Growing in the great outdoors

Table Of Contents

Homegrown Revolution

Hemp Happenings

Smoke Signals

Cannabis Cup '96

Growers Corner

Oppression Update

Marijuana IS Medicine



      ggotitle.gif (8847 bytes)

      ggo.gif (43297 bytes)Spring
      is here and it is time to think about your future… your future stash
      of course. If you haven’t grown outdoors yet, you should try it. An outdoor
      grow operation can range from a few plants in the park, slightly off the
      beaten path, to thousands of plants well off the beaten path. Anything
      is possible because the word “grower” encompasses all kinds of different
      people. Most of us grow for stash, some of us for cash.

      By Breeder Steve

      of the Spice of Life Seed Co.


      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

      ??? 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

      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

      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

      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

      ??? 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.