Ok. Guilty, did not write this blog as soon as I should have. But in all fairness, the cutting down, drying, and curing process does take time. I am writing today as I have begun trimming the cured buds, which signifies the end of the journey. The only remaining step is to use the product and critique the success or failure of my efforts.
This blog will give a brief start to finish summary, as well, I will elaborate the different stages and outline the plan of attack for next year. the pictures below are of the 2 plants I kept.
MJ growing started at the beginning of the year when I decided to replace garlic in my growing menu and introduce the newly allowed marijuana. The internet led me to a site, Growers Choice Seeds, that would provide me with the seeds, there webpage is also filled with helpful hints for the Newbie. I germinated the original seeds and unfortunately only had one seed germinate properly. Disappointed I contacted the seller and they sent me replacement seeds. The replacement seeds germinated well and I had the 3 additional plants to give me an allowable total of 4 per household.
Baby, the affectionate name I gave plant one, was growing at a rapid rate. I planted the other 3 plants, but they were much smaller than Baby.
LESSON: start growing sooner than I did this year, make sure you are patient when germinating the seeds
I gave one of the plants to my daughter and her husband to grow, see picture to the right, so I could compare the growth of the same strain, when they are in 2 separate locations. Well this made me jealous as their plant was growing very quickly. They thought the reason was the place where they had the plant was in direct sun for the entire day. So I moved my plants to a location near my pool that received much more sun. I can’t say for sure, but I think the plants were stressed and rejected the move. All 3 of them seemed to stop growing. I quickly returned them to their original location. In about a week I noticed they seemed to be growing again. LESSON: don’t change routine dramatically, the plants get stressed. I used nutrients during the vegetative stage, but did not use it properly, so the full benefit from the nutrients was not achieved.
When the plants entered the budding stage I did however use the nutrients for this part of the growing cycle properly. The benefit from the nutrients, in the budding stage, was very noticeable. Again, with no frame of reference I was posting nearly daily on the Canadian Cannabis Cultivators site asking for help on when I should be harvesting the plants. Of course I did not react to the heavy amount of rain we received in late August and early October. This resulted in the plants getting too wet and vulnerable to fungus and mold. I did get a small amount, but removed it quickly and fortunately it did not spread. I used my leaf blower to help the plants dry, as well as making a makeshift tent to cover the plants and protect them from the elements.
After I got the mold cleared up I was frightened to leave the plants out too much longer, so I cut them down and hung them in my garage until I could get them to my daughter, so she could put them to dry in their shed. LESSON: the scent from the plants can fill a garage very quickly. During this whole process I have done tons of reading, so I thought I was comfortable when the plants would be ready for curing.
Looking at the volumes that many of the members of the Cannabis site got from their plants, it seemed evident that out return was quite humble in comparison. Looks better in the small bottles, but in reality, the 4 plants produced enough buds to fill 8 large mason jars.
the picture above is Baby in the late stages, on the right is one of the plants that were germinated later
We moved them into the larger jars when I bought the packets that keep the humidity at a constant. These seem to work very well. I have just recently started trimming the buds. I have used less than half from one jar and already have enough to fill one of the smaller jars. I was also surprised the number of seeds that I have already found from the few buds I have trimmed, see picture below.
LESSONS for NEXT YEAR:
Take time germinating the seeds
Get the plants outside earlier than this year
Prepare the soil and monitor the PH levels regularly
Water more consistently
Use the nutrients properly
The pictures above show the number of small jars the buds filled from 3 plants. moved them into larger jars when we put the humidity packets in each jar. the middle 2 pictures are of the buds prior to harvesting. the last picture is the number of seeds I have already discovered while trimming the buds.
In preparation for next year, I have purchased a light to assist in the growing of the plants for transplant to the outdoors. I have built one planter for next year already. See picture to the left. Will probably build more, I had the plants crowded and not properly planted in their container. This was certainly a contributing factor in the finished size of each plant. I will be growing 3 different strains next year. The one common factor on these strains is that each strain is an Auto-flowering feminized seed. These tend to grow more quickly as they do not require the change in the amount of sun to enter into the budding stage. These plants traditionally, do not get as large as most.
That’s pretty much got you up to speed on my first attempt at growing marijuana. I must admit, it takes a lot more maintenance than garlic! I hope with all the knowledge I gained this year that I will be able to blog a successful result next year. Depending on the amount that I get from the buds, I may make butter, as well get an idea on how well the marijuana turned out, when the finished product is tested. Stay tuned for the Puff and Butter Blog next!