t’s that time of the year when cultivators start preparing plants for the outdoor season. Here’s what you need to do to get your cannabis garden growing.
Choose Your Strains Wisely
Certain strains thrive in certain climates. Sativas like Blue Dream are generally more resistant to high temperatures and humidity levels. They can take up to 14 weeks to flower in the hot climates of the Southwest or Southeast. Indicas like OG Kush, which flower in seven to 10 weeks, are more acclimated to areas like the Midwest or Northeast. They prefer dryer climates. If it rains all summer, you may want to choose a hybrid strain. It’s important to think about your local climate when deciding which strains to grow and when to bring plants outdoors.
Hate, Germinate 2 Don’t
Start germinating seeds in early spring— April or May, depending on your climate. You can acquire them from a seed bank. To begin, take a small paper towel and dampen it. Squeeze out any excess water and lay the towel down on a flat surface. Put the seeds in the center of the towel, fold it two or three times, being careful not to lose any seeds, and then place it into a baggie or container. Leave it in a dark, warm place out of direct sunlight. Check the seeds daily to make sure they don’t dry out. Once little white sprouts are present, they’re ready to move to small cups or pots. Alternatively, you can start with clones from a previous crop or acquire them
from a friend or a dispensary. Simply take the cuttings and place them in a soil medium of your choice (see Step 3 below) and let them take root and flourish.
Grow Space and Soil
While the seeds are “popping,” you’ll need to decide whether to plant directly into the ground (assuming you have a backyard or land) or transplant them into 5- or 10-gallon buckets. You’ll also want to consider how much sunlight—you don’t want too much or too little—reaches your selected space. Keep all of nature’s elements in mind when thinking about where you want to grow; for instance, too much wind or torrential rains can damage or drown your plants. If you do decide to plant directly into the ground, test the soil’s pH. It should be between 6.0-7.0. If you elect to go with buckets, think about the kind of medium you want. Sandy soil is generally more acidic and lower in nutrients, but it holds warmth fairly well. Clay soil has a higher pH level and is jam-packed with nutrients, but tends to have drainage issues. A silty, plant-debris soil is the closest to pH balanced while still providing plenty of nutrients. Whatever medium you choose, be sure to check the pH regularly and test for any contaminants. You can use a soil testing service or order your own kit to make sure that it’s balanced and free of contaminants. One final note about choosing a location: The fewer people who know about your grow, the less likely it is that someone will tell someone who’ll tell someone else who may sneak in to your garden and harvest your plants before you do. SPRING 2018
FREEDOM LEAF 67
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