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Outdoor Growing Guide

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Well-Grown Organic Outdoor


Various systems and techniques are available indoors and out, depending on the wants and needs of the grower. For outdoor planting I especially stress no chemicals! The best bud you will ever have is well-grown organic outdoor, trust me.

In these northern latitudes it is tough to grow many fine cannabis strains outdoors, as sometimes the fall weather is a little too harsh on nearly ripe buds, creating disasters for cash-croppers and disappointment for the personal grower. It is therefore logical to try out a number of different strains. Besides, everybody likes a variety of flavours. A lot of one bud can get dull, even if it is "da best."

Don't get discouraged if your dream harvest doesn't materialize on your first attempt, every successful grower has had his or her share of disappointments from time to time. Work on improving your technique, and trying to minimize possible impediments to your plants' general well-being.


Herb Pirates


The number one problem planting outdoors in BC is herb-pirates who actively seek and steal the fruits of your labour. These are not the peace officers that serve and protect us, but genuine thieves. They are dealt with harshly when caught and rightly so.

I heard of one poacher that got caught by angry growers in their large plantation on Vancouver Island. They had probably invested a year to prepare the large crop and some thief came with bags. This was clearly a premeditated larceny, not a lost hiker taking a few flowers from a lovely plant. The thief was tied to a chair in a curing shack and forced to single-handedly manicure the entire harvest for two weeks. The growers kept masks on and freed him later.

He was a very lucky fellow, as many would not be so lenient. Don't even think about ripping off somebody else's creation, just plant your own. If you do get burned once in a while, be comforted that you still added a little pot to the world, probably to people that could use more peaceful feelings of understanding. Keep planting!


The Time is Now


If you haven't started yet the time is now to begin your outdoor patch indoors. If you can't start with reputable clones from a reliable friend then you can find quality seeds at any "complete" cannabis store. Start them as soon as possible so that by the time you take them outdoors they have already been "sexed" (males removed) and grown as large as planting logistics will allow.

Fluorescents provide adequate light for a few crowded trays of clones to stretch and stiffen, before they are transplanted into little containers that are light and transportable, such as little plastic pots, modified pop bottles, milk cartons, beer glasses and (yuck!) styrofoam cups. Whatever little pots you choose just make sure that they have adequate drainage holes. When I take that special spring camping trip I like my babies to be at least eighteen inches with a sturdy stem.

Plants that are started indoors must be hardened off for a few days in partial shade before being planted in a location that is fully exposed to the Sun. The Sun is stronger than any halide or sodium bulb and a lot less expensive. We'd be fools not to use it.

Here's the deal: the spring equinox is March 21, and from that time onward the days lengthen until summer solstice June 21, which is the longest day of the year. From then on the days get shorter until the fall equinox, you get the picture. When the daylight is long cannabis grows vegetatively, expanding its dimensions with leaves and stems. As the days get shorter the plants sense the change of the seasons and prepare to make seed, by flowering. In the absence of pollen from a male cannabis plant the female's flowers will be seedless; the choice of growers and smokers everywhere, if it is grown and cured well.


A Good Site


The most important aspect of planting outdoors is carefully choosing a good location. To get full exposure to the Sun in Canada your garden is best on a hillside facing South. You should have access to fresh water nearby. Some travel far, some plant close to home; a bit of both couldn't hurt. Remember what they say about eggs and baskets, it applies to guerrilla patches as well.

I should tell you to hide it well by planting in areas that easily camouflage your plants, such as near sumachs and cedars or a plethora of other foliage. But I'm getting old, lazy and righteously indignant about having to plant in secrecy. I've shamelessly grown forty plants on my balcony in Vancouver, completely open for all the world to see. They were easily visible from the busy street below, and you could smell their delicious fragrance on the sidewalk.

I grew over a hundred different plants in my back yard, just to see the different varieties. None of it was sold, it was all admired and shared. Several times a whirlybird would hover over my back yard and its occupants would watch me watering my plants. I routinely smiled, waved and gave them the finger. I am ready and willing to confront anyone that attempts to interfere with my basic human right to access any part of creation I can imagine. If you can grow it, it belongs to you.


Grow Crafty


If you're not as ornery as me then you should grow as craftily as you can manage. Some people are hanging plants in trees, and that old standby the cornfield is still popular, however it is probably the first place the spy planes check. Late planting is a great idea; the plants seem to mature earlier, yet are much smaller and harder to detect.

I had the pleasure of smoking from a record harvest of well grown Northern Lights #2. Three growers produced clones of an excellent specimen, approached a soya bean farmer they knew and told him that they would give him $10,000 to let them plant a bunch of their little plants in July in his beans so that they wouldn't get too big. After all, the searchers are looking for big Christmas trees in the cornfield, not two foot two ouncers. Thousands of plants in an unassuming bean field netted these good old boys seven hundred pounds!

They gave the old farmer another ten grand in the fall. It's been eight years and they are still on holidays. Dreams do come true, so take care of your ganja and it will take care of you.


Grow Organic


Regardless if you are growing a lot or a little you want it to be the best that it can be. Stick to a natural fertilizer program. Stay away from slow-release chemicals and other petro-trash products. Tasty bud is nutritious and delicious when without the harsh overtones of excess fertilizer.

Slow-release chemical compounds are cheaper and easier to use on large scale gardens, and I assure you they're a lot lighter than enormous quantities of compost. But chemical shortcuts are the devil's work. Real farming is hard work, but oh, so much more satisfying. The difference is astounding. Organic bud has more character, a bevy of flavours and earthy tones that are lost in the dead toxic soil of fertilizer salts. Over-fertilized bud burns the tongue and lips, organic bud gives them smokey kisses.


The Soil Mixture


The same mixture of soil used for balcony pots will work for bush doctors, except instead of a big pot with good drainage you will dig a big hole, or place a planting sack (burlap works well) where the digging gets tough.

My soil blends usually vary slightly depending on available ingredients. Basically, this is all you need:

Sunshine Mix, Pro-mix: or any fluffy potting mix with peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite.

Worm Castings: a very rich, black earth, especially high in nitrogen, and chock full of many things your plant needs. It is alive, and your roots will dig it. You want worm castings that aren't all humic matter (forest floor) so look for a bag that is pure silky smooth black worm shit. You already have peat moss.


  • Bone Meal: stir a few scoops of bone meal into the mix, approximately two cups in a five gallon pail. This is high in phosphorus, which is largely responsible for those beautiful, colourful phosphorescent flower tops that everyone is talking about. Bone meal also aids in root development. It is a natural slow release fertilizer along with hair and feather meal, which are also good additives.
  • Garden Lime: essential for raising the PH of acidic compost-based soils. Cannabis thrives in a fairly neutral soil, and so the lime helps the cannabis process the nutrients locked up in acidic soil. All compost is acidic, and I recommend a lot of compost.
  • Compost: use well-rotted compost that is not stinky, as if you use fresh manure your bud will smell and taste like it. Make your own if you are so inclined, or just buy some on your way to the bush. I recommend that you use as many different kinds of quality compost that you can get your paws on. Chicken manure, composted at least a year, works wonders. Add any or all of the following and stir it all up: kitchen compost, manure from cattle, sheep, horse, goat, pigeon, deer.
  • Bat Guano: two table spoons in a five gallon bucket will fill the soil with micro-organisms that enable the roots to feed vigorously.
  • Potash/Potassium: you can try and save the clean potash from your pipe and joints if you are fanatical, or you can scrape a burnt log for ashes. Don't use ashes from newspaper as they are toxic and will ruin your soil.
    Potassium is a major element in plants, important in all stages of growth. It is also very acidic and so is one of the few natural fertilizers that will kill plants if over fed. Use just two spoonfuls per five gallon pot. It can be mixed in water for a later feeding if necessary.
  • Seaweed Extract: a great source of micro-nutrients and other treats like cytokinins. It is excellent when added to the occasional watering or foliar feed.
  • Drain Rock: any rocks or stones that line the bottom of the pot will facilitate drainage. Lava rock is common but you can find your own little stones as well. Preventing compaction of the roots is essential as the roots need oxygen to thrive, so the soil is best kept loose.

Starting the plants


To start a potted pot plant, you begin with a layer of Drain Rock, about 5cm (2") will do. In the bush you may be better off to plant in a hole that will hold water if your area is particularly hot and dry, but if your area traditionally gets rain throughout the season then be sure to plant in well-drained soil.

Cover the rocks with an inch of potting soil, then add equal parts of castings and potting soil until the pot or hole is about 2/3 of the way full. Stir well, and while stirring add the rest of the ingredients. As a nice variety of composts is preferred, a handful of each will do. You didn't think you were going to avoid getting dirty, did you?

The purpose of all this biological activity in the soil is to create the optimum living environment for the roots of the plant. You will notice that I did not include fish emulsion (guts and shit), or a dead fish as many growers do. Yes there are nutrients in it, but it is absolutely odious. The foul smell and taste is locked into the bud. Sure, not everyone notices, but you will now that you are thinking about it.


An Idiot in the Bush


This is far from a comprehensive review of organic soil additives but it is definitely adequate to grow the kind. The above mixture will be dissolved by helpful bacteria and enzymes that convert the available nutrient base into substances that the roots can readily absorb. Water thoroughly and wait until the pot is dry before you water again.

When working an outdoor patch I dig the holes and mix them up the night before I bring my clones out. That way if I meet anyone I'm just an idiot that likes to bury good soil in the bush.



Polymer Crystals & Plastic Buds


If you go into a grow store these days and ask what's new for outdoor gardening, you will often hear about the amazing water holding capacity of polymer crystals. It is true, I have tried them. The plant was never watered all summer, and was a top yielder. Sounds great, looks great, makes your buds taste like plastic. Stay away! Some packages are clearly marked, "not intended for use in food crops, ornamentals only!" Other packages say nothing more than Polymer Crystals, $6.95. Don't even bother.



Rabbits, Deer, Humans


To keep rabbits and deer away from your plants simply cover them when young with dog hair. If you place it liberally around the garden's perimeter you won't see any signs of deer or rabbits. If you live in a wet coastal area where slugs are a problem then place a jagged tin can or broken glass collar around the base of the plant. To keep people away... you figure it out. It often seems like everyone, and everything, wants your plants.


Harvest '96


The fall harvest of 1996 was by-and-large a good one across the country according to everyone I talked to. In Ontario, Mike Harris' lean, mean governing machine kept the birds on the ground, no doubt helping their hurting economy. A bit of bad weather rotted some of the later harvest which is unusual for Ontario, but common on the West Coast.

On the West Coast, it was a typical year, everywhere you go to plant there is already plants. This coast is covered in cannabis. I hear tales from friends in the Kootenays of great respect among growers. Since nearly everyone grows, everyone knows the pain of rip-offs. They cross each other's driplines on their way to work in the morning, showing a casual trust in the basic goodness of other people which warms my heart. A far cry from the Gulf Islands, where methodical bandits rip-off almost entire islands. Let's make 1997 a record harvest Canada-wide.


A Mighty Force


Full sun, big pots or holes, water when it doesn't rain, and stay home when it does. Let the elements work for you. There is a mighty force at your disposal, believe it.

My loving partner's advice is: bring the dogs, don't wear shorts, don't wear camoflage. Wear "earth tones" of classic casuals, old shoes, and don't follow Steve.

Edited by EDDIEKIRK☮
Guests:Please only take 1/3 and use our links

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:1sm390teach: Great Post, thanks a lot

Disappointment is caused by unrealistic expectations. / The more I learn about people the more I like my dog. / Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right. / Its like everything it depends on everything else. 





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