Excerpt from Jorge’s Book:
Outdoor growing is more popular than indoor growing in countries with lax cannabis laws. The reason is simple–sunshine is free; lights and electricity cost money. More people grow outdoors than indoors for this simple reason.
Cannabis is a strong plant that can be grown successfully almost anywhere.As long as you pay attention to security, virtually any growing area can be altered enough, often with little effort, to grow a healthy crop.
Do your research before planting.Read garden columns and talk to local growers about the best time to plant and grow tomatoes or similar vegetables, then plan accordingly.Also inquire about common pests and insects. Collect publications on local growing conditions. These are often available at nurseries or through your local department or ministry of agriculture.
You can grow anywhere. For example,one of the first guerrilla crops I planted was on a freeway on-ramp in a city in the Northwest U.S. in the 1970s.I planted seedlings in a clay soil in a blackberry infested environment in late June. I gave the plants a single application of time release fertilizer.By late September there were short little female plants with dense little buds to smoke. The harvest weighed in at just under a pound of fragrant but leafy little buds. Everybody called it“homegrown.”
My first big guerrilla crop was planted and harvested in the California foothills. I hiked up one of the many canyons carrying a 3.5 hp engine that weighed 30 pounds, (14 kg) plus the pump (another 30 pounds) and the plumbing connections that made it attach to a 2-inch (5 cm) inlet and a1.5-inch (3.5 cm) outlet. Schlepping four, 30-gallon (115 L) plastic garbage cans to act as reservoirs, 10-foot (3 m)lengths of PVC pipe, and 200 feet (60m) of hose was a challenge!
I made these trips carrying conspicuous supplies at four in the morning. The hard part was carrying it all back down when I closed down the grow show!
After many trips up the canyon, I harvested six pounds of Colombian and Mexican bud. The quality was fair, but I harvested early and had the only fresh buds in town in mid-September. In “the good old days,” rural real estate for sale in northern California often advertised the number of marijuana growing holes that had already been amended.
Now Park Rangers carry guns and have the authority to arrest “suspected”growers. Latin mafias have also moved into the National Forests installing illegal immigrants with guns to grow and defend large patches of guerrilla grass.The War on Drugs has turned much of America into an unsafe place to live and grow.
Australia, Canada, much of Europe,and many other parts of the world are significantly different; growers can plant in their backyards, greenhouses, or in remote locations with little fear of arrest.
Selecting the right strains for your climate is just as important as finding the perfect location. This is a quick rundown on some popular outdoor strains. The strains are grouped in five different categories distinguished by their finishing times.
It is a good idea to grow several different strains with different finishing times to spread out the work and drying over the course of time. If you grow a spring crop, you can harvest much of the season.
- ‘Hash Plant’, ‘Afghani’, ‘Hindu Kush’, etc., are great varieties that finish mid- to late-August. The yield and potency are quite high, but the fragrance is high,too! These strains are for experienced growers. They need lots of intense sunlight and must be watered from below, not from above with rain. These varieties start to bud when the days are long and the sunlight is intense. The buds fatten up quickly on plants with a short, squat growth habit.Rain followed by hot sunny days can foster mold, which could decimate the crop in a short time. Leaf has seen dried, cured buds the size of softballs that were packed with mold. They were thrown away. To avoid mold problems, he suggests harvesting when about 10 percent of the pistils have
died back. Even heavy dew can cause a moldy disaster! Leaf loves ‘Hash Plant’.
- ‘Early Pearl’, ‘Early Queen’, ‘Early Riser’, etc., ‘Manitoba Poison’, and similar strains finish from late-August to early-September at latitude 49° north.They are potent and yield a little better than the plants listed above. They grow from six to nine feet (1.8-2.7 m) tall an dare quite bushy. Most of these strains are mold resistant and easy to grow–excellent choices for novices or growers with little time to look after their plants.
- ‘Mighty Mite’, ‘Durban Poison’,‘Jack Herer’, etc., finish mid- to late-September. The yield and potency are very good, and the odor is not too intense. All the plants grow a huge,dominant main cola with several large terminal buds on main branches. They may need trellising to avoid broken branches. Topping appears to increase yield. These strains are fairly low maintenance,but the more love you give,the more they return. These plants grow well if left alone until mid-September and have a good harvest as long as they do not dry out or fall over. ‘Mighty Mite’ is another favorite.
- ‘Blueberry’, ‘White Widow’, ‘White Rhino’, ‘Super Silver Haze’, ‘Pure Power Plant’, etc., tend to finish mid to late-October. Yields and potency are very high! They do not smell a lot while growing, but that changes when they are cut! They grow seven- to ten-feet (2-3m) tall and yield heavily. They require some attention to get the best crop.‘Super Silver Haze’ and ‘Pure Power Plant’ can be a bitch to grow because they often develop mold near harvest when the weather is damp. However,a mild to moderate frost tends to bring out some nice (purple) colors. They all do well outdoors but grow even better indoors.
- ‘Skunk #1’, ‘Northern Lights #5’,‘Big Bud’, and pure or nearly purgatives finish from late-October to early-November. Sometimes sativa do not finish if the weather cools too much and snow comes. One year, on November 15th, the first snowfall had to be shaken off at harvest! About 50percent of the pistils had died back.‘Skunk #1’ is extremely smelly; the wind can literally carry the skunk scent for a mile. All of the plants in this group have a large to huge yield capable of producing several pounds each. ‘Big Bud’ yields an enormous amount; the bottom branches must be tied or staked to avoid breaking from bud weight.Potency is superb in all plants in this category except for ‘Big Bud.’All plants grow tall. ‘Big Bud’ and‘Skunk #1’ grow 10-14 feet (3-4 m) tall.‘Northern Lights’ are often taller! A few sativa can grow to 20 feet (6 m)!
Fungus can become a problem with these late-flowering plants. They withstand rain and light frost well; many can take a few light snowfalls.After all, they grow like weeds!
To read more, click here to purchase Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower’s Bible