Thursday, October 11, 2007
Growing marijuana indoors is fast becoming an American pastime. The reasons are varied. With the increased interest and experimentation in house plant cultivation, it was inevitable that people would apply their knowledge of plant care to growing marijuana. Many of those who occasionally like to light up a joint may find it difficult to locate a source or are hesitant to deal with a perhaps unsavory element of society in procuring their grass. There is, of course, the criminal aspect of buying or selling grass; Growing marijuana is just as illegal as buying, selling, or smoking it, but growing is something you can do in the privacy of your own home without having to deal with someone you don't know or trust. The best reason for growing your own is the enjoyment you will get out of watching those tiny little seeds you picked out of you stash sprout and become some of the most lovely and lush of all house plants.
Anyone Can Do It
Even if you haven't had any prior experience with growing plants in you home, you can have a successful crop of marijuana by following the simple directions in this pamphlet. If you have had problems in the past with marijuana cultivation, you may find the solutions in the following chapters. Growing a marijuana plant involves four basic steps:
Get the seeds. If you don't already have some, you can ask you friends to save you seeds out of any good grass they may come across. You'll find that lots of people already have a seed collection of some sort and are willing to part with a few prime seeds in exchange for some of the finished product.
Germinate the seeds. You can simply drop a seed into moist soil, but by germinating the seeds first you can be sure that the seed will indeed produce a plant. To germinate seeds, place a group of them between about six moist paper towels, or in the pores of a moist sponge. Leave the towels or sponge moist but not soaking wet. Some seeds will germinate in 24 hours while others may take several days or even a week.
Plant the sprouts. As soon as a seed cracks open and begins to sprout, place it on some moist soil and sprinkle a little soil over the top of it.
Supply the plants with light. Flourescent lights are the best. Hang the lights with two inches of the soil and after the plants appear above the ground, continue to keep the lights with two inches of the plants. It is as easy as that. If you follow those four steps you will grow a marijuana plant. To ensure prime quality and the highest yield in the shortest time period, however, a few details are necessary.
Your prime concern, after choosing high quality seeds, is the soil. Use the best soil you can get. Scrimping on the soil doesn't pay off in the long run. If you use unsterilized soil you will almost certainly find parasites in it, probably after it is too late to transplant your marijuana. You can find excellent soil for sale at your local plant shop or nursery, K-Mart, Wal Mart, and even some grocery stores. The soil you use should have these properties for the best possible results:
It should drain well. That is, it should have some sand in it and also some sponge rock or pearlite.
The pH should be between 6.5 and 7.5 since marijuana does not do well in acidic soil. High acidity in soil encourages the plant to be predominantly male, an undesirable trait.
The soil should also contain humus for retaining moisture and nutrients.
If you want to make your own soil mixture, you can use this recipe: Mix two parts moss with one part sand and one part pearlite or sponge rock to each four gallons of soil. Test your soil for ph with litmus paper or with a soil testing kit available at most plant stores. To raise the ph of the soil, add 1/2 lb. lime to 1 cubic foot of soil to raise the ph one point. If you absolutely insist on using dirt you dug up from your driveway, you must sterilize it by baking it in your oven for about an hour at 250 degrees. Be sure to moisten it thoroughly first and also prepare yourself for a rapid evacuation of your kitchen because that hot soil is going to stink. Now add to the mixture about one tablespoon of fertilizer (like Rapid-Gro) per gallon of soil and blend it in thoroughly. Better yet, just skip the whole process and spend a couple bucks on some soil.
After you have prepared your soil, you will have to come up with some kind of container to plant in. The container should be sterilized as well, especially if they have been used previously for growing other plants. The size of the container has a great deal to do with the rate of growth and overall size of the plant. You should plan on transplanting your plant not more than one time, since the process of transplanting can be a shock to the plant and it will have to undergo a recovery period in which growth is slowed or even stopped for a short while. The first container you use should be no larger than six inches in diameter and can be made of clay or plastic. To transplant, simply prepare the larger pot by filling it with soil and scooping out a little hole about the size of the smaller pot that the plant is in. Turn the plant upside down, pot and all, and tap the rim of the pot sharply on a counter or the edge of the sink. The soil and root ball should come out of the pot cleanly with the soil retaining the shape of the pot and with no disturbances to the root ball. Another method that can bypass the transplanting problem is using a Jiffy-Pot. Jiffy pots are made of compressed peat moss and can be planted right into moist soil where they decompose and allow the passage of the root system through their walls. The second container should have a volume of at least three gallons. Marijuana doesn't like to have its roots bound or cramped for space, so always be sure that the container you use will be deep enough for your plant's root system. It is very difficult to transplant a five-foot marijuana tree, so plan ahead. It is going to get bigger. The small plants should be ready to transplant into their permanent homes in about two weeks. Keep a close watch on them after the first week or so and avoid root binding at all costs since the plants never seem to do as well once they have been stunted by the cramping of their roots.
likes lots of food, but you can do damage to the plants if you are too zealous. Some fertilizers can burn a plant and damage its roots if used in to high a concentration. Most commercial soil will have enough nutrients in it to sustain the plant for about three weeks of growth so you don't need to worry about feeding your plant until the end of the third week. The most important thing to remember is to introduce the fertilizer concentration to the plant gradually. Start with a fairly diluted fertilizer solution and gradually increase the dosage. There are several good marijuana fertilizers on the commercial market, two of which are Rapid-Gro and Eco-Grow. Rapid-Gro has had widespread use in marijuana cultivation and is available in most parts of the United States. Eco-Grow is also especially good for marijuana since it contains an ingredient that keeps the soil from becoming acid. Most fertilizers cause a pH change in the soil. Adding fertilizer to the soil almost always results in a more acidic pH.
As time goes on, the amount of salts produced by the breakdown of fertilizers in the soil causes the soil to become increasingly acidic and eventually the concentration of these salts in the soil will stunt the plant and cause browning out of the foliage. Also, as the plant gets older its roots become less effective in bringing food to the leaves. To avoid the accumulation of these salts in your soil and to ensure that your plant is getting all of the food it needs you can begin leaf feeding your plant at the age of about 1.5 months. Dissolve the fertilizer in worm water and spray the mixture directly onto the foliage. The leaves absorb the fertilizer into their veins. If you want to continue to put fertilizer into the soil as well as leaf feeding, be sure not to overdose your plants.
Remember to increase the amount of food your plant receives gradually. Marijuana seems to be able to take as much fertilizer as you want to give it as long as it is introduced over a period of time. During the first three months or so, fertilize your plants every few days. As the rate of foliage growth slows down in the plant's preparation for blooming and seed production, the fertilizer intake of the plant should be slowed down as well. Never fertilize the plant just before you are going to harvest it since the fertilizer will encourage foliage production and slow down resin production. A word here about the most organic of fertilizers: worm castings. As you may know, worms are raised commercially for sale to gardeners. The breeders put the worms in organic compost mixtures and while the worms are reproducing they eat the organic matter and expel some of the best marijuana food around. After the worms have eaten all the organic matter in the compost, they are removed and sold and the remains are then sold as worm castings. These castings are so rich that you can grow marijuana in straight worm castings. This isn't really necessary however, and it is somewhat impractical since the castings are very expensive. If you can afford them you can, however, blend them in with your soil and they will make a very good organic fertilizer.
Without light, the plants cannot grow. In the countries in which marijuana grows best, the sun is the source of light. The amount of light and the length of the growing season in these countries results in huge tree-like plants. In most parts of North America, however, the sun is not generally intense enough for long enough periods of time to produce the same size and quality of plants that grow with ease in Latin America and other tropical countries. The answer to the problem of lack of sun, especially in the winter months, shortness of the growing season, and other problems is to grow indoor under simulated conditions. The rule of thumb seems to be the more light, the better. In one experiment we know of, eight eight-foot VHO Gro-Lux fixtures were used over eight plants. The plants grew at an astonishing rate. The lights had to be raised every day. There are many types of artificial light and all of them do different things to your plants. The common incandescent light bulb emits some of the frequencies of light the plant can use, but it also emits a high percentage of far red and infra-red light which cause the plant to concentrate its growth on the stem. This results in the plant stretching toward the light bulb until it becomes so tall and spindly that it just weakly topples over. There are several brands of bulb type. One is the incandescent plant spot light which emits higher amounts of red and blue light than the common light bulb. It is an improvement, but has it drawbacks. it is hot, for example, and cannot be placed close to the plants. Consequently, the plant has to stretch upwards again and is in danger of becoming elongated and falling over. The red bands of light seem to encourage stem growth which is not desirable in growing marijuana. the idea is to encourage foliage growth for obvious reasons. Gro-Lux lights are probably the most common flourescent plant lights. In our experience with them, they have proven themselves to be extremely effective. They range in size from one to eight feet in length so you can set up a growing room in a closet or a warehouse. There are two types of Gro-Lux lights: The standard and the wide spectrum. They can be used in conjunction with on another, but the wide spectrum lights are not sufficient on their own. The wide spectrum lights were designed as a supplementary light source and are cheaper than the standard lights. Wide spectrum lights emit the same bands of light as the standard but the standard emit higher concentrations of red and blue bands that the plants need to grow. The wide spectrum lights also emit infra-red, the effect of which on stem growth we have already discussed. If you are planning to grow on a large scale, you might be interested to know that the regular flourescent lamps and fixtures, the type that are used in commercial lighting, work well when used along with standard Gro- Lux lights. These commercial lights are called cool whites, and are the cheapest of the flourescent lights we have mentioned. They emit as much blue light as the Gro-Lux standards and the blue light is what the plants use in foliage growth.
Now we come to the question of intensity. Both the standard and wide spectrum lamps come in three intensities: regular output, high output, and very high output. You can grow a nice crop of plants under the regular output lamps and probably be quite satisfied with our results. The difference in using the HO or VHO lamps is the time it takes to grow a crop. Under a VHO lamp, the plants grow at a rate that is about three times the rate at which they grow under the standard lamps. People have been known to get a plant that is four feet tall in two months under one of these lights. Under the VHO lights, one may have to raise the lights every day which means a growth rate of ate least two inches a day. The only drawback is the expense of the VHO lamps and fixtures. The VHO lamps and fixtures are almost twice the price of the standard. If you are interested in our opinion, they are well worth it. Now that you have your lights up, you might be curious about the amount of light to give you plants per day. The maturation date of your plants is dependent on how much light they receive per day. The longer the dark period per day, the sooner the plant will bloom. Generally speaking, the less dark per day the better during the first six months of the plant's life. The older the plant is before it blooms and goes to seed, the better the grass will be. After the plant is allowed to bloom, its metabolic rate is slowed so that the plant's quality does not increase with the age at the same rate it did before it bloomed. The idea, then, is to let the plant get as old as possible before allowing it to mature so that the potency will be a high as possible at the time of harvest. One relatively sure way to keep your plants from blooming until you are ready for them is to leave the lights on all the time. Occasionally a plant will go ahead and bloom anyway, but it is the exception rather than the rule. If your plants receive 12 hours of light per day they will probably mature in 2 to 2.5 months. If they get 16 hours of light per day they will probably be blooming in 3.5 to 4 months. With 18 hours of light per day, they will flower in 4.5 to 5 months. Its a good idea to put your lights on a timer to ensure that the amount of light received each day remains constant. A "vacation" timer, normally used to make it look like you are home while you are away, works nicely and can be found at most hardware or discount stores.
Temperature and Humidity
The ideal temperature for the light hours is 68 to 78 degrees fahrenheit and for the dark hours there should be about a 15 degree drop in temperature. The growing room should be relatively dry if possible. What you want is a resinous coating on the leaves and to get the plant to do this, you must convince it that it needs the resinous coating on its leaves to protect itself from drying out. In an extremely humid room, the plants develop wide leaves and do not produce as much resin. You must take care not to let the temperature in a dry room become too hot, however, since the plant cannot assimilate water fast enough through its roots and its foliage will begin to brown out.
Proper ventilation in your growing room is fairly important. The more plants you have in one room, the more important good ventilation becomes. Plants breathe through their leaves. The also rid themselves of poisons through their leaves. If proper ventilation is not maintained, the pores of the leaves will become clogged and the leaves will die. If there is a free movement of air, the poisons can evaporate off the leaves and the plant can breathe and remain healthy.
In a small closet where there are only a few plants you can probably create enough air circulation just by opening the door to look at them. Although it is possible to grow healthy looking plants in poorly ventilated rooms, they would be larger and healthier if they had a fresh supply of air coming in. If you spend a lot of time in your growing room, your plants will grow better because they will be using the carbon dioxide that you are exhaling around them. It is sometimes quite difficult to get a fresh supply of air in to your growing room because your room is usually hidden away in a secret corner of your house, possibly in the attic or basement. In this case, a fan will create some movement of air. It will also stimulate your plants into growing a healthier and sturdier stalk. Often times in an indoor environment, the stems of plants fail to become rigid because they don't have to cope with elements of wind and rain. To a degree, though, this is an advantage because the plant puts most of its energy into producing leaves and resin instead of stems.
Dehumidifying Your Growing Room
Cannabis that grows in a hot, dry climate will have narrower leaves than cannabis grown in a humid atmosphere. The reason is that in a dry atmosphere the plant can respirate easier because the moisture on the leaves evaporates faster. In a humid atmosphere, the moisture cannot evaporate as fast. Consequently, the leaves have to be broader with more surface area in order to expel the wastes that the plant put out. Since the broad leaves produce less resin per leaf than the narrow there will be more resin in an ounce of narrow leaves than in one ounce of broad leaves. There may be more leaf mass in the broader leafed plants, but most people are growing their own for quality rather than quantity.
Since the resin in the marijuana plant serves the purpose of keeping the leaves from drying out, there is more apt to be a lot of resin produced in a dry room than in a humid one. In the Sears catalog, dehumidifiers cost around $100.00 and are therefore a bit impractical for the "hobby grower."
If you live near a clear mountain stream, you can skip this bit on the quality of water. Most of us are supplied water by the city and some cities add more chemicals to the water than others. They all add chlorine, however, in varying quantities. Humans over the years have learned to either get rid of it somehow or to live with it, but your marijuana plants won't have time to acquire a taste for it so you had better see that they don't have to. Chlorine will evaporate if you let the water stand for 24 hours in an open container. Letting the water stand for a day or two will serve a dual purpose: The water will come to room temperature during that period of time and you can avoid the nasty shock your plants suffer when you drench them with cold water. Always water with room temperature to lukewarm water. If your water has an excessive amount of chlorine in it, you may want to get some anti- chlorine drops at the local fish or pet store. The most important thing about watering is to do it thoroughly. You can water a plant in a three gallon container with as much as three quarts of water. The idea is to get the soil evenly moist all the way to the bottom of the pot. If you use a little water, even if you do it often, it seeps just a short way down into the soil and any roots below the moist soil will start to turn upwards toward the water. The second most important thing about watering is to see to it that the pot has good drainage. There should be some holes in the bottom so that any excess water will run out. If the pot won't drain, the excess water will accumulate in a pocket and rot the roots of the plant or simply make the soil sour or mildew. The soil, as we said earlier, must allow the water to drain evenly through it and must not become hard or packed. If you have made sure that the soil contains sand and pearlite, you shouldn't have drainage problems. To discover when to water, feel the soil with your finger. if you feel moisture in the soil, you can wait a day or two to water. The soil near the top of the pot is always drier than the soil further down. You can drown your plant just as easily as you can let it get too dry and it is more likely to survive a dry spell than it is to survive a torrential flood. Water the plants well when you water and don't water them at all when they don't need it.
If you can avoid getting bugs in the first place you will be much better off. Once your plants become infested you will probably be fighting bugs for the rest of your plants' lives. To avoid bugs be sure to use sterilized soil and containers and don't bring other plants from outside into your growing room. If you have pets, ensure that they stay out of your growing room, since they can bring in pests on their fur. Examine your plants regularly for signs of insects, spots, holes in the leaves, browning of the tips of the leaves, and droopy branches. If you find that somehow in spite of all your precautions you have a plant room full of bugs, you'll have to spray your plants with some kind of insecticide. You'll want to use something that will kill the bugs and not you. Spider mites are probably the bug that will do the most damage to the marijuana plants. One of the reasons is that they are almost microscopic and very hard to spot. They are called spider mites because they leave a web-like substance clinging to the leaves. They also cause tiny little spots to appear on the leaves. Probably the first thing you'll notice, however, is that your plants look sick and depressed. The mites suck enzymes from the leaves and as a result the leaves lose some of their green color and glossiness. Sometimes the leaves look like they have some kid of fungus on them. The eggs are very tiny black dots. You might be wise to get a magnifying glass so that you can really scrutinize your plants closely. Be sure to examine the underside of the leaves too. The mites will often be found clinging to the underside as well as the top of the leaves. The sooner you start fighting the bugs, the easier it will be to get rid of them. For killing spider mites on marijuana, one of the best insecticides if "Fruit and Berry" spray made by Millers. Ortho also produces several insecticides that will kill mites. The ingredients to look for are Kelthane and Malatheon. Both of these poisons are lethal to humans and pets as well as bugs, but they both detoxify in about ten days so you can safely smoke the grass ten days after spraying. Fruit and Berry will only kill the adult mite, however, and you'll have to spray every four days for about two weeks to be sure that you have killed all the adults before they have had a chance to lay eggs. Keep a close watch on your plants because it only takes one egg laying adult to re- infest your plants and chances are that one or two will escape your barrage of insecticides. If you see little bugs flying around your plants, they are probably white flies. The adults are immune to almost all the commercial insecticides except Fruit and Berry which will not kill the eggs or larva. It is the larval stage of this insect that does the most damage. They suck out enzymes too, and kill your plants if they go unchecked. You will have to get on a spraying program just as was explained in the spider mite section.
An organic method of bug control is using soap suds. Put Ivory flakes in some lukewarm water and work up the suds into a lather. Then put the suds over the plant. The obvious disadvantage is it you don't rinse the soap off the plant you'll taste the soap when you smoke the leaves.
We have found that pruning is not always necessary. The reason one does it in the first place is to encourage secondary growth and to allow light to reach the immature leaves. Some strands of grass just naturally grow thick and bushy and if they are not clipped the sap moves in an uninterrupted flow right to the top of the plant where it produces flowers that are thick with resin. On the other hand, if your plants appear tall and spindly for their age at three weeks, they probably require a little trimming to ensure a nice full leafy plant. At three weeks of age your plant should have at least two sets of branches or four leaf clusters and a top. To prune the plant, simply slice the top off just about the place where two branches oppose each other. Use a razor blade in a straight cut. If you want to, you can root the top in some water and when the roots appear, plant the top in moist soil and it should grow into another plant. If you are going to root the top you should cut the end again, this time with a diagonal cut so as to expose more surface to the water or rooting solution. The advantage to taking cuttings from your plant is that it produces more tops. The tops have the resin, and that's the name of the game. Every time you cut off a top, the plant seeds out two more top branches at the base of the existing branches. Pruning also encourages the branches underneath to grow faster than they normally would without the top having been cut.
Harvesting and Curing
Well, now that you've grown your marijuana, you will want to cure it right so that it smokes clean and won't bite. You can avoid that "homegrown" taste of chlorophyll that sometimes makes one's fillings taste like they might be dissolving. We know of several methods of curing the marijuana so that it will have a mild flavor and a mellow rather than harsh smoke.
First, pull the plant up roots and all and hang it upside down for 24 hours. Then put each plant in a paper grocery bag with the top open for three or four days or until the leaves feel dry to the touch. Now strip the leaves off the stem and put them in a glass jar with a lid. Don't pack the leaves in tightly, you want air to reach all the leaves. The main danger in the curing process is mold. If the leaves are too damp when you put them into the jar, they will mold and since the mold will destroy the resins, mold will ruin your marijuana. you should check the jars every day by smelling them and if you smell an acrid aroma, take the weed out of the jar and spread it out on newspaper so that it can dry quickly. Another method is to uproot the plants and hang them upside down. You get some burlap bags damp and slip them up over the plants. Keep the bags damp and leave them in the sun for at least a week. Now put the plants in a paper bag for a few days until the weed is dry enough to smoke. Like many fine things in life, marijuana mellows out with age. The aging process tends to remove the chlorophyll taste.
HOW TO GROW MARIJUANA
HOW TO GROW MARIJUANA
A very good medium for germinating marijuana. Make sure to move the rockwool plug to a block or soil in a matter of 2 to 3 days. This gives the taproot a good shot at developing fully. It's cool to directly sow into the bloc to prevent less work.
Great for the large scale grow ops. Flush blocks well to lower the pH and stack the rockwool on top each other. Water draws away from the top to prevent saturation. Make sure you regulate your humidity. Place your blocks in a Duma tray and fill the holes with germinating soil. Sow your seed .5 to 1 cm. deep. Cover so dry out doesn't occur and keep in a warm place. Make sure the tray gets lit after 2 days. For a temperature around 23 degrees Celsius germinating should take place in 2 days. The plants won't lose growing potential when you put your blocks on the slabs after 12 to 14 days.
A more expensive method for germinating marijuana seeds. The pots dry out quickly and are only suitable for soil growing. Molds develop very quickly when too humid. It's a pretty good medium but you have to take care closely everyday. Make sure you move your germinated seedlings into bigger mediums quickly. Not great for large scale grow ops.
Pots With Soil:
The most natural and easiest medium to germinate marijuana seeds. Use pre-fertilized potting soil. Fill your potters about 3/4 with this soil and the remaining 1/4 fill with germinating soil. Gently press down so you have a little ridge to prevent water from getting over the edges. Plant seeds .5 to 1 cm. deep. It's best to use disposable pots you can cut the bottom out to allow an easy transfer to bigger pots. A plant releases it's waste in the top layer of the medium and it's not a good idea to flush this waste back into the drinking roots every time you water. Fix drippers at the back of the slab and not in the pot.
Success depends on the weather. Autumn can bring too much humidity. Sow only when you realize there will be no more frost. When outside temperature increases the plants will start to grow fast. Sow only 1 cm. deep in airy type soil. Extra fertilizer should not be necessary. Do not water directly on the stem which prevents unwanted extra salt and minerals from reaching the drinking roots. A good practice is to germinate indoors and then bring the strong seedlings outside to mature. Pay attention to light hours, if you transplant outside make sure the light hours are the same. If you bring out seedlings used to 20 hours of light and all of a sudden they are only getting 16 hours during spring time, they will flower sooner.
NOTES: Use a fine sand for germinating soil, airy let's the roots grow fast. Keep water to 6.3 pH, keep the seedlings humid but not drenched. Use a water sprayer on the underside of your dome. Full light for 20 hours a day for the first few days. Hang your lights as close as possible to your seedlings. Test the light with the back of your hand like testing baby milk. Keep spraying until the husk comes off the germinating seedling naturally. Do not pull off that husk. Make sure you keep your lights as close as possible to prevent thin stems. Give nutrition only after there has been light on them for 2 days. Always be checking the soil and water pH with your new pH meter you're going to buy right now.
ACQUIRING GOOD SEEDS
Quality seed strains are often difficult to obtain. This is especially true for people who hang in a predominantly straight crowd and know few people who partake in the fine erb. The rule of thumb is if the weed gets you pretty high then the seed is usually good to grow. Seeds coming from green bud are often better to grow because the strain is frequently acclimated to the growing season of northern latitudes. Jamaican and Colombian varieties can not be easily produced in northern latitudes because the strains produce bud too late in the season. The results of growing these varieties in most of the U.S. will be little or no bud growth before the first frost hits. Sativa strains usually grow taller than the indica or indica-sativa hybrids. This can be a major drawback especially in the fall when other plants are dying off and trees are losing leaves. Some growers have success crossing sativa varieties from southern climates with Indica, and creating an offspring that will bud more timely.
When at parties, concerts, or other social events, keep an eye out for people breaking up bud and discarding seeds. The best time to look for seeds is from October to January because this is when most of the locally grown outdoor erb hits the market. Acquiring and maintaining a quality seed stock is the most fundamental task of a successful grower.
FINDING A SITE
Aside from acquiring good seed, picking a prime location to grow is probably the most important task a grower is faced with. One of the best locations is in areas of grasslands that have small trees and bushes interspersed. Often a farmers field that has been out of production for ten years is ideal. Flood plains along rivers and streams are another good location, but the risk of losing seeds in the Spring or the harvest in the Fall due to flooding should be considered. Growers have also been known to plant in buckets in more rocky or mountainous terrain. This enables them to grow in areas that receive good sunlight but have rocky, untillable soil. Digging a site in areas of dense but short plant growth, like sticker bushes, is another suitable spot. The sticker bushes grow high enough to prevent people from seeing through them and also serve as a direct deterrence from people and large animals wandering into the site.
A grower can often use animal and insect life to his advantage. Bees, tics, green flies and the like can discourage people from wandering through fields so areas having an abundant insect population are prime locations. The most important criteria for an excellent growing site are good soil, available water, sunlight, and suitable cover. Other factors are secondary.
Good soil is sometimes hard to find but without it you won't get much of a harvest. So, if you find a site that is perfect for all other factors but has poor soil , you may want to consider bringing soil to the site. Soil is often the richest in areas where grassland vegetation has existed for a series of years. Grasslands recycle nutrients in the soil and form a thick layer of organic matter. Grassland biospheres require very little preparation to start growing, while other soil conditions require more work. Sandy soils often need potting soil or top soil along with a small amount of lime to make them more fertile. Soils with high amounts of clay need material, like peat moss, added to break up the clay and make the soil more porous. I'm a naturalist and disagree with some erb growing professionals who believe that planting along road sides can be productive. The lead and other toxic chemicals found in some of these soils is enough to discourage many vegetable growers from producing consumable or smokable plant material. If you live in a city, and lack your own means of transportation then use roadsides as your last resort.
A close water source is also very important. A site close to the water table would be ideal since bringing water into the site can get tiresome and also dangerous. It can get very tiresome if you have many sites or even a few big sites. If you choose a site much higher than the water table or grow in buckets, you will quickly find that the amount of water needed during a dry summer will be enormous and will give you great incentive to find a site closer to the water table. The dangers in having to bring water to the sites are numerous. The greatest of these would be the chance of someone spotting you, possibly a cop. The second greatest would be the destruction of the foliage you have to walk through to get from the water source to the site. If you have to make more than one trip you run a big risk that a trail will become noticeable. Finding a stable water source in the summer can be another obstacle since small streams often dry up at this time. How often you will need to water is determined by the weather and that could require you to make unexpected trips to the sites. Each trip puts you at risk. Your goal is to minimize these trips.
Sunlight is less important than the previous two components but is still essential. Plants should be in areas that receive at least five hours of direct sunlight per day. Morning sunlight is preferable since plants tend to respond better to it than to the afternoon sunlight. Growers who scout sites during the winter months must be able to visualize how the landscape will be shaded by trees, and the path the sun will take come Spring. Of course, the greater the amount of sunlight the better, but when choosing a site sunlight is just one of many factors that must be considered.
The last criteria has nothing to do with plant biology, but rather focuses on minimizing the threat of unwanted attention from people wandering by. The cover should be both tall enough to keep people from spotting it and thick enough to discourage them from wandering too close to it. The best foliage to accomplish this is a large patch of big sticker bushes. If that's not available, look for foliage that grows to a height of six to eight feet by the fall and is far enough away from where someone might stray.
The Ability to hide plants amongst the flora in fields is an art and skill improved upon through practice. One favorite technique is to hide plants on the south side of bushes so that passers by will have difficulty spotting the plant(s). Plants still get adequate light in spite of the appearance of being crowded by the larger bush. The best hiding spot for erb is where people have their view blocked from all sides and has the appearance of being impenetrable. In areas where the vegetation growth is less than three feet the erb may need to be trimmed back or tied to the ground in order to create smaller bushier plants. Fields with small vegetation growth may have poor soil or can be dry upland environments where the soil frequently becomes too dry so use caution. Making erb junior blend in with the other plants in the field will minimize risk. In order to grow plants efficiently, an outdoor grower must use the natural landscape to his or her advantage.
MAKING A TRAIL
One of the ways to ensure success is by creating trails that are not visible to passers by. This is easier in some places than in others. Areas having dense undergrowth with lots of sunlight can be ideal because plant growth is so rapid it will erase any damage to the vegetation between trips during the Spring and Summer. If you are growing plants in areas easy to spot trails then make the path weave back and forth so it becomes difficult for people to see a trail. Making a hidden trail to the site(s) is important because it allows the grower to minimize getting ripped off or worse, caught. People wander through undeveloped areas and follow trails to nowhere all the time. Their access can be limited through thoughtful planning of pathways and proper care in using them. When you walk through your entrance, do everything possible not to damage any of the foliage, especially toward the late Summer and early Fall. At this time of the year, damaged foliage usually will not regrow and this is when the plants need as much cover as possible. There are two things to keep in mind when making a trail to your site(s): 1) Can you see the trail you just made, if not that's great, if so look for ways to cover areas that look like a trail; 2) The more difficult it is for you to get to the site, the less likely someone else will try.
THE MECHANICS OF GROWING
Your cousin Louie and his friend Sam are in town from Oklahoma and they have smoked a lot of grass and grown some in their backyards. Sam has a good rap, and appears knowledgeable about fine erb. Taking these two gentlemen for a walk in the fields might appear to be a good idea. Shit, they could offer some insightful pointers. I must caution against these excursions. Even if these men are the erb experts they appear, taking a walk with them may not be in your best interest. They are unfamiliar with the area and may not know where to run if the need arises. Walking with more than two people through a field can attract attention (the greater the number of people, the greater chance of being seen). The more people walking on a trail the larger the trail becomes and thus the greater the chance your trail can be followed by others. Every time you visit the site(s) you are putting the harvest and for that matter yourself at risk. This may be a small or large risk depending on the particular place but remember that no place is 100% safe. Unless it is an emergency situation where the buggy fly has infested your crop, and you are bringing in a specialist to offer expert advice, the site(s) should not be visited by strangers. Having a growing partner is recommended regardless of his or her competence, and even then the site(s) should only be visited to accomplish specific tasks. Trips to the site should occur at the following times.
1. Preparing The Soil (early March - Mid April depending on climate):
I suggest buying 40lb. bags of organic potting soil and mixing this in with the existing soil. This soil is not often found at your local all-purpose store so some searching may be required. Potting soil is richer soil than commercial top soil so it goes a little bit farther when mixed with the existing soil. Lime may be necessary in areas with acidic soil and peat moss is a good additive for soils with a clay type consistency. I avoid chemical fertilizers, not just because I believe that organic farming is the best way, but also because toxic waste is produced from the manufacture of fertilizers.
It's also a good idea to put up a two foot high fence at this time. This will keep small animals out and the use of dried blood and/or human hair will fend off deer. Purchase a wire fence with small gaps, 2 inches or less between the metal strands. Collect enough sticks in the area to provide stakes that will support the fence about every 2 feet. Outline the site with the sticks and tie the fence to the sticks with string or wire. Cut the fence endstrand and bend the strands that protrude from the top of the fence out and down the outside to discourage animals from trying to jump over it. Camouflage the fence and site with normal ground debris as necessary before leaving.
2. Planting(early April - early May):
There are different ways to go about planting:
A) The seed intensive method:
This method should only be used if you have an abundance of seeds. The seed intensive method entails planting many seeds in a small area. Its strength is that it can limit risk. When you journey to your newly prepared site(s), the seeds and trowels are hidden in your pockets. Plant the seeds about one half inch deep, unless the soil contains high amounts of clay then only plant seeds one quarter inch in the soil. If you setup small sites 3ft x 3ft square, put in three rows with a seed every one and a half inches. If you work out the Math this is roughly 72 seeds per site. Unfortunately, many growers, especially beginners, do not posses this many good seeds. If a grower creates four sites with this many seeds he or she is almost guaranteed a harvest. Yes, there will be some crowding and this is one of the drawbacks of using many seeds in a small area. Also, figure around 50% of the plants are going to be male so you must return to the site to cut out the males toward the end of Summer. Once the males are removed from the site, the females get more light and aren't as crowded. The seed intensive strategy tends to produce smaller plants because of crowding, but at the same time it helps ensure a harvest every season. In the present day of infrared photography, I believe it is important to have small sites to avoid detection from the air. This of course means growers may have to create a series of small plots in order to garner a year's supply of erb. If you grow merely for hobby, sport, or experimental purposes, than one site may suit you fine.
B) Planting small seedlings:
The strongest argument for this method of planting is that you get the opportunity to select for planting the strongest of the seedlings you've started. The strongest argument against this method is the risk of transporting the seedlings to their intended site(s). Transporting them requires you to find a method of concealing them, usually a box. The problem that then arises is that the size box needed to transport many plants may make this method too risky or totally impractical. The other concern with this method is that there is also the risk of shocking the seedlings when you put them outside in the site where they will be exposed to the harsh Spring weather. Before planting seedlings or sexed females they should be put outside and closely monitored at least three days before planting to become acclimated to the wind and change in temperature.
This method works best when you can set up a small shelter near your sites that is enclosed but not insulated. This shelter can be as small as the site and 18 inches tall or big enough to walk in, providing you have a safe location for such a structure. Starting seeds in this shelter gives the benefit of acclimating seedlings to a temperature much closer to that which they will face when they are planted in the site and it will also protect them from any late Spring snows and/or frosts.
C) Planting sexed females:
The advantage of planting sexed females is obvious; every plant will produce buds. The sex of plants can be determined by growing them until they're four inches high, and then decreasing the amount of light they receive to eight hours. The males are then identified and removed in one to two weeks. This method requires being able to control the amount of light the plants receive each day, and also requires that plants be started indoors earlier than you would normally start (late February - early March). This method allows growers to spread their plants across a wide area in smaller sites and also to hide plants amongst small trees and shrubs. By spreading two dozen female plants throughout a ten acre area in individual sites, a harvest is almost guaranteed, providing that you remember where all the sites are. Growers are encouraged to create a map of their sites to insure against memory loss. Just remember to guard that map closely. Putting anything about your operations in writing puts you at risk.
Three weeks after the plants or seeds are in the ground return to remove weeds that are crowding out the kind erb. Three weeks after the first weeding a second weeding should take place. A third weeding is optional, by this time the plants should be large enough to compete with the weeds, however, if you are in a site that has strong weeds around it you may have to cut the weeds back at additional times throughout the year. Remember, weeding does not mean destroying all vegetation within three feet of a plant. Weeds can help hide your crop and protect your crop from hungry animals. Nearby vegetation can also help keep water in the soil from evaporating in the hot sun. So don't go overboard and be very careful, it's very easy to accidently injure small plants or their roots trying to get rid of weeds.
4. REMOVING MALES:
(If you are growing sexed females these trips can be omitted)
Male plants will begin to produce their flowers and pollen as early as mid July for varieties acclimated to this climate. Varieties from more southern climates, may not start until mid September. This difference depends on the budding cycle of your variety, some plants start to bud earlier than others, so the exact time to cut the males will vary with the strain. If you are using a variety of different seeds it may be necessary to visit once a week from July 21 through September 15. The timely identification of a male plant is crucial to the success of the harvest. If the weather is exceptional during the time a male starts producing its flowers and you missed seeing the first signs during your last visit, you could wind up with a lot of seeds and little of the fine erb. A female can either generate a large seedless bud, a large bud with a few seeds, or a large bud that is almost totally seeds. The first case is achieved by removing all the male plants before any of their flowers open. The second case occurs when a few male flowers have opened but you remove them before any more open. The third case occurs when you miss-time the flowering of the male. This can be devastating if you have big female plants because you could loose 90% of the smokable erb to seed production. This last scenario may not always be bad though. If you are short on seeds for the next growing season, it may be prudent to let one or two males stand and fertilize a portion of the females. Good seeds are hard to come by, so if you have a strain you like, make sure to plan ahead and have at least a few hundred seeds for the future. The spotting of males is one of the most difficult of things to explain to a person that's never grown since it really takes careful attention to how the tops of male plants look at this stage of development. Even experienced growers will be unsure at times and will have to wait till the next visit to be sure. When a male enters the stage of flower development, the tips of the branches where a bud would develop will start to grow what looks like a little bud but it will have no white hairs coming out of it.
5. THE FUNGUS
Along with cops, thieves, animals, and insects, "the fungus" is another obstacle in the path of a successful growing season. When the buds are roughly half developed they become susceptible to a fungus or bud rot. It appears that growing conditions for the fungus are best when temperatures are between 60 and 80 degrees and the humidity is high. The fungus is very destructive and spreads quickly. It is a spore type of fungus that travels to other buds via the wind so it is impossible to prevent or stop if weather conditions permit it to grow. If things should go badly and the fungus starts to attack your plants, you must remove it immediately or it will spread to other areas of the plant or plants. Some growers will remove just the section of the bud that is infected whereas other growers will remove the entire branch. Removal of the entire branch better insures that the fungus is totally removed, and also enables the grower to sample the crop a few weeks ahead of time. The main point in removing the fungus is to be very careful. Since it is a spore type of fungus, the accidental jerking of an infected bud will release some of the spores and they could fall onto a lower bud so by the next visit, you might have to pull that bud too. Also be careful in touching the fungus with your fingers because your fingers could pick up the spores and then when you touch the next bud, the spores could cling to it and start eating away at that bud.
6. EMERGENCY VISITS
The Real Estate and Construction Industries have conspired to develop housing near your crop and their "progress" must be monitored. A hurricane or tropical storm with winds over 50 miles per hour has visited your area. A drought takes place. etc. One of the drawbacks of growing outdoors is that you can not control for interference by outside forces. Emergency visits may be necessary but don't go crazy every time there's a bad storm. These plants are strong and can take some punishment.
Performed at night if possible. A nighttime run will limit the chances of someone seeing you. Do the most risky parts, such as carrying freshly cut erb where you could easily be spotted by a passing car, when the police jurisdiction changes shift. This can help ensure that officials do not spot you, and if a nosey nearby resident or passerby calls the police, it may take time before a car is dispatched to investigate. If harvesting at night, use flashlights sparingly so as not to attract attention, and bring extra batteries just in case(the rechargeable kind are recommended). When harvesting more than a couple of plants remember a small pocket knife because it makes the night move quicker. Unless you are planning to use the large fan leaves for cooking, remove them in the field so they don't take up a lot of space. If you have more than one variety of erb that you are harvesting bring various bags to put the different strains of buds in, and I would suggest using backpacks for travel to avoid suspicion and for easy handling.
WHEN TO HARVEST
The time to harvest depends on several factors: bud development, weather, fungus, and thieves. Some pot strains mature earlier in the fall than others, depending on the latitude of the globe where the strain originated. You will need to pull Indica varieties in late September and Columbian varieties in late October. The weather may also force you to pull early. If there is a severe freeze heading your way, you are better off not chancing that the weathermen are wrong and pull at least a majority of what you have. Another case for pulling early is if weather conditions are perfect for the fungus to run wild. This will also force you to pull early. And of course if your site has been found or is in great danger of being found, you must pull everything to avoid loosing out on what would otherwise have been a great year. For instance, if you have a site in a corn field or other temporary situation, the harvest must occur at a point in time relatively independent of weather. Also try to find out if and when hunters start to roam the fields.
One other thing to watch for is frost. Even a mild frost can damage plants so watching the weather closely in late September and throughout October is important. If your plants do get damaged by frost the erb is still harvestable so don't give up entirely if you fail to chop before the first frost. If by some freak chance there is a frost in early September and the buds are still very small you may want to allow the damage to occur and then let the buds finish maturing rather than harvesting a small quantity of premature buddage. This type of situation is an on the spot call and you must consider many factors, such as bud size, weather predictions for the following weeks, strain of weed, location of site, etc., before deciding. Indica varieties usually mature sooner than sativa varieties, and the best time to harvest varieties acclimated to the Northeast is from late September to mid October. Those varieties not acclimated to the Northeast, such as Columbian or Jamaican, are best left to late October or even mid November if the weather permits. One other thing you want to avoid is harvesting in the rain. Moisture can lead to problems in the drying process such as molds and fungi. The dryer the plants at the harvest date the better.
As mentioned before, it is important to acquire seeds from strains that can be grown at the latitude you are at, some Mexican or Colombian varieties may not develop mature buds until November and by then the weather becomes harsh. Knowing when your plants will mature is difficult for beginners or growers using new seeds for the first season.
Planning and getting to a good drying location quickly is important so the buddage is not left in bags for longer than a few hours. If the freshly harvested bud remains in bags for too long (12 hours or more), molds and fungus will begin to destroy the erb. Once you get to your drying location you need to prepare the erb for drying. This entails removing excess fan leaves and other larger leaves. However, if the drying spot has a temperature higher than 85 degrees it may be beneficial to leave a few large leaves to keep the buds from drying too quickly. Typical places to dry are attics, closets, dresser drawers, and basements. The best position for a bud to dry in is hanging upside down in a location where air can circulate all around it. If you are fortunate to have a location that you can do this in, great, otherwise use a dresser drawer or some other concealed place. If you dry the buds in dresser drawers remember not to double stack the buds or the weight of the upper layer of buds will cause a flat spot on the buds underneath. Also remember to rotate the buds every day so the erb dries uniformly and you can check for any signs of mold or fungus. If space permits and you are able to retrieve the whole plant, roots and all, you can hang them upside down by the roots, but don't expect this drying procedure to yield higher quality bud. THC does not drain from the roots down into the buds, the THC forms in the resin on the buds. The entire drying process should take place over four to six days depending on the size and variety of bud, the temperature, and the relative humidity of the drying area. If the buds are dried too quickly, the flavor of the erb will become more harsh and the THC level may not reach its potential. If the pot is dried too slowly then molds and fungi may develop and have a similar effect. With any method of drying, the process must be monitored on a day-to-day basis. Room temperature is fine for drying as long as the humidity is kept low. If drying must take place in a cool damp place then a fan and possibly a heater should be installed to compensate.
- HOW TO GROW MARIJUANA
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
BEFORE THE MARIJUANA CULTURE BEGINS
The marijuana is a notoriously sturdy and fast growing bad herb that survives extreme heats, to light frosts, to drought, and to the floods. Few diseases affect seriously the marijuana, and the insects and animals generally have few impact on the growth and the total productivity of the plant as soon as the vulnerable step of sprouts starting is passed. The simple survivability of the plants, nevertheless, is not the question. Your goal is to grow strong, powerful and fully mature plants.
Every seeds contains a certain potential for the growth, the total size, and the power. Depending on a given seed potential, the environment determines the size and the real power of the plant. In an ideal environment, certain varieties of marijuana grow until 5.5 meters of heigth in only six months, and produce more then 2.2 kg of buds.
In interior, there is rarely enough spaces or light to support a such sturdy growth. Consequently, the interior plants are a lot smaller, somtimes attaining only 90 cm to 1.2 m of heigth, and they produce about 200 grams of buds, although much more bigger plants are often and easily cultivated in interior.
OVERALL LOOK AT THE MARIJUANA LIFE CIRCLE
The marijuana is annual; a simple season finishes a generation and all the future hope are in the hands of the seeds. In the nature, the seeds germinate when the spring heats and rains encourage the start of a new season and a new life circle. The first pair of leaves appearing on a sprout are entire (they have smooth edges), and they were part of the embryo contained inside the seed. The apparition of the second pair begins with the germination. The sprout leaves differ of the embryonic leaves because they have saw teeth edges, and are bigger. The first leaves generally have a simple paddle, in spear form. With the next leaves pairs, every leaf get bigger, and generally have three paddles. A basic model formed itself: every new pair of leaves is bigger and have more paddle by leaf, until the leaves attain a size and a number of maximum paddle generally 9 or 11 (although 19 paddles on a 45 cm long leaf were seen).
The germination growth step is finished in 4 to 6 weeks. Now begin the vegetative growth (step of the life environment). This is the moment of the maximum growth, during which the branches appear and develop the plant in his distinctive form. After some weeks, the pairs of leaves that are opposed to each other (opposed phyllotaxie) begin forming themselves in a spread out position along the stem summit (alternated phyllotaxie), a sign that the plant gets ready for the beginning of the sexual maturation.
The marijuana is "dioecious", which means that the male and female flowers appear on separated plants, and that every plant is considered as male, or as female. During the step before flourishing, (a period of 2 weeks before the blooming), the plant goes through a rest period; the quick growth slow down while the plant gets ready for the flower growth.
Briefly, the males produce flowers carrying pollen, and the female one produce flowers carrying seeds. The female are the favorite plants for the marijuana because their flowers (the buds) are more powerful and because they produce better marijuana than the male plants. The familiar commercial herbs buds are in fact hundreds of individual female flowers assembled together that develop in masses.
THE LIMITING FACTOR CONCEPT AND THE GROWTH
The marijuana grow better in a fertile and well drained soil, when it has a lot of waters, when it is exposed to a brilliant light, and in a well-ventilated hot atmosphere. To reduce the environment complexities in factors on which farmers can maintain a certain control, think about the environment as if it consisted of four basic growth factors: light, air, water and soil. The plants live and grow using:
(1) the light energy to make food and biological energy for the growth from the
(2) carbon dioxyde (CO2) and oxygen contained in the air,
(3) water coming from the air and soil and
(4) minerals (nutritious or fertilizer) absorbed from the soil.
Each of these four growth factor is like the link of a chain, and the plant does not grow more quickly than the weaker link allow it. For example, if there is not a lot of light, the weak light limit the growth even if the water is abundant or if the soil is fertile. In the same direction, if the soil nutritious are not very abundant, the growth is limited by the quantity of nutritious, no matter how much light, air, or water there is.
Of course, no farmer know exactly if all the four growth factors are in perfect balance, but there is not need to know it. This is only after the farmers watered and fertilized the plants close to excess that they need to recognize that the weak light is the reason their plants do not grow quickly. I saw farmers flooding their plants or poisoning them with too much fertilizer while they were growing them under a bulb of 60 Watts and could not understand why they did not reach 3 meters of heigth.
A farmer need to have a balance feeling and a general sensitiveness regarding what makes a plant growing. Let us hope this blog will help you obtain this comprehension and this sensitiveness. A brief reading should relieve you from exaggerated worries or false ideas, and help you persuade your self to avoid things like excessive watering or fattening. A reading of some lines, a little observation, and common sense should be all a farmer needs to cultivate a sturdy and powerful harvest.
A last thought on what constitutes the common sense applied to the plants. Do not exaggerate! A lot of death plants comes from the farmer trying to force results. If the fertilizer instructions say it require one coffee spoon, will three coffee spoons be three times better? No! The plants do well enough when a reasonable care is given, just help them do what is natural and never try to force them.
The first harvest is always an apprenticeship experience and even when the harvest is a wonderful success, every farmer know that the next one will be better, and generally it is true. Every harvest becomes easier, because the questions obtain responses and the doubts disappear progressively, until the care process of your harvest becomes a second nature and that you have more fun cultivating them than smoking the harvest. All experienced farmer will probably say, "there is no other places i could be and things i could do than sit among my plants while giving them some KLC. (kindness, love, care)".
The security is the first consideration when installing a garden. The farmers must take a special care for their garden and their lights so they are not visible from the exterior or not accessible by non desired visitors. Even where the marijuana culture is legal, stealing is a major interest. The farmers must carefully consider the consequences before speaking to someone about their garden, and must exercise prudence every time that someone come see them. An unfortunate fact of life is that the craving, vengeance, cupidity, and the poorly placed morality make your knowledge or former friends possible thieves or denunciatory. (By the way, don't start being paranoid)
To the sun opposite, the electric lights cost money at the purchase time and at the usage time. First, consider the minimal cost for a modest fluorescent garden, or a garden expenditure for multiples HID. The electric lights garden necessitate more frequent cares than the sun gardens; From another side, they can be maintained to any moment since they are in the interior, and the lights can be lit at any moment depending on the planning of the farmer. The electric lights gardens are perfect for the inhabitant working in apartment.
You can hide the electric lights gardens in closed pieces, basements, attics, placards or garages. Even when they are hidden, the big HID gardens can awake suspicions among your electric company. The big mettalic iodides lamps (the MH), the principal light source for a lot of farmers, consume almost 1 100 Watts each. If three lamps or more are used, the electric company will possibly want to know why your electric bill suddenly increased so high, and they could want to do investigations on your electric usage or investigate a possible short-circuit or another problem on your lines. If we questionate you, the best excuse is telling them you installed an electric heating system or a conditioned air central.
The big HID gardens can be noisy. The ballasts can strongly hum, and the light balancers (if you have some) can cause vibrations.
The commercial farmers that are concerned by their marijuana perfume can choose to use their lights and their airiness during the night, when their neighbors sleep. Consider all these problems first, before installing your system, especially if this is a big commercial operation. The small gardens don't need special security precautions. But do not talk about your garden to anybody, and keep it hidden from non desired visitors.
The marijuana culture is pleasing, and more lucrative than you can imagine.
Good luck and happy harvesting.
- HOW TO GROW MARIJUANA
VARIETIES OF MARIJUANA (HEMP AND RUDERALIS)
The ruderalis is a very small hemp growing in a wild way at the side of roads in Soviet Union. These hemps are VERY weak in power, and the American farmers confused certain small varieties of indica with the ruderalis. The only valid characteristic of the ruderalis is it's very precocious flourishing. Those last years, the grafter in the United States and the Netherlands mixed the ruderalis with sativas and powerful indicas to produce rather powerful hybrid, blooming early. These hybrid works well under lamps.
Certain farmers think they are growing pure ruderalis. They are not. On about 300 scientifically tested varieties, the power generally went between only 0.05 percent to 0.5 percent of THC, a mediocre herb at the best. The farmers thinking they are growing a rather powerful ruderalis are most likely growing an hybrid one, or something completely different, like an indicas. The ruderalis is only useful for precocious maturation grafting, because the plants bloom almost immediately.
The American farmers wanting to develop a precocious blooming but, at the same time, a powerful herb should look at the wild hemps, like those growing along the rivers, cultivated fields, etc... This native hemp is mature early; the plants grow taller and more fully than the ruderalis and they form thicker buds; the power is at least equal to the ruderalis, but generally the hemp is better, and the plants had time to develop themselves against the native insects and the diseases. These wild hemps had the time to constitute resistance to the local mildews, to the insects.
If you want to develop a precocious blooming herb and you don't have access to a naturally powerful and precocious blooming marijuana, use a native hemp to graft it with a powerful herb, especially if you foresee to plant in exterior.
- HOW TO GROW MARIJUANA
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
VARIETIES OF MARIJUANA (OTHERS)
The Nepalese is often similar to the classic Mexican even if there is short varieties, from 1,2 to 1,5 meters of heigth, with leaves like the Afghanes or saliva type. The Nepalese with the South-African often contain THCV in the THC. You feel the effect of the THCV almost instantaly, so in one puff, you could be stoned. The THCV doesn’t last as long as the THC, but the effect is cerebral and enriching. The Nepalese can have a very soft taste, and she can form good buds but not the most squeezed ones. Most of the plants are ripe in October.
The South African (named Durban Poison by some)
The South African is the most contradictory or, more precisely, have the most stunning different varieties native from one country. South Africa is an intersection of the major roads of commerces and ways of transportations. In South Africa, there is a good number of traditional herbs cultures, therefore this is not a surprise that the varieties of marijuana from this country is so various in power, growth habit, appearance, taste, odor, and period of floraison.
A lot of cultivators immediately associate the name of Durban Poison or South African with a precocious maturation and a powerful herb. In practice, none of these assumptions is true. There is south African that are practically without any value for the marijuana, and others that are among the best ones in the world. The varieties of South Africans can mature very fast and can also hold indefinitely before ripening, imitating the late maturation equatorial varieties. Most of the south African ones that you will meet will be probably descendants of the Durban Poison developed in the years 1970 in California.
This herb is perfect for the interior farmer without worrying about the growth conditions. This Durban Poison have wide paddle leaves almost like the Afghans but with a big distances between the branches like the sativas one. The pistils can be pure white, red, pink, or of a delicate crimson. The branches push with different length like the Thai one, and the profile can be of an egg-shaped form of 2.4 meters or a bulky shrub of 1.2 meters. This Durban grow quickly, is sturdy, mature very early, is very powerful, have a soft or spicy taste, and is fragrant. What a cultivator can ask for more? One last warning: on the six original South African varieties that a grafter grown, only one variety, and only two plants on the 16 female plants of this variety, were valid for grafting. You could also come across some Afghans hybrid mixed with the Durban coming from this stock and they are among the best herb and have the best precocious maturation.
On the 5 other seeds of south African, only one was unusual in his look, resembling like a miniature Thai variety, although she was not hermaphroditic. The leaves had round teeth common to the Thai varieties, but they were a lot smaller; final stature was short, about 1.8 m to 2.1 meters of heigth, with a fir form. The power was only considered as “good”. On the four other varieties grown, any of them were unusual or had rather important characteristic for grafting. The other variety, coming from Transkei, with foliage and maturation characteristic between the Mexican and the Durban Poison, although the power was mediocre.
There are two important lesson here: first, although the seeds come from a certain country with a special reputation, the real performance of every seed is unique; secondly, you can examine plants coming from a specific seed closely, and you could find that certain individuals are exceptional for the characteristics you might be looking for. You could find a female plant which is mature several weeks before others, or a plant that is a lot more powerful than all other. This is the reason why grafting is there. There are individuals that have rare and desirable characteristics; all you need to do is to find them and propagate them for these characteristics in an advanced program of grafting.
The North African and Middle East (Morocco, Turkey, Lebanon, Iran and Iraq)
Most of these marijuana varieties were cultivated for the hachisch rather than for the marijuana. The plants tend to be very resinous, but a good part of the resin consists in non-psychoactives cannabinoïdes like the CBD.
There are innumerable varieties coming from central Asia and north Africa, and they go from very small (underneath 1.2 meters) to high enough ones (more than 4.2 meters). The varieties generally have leaves of the sativa type. Certain unusual varieties have the wide leaves of the indica type and have an heigth of 3 meters. If you have original seeds, they should go well under lamps. They can produce also an abundance of CBD, a cannabinoïde that was suspected to impair or to influence the quality of the total buzz, although this assumption was refuted by recent research. Apparently, the CBD have a small effect, if there is one, on the overall buzz. I never found an north African or a Middle East herb that was exceptional, but other farmers told me some Lebanese and Moroccans are good.
Thank you for reading.
- HOW TO GROW MARIJUANA
VARIETY OF MARIJUANA (INDICAS)
The Afghan and the Kush plants grow smaller and thicker then the sativas. The leaves of the Afghans have often a very dark green color, almost blue-green, with wide paddle that sometimes recover themselves on each other. The habitual height is between 1,2 and 2,4 meters. Generally, the buds are compact and tightly packed, the pistils are sometime pink, purple, or of a dark red. The full maturation range at the end of August to October. The Afghani one and the Kush (that comes from the mountains Hindu Kush in central Afghanistan to the borders of the Pakistan) are often exchanged, and the farmers exchange the names.
The Kush is generally slightly taller than the Afghans and the leaves are between the Afghans and the sativa for the color and the paddle width. The power can be mediocre to very strong, and the buzz of the strongest is usually weakening, narcotic, or simply knock you out. The Afghans and the Kush both have a range of tastes and odors, but the term “skunk” come from the common strong odor similar to the skunk and to a lot of those varieties. The odors can also be very spicy or wonderfully soft.
The Pakistanese show Afghans and Indians influence. The Pakistanese often have the Afghans and Kush standard. An unusual variety had the narrowest leaf paddles, as the sativa, that I personally never saw. These plants attain only 2 meters of heigth, but with longer, more beautiful and more abundant branches. The tall but light buds are formed at such a profusion that a continuous line of buds obscure the branches. The branches are bent towards the bottom because of the head weight, and the plants looks like a "fountains" of tight buds. The flowers are of a white pure with unusual long pistils. The power is only considered as “good”, but the taste is exceptionally soft. This variety is mature at the end of September.
I only tested one variety coming from China. The leaves are similar to the Afghan although the clearer green color. The plants reach maturity quickly and often only reach 90 cm to 1.2 meters of height when they ripe at the end of August. The branches are irregular, with different sized branches appearing from the top and bottom of the plant. The power is average but rather good to be, with his precocious maturation, a very good candidate for grafting. This Chinese variety (Chinese 1) had certain unusual characteristic, including huge seeds, mixed red or white colored pistils, round and very filled buds, and the unusual fact that the bud developed themselves along the leaf stems.
The hemp varieties from China are medium to extremely high, and have sativa appearance. The maturation can be very precocious to late, since China is a vast country that covers a lot of latitude degrees.
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- HOW TO GROW MARIJUANA
VARIETIES OF MARIJUANA (SATIVA)
The Colombian is the standard tropical sativa for the majority of hashish cultivators. Everyone is familiar with the Colombian. It grows a bit more slowly, i'ts slightly more shorter and compact than the Mexican. In a perfect environment with space to grow, a Colombian can attain a heigth of 4.8 meters and produce 2kg 200 grams of buds after only a 6 month growth season. Usually, the Colombians have a conical or a classic fir form, with longer branches at the bottom of the plant. Their foliage and branches are typical to the sativas variety. Certain Colombian have their branches longer in the middle or the top of the plant and the branches push more up than towards the side. The mature female show a robust profile in an oval or diamond form. When the Colombian is good, it can be very very good. Over it all, the colombians growth and power are consistent, which make them a good candidate for an experimented or inexperienced cultivator.
The Colombian is one of the seed sources that can be more powerful than his preceding one. The domestic cultivators could be pleasantly surprised to find that their herb could be approximatively 20 to 50 percent more powerful than the original herb.
The commercial Colombian cultivators practice one of the worst drying and cleaning procedures, which degrade the THC in less active CBN. The lowest degree of commercial Colombian is usually about 2 percent of THC with 1 percent of CBN for a 3 percent total power of THC. Most of the time, the THC + CBN power is about 6 percent for the Colombian. For carefully dryed domestic harvest, there won’t be any CBN and the whole THC of the plant production is conserved. The best Colombian can reach 12 percent of THC, that is almost as powerful as any marijuana varieties can have. This is a good selection for an interior farmer.
The Mexican could be one of the best selection you could grow with. The Mexicans usually grow fast and high, and they blossom under a low intensity lightning compared to the Colombians, the Thai, and most of the African variety; therefore they are fine under artificial light.
The Mexican are most often sativas, with symmetrical, conical, or in fir form. The Mexicans grow quickly: the highest sinsemilla plant I've seen was a cultivated Mexican plant in California that had 6.7 m of height and produced more than 3kg 200grams of sensimilla.
The Mexicans appearance and growing habit is very similar to some Nepaleses; a lot of Mexicans are similar to Nepaleses. Their bud tend to be well formed, but sometimes “hairy”, and the taste is generally deliciously soft or sometimes spicy. The buzz is cerebral, mind-blowing and energising, but it specially doesn't last long.
South East Asian
The Thai, Laotian, and Cambodian varieties, although they are seducting, must be avoided or planted experimentaly, especially in interior. Only grow a few South East Asian at a time because about half of the time those plant become hermaphrodite, giving male flower randomly pollinating your sensimilla causing serious and exasperating problems. Some varieties tend to grow in a irregular way, when germinating sprout push quickly and surpass everything else in the garden or growing with long distance between branches that make you think you are growing stems instead of herbs. The South East Asians buds often spread themselves, but some varieties form solid and compact buds.
The Thaï could be the best herb that u could have experimented, so if you have seed that you would like to grow, only grow a few of them at a time. If hermaphrodite problems develop at the end, at least they are simply an experimentation rather of an investment. The buzz from the South East Asia is an excellent feeling, enriching, and the buds have a soft or spicy, sometime very spicy, taste.
The Jamaican is in between the Colombian and Mexican in terms of the growth habits, the buzz and the taste. Straight, typically sativa, most of the Jamaicans grow slightly faster than the Colombians and a little slower than the Mexican. The Jamaican, under optimal condition, can hit about 4 meters of height and generally have better branches system compared to the Mexican. It's a good candidate for interior cultivators if they like original herbs. Just like the Colombians, the Jamaicans can surpass the original herb in terms of power.
The varieties from India are among the most various one that I've seen. The typic Indian looks like a sativa, but isn't as tall as the Mexican and the Colombian. Some rare varieties are very small (90 cm) and for the more common varieties about 3.5 meters high. The varieties can have foliage type like the sativa, one paddle leaves (only one paddle by 3 per leaf), or have typic Afghanes leaves, each of them representing the variety among the Indians varieties. The maturation range go as early as the most precocious Afghanes to as late as the South East Asian one. The power the same variable. One of the softer and most delicious varieties to smoke come from a South Indian variety that attain 4 meters of height, and have a very gracious sativa look with an aerial slandered bud with long curved branches.
The Central African
The Nigerian, the Congolese, the Kenya herbs have possibly the biggest leaves and the tallest plants you could have ever saw. These plants can potentially reach 6 meters of height, and a Nigerian having grown in full sun have 45 cm long leaves. The Nigerian plants are among the most powerful and weakening of all the cannabis varieties (after two puffs, the most experimented cultivators have enough and quickly go to sleep). Although if the Nigerian bud are not very tight, they don't spread themselves like the South East Asian one. The bud is extremely resinous, with an unusual rich taste, earthy, organic and a unique odor. The Nigerian are mature very late, and often do not ripe before the end of November or even the end of December in San Francisco.
The Congolese and the Kenyan are also very tall but the look is more similar to the Colombians but also have similarities with the Nigerian in taste and odor. They get to maturity sooner than the Nigerian and they ripen in November. The most powerful tested cannabis in this land is the Congolese (more than 11 percent of THC) followed by the Nigerian (more then 10 percent of THC).
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- HOW TO GROW MARIJUANA
CHOOSING A VARIETY TO GROW
Cannabis all around the world respond to the same environment influence, and the most important influence is the photoperiod, which determine when the plant will be mature and if they will be mature at time for the deadly freezing. For the exterior cultivator, this is the MOST important consideration, because if the plants are not mature on time, you will only have foliage and immature buds to harvest. You should always grow a less powerful variety, but still good, that will have a complete maturation rather than a uber-strong variety that won’t be mature on time. In interior, you don't need to worry about the flourishing and the plant maturation because you control the photoperiod so at the same time the maturation.
For the normal cultivation or grafting programs, three primary characteristic are the MOST important for all marijuana farmer: the power, the time of maturation, and the productivity. Certain secondary characteristic to consider are the taste and odor, the vigor and resistance to disease, the formation of the bud and manicure ease, and the quality of the buzz (energising or debilitating to name two most extreme ones).
The time of maturation under natural light, for the most part, depend on the seed origin latitude and the local photoperiod. In general, the farer from equator the seed origin is, more quickly the plant will bloom and will be ripe. The real time of the maturation also varies with the local condition the seed variety is accustomed to. For example, if the plant was acclimated to a high altitude, it could be mature more then one month before their cousin at the sea level, even if they have the same latitude. This is the reason why the varieties that come roughly from the same region can differ from a significant way in their maturation length. The best seed for the multiplication for a precocious maturation is the South African, Afghans, Pakistanes, Chineses, and the Ruderalis varieties.
The second consideration, the power, can come from any varieties in the globe, since the power does not depend on the origin, and all the varieties of marijuana can be exceptionally powerful.
In addition to the strenght or the total power, the quality of the buzz also become way more apparent when you gain experience with a wide selection of variety. Different marijuana type were described as debilitating, narcotic or energising, enriching, cerebral and hallucinogenic.
The productivity of an individual plant is not usually a major consideration when you choose a type to grow except if you do it outdoor. In the interior, you can fill your garden with sturdy plant and the space limitation restrict the productivity more than using different varieties does. Even if in interior you will find that certain varieties grow faster and produce more than others. The productivity under the lamps depend principally on how thick the buds form themselves along the branches, and how firmly the buds individually grow. It's one of the main reasons why a lot of cultivators prefer the indicas to the sativa (specially the sativa from the South East Asia), because the indicas tend to develop themselves in a much more compact manner way and they have thicker and heavyer buds. The hemp develops themselves with a well formed head compared to the sparse flower from the majority of ruderalis, an important consideration when we want to do grafting.
Another thing that you could consider when you do grafting for productivity is that the variety of ruderalis production is so small that they are most likely any value for any characteristic other than a precocious flourish. Someone who want to do grafting could decide to use an american hemp for his precocious maturation, because those plant produce as good productivity and with well formed buds.
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- HOW TO GROW MARIJUANA
MARIJUANA RACE AND VARIETIES
The sativas varieties height range from 2.4 to 6 meters; they produce 150 grams to 2 kg 200 grams of sinsemilla bud. The sativa origin can be found anywhere, but most tropical marijuana varieties are sativas. The leaf paddles are long and narrow, and of a very clear green color. The branches are symmetrical to irregular, but usually the distances between the branches are long and the branches are uniform and well spaced. The stigmas of the female (the two “hair” of a female flower) is most often of a white pure. The maturation arrive generally late in the season, from mid-October to December for the tropical varieties, but also as soon as July for the tempered region varieties.
The indicas varieties are shorter, the usual height is between 1.2 to 2.4 meters and they produce 110 grams to 900 grams of sinsemilla. The indicas varieties originates for the most part from Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and India. The leaves habitually are of a blue very dark green, and can develop a crimson shade. The leave paddles are shorter but much more thicker than the sativas varieties. The branches are generally symmetrical and thick with small distance between them. The flower stigma is usually white, but can also be red or purple; the buds tend to be fuller and compact than the usual sativas. Most of the time, the indicas reach maturation state sooner, from end August to October.
The ruderalis varieties have narrower leaf paddles, that have similarities to salivas: the plants are short, 30 cm to 1.5 m of heigth and most of the branches are very scattered with relatively long distance between each other. Often the ruderalis only have two to three pairs of leaves before flourishing and typic production is only 7 grams to 55 grams of sinsemilla. Native from URSS, the ruderalis is very quick to mature and can ripe as early as mid-July. Generally, the ruderalis start blooming a few weeks after germinating but does not form correct sized bud, if there are some, until the photoperiod attain 18 to 19 hours of length.
The American hemps heigth is usually 1.8 to 3.6 meters with the leaves, the buds color and characteristic are like the sativas varieties. These “bad herbs” are very resistant (in fact the authorities were not able to eliminate those annoying “bad herbs”). They are mature early, from the end of july to the start of October.
All experimented cultivator saw considerable overlappings among these characteristics. There are indicas varieties that can produce 2 kg of buds, and there are sativa varieties that have red stigmas. A lot of the best growing plant in the USA are hybrid, and it’s possible that you will see all the characteristic shown here combined.
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- HOW TO GROW MARIJUANA
HISTORY & INTRODUCTION TO CANNABIS
When we talk legally of the cannabis, it means the leaf and the dried flowers from the cannabis sativa plant. The cannabis is one of the oldest and historically most important cultivated plant. It has been cultivated since at least 6 000 years. Particularly in China, during the age of rock, the hunters transition into cultivators took place in part because the people could grow cannabis and create a lot of useful products from this multi-usages plant.
From the marijuana stem come the hemp, a long and sturdy fiber used to make rope, fishing nets, clothing and famous long longevity paper. The Chinese, from the age of rock, have replaced their animal skin with clothing made with the hemp fiber. The clothing were developed from the manufacture of hemp fishing net with progressively finer meshes. The oldest known paper was made with hemp fiber. This paper was discovered in tombs in China in the the Shensi province; more than 2 100 years ago. The hemp paper was estimated for his longevity and his resistance to tearing. Some beautiful bibles, rare books and manuscripts, and certain money paper are still made with hemp fiber.
The leaves and the dried flowers are what constitutes the cannabis, but they were also used, with the roots, in the preparation of numerous medicine. The oldest book of pharmacology known (The Pên-ts'ao Ching) writen 4 000 years ago in China, prescribed marijuana preparations for the treatment of malaria, beriberi, constipation, rheumatic pains and "feminine disturbances" (probably menstrual crampes). During millenniums, the doctors and healers in the entire world prescribed marijuana preparations for various disease until the 19th century when the cannabis began being replaced by the aspirin. A legal text from 1937 prohibited the cannabis, and put an end to the capacity for the doctors to prescribe cannabis for medical use in the USA.
The cannabis seeds were considered as food during several thousands of years, until it got replaced, 2 000 year ago, by the introduction of a new seed more pleasant to the taste. The cannabis seeds are still cultivated in Russia, in Chile, and in several other countries for the animals and the birds, and principally for seed oil. When it's pressed from the seed, the cannabis oil is similar to the linen seed oil, and can be used for fuel and lubrication, and in the manufacture of paints and varnishes.
Mostly naturally, a such useful plant gotten transported from his native asia to the entire civilised world. The cultivated cannabis deployed itself quickly towards the west, and during the time of the romans it was cultivated in almost all the europeans countries. The europeans also cultivated the marijuana for medicine, but principally for the hemp fiber to make rope, clothing, and paper. In west Asia and in west Africa, cannabis was preferred from the hemp, it was smoked ritually and for fun.
In 1632, when the England pilgrim went to the USA, they brought hemp seeds to make ropes and clothes. The hemps fiber were so important for british navy, for the boat rigging, that the settlers were paid to plant hemps; in certain states, fines were given to settlers that did not want to cultivate them. During the civil war, the hemp industries went up so high that the cotton was only ahead of the hemp in south farming industries.
The cannabis now grow all across the world, from the artic circle to the equator, and from the level of sea to more then 2 200 meters up in the Himalayas. In fact, it's the most widely distributed cultivated plant. A fact that testifies the tenacity and adaptability of the plant as well as the usefulness, his multi-usage, and the economic worth of it.
Compared to a lot of cultivated plants, Cannabis never lost his capacity to survive without the human assistance. Each time the ecological condition allow it, the cannabis will escape culture and establish wild population just like bad herbs. Wild cannabis still blooms all across the United-States, except in the arid and mountainous regions to the west and south east.
A such adaptable plant, when it is brought to a wide environment type, and reproduced and cultivated for products coming from the stem, the seeds, or coming from the leaves and flowers, evolves in a comprehensive way in many distinctive ecosystem and cultivated varieties. These varieties difference, adapted to the local growth conditions, suit particularly to their desired use. Consequently, there is an unbelievable number of varieties in this simple type of cannabis sativa.
The hemp varieties with long fibers come from long straight plants. The seeds variety can either produce a great quantity of seeds on a scrubby plant, or have seeds very rich in oil. The wild plant are sturdy, can live with little water or nutritive, and develop small seeds that germinate only under good conditions. The most important thing to know for the reader of this article is the wide range of varieties, that vary in their size and their total productivity, in their seeds and flowers color, when they bloom, in their tastes and their odors, and above all, in their powers.
For the biggest part, the power (how much the cannabis is strong or psychoactive) is a genetic factor. The power of a plant is inherited from his mother (the carrier of seeds) and his father (the pollen producer). The cultivator should plant seeds of marijuana that they smoked earlier and liked, because the cannabis coming from these seeds will be similar in power to the inherited power from his parents. The objective of the marijuana cultivator is to choose seeds from a powerful herb and feed the plants to a full and sturdy maturity. The nature and the plant will take care of the rest.
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- HOW TO GROW MARIJUANA