rapidly under sea of green conditions. In the very best commercial sea of green results all you can see at harvest is a room full of short plants each with a full, heavy main bloom.

How top optimise your grow room conditions

Enjoy sea of green cultivation

Good luck with your sea of green crop. SOG doesn’t suit everyone, but if you can cope with the extra planning and organisation you should be well rewarded. Choose your cannabis seeds/cannabis strain wisely and enjoy sea of green growing!

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Gregory Nelson
    10/10/2020 03:41

    Do your autoflowers do well in Deep Water Culture & aeroponic/hydroponic systems, using SOG?

    • Yes, our Autoflowers perform quite well in DWC. Of course they need to have stable and good conditions to thrive in like, correct temperature, enough oxygen in the water, good ph and ec levels, etc.

      We will be publishing a full DWC blog this week to explain everything about this topic 🙂

      Dutch Joe


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