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There are a number of useful plant training techniques that can help increase the overall yield of your cannabis plants. Two of the most commonly employed tactics are SOG and SCROG, or Sea of Green and Screen of Green.

The point of both is to maximize the amount of light that your plants get, while also making the most out of limited space. Let’s do a SOG method vs SCROG method comparison to find out which one is right for you.

What is the SOG Method?

SOG or Sea of Green is a cannabis cultivation technique where many plants are grown in close proximity, much closer than you would usually plant them. Typically each plant has one main cola coming up and that’s it – no side branching. The upside to the SOG method is that it’s very space efficient and allows you to grow more plants in a limited space.

On that note, SOG is also beneficial because it involves letting plants veg for a shorter period of time, thus allowing plants to flower sooner, produce a higher yield, and to be harvested faster.

How do you do the SOG Method?

Here’s a quick step-by-step tutorial on how to do the SOG method.

  1. Use clones from the same plant to help achieve consistent growth across all plants. You may also use seedlings from the same strain, but each seed is a different phenotype so some may grow faster than others resulting in an uneven canopy.
  2. Get a very large container, or several containers close to each other, and plant the clones or seedlings. Remember that in the SOG method, plants are placed close to each other, usually within one square foot.
  3. Allow the cannabis plants to vegetate for no longer than three weeks, and then transition them into their flowering stage by switching to a flowering light cycle – such as 12 hours with the lights on and 12 hours with the lights off.
  4. Treat the plants as you otherwise would, making sure they receive adequate light, water, nutrients, and airflow.

What is the SCROG Method?

Screen of Green or SCROG doesn’t involve planting cannabis plants close together, rather the opposite in fact. Here, a smaller number of plants are grown, and each one is placed in a medium or large container with plenty of space for roots to grow.

With the SCROG method, you place a trellis net overtop the cannabis plants, just a foot or two from the top of the soil, and then gently either tuck branches under the net or weave the branches of the plant through the net, covering as much of the screen as possible, while allowing for maximum light exposure. Some branches lay under several screen holes in order to fill in the netting as much as possible. 

By tucking or weaving the branches through the net, you are effectively creating a much larger surface area for the cannabis to absorb light, which ultimately results in much higher yields and bigger buds.

How do you do the SCROG Method?

Here’s a quick step-by-step tutorial on how to do the SCROG method.

  1. Place a trellis net about 18 to 20 inches above the base of the pots. The holes in the nets should be between 2 to 4 inches wide.
  2. Plant your cannabis seeds (or clones), and allow them to go through their vegetative phase as they normally would. You aren’t going to speed it up like with SOG.
  3. Consistently cut away the lower branches of the cannabis plant, particularly those that aren’t getting light. The point is to create a large canopy in the netting or screen.
  4. As the cannabis plants grow, start tucking under or weaving the branches through the screen, and once the screen is totally covered, it’s time to switch to flowering.

Main Differences Between SOG and SCROG

Here is a quick list of the main differences between SOG and SCROG, which should help you decide which technique you’d like to do. 

  • SOG has plants placed much closer together than SCROG, which uses less plants, but they’re also much bigger.
  • SOG is more commonly done in small spaces where real estate is tight, while SCROG is more commonly done in larger spaces. 
  • Although both have the potential to increase overall yield, if you want to maximize your yield, the SCROG method is often chosen over SOG.
  • SOG is much easier, because once it is set up, there’s not much else left to do. However, with SCROG, you constantly need to prune and weave branches through the netting in order to keep the canopy in good shape.

SOG vs SCROG – Which is Best for Me?

What it really comes down to is that if you want to maximize the number of plants you can put in a small space, and you want to harvest plants fast, then SOG is best. On the other hand, if you have the space and time to spare, the huge yields produced by SCROG are certainly worth it.

The Bottom Line on SOG vs SCROG

As you can see, both SOG and SCROG have their notable advantages. Both are great plant training techniques, with one maximizing the number of plants in a given space, and the other maximizing the yield for a few large cannabis plants. Which one you choose depends on your situation, so take your time and consider all of the factors!