An evidence of liow large the traffic may be came to light last year near La Fine, Louisiana Neighbors of an Italian family liad become amazed by wild stones told by I lie children of the family. They, il seemed, liad suddenly become millionaires. They talked of owning inconceivable amounts of money, of automobiles ihey did not possess, of living in a palatial liome. At last llieir absurd lies were reported to tlie police, wlio discovered that their parents were allowing them to smoke something that came from tlie tops of tall, plants which their father grew on his Farm. There was a raid, in which more than 500,000 marijuana plants were destroyed.
concentrated. Don't use fertilizer recommended for "acid-loving" plants and never add solid fertilizers like cow manure once the plants have started. These promote molds that can be harmful.
Many people, in an effort to do tlie best for their plants, actually, do tlie won. . Ove(fertilizing puts excessive amounts of soluble substances into tlie soil that interfere with normal nutritional processes and growth and, in some cases, kill the plants. If any plant has an unhealthy or discolored appearance, make sure the problem is not due to insects or disease before assuming a nutrient deficiency. Examine the plants carefully, especially the undersides of leaves and along the stem and in the soii.
In nitrogen deficiency, plant color is paler than normal... There is yellowing of older leaves on the
main stem, followed by yellowing of younger leaves with slow or no growth. Yellowing of the bottom leaves will occur after the plant is more than two and a half_ feet tall, since they are shielded by the upper leaves or are too far from the lights to canyon chlorosynthcsis.
Phosphorous deficiency causes unnaturally dark green leaves, slow growth, poor flowering and poor root structure.
In potassium deficiency, leaves arc unnaturally dark green and cud under at tlie edges. The edges of older, main-stem leaves turn bronze or yellow, then grey, followed by grey or bronze mottling of tlie whole leaf.. Stems are often soft, and weak.
ROTATION AND EVEN GROWTH The intensity of artificial light drops dramatically as distance from the light source increases. If you don't keep the plants at about the same height, the shorter plants receive less light and grow more slowly than the tall ones.
One way to deal with uneven growth is to line the plants up by heigh! and liang tlie light system at an angle corresponding to tlie line of the plant lops.
If a few of your plants are markedly outgrowing the others, cut the growing tip back to the height of the average plant. . You may find this emotionally difficult, . but it is important to the overall., health of your crop. Cutting the lop will not hurt it but will force side branches to develop. Conversely, if a few plants are much shorter, raise iliem by placing ihem on milk crates, cans or bricks.
To encourage branching, pinch the plants at the fourth set of leaves. The new branches will quickly fill any available horizontal space. This is especially desirable when you are using large pots and have a lot of space between the plants. The result .will be stout bushy plants and an immediate supply of grass. But don't overdo it! Severe pruning can weaken the plants.
PHOTOPERIOD Many plant functions are regulated by the quantity and quality of light and-the length of the photoperiod, or the time during which the plant is exposed to light. Marijuana is a short day (long night) plant. . The female produces flowers only when she senses the decrease of day length. In the autumn the shortening day is her signal to flower and produce seeds for next year's crop before winter sets in. The male does not depend on changes in the photoperiod. It flowers regardless of day length in three to five months, depending upon the variety.
The plant grows rapidly until the reproductive cycle starts; then the energy is directed to flower and seed production, and leaf development is slow.
It is during the night period that the chemical reactions that control flowering occur. The dark period must be constant and at least nine hours long for the chemical buildup to be completed. By changing the light period to 12 hours a day. the female responds by flowering profusely in about two or three weeks. With this in mind, you can manipulate the photoperiod for a continuously growing vegetative state or for flowering and harvest. .
The continuous1 growth system emphasizes leaf growth and a continuous supply of grass. You can harvest the first grass, which gives a buzz or better, in about two months and have a steady supply of potent grass after about four months. A two-by-four-foot system supplies several joints a day. The grass is not quite as potent as that from the harvest system but is excellent quality and compares favorably to most commercial pot.. The system is easy to care for and supplies a large amount of grass over a period of time.
The harvest method produces a crop every four to nine months. The grass is very potent and is at least as good as the best commercial pot.. Although you may gather a few leaves now and then, you'll have to wait until the crop is harvested for a large supply. This method should produce a minimum of one ounce of pot for each square loot of growing area.
FLOWERING Marijuana is dioecious the male staminate and female pistillate flowers grow on separate plants. A few hermaphrodites appear, with both flower types on the same plant. . The gender is almost impossible to determine until the flowering stage. The male plant is usually taller, with a thinner stem, and grows very fast two weeks prior to flowering. Shoots bearing dusters of tiny, dangling yellow, white or purplish flowers sprout along the main stem and branches. When ihe flowers open, five yellow anthers protrude, and their pollen is dispersed by the wind. The male loses its vitality and begins to die soon after it sheds pollen.
The female plant is more robust than the male and often has twice as much foliage. Her flower is a delicate, unassuming downy-white stigma raised in a "V" sign» attached at its base to an ovary that looks like a tiny green pod. if fertilized, one seed will develop in the ovary. At maturity, the flowers turn into thick clusters ("cones" or "buds," which are interspersed with small green leaves), these clusters, located at the whole top half of the female plant, are what comprise commercial marijuana; The female is the more desirable plant for marijuana cultivators since it produces many more leaves and is often more potent than-the male,
HARVEST SYSTEM A happy medium in terms of potency and yield is to harvest about every six months. Keep the photo period constant at 18 hours or more of light a day until six to eight weeks before you plan to harvest. . Then cut the day cycle down to 12 hours of light.. Within two weeks the females respond to the longer night and begin flowering. Allow the flowers to grow another four to six weeks, since they develop into
large clusters, which are by far the most potent part of the plant. . Flowers can be harvested two or three times before the plant loses vigor. Pick the flowers just above the growing point, where they meet the main leaves. New flowers grown fvom this point give you a higher yield of top-quality grass.
You can expect a minimum yield of about one ounce of pot per square foot of growing area. Large pots give fewer but taller and bushier plants. The total yield is similar for K inch to 18-inch pots. Eight to ten-inch pots (one gallon) are a good median size for high-yield, high -potency grass fmm a moderate amount of soil.. The yield of the system decreases when plants are allowed more than one and a half square feet of growing area.
You may not have enough space to grow very many plants indoors. If not, you may want to set up an indoor system to grow seedlings and move them outdoors to mature. The factors to consider for your outdoor garden are different from those for your indoor garden.
LIFE IN PIN (SHENSI PROVINCE)
n... In the ninth month we lake seeding hemp, Gather bitter herbs, cut ailanto firewood, That out husbandmen may eat..
In ninth month make ready stackyards, for In tentli month we bring in the harvest; Millet for wine, for meals, eaily and late, Rice, hemp, beans, wheal..
Come, my husbandmen, Harvesting is over;
Get up, begin your work on the house;
In morning gather reed thatching,
In evening twist rope.
Quickt to the rooftops!
Soon you must begin
To sow your many grains again."
THE OUTDOOR GARDEN Marijuana is usually an annual planL. This means lhat the life expectancy of the plain is based on the length of the, growing season. The longer the growing season, the belter the quality and ihe larger the quantity of your crop.
Marijuana should be planted outdoors within two weeks of the last threat of frost and harvested befoie the first heavy frost. You can find the approximate dales for your area by consulting experienced growers, nursery people or the local agricultural service or county agent..
Some fields are warmer than others in the same area because of the way they lie and because of varying wind and snow-cover conditions. Northern slopes are the coldesi and receive the least light. Southern slopes receive the most light and are generally the warmest... Eastern slopes are shaded in the afternoon and western slopes are shaded in the morning.The steeper the slope, ihe more pronounced the shading.
For high quality, marijuana needs a minimum of five hours of direct sunlight (preferably midday) and eighl to ten hours of bright indirect light in an area thai maximizes exposure. Flat, open areas are best. Hillside gardens will, often be shaded for part of either the morning or late afternoon hours. In order to catch as much sun as possible, rows should be oriented along a north-south axis, peipendieular to the course of the sun. The advantage of such rows is more pronounced in southern than northern latitudes, but the solar-energy differential in north-south versus in easi-west rows is significant at all U.S. latitudes and becomes more important on steeper slopes. The one exception to N-S row practice occurs when the plants are so situated thai they receive sunlight only during the midday hours; if so, the rows should lie E-W. This is necessitated by the changes in solar radiation as the angle of the sun's position changes during ihe day.
Another factor is the oriental ion of the garden as a whole. Plants cross-sown in a square ploi with sides running NE-SE, chevron-style, will get about ten percent more solar energy than will plots that run NS-EW. Higher altitudes receive more intense sunlight because the atmosphere is thinner there; air absorbs and scatters much solar radiation.
PRECAUTION Detection is a crucial consideration in choosing a growing site. Most farmers must carefully consider where lo sow. Security is complicated by the fact that the planls need as much sunlight as possible-and that they may be visible from the air.
Aerial surveillance has led lo problems. Authorities looking for large commercial crops use low- and high-flying aircrafl „ outfitted with visual and infrared equipment.. Therefore, large growers often plant smaller, dispersed stands, which are more difficult to delect.. Detection equipment is least effective on steep slopes and where vegetation is lush and varied. Viewed from ihe air, marijuana has a distinctive, conical shape, which can be altered by pruning. Marijuana is difficult v lo detect from a distance when intercropped with soybeans, but il may have to be cut back in any case so it won't stand out from ground level..
Since their gardens are small, people growing for personal use usually need not worry about aircraft , bul still, must contend with discovery on the ground. Planting oft your own land minimizes the risk of detection during cultivation and harvest.. Bul ihe area must be secluded to avoid pot rustling. Growers try to avoid areas frequented by hunters and hikers. They use abandoned farms and fields, clearings in woodlands and along railway lines, irrigation ditches and areas beneath high-tension lines. Urban gardenei-s use backyards, greenhouses, rooftops, parks, vacant lols and city dumps. Many prudent growers intercrop iheir plants with such other tall plants as com or tomatoes, pruning the marijuana lo keep it inconspicuous. Vacant lots overgrown with tali weeds can support a good crop if the marijuana gets a head stari on the indigenous weeds.
GROWING CONDITIONS Marijuana likes as much sun as it can gel and a moist bul well-drained soiL II does not do well in swampy and clayey soils. The soil should be high in nitrogen and potassium and medium in phosphorus. . The pH should be al least 5.5 and preferably between 6.5 and 7.5.
Test and adjust I lie soi] al least two months before planting. For be si results, add nutrients at leasi a month before planting. This will, give (lie fertilizer lime to dissolve and become available lo the plants. The pH can be raised by adding ground limestone, dolomite, limestone, hydraied lime, mail or ground sea shells.
Sandy and loamy soils can be conditioned just by adding fertilizer and making pH adjustments. Nurseries carry several different fertilizer mixes. Select the one closest to your needs as determined by llie soil tests. The agriculture service and county agents will do these tests for you.
Turn and loosen llie soil and break up large clods of earth. Clear all ground cover near the spot where you are planting. Add fertilizer and work it into the ground. If it rains frequently in youi: area, llie fertilizer w01 soak into the ground by itself. If not, waler llie area so thai ii dissolves. SEEDLINGS AND TRANSPLANTINGS Plants started indoors, especially if grown under fluorescent light, should be introduced gradually lo direel summer sun. Place lliem in a partially shaded area, protected from midday sun. In two or three days, transplant in the late afternoon or on an oveirast day.
For healthy development, each plant should have at least two square feel of growing area. If they
are grown closer together you will harvest more stems than flower buds. Sow seeds one-ha If : inch deep in rows or mounds-or randomly, if disguise is desired.
Plant staggered rows, three or four feet apart, a fool between plants. Stagger planting mounds five feel apart, len seeds to a mound. Thin lliem lo three lo five plants per mound as the plants begin lo louch each other. If you are broadcasting seeds, the less vigorous plants should be removed. Also remove males as Ihey appear. It lakes one and a half, to two pounds of seed lo sow an acre, and about five pounds when the seeds are broadcast. . To gel an idea of the number of sprouts to expect from your seeds, place some in moist toweling or cotton. Williin a week, most of the viable seeds will germinate, giving you an idea of their viability. This method can also be used to start the seeds when you only have a few of lliem; sow them as soon as they germinate.
CARE Marijuana is most vulnerable right after germination. The seedlings have a tendency to fall over in rain and wind and are prey to small mammals and insects. Most survive. If you start the seedlings indoors, they will! be past the critical stage by transplanting time.
A month and a half or two months aftgr germination, you can clip the lops to make the plants bush, although some growei*s let them grow straight up and bush on their own. Clipping the
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