Growing Hints

Growing Hints

SOIL: Personally, I am 100% organic on everything I grow, however, I am aware everyone may not be….pity. It is easy to find an abundance of organic fertilizer for the grow stage of the plants. It is most important the percentage of compost you use in mixing your soil is HIGH. If you have access to local compost, use it! Do a little reading and include lots of compost, bedding soil and for water retention (and cost efficiency) I like pressed coconut husk that swells up when exposed to moisture. It is also worth noting that you do NOT have to throw away soil after one year. You DO have to mix it with about equal amounts of compost, new soil and worm castings and be conscientious re firtilizing.

FERTILIZATION: For fertilization, basically, you want a similar regimen as for tomatoes BUT at about ½ the level. You want trace minerals and a good amount of nitrogen rich fertilizer, such as fish fertilizer. REMEMBER, use about half what the directions say! When the plants begin to flower you need to STOP using nitrogen. To increasing bloom numbers and size it is important when you plants first start to bloom to use a fertilizer high in potassium and very low to zero Nitrogen. I use Langbeinite (0-0-22) with an exceptionally high level of potassium (just what you want for an organic bloom booster. Fish bone is also good – but not as good – and very inexpensive. For more information search Youtube, especially Jeorge Cervantes as well as his Cannabis Encyclopedia. The ultimate guide is Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening Hardcover, 1978. You can get it used for a few dollars. (the one attributed to the editors of Organic Gardening is fine as well., but I like the older one . Get terrific book prices by searching: http://used.addall.com

CONTAINERS: Besides for your soil mix and fertilization, crucial to your yield will be the diameter of your planter. Most single home growers plant either indoors or outdoors use 15 gal. planters commonly found in any nursery supply. However, it is the diameter that really matters most. Cannabis does not have a tap root. It is a wide-root grower. a 4 or 5 ft. diameter planter 18” to 2 Ft. deep is capable of growing a MONSTER sized plant (the plant roots will only use the top 16’ to 18”). I mean with a trunk as big as the thick part of a baseball bat and dozens and dozens of colas. Various sized planting canvas bags are available form “Hydroponic” grow shops and can also be found on line. If at all possible, do not get black planters, as the sun will burn the roots when they reach the edge (and they will reach the edge). With few exceptions, harvest when 70% the trichomes have turned opaque and about 30% are already or are becoming amber in color. That is the ultimate harvest time for nearly all strains. Past 30% amber and the THC levels drop and the flower is past optimum potency. There should be no clear trichomes at harvest time. A simple 10 X jeweler’s loop is perfect for close examination of the trichomes. For best results one must never harvest early or late. For a few particular strains other percentages apply. You’ve gone to all the trouble and you want optimum yield and potency. With some strains listed you will harvest top colas first and lower ones

later (when so indicated in SECTION III.

WATER: If you live in a “hard water” area you need to use an in-line filter. I use two in line. A great

option is a large child’s wading pool (up to about 3 Ft. x 8 Ft. at Wallmart or other source. Grow

some plants (Water Lilies, Carnivorous plants, etc. and BE SURE to have mosquito fish. Avery

inexpensive water pump can be had to run a $10 head that can later be used to switch over to a

hose when you are ready to water. Then fill the pool up and let it aerate via the fountain until the

next watering. Whenever possible, water with compost “tea.” (Look it up)

 

 

Recommended Organic Insecticide, Caterpillar and Disease Control Mix

 

Throughout the course of cannabis growth the plants are susceptible to various insects and diseases. One that particularly frustrates me is the caterpillar of a particular butterfly that hatches in the bloom and kills all the bloom above where it is happily munching away. Indoor growers are subject to spider mites even more than outdoor growers and they can

destroy the entire grow room in a couple of days! Personally, I am totally into organic fertilizing as well as spray, (however, I accept that many are not so inclined and will utilize other fertilizing regimens). Regardless, the one arena in which organics is a “NO BRAINER” is insect and disease control. There is a simple, method of organically controlling these problems that is unsurpassed in efficiency and is cheaper than the use of toxic poison on your plants! It is a combination listed below that will control Mold, Rust, Mildew, and every critter including caterpillars and the truly difficult Spider Mite! ALL ingredients are available through Amazon and are very reasonably priced:

 

Dr. Bronner’s Fair Trade and Organic Sal Suds Liquid Cleaner

SaferGro Mildew Cure, Organic Fungicide

Super Clean Neem Oil

RiD Bugs Organic Insecticide,

Thuricide (Bacillus thuringensis) 8 oz.

 

Mix the above in a quart sized container in warm water, then add to the water in your sprayer.

The above combination will do everything you need to keep your plants safe as well as yourself. If you have only 3 to 6 plants, less than one quart of the above spray is all you will need per use. If you have any doubts as to frequency, and definitely when blooming has begun, spray every 4 days. It is a bit of a pain in the ass, but is safe and MUCH less difficult than dealing with the loss of your harvest. If, like me, you have a large vegetable garden and/or other plants, 1 gallon is best. Regardless, the above items will last you several seasons. If you only have a few plants, you can get a 1-gallon sprayer for under $20. However, THE ne plus ultra is a professional fogger, which assures total coverage, is a one-time investment and can be had from Amazon as per below:

Hudson 99598 Fog Electric Atomizer Sprayer, Commercial/portable: $195.19

 

If you use the sprayer and not the fogger, be sure to saturate the underside of your plants as well as the surface. NOTE: I just discovered my grow store now has a small hand sprayer that builds up pressure and emits an exceptionally fine mist. For an individual with only one to three plants this might be the ideal compromise re coverage and cost.

 

 

Originally posted 2021-08-03 21:41:49.

Author: Sunny Dupree
Sunny Dupree is a seasoned journalist, keynote speaker and founder of Weed America: A Journalism-Minded Agency, which handles public relations, content marketing, social media, events and thought leadership for brands and executives in legal cannabis, hemp technology, alternative healthcare, and other new industries.