Posted – July 1st, 2010
under CannaLogic
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nycd9 
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The Art of Breeding
By Soma

In the breeding of cannabis, a gardener can come up with an endless number of combinations. Every once in a while, everyone who smokes weed gets a certain kind that they really like. If we were able to get a live plant of that same kind, we would have the start of a mother garden. Using this method continually, we would end up with several female plants that we know for sure we like. It would be a room full of mother plants without any rejects. Cloning these mothers and growing the plants to maturity will bring you tastes and smells that cannot be bought. I have been using this technique for a decade, and now have over 35 different mothers.

“Cloning these mothers and growing the plants to maturity will bring you tastes and smells that cannot be bought.”
I breed seeds and I wanted some even newer combos. I have a strain I’m working with called the NYC Diesel. It is a blend of a Mexican sativa and Afghani. It tastes like ripe red grapefruits. Everyone who smokes it, loves it, so I thought it would be a great male to use. I planted several of my seeds and came up with 3 males, each one showing a slightly different phenotype.I then read that using more than one type of male from the same genetic pool can give more genetic depth to a species.

With this new information, I set out to try a genetic experiment. I placed 15 different types of female plants in my grow room and crossed them with two of the male NYC Diesels. Each of the males showed slightly different phenotypes. One had internodes closer together with wider leaves and the other had more stretch to the internodes with thinner leaves.

I put the females into a 12-hour cycle one week before I put the males in. This gives the female plants a head start, allowing them to put on a little resin before getting pollinated. This way, at the end, when all the seeds are taken out, the material left over will make excellent water hash. I put both males in the room with the females, and as the pollen flew, the two of them pollinated all the plants.

It takes the male cannabis plant about 3 weeks to start throwing pollen. When it does give off the pollen, it does so for about 3 weeks. Female calyxes that are the first to get hit, make the first seeds. The females continue to make new calyxes, and as they become ripe, the male pollen touches them and seeds start to form there as well. The calyxes that get hit last, don’t get a chance to finish the seeds and they come out white.

The first time you cross two different kinds of cannabis together, you get a phenomenon that’s called ‘hybrid vigor’. This causes the new crosses to have an extra strong growing strength. Making mothers from seeds like this can give you plants with an almost super strength.

In my quest for the best medicinal genetics, I am constantly trying new techniques and genetics, constantly learning about this sacred plant and all the gifts she holds. Spreading seeds of this quality around the world has brought me many new friends and adventures and I truly think that it changes not only the topography of planet Earth, but her soul as well.

For so many years I grew only seedless ganja because it smokes the best, but sometimes I have daydreams about what would happen if every ganja smoker grew one seed crop and spread them around….

I now have a forum on my website: www.somaseeds.nl. If anyone has questions that they want me to answer about any aspect of cannabis, you can reach me there. Until next time, keep it GREEN.

Love and Light,
Soma


df 
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Dutchflowers – Indigo Blue

"Our Bubblegum clone and Oregon Funk are two key components in IB, and we are pleased to have left ubiquitous Northern Lights, Skunk and Blueberry lines completely out of its composition to produce a quintessential sweet Indica heavyweight. Indigo is indeed a violet-blue postergirl Indica type, full of power and resin, with a built-in sativa component in the high to keep its high world-class potent but not just beefheadedly stupefying. The taste of Indigo Blue is very intense, sweet berries with hashy undertones contributed by its resin coverage. The aroma is very influenced by the Bubblegum clone parent, intense “Bubblicious” chewing gum berry taste. Very dense buds, milky crystal coverage and intense sweet chewing gum smell round-up the reasons for IB's excellent bag appeal.

A very early strain, IB needs to be flowered for about 44 days (as usual, grower preference, environment and individual selected all play a role), and is a prodigious resin producer. Solid buds are borne on long yet stocky colas showing great girth and excellent calyx to leaf ratio, which from a distance look as if they were dipped in a milky-oily white substance, with violet-blue (indigo) tinges. Despite bud density and crystal production, IB has shown herself to be mold resistant. Crystal coverage is surprisingly heavy at mid-flowering (around 25 days) expressing not only on buds but on fan leaves as well, making IB a prime bubblehash producer. IB has been selected for outstanding yield, 125gr and upwards of dried bud can be expected from each plant. Bud weight makes necessary to stake IB early on to help the branches support the weight. The sticky, gooey buds pack as much punch as resin, and even when the Indica stone hits like a hammer to the head, there is a recognizable sativa streak to it, that makes it unusually clear and euphoric with remarkable floaty-visual elements."

Dutchflowers – Colombian Supremo

This F1 cross reigns Supremo in our breeding program as it is vigorous, easy to grow, tight-noded for a mostly sativa, quick flowering with a generous yield of dense, high calyx-to-leaf ratio flowers. Colombian Supremo boasts old school sweet-fruity flavor and classic sativa soaring, mind-warping high in donkey-dick colas covered in white crystals.

Colombian genetics have been at the center of DF breeding efforts for a long time, and many growers have contacted us regarding availability of Colombian-based developments, attesting to the enduring popularity this landrace earned back in the 1970s. We have worked intensively with over eight different landrace Colombian lines and crosses, to identify winning phenotypes bearing the classic Colombian mind-warping cerebral high suitable for crossing with a Mighty Haze Candy to produce the Supremo. This was not an easy task, as the Colombian landrace strains we obtained and worked with showed a wide range of highs and phenotypical expressions, from soaring to stupefying, from acid to bodily narcotic, many lanky with unsuitably long flowering.

The Supremo is the first Colombian-based cross to meet our multiple goals, both from a gardener's and smoker's perspectives. It has been heavily selected for ease of growing indoors, with a very well-behaved phenotype that remains tight-noded and friendly low stretch, thriving even under low-light indoor conditions. It is very quick to show sex, and takes an average of 55-60 days (thanks to Mighty Haze Candy influence) to produce big, dense, frosty white buds with a very pleasant sweet, fruity-piney aroma that is very smooth and lung-expanding. Long, thick colas are of the classic "donkey dick" structure, very thick and dense, with remarkably high calyx-to-leaf ratio. Very little manicure is required.

Flowers are an appealing bright lime green, but appear white from a distance due to heavy resin production. Unlike regular tropical sativa fluffy buds, most individuals exhibit dense flowering structures with very little leaf. The smoke is very smooth, with a sweet, piney-fruity spicy smell that old-timers will recognize as classic Colombian taste, even if poorly cured. The high is of throwback quality, powerfully psychoactive and nearly all-cerebral, with few body signals. The very strong mind-lifting, get-up-and-dance high avoids paranoia and stays clear and focused. This is an old-school South American sativa however, so it can bring about heart-racing and even panic for users not used to strong sativas or if overdone, due to creeper effect.

Please note Colombian Supremo is not recommended for smokers identifying "potency" only in narcotic, lowdown, body-numbing, couch-locking stones, as the Supremo's sativa-engined clear cerebral high will bring opposite results.

Dutchflowers – Venomberry

Years back, we tested a batch of seeds collected by a team member traveling in Uzbekistan, and an outstanding individual was kept of this Indica landrace, which is used primarily for hash making in its homeland. It was a very stocky, red-stemmed plant that put out chunky, powerfully narcotic buds covered in gooey resin in about 56 days.

A heavy-select Durban Fig Widow male was used as pollen donor to pump up yield and vigor —two areas in which the Uzbek landrace was found lacking— and add the sativa dimension in the process. The DFW has been an example of how, in plant breeding, the final product can be much more than just the sum of its parts: its unusual terpene signature and delta-9 dominant sativa high clearly surpass either parent with excellent yield to boot.

The resulting UDFW turned out to be a solid all-around performer, with a gifted phenotype, glossy dark green leaves and a knock-out deep, Indica high. One mother in particular stood out on its rhubarb colors, couch-lock potency and a marvelous berry-cherry taste that impressed the jaded, “taste first” connoisseurs, but put the party-oriented, sativa aficionados to sleep.

A selected Chocolate Thai landrace male had its way with our UDFW clone, and its offspring grown. Then a winning, killer potent Indica phenotype mother was selected, which we felt best represented the “venom” that was added to the berry. This especial “venomberry” specimen was backcrossed using pollen from one of her children, and then the best .75 was inbred several generations to achieve IBL status.

Venomberry IBL grows with a manageable, predominantly Indica phenotype, and shows strong reaction to increased lumens like a Sativa does. The rhubarb-colored stems are visible even in early seedlings grown indoors, and the entire plant turns into a joy of purple and red outdoors under cool weather, courtesy of the Uzbek genes. Its leaves are dark blue-green, with a plastic-like shiny texture and blades that turn inward in claw-like fashion, a trait passed on by the Thai ancestor. Over 4 ounces of krypto-green, top-shelf bud can be expected from a selected mother flowered at around 12 inches, in resinous long colas. Buds look great and smell heavenly, rounding up great bag appeal.

The smoke has great lung expansion, and is quite tasty, with pronounced sweet cherry-berry notes. Indica and Sativa backgrounds compete against each other within Venomberry fueling a really strong, abidingly intense high that grounds the body but remains up and clear in the head, with great mental energy. Venomberry is unique in that it has medicinal (lower back pain) qualities, without hangover (heavy eye lids, headache) or crashing in the end.

Dutchflowers – Green Napalm

Nepalese Temple hash is widely recognized by discriminating smokers everywhere for its unique qualities, and we have always wanted to obtain seeds to the underlying strain for use in breeding. Luckily, Nepal is not an altogether unusual tourist destination, and one visitor mailed home two sets of Nepalese cannabis seeds corresponding to distinct geographical regions. The seeds corresponding to the high-altitude Nepalese Mountain regions produced plants that immediately stood out for its manageable phenotype, early flowering and response under artificial lights, ultimately proving to be most valuable for breeding given the exotic quality of its high and distinctive taste.

The best Nepalese Mountain sativas were combined with a Mighty Candy and then selectively inbred to improve stem strength, reduce internodal distance and sativa stretch, and contribute to flower density. Inbreeding Green Nepalm for several generations has proven successful to stabilize several desirable traits, most notably a short 8 weeks flowering period and top notch bud quality. Flowers are bright lime green with orange pistils and very few leaves, but it is their crystal coverage and intriguing aroma that sets them apart.

Trichome production is remarkable, flowers and part of leaves are uniformly covered with sparkling crystals. Pondering at this resinous blanket immediately reminds that Nepalese landraces have been selected for centuries to make legendary Temple Ball charas, a pot snob’s equivalent to the very best French champagne. Incidentally, the best champagne in world is thought to be Louis Roderer’s Crystal, a name that seems to validate our analogy. Flowers have high calyx-to-leaf ratio, which is unfortunate because Temple Ball hashmaking should be mandatory for all Green Nepalm growers.

Aroma is intriguing and complex, and testers refer to flowery, spice and fruit notes to describe it. Inbreeding has not affected the wide spectrum of aromas found in Nepalese seedlings, making it exciting to ascertain each individual’s unique makeup. Most seedlings fall into three basic terpene signatures, all carrying a fruit & spice combination: strawberries / sage, pineapple / rosemary, and peach / mint. All three are uniquely tasty and sweet, with a disturbing rotten meat smell lurking in the background, but this note is only perceived by the sharpest noses. GN makes a good stealth plant, as it has very low odour when growing.

High is perceived immediately, but will creep and get stronger during the next half hour, taking the smoker progressively higher up trough several stages to a very clear final destination. A drug testing program volunteer described this final state as one of “intense lucidity,” strong, cerebral and very creative. No trace of couch lock at any point of the experience, this is a flower for the thinking, active man. Very visual, clear and inspired, it makes a good choice for musicians and anybody looking to enhance leisure and social activities, although it is too deep for daytime. A strictly recreational strain of no medical value: no body-numbing or pain-relieving effects; not an appetite inducer.

BLOWFISH (G13 / Blue Dot / Oregon Funk)F1

Named after the deadly Japanese delicatessen, this breeding project begun when we set out to improve taste and yield —two weak traits of the G-13— by using Oregon Funk as a pollen donor. The results were quite pleasing but the smoke test revealed that G-13's power had been downgraded somewhat. Then it was the turn of a very impressive Blue Dot hybrid stud, which qualified the G-13 with great taste and no harm to its potency, although this time yield was less than desired. Finally, we applied heavy selection to each of these two G-based lines, and crossed them giving rise to Blowfish, a winning combination of G-13's deadly punch and the quality and taste of the Funk and Dot lines.

Blowfish exhibits great F1 vigor and disease resistance in a well-behaved plant that avoids the undesirable traits of "blue" genetics (difficult to grow, brittle, leafy, poor calyx to leaf ratio) while maintaining the flavor of the Funk and Dot ancestors and the brain-warping power of the G-13. A prolific flower producer even under poor conditions (it actually prefers low nutrient levels), this low-maintenance strain bears wonderfully dense buds, with a thick coating of milky crystals that will rival the best of the "white" strains in both crystal coverage and brain-thumping quality, with much better flavor and yield. We are proud to offer a hybrid carrying no White Widow, Northern Lights, Skunk or Blueberry in its composition.

Parental selection focused on potency and yield, as taste and resin genes were already well fixed on the Funk and Dot lines. Outstanding ancestors infuse the plant with a high quality feel, evident in the glossy leaves, harmonious phenotype and the particularly frosted, heavy and aromatic buds. Blowfish tends to branch out while adding girth to flowering clusters, forming sizeable snowy colas for excellent yield. Despite the remarkable density of its bud structure, mold and mites have not been a problem. This fish likes plenty of water as well as appropriate root and growing space, but prefers low levels of nutrients to fully express its potential. Very well-suited for bubbler systems and SCROG styles.

Blowfish retained the breathless intensity of G-13, with much better yield and a unique taste of berries and motor grease with fuel undertones that will appeal to pot-snobs. The experienced puffer will recognize a rotten animal scent lurking in the background of this Puffer, a sign of the abiding sativa influence that was a common denominator in parental stock selection. Its buds smoke very smooth and clean, with a great berry taste and a hashy feel that relates to its impressive crystal coverage.

Known as Fugu in Japan, Blowfish flowers live up to its namesake as a lethal delicacy with a body-paralyzing yet heady cerebral effect that defies traditional "Indica" and "Sativa" classification. The plant's elegance stands in sharp contrast with the muscle and intensity of its buds, which stun the body but thrust the mind into a euphoric trippy experience with excellent visuals and duration. It does not seem to build tolerance with experienced smokers, maintaining its knock-out quality over repeated use.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 
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Region ::: South East Asian Strain
Type ::: Pure Sativa
Origin ::: Dalat, Vietnam
Breeder :::

Descriptions

Di Wee Dalat Updated: 11Apr03

This is a pure land race from Dalat, Vietnam. It is grown at around 4500 ft. above MSL. Lattitude 12 degrees south.

It has been cultivated by the Montaignards for centuries, and has been know to reach heights of 20 plus feet outdoors. Most similar to a Highland Thai, in look taste and growing habits.

Di Wee Dalat Updated: 11Apr03

This was a first grow of seeds that came to me direct from the plantation in 2002. A very hardy species. It will take lots of punishment, but is very easy to hermie being a pure SE Asian strain.

Out of 100 seeds sprouted, there were 60 females (some of which went hermie after 10 weeks of flower), 39 immediate hermies, and only one true male.

They were flowered at about 40 days of vegetation. Height about 18-20 inches. Two phenotypes, one very bushy and christmas tree like, and the predominant pheno was 'one long bud' along the main stem.

They flowered for a total of 12 weeks under 11/13 before harvest was begun, and then they were harvested over a four week period between 12 and 16 weeks. They never really stopped throwing off new pistils and calyxes. They just kept getting thicker and thicker. Pretty heavy trichome development for a sativa.

The grow was done in soil with a Ph kept around 6.5-6.8 and fed with 15-30-15 nutrient. They really take up the water, so it's hard to drown 'em. The lights were MH enhanced with flourescent supplementation, at around 40-50 watts per square foot. I believe I was really under powered on the lights and that with more wattage this strain should really excell.

They were kept in very small one gallon pots throughout the whole grow which helped keep the height down, but no doubt restricted the potential. Even so they got to 5 feet in height!

Obviously a perfect outdoor strain if grown at the right latitude, but can be done indoors with lots of patience. The next grow will be a SOG/SCROG combo and I believe that with 80 plus watts per sq. ft. this strain will be outstanding!

Di Wee Dalat Updated: 11Apr03

Smoke Report – C.sativa ssp.dalatvietnam Friday April 4, 2003, 7.00 PM

Ok! Here is what, I am sure, a lot of folks have been waiting for. The official FDA approved smoke report on the strain I've been growing these past six months. A pure unadulterated land race sativa of known origin, from Dalat, Viet Nam, South East Asia.

Let me preface this report by saying two things. First, as you read this, keep in mind that I've been puffing on a nice 'fatty' of the DALAT all day today, and I'm still pretty tweaked! Second, I'd like to say, that to me, one of the more desirable qualities of a fine sativa is that it changes your perspective according to your reality. If your reality is one of nervousness, paranoia and fear, greed and commerce, then you might want to stay away from this strain…you might find it a little too unnerving. But if you come from a basically peaceful and happy frame of mind, and don't mind trippin', well then…

I really endeavored to read a lot of smoke reports online, so that I could 'get a feel', if you will, about how to write this report. Quite honestly most of the reports were either of the 'short one word sentence type' or were way too scientific to understand.

Using words like 'spacey', 'visual', 'trippy', 'ampy', 'clear up high', 'energetic', 'creative', 'breathtaking', 'paranoia inducing', 'head high', 'body high', 'couch-lock', 'up', 'down', etc., just left me trying to imagine how my definition of those individual words might differ from everyone else's (given the perspective of one's reality). Or worse yet, I drove myself crazy trying to string the words together in a coherent fashion. Sort of a, you say potato and I say potatoe, mishmash of a bunch of descriptive words, all with meaning yet no clear definition! The scientific version is even worse in my humble opinion. All science. No emotion. And as my grand pappy used to say, " You can't put facts in your pipe and smoke 'em, sonny boy!"

So here's what I decided to do. I made up my mind that I was going to write a report about what it was like to spend an entire day stoned on the DALAT. A trip back in time if you will…

The alarm went off as usual at 5 AM this morning. Got up and put the coffee on. Strong, fresh ground Columbian. Six cups. After a quick check of the garden to make sure the plants were doing all right, I turned on the news to catch the latest on the Iraqi excursion. Sat down at the kitchen table, picked out a nice lime green crystal covered bud, and proceeded to roll the first joint of this six-month adventure. As I broke the bud apart I made a mental note of how compact and sticky it was. It had an absolutely delicious smell… sort of like 'spearmint gum dipped in diesel fuel', whatever that smells like!

It was too sticky to crumble with my fingers so I got a pair of sharp scissors and started cutting it up into smaller more roll able pieces. I rolled a super wide (I only use natural hemp papers from HempTrivia.com) fatty, pulled out my vintage Zippo, and fired it up. I burned away the twisted end, and then took a big, full first hit. The taste was very smooth. The flavor was hash like, yet sweet and mellow at the same time. It expanded nicely in my lungs but was definitely not harsh. I held it for as long as I could and then exhaled. The smoke had a very sweet and potent aroma. I knew I could smoke this all day. My head immediately started buzzing within a couple of seconds. This was going to be a good day!

I placed the joint in the ashtray, while I poured my self a cup of coffee. A little cream, and a little sugar, and I opened up the newspaper and started to catch up on world events. The TV was a quiet distraction in the background. I fired up the joint a second time and took another champion hit. I was amazed by the fact that although the smoke really expanded in my lungs, it was so smooth that I didnt feel the need to cough. After holding it in for what seemed like forever, I exhaled, and felt the blood rush to my head. It was really kicking in now!

Three or four minutes later I found myself re-reading the same paragraph in the newspaper…something about a new virus from China…and wondering why the TV was blaring. Had it always been that loud? I started looking around the room, and noticed how everything just looked brighter and more colorful. My perspective had most definitely changed. I smiled, the first of many smiles today.

I could go on to describe the rest of the day in detail, but then this report would just turn into a small novel. I ate breakfast. I took a shower. I smoked some more, and I kept getting higher. I sat outside by the pool. The sky was very blue, and the sunshine was bright. Plants were greener, and the flowers were more colorful. The birds flew slower. The music sounded great, and I found myself wanting to dance.

It was hard to read, but only because of all the wonderful distractions the world offers when you pay attention. I noticed everything, and I kept thinking thoughts that made me smile so much that my jaw ached. Not unlike a very small dose of mushrooms. I was very happy to be alive. I was very happy I had decided to grow a sativa!

As the day progressed I kept smoking a hit or two at a time, and I kept on soaring. Every hit would take me a little bit higher, but this was not a 'narcotic type high'. No down time smoking this stuff! I felt energetic and creative, and yet relaxed, all at the same time. And I got a terrible case of the munchies around lunchtime!

In the afternoon a very close friend stopped by and we finished the joint together while sitting outside with a cold beer. We laughed our Asses off. He called later on the way home to say he was totally spaced out in traffic, but he felt very mellow and didn't care.

Did I have a great day? Absolutely! Is it the strongest pot you'll ever smoke…the 'Holy Grail'? I don't know. Did I get high? Hell yeah! Could I smoke only this strain the rest of my life? Most definitely! It's was just how I remembered it when I first started smoking' the kind sativa back in the old days. A real deja vu trip back in time!

Perhaps the best description I've read, was one about the strain VB at cannagenetics.com. I don't know the authors name, but I think it fits the DALAT to a tee. Whoever he was, he nailed it on the head when he wrote,

"Not for light weight smokers! This stuff is EXACTLY what I remember was around during the 70's. You can almost hear the whoomp-whoomp of the Nam choppers. A great outdoors "Summer Day smoke". Just don't smoke it before your landlord or Mom comes by… A 10 in my book!"

Well there you have it. For what it's worth..from a lightweight old guy from the '60's! And I'm definitely LOL!


apollo11 
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Apollo 13 = Genius/P75 is very popular despite my only having created about 500 seeds.

Apollo 11 = Genius/C99 and is currently available through Heaven's Stairway.

Note both have the SAME mother – "Genius" which a sister of Princess, although you'd hardly see a family resemblance. Genius is lemon-scented, rather like Lemon Pledge furniture polish actually. Her high is not speedy like Princess', it's a "happy high". As a plant, Genius is a pleasure to flower, producing heavier yields than Princess with similarly resinous floral clusters shaped less like Princess' "braids" and more like a dense cone of sparkling, tightly-packed calyxes & pistils bursting out from between little leaves bristling with stalked glands. Very sticky and pungent smelling. She matures rapidly, finishing in 7 weeks and when the buds are manicured (very easy) and dried, Genius' final product is true "eye candy" to behold.

The father plant used in Apollo 13 was the same as was used to create Cinderella 88.

The father plant used to create Apollo 11 was the same as was used to make the current generation of C99, i.e., P94. This male was responsible for adding considerable yield to the current Cinderella 99, i.e., P97 generation. In future, I'll post pics of them to show the difference.


Posted – July 1st, 2010
under CannaLogic
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deepchunk 
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Here are some information to what Tom Hill has been working with thus far.

"Pine Tar Kush"- A relatively unworked Pakistani inbred line. Lime green pine/skunk, one of my heavier yielding pure indicas. A very nice smoke of average potency with a rich flavor & chatty high. Some folk say it taste just like juicy fruit gum. Outdoors it finishes the second week of October, indoors about 60 days.

"SCBBXPTK"- This is an untested hybrid where the Salmon Creek Big Bud clone was hit by the Pine Tar Kush. I expect variable offspring of average potency, but there should be some very heavy yielders in there. Flavors should range between the PTK and the musky skunk of the SCBB.

This is really just a step in a longer proccess of finding a suitable male to kick up the yield of my short fat indicas. They should finish outdoors by the second or third week of October, indoors about 60 days.

"Cripple Creek"- An F1 hybrid- (Pine Tar Kush X Deep Chunk) I like this one a lot. Super rich flavor with an excellent high. It is higher yielding than the Deep Chunk, and may be a contender as a high grade commercial bud. This one takes me back to the days of cut-off shirts, leg warmers and the roller rink. An old-timey California skunk bud. Outdoors-first or second week of October, indoors- less than 60 days.

"Deep Chunk"- This one is probably my favorite pure indica of all time, select individuals can be very potent. It's a relatively heavily worked inbred line- goes a long way back in northern California. This extremely broad-leafed hash plant is originally from Afghanistan. Potency & flavor has been the driving force behind my selections, & this plant has consumed the majority of my efforts. The smoke is real "thick" & the flavor ranges from skunk to hashy pine. It is relatively lower yielding, but, IMHO is a very high quality indica. Outdoors late September to early October. Indoors less than 60 days.


Posted – July 1st, 2010
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FIM 
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FIM stands for "Fuck I missed" technique. This is usually performed when the vegging plants are at their 5th or 6th node. However, you can FIM as early as you want to encourage bushier growth and more budding spots.


Posted – July 1st, 2010
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colatops 
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bon·sai Pronunciation Key (bn-s, bns, -z)
n. pl. bonsai

1. The art of growing dwarfed, ornamentally shaped trees or shrubs in small shallow pots or trays.
2. A tree or shrub grown by this method.

This article is for anyone that cannot grow a full sized marijuana plant for a wide variety of reasons including:

* cost of lights
* no where to grow
* nosey neighbours
* only need a small amount of marijuana for personal use

Bonsai trees have been a japanese art for many centuries and now it can be applied to even marijuana plants! The concept of bonsai budding is very simple. Marijuana can be put into flowering at any stage of growth. The result is a minature version of a full sized plant that should provide enough weed for you and a few friends! Bonsai Budding not only provides you with some inexpensive marijuana but it can be a fun and enjoyable hobby that requires very minimal invesment and effort. The only things you need to grow Bonsai Bud are sunlight and patience!

Growing a bonsai bud plant is the same as growing any other house plant. First you must choose a suitable pot, choose a pot that has a diameter of 4-6". Make sure you use good quality potting soil rather than just dirt from outside for best results.You can either use clones or seeds. Follow the instructions in our knowledgebase for clones or seeds respectively.

As soon as your plants are 2"-3" tall place them near a window sill. Depending on the time of the year you want to make sure that the plants only get 12 hours of light per day so you will want to place them in a closet or somewhere dark if you are in the middle of summer. The reason for this is because in nature during the summer months when there is long hours the plants focus all of their energy into growing big and near the end of summer when there is only 12 hours of light they start focusing all of their energy into reproduction. Remember that even though your plants are only 2"-3" tall now they will probably get to about 5"-6" tall when they are finished flowering. If you are growing from seed there is a 50/50 chance your plant will turn out be a male so plant double the number of plants you plan on keeping.

Any good bonsai gardener knows that the key to keeping the bonsai plant is trimming. The key to bonsai budding is that you never want the leaves to fully develop and alert others to the true nature of the plant. With a pair of scissors simply round off all of the leaves and even trim entire fingers off of the leaves so that all but the most knowledgeable marijuana growers will be able to know the true nature of your plant. Make sure that you don't trim too much of the leaves off your plant though otherwise it will die.

Like any other plant Bonsai Bud plants need regular watering. How often to water depends on the size of your plant and the the climate you are growing in. It is more common for the beginner marijuana cultivator to overwater rather than underwater their plants. Do not water it until the top layer of soil is nearly dried out. If you stick your finger into the soil you should be able to feel about 2" below the surface of the soil still a bit moist. This is when you want to water your plant. You can also feed your plant some fertilizer if you want. Make sure you do not give it too much fertilizer as it is very small and delicate.

From start to finish Bonsai Budding takes about 8 weeks and will yeild anywhere from 1/8th – 1/2 oz. of marijuana. You want to harvest your plants when you start to see the hairs turn color from white to brown. Cut the plant near the roots and hang it upside down in a dry, dark area. Smoke and enjoy the fruits of your labor.


bushescanna 
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Essentially there are the same, "Pruning" and "Topping", just two different commonly words used. It is also known to some as "Pinching" as well. In this page it will be referred to it as "Topping" Topping is done to Marijuana to keep the plants small and bushy, promote "branching", and increase the overall yields of the plants. With higher overall yields, a grower will successfully harvest many more buds, or floral clusters, and from smaller, bushier and more compact plants.

If Topping is not done to Marijuana there is a lot less yield per plant. To the indoor grower this can be a waste of their artificial lighting, and growing spaces potential. Marijuana with its own natural growth pattern, and without the benefit of topping, will have one main central "cola" bud, at peak flowering. Several other small branches will grow outwards, down its main stalk, with much smaller bud tops.

Marijuana's natural growth pattern is to grow upwards at its main stalk. From this main central stalk will begin to grow side branches. The side branches come out as tiny shoots with leaves, and usually there are a pair of them on opposite sides of the main central stalk.

When the seed leaves have long dyed off on the main stalk. The first true seed leaves commonly can or will, wilt, dry up, or dye off of the plant as well. Once healthy new vegetative growth begins the rate of growth can be very fast, with excellent lighting supplied.

As the new growth increases the light reaching the lower portions of the plants becomes less. Thus is is common to see first leafs wilting and dying etc. Growers that see leaves wilting or dying, etc, will opt to pulling them off of the plants.

The main central stalk is topped of just above the branches that are coming out below it. A pair of scissors or your fingers can be used. Once the topping is done you can remove the two upper fans leaves as well. This will aid in the light getting to the newer vegetative growth, and other shoot tips, down the main central stalk.

There are no rules to where you top your plant or how old it needs to be. As long as your plant has shoots protruding further down the main stalk it is able to be topped. When topped the growth of the plant will be concentrated towards the new, younger vegetative shoots.

Once you have topped your plant(s) the younger shoots will rapidly begin growing. With the removal of the main central stalk the lower branches grow more. With topping completed we keep the plants on their regular lighting and feeding schedules.

Now each new shoot tip will essentially grow as the main stalk did, however the growth is not concentrated to only one central stalk. So as each new shoot grows outward new shoots will grow from each one of them stalks as well.

Therefore topping can be done again, and again, and as each shoot becomes a growing tip with other shoots forming down its stalk, it is removed. By completing these topping or pruning tactics, a grower can achieve any desired height, or desired bushiness, they desire in their plants.


Posted – July 1st, 2010
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here are several factors to consider when deciding where to plant, including sunlight, microclimate, availability of water, and condition of the soil. But the garden's security should be your first consideration. No matter what size your garden, rip-offs and confiscation are constant threats. But these risks can be minimised by careful planning and common senses. In some countries, law-enforcement agencies take a tolerant attitude toward small gardens, and people grow Cannabis in their backyards. In other areas, police are not as enlightened and place an emphasis on cultivation busts. In either case, the larger the garden, the greater the potential danger.

In Hawaii and California, where marijuana growing has become a booming business, helicopters have been a problem for commercial growers. Aircraft outfitted with visual or infrared equipment, dogs, and finks have all been used to seek out illicit plots. Aircraft equipment is least effective on steep slopes and where the vegetation is lush and varied. Where aircraft are a problem, growers prune marijuana to obscure its distinctive shape. The plants are difficult to detect from a distance when intercropped with bamboo, sunflowers, sugar cane, soybeans, or tall weeds (see Figure 60). Commercial growers often plant several small dispersed stands or many single marijuana plants, which are more difficult to detect and serve as insurance against total loss.

But rip-offs rather than the law are more of a problem for marijuana growers. From every section of the United States, reports confirm that marijuana theft has reached epidemic proportions, and even well-hidden plant fall prey to unscrupulous people. These lowlifes often search near hippie communities and popular planting areas. Their best ally is a loose lip; so keep your garden on a "need to know" basis.

Where to Grow

Given the value of marijuana, many people think they'll grow an acre or two. But it is much harder to find spots suitable for large-scale farming than to find small garden plots. Large gardens require more planning and commitment, and usually a remote area. They may need a lot more time, energy, and investment in materials and labor-saving machinery than smaller gardens.

A small but well-cultivated garden, say, ten by ten feet, can yield over four pounds of grass each crop. By planning realistically, you'll harvest a good stash of potent grass rather than a lot of disappointment.

Moat people who grow marijuana plant it in their backyards. They hide the plants from curious neighbours and passers-by with walls, fences, arbor, or similar enclosures. Some people plant Cannabis as part of their vegetables garden, pruning the plants to make them less conspicuous.

Gardeners often use ingenious ideas to keep their gardens secret. A woman on Long Island grows over thirty large plants in containers in her drained swimming pool. Although some of the plants reach a height of 12 feet, they can't be seen over the enclosing fence.

A couple living near Nashville, Tennessee, took the roof off their three-car garage and painted the walls white to create a high-walled garden. Other growers use sheds with translucent roofs.

Guerilla Farming

Many growers feel safer planting away from their property. Should the garden be discovered, they are not in jeopardy. On the negative side, they usually lose the close contact and control that a home gardener has.

Urban gardeners use makeshift greenhouses, rooftops, vacant lots, and city dumps. Vacant lost that are overgrown with lush weeds can support a good crop, if the marijuana plants get a head start on the indigenous weeds.

Fields, forest clearings, railroad rights-of-way, stream banks, runoff and irrigation ditches, clearings beneath high-tension lines, deserted farms and quarries, overgrown fields, and abandoned houses have all been used as garden spots. In areas where hemp is a problem weed, people plant seeds from high-potency marijuana in the same fields where the weedy hemp grows. Growers harvest the plants in late July before they flower and before the fields are watched or destroyed by law enforcers.

Larger growers often look for rough, unpopulated terrain that is accessible only by plane, helicopter, four-wheel-drive vehicles, or long hikes. They avoid areas which hunters and hikers are likely to use before harvest.

Serious growers often find unusual places to start gardens. A grow in Chico, California, hacks through two hundred yards of dense underbrush and bramble to reach his clearing. In Oregon some growers maintain fields which are a gruelling eight-hour uphill hike from the nearest road. Some Florida farmers commute to their island and peninsula gardens by boats. A master gardener in Colorado lowers himself by rope to a fertile plain 50 feet below a cliff.

A farmer in Hawaii wrote, "The main concern is to grow in an undetectable place where the plants can still get enough sun. This is becoming very difficult to find and some very elaborate subterfuges have been developed. People on Maui are growing plants suspended from trees and on tree platforms! Around here some people carry small plants in buckets far out on the lava fields where there is a light shading from Ohia trees and you don't leave tracks. Also people go into the sugarcane fields, tear out some cane, and put in their plants. I am sure many other things are being done."

Light

Marijuana is a sun plant. The plants will grow in partially shaded areas, but about five hours of direct sunlight are needed for development into a lush bush. Marijuana does best when it has direct sunlight all day. If it grows at all in a heavily shaded area, it will be dwarfed and sparse – a shadow of its potential.

Try to choose a place that maximises light. Flat areas get the most sunlight, but many growers prefer to use slops and hillsides which help to hide the plants. Southern slops usually receive more sun and stronger light than eastern and western slops, which are shaded in the afternoon and morning, respectively. Northern slopes are rarely used, since they get the least sunlight and are also the coldest. Steeper slops are shaded sooner than gradual slopes, and lower areas are shaded earlier than high ones.

Sunlight at high altitudes is more intense, because of the thinner atmosphere and the usually lower pollution. The atmosphere and pollutants at lower elevations absorb and scatter some of the solar radiation.

Backyard gardeners usually compromise between the need for maximum light and the need for subterfuge. An area that gets several hours of direct sunlight and bright unobstructed daylight for the rest of the day will do well. A garden exposed to the south usually gets the strongest light and is the warmest. Overhanging vegetation should be pruned so that the plants are shaded as little as possible.

Most marijuana strains are acclimated to tropical and semitropical latitudes, where the daytime is relatively short (10 to 14 hours, depending on season), but the sunlight is quite strong. At latitudes in the United States, the sun is not as intense (although in the summer the difference is small), but the days are longer, and the plants can grow extremely fast. It is not true that intense sunlight is needed to grow great marijuana. However, a summer characterised by clear sunny weather will usually produce a larger and slightly more potent crop than if the season is cloudy and rainy.

Sunlight can be maximised by adequate spacing and orientation of the garden.


Posted – July 1st, 2010
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The following cloning information is for beginners as well as people that have done it a number of times. Cloning is not by any means hard, at the very most it might be tricky to keep every one of the clones alive for one or two probably won't make it. One of the great things about marijuana is that it grows all over the world in different climates, temperatures, humidity levels, and all together surroundings. If you already feel I've gotten too technical just think back to the days in elementary when the teacher announced the class would be planting apple seeds… Because that's how easy it is, plant the seed and wait. In this case however it's a matter of cutting and planting. The reason to clone is to ensure all plants are female or you may have a good strain you don't want to lose. Either way clones cut down on harvest time with optimal yield. Needed materials:

  • Healthy mother plant
  • Sharp & sterile razor
  • Rooting solution (indolebutyric acid) e.g. root-tone, stim-root…
  • Decent soil or rockwool cubes
  • Small cup of luke warm water

Before you begin make sure and double check that all materials are on hand and ready to go. You will want to start by having a sterile razor blade, you can go about doing this by placing just the blade in boiling water for 10-15 minutes, heating it with a lighter or small flame, or by wiping it down with a high alcohol or antibacterial solution. If you are using rock wool cubes you want to make sure they are saturated with water. Dirt users, be sure the soil you are using has perlite, vermiculite or at the very least sand mixed in evenly for proper drainage. Without drainage things like root rote can happen. A good mix would be 60-40 or 70-30 ratio of dirt to perlite or what ever your using. Also be sure to use an appropriate sized planter or bucket, the more times you transplant the better (so long as you do it right). Next a small dish, like a shot glass or even the lid of the rooting solution for the rooting solution to sit and be open and ready for use. Rooting solutions come in three forms liquid, gel, and powder. I prefer the powder or the gel so you can easily see how much is on the clones stem. After having a clean razor, saturated rock wool or dirt in small buckets, a ready solution, you will than have to get a bowl or glass of luke warm water. You will want to place these materials next to the mama plant you will be using. One of the most important things to remember is that a clone can not be cut an held for a long period of time, any longer than a minute or two starts to do serious damage. Unless the stem is placed in water, if a clone stays in open air it will begin to pull air up the stem, this is called embolism and it's a very bad thing. So take one last look at your set up make sure you can cut and move quickly through a few steps. Be sure your dirt or rock wool has a ¾ to 1 inch hole for the stem to be placed.

With your knife, planting medium (dirt, rock wool), rooting solution and water you're now ready for action. You will need to look at your mama plant to find good soon-to-be clones. Anywhere on the plant is a good place to start, some people prefer bottom appose to the top. The lower on the plant you go means the slower the growth only at the start of things, the reason the growth is slower is because there is lower nitrogen and higher carbohydrate levels. So all though it's slower it is healthier in how it has more natural food. One of my favorite places to clone is right by the top or anywhere right off the stock. A good color choice would be the lighter green or the newer growth. A good size would be four nodes or four sets of leaves (eight leaves all together, 2 per set). Some people will leave a node on the bottom of the stem because hormones will tell a node to become one of three things depending on what's going on with the plant. A node can become a leaf, bud or root, there fore using the same sharp knife or razor used to clone you would cut off one set of leaves leaving the node behind, be sure to bury it and it should become a root. Also a good clone won't have damaged or excessively large sized leaves. Now that you know what to look for in a clone:

1. cut stem at 45 degree angle (cut smooth)
2. put bottom of plant stem in water for 5-10 seconds
3. put bottom of plant stem in rooting solution ¾ to one inch from bottom up, covered all around, this should take 15-25 seconds
4. place new clone in soil or rock wool (only worry about excessive rooting solution if it's clumped on, otherwise a thick coating is good)
5. make sure soil is fairly tight all around the clone and add a small amount of water to let soil settle against the clone

Lighting for clones isn't terribly important other than the hours. A fluorescent light or sunlight through a window works fine, but the clone does need to get at least 15 hrs of light. I suggest 17-20 hrs light, others may argue 24 hrs a day is good. I don't understand this because just like people, plants need to sleep. Marijuana is a plant that doesn't like to have a saturated medium, so you should allow the clones dirt to become light in color and very weightless, if you pick up the little girl and she's got weight to her you may want to wait a day. A clone should get 100ml-200ml of water at one time. I have heard of people leaving water out over night to let any chlorine in the water evaporate, it's probably a good habit. If your clone isn't getting lighter and moisture is in the soil for 4-5 days you may have over watered or not had enough perlite or vermiculite in the soil, drainage is very important make sure to have holes in any home made buckets for the plants.

Clones are fragile at this stage so you're going to have to be careful with them and wait. Hope fully you will notice new growth in 5-10 days, people using soil may need to wait as long as 15 days. To help the chances of your clones living give them an environment much like the outdoors. A fan or something to circulate the air is a good idea, this should be done at least twice a day. Misting clones is much like using lower branches for clones in that they both give the plant lower nitrogen levels to slow the growth and provide higher carbohydrate levels for a healthy baby girl. I've found that a light green color in plants seems to grow the fastest and healthiest. You now hold the power in your hands to over grow successfully! One last note, never give the plant any nutrients that contain indolebutyric acid other wise known as rooting solution if a marijuana plant receives this acid twice in it's life I've read it will make the plant quite sick and may be fatal.

Good luck!
I look forward to hearing good stories of how your clones turned out

D.K.


 
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CLONING TIPS: Learning to clone can be frustrating. The most common Problems and Mistakes are…

-No root stimulator: Use rooting gel or rooting powder everytime you clone. Gel is more popular than powder, but powder works fine.

-No humidity dome:  Keep clones under the dome until rooted(10-12 days is average).

-Clones are cut during 12 hour bud cycle: Always cut during 18 hour(veg cycle)

-Clone is too small: Cut a little branch near the botton of the plant, but not too little. Bigger clones are more succesful. Let plants get big before taking clones.

-No fungicide: microscopic pathogens inside the moist humidity dome environment will quickly cause root-rot. Use "No-Damp", Hydrogen Peroxide, or other anti-fungal(a few drops is plenty).
-Overwatering: Keep things damp but not soggy.

-Wrong Light: Use fluorescent light for clones, and keep it close to the plant.

-Too Cold: Clones do best in a warm environment. Putting the fluorescent light very close to the humidity dome works best.

-Bacteria: Wash hands before cutting clones. Wash the razor blade with alcohol or peroxide between cuts. Wash/Disinfect humidity domes between clone batches. Treat clone-cutting like a surgical procedure
Good Luck – Keep Trying – If you follow these tips you will have good results.


Posted – July 1st, 2010
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Nutrients

There are about 15 elements known to be essential to plant life. Carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen are absorbed from air and water. The remaining 12 elements are absorbed primarily from the soil, in mineral (inorganic) forms such as NO3- and K+. They constitute a natural part of soil that becomes available to the plant os organic matter decays and soil particles such as sand and clay dissolve.

Soil elements that are necessary for normal growth are called nutrients. The elements nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K) are considered major nutrients. The three numbers that appear on all fertiliser packages give the available percentage of these three nutrients that the fertiliser contains; and always in the order N-P-K. For example, 10-2-0 means 10 percent N, 2 percent P (actually, 2 percent P2O5), and no K (actually, no K2O). Fertility is often measured by the amounts of major nutrients a soil contains. Relatively large amount of N-P=K are needed for lush growth.

Three other elements – calcium (Ca), sulphur (S), and magnesium (Mg) – are called secondary nutrients. Plants require less of these nutrients, and most cultivable soils contain adequate amounts for good growth.

Six remaining elements are called trace elements or micronutrients. As their name implies, they are needed in very small amounts. Commercial soils contain enough trace elements to sustain normal growth. The trace elements are also present in manures, humus, ash, and limestone.

Nitrogen

The amount of nitrogen a soil can supply is the best indication of its fertility. Nitrogen, more than any other soil nutrient, is inextricably linked with the living ecosystem. Nitrogen is continually cycled through living systems: from soil to plants and back to the soil, primarily by the activity of soil microorganisms. Nitrogen is essential to all life. Nitrogen is a key element in the structure of amino acids, the molecules which make up proteins. These, and all other biomolecules, are synthesised by the plant. Chlorophyll, genetic material (for example, DNA), and numerous enzymes and plant hormones contain nitrogen. Hence, N is necessary for many of the plant's life processes.

Cannabis is a nitrophile, a lover of nitrogen. Given ample N, Cannabis will outgrow practically and plant. Ample nitrogen is associated with fast, lush growth, and the plant requires a steady supply of nitrogen throughout its life. Marijuana's requirements for N are highest during the vegetative growth stages.

Phosphorous

P is a constituent of energy-transfer compounds such as NADP and ATP, and molecular complexes such as the genes. The energy compounds are necessary for photosynthesis, respiration, and synthesis of biomolecules. Cannabis takes up large amounts of P during germination and seedling stages. During flowering and seed set, Cannabis' need for phosphorous is also high.

Potassium

K influences many plant processes, including photosynthesis and respiration, protein synthesis, and the uptake of nutrients. Just as with P, K uptake is highest during the earliest growth stages. K is associated with sturdy stems and resistance to disease in plants.

Calcium

Ca functions as a coenzyme in the synthesis of fatty compounds and cell membranes, and is necessary for normal mitosis (replication of cells). Plants take up much more Ca than the small amount necessary for normal growth. Ca is not added to soil as a nutrient; is added to adjust the soil's chemistry or pH.

Sulfur

S is a constituent of certain amino acids and proteins. It is an important part of plant vitamins, such as biotin and thiamine, which are necessary for normal respiration and metabolism. (Plants synthesise all vitamins they need.) Most soils suitable for growing marijuana contain plenty of S.

Magnesium

Mg is involved in protein synthesis and metabolism of carbohydrates. Mg is the central element in the structure of chlorophyll molecules and hence has an important role in photosynthesis. Most mineral soils and commercial soils have a good supply of Mg.

Trace Elements

The trace elements (Fe, Mn, Mb, B, Cu, Zn) are particularly important in the coenzymes and catalysts of the plant's biochemistry. Many life processes, particularly the synthesis and degradation of molecules, energy transfer, and transport of compounds within the plant, depend on trace elements. Trace elements are not used in large quantities to spur growth, but are necessary in minute amounts for normal growth. Indoor soils rarely require an addition of trace elements.

All the nutrients are needed for normal growth. However, most of them are supplied by the potting soil. Ca, S, and the trace elements rarely present any problems. For most growers, fertilising will simply require periodic watering with a complete fertiliser, one that contains N, P, and K.

Application: Fertilising

To grow to a large size, marijuana requires a steady supply of nutrients. These can be added to the soil before planting or anytime during growth. Bulk fertilisers are added while the soil is mixed, as described in section 6. These include manures, composts, humus, and concentrated fertilisers, such as rose food. Once the plants are growing, never condition or mulch indoor soils with bulk fertilisers. they promote moulds and fungi and attract other pests to the garden. Concentrated fertilisers can damage the plants if they come in direct contact with the stem or roots.

While the plants are growing, nutrients are given in solution; they are dissolved in water, and the plants are watered as usual. Soluble fertilisers can be either organic or inorganic (chemical), and come in a wide range of concentrations and proportions of nutrients. Two organic fertilisers are liquid manure (about 1.5-1.0-1.5) and fish emulsion ((Some fish emulsion may contain whale by-products.)) (about 5-1-1). Chemical fertilisers commonly may have 20-20-20 or 5-10-5, or may contain only one nutrient, such as 16-0-0.

A 10-5-5 fertiliser is 20 percent soluble nutrients and 80 percent inert ingredients. a 30-10-10 has 50 percent available nutrients and 50 percent inert ingredients. There is approximately the same amount of N in one tsp. of 30-10-10 as in three tsps. of 10-5-5.

Actually, you can almost use any fertiliser, but the nitrogen content should be proportionately high, and there should be some P and L also present. For example, a 20-20-20 would work fine, as would a 12-6-6 or a 3-4-3, but not a 2-10-10 or a 5-10-0.

How much fertiliser to use and how often to fertilise depend primarily on the fertility of the soil and the size of the container relative to the size of the plant. Small plants in large pots usually do not need to be fertilised. Even in small pots, most plants do not need to be fertilised for at least the first month.

As the plants grow, they take nutrients from the soil, and these must be replaced to maintain vigorous growth. During the vegetative stage, even plants in large pots generally require some fertilising, particularly with N.

The rate of growth of indoor plants is usually limited by the amount of light and space, once adequate nutrients are supplied. At this point, an increase in nutrients will not increase growth. Your goal is to supply the plants with their nutritional needs without overfertilising and thus toxifying the soil.

Most fertilisers are designed for home use and have instructions for fertilising houseplants. Marijuana is not a houseplant, and it requires more nutrients than houseplants. The extra nutrients that it needs may be supplied by the use of large pots and a fertile soil mixture. In many cases, you will need to fertilise only in the dosages recommended on fertiliser packages for houseplants. For instance, Rapid-Gro (23-19-17) is popular among marijuana growers; use one tablespoon per gallon of water every two weeks.

A typical program for fertilising might be to fertilise during the fifth week of growth and every two weeks thereafter until flowering. Then discontinue fertilising (or give at one-half concentration) unless the plants show a definite need for nutrients. It is better to fertilise with a more diluted solution more often than to give concentrated doses at longer intervals. (For instance, if instructions call for one tablespoon of fertiliser per gallon once a month, use one-quarter tablespoon per gallon once a week.)

Make sure that a fertiliser is completely dissolved in the water before you apply it. Put the recommended amount of fertiliser in a clear glass bottle and mix with about one cup of water. Shake vigorously and then allow it to settle. If any particles of fertiliser are not dissolved, shake again before adding the rest of the water. If you have difficulty getting all the fertiliser to dissolve, first add hot top water. If the fertiliser still does not completely dissolve, you should use another fertiliser.

Never fertilise a dry soil or dry Soilless medium. If the medium is dry, first water with about one-half quart of plain water per pot. Let the pots sit for about 15 minutes so that the water is evenly dispersed in the pot. Then fertilise as usual.

It is difficult to give instruction for fertilising that will cover all garden situations. You want to supply the plant with its nutritive needs, but overfertilising con toxify the soil. Fertilising according to instructions for houseplants (both in frequency and concentration) should not toxify the soil. However, the plants may sometimes require more frequent or more concentrated fertilising. A good way to judge the plant's needs is not to fertilise one plant, double the fertiliser of another plant, and give the rest of the plants their normal dose. If the unfertilised plant grows more slowly, or shows symptoms of deficiencies, then probably all the plant are depending on soluble fertilisers and must be fertilised regularly. If the plants receiving the double dose grows faster than the other plants, increase the other plants' supply also. On the other hand, if there is little difference among the plants, then the soil is providing the plants with enough nutrients, and they either should not be fertilised or should be fertilised with a less-concentrated solution.

Because they are grown in a relatively small area, it is easy to overfertilise indoor plants. When plants are vigorous, look healthy, and are growing steadily, don't be anxious to fertilise, particularly if you have already fertilised several times with soluble fertilisers. Slow growth or symptoms of deficiencies clearly indicate the need for fertilising.

Overfertilising

In an effort to do the best for their plants, some people actually do the worst. Overfertilising puts excessive amounts of nutrients in the soil, causing toxic soil conditions. Excessive amounts of one nutrient can interfere with the uptake of another nutrient, or change normal plant-soil relations. Since it takes time for a build-up to occur high concentrations of nutrients generally encourage excellent growth until the toxic level is reached.

It takes less N than other nutrients to toxify the soil; hence there is less margin for error when using N. Too much N changes the osmotic balance between plant and soil. Instead of water being drawn into the plant, water is drawn away and the plant dehydrates. The leaves feel limp even though the plant is well watered. The plant will soon die. This tips of the leaves die first and very rapidly the leaves change colour, usually to gold, but sometimes to a brown or green-grey. This change in the plants is faster, more dramatic, and more serious than for any kind of nutrient deficiency.

You can save the plants by immediately leaching the pots as soon as the condition is recognised. Place the pots outdoors or in a sink or bathtub. Discard the top inch or two of loose dirt. Run lukewarm water through the soil until a gallon of water for each two gallons of soil has passed through each pot. The leaves recover turgor in one or two days if the treatment works.

Foliar Feeding

Foliar feeding ((Nitrogen fertilisers are usually NO3 (nitrate) or NO2 (nitrite), substances which are also used to preserve food. They have been shown to undergo reactions to form carcinogenic substances (nitrosamines). As with eating food treated with nitrates and nitrites (hot dogs, sandwich meats, etc.), there is a possibility that such substances might be ingested by eating or smoking foliar-fed plants.)) (spraying the leaves with fertiliser) is a good way to give the plants nutrients without building up the amount of soluble substances in the soil. After the first month, foliar feed the plants with, for example, fish emulsion or a chemical fertiliser. Use any fertiliser that states it can be used for foliar feeding even if it says "not recommended for foliar feeding houseplants." Use a fine-mist sprayer, such as a clean Windex or Fantastik bottle. Dilute the fertiliser according to directions (fish emulsion at one tablespoon per gallon) and spray both sides of the leaves. When foliar feeding, you should spray the plants with plain water the next day, to dissolve unabsorbed nutrients and clean the plants.

Foliar spraying is also a good way to treat plants suffering from nutrient deficiencies. Some nutrient deficiencies actually are caused by the soil's chemistry, rather than by the absence of the nutrient in the soil. Addition of the necessary nutrient to the soil may not cure the plants' problem, because the nutrient becomes locked in the soil, or its uptake may be limited by high concentrations of other elements present in the soil. Foliar feeding is direct, and if the plant's deficiency symptoms do not begin to clear up, then the diagnosis is probably incorrect.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Before Diagnosing

Before you assume the marijuana plant has a nutrient deficiency, make sure the problem is not due to other causes. Examine the marijuana plant leaves, and along the stem and in the soil.

Even under the best conditions, not all leaves form perfectly or remain perfectly green. Small leaves that grew on the young seedling normally die within a month or two. Under artificial lights, bottom marijuana leaves may be shielded from the light, or be too far away from the light to carry on chlorosynthesis. These leaves will gradually turn pale or yellow, and may form brown areas as they die. However, healthy large leaves should remain green at least three to four feet below the plant tops, even on those plants under small light systems. Under low light, the lower-growing shoots as well as the large leaves on the main stem are affected. Some symptoms of nutrient deficiencies begin first at the bottom of the plant, but these symptoms generally affect the lower leaves on the main stem first, and the progress to the leaves on the branches.

Although some deficiency symptoms start on the lower, older leaves, others start at the growing shoots or at the top of the marijuana plants. This difference depends on whether or not the nutrient is mobile and can move from the older leaves to the active growing shoot. Deficiency symptoms of mobile nutrients start at the bottom of the plant. Conversely, deficiency symptoms of immobile nutrients first appear on the younger leaves or growing shoots at the top of the plant. N, P, K, Mg, B, and Mb are mobile in the plant. Mn and Zn are less mobile, and Ca, S, Fe, and Cu are generally immobile.

A dry atmosphere or wet soil may cause the blade tips to turn brown. Brown leaf tips also may indicate a nutrient deficiency, but in this case, more tissue will turn brown than just the end tips.

Chlorosis and necrosis are two terms which describe symptoms of disease in plants. Chlorosis means lacking green (chlorophyll). Chlorotic marijuana leaves are pale green to yellow or white. Chlorotic leaves often show some recovery after the necessary nutrient is supplied. Necrosis means that the tissue is dead. Dead tissue can be gold, rust, brown, or grey. It is dry and crumbles when squeezed. Necrotic tissue cannot recover.

Symptoms of deficiencies of either N, P, or K have the following in common: all involve some yellowing and necrosis of the lower leaves, and all are accompanied by red/purple colour in stems and petioles. The simplest way to remedy these deficiencies is to fertilise with a complete fertiliser containing nearly equal proportions of three nutrients.

Nitrogen

N is the most common deficiency of Cannabis indoors or out. Nitrogen deficiencies may be quite subtle, particularly outdoors, where the soil may continuously provide a small amount of nitrogen. In this case the opt of the plant will appear healthy, and the plant will grow steadily, but at a slow pace. The deficiency becomes more apparent with growth, as more and more of the lower leaves yellow and fall. The first sign is a gradual, uniform yellowing of the large, lower leaves. Once the leaf yellow, necrotic tips and areas form as the leaves dry to a gold or rust colour. In small pots, the whole plant may appear pale (or lime colour) before many bottom leaves are affected to the point that they yellow or die. Symptoms that accompany N deficiency include red stems and petioles, smaller leaves, slow growth, and a smaller, sparse profile. Usually there is a rapid yellowing and loss of the lower leaves that progresses quickly to the top of the plant unless nitrogen is soon added.

Remedy by fertilising with any soluble N fertiliser or with a complete fertiliser that is high in N. If your diagnosis is correct, some recovery should be visible in three or four days. Pale leaves will regain some colour but not increase in size. New growth will be much more vigorous and new stems and petioles will have normal green colour.

Indoors, you should expect plants to need N fertilisation a few times during growth. Once a plant shows N deficiency, you should fertilise regularly to maintain healthy and vigorous growth. Fertilise at about one-half the concentration recommended for Soilless mixtures. Increase the treatment only if the plants show symptoms again. Once the plants are flowering, you may choose not to fertilise if the plants are vigorous. They will have enough N to complete flowering and you don't want to chance toxifying the soil at this late date.

Phosphorous

P deficiency is not common indoors, but may appear outdoors, particularly in dry, alkaline soils or in depleted soils, or during cool weather. Phosphorus deficiency is characterised by slow and sometimes stunted growth. Leaves overall are smaller and dark green; red colour appears in petioles and stems. The leaves may also develop red or purple colour starting on the veins of the underside of the leaf. Generally the tips of most of the leaf blades on the lower portion of the plant die before the leaves lose colour. Lower leaves slowly turn yellow before they die. Remedy with any soluble P-containing fertiliser. Affected leaves do not show much recovery, but the plant should perk up, and the symptoms do not progress.

Potassium

K deficiencies sometimes show on indoor marijuana plants even when there is apparently enough supplied for normal growth. Often, potassium-deficient marijuana plants are the tallest ((Potassium is associated with apical dominance in some plant species.)) and appear to be the most vigorous. Starting on the large lower leaves, the tips of the blades brown and die. Necrotic areas or spots form on the blades, particularly along the margins. Sometimes the leaves are spattered with chlorotic tissue before necrosis develops, and the leaves look pale or yellow. Symptoms may appear on indoor plants grown in a soil rich in organic material. This may be due to high salinity (Na) of some manures or composts used in the soil. Red stems and petioles accompany potassium deficiencies. K deficiencies that could seriously affect your crop rarely occur with indoor soils. However, mild symptoms are quite common. Usually the plants grow very well except for some necrotic spotting or areas on the older leaves. (This condition is primarily and aesthetic problem, and you may choose not to fertilise. See 19.3.)

K deficiencies can be treated with any fertiliser that contains potassium. Wood ashes dissolved in water are a handy source of potassium. Recovery is slow. New growth will not have the red colour, and leaves will stop spotting after a couple of weeks. In a K-deficient soil, much of the added potassium is absorbed by the soil until a chemical balance is reached. Then additional potassium becomes readily available to the plant.

Calcium

Ca deficiencies are rare and do not occur if you have added any lime compound or wood ash. But calcium is added primarily to regulate soil chemistry and pH. Make sure that you add lime to soil mixtures when adding manures, cottonseed meal, or other acidic bulk fertilisers. An excess of acidic soil additives may create magnesium or iron deficiencies, or very slow, stunted growth. Remedy by adding one teaspoon of dolomitic lime per quart of water until the plants show marked improvement. Periodically fertilise with a complete fertiliser. Foliar feeding is most beneficial until the soil's chemistry reaches a new balance.

Sulfur

S is plentiful in both organic and mineral soils. Liming and good aeration increases S availability. Hence S deficiencies should not occur in soils that are suitable for growing marijuana. However, sulfur deficiencies sometimes can be confused with N deficiencies and may also occur because of an excess of other nutrients in the soil solution. Sulfur-deficiency symptoms usually start at the top of the plant. There is a general yellowing of the new leaves. In pots, the whole plant may lose some green colour. Both sulfur and Mg deficiencies can be treated with the same compound, epsom salts (MgSO4). Epsom salts, or bathing salts are inexpensive and available at drug stores.

Magnesium

Mg deficiencies are fairly common. They frequently occur in Soilless mixtures, since many otherwise all-purpose fertilisers do not contain Mg. Magnesium deficiencies also occur in mixtures that contain very large amounts of Ca or Cl. Symptoms of Mg deficiency occur first on the lower leaves. There is chlorosis of tissue between the veins, which remain green, and starting from the tips the blades die and usually curl upward. Purple colour builds up on stems and petioles.

A plant in a pot may lose much of its colour in a matter of weeks. You may first notice Mg symptoms at the top of the plant. The leaves in the growing shoot are lime-coloured. In extreme cases, all the leaves turn practically white, with green veins. Iron deficiency looks much the same, but a sure indication of Mg deficiency is that a good portion of the leaf blades die and curl. Treat Mg symptoms with one-half teaspoon of epsom salts to each quart of water, and water as usual. The top leaves recover their green colour within four days, and all but the most damaged should recover gradually. Continue to fertilise with epsom salts as needed until the plants are flowering well. If you are using soilless mixtures, include epsom salts regularly with the complete mixture. Because Mg deficiencies may indicate interference from other nutrients, foliar-spray with Mg to check your diagnosis if the plants are not obviously recovering.

Iron

Fe deficiency rarely occurs with indoor mixtures. Iron is naturally plentiful in most soils, and is most likely to be deficient when the soil is very acid or alkaline. Under these conditions, which sometimes occur in moist eastern soil outdoors, the iron becomes insoluble. Remedies include adjusting the Ph before planting; addition of rusty water; or driving a nail into the stem. Commercial Fe preparations are also available. If the soil is acidic, use chelated iron, which is available to the plants under acidic conditions.

Symptoms of iron deficiency are usually distinct. Symptoms appear first on the new growing shoots. The leaves are chlorotic between the veins, which remain dark green and stand out as a green network. To distinguish between Mg and Fe deficiencies, check the lower leaves for symptoms. Iron symptoms are usually most prominent on the growing shoots. Mg deficiencies will also show in the lower leaves. If many of the lower leaves have been spotting or dying, the deficiency is probably Mg. Mg deficiencies are much more common than iron deficiencies in marijuana.

Other Trace Elements

The following deficiencies are quite rare. Trace elements are needed in extremely small amounts, and often enough of them are present as impurities in fertilisers and water to allow normal growth. Many houseplant fertilisers contain trace elements. Trace-element deficiencies are more often caused by an extreme pH than by inadequate quantities in the soil. If a deficiency is suspected, foliar-spray with the trace element to remedy deficiencies. Our experience has been that trace-element deficiencies rarely occur indoors. We advise you not to add trace elements to indoor soils, which usually contain large amounts of trace elements already because of the addition of organic matter and liming compounds. It is easy to create toxic conditions by adding trace elements. Manufacturers also recommend using amounts of trace elements that may be too high for indoor gardens; so use them at about one-fourth of the manufacturer's recommended dose if an addition is found to be necessary.

Manganese

Mn deficiency appears as chlorotic and the necrotic spots of leaf tissue between the veins. They generally appear on the younger leaves, although spots may appear over the whole plant. Manganese deficiencies are not common. Manganese is present in many all-purpose fertilisers. Mn deficiencies may occur if large amounts of Mg are present.

Boron

B deficiency may occasionally occur in outdoor soils. The symptoms appear first at the growing shoots, which die and turn brown or grey. The shoots may appear "burned," and if the condition occurs indoors, you might think the lights have burned the plant. A sure sign of boron deficiency is that, once the growing tip dies, the lateral buds will start to grow but will also die. B deficiency can be corrected by application of boric acid, which is sold as an eyewash in any drugstore. Use one-fourth teaspoon per quart of water. Recovery occurs in a few days with healthy growth of new shoots.

Molybdenum

Mb deficiency occurs in outdoor soils, but rarely indoors. Mb is readily available at neutral or alkaline pH. Mb is essential for nitrogen metabolism in the plant, and symptoms can be masked for a while when N fertilisers are being used. Usually there is a yellowing of the leaves at the middle of the plant. Fertilising with nitrogen may remedy some of the yellowing. However, Mb symptoms generally progress to the growing shoots and new leaves often are distorted or twisted. Mb is included in many all-purpose fertilisers.

Zinc

Zn-deficiency symptoms include chlorosis of leaf tissue between the veins. Chlorosis or white areas start at the leaf margins and tips. More definite symptoms are very small, new leaves which may also be twisted or curled radially. Zn deficiencies may occur in alkaline western soils. Galvanised nails can be buried or pushed into the stem. Commercial preparations of zinc are also available.

Copper

Cu deficiencies are rare; be careful not to confuse their symptoms with the symptoms of overfertilisation. The symptoms appear first on the younger leaves, which become necrotic at the tips and margins. Leaves will appear somewhat limp, and in extreme cases the whole plant will wilt. Treat by foliar-spraying with a commercial fungicide such as CuSO4.

Soilless Mixtures

Soilless mixtures are an alternative to using large quantities of soil. Their main advantage is complete control over the nutrients that your plants receive. Soilless mixtures are also inexpensive and easy to prepare. They have a near-neutral pH and require no pH adjustment.

Soilless mixtures are made from soil components such as vermiculite, sand, or perlite. Soilless mixtures should be blended in such a way that they hold adequate water, but also drain well and do not become soggy. A good general formula is two parts vermiculite to one part perlite. About 10 percent coarse sand or gravel can be added to give weight and stability to the pots. Instead of vermiculite, you can use Jiffy-Mix, Metro-Mix, Ortho-Mix, Pro-Mix and other commercial soilless mixtures, which are fortified with a small amount of necessary nutrients, including trace elements. You can also substitute coarse sand for perlite.

Potting

It is best to use solid containers with soilless mixtures rather than plastic bags. Grow the plants in one- to three-gallon containers. There won't be much difference in the size of the plants in one-gallon or in three-gallon sizes, but you will have to water a large plant every day in a one-gallon container. (The plants can always by transplanted to a larger container.) The pots must have drainage holes punched in the bottoms. Pot as usual, and add one tablespoon of dolomitic lime or two tablespoons of wood ash to each gallon of mixture.

Germinating

Plants may have problems germinating in soilless mixtures. The top layer of mixture often dries rapidly, and sprouts may die or not germinate. Young seedlings also seem to have difficulty absorbing certain nutrients (notably potassium), even though adequate amounts of nutrients are being added. Since this difficulty may retard growth, it is best to start the plants in small pots with soil. Use eight-ounce paper cups, tin cans, or quart milk containers cut in half. Mix three parts topsoil or potting soil to one part soilless mixture. Fill the starting pots and germinate as usual. When the plants are two to three weeks old, transplant to the soilless mixture. First moisten the soil, and then remove the soil as intact as possible. You might handle the transplant like making castles, by carefully sliding the moist soil out of the pot. Or you can cut away the sides of the container while you place the transplant in the soilless mixture. When watering, make sure you water around the stem to encourage roots to grow into the soilless mixture.

Peat pellets that expand are also good for starting seedling. Plant several seeds in each pellet, and place it in the soilless mixture after the sprouts appear.

Fertilising

Soilless mixtures can be treated with a trace-element solution. We have grown crops with no special addition of trace elements, and the plants completed their lives without showing symptoms of trace-element deficiency. In these cases there were apparently enough trace elements in the lime and the fertilisers that were used to provide the major nutrients. Many all-purpose fertilisers also contain trace elements. However, it is a good idea to treat soilless mixtures with a mild solution of trace elements before planting. Large plants can be treated a second time during the third or fourth month of growth. Do not use trace elements more often unless plants show definite trace-element deficiencies.

Iron is the only trace element that is needed in more than minute quantities. Iron can be supplied by mixing a few brads or nails into the soilless mixture.

Use any soluble fertiliser that is complete, that is, that contains some of each of the major nutrients. Choose one with a formula that is highest in N but contains a good portion of both P and K. For example, Rapid-Gro is 23-19-17 and works well for soilless mixtures.

Table 18 gives a formula that has worked well for us. The figures in it are a guide for estimating the amounts of fertiliser to use. When choosing a fertiliser by means of this chart, use N for a guide. For example, suppose the only fertiliser you can find that has good proportions of the major nutrients as a 20-15-15. Divide 5 (the figure for N in the table) by 20 (the figure for N in the fertiliser), and get the result 1/4. That is, the fertiliser if four times as concentrated in N as you need; so you would use one-fourth the amount of fertiliser shown in Table 18. For instance, during the vegetative stage, you would give the plants one-half to three-fourths of a level teaspoon of fertiliser per gallon of water each time you water.

Table 18 – Guidelines for Fertilizing Soilless Mixtures Growth Stage N P2O5 K20 Amount Seedling 5 3 4 1.5 to 2 tsp/gal Vegetative 5 2 3 2 to 3 tsp/gal Flowering 5 5 3 0.5 tp 1.5 tsp/gal It is also not necessary to fertilise in these ratios. You could use a 10-10-10 fertiliser throughout growth; you would use half the amounts listed in Table 18. The most important point is that the plant receive enough of each element, not that they receive specific proportions.

Fertilising according to volume of fertiliser is not very accurate, and also does not take into account other variables (such as variety, light, temperature, etc.) that determine the amounts of nutrients your plants can use. However, it is a simple and useful way of estimating the plant's needs. You can more accurately gauge the plants' needs by giving a sample plant twice the concentration of fertiliser, and another half the concentration. Their performance will give you an idea of whether you are using too much or too little fertiliser. Too much fertiliser is the most damaging condition; so when in doubt give the plants less rather then more. Do not continue to give the plants the recommended amounts of fertiliser if the sample plant that is receiving less nutrients is growing as well as the other plants.

Another way of monitoring the plant's growth is to grow a few plants in a standard soil mixture. This will show you whether the plants in the soilless mixture are growing as fast as they should, and will give you a reference for diagnosing deficiencies.

Besides providing N, P, K, and the trace elements, you must also give your plants secondary nutrients. Ca is added by mixing a tablespoon of lime or two tablespoons of wood ash when preparing the soilless mixture. (Calcium is usually present in water and in many fertilisers as part of the salts that contain nutrients, for example, Ca(NO3)2.) Magnesium and sulfur are both found in common epsom salts, MgSO4. Use one-eighth teaspoon of epsom salts to each teaspoon of 5 percent N. For example, if you are using a 20 percent N fertiliser, you would use half a teaspoon of MgSO4 to each teaspoon of fertiliser. (Actually, enough sulfur is often present, either as part of the soilless mixture or as part of nutrient salts to allow growth.) Magnesium can also be supplied by using dolomitic limestone.

Soilless mixtures are something between soil mixtures and water cultures (hydroponics). With hydroponics, the plants are grown in a tank of water. The fertilisers are added in solution, and the water solution is periodically circulated by a pump.

Another variation on soilless mixtures is to add a small amount of soil or humus to the soilless mixture. Some examples are:

1. 4 parts soilless mixture to 1 part soil; 2. 8 parts soilless mixture to 1 part humus; 3. 15 parts soilless mixture to 1 part limed manure. Overfertilising is less a problem with soilless mixtures then with soil, because of higher concentrations of salts are tolerable in soilless mixtures and because excess salts are easily flushed out of the mixture. A good idea is to flush each pot once after two months of growth, again after four months. Any time the plants show symptoms of overfertilisation, leach the pots immediately. Flood each pot with plain water so that it runs out the drainage holes. Continue flooding the pots until a couple of gallons of water have run through the pot. Don't fertilise for at least a week. Then fertilise with a more dilute solution that was used before. {Figure 51a. Over fertilisation. Leaves turn bright gold and die, starting at the top of the plant.}