Years ago, and I mean many many, years ago, I was going through somewhat of a dry spell. You see, there were many raids in my home town and entire place had been dry months. All the large growers had been caught and there weren’t enough small operations to keep everyone afloat, only those who knew someone who grew a personal stash could get there hands on any good dope.
I harassed all of my dealers non-stop, they were trying to outsource but it’s tricky game for small town folks to gain connections outside of their respective residences. Eventually, one of my guys made a connection but was too scared to meet up with him. Out of desperation, I volunteered.
It was only about a thirty minute drive to his house, it was a decent place too. I couldn’t smell bud when I stepped into his house, although the ashtrays filled with clips indicated he must have smoked indoors. He was a nice guy, very talkative, and he immediately threw me into the tale of how he got into growing because his uncle grew and taught him the family trade, yada-yada. This man led me to a room in the back of the house, and by this point I could smell the fresh bud beyond door before us. He led me into a small room with a large mahogany wardrobe in the back and small circular couch wrapped around a table in the center. On the shelf there were three massive jars filled to the brim with bud. I was much younger, and inexperienced, at this time in my life and let me tell you- wow! It was quite an experience to see several ounces in one place before.
The man, i’ll call him Nick from now on, walked over to the jars and put them all in the table in front of me, motioning for me to check them out. I popped the lid off the first, stuck my nose in and inhaled. I will never forget the smell, it was an incredibly crisp fruity fragrance, it smelled like strawberries and melons. I removed a big probably six gram, cone from the jar and cracked it open; taking another whiff. I did the same thing to the two other jars, and they were all equally as odiferous.
Finally, he showed me the wardrobe. Inside were two massive plants.
“The one on the left is the indica,” he explained to me, “the taller one on the right is the sativa strain i’m growing for the first time.”
The plants were beautiful, like nothing I have ever seen. Photographs do not do justice to the reality of seeing two, towering, plants right before your eyes. Nick continued talking, explaining that he’s never smoked bud as good as the stuff he had grown himself- and to prove it, he smoked me out. He wasn’t lying! I pestered him for about two hours, inquiring into some of the general growing information. Eventually he said he had some business to take care of, and handed me a hydro flushing tip. I thanked Nick for his hospitality and said I would be back soon for some more product soon. One year later, when it was finally spring, I would start my first outdoor grow.
I just could not believe the size and quality of untouched outdoor grown bud.
Lots can go wrong when growing out in the open eye, check out my guide for how to be safe.
This wouldn’t be the first time this happened either.
Take care my stoner brothers and sisters,
Many of my students, as smart as they are, understand that burning something induces a chemical reaction that changes the chemical make-up of whatever is being burned. Why am I saying this? Well, according to cannabis safety institute it is much more dangerous to inhale burning pesticides than to ingest them, as one would by eating a turnip contaminated with pesticides.
Plenty of newbie smokers and growers assume that adding a little synthetic fertilizers into their buds won’t harm them over the course of their smoking career and lifetime, and they’re quite wrong. The effects of chemicalized bud produces a harsh, crappy smoke that just leaves you ending up feeling groggy.
There is an upside to eating organically, of course there is, that’s why people do it. By putting healthy things into your body you in turn become healthier, that’s some simple logic anybody can get behind, right? It is much more complex than that, but for now everybody can get that part. So if, as a society, we have all become more interested in healthy living why are people not growing marijuana organically? It’s proven that the pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals used while growing marijuana contain poisonous chemicals that are incredibly bad for us especially if they are smoked rather than ingested. I hypothesize that the growing community believes it is either too expensive or too difficult to grow organically, today, I am here to prove this notion as false so that we may move forward into a brighter future; one where our bud isn’t laced with Agent Orange.
For starters, the key to growing any plant at all is the soil. This is especially true for marijuana, due to it’s intensive needs as it changes stages during it’s growing cycle. Different stages of the grow cycle require different amounts of specific nutrients, which is why it’s not only healthier and cheaper to produce your own compost and fertilizers, but, also more effective because you can adjust the ratio of specific ingredients.
A general ingredient list for compost that I personally use is this:
(You can check out more in the book here.)
- carbon rich materials – dead leaves, plant trimmings, etc
- nitrogen rich materials – manure, coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peels, etc
- coco fiber (this stuff is amazing!)
- rock phosphate
- epsom salts
- pH up / down
- bat gueno
- blood meal
It is important to know that compost, once every ingredient is combined and has been mixed, takes between two and five months to ripen. Natural fertilizers are made in just about the same way, though it does not need to ripen/decay usually, and the ingredients should be adjusted to fit the stage of the growing cycle your plant is currently in.
(For example, during the flowering stage you might want to cut back on a lot of the nitrogen rich materials.)
Organic fertilization is that easy. If you don’t trust your home-made fertilizer there are a variety of organic fertilizers out there, I recommend not using these but if you want too just make sure none of the ingredients will conflict directly with growing marijuana. Avoid all fertilizers that have “time released” nutrients, as previously stated marijuana plants have many stages that require different nutrient levels at each stage and a time released nutrient will end up giving your plant nutrient burn eventually.
Once you have an organic way to facilitate the growing of your plants, you must think of how to protect them from pests. Of course, I will not be recommending pesticides for you all (even though many claim to be organic). Natural pesticide concoctions are easy to make, safe to spray onto the plant directly, and have no adverse side effects. One recipe I use is pressed garlic, cloves, anise, lavender oil, and the juice of hot peppers mixed with water. Another tactic used on more substantial infestations is using natural predators that won’t harm your plants. Here is a list of many common marijuana plant pests (left) paired with their natural predators which are available for purchase.
- Spider mites – P. persimilis
- Thrips – Cucumen
- Fungus gnats – S. scmitus
- Aphids – Lady bugs
One last tactic is to use pungent plants to either attract pests to them rather your marijuana (such as marigolds and thrips) or away from the plants in general, like geraniums. By placing a few marigolds and geraniums throughout your crop you’ll be deterring a fair number of pests, and once it’s coupled with your natural pesticide concoction your plants will be untouchable!
Hope this helps,
Thanks you guys for supporting my mission,
(You can read more about that here.)
It’s the latest trend in gardening and horticulture that’s been exploding in popularity in recent years. Converting a room in a home for the purpose of growing plants with equipment that’s readily available locally or over the Internet. Specialized components and pieces of hardware that are designed to work together to duplicate the outdoor growing environment often better than it naturally is. So then just what are the very basic pieces that you’ll need to get started?
1. The Space
Item number one on your list would for sure be the space to do it, and while a room is optimal it’s no longer a must have prerequisite. This is because smaller more compact hardware is available now that allows you the option of using something like a closet or even a large cabinet to do it in. Or if you don’t have the cabinet or closet space available specialized grow tents are available online that are well worth taking a look at.
2. The Light
So once you have the space to do it in the next must-have item for any indoor growing operation is a light source. Without it nothing will grow. So today you have your choices of two types of lighting, with the first one being the relatively affordable metal halide bulb and ballast. In recent years however, as the technology in LED lighting has become more advanced, so too have prices fallen. They’re now far more affordable than they used to be.
Now LED lighting doesn’t require a hood because of the way that the systems are designed and the way they function. However, if you’re going with a standard metal halide bulb you will need a light hood to contain it in. A hood works to focus the light down onto the plants so you get maximum usage for the energy spent. Be prepared for a bit of a surprise though when you start to shop for a hood though because they’re more technologically advanced now and also more expensive.
3. The Fixture
The next piece of equipment that you’ll want to focus on would be a rotating light fixture, that is unless you’re going with LED lights which disperse their light energy far better. A rotating light fixture holds the metal halide bulb and moves it it gradually around the room for better distribution. Now you can always go with smaller bulbs that you arrange around the area to solve your distribution problem but a rotating light fixture will allow you to get the bulbs closer to the plants.
Green plants breathe carbon dioxide, and unlike the oxygen we breathe CO2 makes up a far lower percentage of the air around us. So once your garden gets going you will need to have the air constantly being changed in and out of the room, and for this you’ll need a vent fan. A vent fan that is powerful enough to change out the volume of air that you have in your room fast enough. You may even want to get two vent fans. One for blowing air in, and one for blowing air out.
5. The Timer
Then after you get all the basic equipment that you need to power up an indoor grow room you’ll need a timer to make sure that everything comes on turns off when it’s supposed to. Now things like a vent fan can run full time because that’s no problem. The bulb and rotating light fixture however, are another story. They need to come on at intervals that are timed to duplicate the hours of daylight and darkness in a natural outdoor environment.
If you’re interested in learning more on learning how to grow weed, be sure check out the indepth package shown on the homepage of this site as well as the short guide I wrote on how to grow weed indoors step by step.
Do make sure to keep one thing in mind here though as you go over this basic list of growing equipment, and that it is just that, it’s basic. The above listed items are what you will need to get a room up and going and they will do just fine. Once you get the hang of it though you may want to go farther than just basic though and for that there’s a whole list of high-tech equipment for you choose from. Things like space age reflective film, a carbon dioxide injection system to speed up growth, and hydroponic equipment that will allow you to grow without soil.
Many aspiring weed cultivars always ask me; “Which is best, growing in hydroponics or soil?”
This is a fun subject, that will take me a while to explain, but, once mastered you will be up and running learning how to grow weed in no time!
Many marijuana growers are curious what the best application indoors and outdoors is for growing your own potent, dank, heavy yeilding harvesting bud.
Each has their own unique advantages. But if I were to dumb it down and PICK ONE, I would say the answer would be to, grow with organic, humus-rich soil in container pots or large planter boxes! The plants are much healthier, and produce better.
Because you can’t beat microorganism bacteria activity [which produce many compounds of organic, natural fertilizer that bewilders all but the best of botanists], root growth (beneficial fungi and vitamin-enriched bacteria that thrive in soil), and the advanced organic nutrients that are processed and “pre-digested” by living microorganism in the soil – these little critters are like natural fertilizer, and provide key elements and trace elements to your plants.
Hydroponics simply can’t come close in terms of nutrient availability, but it is still a highly viable opition. Nature is very complex, and the chemical ferts and nutes you add will NEVER come close to Mother nature’s brilliant design for taking care of her female marijuana plants.
Hydroponic enthusiasts argue cannabis can grow faster and bigger with certain aeroponics (the Rolls Royce of hydroponic systems), but that’s like saying “hooking the cow up to this super-feeder growth enhancing chemical water machine made her fatter and grew 10x faster!” Call me old-fashioned, but I believe mother nature always knows best.
Being fanatical about my plants, I believe nature provides hidden compounds, and even earth energy from being connected to soil, and our planet. I find anecdotally, our experience smoking buds grown in soil not only taster better, but feel better.
Either one, if loved and cared for, can be a very viable system. Each will provide for unique growers needs.
Enjoy your shiny new bud growth!
Until next time,