Stash under the stars

    Stash Under the Stars

    By The Cannabis Creator

    Purple Spike???
    Last issue, the story was told of the Snohomish County Cannabis Creators
    (SCCC), a Seattle area cannabis creators co-op and virtual cannabis preserve.
    The SCCC was conceived by a small group of people in 1990 in reaction to
    “Operation Green Merchant”, a federally choreographed bust of many growers
    and grow supply shops around the US.

    ??? Although that story focussed
    only on indoor cultivation techniques, SCCC growers are a diverse bunch,
    and it was only natural that outdoor cultivation would also be attempted.
    Some people lack an indoor facility, or aren’t keen on the idea of being
    directly connected to their crop for one reason or another. However, these
    people were in for a few surprises after becoming accustomed to the comfortable,
    easily manipulated and forgiving indoor growing environment.

    ??? Anyone could guess that outdoor
    growing would be physically more of a challenge for a prospective cultivator
    than indoor growing, but it turns out that northerly areas hold additional
    problems that growers located in more temperate climates may never face.
    In this article I will discuss these unique obstacles, along with other
    important considerations and techniques of the successful outdoor cannabis

    Choosing a Location

    ???? Outdoor cannabis
    creation is certainly more of a challenge than indoor cultivation for a
    number of reasons. First of all, it is a lot easier to decide whether you
    will grow in your basement or an extra bedroom than it is to find a suitable
    outdoor plot. Also, since outdoor plots are generally more likely to be
    discovered, whether stumbled upon by the hapless hiker or hunter, or rooted
    out by law enforcement or the ever-present rip-offs, it is a good idea
    to try to find several plots instead of just one. Already, you are in for
    a substantial chore, and the growing has not yet even begun.

    Advance PreparationCalifornia Orange

    ??? Many well prepared outdoor
    growers will scout out locations a year in advance, the summer before the
    actual growing will take place. This gives them time to become familiar
    with the areas, consider various planting options and experiment with camouflage,
    and also gives them time to dig holes and prepare the soil, all well in
    advance of the arrival of the plants and at a more leisurely pace, better
    suited to the lifestyle of most ganjaphiles. The task of doing all of this
    in a few weeks or months just prior to the actual growing season can be
    daunting to say the least.

    Private or Public Land?

    ??? Questions of private
    or public land, accessability, traffic (both land and air), soil conditions,
    access to water and sun exposure are a few of the things one should consider
    when seeking a suitable location.

    Private land generally offers easier and
    more discrete accessibility, but increases the chance of someone being
    held responsible in the event of trouble. Using public land means that
    if anything goes wrong the chances of you being caught are near zero, but
    there is no practical way to keep an eye on things while you are away,
    and nothing to stop someone from discovering your secret garden.


    ??? Traffic considerations
    include such variables as campers, hunters, or hikers, who could observe
    unusual and suspicious activity such as someone carrying jugs of water
    through the woods, or actually sniff out or stumble across your prize plants.
    Air traffic should also be considered, especially if you are near an airport,
    definitely if it caters to small aircraft.

    Soil Conditions

    ??? Soil conditions vary
    greatly, but good soil should be slightly acidic to neutral in ph (6.5-7.0),
    well drained, have some organic content, and shouldn’t contain too much
    clay or sand. Heavier soils can be (and likely should be) enhanced with
    soil conditioners such as peat moss, perlite and vermiculite.

    ??? Perlite and vermiculite
    are especially outdoor grower friendly because they are extremely lightweight
    and easy to carry. Dolomite lime or wood ash can be added to increase acidity
    but should be used sparingly. Polymers (also known as watering crystals)
    can be added to dry soils to increase water retention, but should also
    be used sparingly.



    ??? Water is naturally
    a very important element to the successful outdoor garden. A little consideration
    of this fact in the beginning can go a long way towards saving you a lot
    of very strenuous work later on. A nearby spring or stream could turn out
    to be your single best asset. Consider that it is much easier to carry
    water downhill than up. If water must be driven in, plastic gas cans make
    great carrying containers and will arouse little suspicion in your car
    or truck. Of course, you would have to buy new ones just for this purpose.

    Sun Exposure

    ??? As far as sun exposure,
    a good plot should have a minimum of four hours of direct sun per day.
    Six or eight hours will be much better. South facing hillsides are ideal.

    Pests & Problems

    ??? Once you have done all
    of the above and decided on your favourite spots, mother nature then offers
    up her own array of potential hazards such as slugs, mold, deer, storms
    and inclement weather (which can be as much of a deterrent to the grower
    as the growing).


    ??? Slugs seem to particularly
    love ingesting cannabis, yet although it may be easy to sympathize with
    them, they can end up being a problem that must be dealt with. Not only
    will they munch lots of holes in the leaves of your plants, but the areas
    that they slither across become extremely susceptible to mold. This includes
    the stems, which if attacked by mold will quickly cause entire branches
    to perish.

    ??? Snail bait should definitely
    not be used since it is quite toxic and ends up soaking into the soil where
    the plants are growing. A very effective and environmentally friendly alternative
    is beer traps. Apparently not only do slugs love cannabis, they love beer
    too. (Never knew that you had so much in common, eh?)

    ??? Beer traps are made
    simply by cutting cans of cheap beer in half, and setting the bottom half
    of the can, filled partway with the beer, near the base of each plant.
    The slugs will climb right in and drink themselves to death. Sometimes,
    a few of them will opt for a little herb before they drink, so keep a close
    eye out for molding stems in any case, and use a dilute solution of baking
    soda dissolved in water and applied with a spray bottle to combat any mold.
    Do not attempt to use this remedy on any part of the plant except for the
    stems, however. Doing so will simply result in more severe damage to the


    ??? Molding buds are generally
    caused by too much rain late in the season, and there is little that you
    can do to prevent this, other than selecting a mold resistant variety to
    grow in the firstplace.

    ??? If you do find a moldy
    spot in a cola, (often indicated by the sudden death of an otherwise healthy
    leaf protruding from an otherwise healthy bud) remove the infected portion
    of the bud, being careful to get every bit of the mold, even if this means
    destroying a quantity of healthy tissue.

    ??? Keep a close eye on
    the problem area after that, and if there is a recurrence it is probably
    time to harvest, even if the buds are not fully mature. Mold can spread
    very quickly so be wary.


    ??? Deer can be dealt with
    by fencing in your plot with chicken wire, but in most cases this can be
    very impractical. Another idea that seems to work well is to use Irish
    spring deodorant soap. You could possibly use any strong smelling deodorant
    soap, but when I heard about this idea the person specifically said Irish
    Spring, and I’ve never tried any other kind.

    ??? Deer have a sensitive
    sense of smell and are offended by the strong odour. By cutting off strips
    of Irish Spring with a pocketknife and spreading them around the area you
    will cause the deer to look elsewhere for a meal. Remember to use a generous
    amount of soap and to regularly add more, as the soap will dissolve in
    the rain and weather.

    Over 40? North

    ??? Going through all of
    this effort to select and prepare suitable plots, and then dealing with
    mother natures creatures and weather, is common for growers in all parts
    of North America. However, for growers living in areas above forty degrees
    North latitude, there are still more important things to be aware of before
    you can expect a bountiful harvest.

    a Strain

    ??? Cannabis is what is
    called a “photoperiod determinate plant”. What this means is that it has
    the ability to measure the length of the night in its environment. As experienced
    indoor growers know, the average amount of darkness needed each night to
    induce flowering in most vanities is around twelve hours.

    ??? In the spring and early
    summer in these more extreme northerly areas, the nights can be as short
    as eight hours or even less. In Washington, they will not reach twelve
    hours until mid September. The freeze then comes by the end of October,
    proceeded by heavy rains. What this means is that the further North you
    find yourself, the more you will find environmental conditions that cause
    the plants to start flowering later, yet at the same time mandate that
    they must finish sooner.

    ??? The trick is to find
    an acclimatized “early” variety which will start flowering with less than
    twelve hours of darkness, and yet will also still produce high quality
    flowers. Not long ago finding such a strain was a near impossible task,
    especially in the northwest US, because virtually all of the common strains
    were bred exclusively indoors, where the light cycles are easily manipulated.

    ??? These indoor strains
    often had no resistance to things like molding and cold weather, all too
    common elements in the rainy northwest. Only a very few people in the area,
    those who had maintained a consistent outdoors breeding program for many
    years, possessed the seeds of success, and all others were left to fend
    for themselves.

    Extending the Season

    ???? By planting only
    at low altitudes you can extend your season slightly since higher altitudes
    will freeze first, and if these spots happen to be near bodies of salt
    water you may be able to add another few days or a week due to the salt
    content in the air. Late planting can also help plants ripen sooner, since
    smaller plants will generally finish more quickly, as evidenced in the
    “sea of green” growing method.

    ??? Of course, that was
    then, and things are quite different these days. With the advent of Marc
    Emery direct seed sales and the many other brave seed merchants that have
    sprung up recently, people can no longer say that obtaining a suitable
    outdoor variety is much of a problem. By starting out with a strain of
    cannabis that was bred outdoors in a latitude similar to that where you
    are growing, you will avoid the disappointment of reaching the end of the
    season and having a crop of plants that have only begun to flower.

    Get out there!

    ??? These are only a sample
    of the adventures that await the potential outdoor cannabis creator, but
    with commitment, fortitude, careful planning and determination, anyone
    should be able to overcome the obstacles and end up with a harvest that
    will well compensate your efforts not only in your mind, but also in that
    of those fortunate enough to call themselves your friends. So get out there,
    and may the ganja goddess smile down upon you.

    For More Info

    For a free copy of “The Home Cannabis
    Creator” send a stamped, self-addressed 9″ x 12″ (letter size) manila envelope
    to: Hemp: #4320 196th St SW, B-132 Lynnwood, Washington, USA 98036-6754