Monday, March 7, 2011

pruning, harvesting, and curing!

     We  have  found that pruning is not  always  necessary.   The  reason  one does it in the first place is to  encourage  secondary  growth  and  to allow light to reach the  immature  leaves.   Some  strands  of grass just naturally grow thick and bushy and if  they  are  not clipped the sap moves in an uninterrupted flow  right  to  the top of the plant where it produces flowers that are thick with  resin.   On the other hand, if your plants appear tall and spindly  for  their  age at three weeks,  they probably  require  a  little  trimming to ensure a nice full leafy plant.  At three weeks of age  your plant should have at least two sets of branches or four  leaf  clusters and a top.   To prune the plant, simply slice the top off  just about the place where two branches oppose each other.   Use a  razor blade in a straight cut.   If you want to,  you can root the  top  in  some water and when the roots appear,  plant the  top  in  moist  soil  and it should grow into another plant.   If  you  are  going to root the top you should cut the end again, this time with  a  diagonal  cut  so as to expose more surface  to  the  water  or  rooting  solution.   The  advantage to taking cuttings  from  your  plant is that it produces more tops.  The tops have the resin, and  that's the name of the game.   Every time you cut off a  top,  the  plant seeds out two more top branches at the base of the  existing  branches.  Pruning also encourages the branches underneath to grow  faster than they normally would without the top having been cut.
Harvesting and Curing
     Well,  now that you've grown your marijuana, you will want to  cur  it  right so that it smokes clean and won't  bite.   You  can  avoid  that "homegrown" taste of chlorophyll that sometimes  makes  one's  fillings taste like they might be dissolving.   We know  of  several  methods  of curing the marijuana so that it will  have  a  mild flavor and a mellow rather than harsh smoke.
     First,  pull  the plant up roots and all and hang  it  upside  down  for 24 hours.   Then put each plant in a paper  grocery  bag  with the top open for three or four days or until the leaves  feel  dry to the touch.   Now strip the leaves off the stem and put them  in a glass jar with a lid.   Don't pack the leaves in tightly, you  want air to reach all the leaves.   The main danger in the  curing  process  is mold.   If the leaves are too damp when you  put  them  into the jar,  they will mold and since the mold will destroy  the  resins,  mold will ruin your marijuana.  you should check the jars  every day by smelling them and if you smell an acrid  aroma,  take  the weed out of the jar and spread it out on newspaper so that  it  can dry quickly.   Another method is to uproot the plants and hang  them upside down.   You get some burlap bags damp and slip them up  over the plants.  Keep the bags damp and leave them in the sun for  at least a week.  Now put the plants in a paper bag for a few days  until the weed is dry enough to smoke.   Like many fine things  in  life,  marijuana mellows out with age.  The aging process tends to  remove the chlorophyll taste.

thats it for weed! next blogs: shrooms

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

temperature, ventilation, your growing room and watering!

Temperature and Humidity
     The ideal temperature for the light hours is 68 to 78 degrees fahrenheit  and  for  the dark hours there should be  about  a  15  degree drop in temperature.  The growing room should be relatively  dry  if  possible.   What you want is a resinous  coating  on  the  leaves and to get the plant to do this,  you must convince it that  it needs the resinous coating on its leaves to protect itself from  drying out.   In an extremely humid room,  the plants develop wide  leaves and do not produce as much resin.   You must take care  not  to  let  the temperature in a dry room become  too  hot,  however,  since  the plant cannot assimilate water fast enough  through  its  roots and its foliage will begin to brown out.
     Proper ventilation in your growing room is fairly  important.   The  more  plants you have in one room,  the more  important  good  ventilation becomes.   Plants breathe through their  leaves.   The  also  rid themselves of poisons through their leaves.   If  proper  ventilation is not maintained, the pores of the leaves will become  clogged and the leaves will die.   If there is a free movement  of  air,  the  poisons can evaporate off the leaves and the plant  can  breathe and remain healthy.
     In  a small closet where there are only a few plants you  can  probably create enough air circulation just by opening the door to  look  at them.   Although it is possible to grow  healthy  looking  plants  in  poorly  ventilated rooms,  they would  be  larger  and  healthier  if they had a fresh supply of air coming  in.   If  you  spend  a lot of time in your growing room,  your plants will  grow  better because they will be using the carbon dioxide that you  are  exhaling  around them.   It is sometimes quite difficult to get  a  fresh  supply of air in to your growing room because your room  is  usually hidden away in a secret corner of your house,  possibly in  the  attic  or basement.   In this case,  a fan will  create  some  movement of air.   It will also stimulate your plants into growing  a  healthier  and  sturdier  stalk.   Often  times  in  an  indoor  environment, the stems of plants fail to become rigid because they  don't have to cope with elements of wind and rain.   To a  degree,  though,  this  is an advantage because the plant puts most of  its  energy into producing leaves and resin instead of stems.
Dehumidifying Your Growing Room
     Cannabis that grows in a hot,  dry climate will have narrower  leaves than cannabis grown in a humid atmosphere.   The reason  is  that  in a dry atmosphere the plant can respirate  easier  because  the  moisture  on  the  leaves  evaporates  faster.   In  a  humid  atmosphere,  the moisture cannot evaporate as fast.  Consequently,  the  leaves have to be broader with more surface area in order  to  expel the wastes that the plant put out.   Since the broad  leaves  produce  less  resin per leaf than the narrow there will  be  more  resin  in  an ounce of narrow leaves than in one  ounce  of  broad  leaves.  There may be more leaf mass in the broader leafed plants,  but  most  people are growing their own for  quality  rather  than  quantity.
     Since the resin in the marijuana plant serves the purpose  of  keeping the leaves from drying out,  there is more apt to be a lot  of resin produced in a dry room than in a humid one.  In the Sears  catalog, dehumidifiers cost around $100.00 and are therefore a bit  impractical for the "hobby grower."
     If you live near a clear mountain stream,  you can skip  this  bit on the quality of water.  Most of us are supplied water by the  city and some cities add more chemicals to the water than  others.   They all add chlorine,  however,  in varying  quantities.   Humans  over the years have learned to either get rid of it somehow or  to  live with it, but your marijuana plants won't have time to acquire  a  taste  for it so you had better see that they  don't  have  to.   Chlorine will evaporate if you let the water stand for 24 hours in  an open container.   Letting the water stand for a day or two will  serve  a dual purpose:   The water will come to  room  temperature  during that period of time and you can avoid the nasty shock  your  plants suffer when you drench them with cold water.   Always water  with  room temperature to lukewarm water.   If your water  has  an  excessive amount of chlorine in it, you may want to get some anti- chlorine drops at the local fish or pet store.  The most important  thing  about  watering is to do it thoroughly.   You can  water  a  plant in a three gallon container with as much as three quarts  of
water.   The  idea is to get the soil evenly moist all the way  to  the bottom of the pot.   If you use a little water, even if you do
it  often,  it seeps just a short way down into the soil  and  any  roots  below the moist soil will start to turn upwards toward  the  water.   The second most important thing about watering is to  see  to it that the pot has good drainage.   There should be some holes  in the bottom so that any excess water will run out.   If the  pot  won't drain,  the excess water will accumulate in a pocket and rot  the  roots  of the plant or simply make the soil sour  or  mildew.   The soil, as we said earlier, must allow the water to drain evenly  through it and must not become hard or packed.   If you have  made  sure that the soil contains sand and pearlite,  you shouldn't have  drainage problems.   To discover when to water, feel the soil with  your finger.  if you feel moisture in the soil, you can wait a day  or two to water.  The soil near the top of the pot is always drier  than  the  soil further down.   You can drown your plant  just  as  easily  as  you can let it get too dry and it is  more  likely  to  survive  a  dry spell than it is to survive  a  torrential  flood.   Water  the plants well when you water and don't water them at  all  when they don't need it.