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high times growing weed

High times growing weed

Wind and rain can destroy cannabis plants quickly. Wind degrades THC and terpenes, bruising trichomes and breaking branches. Always create a wind break or greenhouse to protect outdoor plants. Rain, especially during the later flowering stage, can create molds and bud rot that will quickly consume your colas. Water plants at their roots and cover them during rainy or humid weather.

This means that if you don’t reduce the amount of light, the plant will continue to grow vegetatively and never flower, leaving you with a lot of lumber, leaves and sticks but no buds. The only time when this practice is useful is when growing motherplants in order to take cuttings or clones of vegetative plants in perpetuity. Even then, motherplants will need to be cloned after several years of “vegging” due to stresses and space limitations. I’ve seen twenty-year-old motherplants in gardens, but they’re quite rare.

In general, pot grown outdoors is less highly regarded than its indoor-cultivated counterpart. This is because outdoor pot tends to be leafier and less fully-developed, due primarily to its being grown on a much larger scale. It’s infinitely easier to properly manicure a few ounces than hundreds of pounds. Nonetheless, great pot can be grown outside, as long as several factors are met.

Indoor vs. Outdoor

All plants, organic or otherwise, must be flushed for the final two weeks of their growth in order to leach out salts and minerals they’ve collected throughout their life cycle. This is an essential step. If more growers would flush their plants, it would improve the quality of marijuana around the world.

Recent advanced techniques in hydroponics prove interesting to growers. Aeroponic systems, in which roots are constantly misted with nutrient solution, were pioneered by NASA for long-term space exploration and exhibit astonishingly fast growth rates in optimal lab-like conditions. Also, new 360 degree grow units take advantage of the full light footprint of their air-cooled growbulbs by rotating the plants fully around the light-source.

Soil vs. Hydroponics

Hydroponic growers are also perfecting ways to use organic nutrients with the most interesting subset being Aquaponics, in which fish farms stacked below hydro trays feed plant roots in a symbiotic relationship creating both plant and animal produce for local markets.

Growing pot as a hobby and practice has spread throughout the planet. Our recent Global Harvest Report (High Times, Dec. ‘13) highlighted such far-ranging places as Spain and Mexico, Belgium and Lebanon. Personal experience and anecdotal evidence suggests that cannabis cultivation is on the rise throughout Eastern Europe, Asia, and beyond.

High times growing weed

A new unit geared specifically to discreet, indoor home cultivation has come on the market. The Cloudponics GroBox is 24 inches deep, 31 inches wide and 6 feet tall. It fits seamlessly into a living room or kitchen and can hold 1-6 plants. The heart of the unit is an advanced aeroponics system that is controlled by a computer, which monitors the temperature, humidity and nutrients and keeps the light schedule. This computer, in turn, is connected via an app to your phone.

Typically, you want to have negative pressure, which creates optimal airflow. A sign that you have negative pressure would be when you close a grow tent and the sides buckle slightly inward. (For our purposes here, we will often use the example of a grow tent to describe the garden space. Not only are grow tents relatively cheap these days, but they also come in every size imaginable to fit any space in a house. On top of that, grow tents can be sealed, making it easy to control light and atmospheric conditions, and they come with nooks, hooks, and ports for garden equipment such as fans, filters, and lighting.)

Nico Escondido/ High Times

Nico Escondido/ High Times

Harvest: Drying, Curing & Beyond

Nico Escondido/ High Times

LEDs can produce nice trichome coverage, and the cannabinoid and terpene levels produced have been tested at comparable values to HPS lighting. These lights can also be hung closer to the plants in case height requirements are an issue, and they also offer a longer life cycle in terms of bulb replacement. It should be noted, though, that the best LED lamps on the market today are much more expensive than their MH and HPS counterparts.

Nico Escondido/ High Times

Locate a Space

Most grows these days make use of fans, which are great for moving air in and out of the garden, but this will never make up for atmospheric pressure, which occurs in nature in the form of high- and low-pressure weather systems. This pressure is vital for the plants to breathe properly. Plants breathe through respiration, and this pressure makes it easier for the leaves to transpire. Even in a small tent or growroom, this principle is important as it will give your plants the optimum environment in which to grow.

It is always interesting to look ahead and see what the future holds for the home grower. Based on how technology has developed, specifically in the form of self-contained, app-controlled growrooms, the future is here. There are even small tabletop units being sold at stores like Ikea for small herb gardens. These boxes could be the future for home growers and hobbyists as they democratize the process of growing cannabis, putting it within the reach of the average person.