End of Season

1stcolas

Howdy folks. Yes it is the end of a nice long growing season. I cannot believe the mild, sunny weather we’ve had this October in Colorados’ Metro Denver and Front Range. If our plants are dry, they can withstand brief low temps of 28˚ or 29˚F. If it has been raining and our plants are wet…our night time lows had better be above 34˚F.

a1bigbud

a2not trimmed

a3trimmed

I have been giving each plant about two gallons of water every other morning. A little beer or molasses or white sugar won’t hurt, either. This year, the weather has allowed me to grow them for as long as possible. However, when one of your girls is ready to come down, then you’ve got to realize it and cut it down for harvest. When all of the pistils have turned color (died and dried) you might have let it go too long. When the entire plant quits growing and just gives up, you have probably let it go too long. There is no set way to say when it is at its peak time to harvest.

b1bigbuds

b2snip

b3snip

b4piles

Some people say that when you wait to clip them until all the pistils have died and turned krinkley and tan then that pot will have a physical high or a hit you in the chest kind of high. Some people like that but you have to beware of letting them go too far as the THC will be old and won’t taste so good. Some folks say that when you clip off a cola that still has buds with new, creamy white pistils that that pit will be more of a head high. Therefore, I go for the 70% to 30% ratio of colorful pistils to newer, viable white pistils.

Clipping and trimming is a process of reduction. I clip each flower cluster off the stem. I don’t want to try to dry out the sticks and twigs. Then I go thru that pile of fresh, full buds and trim  the leaves that are sticking out. As a farmer who smokes his own pot, I do “farmer’s cut” on these buds. I don’t spend a lot of time on them but I do trim to the frost-line. I dry them in paper bags until hard. I cure them in glass storage jars. Curing is a process of getting the chlorophyl out of the buds and of controlling how dry they are.

c1bigbudc2untrimmedc3untrimedc4trimmedHere is the general plan. Figure out when you are going to “pull a harvest”. Clip that branch off the stem of that plant. Then clip the individual flower buds off the twig.  Trim the bud to your liking.  Save the trimmings .  Put a handfull of manicured buds into a paper bag… but only an inch and a half deep.  Put the bag(s) away for 6 or 8 days.  When the buds are dried hard put ’em into a  glass jar.  For the next 15 days or so, you’ll be “burping the jars”.  In this last process, you’ll be  (A) driving out the chlorophyl and (B) monitoring the dryness of those buds.  If they boil up humidity from the stems while in a closed jar they will mold… a white fuzz.  Don’t let that happen, as it ruins all the pot in that container.  If the buds get too dry, brittle, turning to dust… then you’ll want to re-hydrate them.  Think about old-time cigar humidors or tobacco humidifiers.  You may want to put a slightly damp sponge  or paper towel into the top or lid of the glass jar.  You can humidify the contents of that jar in this way but you’ll have to check it every day… you don’t  want damp pot.

I hope that all of us voted today.   Let’s hope that this next picture isn’t a premonition of next  season’s political climate.   Peace, out.

 

end

Keep Marijuana Legal

Politician Bob B. has said that he will lead the effort to REPEAL legal marijuana in Colorado. If that effort fails, he has promised to crackdown on us smokers, to keep his world free of marijuana. He has promised to work closely with the police, sheriffs and State Highway Patrol to help them (not us) get the tools to uphold public safety i.e., bust us when they find us. Just like in the old days. Please vote to move us forward into the new age of marijuana freedoms. Lets keep marijuana legal.

It is mid-October in Colorado and the pot harvest has begun. We have had legal medicinal pot for some 14 years (June 1st of 2001, Article xvii, Section 14). The world hasn’t yet ended. The people of Colorado haven’t gone mad or turned into sex maniacs or street urchins. As a matter of fact…things have actually gotten better for all of us. With the advances of medical marijuana technology, many, many peoples’ lives are better now. Also, so many Coloradoans have jobs in the industry. Also, we have mucho tax dollars going to the state and counties which is going to the state’s schools. Don’t let both ways Bobby B. tell you what you want to hear, just  to get a vote. Don’t let Bob B. Win this election. He would be in a powerful position in which he could turn the regulatory screws down on us. He has promised to lead the anti-marijuana movement to repeal Amendment 64. He does not like us or marijuana. He would not even replace the lost tax revenues that now go to our schools. The republicans would take all actions necessary to criminalize backyard citizen pot growers… thats you and me.

Our new marijuana industry (14 years old ) is already the most heavily taxed and over-regulated industry int this state. I wish fracking was regulated as much.

You really have to mail your election ballot in to the state by Halloween to be certain that it gets in by November 4th.

We’ve had to vote several times in the past to get marijuana somewhat legalized, as it is now. Now we have to vote on it again…to keep the growing and use of marijuana legal in our state.

Lets Keep Marijuana Legal
Vote

 

It is Harvest Time

Harvest time in Colorado. Boy, it looks as though we are going to have 6 or 8 good days of clear, sunny growing weather up and down the Front Range. We’ve had several difficult days of rain and wind. Now we will be able to let them grow as we do a selective clipping.

I’ll examine the buds and the colas. I’ll snip off of the twig only that portion of the cola that is good and ready. When the pistils-stigmas are colorful and the THC sugars are thick, I’ll consider clipping that part of the twig/branch, take it into the house and manicure it, then  put it into a paper bag to dry.

not readyThis bud is not ready to clip off.

flower bud not ready to harvest

This flower top is not yet quite ready either. With the sunny, mild weather in front of us, I can afford to be picky as to what colas I clip off the plant.

this bud is ready to harvest

This flower top was ready to go to the scissors.

harvest time is scissor time

Some people clip the buds tight. I don’t. Dispensaries trim their buds very close, like an Army haircut, I don’t. I trim to the frost line. I do what is called a farmer’s cut; loose and scraggly. When to harvest and how to trim the buds is the farmer’s prerogative.

heavy bud of marijuana

This bud is so heavy that it is bent over, but it still is not yet ready to cut off the plant. I don’t use any overly scientific formula to tell me when to clip. I look for a ratio of about 70% colorful stigma to 30% fresh, creamy pistils. I look for a lot of THC sugar. I look at the general health of the plant. I watch the TV weather forecasts in making my decisions.

When I do harvesting and trimming, I’ll end up with 3 piles of plant matter. One pile of sticks and twigs that goes into the compost. Another pile is all the trim, leaves and scrum. This gets put into a bag to dry and will eventually go to the dry ice bags and be made into keif. The last, biggest and best pile, the manicured buds, will be put into paper bags to dry for six to eight days. Then I’ll weigh the dried buds and put them into glass jars for curing and storage.

It is harvest time and we get excited as well as busy…but keep it low keyed and keep your gates locked.

Happy harvesting.

P.S. Republican politician, Bobby B has promised to lead the way to undoing our new found hard fought for marijuana freedoms. If the republicans get elected this November 4th, that old grump, both ways Bob B. will support the effort to REPEAL our legal marijuana amendment. He does not like us or marijuana. Nor would he not replace the lost revenue to the detriment of Colorado Public Schools.

The republicans will repeal and take away women’s rights, reproductive rights, Pell grant monies, voting rights, our Civil Rights and our ability to grow and smoke pot legally. Do you want a well-rounded Liberal Arts Education or would you rather have a conservative, propaganda filled strait jacket narrow education that will leave you ill-equiped to get along in real life? In the actual world?

The Democrats have our back. The republicans have a gun in our backs.

This marijuana business with the associated laws and rules that affect us, is already the most over regulated industry in the state of Colorado. We need to protect our marijuana rights in particular and vote against anymore republican obstructionism and over regulation.

 

Let it Grow

In years past, I’ve let my plants grow outdoors here in Colorado until October 11th, and even as late as October 18th. In the distant past, we would sometimes have bad weather during September and I would have to take the girls down by the end of September. Now I have a structure over which to throw tarps, so now days I can usually keep the grow going until late into October. This is nice because now even the sativas can grow until they are ready to be harvested.

Yes, I know, your girls are looking good now. But grit your teeth and let them grow at least another week before you harvest. Just let it grow. If our weather remains mild and sunny, I’m going to let my plants continue to grow trichomes and sugars.  They also are growing more female calyx’s and pairs of pistils. The stigma are the tips of the pistils, which should be turning colors now, as the flower buds mature and the pistils die and dry out.

I look into the flower clusters at the pistils to see if the majority of those pistils is creamy white or if they are turning colorful. My girls all are growing new white pistils even as the older pistils get old and die off. On the pistils that are dying off, I look to see if they are upright and strait or if they are crinkled and bent. When they are predominately old, tan and wrinkled, they are very much ready to clip that cola and process it. No, I’m not talking about an old guy living in Florida, I’m trying to describe to you how to discern when it is time to harvest a branch. I’ll wait (weather permitting) to clip off a branch until most of the buds are ready to be harvested. Personally I like to see that well over half of the pistils have turned color…tan, orange, red. As long as the days are sunny, the night time low temps are above 29˚F…I will certainly leave them outside to grow some more.

I am still pruning off those leaves that are worked out, yellowing or have been damaged by wind or wasps. I am giving 1/2 gallon to 1 gallon of water to each plant every morning. I am trying to leave them alone. This is what we have been waiting for, big fat oily colas.

Let’s take what Mother Nature gives to us in sunshine. Lets allow our girls to plump and swell some more. Let’s keep our gates locked and lets get ready to clip-n-harvest in another week or two.

One man, one vote. Be a man. Vote

The best thing about America is that we, the people, have an opportunity to vote every two years. We got ourselves focused and voted for the Medical Marijuana amendment #20, November 7th, 2000. This eliminated the medical use of pot as a criminal act. So far, during this past 14 years the world hasn’t ended. People are finding out that pot is not ‘as bad’ as alcohol’s repercussions. I am proud that Colorado is now leading the world in medical marijuana research.

Two years ago Colorado voters passed the “Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol” Amendment 64 act. This basically legalized marijuana use for Colorado adults, as of January 5th, 2013.

Have things gone exactly the way I want? NO. But at least some cities and some counties are allowing the will of the people to actually happen. All we had to do was to go vote.

If republican politicians had been in control, we would not have this freedom to legally grow and smoke our own pot. Republicans stand for tax cuts for the wealthy and cuts to Pell Grants. They want education vouchers that will leave us poor folks in the dust. Republicans will turn back the Affordable Health Care Act. Republicans have shut the Federal Government down twice already. Republicans would turn the screws on all our freedoms, especially our hard earned marijuana rights. Look at the currant dysfunctional Jefferson County School Board, with their conservative agenda.

Both ways Bobby B. is a duplicatous hypocrite. We do NOT want that jerk pulling the strings as we try to move our marijuana industry safely forward. He would over regulate you and me and our pot industry.

I won’t tell you who to vote for, but I will advise  you who not to vote for. I certainly want every Coloradoan to grow his and her own marijuana, and so I will vote for polaticians who respect the will of the people. I urge you to do this too.

Cannabis Harvest Time, Almost

On the Front Range, we have now had three bad weather events. Hard rain and strong winds can rip your plants up. I’ve been able to cover my plants to protect them from these bad weather events.

Had some breakage that I’ve had to early-harvest. It is disheartening to see a branch broken off your favorite plant, laying in the mud. But you clip it off if it still is hanging on…unless you can do a repair. You gently rinse off the dirt and do an early bud manicure. You’ll then put the buds into a paper bag to dry out.  I take the flower buds apart…take them off the twig. I don’t like to try to dry out the twigs. Twigs hold juice, or water, and they take a long time to dry until brittle. If they do not get completely dry, the twigs can cause mold.

Now I would rather let my girls mature over these next 3 weeks, just clipping off those buds that are good and ready to be harvested. I like to leave on the plant those buds that are not ready yet. When I have the time (good weather) I’ll do a selective clipping, only taking those buds that are (in my opinion) ready to be harvested.

If your plants aren’t ready to be harvested, manicured and dried, let them grow. Watch the TV weather radar and watch the night time low temps. This is a gamble, but generally, if my plants are dry, I’ll leave them out even if the low temps are going to be 29˚ or even 28˚.  I have had my pot garden get snowed on in the past, and as long as the morning breaks sunny are warming, they were just fine. Your plants know that the end is near, because the days are getting shorter, the nights are colder, and we are giving them less water. If you feel that you just have to “do something” or just have to give them something, put a tablespoon of molasses onto each plant or put sugar in your water bucket. No more macro nutrients or chemicals, just water. The main thing they can use now is 10 to 15 days of full, Colorado sunlight.

Don’t jump the gun and rush to harvest. Your plants are plumping, swelling and are growing trichomes with THC laden sugars.  Yes, they are in slow motion.

You’ll have to judge for yourself when it is time to clip. Examine the buds, are the pistils dying and turning brittle and colorful? Is the plant still growing new female calyx and pistils? What percentage of the bud has colorful (dead) pistils? Are the leaves thick and oily? If you think its ready to clip, wait a couple more days instead, and then do a partial harvest.  You have gotten your crop into October, pat yourself on the back; it isn’t easy to get the girls to this point.

I will be clipping off a few buds over this next week coming up. I’ll bring the sticky, colorful mature flower buds into the house and put them on the table. Then I’ll clip the buds off the twig. Then I’ll clip the individual buds down to the frost line. I’ll soon have 3 piles of stuff on the table.

  1. sticks and twigs that go into the compost
  2. the trimmings or shake (to use for dry-ice keef or marijuana butter)
  3. the fresh wet buds that go into a lunch bag or brown paper grocery bag

I’ll put the buds in there one layer deep, and put a paper label in, too, with the date and plant name. After six or eight days in the paper bags, they should be dry enough to smoke, so do a sample test as you put the dry bud into a glass jar for long term storage. After burping them every other day, keep the nuggets in those glass jars to cure. Curing is the process that drives out the chlorophyl or green smell and taste.

But really, as long as the weather is good, I’m letting my girls grow. I am watering once a day, about  one half gallon each plant.  I’m getting my table cleared off, getting my scissors cleaned, finding (a big pile of) paper bags and am grinning with anticipation. Yes, it’s almost time to get busy with this seasons’ harvest.

Have patience and keep those gates closed and locked.

Patience

The end of our outdoor growing season is near. Have patience. I figure we have between 10 days and 25 days of good enough growing weather in front of us.

Golden Goat marijuana

All the girls are in flower. These flower buds are plumping and swelling and forming up colas. Colas are strings of flower (female calyxes) clusters that grow into one long bud. Don’t cut them down for early harvest. Have patience and let them grow and mature. On my girls, the pistils are not yet dying and turning colors. The pistils are still creamy white and are looking for male pollen that may be floating thru the air.

I want to water them less, but these girls need to be properly hydrated. I don’t want them to be in soggy soil when these chilly nights come around. I am watering twice a day, morning and again in early afternoon. They each get at least a gallon of fresh water each time.  Sugar water every 5 or 6 days. It would be good if you (or I) could oxygenate the water.

field of colas

The buds are growing sugar laden trichomes and are so sticky that every thing (lint, dog and cat hair…)sticks to it. Do they need another top dressing of good, loose soil to cover those lateral roots? There is not much else we can do at this point. Clip off all of the leaves that are daily dying off. They’ve been working hard for you, photo-synthesizing sunlight. When a leaf can do no more, it craps out, turns yellow. As you water the plants, check for breakage and clean out any spider webs. Let the girls alone to grow more plump flower clusters with trichomes full of THC. Meanwhile, by using plain old water, no fertilizers, we are flushing the salts out of our plants.

weed reaching for the sky

Keep your anxiety level down by smoking a fatty and watching / listening to what’s going on in your backyard. Keep your fences in good condition and lock your gates. The skies the limit. You can do this.

Instead, smoke a joint

This is a repost from May 2013.

The repub’s are water boarding the people of America. Are you earning enough money to be considered in the top 5%? Neither am I. The conserv’s and repub’s are only representing the uppermost 5% of Americans. The rest of us (95%) are being terrorized economically every couple months…in effect, thrown under a bus again and again. Those repub pols need to go without their whiskey and instead smoke a joint and sit down calmly and think things over. The repub’s ought to know already (study history) that you cannot cut your way to prosperity. The rocky path to austerity goes in the opposite direction as the road to any semblance of prosperity.

The repub’s are holding this country hostage to their own selfish aims. In this country, the minority political party rules by filibuster and obstruction. What is wrong with this picture? For the past decade, a 51% of majority does not rule. For some reason, it takes a consensus of 60% or more to form policy. What’s wrong with this picture?

People, you need to learn to grow marijuana now, while it is LEGAL. This opportunity could all go away in 3 or 4 or 5 years. Let’s hope not.

The repub’s work hard for big oil, big pharma, tobacco: not for me and you. These industries do not like marijuana as a new force to compete with.

You cannot cut your way to prosperity…please don’t go without your medicines. Learn to grow what your can…grow what you need, use what you have grown to save money. This is the road to self-sufficiency.

Lets hope that amendment 64 sticks. I am certain that it will take 3 or 4 years for the dust to settle. We’ll need to hear the right things from the federal government. Lets hope they don’t sue the state of Colorado over amendment 64.

Also, lets hope there’s no thefts from home gardens. Let us hope that there are no incidents of people driving badly while high on erb. However, I hope that the pols at the statehouse don’t tax pot too high or establish the 5 nanogram driving limit which is too low.

If more and more states vote to legalize the use of marijuana, I hope that everyone in every state and city, on every block will grow 6 to 12 plants…thereby making pot too common to steal.

One last thought. I hope that the repubs in this state do not get the chance to corporatize the current dispensary system. If Colorado ends up with state run or corporate dispensaries, they will control/limit the quality. Folks, you need to learn how to grow high quality marijuana NOW. We are going to need all of the good erb we can grow for ourselves.

Odious Politics

I know that this is a difficult subject for so many of us, but I don’t want us to lose our hard fought for freedom to grow and smoke pot. Make sure you register to vote (if you haven’t already done so) and then go do this.

Who to vote for? That is the question. We need to vote for pro-marijuana candidates up and down the ballot. Easier said than done. All the conservatives (republicans) are bad for us. Each one will work to take away our rights and freedoms. There is not a new, kinder, gentler republican politician. That  guy is a liar. Please do not vote for any republicans, not even for dog catcher. These politicians are acting in favor of big oil, big banks, big insurance, big pharma, big military. These republicans politicians will do their best to squash you and me and our new marijuana industry. Folks, both-way Bob will over-regulate our home-grows as well as our marijuana grow operations. I would vote for Dunafon if he had any chance at all. However, if I (we) vote for Mike Dunafon and Robin Roberts, that will hand the governorship over to that hard-ass Bob B. I cannot do that. As much as I distrust the current Mayor of Denver and State Governor, I’ll once again vote strait Democrat on my ballot this November 3rd. The political deck of cards is stacked, what with this two-party system that hardly allows any variety or dissent.

The only way we got quasi-legal pot use was because we went around the two party system and simply voted PRO-POT with two initiatives – Amendment #20 and State Constitutional Amendment #64. By the way, as I read through the Colorado Medical Marijuana Code, I see that in Part 10 of this code there is a Sunset Review article repeal coming up on July 1, 2015. Who do you want to be in charge of this review procedure? Bob B. or John Hickenlooper? While Hick does not like pot (he’s a gas-n-oil man who likes alcohol) but at least he won’t shoot the goose that lays the golden eggs. Section 12-43.3-1001 Sunset Review is in the current Colorado Medical Marijuana code, Part 10. Even though the republicans couldn’t undo the Colorado State Constitution amendments #20 or #64, they actually could gut the spirit of the new laws and turn the screws so tight that the pot industry would implode.

We must remain alert to any attempts to take us backward, whether on minority or women’s rights or marijuana. On a federal level, President Obama has taken a hands off approach to our states marijuana industry. A republican president would not have done so. Republicans like to spout off about States’ Rights vs Federal Laws. But thats only when they have an iron in the fire. On this particular issue, the republicans parrot the Federal laws, which includes NO CULTIVATION and JAIL SENTENCES for those of us caught smoking a joint. Sit back in your favorite chair at home, smoke a joint and ponder what it could be like if th is country goes backward on this marijuana issue.

Now, finally, we are able to do real research on the beneficial effects of marijuana. Research and development of (non-pharma) medicines that can help the masses of people who need it.Marijuana is an anti-inflamatory, as well as being a calming effect for epileptics and others. Marijuana is favorable to our auto immune systems. This means that pot can be of help to people who have arthritis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and frankly, it helps me to think clearly, to get my thoughts together. Pot helps me find my “center”. Pot helps military vets cope with civilian life. Many scientists and doctors have seen cannabis extract actually cure basal and squamous cell cancers.

We must allow citizens to grow their own self-use pot and we must encourage R-n-D of medical pot and marijuana products. We must go forward into an enlightened future, not turn around and go backwards into the dismal past.

Fall Weather and Voting for Marijuana

As the night time temps start to drop, the soil in the containers does too. At these lower soil temps there is less nitrogen up-take for our marijuana plants. But if you continue to add more and more N, your soil will get “locked-up”, that is the available nutrients will not be available to the plants because it’ll be out of balance. So, if you do not use a PH meter, just be very careful to avoid over fertilization. Since you used real good soil when you started all this 5 months ago you probably do not have to use a lot of nutrients or fertilizers. You cannot go wrong with using clean, fresh water.

Keep clipping off all the dying leaves, large or regular sized. If you reckon that a leaf is taking more from the plant that its giving to the plant, clip it off.

Also, try to water less. As the days shorten and cool off the girls need a little less water than the amount they got in late July. I’m putting a gallon or 1 1/2 gallons into each container in the a.m., then letting them dry out. I don’t want them to be soggy overnight. I’ll fertilize one more time (yesterday) and then do a 3 week flush procedure. More on this later. Once a week I add a big coffee cup of sugar to the watering bucket.

  1. Keep “friends” out of your garden.
  2. Clip off old leaves, dying leaves.
  3. Water thoroughly and then let them dry out at night
  4. Have patience – Allow enough time for plumping and swelling of buds.
  5. Prepare for the coming bad weather.
  6. Clear the decks for harvest. Time, space and effort.
  7. Keep gates closed and locked.

From experience I know that we’ll have about 3 more weeks of outdoor “growing weather” unless you can protect your plants from the cold temps, hail, heavy rains and strong winds. If you can throw a tent up over your garden, you’ll be able to baby them along until the end of October. It depends on how much work you want to put into this. My Indica girls should be ready for harvest in another 3 or 4 weeks. As usual, my Sativas will take every last day they can possibly get, hopefully all the way till the end of October.  Most years I wish I had another week to grow to full maturity for my Sativa girls.

To answer some questions I’ve gotten…I try to de-chlorinate the water I put in the plants’ containers because I don’t want to kill off the worms and mealy bugs that live in the soil. Pot plants can withstand a moderate amount of chlorine.

When my light activated motion sensor senses the plants waving in the breeze, it goes on. This is a hassle for me because I have to get up in the middle of the night to change the angle of the motion detector. And that light going on and off all night will attract attention., And while my girls are flowering up, I want very dark nights.

After 90 years of marijuana suppression, it’s only been in these past 10 years or so of legality, that this explosion of innovation could happen. The various attempts at research and development have led to many a new business, many of which are truly medical. There now are several different ways to make hash…now it’s called extractions or concentrates. Now there is the glass industry. The edibles industry has come up with numerous food items that we had never seen before. I’m hearing numbers like 25 thousand people employed in Colorado directly because of our MMJ industry. It is an exciting time for us pot smokers in Colorado. Folks, you have to go register to vote. In early November we get the chance to help influence the direction of our new rights-  freedoms -responsibilities.  If the republicans had been in control over the past several years we would NOT have this opportunity. We would not have this freedom to grow our own pot, at home. We would have to go back to buying our medicine from some Mexican drug cartel guy. No thanks.

Don’t be complacent. We all have to go out and vote. Vote for politicians who support our ability to grow and smoke pot. I’m telling you this…republicans will roll back our hard won freedoms.  All the republicans who are running for jobs (from state senate to city councils) will put the clamps on you and me. They would definately turn the screws on our dispensary grow ops in their attempt to grind us into the ground. Democrats are way more likely to go along with the people’s marijuana choices. But the republicans DO NOT like this marijuana stuff going on. They would make it very restrictive on all of us. Now is not the time to drop the ball. Find out what your local city council hopefuls think about us growing our own smoke. We all have to vote en mass to show the polls that we are an aware, solid voting block not to be taken lightly.

Growing Marijuana – Mid Sept Maintenance

Growing Marijuana.

Every year is a little bit different than any other year. 2014 has been cloudy, a little cooler than usual and a little bit wetter than usual. I want more sunny days.

mid September bud

 

Hopefully you have already cleaned your plants up…that is, clipped out the sucker twigs growing up thru the center of the plants. Also, continue to clip off ALL of the dead or dying leaves and most of the big shade leaves. Let the sun shine in. It is almost (but not quite) too late to hand pollinate any of the girls and still get mature seeds. With the sumacs showing their colors and our tomatoes starting to die back, we know that the end of another growing season draws near.

 

Try to keep your pets, friends and relatives away from your marijuana garden. Your plants should be growing their female ovary bracts, each with several creamy white pistils. These pistils want to find some male pollen floating thru the air. To help facilitate this, all around the female bracts and pistils, it’ll grow trichomes with sticky sugar glands. We want this to hsppen. As our girls continue to not get pregnant ( pollinated), they get frustrated and so they grow even more trichomes with sugars. These sugars have the THC.  This is the story of sinsemilla pot.

I’ve only been watering once a day so that the plants aren’t in soggy soil when the cold nights come. I’ve cut them down to between a half gallon and 1 1/2 gallons of water each day. Yesterday it rained all night so I didn’t have to put anymore water on them today. I’ll probably only hit them with (NPK of 10-52-10) bloom booster fertilizer one more time. Certainly the last week of September and the 1st week of October I’ll be “doing a flush” process. September and October is a good time to add sugar to your watering bucket.

I like a nice long Indian Summer…an extended period of time that is sunny and warm. Then I can do a selective bud harvest as each bud matures. For me, an entire plant isn’t ready to harvest all at one timme. I’ll pick at a plant a bit and let the rest of it ripen up for several more days. Plus, harvest-trimming is a labor intensive period of long, long clipping days, so it’s nice to stretch it out.

If it rains during the day and then turns cold at night (32˚ to 35˚), your plants will show some damage. However, if your plants are dry, they can withstand night time low temps down to 28˚ if it’s only for an hour or so.

Now is when we need a lot of patience. We may only have 3 more weeks of this growing season. But you know…we might have 5 more full weeks of sunny weather, in which case those sativas will be plenty mature and ready to harvest. Have patience while the girls flower buds plump and swell.

field of buds

 

Remember to keep those gates shut and locked.

Growing Marijuana – Sept 6th

Okay, we’ve got to get this crop moving in the correct direction. The weather has turned and it’s time that all of our plants do too. According to the Denver Weather Calendar for September, we are rapidly losing our daylight. Now we are under 13 hours a day of light. By the end of this month we’ll be at an even 12 hours of light each day…with the sun coming up at 6:50am and going down at 6:50pm. Our night time low temps are creeping downwards, too. Our plants are responding to these changes because genetically they are wired to do so. Some folk’s sativia plants are barely going into flower. Use high phosphorus items, such as Triple Super Phosphate or Bone Meal. Every 5 days or so, use a bloom booster type of fertilizer. The prolonged steady drizzle and light rains that we have had these past several days have probably flushed any fertilizer out of the soil. So thats something to consider. Also you should be clipping off any old, torn, yellowing leaves. Actually, you can begin to just clip off all of the big shade leaves. We want those developing flower clusters to be in the sunlight.

We may only have 30 more days and nights of good growing weather. Or, hopefully, we’ll have another 45 days before we experience the killing temps that will be upon us.

early bud

You’ll have to figure out how to protect your outdoor garden from the coming bad weather. Heavy rains, strong wind, hail, low temps…these are not good to us. I may have to put a tent up every evening and take it down every morning in order to protect my crop until all the girls are good and ready to be harvested.

One more thing…watering your girls mainly with beer is not a good strategy. They need fresh water also. If you have some leftover beer or soda pop…put it on your girls, the sugars won’t hurt them.

early bud

Don’t be counting your chickens before the eggs hatch. Growing marijuana takes a lot of patience now, as well as perseverance.

Keep those gates locked.

What will it be

Will we have an early winter or will we have an extended summer? We are looking at between 5 and 7 weeks of growing weather. We want our plants to be seriously in flower, now.

young budHopefully, over the past two weeks, you did a lot of plant maintenance. Clipping off all of the leaves that are yellowed or have holes in them. If a leaf is crapping out, cut it off. Stick your head into one side of a plant. Get a good look at what is going on in there. Are the main stems overgrown? Are there twigs shooting across or up thru the plant? You have to get rid of the twigs and leaf cluster growth that won’t see sunlight. Excess growth sucks up the life-blood from the plant. Hopefully you have already trimmed out the interior of your plants. Some of my girls had out of control growth off the main stems. If a new growth twig is growing up thru the center of the plant, it’ll never see the light of day. Maybe it’ll form a small bud on the far end when it breaks thru the canopy. Anyway, you have to make an executive decision about the  clipping of a twig or a new growth cluster.  Do cut out all of the sucker growth and excessive interior growth. You want the center of your marijuana plants to be “airy”… to allow air and sunlight to get in. We want all the plants’ juices to go to those sunlit flower buds.

We’ve already kicked them with bone meal and/or triple super phosphate. Your girls should be showing heavy pistillate growth. For the next three to four weeks, fertilize with a bloom booster with an N-P-K of 10-52-10 or 9-59-8 or like that. The high phosphorus will help make for big buds. The last 2 or 3 weeks of our plants’ lives we will only be using water…no fertilizers at all.

If you want to pollinate all the flower buds on one twig of your favorite plant, don’t wait any longer. Do it now. Put male pollen directly onto the female pistils. Use a colored bread tie to mark that branch. It’ll be your reminder to check that branch carefully when it is harvest-clipping time.  Take notes now, for later.

MARIJUANA ETIQUETTE

Don’t be rude, don’t blow smoke at other people. Don’e blow smoke at your kids or your dogs and cats. If you are to stoned to drive…Do Not Drive. Sit it out for 20 minutes or so until you come down. We could lose our new freedom. It is important to watch what we do. There is a strong anti-marijuana movement in the state of Colorado. Lets try to not give them anything to squawk about.

GENETIC SELECTION

Genetic selection occurs when you or me chooses to pollinate one type of pot, not another type. A GMO is a genetically modified organism which is what Monsanto does. They do not choose one type of corn to cross with another type that would, say, be weed resistant or bug resistant. They have genetically modified the corn or wheat or potato plant to be resistant to their own Monsanto pesticides. That is not what we are doing when we select a plant with favorable characteristics to cross breed it with another pot plant with some other favorable characteristics. Luther Burbank would approve of what we are doing, I’m telling you.

We want our plants to be flowering now. We want our girls to be well into this final stage. The days are getting shorter.  We want to grow our sinsemilla plants until each flower cluster is ready for harvest. This could be 5 more weeks from now or it could be six or even 7 more weeks with favorable weather. And the tricky part is that we want to do a pure water “flush” the final 2 or 3 weeks before harvest. Make sure your fences are in good shape and do keep your gates locked.

 

 

Mid August Maintanance

My goodness but time moves on. My two biggest sativas have finally turned…male. Both were from seeds from Canada, guaranteed to be females. So much for Canadian feminized seeds. I cannot get a good enough picture of my hermaphrodite plant to show you. Basically, it is a “regular plant” that grows both sexual parts. If you were to take the mature male powder from that hermy and put it onto a female calyx cluster, that female will grow some seeds, unless that hermy male powder is steril. Those seeds should be feminized. This is basically how you get a feminized seed stock. Obviously there will be some misfires in this process. Also, much of this pot industries seed stock is heavily hybrid. Many of the pot plants I am seeing this season are “confused”…don’t know if it is a boy or a girl. Many of these plants do not know whether it is a machine or a living plant. Many of the pot plants I have been looking at this season (and last season) have deformed leaves. Many of these heavily hybrid plants have only one “finger” on the leaf or sometimes it’ll have 3 “fingers” on the leaves when normally it would have 5 “fingers” with two “thumbs” on each leaf. Many uber hybrid marijuana plants seem not to know what they should be doing and cannot seem to figure out if it is a boy or a girl. I’m seeing (what I call) a pre-pubescent male stage where in that plant begins to grow male balls, but then they don’t develop (no mature powder)…June and July.

Now that we’re into August it is time to urge the girl plants to go fully into the flower stage. On August 15th, I laid down a little bone meal powder on the soil around the plants’ stem. I have a small bag of bone meal (NPK 4-12-0) and another small bag of triple super phosphate (NPK 0-45-0). I put a soup spoon full of each of these powders onto the soil around the marijuana stem. Then I water that in. By the way, on these long sunny days, I have been watering 3 times a day for a total of al least 1.5 gallons, up to 3.5 gallons on some of these girls. Some of these plants tend to need more water than others. One must be observant.

From here on out, I’ll be using a commercial bloom booster fertilizer (NPK of 10-52-10). No more blood meal or ammonia. No more trying to get more vegetative plant growth. It is time, now, to put your plants firmly into a flowering stage. We may only get until October 3rd or even September 29th until the end of our outdoor growing season. However, we may have good enough weather to grow until October 16th or 18th. Six weeks to go? Or 8 weeks to grow? It is time now to encourage the female calyx pistil growth. This preceeds the trichome + THC sugar growth. As these girls do grow their multiple ovaries, they will also begin to grow THC bearing trichomes. Hopefully, finally, all of the male plants are gone. We want to be growing sinsemilla, non-fertilized pot. We spent all of April, May and June growing roots and above ground structure. We spent late June, July and early August growing vegetative structure and sexing our plants. Now we’ve got to get them into full fledged flowering stage. All new growth should be coming out alternating from the stem. Your females ought to damn well be busily growing those bracts with a pair of pistils popping up out of each. What we call buds start out as female ovaries-pistil clusters. Watch as they get bigger and do grow along the stem towards the next “flower cluster”. We are entering the most beautiful period of pot growing time. These female bracts get loaded with sugars and the plant will grow minature leaves, mainly as a platform for more trichome growth. Two or three months from now, we’ll be smoking these flower-cluster with mini-leaf buds. This is what we have been working toward for the past 3 to 5 months. These next 6 to 8 weeks is the fun part. This is fun stuff, to me. After this period of growing flower buds, we go into the frenzy of harvest time. Get yourself a stack of brown paper bags…get your glass jars ready, too. And scissors…clean your scissors.

Now a quick couple words about the necessary maintenance of our plants. As I’ve said, on these very sunny days, all of my plants are taking between two gallons, up to 3.5 gallons of water every day. When I see yellow or damaged leaves, I clip them off. When I see a branch running wild, up thru the center of a plant, I clip off that “sucker growth”. I’m not yet ready to denude the plant of all those big outter leaves. Leaves that are crapped-out come off.

So, we are now at an important time … we’re on the home-stretch.   But we aren’t out of the woods yet, coming up is the period of Bad Weather.

Marijuana in Early August

Let’s talk about “responsible marijuana etiquette”. When you serve someone a cookie or a brownie, tell the folks that they are dosed. One dose should be an entire cookie. I no longer make edibles in which you should only eat 1/3 of it to get stoned. The old hippie saying, “eat a half, wait an hour and see what happens”, is not acceptable any more. One serving is one dose. Also, if you are too stoned to drive, Don’t Drive!

Now, one week into August…the daytime and night time temps are drifting down. Also, the days really are getting shorter. I’ve got all of my plants on plain old fresh water, no fertilizer. I figure we have just over two months of growing season yet. I reckon we have about nine weeks until the nights are too cold to keep our plants alive. I hope we get till October 10th, at least.  We often have very difficult weather in September. You’ll need to find some way to protect your girls from wind, heavy rains and hail. Also, when the outdoor low temps go below 27˚… the plants won’t survive. Frost burn doesn’t do anything for the taste of your erb.

On the 11th or 12th of August, I will put some bone meal on the soil around the stems. Two teaspoons of bone meal (pure phosphorus) into each container. By the way, those spidery top lateral roots are very important to the pot plant. After you put two teaspoons of this powdered bone meal onto the plants’ shoulders, it will be a good idea to do a top-dressing. Either use a neutral mulch or (what I use) good soil. I don’t want those top lateral roots to get sunburned or dried out. So give your plants a little soil on top.

Now for maintanence, If your girls are too tall, use some clean, sharp scissors to cut off the few upward shoots. After you stop them from growing up (the neighbors will see them over the the top of the fence if you don’t) then they’ll expand sideways. That’s fine with me, but I’ll have to keep spreading the plants apart. As long as you have scissors in hand, it is time to closely inspect your plants. Cut out the yellowed leaves. Also cut out some of the sucker twigs that are growing up thru the middle of the plant. These are twigs that grow up through  the center of your pot plants, but don’t get enough sunlight to grow any flower buds.

As I said, I’m going to try to kick them into flowering stage in just a couple of days from now. By the 11th of August the days will be getting shorter and the moon, though full now, will be disappearing, so it’ll be real dark. I’ld like dark nights to grow pot from now thru October. Sunny days and dark nights help encourage flower growth. I also predict that the sun will come up tomorrow a.m. and will go down over the mountains sometime in the evening.

Except for a little beer, I’m not going to fertilize the girls until I wash in the bone meal (on the 12th). That’ll be the last time I use 20-20-20. After that, up thru the middle of September I’ll use a bloom booster of 0-16-8, or some other high phosphorus, low nitrogen fertilizer. No more ammonia from here on out and no more blood meal either.

 

Rest Easy

As an experiment, I germinated several seeds of Wheelchair Indica on June 1st. On July 10th I began to “shed” the three that had germinated. On July 19th one showed female and the next day the other two “went male”.

went maleHere is a picture of one of the boys. See how it developes a pineapple look to its newest growth. This is a male calyx cluster of pollen pouches. These Wheelchair plants are very indica hardy and just plain fun to grow. My opinion at this time, however, is that June 1st is probably a bit too late to get the garden planted. If you start your garden by the middle of, or no later than late may…you’ll get bigger plants with more acceptable yields. The indica dominant plants have a better chance of getting big and mature by middle October than do the sativas.  If you get started by the middle of May, the plants will get big enough to have made it worthwhile.   The veg stage will end and the flowering stage will begin by late August no matter how big or how old it might be.

Earlier this season I was shedding plants at 8.5 to 9 hours of sunlight to 15 hours of darkness. Those plants were very compliant in sexing, but it has been difficult getting those girls back into a vegetative stage. They have only grown to 3 to 4 feet tall and are now in full flower. This is not what I’m used to.

With those three Wheelchairs (two boys and one female), I’ve been shedding them like I used to do in years past, at a rate of 10 to 10.5 hours of sunlight to 13 or 13.5 hours of darkness. The plants do not show me their sex as willingly but I’ll be able to get the girl to go back into a “veg” stage  more easily.

IMG_3502This is what the male marijuana plants look like. Don’t look at the two spears. Look at the two small round pouches. Over the next  few weeks of growth I’ll watch those pouches develop into either the male calyx or the female calyx. What the male has to offer is the pollen. Thats what is in the pods, a powder. When even a single grain of male marijuana powder gets onto a females’ pistol…it is transported down that pistil into the female bract/calyx and onto the ovary. A seed will grow there. It usually takes between 15 and 30 days to get a viable seed.

IMG_2732

IMG_2738

IMG_2103IMG_2752IMG_3463IMG_2753IMG_3459These (pictured below) are what your female marijuana plants will look like. Females will grow a pouch (calyx) that will develop into a female ovary bract that will grow two white hairs strait up out of it. It contains the ovary that can grow a seed. These creamy white hairs are called pistils. Eventually trichomes grow all over these bracts and on surrounding areas.

IMG_3457IMG_3503

IMG_3506IMG_3469

very mature

This one (pictured above) is a very mature flower bud with the pistils dead and dried, a rusty red color.

IMG_2145

This is a bud that is just about ready to harvest.

As I have said before, as soon as I discern that a plant is a male, I usually get rid of it. All this talk about how the females get pregnant…well I don’t want any of it. I am trying to grow seedless sensimilla pot. We want those big, sticky hand grenade size buds that are full of sugars. We do this by not allowing the females to get pollinated, (pregnant).

With these long, hot sunny days, all we really have to do is add water to these wonderful marijuana plants. Mine take between 1/2 gallon to one full gallon each, 3 times a day. Pure, clean (de-chlorinated) water is really all they need along with this Colorado sunlight. Even my “little ones” are putting on size. The big girls are just getting bigger. Keeping  them hydrated takes a lot of water.

I had been fertilizing them with heavy doses of nitrogen (ammonia) every 3 days trying to get the plants to go back into their vegetative stage.   It takes them a while to react to the fertilizer, four or five days.  Now,  I’m  hitting them all with 20-20-20 every 7 or 8 days. A little sugar or a little beer doesn’t hurt, either.

P.S.  Somebody said that tall fences make for good neighbors. Add to that a baby monitor and a couple motion detectors and you can maybe rest secure at night.

Sunny July

As soon as we began to have sunny, cloudless days, my marijuana plants began to grow. The “normal” size plants are getting big and bushy and the “little dwarfs” are putting on good size. Look at your plants’ new growth. If the new leaves are coming off the main stem directly across from each other, thats called “opposite” growth and indicates your plant is still in a vegetative growth stage. If the new growth is coming off the main stem in an every other stepping pattern. Thats called an alternating growth pattern. This indicates the plants’ metabolism has matured into the “flowering” stage. You’ll only get a little more height and width out of your plant now. It’ll be putting most of its energy into getting pregnant, getting male pot plant pollen onto it’s pistols and down to its ovaries in those female bracts. That pouch or calyx, has the ovary and will create a seed when pollinated. We do not want our plants to get pollinated. The whole point of all this work, is to grow sensimila pot.

male/female marijuana plants

You’ll want to identify the males as soon as possible and throw them out. Give the girls the biggest containers, the best soil and the most attention. Unless you want to try your hand at plant husbandry, throw the males away ASAP. Now that we have hot sunny weather, the plants should be growing a lot…taller and wider and filling out.

Just Add Water

To get the most out of our sunny weather you’ll have to add water, clean pure water…maybe 1/2 gallon to each plant, three times a day. Maybe a little more. Some plants really drink a lot of water. As you get to know your crop…try to notice which plants use a little more aqua than others. In the 3rd week of July, I’m still using a NPK of 24-8-16 with either some sugar added or every other time some ammonia. The plants that I have that are in (premature) flower I’m using a 20-20-20 with some beer added in. I’m still thinking about the yields. To take advantage of all these sunny days we need to keep our girls hydrated.

As these Colorado days get warmer and sunnier, they also are getting shorter. These shorter days/longer nights will help to induce your plants to “sex-out” naturally. Your job, now, is to do the regular plant maintenance (take off the leaves that are crapped out) and keep them watered.

 

 

Less Than 100 Days to Go

7-8-2014

This is a different kind of season. After having induced the plants to show their sex, now I cannot get all of them back into their vegetative stage. Some of the girls are only 2 1/2 ft tall but they are in full flowering stage. This is not good. Over half of the plants are growing tall, in a normal manner. As soon as I could decipher whether a plant was a girl, I up-potted it into a much larger container. I’ve been giving them high nitrogen, low/no phosphorus fertilizations (every 3 days). Don’t know what else to do.

As we slipped into July, the days are finally sunny and hot. All my plants have begun to grow bigger, responding to the full 14 plus hours of sunlight. Cloudless, sunny days are just what we need to grow large pot plants.

My girls are in fairly large containers, #15, #20 and #25. I now think that the biggest of my containers (#25) is probably too big, too much soil and too heavy. I also believe that the smaller ones (the #15s) are a little too small, but will work okay, anyway. You want your plants to be root-bound by September, so It’ll help to push the plant into flowering stage. If you are using a nursery-type shrub container (probably a #2 or a “5 gallon”) you’ll be watering your plants 3 and 4 times every day, which is a lot of work.

This is not a fertilizer day for me. I have put one gallon of clean water on each pot plant this morning, probably will give each plant another quart to 1/2 gallon later this afternoon. It is a hot day (over 95˚f) and they’ll need at least this much water to stay hydrated.

Oh by the way, almost 1/2 my plants seem to be in serious flower mode.  I’ll be giving these plants a fertilizer NPK of 20-20-20 with either a touch of ammonia or else a big coffee cup full of white sugar mixed in to the water bucket. In two or three weeks, I suppose I’ll be using bloom booster fertilizer, but for now I still hope they will grow bigger, taller. It’s too damn soon for any of them to go into flower…I don’t use “auto flower” seeds.

I got two hermaphrodites this year. One is a sativa full blown girl/boy. The other is a more usual kind of here and there hermy. I’ll have pictures for you to peruse soon.

With these very hot temps, it is not unusual to have storms brew up in the after-noons here on the front range. So, we all have gotta watch out for severe weather events. Things such as rain followed by strong winds and hard rain, or, my least favorite…HAIL. I would much rather have full sun than clouds, but I’ll take what I can get.

Every year offers up new challenges. Every grow season is different than the last.  We still have three months to grow our crops and to get in a nice harvest. A lot can happen in 100 days.

6-30-2014

Well, it’ll be July tomorrow, and all my plants have been induced to show their sex. Last year my plants were stubborn and just would not show me their sex. This year, they’ve all been very complient, so by now I have all the girls either planted into their final large containers or given away to neighbors. I got just under 44% to go female, just over 56% went male. And I got one phenomenal hermaphrodite. It has trichomes growing on its balls. I’m keeping it on the other side of the backyard, not that that’ll help very much in controlling its pollen plume when it spews. Don’t yet know if it’ll create sterile powder or if that male powder will create feminized seeds. I’ll find out later. I don’t like the idea of gentic modifications, but we’ll see what happens…more on this, later. All the girls are now in fairly large containers (#15s and larger) and have to be knocked back into their vegetative growth stage; going heavy on the nitrogen, light on the phospherus. I’m using ammonia…others use blood meal. I want these girls to go back into the veg growth stage where they’ll put on size. Sometime in August I’ll promote flower growth by going heavy on the NPK ratio for phosphorus, using bone meal and other enhancements. I try not to use the genetically  modified plants called “auto flowering”. As on outdoor gardener I’m hoping for big veg growth during July and even August.

Auto-flowering plants only grow vegetation for 45 to 55 days, then they automatically go into flower (for another 40 to 50 days). They have bred plants mainly for indoor growers that only last 90 days to 125 days. Thats it… come and gone. Expect a small yield.

I’m counting on several things to put these gals back into veg. As soon as I can ascertain that a plant is a female, I put it into a large pot, where it wont be root bound. Then I use a high dose of ammonia, every 3 or 4 days, while it is out in the strong, direct Colorado sunshine for over 14 1/2 hours per day.

I do some strategic pinching on some plants, but do not want to go overboard with this technique. Also, when a big outer leaf gets played out, take it off, throw it into the compost pile.

I don’t want to over water them, but it is hot and they are growing. So I’m giving each plant a gallon of pure, clean water in the morning, then another one or two quarts during the afternoon. I know that I used to over water the girls 4 or 5 years ago. Now days I’m trying to get with it and promote responsible water usage. I guess that I, too, am trying to learn how to thoroughly water them and to then let them dry out. If the tips are falling over, you’ll want to get some water to that plants’ roots. It’s a good idea to promote full container root growth by not pouring water onto the plants stem. Try to force the roots to grow down into the complete container.

I really dislike it when some of my neighbors spray herbicides or pesticides in their yard and the winds carry that crap into my yard. I don’t like to even spray for mosquitoes as that bug spray crap can get into my female plants calyx-pistills. I sure don’t want to smoke that stuff. Bats and dragonflies eat plenty of mosquitoes.

Lots of sun, no hail. It’s a beautiful week here in Colorado

Marijuana Sex, part 2

Today and tomorrow (20th and 21st) are the longest days of the year. We’ll have 15 hours of strong, free Colorado sunlight. From here on out, the days get shorter and our marijuana plants will react to that. If you haven’t already tried to get your plants to show their sex, certainly they will naturally do this over these next several weeks. I have already described for you the light deprivation technique. With my plants, those that are definately male are gone, out of the picture. This really helps my plant count. I gotta get it down to just 6 plants per adult. Again this year I’m germinating seeds and have so far gotten about 44% female and 56% male. Last year I got less than 42% girls, so, so far, this is a more normal season than last year. As soon as you discern that a plant is a female, get it gently planted into a large container and begin hitting it with a nitrogen heavy fertilizer. A commercial powder of 24-8-16 will work. Or use household liquid ammonia and a coffee cup full of plain old white sugar.Blood meal is another option, too. I mix my fertilizer water in a 5 gallon plastic bucket. Yes, they actually do hold five gallons of water. Mix in your fertilizer and stir real good. Right now I am also putting a quick 3-count pour from the ammonia jug. Stir, stir, stir. Mix it up.

Now that I have a girl plant going into a large container, I want that plant to go back into/stay in vegetative growth stage. I don’t want them to go into full fledged flower bloom until late August. Don’t leave them in the small sexing sized pots. They’ll be root-bound and that alone can cause a plant to hurry up and go into full flower bloom. Use as little phosphorus or bone meal as possible. Use a lot of nitrogen.

Even I call them wrong, sometimes. Every day (sometimes twice) I put on my seeing glasses and go inspect each plant. Is that new growth a female bract or is it a male ball sack or is it a cluster of new leaves? Sometimes I may think that this plant is definately going to be a girl, then 2 or 3 days later I find out that it was only a clutch of new leaves. What ever you perceive, wait a few 2 or 3 days until you can be certain. I prefer to induce the plants to tell me sooner than later. Trying to comply with the City Councils dictums is just nuts.

A large but variable number of seeds does not germinate. Of those seeds that do pop, many crap out or have no growth energy. I have to germinate and care for at least 13 or 14 plants in order to end up with 6 females. This is not even considering all the plant kill due to lousy weather in April, May and June.

I think that it is important to get my plant count down as soon as possible so that I can be in compliance, but also so that I can get down to the business of paying attention to and growing the healthiest, biggest and stoniest marijuana ever.

Tell me what you-all think.

 

Marijuana sex, part 1

Status

Marijuana sex, part 1

I’ve been ‘shedding’ for over 12 nights and so far I’ve got a 45% girl to 55% boy ratio. Shedding is a light deprivation process used to induce the plants to show me their sex. I allow the plants to have only 8 or 9 hours of sunlight each day, as I take them out at 10:30am and put the potted plants back into the shed around 7:00pm. This fools these plants into thinking that it is the end of the growing season.

When a plant is, oh, 2 months along…it will be about ready to sex; mature enough to show its sex.

male female

These pictures show me that the plants are still in their vegetative stage of life. See how the arms (branches) are growing opposite each other. In the crotch up near the top of the plant is the answer. On the left, we can see the female bracts starting to grow along with the tall, stringy pistils. On the right we see the male pollen pouches starting to develop.

We’ll separate the boys from the girls. The we’ll up-pot the girls and throw away the boys. I might keep one male plant for the pollen (genetics). But when you’re growing sensillema pot, and we are, we won’t allow the girls to get pollenated. The females will go into a sexual frenzy and will do what they can to get pollinated. The girls will grow trichomes that will attempt to grab any pot pollen out of the air. These golf tee shaped trichomes each grow a sticky ball of sugar on their pointed little heads. These tricomes grow all over the plant, especially on and around the female bracts…which has an ovary in them. Each pouch or bract has two pistils coming up out of it. When any male pollen lands on these creamy colored pistils…it is directed down into the pot plant’s bract, where it forms a seed. We don’t want this to happen.

Phosphorus helps plants to get the energy they need to grow vibrantly. Chlorophyll is the molecule that turns sunlight into energy. During the day the plant takes in carbon dioxide and thru photo synthesis that is converted into the energy it uses to grow. Oxygen is a nice by-product.

When your plants are knee high, you’ll want to start to ‘shed’ them in order to get a jump on the cycle. It might take 5 or 6  nights or it may take up to 4 weeks…but when that individual plant is old enough, it’ll tell you if it is a boy or a girl. After I have discerned that a plant is a young lady, I’ll up-pot it into a larger, final container and will then fertilize it with a nitrogen heavy solution. Now that I know a plant is probably a female, I don’t want it to go into the bloom stage. I want to encourage it to go back into its vegetation (structure growth) stage. I want the plants to grow roots deep into the new, larger containers.

When you find a male, put it over on the far side of your yard. Give it a week to develop and grow to be sure it really is a male. We don’t want these males that are in seclusion to spew any of their powder onto your girls so watch them closely, everyday to be sure.

I’ve seen adolescent plants show as a male early on, but then grow up to be all female, and visa versa. I do not want to throw out a potential female so I check it for several days before I pronounce a plant as being a boy or a girl. It is difficult to tell whether its a girl or a boy. I think sometimes these plants play tricks on me, too. Sometimes I do not read the signs correctly either. Last season I had two plants go male on me during the first week of August. Then it was too late to start  new plants to replace those two.

These are young boys:

young boy

young boy3young boy2

 

The sooner I can decipher who is who the sooner I can get my gross plant count down. Also it is good to get the girls situated into their final grow area and get to fertilizing them with a high nitrogen solution.

 

 

This plant looks to be a male and is going into its bloom stage.   The branches are growing in alternating style.   This plant is a male and will be spewing pollen soon.   I’ll have to get rid of it.

 

 

Marijuana sex may sound like fun… but it is a difficult and necessary learning process.   It is infuriating when I get it wrong, but  when I can figure out if a plant is a girl or not, it really helps.

By the way…Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads.

Nothing Fancy

Growing pot outdoors is the natural and sensible thing to do. Nothing fancy. This does not add to my electrical bill. What I am trying to convey to you is a general road map to explain the over all strategy of marijuana gardening. I should try to be more general, less specific. For example, watering is dependent on what type of plant, what kind of soil, how big is the container as well as how sunny or cloudy has it been.There is no scientific amount of water to be put on your plants. Sometimes you just have to push your finger down into the soil to see how much moisture is in that plants’ container. Sometimes you’ll have to make an executive decision to not water them, just to see what happens. If the tops wilt over, they do need to be watered, now. When I was growing outdoors, guerila style, I gave them as many gallons of water as I could, because I could only get to them once every 6 or 8 days. Now that I live in an enlightened county that allows legal cultivation, I can water more often. I’m trying not to over water. As of now, early June, some plants get about a quart of clean water every other day. It is up to the individual gardner to make these decisions, to learn your plants needs.

Mainly, all we have is plant genetics, good soil, lots of sun light and adequate water. Then we also need to understand what sinsemilla pot is and why that is what we want to grow.

As far as the soil goes, I use about 40% compost and 60% store bought, mid priced bags of soil. I use last years soil most of the time. I mix in a very small amount of vermiculite. I do not use either sand or clay. Nothing fancy. If I can pick up a free bale of peat moss, I’ll mix that in too, but not very much. Nothing fancy.

Other farmers I know of use all kinds of exotic (and expensive) soil additives but get no better end product than I get. Things like very expensive brands of soil, coconut fiber, worm humus, bat guano, volcanic lava, perlite, vermi compost, Hawaiin this and Humbolt that, blah, blah, blah.

I grow pot outdoors. I keep it simple, Nothing fancy schmancy, no insecticides.

Read this twice

The most difficult part of growing pot is the “sexing them” bit. Basically, you’ll be trying to fool your plants into thinking that the days are getting shorter and that they need to do their genetic job of providing offspring before the end of the growing season. The boys will usually mature 1st and will be the tallest. They’ll be the best looking of all your plants, at least early on. Genetically, the males will be a little taller, and will develop pods or balls that will be full of dry powder known as male pollen. They will be mature and will drop their powder as the females begin to mature. Some years I’ll collect this powder in a clean glass baby food jar, label it with the type and date collected. This could be the basis of further genetic hybredizing or crossing.

I have my own proprietary seed stocks.  I’ll encourage one male of each type to mature so that I can back-cross it into its’ same type of female. This will stabilize the genetics of that specific type of marijuana.

What we call “shedding” is what in school they call a “Light Deprivation Technique”. For about two weeks, you’ll allow your plants to get only 9 or 10 hours of sunlight per photo period cycle (per day). You can use cardboard boxes, a tent or a storage shed.  I put my plants into a no light situation for about 15 hours. I put my plants into a very dark shed at 7:30 or 8:00 in the evening and take them out at 10:00 in the morning. When I take them from the totally dark shed and put them into the morning sunlight, I check each plant for signs of their sex and then I water them. I want these plants to disclose their sex to me and then I’ll up-pot the girls and give them a fertilizer of high nitrogen and very low phosphorus…like a 24-0-8 NPK. Some folks don’t bother with doing this…just let their plants sex out naturally, and check them as often as they can. They’ll pull the males when they find them, same as me. I want to get the girls put into their final (large) pots as soon as possible.  I think that the stress of light deprivation is minimal and I do want to get the girls into their final pots and out into the full day, full sun. I know guys who put a cardboard box over each plant and leave it t here for 2 or 3 days and then check on them. Then they give them 8 to 10 hours of light and then “box them” again for 2 or 3 days. This will sometimes work to force the plants to show their sex, however, I think that that is unhealthful for these pot plants. The plants have to be at lest knee high in their pots before they’re old enough to sex. This process goes on during June and July. During August I’ll switch the fertilizer to an even 20-20-20 NPK. On June 20th or 21st we’ll have the longest day of the year, then the days will get shorter and I’ll want the girls to react to that by growing flower bracts with pistalls. The key to growing sinsemilla marijuana is to not allow the girls to get pollinated. You’ll want to pinch them too. pinched The 1st “leaves” are the smooth cotyledans. Then the next set to grow are the marijuana plants 1st true leaves. They grow out from the stem opposite each other, lets say they go east-west. The next new leaves grow opposite each other, facing north-south. The 3rd set is again east-west and the 4th set is north-south. Now the next growth spurt will be the plants’ 5th set. this new growth can be plucked off. Forcing the plant to grow two main stems. This forces more branching and will give you a bushier plant with more flower buds. pinched to promote bushy plants Pinch off the 4th or 5th or 6th terminal bud it you want the plant to bush out. You can pinch more new growth off later, but don’t go nuts doing this too often. So, we have germinants germinants that get up-potted in to medium sized containers

up potted pot

and get water and sunlight so that they look more like this

young pot plants

I start shedding these plants around the 1st of June. I’ve been watering each plant every other day, just two big cups each. Once they are large/old enough to go into the shed, they get watered every day. Mainly just use sugar as a water additive up until now. During the shedding process they receive a very diluted fertilizer of 24-8-16. After they show me their sex, they get up potted into their final container and I begin hitting them with full strength 24-8-16 (NPK) fertilizer with a small dab of ammonia being added to the 5 gallon water bucket every four or 5 days. Right now, they all are growing roots and soaking up this free Colorado sunshine.

I’ve been hearing that folks are having big problems with Canadian seeds. Growers here in Colorado tell me that the seeds (of hybred marijuana) that they’ve bought from Canadian sources are unreliable. 1.) they do not germinate 2.) they go male even tho they were sold as being feminized 3.) they have no energy, and 4.) they are not always what was sold to them. I know what is sativa and what is indica. When you get a supposedly Durban sativa seed and it grows up as an Indica…well. Myself, I bought some seeds from Canadian sources and the germination rates vary from 18% to88%. Not very good for expensive seeds. So don’t expect much form foreign seed banks. If you can, buy seeds from Denver dispensaries, you”ll be better off; at least you will know who to pitch a bitch to if you are unhappy with the results.

Spring time in the Rockies

5-23-14

Mother Nature makes a lier out of me again. In my last article I said it was probably okay to start your outdoor gardening. Well, usually by Mothers Day it is okay to put your vegetable gardens in the ground. But apparently not this year,

Spring time in the Rockies…is a beautiful time of year, but we have many wild weather events to deal with. I lost 4 little plants. They get knocked down and/or stripped clean by the hail. Yesterday I was slow to react to the TV weather forecasts. If it rains hard on them it can liquify the soil so that the plants float out or tip over and fall out of the container. Also, if your plants take too much water in their container, the roots get too wet and can drown and rot. With the hail, the leaves get knocked off and/ or the stem takes a hit and is damaged irrepairably.

I got totally soaked twice yesterday as I frantically threw some tarps up to cover the young plants.  We had about two inches of pea sized hail not to mention nine tenths of an inch of hard rain. What a mess. The ground turned into gravy.  Today wil be different.  Plus it has been very sunny this morning. A day of sunlight will fix a lot of hurt.

Also, if things go bad, you have plenty of time to start over. If you do lose most or all of your young germinants, chalk it up to experience. It’s just effort and money down the drain. I’ve lost the tomatoes, peppers and 4 pot plants. Well, this is what happens some years. Life on the Front Range of Colorado is sometimes turbulent and always interesting.

I have erected a simple, strong structure in my backyard. I’ve used 10ft x 4in x 4in wooden poles in the ground buried 20 inches deep. So they stick up 8 1/2 feet. I’ve connected them up top with 2×4’s so that I have a rib cage trellis that I can throw tarps upon. I have cubicales, kind of, that are 8 1/2 foot x  91/2 foot square by 8 1/2 foot tall. I have many tarps with grommets around the edges, and I tie them up to the 2x4s up top. Not only can I save the plants from the worst of the rain-hail-wind weather events but I’ll be able to create a dark space in which to “sex my plants” thru light deprivation. During the last 3 weeks of June, I’ll use these tented cubicales to “shed the plants”.

After a couple days of Colorado sunshine, it’ll be time to begin a high nitrogen fertilizer program. I want to let things dry out first.

But for now and tomorrow, all I want is for these plants to dry out and be in the sunlight. Mothers Day is past and Memorial Day Holiday weekend is upon us. This certainly is springtime. There will be plenty of sunlight opportunities for our plants as we head into June and summertime.