Will California be the pioneer in drug policy changes?

21 07 2010

Legalize-cannabisCalifornia — In 1971 a group of teenagers in San Rafael, north of San Francisco, started meeting after school, at 4:20 p.m., to get high. The habit spread, and 420 became code for fun time among potheads worldwide.

Ever since, California has remained in the vanguard of global cannabis culture. Oaksterdam University in Oakland is today unique in the world as a sort of Aristotelian lyceum for the study of all aspects — horticultural, scientific, historical — of the weed.

Legally, California has also been a pioneer, at least within America. In 1996 it was the first state to allow marijuana to be grown and consumed for medicinal purposes. Since then, 13states and the District of Columbia have followed, and others are considering it.

But this year California may set a more fundamental, and global, precedent. It may become the first jurisdiction in the world to legalize, regulate and tax the consumption, production and distribution of marijuana. Read the rest of this entry »





Nutrient deficiency: Magnesium (Mg)

21 05 2010

Summary

Mg Deficiency

Magnesium is a vital element for humans, plants and animals. Among other things it is a building block for chlorophyll in plants so it is essential for photosynthesis and it also plays an important role in a number of metabolic processes. Magnesium compounds have been used since antiquity in medicine for heartburn, against poisoning and as a laxative. Magnesium powder is used on equipment for gymnastic exercises because it makes the hands rough and absorbs moisture. Magnesium is a very light, malleable, elastic metal with a silver-white sheen that burns with a blinding light in the air. It is one of the most common elements on earth and the earth’s crust contains approx. 2.09% magnesium, but only in compound form. Magnesium compounds are frequently found in seawater, salt deposits, water from salt lakes and in some mineral waters. It is also present in tap water and, together with calcium, is responsible for the hardness of water. Inorganic, magnesium fertilizers are prepared from the same salts as are used when preparing potassium fertilizers. When grown from seeds cannabis don’t need extra nutrients for the first two weeks.

  • There are no visible symptoms in the first 3 – 4 weeks, the plant continues to grow well, is dark green and looks healthy.
  • The deficiency symptoms first become visible in cannabis after 4 – 6 weeks when small, rust brown necrotic spots and/or cloud-like chlorosis appear under the flowering top on the middle-aged leaves. The color of the young leaves and the development of the flowers remains normal.
  • The size and number of the rust brown spots increases on the leaves while the chlorosis also spreads and becomes yellower.
  • The symptoms spread throughout the plant which will now look a sorry sight.
  • If it is a serious deficiency the young leaves will also become chlorotic and production will fall.

Read the rest of this entry »





The 10 Biggest Mistakes Growers Make

13 10 2009

Just thought we’d share some helpful tips on what NOT to do when growing cannabis:

culture cannabis, marijuana, how to grow

  • 1. Don´t Over water – Over watering kills weed plants. Water once the top few inches of the soil dry out.  Hydroponics is harder to over water because rockwool has such excellent drainage properties. As long as the rockwool cubes are not sitting in liquid it is virtually impossible to over water a hydroponic setup. A hydroponic setup could either be watered constantly as the drip method, or once to three times a day as in the flood and drain method.
  • 2. Don´t Tell People – Why? They will only be jealous. People love to feel important and that is why they will tell other people; because others will listen to them. – Keep it to yourself.
  • 3. Touch/kill Germinating Seeds – Please have some patience. It sometimes takes 10 days for a seed to sprout. The paper towel method is recommended but be careful  because you must handle the seeds when transferring them from the paper towel to your growing medium. This must be done with extreme care!
  • 4. Grow seeds from seeded weed – One of the greatest disappointments known to the growing man.

90% of what the final product will be is in the seed´s genetics and has little to do with the environment the plant is grown in.

Many get their hands on the seed and think they have a gold mine. They will probably grow something like this: hermaphrodites, tall late flowering females coupled with early flowering males. This is because the only pollen that could have produced the seed was from a hermaphrodite or a very stunted and late flowering male the grower did not notice. Unless you are prepared for possible disappointment don´t use “unknown”  cannabis seeds. This is why people buy seeds from seedbanks such as Sensi Seeds, White Label Seeds, Weed Seed Shop or Flying Dutchmen.

  • 5. Don´t Over fertilize -Fertilize after first 2 spiked leaves appear follow the label. DON´T FERTILIZE EVERY TIME YOU WATER!!! Start with 25% and work your way up!  Leach the plants with lots of pure water every 2-4 weeks.  If the leaves suddenly twist or fold under, Leach and Spray with pure water for several days!
  • 6. Don´t Under fertilize – Under fertilizing is less common but it happens. If you are one of those people that likes to give the plant just enough nutrients make sure you use a organic soil mixture with blood meal and bone meal or some slow release fertilizer with micro nutrients.
  • 7. Don´t Start Too Early Outdoors – For several reasons! If you are starting outdoors June 1 is perfect. But if I start earlier I will get bigger buds right? Probably Wrong! Its strange but usually true: Plants started in early spring will get big but they will take significantly longer to start flowering. This is because at the peak vegetative period they sense the light cycles getting longer and longer, until June 21. But they don´t realize that its time to flower yet. Finally in the middle of August the plant says “HEY” “time to flower already” and it produces buds in August and September or later they will be tall as trees but thinner buds due to the fact that the sun is not as strong in September. Now if the ganja plants were put out later, as soon as they get a foot off the ground they say “what´s going on” I am just in early veggie and the light hours aren´t getting longer in fact SHORTER” Then the plants go crazy and since the sun is so bright in July and August you get amazing 6 foot trees that are heavier than the plants started in April!!! in addition to finishing earlier the late started plants are not nearly as noticeable.

Indoors is the same for different reasons. The light cannot penetrate more than a foot or two. So flower when plants are a foot tall. If you wait longer because you want bigger yields, you will get smaller yields and wait longer for them.

  • 8. Don´t Start too Late Outdoors – Plants need atleast a few weeks growing time before flowering starts as the summer days get shorter.  Starting too late in the summer will lead to small and/or immature plants by the time the season ends (harvest time)
  • 9. Don´t Provide A Bad Environment – Always provide air circulation and fresh air even during the night cycle is fine. All the air indoors should be replaced every 5-10 minutes.  Humidity between 30-70% temp aim for around 75-85´ Even seedlings need a gentle fan to strengthen the stems.
  • 10. Don´t Harvest Too Early – We know its hard. You see the buds and resin forming at a rapid rate. The buds are potent and you feel tempted to chop em down! The only problem is that another 25% of the weight will form in 2 more weeks. Wait until the plants have totally stopped growing and the white pistils are at least 50-75% brown.

*NOTE: Outdoors if security is a factor make your own call on when to sacrifice the fields. Also take buds continuously in case of thieves.*





Cannabis to be legalized in Jamaica?

14 08 2009

Champs de Cannabis au Jamaïque

Exports of Jamaica’s primary agricultural products – sugar, bananas and bauxite – have slumped severely since the start of the global financial crisis. As this crisis deepens, many prominent Jamaicans are calling for the cultivation and exportation of marijuana to be legalized for medicinal purposes.

Read the rest of this entry »





Cannabis Growing Guide 6/6 – Flowering & Harvesting

28 01 2009

The flowering

Indoor your cannabis grow when you give them 18 hours light per day. If you cut this to 12 hours of light per day they will start flowering.  This means 12 hours of light and 12 hours of absolute darkness. This cycle will have to continue, depending on the kind, for 8 to 9 weeks. After that period the marijuana should be ready for harvesting.. Flowering plants should not be sprayed often as this will promote mold and rot. Keep humidity levels down indoors when flowering, as this is the most delicate time for the plants in this regard.
If you are growing your plants outside you will have to wait until the days grow shorter at the end of the summer/ beginning of the fall. September is the harvest month for weed in your garden.
Look for the white hairs to turn red, orange or brown, and the false seed pods ( you did pull the males, right?) to swell with resins. When most of the pistils have turned color (~80%), the flowers are ripe to harvest.

Harvesting

Most new growers want to pick early, because they are impatient. That is OK! Just take buds from the middle of the plant or the top. Allow the rest to keep maturing. Often, the tops of the plants will be ripe first. Harvest them and let the rest of the plant continue to ripen. You will notice the lower buds getting bigger and fuzzier as they come into full maturity. With more light available to the bottom portion of the plant now, the plant yields more this way over time, than taking a single harvest.
Do not touch those buds! Touch only the large fan leaves if you want to inspect the buds, as the THC will come off on your fingers and reduce the overall yield if mishandled.

Drying

Do not cure pot in the sun, it reduces potency. Slow cure hanging buds upside down in a ventilated space. That is all that is needed to have great sensi. Drying in a paper bag works too, and may be much more convenient. Bud tastes great when slow dried over the course of a week or three.

Use a seal-a-meal to hermetically seal the bag with no air inside. Never ever store your buds when they are not 100% dry.  Freezing your buds is the best way to conserve your weed for a long long time.

<< Cannabis Growing Guide 5/6 – Male/Female





Cannabis Growing Guide 5/6 – Male/Female

28 01 2009

Cannabis plants are either male or female. The male plants produce pollen which pollinates the flowers of the female plant, which once pollinated, produce seeds. If the female plant is not pollinated (if there are no male plants nearby producing pollen), the flower/buds continue to develop and produce THC. Female plants which are not pollinated are referred to as sensemilla (without seeds).

Usually 40-50% of the plants are male.

A female can either generate a large seedless bud, a large bud with a few seeds, or a large bud that is almost totally seeds. The first case is achieved by removing all the male plants before any of their flowers open. The second case occurs when a few male flowers have opened but you remove them before any more open. The third case occurs when you miss-time the flowering of the male. This can be devastating if you have big female plants because you could loose 90% of the smokable herb to seed production.

The spotting of males is one of the most difficult of things to explain to a person that`s never grown since it really takes careful attention to how the tops of male plants look at this stage of development. Even experienced growers will be unsure at times and will have to wait till the next visit to be sure. When a male enters the stage of flower development, the tips of the branches where a bud would develop will start to grow what looks like a little bud (little balls) but it will have no white hairs coming out of it. Females will have no balls and will have small white hairs.

Male is on left with cluster of balls and female is on right with wispy white hairs.

Difference between Male and Female Cannabis plants

Difference between Male and Female Cannabis plants

Males are often, but not always, tall with stout stems, sporadic branching, and few leaves. Males are usually harvested except those used for breeding, after their sex has been determined, but before the pollen is shed. When harvesting, especially if close to females, cut the plant off at the base, taking care to shake the male as little as possible. This helps prevent any accidental pollination by an unnoticed, open male flower.

Tip for beginners: Buy feminized seeds! This way you will only get female plants.

<< Cannabis Growing Guide 4/6 – Indoor Growing

Cannabis Growing Guide 6/6 – Flowering & Harvesting >>





Cannabis Growing Guide 4/6 – Indoor Growing

28 01 2009

You can make a very professional weed growing room out of your basement, attic or guest room. By growing inside you are able to control the complete growing environment. It will require some knowledge though. We will give you an impression of what it means when you want to become an indoor weed farmer; a short description of the complete indoor cannabis culture. With some knowledge and “green fingers” it will be easier than you think.

The climate of the plant will determined by 3 factors: air, light and soil..

Read the rest of this entry »





Growing Cannabis Guide 3/6 – Outdoor growing

28 01 2009

As we haven’t been able to post for quite some time now, we will make it up to you by posting the whole growing cannabis guide in one go. Here is episode 3!

10 weeks after sowing the seeds the plants will be  30-40 centimeter (10-15 inches) high. During the months May an June we can move the seedlings into the ground outside. In the other months of the year it is best to do the growing inside. For inside growing we will have to move the seedlings to larger containers.

When you take your youngsters outside please keep in mind they still have to get used to the sun, give them some shade the first week.
You can improve the soil in your garden to get better results from your hemp plants. It just depends on how rich the ground is. If other plants are doing well in your garden you won`t even have to do a thing. But in some areas the soil can be poor.

Improving the soil

Buy a bag of organic potting soil and mix this in with the existing soil. This soil is not often found at your local all-purpose store so some searching may be required. Potting soil is richer soil than commercial top soil so it goes a little bit farther when mixed with the existing soil. Lime may be necessary in areas with acidic soil and peat moss is a good additive for soils with a clay type consistency. How much fertilizers you will be using is based on experience and guessing, using twice amount of  the prescription on the bag will do fine. But beware that an overdoses of  fertilizers can be deadly to your plants.

The soil where you will plant your babies must not be too wet or too dry. The distance between each weed plant depends on the space you have. The best would be 1 square meter per plant. If you put the plants to close together they will prevent one an other from absorbing the light, which could be causing big differences in growth. If you are not using feminized seeds half of the plants in the ground will turnout to be male (so useless as always) and will have to be removed to prevent seed production.

It is a good habit to have a spare plant in a pot for every plant that is standing in the ground.  This way you can easily replace a male by a female as soon at this can be detected. Click here to read more about this. Also take care the wind can blow through your cannabis plants, outside cannabis that is too much protected from wind will be extra vulnerable for fungus.

<< Cannabis Growing Guide 2/6 – From seed to seedling

Cannabis Growing Guide 4/6 – Indoor growing >>





Guerilla growing with the Dutch government

10 09 2008

As you might know the Dutch parlement building has somewhat of a garden. They even have a nice pond (also known as the hofvijver) with an little island in the middle.

You also may have heard about how the Dutch government has been increasingly hostile towards cannabis  over the past years.

These facts inspired a few creative minds and they decided it was time to plant some cannabis on the above mentioned island using a blowpipe and an abundance of cannabis seeds. :)

Have a look at the video Chris Pieplenbosch put on his youtube channel.





How To: Easy Hydroponic Growing

15 07 2008

Hydroponic cultivation need not be complex or expensive, and requires only a little more equipment than indoor growing using soil.

Hydroponic growing differs very little from soil growing. The plants grow and flower in the same light cycle and are fed the same nutrients – nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (N-P-K,

plus micro-nutrients and trace elements). The main difference is that hydro plants root and grow in a neutral medium which, unlike soil, has no nutrients of its own.

Hydroponic nutrient is water soluble and is immediately available to the plants when applied to the growing medium, while organic nutrients must be broken down by bacteria in order to enrich the soil to which they are added.

Aside from the indoor basics of light(s), timer, fans and air exchange (all of which are required for indoor soil growing, of course), hydroponic growers will require two meters for testing the nutrient water they give to their plants.

  • An electrical conductivity or EC meter measures the amount of nutrient in the feed water and presents it as a simple number, allowing growers to be sure that they do not over-feed or under-feed their plants. Nutrient meters in different regions and countries may measure in other scales: TDS (total dissolved solids) or PPM (parts per million).
  • A pH meter tests the acidity/alkalinity of water. Cannabis prefers an acidic growing medium, so hydroponic feed water is usually lowered to around pH 5.8.
  • Most growers will also require a substance for lowering and/or raising pH. Tap water typically has a higher pH than ideal for hydroponic cannabis, so it usually must be lowered. Household products such as lemon juice or vinegar are sufficiently acidic to lower pH.

In addition, hydro cultivation will require a hydroponic growing medium, such as rock-wool (ideal for starting seeds and clones) or expanded clay-balls (a re-useable medium and an excellent second stage for plants that start in rock-wool), and hydroponic nutrient for the growing and the flowering stages.

Cannabis plants growning hydro on rockwool

In this diagram, plants are growing in rockwool slabs. The reservoir is filled with nutrient water, and contains a pump(attached to a timer) which delivers feed-water to the slabs several times per day.The slabs are inclined so that excess water runs off and flows back to the reservoir.








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