If you remove too many leaves or branches at once, you run the risk of the plants going into shock and ceasing to grow normally, or producing fewer buds. SOG & ScrOG - Cannabis Training Techniques For Heavier Yields. Any training technique combined with any growing method or substrate in the first place requires happy and thriving plants. Incorporating best practice plant care means vigorous and healthy plants at each stage of growth. There are a number of growing techniques that can be used to maximise space efficiency during growth and to increase harvests.
However, no technique will help if plants aren’t vibrantly full of life to begin with. Maintaining healthy plants means the grow environment must be ideal for cannabis growth. This includes grow medium and pot size, light type and strength, water pH, nutrients and feeding schedules, temperature and humidity. Once each of these factors is dialled in, healthy plants are yours to do with as you please. And then there are a number of low-stress training (LST) techniques used to increase yields. LST is particularly advantageous when growing indoors domestically, where there is often not a lot of space. Artificial light has poor penetration and the strength of light reduces with the inverse square of the distance from the canopy. LST methods maximise yield per square metre by making efficient use of the lighting. Two popular methods of low-stress training that increase yield are sea of green (SOG) and screen of green (ScrOG).
Each technique is used very successfully to maximise yield per square metre. Autocorrect might hate them, but cannabis plants love SOG and ScrOG. Sea of green is a cannabis manipulation technique that utilises many small plants in small pots for every square metre of space. The advantage of growing with this method is plants spend less time in vegetation, while still producing as many bud sites per volume of space. With SOG grows, buds are ready sooner, which can result in an extra crop per year. Screen of green is a plant training method with the same goals as SOG—to increase the yield per square metre at harvest time as much as possible. Larger pots are used to accommodate larger root zones for larger plants. Many flower sights are encouraged by bending and holding new growth horizontally. Even light distribution over a literal screen of green fills an entire grow room with fewer plants that have an abundance of homogeneously sized flowers. SOG: Plants with few lateral branches are encouraged to grow a single predominant cola. Plants don’t require training and require little attention besides regular plant upkeep. Less time is spent per week training—as you would with larger plants—for similar end results. ScrOG: This entails a mesh screen with large enough apertures through which to feed cannabis leaves and branches. This can be made from commercial fencing wire or a plastic trellis, or made from wire or string and fixed to a frame. The purpose of the screen is to continually tuck under new growth into a flat sheet. What would have been undeveloped lateral branches with barely developed buds become healthy, stout branches with plenty of light exposure and their own dense flowers. SOG and ScrOG are ideal for growers with space restrictions, as minimal height is required and every square centimetre of floor area gets used efficiently. There is no need for as much grow space volume as there would be for an untrained plant to get just as heavy a yield. SOG produces large individual buds with no popcorn or poorly formed flowers due to lack of light. Typically, the SOG technique encourages apical dominance to strengthen and enlarge the main flower cluster. The ScrOG method, however, discourages apical dominance to promote many similarly sized flower clusters.
Strain selection plays its part for efficient use of space. SOG: Cultivars that tend to naturally produce a dominant central cola with minimal lateral branching are often used. Indicas and indica-dominant hybrids have this feature as part of their morphology. Once plants are of a certain height, usually 20–30cm tall, the 12-12 flip to the bloom cycle is made. Plants develop almost entirely as a single cola with lateral branches being reduced to single buds. Some individuals will initiate the entire grow starting from 12-12 so that only small plants develop.
ScrOG: Cultivars that naturally produce lots of bud sites take well to this technique.