Discretion, genetics and garden are the keys to finish your project without problems.
It is amazing to think how many cultures have been robbed or discovered by the police because the owner wasn’t discreet enough. In this article I am going to expose my personal circumstances when cultivating.
Choose a discreet place
This subject is essential. You must hide your plants from prying eyes and “good noises”.
The place where you are going to cultivate must be perfectly invisible and far enough from people with good sense of smell. The further from houses and cities, the better for your garden. This is a rule of thumb. However it is not enough. Eventually some people can be taking a walk and they see your plants. If this happens you most probably will be betrayed to the police or your plants will be stolen.
I used a small place (27 X 9 feet). I cover all the space with green fabric normally used in greenhouses to shade the trees. This will be useful to avoid being seen from the sides. But you must hide your garden with any material to avoid being seen from above. Police helicopters are taken pictures during the whole outdoor season. But they don’t arrest you when they discover the culture. They will wait until the harvest is very near. They wait that much in order to get more quantity and more THC in the flowers. These two factors will represent a much higher fine and more sever prison sentence. It is a Machiavellian behavior because they are not interested in protect the public health. They want your money. And the more they catch the more you pay.
As I said I cover the boundaries of my garden with that green material used to shade the trees in greenhouses. But what about the roof? Covering the top with the same material is a big mistake. Why? First of all because cannabis cannot “see” green light. Therefore, the results is a culture without any light. Humans can see green light but cannabis cannot.
You better use white translucent material for the top. This material is used in greenhouses whose plants are meant for production; not for shading. When a greenhouse shades its trees is because they expect to sale them in a short period of time and shading the top they will save a lot of water because the plants don’t need to be watered as much as when they are in a sunny place. The plants receive enough light but the helicopters cannot take pictures where your plants are clearly seen. To break in your property and check your garden, police need clear evidences of illegal activity. No judge will sign an order to enter into your property without clear evidences. Your garden must be far enough of the best noises. They must be located in a place where people with good sense of smell cannot notice it.
To avoid a deep and neat smell you can choose varieties that don’t produce strong odor and you can add to your garden other plants which produce a deeper smell. I personally plant honeysuckle. It is a climbing plant whose flowering period lasts many months. It will start blooming by early march and it will be finish in winter. Its flowers are so scented and the odor is so delicious that will hide any other smell.
Aside from honeysuckle you can plant other odor plants like rosemary or thyme. Their odor is delicious and on top of it they are a very efficient repellent for many plagues. Garlic is good too and there are many others you can use. But none of them are comparable to honeysuckle.
When you cover the boundaries of your culture with any type of climbing plant, the light cannot be reflected over the sides of your plants. Because all these plants have a dark color. Therefore the light reflected is remarkable less than when using clear colors like white. What do I do? I imitate an indoor culture. I cover the upper parts of the fence (the fence is covered with honeysuckle) with polyutyrene sheets. These sheets reflect about 90 percent of the light. It is an excellent praxis.
Pruning the lower branches
Normally the lower branches of cannabis plants produce the worse buds. This is due to lack of light because the upper branches shade them. Therefore it is a good praxis to prune them and let the upper ones to become bigger and better. The important question is when to prune them. Because these lower branches help the central stem to grow stronger. It will be stronger because it must support the weight of the lower branches. If we cut them too early, the central stem will be thin and weak. It will be unable to support the weight of the big buds the plant will develop at the end of its life. For this reason, it is very important to prune them little by little. I never cut them during the first month of the plant life. By the end of July I prune them all and this way all the energy of the plant will be directed to the upper buds.
Aside from this important reason, the lower branches use to be quite weak and usually they remain in contact with the soil. They will probably rot and the rest of the plant will suffer from stress. Prune the lower branches by the end of the growing period and you will get a very strong central stem able to support heavy weights. But never ever prune them once the flowering period has started.
Time to start and strains to choose
If you are a good cultivator and do things properly, it is not necessary to germinate your seeds early. I have seen cultivators who germinate the seeds in early march or even before. I germinate my seeds between the end of June and early July. I choose indica strains with a very short flowering period. Usually I cut my plants, perfectly mature, by the end of September or early October. I can guarantee that I obtain as much production or even bigger than others that start in March. Cultivating this way, my plants are detectable during three months instead of seven. Outdoor cultivating is quite stressing. You cannot help to be worried. You are worried for the police and for the thieves. If you start four months latter (and obtain the same quality and quantity) you avoid four long months of suffering. It is worth it!
But, as I said, you must do things properly and choose the correct strains. I personally am in love with a strain named Mujica Gold, created by the legendary bank of seeds Ketama Seeds (www.ketamaseeds.com). Mujica Gold was created by one of the best breeders in Spain and its reputation is recognized in Spain and abroad. It was bred to pay homage to the President of Uruguay, Mujica, and it is one of the most resistant and productive strains of this reputed bank. Even though it is a hybrid, the flowering period is very short. It takes 53 days to complete its vital cycle and when cultivated outdoor the buds are mature between the end of September and the beginning of October. It depends on how mature you prefer.
Its production is enormous. Last season I obtained 800 grams (average) of dry flowers per plant whose effect was tremendous and its fragrance delicious. Producing a sweet fragrance, it is perfect to combine with honeysuckle. Ketama Seeds says it produces 600 grams. But my own experience and my way of cultivating allow me to obtain much more than that. But, as I said, you must cultivate it with good soil and correct fertilizers. I always repeat because I want to have the guarantee of a perfect plant.
Mother earth instead of pots
Once again and in order to be discreet, I prefer cultivating in mother earth and not containers. Why? Because when using a pot, the final height of the plant will be several inches taller.
I dig a big hole in my soil. The hole must be big enough to be filled with 50 liters of the best substratum. After I germinate the seed, I put it in a small pot (I liter) and leave it there for about three weeks. From the very beginning I use root stimulant. But not only in the beginning. I use all the time and every time I fertilize. If the substratum is good and contains nutrients enough you shouldn’t fertilize too often. Normally I don’t overpass 1.1 EC and the PH of my water is about 6,5. I add to my substratum EM , efficient microorganisms and…nothing else. In fact, even though I start very late, I always have to prune the top of the plant before the flowering period starts. What does it means? It means that if you do things correctly, in just three months you will get one of the best plants. Plants full of sticky resin and a super powerful effect.
In other words, choice the correct strains and you will need no more than three months to complete your culture. Being discreet is essential to avoid being discovered. And it is essential for your mental health. Stress is one of the worse feelings you can experience. It kills you.