Steve's Land of Enchantment Diary

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Steve6077

Steve6077

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This state (New Mexico - state nickname: The Land of Enchantment) finally legalized growing cannabis for both medicinal and recreational use as of July 29, 2021. As a cancer patient a few years ago I learned some of the value of cannabis. This is my first grow, a few weeks old.
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First grow scaled
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Seeds-- I decided to grow feminized seed (I'm now thinking regular might be better). Planted one each of Blueberry CBD, Harlequin, Afghan landrace (the tallest of the plants pictured), Northern Lights, and Gold Leaf (all from ILGM.com), and a Purple Haze auto fem., one of a number of varieties purchased from Seedsman. Kind of confused and disappointed with the huge number of named varieties of cannabis that are being marketed or promoted at present. "The latest and greatest" isn't always the best, or so I'm inclined to think. I've started to look for particular sources, growers and breeders that I might develop a favorable opinion of and can have some respect for over a longer term, including for strains that have been around a while, tried and tested favorites or promising crosses.

I have experience growing plants, and really enjoy it (helps keep me grounded), but this is my first experience with cannabis. Compared to other plants I've had an interest in and learned to grow, cannabis seems pretty easy, just about as vigorous and robust as the weeds we normally try to keep down around here, like Russian Thistle (tumbleweeds), Kochia and Pigweed.

So far, so good. I'm trying to be alert to any deficiencies or needs the plants and their soil and cultural conditions might necessitate. I've realized a few things. These plants don't seem to need or want much water at all. They aren't fragile little delicate plants that need lots of careful attention. Instead, they seem naturally hardy, adaptable and robust, and I think that they are more likely to be killed by too _much_ attention, than by a bit of negligence. I'm finding that because they don't (seem to) like to be wet (or like to dry out between waterings), I think I'll migrate away from trying to supply their nutrient and other needs dissolved in water, which I typically do for my water-hungry tomatoes in the greenhouse, and try to experiment with and improve the potting soil to the extent that they will grow and flourish just about without any need for liquid nutrition, unless a nutrient or mineral deficiency becomes apparent.

Fabric pots (3-gallon size)-- I'm starting not to like them. It's difficult to water when it just runs to the edges and down the sides of the fabric pot and spills out onto the ground without wetting the root zone of the plant. I've been dunking them into a larger container filled with water instead, so they can suck up water from the bottom and sides of these pots.

I'm also realizing that cannabis makes a really substantial, extensive root network, and a 3-gallon pot hardly seems sufficient unless I'm going to "bonsai" them with lots of pruning and fairly aggressive trimming. I think I might look for some other kinds of pots to grow them in, and would appreciate any suggestions. I've traditionally (for me) not liked thin, black plastic pots because the sides get baking or burning hot in this high altitude sun, which I can't help but think makes it hard on the roots. So I'm wondering about white plastic pots, insulated pots of some kind (I wish the polyurethane foam pots popular a few years ago were still commonly available, and not so ridiculously expensive as they became), or nursery bags of some kind, as well as some good sources for those kind of things (recommendations appreciated).

So, this is my first go round with cannabis, but with many years of experience with other plants, making compost, different soil conditions and amendments.

The other day I did my first trim to open up the canopy and remove the shade from the smaller shoots growing from the stems, and instead of throwing those leaves away, I let them dry in the greenhouse in indirect light and lots of breeze, and I added some to my last pot of tea for the day as it brewed. I have neuropathy from the cancer (in remission for 5 years now and considered cured), and various body aches and pains, and that night, while not sensing any noticeable "high" or "stoned" effects, I had one of the most gently relaxed, restful and refreshing sleeps I've had in years. Felt really great the next morning. So last night (several days after trying that first mix of regular (camelia chinensis) and cannabis tea) I made some more in my last pot for the day, and the same thing happened. So I'm starting to think it might not be just a coincidence.
 
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amekins

amekins

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Looking great so far. Having plant experience and knowing when to leave them alone is something you already know. I’ve heard using white fabric or other lots helps keep roots cooler but I don’t have any personal experience with them. Seeds…lots out there. I’m a big fan of Humboldt Seed Company. I order from www.207genetics.com.

Welcome to the The Farm!
 
Steve6077

Steve6077

8
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Because it's September and the days are getting shorter, but my first-grow plants are still young, I'm adding extra "daylight" to the morning and evening in the greenhouse to keep a daily photoperiod of about 16 hours for the time being, using a Phantom Photobio LED growlight on an automatic timer--
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LED growlight


Today I started the germination process for a few more seeds, of the Humboldt Seed Co. Purple Mountain Majesty, regular non-feminized seed.
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Humboldt Seed Co Purple Mountain Majesty


I wish that seedbanks were more up-front about mentioning their location. It seems that there is a distinction between Humboldt Seed Company, Humboldt Seed Organization, and Humboldt CSI. It seems that Humboldt Seed Organization, while titling their website "#1 Cannabis Seed Bank from California," may not actually be located in the U.S. Their FAQ includes the text, "We do not ship to Australia, the U.S., South Africa, Chile and Argentina."
 
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Steve6077

Steve6077

8
3
Still growing well so far--

First grow scaled2


The four Humboldt Seed Company "Purple Mountain Majesty" (regular seeds) have germinated, two in a seedling pot so far, the other two probably tomorrow or the next day.

I'm not so interested in feminized seed now, nor in autoflower seed. My one autoflower (the smallest plant in the above photo) is already producing stigmas (all of the plants are feminized, no visible male flowering parts yet. And that seems way too soon. Yes, the days are getting shorter, but I'm extending the daylight with LED light in the greenhouse, and none of the other plants are producing any visible flowering parts yet; I'm hoping they'll get at least a few more weeks of maturing and growth before I begin to reduce the daily photoperiod.

Really most interested in the regular seed from Authentic Genetics (AGseedCo.com), Humboldt Seed Co., Oregon Green Seed and The Real Seed Company. (Any recommendations for other regular seed sources or breeders/growers?)

Anyway, happy gardener, with just a few pests (army worm caterpillars and a few grasshoppers) to contend with so far. Starting to experiment with and prepare a good soil / growing medium that the plants can rely upon for more or less complete nutrition and health during their normal lifespan, instead of forcing the plants to depend upon me for regular fixes of liquid nutrients. :)

Saving the trimmed leaves, drying them and brewing them with regular tea sometimes at night for a very relaxing effect and good night's sleep, easing the aches and pains of this body that's been through so much this time around. Nice cannabis tea; trying to see if there's any or much difference in end result, when brewing dry leaves in with regular tea (camelia chinensis) or decarboxylating the dry leaves first for a while (10-20 minutes) in a capped jar on a rack in an Instant Pot with about an inch of water, at high pressure (239-244 degrees Fahrenheit). The cannabis without the prior decarboxylation did have an obvious, nice, relaxing effect when ingested with the tea, so not sure if decarboxylation is necessary. More experiments called for to develop some conclusions or opinions.

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Steve6077

Steve6077

8
3
October 4-- Growing good so far. Happy with first grow. Light regime (natural and artificial) reduced to (hopefully) help stimulate flowering, to finish this nice crop before next one (already germinated Humboldt Seed Co. Purple Mountain Majesty, regular seeds) needs photoperiod gradually extended to simulate normal growing season during the winter months. Tall Afghan landrace at the far end; short, already flowering ruderalis-hybrid (Purple Haze autoflower from Seedsman) at near end.

First grow October 3
 

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