Maximizing Yields: SOG and ScrOG Cannabis Training Techniques for Enhanced Harvest”
There are several techniques available to optimize space utilization and maximize harvests during cannabis growth. Among the popular methods are the Sea of Green (SOG) and Screen of Green (ScrOG) techniques. Both approaches are effective in maximizing yields within a specific growing area. Despite what autocorrect might think, SOG and ScrOG are beloved by cannabis plants for their positive impact on growth and productivity.
- Plant health comes first
- Efficient use of space
- Strain selection
- Consider the pot
- Topping & trimming
PLANT HEALTH COMES FIRST
Regardless of the technique you select, ensuring vibrant and thriving plants from the beginning is crucial. This entails creating an optimal environment for cannabis growth. Factors such as selecting the appropriate growing medium and pot size, as well as considering lighting, water pH, nutrients, temperature, and humidity, among other variables, are essential.
For instance, both the mother plant used for cloning and the cuttings themselves must be in a state of happiness and good health. Once all these elements are well-managed, you will have healthy plants that you can nurture as you desire.
The Sea of Green (SOG) technique involves densely growing multiple small cannabis plants per square meter of space. This method offers the advantage of shorter vegetative periods while maximizing bud production per unit area. By implementing SOG, buds reach maturity sooner, allowing for an additional harvest each year.
Typically, SOG is executed using clones, ensuring uniformity in plant traits such as growth speed and height. This results in a consistent and well-balanced canopy within the SOG setup. While growing from seeds is also an option, it is crucial to select seeds from the same strain. It is recommended to avoid tall and elongated sativa varieties, as maintaining an even height under the grow lights is important for uniform growth in the SOG system.
The Screen of Green (ScrOG) technique is a plant training method that shares the same objective as SOG, which is to maximize yield per square meter during harvest. However, ScrOG involves cultivating fewer plants with larger pots to accommodate extensive root systems and bigger plant sizes. By utilizing a screen, the technique ensures even distribution of light, promoting the development of abundant and uniformly sized flowers from a limited number of plants.
SCROG & LST
Cultivators often combine the ScrOG technique with low-stress training (LST) to enhance their yields. In fact, ScrOG can be seen as an advanced form of LST, using a fixed lattice or screen instead of manual tying of shoots.
LST is especially beneficial for indoor growers dealing with limited space. Artificial lighting has lower penetration compared to sunlight, and its intensity decreases with distance from the canopy. LST optimizes yield per square meter by efficiently utilizing the available light. When used in conjunction with ScrOG, you can achieve maximum yields in no time!
SCROG OR SOG?
SOG: The focus is on cultivating plants with minimal lateral branches, allowing them to develop a single dominant cola. These plants require minimal training and attention, apart from regular maintenance. Compared to larger plants, less time is dedicated to training per week, yet they yield similar results in the end.
ScrOG: This technique involves using a mesh screen with appropriately sized openings to support cannabis leaves and branches. The screen can be created using commercial fencing wire, a plastic trellis, or wire/string attached to a frame. The screen serves the purpose of gently tucking new growth under it, creating a flat surface. By doing so, underdeveloped lateral branches with small buds can transform into robust branches with ample light exposure, resulting in dense and healthy flowers.
EFFICIENT USE OF SPACE
SOG and ScrOG methods are perfect for growers facing space limitations as they allow for efficient utilization of every square centimeter. These techniques require less vertical space compared to untrained plants while still achieving high yields. With SOG, you can expect large, well-formed buds without any underdeveloped flowers caused by insufficient light.
In the SOG technique, emphasis is placed on encouraging apical dominance to enhance the size and strength of the main flower cluster. On the other hand, the ScrOG method aims to discourage apical dominance, resulting in multiple evenly-sized flower clusters throughout the canopy.
Optimizing Space Efficiency through Thoughtful Strain Selection
SOG: Strains that naturally exhibit a prominent central cola and limited lateral branching are commonly favored for cultivation. Indica strains and indica-dominant hybrids are known for their characteristic growth pattern, making them suitable choices. After reaching a specific height, typically around 20-30cm, the switch to the 12-12 bloom cycle is initiated. The plants primarily focus on developing a single large cola, while lateral branches are pruned to single buds. In certain cases, growers opt for starting the entire growth cycle directly under the 12-12 light cycle, resulting in the development of smaller plants.
ScrOG: Strains with abundant bud sites are well-suited for this technique. Sativa or sativa-dominant cultivars that exhibit a high number of nodes naturally possess this characteristic. These tall and branchy strains, which may have underdeveloped lower buds without training, benefit from enhanced light exposure to all the bud sites, leading to larger bud growth. While this method is commonly associated with sativas, indicas also respond positively to it, making it a versatile technique for various strain types.
CONSIDER THE POT
Selecting the appropriate pots for your SOG or ScrOG garden is crucial for maintaining plant health and achieving optimal yields. As a general guideline, it is recommended to avoid using pots smaller than 3-4 liters. However, let’s delve deeper into the specifics of pot selection for SOG and ScrOG techniques.
SOG: When employing the SOG technique, it’s essential to remember that you’ll be cultivating 9-12 plants per square meter. To ensure each plant develops a robust root system and remains stable as it grows, providing sufficient soil is crucial.
When growing 9-12 plants per square meter, you’ll need pots with a diameter ranging from 20-30cm, typically holding around 7-11 liters of soil. Using pots of this size is suitable, but it’s important to note that you’ll only be able to vegetate your clones for approximately 8 weeks before they become rootbound and experience stress due to limited space. If you wish to extend the vegetative phase, larger pots will be necessary.
Some growers opt for up to 25 plants per square meter in their SOG setup. In such cases, they reduce the vegetative period, resulting in faster harvests. However, with a higher plant density, smaller pots of around 5 liters are used.
SCROG: When utilizing the ScrOG method, you have more flexibility in choosing the number of plants to grow. If you prefer a single plant per square meter, a pot of at least 20 liters is recommended. Alternatively, if you aim to expedite the harvesting process, you can opt for 4 plants per square meter, each growing in a 10-liter pot.
With ScrOG, there isn’t a strict rule regarding the number of plants per square meter. It largely depends on your specific goals, budget, and the amount of time you can dedicate to each harvest. However, regardless of the chosen technique, it’s always beneficial to provide your plants with ample space to grow.
TOPPING & TRIMMING
SOG: To optimize space and improve overall plant health, it is recommended to remove lower branches of vigorous varieties or branchy cultivars such as sativas and sativa-dominant hybrids. By doing so, you encourage the development of a thicker and more robust main bud while enhancing light penetration throughout the entire growth area. Additionally, this practice promotes better airflow and ventilation around the entire plant, including the top of the growing medium.
ScrOG: Early topping of plants is employed to stimulate branch growth, facilitating training in multiple directions to fill the entire screen. Emphasis is placed on promoting growth above the screen, while any vegetation below the screen is pruned due to limited light exposure. This approach creates a well-ventilated space beneath the screen, ensuring optimal air circulation throughout the entire plant and the surface of the growing medium.
Regardless of the method chosen, it is crucial to recognize the vital roles played by transpiration from leaf surfaces and evaporation from the growing medium in maintaining overall plant health.
In the Final Analysis, Everything is Positive
Both of these effective low-stress training techniques have shown remarkable success for both home and commercial cannabis cultivation. Each method has its own unique advantages and maximizes the available growing space. By experimenting with both techniques, you can determine which one aligns best with your personal cultivation style and preferences.