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Cultivation

Cultivation Methods: SOG VS SCROG

Maximizing the yields per square meter of the growing space and producing a stable pharmaceutical quality are top priorities of the medicinal cannabis industry. Both greenhouse growers and indoor growers have experimented with many techniques over the years, with two methods standing out: the so-called “Sea of Green” and “Screen of Green”.

 


Sea

of

Green

(

SOG

)

Sea of Green was developed in the early days of medical cannabis in California, the first state in America and the first in the world to allow the use of cannabis as a drug. Large-scale growers, who supplied medical cannabis distributors, wanted to produce large amounts of consistent quality for patients. This led to the widespread use of clones for cultivation. Clones are branches that are cut from the mother plant and are motivated to root with the use of natural hormones, in a particularly humid climate. More details on clone production will be discussed in next month’s issue.

 

Clones are genetically identical to their maternal plant, and one can cut hundreds of clones from one mother. The variety of flowers produced by these plants is therefore limited only to the differences they face in the external climatic conditions of the space they grow. By keeping the growing environment as uniform as possible in all regions, one can significantly reduce any fluctuations in size, structure, THC and cannabinoid content. With SOG, the rooted strands are placed in a small container with the desired substrate or planted in cubes of 10cm x 10cm rockwool and given only 3-5 days to acclimatize, before changing their photoperiod to a cycle of 12 hours of light / 12 hours of darkness to cause flowering.

 

Because they transition to the flowering cycle when they are small, a significant number of strands must be used to fill a growing space using the SOG method. Plants do not have the time to form many side branches, and therefore each one consists mainly of a crest with a few small side blossoms. If the other conditions of growth are optimal, the average yields of dried blossom per plant, can vary between 8 and 20 grams, depending on how close the plants are to each other and how many days you wait before turning the growth cycle from germination to flowering. However, due to the large number of plants involved (20-50 plants in pots or cubes with a size of 10 cm x 10 cm in an area of 1 square meter), yields per square meter can reach 0.5 – 0.6 kg, which is an extremely effective yield.

Clearly, SOG is more practical when the mass production of healthy clones has preceded it. This method can shorten the time it takes for a business to reach the maximum level of production, eliminating the vegetation period required to achieve greater yields per unit. However, growers should be careful with climate control and pest prevention when using this method. The large number of plants can lead to increased levels of humidity and create an environment that attracts insects and mold.

 


Screen

of

Green

(

ScrOG

)

When a constant supply of clones cannot be achieved, growers compensate with vegetation of their plants for a longer period of time, thereby increasing the yield per plant. Strands or seedlings from seeds are usually placed in pots larger than those used in the SOG system and left to germinate for a period of 10-21 days, before they begin to bloom. This means that plants are usually taller and have many more side branches compared to flowering clones in SOG. If these branches are crowded, causing shade to each other, the yields decrease, and the space is not used efficiently. Therefore horticultural grids are used to separate the branches and ensure that the light reaches as many shoots as possible, on each plant.

 

The grid can be installed in various styles, curved, horizontal or vertical. Two mesh layers can also be used. As the plants grow their branches gently bend through the grid. With this method it is entirely up to the grower how many plants he will place in a square meter of space. The fewer plants used, the longer they have to germinate in order to achieve enough biomass to fill the space. The grid allows the exact placement of branches, and therefore the space with blossoms can be maximized, without there being any significant gaps. Although the germination time is longer with ScrOG compared to SOG, the yields per square meter are higher with ScrOG because more space is used than plants. Skilled growers managed to achieve yields of up to 1 kg per square meter using this method. ScrOG is more difficult than SOG, due to the time spent separating the branches through the grid and the increased pruning, as it is a preoccupation with larger plants. However, fewer containers/cubes grow in the space mean less moisture, created by the evaporation of irrigation water, thus making it easier to control pests and mold.

 

Overall, these techniques have their advantages and disadvantages. Based on all this information, it is up to each growing company to determine which method matches personal production goals, production capacity and space.

 

By Angela Swift

 

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