The Outdoor Reference Thread

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Hey farmers! I'm starting this thread in hopes that other farmers will not have to seek this info elsewhere. Please refrain from posting any responses until I am finished. I'll let y'all know when. This is only to keep from interrupting the flow of the reference material. If you have any articles you would like to add, feel free at anytime. Just keep the chit-chat down till we get a good amount of articles in here, please.

These are NOT written by me. Credit will be given after each submission.

Finishing times, Photo-period, Latitude, and how it all works!!
We all know the basics of vegging and blooming Cannabis..... when the day is long and the night is short the plant concentrates on vegging(growing), when the day length shortens enough, the plant starts to bloom.*

But how does all this work?*
Why does the same strain finish at different times in different parts of the world? Does 12/12 really mean anything outdoors? Why is Latitude(or "Lat") so important to some growers? What is a "Auto-flowering" plant?

Lets get into the meat of the subject shall we?..............

The first thing to cover here is Photoperiod- Photoperiod is the ammount of time there is light in a 24 hour period. In Cannabis growing, Photoperiod is typically shown like this- 12/12 or 16/8, or 18/6, etc. The first number is usually the length of the lighted period, the second shows the balance of the 24 hours that is dark.
Outdoors the sun controls the Photoperiod. Its length changes through the seasons according to the movements of the sun in the sky, a matter of fact it causes the change in seasons. This brings us to......
Photoperiodism is the reaction of many flowering plants(including Cannabis) to changes in Photoperiod. Plants that experience Photoperiodism have pigment cells called Phytochrome that monitor the amounts of light being absorbed by the plants(specifically the red end of the spectrum), and the length of day. Signals from the Phytochrome tell the plant to do many things, including to grow, bloom, and in the case of some trees, to loose their leaves and go dormant in Autumn.

Most of these plants fall into three categories concerning blooming times, that being- long day plants(blooms as day gets longer), short day plants(blooms as day gets shorter), and day neutral plants(blooming is not according to light cycles).
All Cannabis varieties are either "Short day", plants or "Auto-flowering" (known as "Day neutral" outside of the Cannabis community). So called "Auto-flowering" plants do not seem to take their blooming cues from the sun, and thus should be considered "Day neutral", as most seem to be genetically programmed to bloom according to age instead.


The Sun, Latitude, and why the same plants finish different times at different points on the globe

The year as we know it is basically the time it takes for the Earth to make a complete loop around the sun. As the Earth makes this loop it shifts on its axis, so that either the northern half or southern half(Hemispheres) have the longer photo-period.

The shortest day of the year is called the Winter Solstice, this day occurs on December 21st in the northern half of the world, on the same day in the southern hemisphere they will have their Summer solstice, the longest day of the year. On June 21s it will be reversed, with the longest day of the year in the north(Summer solstice), and the shortest day in the south(Winter solstice).

Two days of the year are known as the equinoxes, one occurs March 21st and one on September 21st. These days represent the halfway point between the longest and shortest days of the year, on these days the day length is almost exactly 12/12 all over the world. If you are in the Northern hemisphere, Mar. 21 is the first day of Spring and September is the first day of Autumn, reverse these dates in the southern hemisphere.

Latitude is the east-west lines you see on a globe or map of the earth, they are spaced about every 111 Kilometers starting at 0 degrees at the Equator, and graduating north and south from there (every 111 KM) to the north pole(90 Degrees North) and South pole(90 Degrees south).

Here is a link to Wikipedia explaining Latitude-*


At the Equator the length of day doesn't change much from month to month, at both Solstices the length of day is about 12 hours, at both Equinoxes it is about 12 hours, almost perpetual 12/12.

Now lets take a look at Portland Oregon, this city sits near 45.4° N, which is about exactly halfway between the Equator(O°) and the North pole(90°N).*
At the Winter solstice, the length of day is 8h 41m, at Summer solstice the day length is 15h 41m, and at the Equinoxes it is 12h 12m.

And now lets look at Anchorage Alaska, this city sits at 61.2° N, a little over 2/3 of the way to the North pole(90° N) from the Equator(0°).
At the Winter Solstice the day length is 5h 27m, at Summer solstice the day length is 19h 22m, and the Equinoxes are 12h 18m.

As you move away from the equator(either north or south), you see more distictness between the seasons and the length of days during those seasons.*
Generally the closer you are to the Equator, the less difference there is between the length of day on the Solstices(the longest and shortest days of the year.
The further you are from the Equator, the more difference there is in length of day between the Solstices, making the Summer shorter and shorter, and the longest day of the year longer and longer the further you go from the eternal 12/12 of the Equator.

Here are the Latitudes for a few North American, European and Australian cities to show a example of the vast differences in latitude-

Darwin, Australia-12.4° S
Miami, Florida-25.8° N*
Houston, Texas-29.7° N*
Los Angeles, California-34.1° N*
Atlanta, Georgia-33.9° N
Canberra, Australia-35.3° S
San Francisco, California-37.8° N
Reno, Nevada-39.5° N
Naples, Italy-40.8° N
Chicago, Illinois- 41.9° N*
Boston, Massachusetts-42.4° N
Toronto, Ontario-43.6° N
Ottawa, Ontario-45.3° N
Seattle, Washington-47.6° N
Vienna, Austria-48.2° N
Vancouver, British Columbia-49.2° N
Calgary, Alberta-51.1° N
Warsaw, Poland-52.2° N
Amsterdam, Netherlands-52.3°
Edmonton, Alberta-53.3° N
Anchorage, Alaska-61.2° N

The Photo-period sensitive strains of Cannabis are each genetically programmed to start blooming when day shortens to a certain length*.*
When these various strains are bred, they become acclimated to that latitudes photoperiod, they are bred to bloom and harvest before that areas climate becomes too cold and dark(or wet), usally to avoid major mold problems, or harsh freezing weather.
*Many experts agree that it is actually the length of the dark period that matters to plants.

When you take a plant that was bred in one location, and move it to a similar Latitude, say from 42° N to 43° N the plant should harvest at nearly the same time. But if you take a plant from 42° N to 50° N, its possible that the plant may not harvest early enough to beat Winter further up north.*

Do you have enough sunshine? Is your outdoor soil texture right?Is your outdoor soils PH correct?
Earth holes: A experiment in Guerrilla irrigation

* Here is a chart comparing the length of day for 4 areas, over the year. The first number is the length of day(meaning sunrise to sunset), the second number includes the twilight time before sunrise and after sunset(basically the total length of visible light)-

----- Houston, TX 29.7°N--------Humboldt county, CA 40° N------Eugene, OR 44.1°N--------Vancouver,BC 49.2°N

Dec 21--10h 14m/11h 07m------------9h 22m/10h 23m--------------8h 52m/9h 58m--------------7h53m/9h 27m

Jan 21--10h 33m/11h 24m------------9h 51m/10h 49m--------------9h 26m/10h 30m------------8h 54m/10h 05m

Feb 21--11h 19m/12h 07m-----------10h 58m/11h 53m-------------10h 46m/11h 45m-----------10h 31m/11h 36m

Mar 21--12h 58m/12h 56m-----------12h 10m/13h 04m-------------12h 11m/13h 09m-----------12h 13m/13h 16m

Apr 21--13h 03m/13h 52m-----------13h 29m/14h 25m-------------13m 44m/14h 45m-----------14h 04m/15h 12m

May 21--13h 45m/14h 57m-----------14h 31m/15h 33m-------------14h 45m/16h 06m-----------15h 34m/16h 53m

Jun 21--14h 03m/14h 57m-----------15h 57m/16h 05m-------------15h 30m/16h 43m-----------16h 14m/17h 40m

Jul 06--13h 58m/14h 52m-----------15h 00m/16h 06m-------------15h 22m/16h 34m-----------16h 04m/17h 28m

Jul 21--13h 45m/14h 57m-----------14h 31m/15h 33m-------------14h 45m/16h 06m-----------15h 34m/16h 53m

Aug 06--13h 26m/14h 17m-----------14h 09m/15h 10m-------------14h 24m/15h 29m-----------14h 53m/16h 06m

Aug 21--13h 03m/13h 52m-----------13h 29m/14h 25m-------------13m 44m/14h 45m-----------14h 04m/15h 12m

Sept 06--12h 36m/13h 24m-----------12h 53m/13h 48m-------------12h 58m/13h 57m-----------13h 09m/14h 14m

Sept 21--12h 10m/12h 56m-----------12h 10m/13h 04m-------------12h 11m/13h 09m-----------12h 13m/13h 16m

Oct 06--11h 43m/12h 31m-----------11h 32m/12h 27m-------------11h 28m/12h 26m-----------11h 21m/12h 25m

Oct 21--11h 19m/12h 07m-----------10h 58m/11h 53m-------------10h 46m/11h 45m-----------10h 31m/11h 36m

Nov 06--10h 52m/11h 42m-----------10h 13m/11h 11m-------------10h 00m/11h 01m------------9h 35m/10h 43m

Nov 21--10h 33m/11h 24m------------9h 51m/10h 49m--------------9h 26m/10h 30m------------8h 54m/10h 05m

Dec 21--10h 14m/11h 07m------------9h 22m/10h 23m--------------8h 52m/9h 58m-------------7h 53m/9h 27m

Length of day Vs. Length of visible light
When you see people describe outdoor photo-period, they often use the "Length of day" to describe it. "Length of day" is defined legally as the time between sunrise and sunset, the problem with using this figure is that it doesn't count the visible light known as "Twilight", that occurs before sunrise, and after sunset, the day may actually be 1 hour(or more) longer!
Cannabis plants do have a cut off point where they no longer consider fading light as "day", I am sure this tolerance point is different for each strain grown. Obviously a full moon is not bright enough to affect Cannabis plants, but who really knows where cut off is?

Does 12/12 mean anything outdoors?
Often I have seen new members(or members mostly experienced in indoors) post threads asking when 12/12 occurs outdoors. Often they say they are looking for the time of the season when their plants will start blooming outdoors, many times they are trying to use this date(Sept 21 Equinox) plus the strains indoor finishing time to determine the outdoor finishing time.
But of course it doesn't work that way, we know that most strains have started blooming long before Sept 21st, but there is even more reason why indoor finishing times can't be applied outdoors.

One thing to realize is that as the day lights length shortens, the plants speed up their blooming, since most plants start blooming long before 12/12, outdoor plants will take longer to set into blooming and to finish than their indoor grown sisters would. So basically, unless you live very near to the Equator, indoor finishing times will not be applicable outdoors.
This Article was brought to you by BACKCOUNTRY


For All The New Outdoor Growers*
Well i figure the same questions get posted over and over again about when to plant, when there last frost date, and just about everything else so i thought why not post all the need to know basic information in one thread

So heres a few links that should help you out on your first grows :)

This link is to the Marijuana Growers Book by Mel Frank and Ed Rosenthal, lots of good information from indoors to outdoors, pests, nutes, soil, finding places to plant, how to plant and all that wonderful information *

This next link is a Sun Rise and Sun Set table, just type in your area code/city and it will tell you when the sun rises and sets each day of the year :)

This is all the frost dates in North America ill try to find one for the rest of the world very soon :)

This is for National Rainfall Data around the USA *

Feel free to post anything else that will help a new grower find there way to a nice harvest at the end of the growing season.

Originally posted by BACKCOUNTRY


Growing Marijuana Outdoors

Wild marijuana plants are vigorous, aggressive, competitive weeds. Some varieties have a large root system which helps them survive moisture stress and poor soil. Plants spaced at least 10 feet apart will grow to a height of 3 - 5 feet in dry climates. Cannabis is a survivor. Given control of a growing area of 4 to 12 square feet, in poor soil, mature plants will grow to about 5 feet tall with a strong terminal main bud or cola. The yield is relatively heavy considering the amount of cultivation work. Add a little more effort during soil preparation and planting to grow several times more dope. Loosen the soil, amend it a little and throw in a handful of polymers*.

Cover the soil around the plant with a thick layer of natural mulch to attract condensed water and to keep soil moisture from evaporating. Just these simple measures may double the yield. *polymer crystals are small crystals that expand to about 15 times their size when moistened by water. They are added to soil to prolong time between watering.

Reasonable soil will grow a plant that is 7 – 8 feet tall with roots that spread 5 feet across and 6 feet deep. This plant will yield 2 – 10 times more marijuana than if planted in poor soil.

Polymer crystals hold water and gradually release it as the soil dries out. Polymer crystals cut watering frequency dramatically. To prepare an outdoor garden, remove the weeds in the fall, dig planting holes and prepare the soil. The soil will absorb rainfall and be well mixed the next spring. Cover each planting hole with a layer of mulch to protect it from winter rains and temperatures. This layer of mulch is very important. Do not leave soil bare all winter.

Transplant seedlings or clones in spring and grow marijuana plants as you would tomatoes. If growing in poor soil, give each plant a hole that is 4 feet deep and 4 feet in diameter and refill with your best compost/potting soil/planting mix. Break up the soil in a wide 6-foot radius, only 6 - 8 inches deep, because roots branch out. To water cheaply and effectively, cut a 3/16th hole in the bottom of a 5-gallon bucket. Mix an inexpensive all purpose water-soluble fertilizer with 5-gallons of water in the bucket and put the hole by the stem of the plant. Growing like this, only with 4 - 6 buckets of water will last all summer. Water with one bucket every 10 days during hot weather. Watering with this regimen, the plants will grow as well as if they had lots of water.

If plants receive no water, a small bud grows on top of plant. A 5 foot tall plant may produce from 1 - 6 ounces of smokable bud. This same plant, given just a little water, will grow much better and produce more high quality smoke.

Grow a plant that takes 20 – 40 gallons of supplemental water per growing season, or grow a plant that gets an infinite amount of water and achieve very near the same weight at harvest. Why?

First the plant must use all water in the soil. The plant must get all the nutrients it needs that naturally occur in the subsoil. If you slightly increase the water and nutrient supply, you get a much stronger and robust plant. How much water is there in the soil already?

Reasonable soil has one inch of water per foot of area. There are about 30 gallons of water already in the soil in 4 x 4 x 4-feet area of reasonable soil. Look for big green stands of vegetation. Kill green vegetation in the fall and grow the garden the following spring. One of the main things to look for is an adequate water supply. Many parts of the US and different parts of the world get rainfall in the summer growing season to support a dry land crop. The rainfall you need is from ¼ to 1 inch per week. It is very important that it rains regularly during the spring and summer months. Dry fall weather is the best for harvests. Heavy rains and high humidity will cause bud mold.


Site Preparation and Soil

Preparing three sites required three different strategies. The small greenhouse needs a little bit of heat to speed growth. Easy ways to warm a greenhouse include natural heat generated by the sun and artificial heat from electricity or burning fossil fuel. To conserve the natural heat from the sun, Vansterdan lined the bottom of the greenhouse with two inches of Styrofoam. He also placed a one- inch-thick lining six inches high around the bottom perimeter of the greenhouse. He constructed the greenhouse from Filon, a corrugated, translucent fiberglass. The low-slung greenhouse looks like a small storage area because you can’t see inside. Filon transmits enough light for vegetative growth even when low levels of natural sunlight are available. To add more heat, Vansterdan used duct tape to fasten heating cable to the Styrofoam floor and covered it with a thin piece of sheet metal to transmit the heat evenly.

Marijuana blends and is camouflaged by many different back yard plants. Look for plants with similar leaf shapes that grow fast.

Vansterdan is an avid vegetable gardener and has been adding manure and compost to the raised beds in his backyard garden for more than 10 years. His neighbors are used to his fanatic gardening and do not suspect him of growing marijuana. Every spring he spreads three cubic yards of finished compost and manure over the garden. He adds dolomite lime to raise and stabilize the acidic pH and rototills it into the soil. Once vegetables are planted and growing well,

Vansterdan transplants hardened-off clones into the garden plot. “The soil is so rich and fertile, I don’t even need a shovel to dig a planting hole. I just open the soil with my hand, put the clone in and press soil around the root ball before watering it in” said Vansterdan with the pride of a confirmed organic gardener.

Raised Beds

The soil in cool coastal regions is heavy clay that warms slowly and drains poorly. Raised beds turn both of these detriments into compliments. Beds need to be raised 6 – 8 inches to provide the benefits of warmth and improved drainage. Using raised beds, Vansterdan plants from two weeks to a month earlier than other gardeners. If poor drainage is the only obstacle and making raised beds too difficult because of a remote garden location, smart growers loosen clay soils with a pick and shovel before cultivating in granulated gypsum to break up clay soil.


The basics of composting are simple: collect organic matter: grass clippings, chopped up branches and vegetative matter, pile it up and let it rot. The pile must be at least one yard square to hold more heat than is dissipated. “It’s easy to make compost,” said Vansterdan. “In the summer, professional gardeners cut grass and other yard debris and haul it away. I asked one of them to dump the debris at the end of my driveway. He gives me about three cubic yards a week. By the end of the summer, I have more than 40 yards of grass clippings and garden debris. I mix it with wood chips to provide carbon and air. The following year, I have 3 to 6 cubic yards of the best compost in the world!”

“I know one hard core grower that plants spring crops on top of compost piles. He piles the compost up two or three feet high, making a raised bed. Next he throws 3 or 4 inches of good dirt on top and plants foot-tall clones, aye. By the time the roots penetrate down into the compost, it has cooled down and doesn’t burn. The compost keeps the clones warm and he puts a greenhouse on top to protect the foliage. If he’s lucky and the weather cooperates, he harvests a spring crop.” said Vansterdan with a bewildered grin.

Mountain and Bog Soil.

“Most of the soil around here is full of Douglas fir needles and is very acidic. The pH is around 5, which makes plants grow slowly, aye. I look for patches where pasture grass grows. The soil is normally a little poor, lacking nutrients, so I have two strategies. The first one, I use for low lying areas. To plant in marshy, grassy areas, I cut a square yard of moist sod from the ground with a shovel, turn it over, and plant in it. This way I can transplant about 50 clones in a day. The marshy ground supplies enough water and I just add a bit of time-release fertilizer when I transplant, aye. I add another handful of flowering time-release fertilizer when I go back and check them the first week in August. Sure, the plants don’t grow as big as the ones in my back yard, but I don’t work too hard, aye.”

To plant in marshy, grassy areas, this grower cuts a square yard of moist sod from the ground with a shovel, turns the entire piece over (180 degrees) and plants in it.

Vansterdan has been planting in the mountains for 12 years in secret gardens only accessible by foot or mountain bike. He harvests about half of the clones he plants. The rest are lost to humans and other animals, insects, fungus and weather. “Growing in BC is different than growing around Toronto, aye. The weather here on the Lower Mainland is mild in the summer, with occasional rain showers. The heavy rains start in September. If your crop isn’t out of the ground by the middle of September, the buds get wet and moldy, usually gray mold (botrytis), sometimes powdery mildew starts earlier on leaves. Toronto is in the middle of the continent and a lot hotter and more humid. Plants grow faster, but still need to be out of the ground before the frost,” said Vansterdan, with a strong Canadian accent.

If the weather coperates and Vansterdan plants early in the year, clones establish a dense root system and don’t need much water during the growing season. A heavy layer of mulch helps conserve water and combat weeds.

Hardening-off Cuttings and Seedlings

After clones have rooted in rockwool cubes for three weeks, Vansterdan transplants them into 4-inch pots full of organic soil mix. He handles root cubes carefully and waters transplants heavily so roots grow into the new soil. He leaves the cuttings under a 400- watt HP sodium lamp for two weeks before moving them outdoors to harden-off in the greenhouse. He keeps clones in trays (nursery flats) so they are easy to handle. Since there is not enough room for all of the transplanted clones in the greenhouse, Vansterdan fills the greenhouse three different times. The first crop of clones is transplanted into the soil or 3-gallon pots and set out in the back yard garden after they have hardened-off for two or three weeks. The second crop of clones is moved in to harden-off and later transplanted to the local mountain plots. The third set of clones is moved into the greenhouse and grown until they are about 18 inches tall before he prompts flowering. Vansterdan covers the greenhouse to induce flowering with 12 hours of darkness.

Transplanting to the Mountain Site

The clones he transplants to the mountain site are grown in a tall container to promote a strong deep root system. The containers Vansterdan uses to clone the plants in are 6 inches tall and 3 inches square.

“I learned this trick when I worked for the Forrest Service, aye,” explained Vansterdan, “They grow tree seedlings in tall containers so they will have a deep strong root system. The deep, dense root system makes a strong plant, aye. I won’t be able to water or give much care to these babies. A strong root system makes up for the lack of care”.

Clones in tall containers with a deep root system have the best chance of survival in remote, low maintenance gardens. A clone buried deep in ground will grow roots along the stem in a few weeks. Planting the root ball a few inches deeper makes plants easier to maintain.

Other growers transplant foot-tall clones with smaller root systems. They remove the first few sets of leaves and bury the root ball deeper in the ground, leaving only six inches of foliage above ground. The clone will grow roots along the underground stem in the next few weeks.

“I try to go back and check on the clones two or three times after I plant them. Every time I go back there I pee around the plants to scare the deer and rabbits away. I also save urine in a bottle and sprinkle it around them, because I run out,” said Vansterdan with a grin.

Seed Germination and Care

Cannabis seeds need only water, heat and air to germinate. Seeds, without light, properly watered, will germinate in 2 – 10 days, in temperatures from 70 – 90 degrees F. Germination is faster at higher temperatures but declines if temperatures climb above 90 degrees F. When the seed germinates, the outside protective shell splits and a tiny, white sprout (tap root) pops out. The seed leaves emerge from within the shell as they push upward in search of light.

One popular way to germinate seeds is placing seeds in a moist paper towel or cheesecloth, in a warm room, (70 – 90 degrees F.) and make sure they are in darkness.

Germinating seeds between moist paper towels virtually ensures success.

At germination, a seed sprouts, sets roots, grows roundish cotoleydon leaves and the first set of true leaves.

Water the cloth daily, keep it moist and let excess water drain away freely. The seed germinates in a few days. The seed contains an adequate food supply for germination and watering with a mild mix of liquid fertilizer will hasten growth. In humid climates, water with a mild bleach or fungicide solution (2 - 5 drops per gallon) to prevent fungus.

Plant seeds once the white sprout is visible. Do not expose the tender rootlet to prolonged, intense light or wind. Plant the germinated seed ¼” to ½ " deep in planting medium with the white sprout tip (the root) pointing down. Lay the seed on its side if confused about which end is up.

The second popular germination method is to sow the seed in a shallow planter (flat), peat pellet or rooting cube and keep the planting medium evenly moist. Transplant 2 – 4 weeks after the seedling emerges from the soil. Use a spoon to remove the root ball and keep it intact when transplanting.

A heat pad or heat tape under or in soil will accelerate germination without drying the soil too fast. A common problem for novices when germinating seeds is over-watering. Keep the soil uniformly moist, but not soggy. Plant seeds in a nursery flat and put them in a warm (not hot) place like on top of the refrigerator. Put a wet piece of paper on top of the soil to retain the moisture. Remove the paper as soon as seeds sprout through soil. Leaving the paper on the soil will inhibit growth. Often seeds only need one initial watering when this method is used. A shallow flat or planter with a heat pad underneath may require daily watering, while a deep, one gallon pot needs water every 2 or 3 days. When the surface is dry (¼-inch deep) it is time to water.

Remember, there are few roots to absorb the water early in life and they are very delicate.

Seedling (cotyledon) leaves are the first to appear after the seed sprouts above the soil. Within a few days, the first true leaves will grow. During the seedling stage, a root system grows rapidly and green growth is slow.

The new root system is very small and requires a modest but constant supply of water. Too much water drowns roots, causing root rot or damping-off. Lack of water dries the infant root system. As the seedlings mature, some will grow faster and stronger.

Others will be weak and leggy. Vansterdan thins out weak plants the third to fifth week and transplants seedlings without any damage.

Soil Temperature

Root cubes, made from rockwool, peat or OasisTM, are convenient and encourage a strong root system. Peat pots are small compressed peat moss containers with an outside expandable wall. The flat pellets pop-up into a seedling pot when watered. Place the seed or cutting in the wet root cube and keep it evenly moist. For clones, make sure to crimp the top in around the stem so firm contact is made between the stem and the growing medium. When roots show through the sides of the cube it is time to transplant. Slit the side and remove the expandable nylon shell of peat pots before transplanting. When completed properly seedlings and clones suffer no transplant shock. Check peat pots or root cubes daily. Keep them evenly moist, but not soggy. Root cubes and peat pots contain no nutrients. Feed seedlings after the first week and clones as soon as they are rooted with ¼ to ½ strength fertilizer.

Inexpensive heat cables double root growth and are easy to use.

The seed intensive method:

Planting many seeds in a small area is also an option. In loose fertile soil, plant seeds from ¼ to ½- inch deep. Some growers set up small 3 x 3 square foot sites, planting three rows with a seed every few inches. Growers with 4 or 5 small patches are virtually guaranteed a harvest. They grow 2 to 5 small plants in various sites. Infrared photography is less effective against small patches. To make more space, growers cull out weak plants at 4 – 5 weeks and remove males as they appear.*


Site Selection

Big Steve is too smart to plant on his own land. He rents a country cabin and always plants on public property or other people’s property. Each year he plants in new locations. He likes to plant in low-traffic spaces among small trees and bushes.

Steve also found two different farm fields that have been out of production for a few years. He has had good crops along rivers and streams, but lost crops to floods twice in the last 10 years. When he planted along rivers, he made sure the plants were not visible from the river. Some years....

......Steve planted in buckets in rocky inaccessible terrain. He doesn’t need to prepare the soil, he just brings in grow bags and fills them with soil on the way. The plants don’t grow as big, but are seldom seen because they are growing where nobody goes or would expect them to be. Plants receive good sunlight on rocky hillsides in untillable soil. A site in dense, short bush, like sticker bushes, is another favorite spot. The sticker bushes grow high enough to prevent people from seeing through them and also serve as a deterrent from people and large animals wandering into the site.

“One of my favorite tricks is to plant where there are lots of mosquitoes,” said Steve with a snicker,

“If I can find a place with wasps, too. That’s a double whammy. I think the best site I ever found was next to a skunk’s den, around a skunk spray. I had to smear the inside of my nose with Vicks Vapor Rub to keep from smelling the skunk spray. Nobody went around there!”

“I plant deep inside patches of poison oak, poison ivy or my favorite: stinging nettles. I save seeds and broadcast them. I just cover any exposed skin with a slick rain suit and gloves to protect me. I wash the suit afterward to get rid of the oils. It’s a great way to keep lightweights away from the patch!” said Steve with a smirk, “if there’s a thief that wants my plants, it will cost them!”

Ideal “trails” are “invisible,” have dense undergrowth and lots of sunlight. Growers walk up river and creek beds to avoid detection. Rapid plant growth will erase any damage to the vegetation between trips. Some growers lightly fertilize their trail if they use it more than a few times, but are careful – wild plants are easy to overfertilize. Other growers never take the same path to their gardens and do everything possible to avoid damaging foliage. In late summer and early fall, damaged foliage usually will not regrow. Big Steve always asks himself: Can I see the trail I just made? If not, great, if so hide it! The more difficult it is for you to get to the site, the less likely someone else will try.

Growers who think ahead bring any supplies they need – lengths of PVC pipe, gasoline-powered pumps, water tanks, soil, etc. – early in the spring before underbrush has matured and hide the supplies until needed. Sheltering also protects lightweight plastic from ultraviolet light damage.

Good soil can be in short supply on remote hillsides and is often the richest where grassland vegetation is found. Grasslands recycle nutrients in the soil and form rich fertile topsoil. (See “Soil” in Appendix).

“I order bricks of coconut fiber from out in California. Those bricks are great. They are compact and easy to carry. When I break them up and add water they expand to several times their size,” said Steve, showing me how he loads them into his backpack.

A nearby water source makes a grower’s life easier and safer. Growers trample foliage and risk being spotted when hauling water. The more trips, the more noticeable the trail. Look for a summertime water source that does not dry up. Water consumption is determined by the weather. Dry land crops are possible if it rains once every one to four weeks.

Growers flower summer crops by covering small greenhouses to give plants 12 hours of darkness daily. Crops are ripe in 8-12 weeks. Sunlight is less important yet essential. Five hours of direct midday sunlight per day is necessary for acceptable growth, the more the better. Growers who scout sites during winter months visualize how trees will shade the landscape and the higher path the sun will make in the spring and summer.

Flowering females stand out like a neon sign if surrounding foliage dies back before harvest.

If you can have exclusive access to your marijuana patch by boat, you can cut potential traffic substantially.


The police find hundreds of thousands of cannabis plants annually with aerial surveillance and infrared photography. Large plots are easier to spot than small gardens.

Many communities receive federal funds to eradicate marijuana crops. Some police departments sell the property they confiscate and buy new high tech surveillance equipment, firearms, vehicles and other toys to seek out and destroy marijuana and grower’s lives. Marijuana laws in many states are extremely severe. Law enforcement officials lie, cheat and steal to achieve their means. Do not trust them under any circumstances.

“Report a marijuana grower” programs with a cash reward are common in the USA. Six armed and dangerous narcs came to search my home on the word of a snitch. The narcs would not tell me who squealed on me or why, or if the weasel even existed. If anyone knows or even suspects you are growing marijuana, they have tremendous authority over you. A vindictive enemy can also turn you in with no evidence, even if you are not growing! Growers avoid jealous lovers, family members or malicious “friends”. One of the saddest cases I saw was a daughter that extorted money from her father. The father grew marijuana to ease the pain of his glaucoma. His daughter threatened to have him arrested if he did not sell some of the crop to pay her off. When selecting a site, remember there might be hunters (archers, black powder, rifle and shotgun) as well as mushroom and marijuana hunters or other passers by. Check all the regulations if hunting is popular in your area. The patch will have to be hidden from other wilderness users. There also might be dirt bikers or four wheel vehicles lurking.

Site Preparation

Security is the number one concern in site preparation. Well concealed gardens are harvested, detected plants are not. Prepare growing sites up to 6 months before planting. For best results, let your amended soil sit for at least a month before planting. If the site is on an incline, planting holes must be terraced into the hillside. Make sure the terrace is large enough to catch any runoff water. Make extra gulleys to catch runoff water and channel it to the growing plant. Make a dish around the planting hole to retain water. In heavy brush, clear a few patches so plants get enough sunlight and plant 3-6 plants in each location. When preparing the soil, I cut back all roots from competing plants and till the planting holes 2 - 3 feet square. Soil along a riverbank is almost always fertile sandy loam. Hide the potential garden from river traffic as well as hikers and fishermen. More sunlight is available near the tops of the trees in dense forest. Ingenious growers use deer/elk hunting stands to grow in trees. They set up a pulley system to lift a large container and potting soil up to sit on the plant stand. Install an irrigation hose from the bottom of the tree directly to the plant. The grower passes by weekly with water and manual or battery operated pump to lift water to the plant high in the tree.

A partner is necessary to work on the ground while the other person works in the tree. Smart growers use a safety line and belt and do not spend more than 4 hours off the ground in one day. Accidents happen to tired climbers.

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GUERRILLA FARMING - Cannabis Growing Guide

Guerrilla farming refers to farming away from your own property, or in a remote location of your property where people seldom roam around. It is possible to find locations that for one reason or another are not easily accessible or are privately owned.

Try to grow off your property, on adjacent property, so that if your plot is found, it will not be traceable back to you. If it is not on your property, nobody has witnessed you there, and there is no physical evidence of your presence (footprints, fingerprints, trails, hair, etc.), then it is virtually impossible to prosecute you for it, even if the cops think they know who it belongs to.

Never admit to growing, to anyone. Your best defence is that your just passing thru the area, and noticed something you decided to take a look at, or carry a fishing pole or binoculars and claim fishing or bird watching.

Never tell anyone but a partner where the plants are located. Do not bring visitors to see them, unless it is harvest time, and the plants will be pulled the same or following day.

Make sure your plants are out of sight. Take a different route to get to them if they are not in a secure part of your property, and cover the trail to make it look as if there is no trail. Make cut backs in the trail, so that people on the main trail will tend to miss the cut-back to the grow area. Don not park on the main road, always find a place to park that will not arouse suspicion by people that pass on the road. Have a safe house in the area if you are not planting close to home. Always have a good reason for being in the area and have the necessary items to make your claim believable.

Briar and poison oak patches are perfect if you can cut through it. Poison Oak must be washed away before an allergic reaction takes place. Teknu is a special soap solution that will deactivate poison oak before it has time to create a reaction. Apply Teknu immediately after contact and take a shower 30 mins. later.

Try to plant under trees, next to bushes and keep only a few plants in any one spot. Train or top the plants to grow sideways, or do something to prevent the classic christmas tree look of most plants left to grow untrained. Tying the top down to the ground will make the plants branches grow up toward the sun, and increase yield, given a long enough growing season. Plants can be grown under trees if the sun comes in at an angle and lights the area for several hours every day. Plants should get at least 5 hours of direct sun every day, and 5 more hours of indirect light. Use shoes that you can dispose of later and cover your foot prints. Use surgical gloves and leave no fingerprints on pots and other items that might ID you to the case your plot is discovered by passers by.

Put up a fence, or the chipmonks, squirles and deer will nibble on your babies until there is nothing left. Green wire mesh and nylon chicken fencing net work great and can be wrapped around trees to create a strong barrier. Always check it and repair every visit you make to the garden. A barrier of fishing line, one at 18" and another at 3 feet will keep most deer away from your crop.

Gopher Granola is available for areas such as the N. CA mountains, where wood rats and gophers will eat your crop if given any opportunity to do so. The best fence in the world will not keep rats away from your plants! Do not use soap to keep dear away, it will attract rats! (The fat in the soap is edible for them.) Put the poison grain in a feeder than only small rodents can enter, so that birds and deer can not eat it. Set out poison early, before actual planting. The rats must eat the grain for several days before it will have any effect on them. Ultimately, you may find it is easier to grow in a greenhouse shed in your own backyard rather than try to keep the rats from eating your outdoor plot.

When growing away from the house, in the wild, water is the biggest determining factor, after security. The amount you can grow is directly proportional to the water available. If you must pack-in water, carry it in a backpack in case your seen in-route to your garden; you will appear to be merely a hiker, not a grower.

Transporting vegatative starts to the growing area is a most tricky aspect of growing outdoors. Usually, you will want to start plant indoors, or outside in your garden, then transport them to the grow site once they are firmly established. It may be desirable to first detect and separate males from females so that no effort of transporting/transplanting/watering males is incurred.

One suggestion is to use 3" rockwool cubes to start seedlings in, then put 20 of them in a litter pan, cover it with another pan, and transport this to the grow site. The cubes can be planted directly into soil. If spotted inroute to the grow area, burying a dead cat may be a good excuse for being in the area. Few people would demand to see the rotting corpse!

One outdoor grower we know has given up on seeds. He has several strains he likes to clone, so he starts 200 clones in his closet, then transports them outdoors in boxes to the grow site. No males, no differentiation, no weeding, no germinating seeds, no genetic uncertainties, no crops grown for seed, no transporting/transplanting/watering plants your just going to pull up later, no pollination nightmares, no wasted effort!

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The Simplest Rule For Moon Planting...

The moon planting rule says to plant crops that produce above the ground
during the increasing light of the moon (from new moon to full moon) and to plant
crops that produce below the ground during the decreasing light of the moon
(from full moon to new moon).

A More Detailed Set of Moon Planting Rules...

New Moon To Full Moon:
Sow, Transplant, bud and graft.

Full Moon To New Moon:
Plow, Cultivate, weed and reap.

New Moon To First Quarter:
Good for Planting above-ground crops with outside seeds,
flowering annuals.

First Quarter To Full Moon:
Good for planting above ground crops with inside seeds.

Full Moon To Last Quarter:
Good for planting root crops, bulbs, biennials, and perennials.

Last Quarter To New Moon:
Do Not Plant*

Moon Planting Examples...

A list of when and what to plant.

First quarter planting, or the time from the new moon to about half-full.
Plant annuals with above-ground yields, particularly leafy plants which produce
their seed outside the fruit.

1st Qtr. Examples:

asparagus cabbage, celery, endive, and spinach.
Second quarter planting, or the time from the half-full to the full moon.
Plant annuals that have above-ground yields which are
vining and produce seed inside the fruit.

2nd Qtr. Examples:

beans, peas, peppers, squash, eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers.

Third quarter planting, or from the full moon to half-full.
Plant biennials, perennials, bulb and root crops. Crops which are planted
one season the produce yields the following year, trees, and shrubs.

3rd Qtr. Examples:

onions, potatoes, rhubarb, grapes, winter wheat, and berries.

Fourth quarter planting, or from half-full to new moon.

4th Qtr. Examples:

pull weeds, cultivate, destroy pests, and turn sod.*

Moon Planting Wise Tales...

Plant potatoes during the "dark of the moon" is an old adage.

Plant your seeds within 48 hours before a full moon.

Do not plant on the day of the New Moon or Full Moon.

This article is brought to you by PureSativa420


Guide for Insects and Pest Prevention

Outdoors, where it functions as part of an ecological system, marijuana is less susceptible to insect attacks than it is indoors. In an outdoor environment, insects are subject to the vagaries of the weather, food supply, and predators. And marijuana grows so fast that insects usually do little damage. Plants, plant eaters, and predators usually maintain an equilibrium which minimises damage. But this balance is disturbed by tilling and gardening, and may take a while to re-establish itself.

The soil surrounding your plants may be teeming with insects, and it would be unnatural not to see some on your plants. Most insects do not eat marijuana. The few that do are the food which helps to keep a small population of their predators alive. Insects in the garden need to be controlled only when there is a real threat of damage.

Marijuana is most vulnerable in its early stages. After the plant increases production of the cannabinoids and resins at the eighth or ninth week, most insects are repelled. When the plants are small, an occasional munch affects a relatively larger part of the plant. That same bite affects a relatively smaller part when the plant is larger.

The insects that infect marijuana indoors - aphids, mealy bugs, mites, and whiteflies - do best in humid conditions with constantly warm temperatures. Outdoors they rarely inflict much damage on marijuana. The pests that are most likely to damage marijuana are leafhoppers, treehoppers, cucumber beetles, thrips, flea beetles, several kinds of caterpillars, snails, and slugs. The younger the plants are, the more susceptible they are to attack. Your prime goal is to protect the plants during the first two vulnerable months. You need to keep the pest population low, so that the damage is relatively light. The pests don't have to be eliminated, only kept under control.

There are many ways to keep pests from damaging your crops. These fall into one or more of several categories: biological control; capture traps and barriers; home remedies; and chemical insecticides.

Biological Control

The theory behind biological controls is that methods for control of pests can be found within nature. These methods are safer to humans and less damaging to the environment than commercial insecticides. Gardeners have many forms of biological control at their disposal, including companion planting, use of predators, and sprays made from plant extracts or ground-up insects.

Companion Planting

Some plants, including marijuana in its later stages, produce resins or essences which repel or kill plant pests. Some of them are general repellents that affect a broad range of plant pests; others affect specific species. Generally, the heavily scented plants, such as spices, mints, and other herbs, are most likely to have these qualities.

Some of the more familiar plants used to protect gardens are the Alliums, or onion family, with garlic, chives, green onions, and other oniony-type plants as members. This group repels a broad range of plant pests such as aphids, spider mites, flea beetles, potato bugs, bean beetles, and many other insects, as well as rabbits and some deer. They are easily planted around the garden or between the marijuana plants. Just plant onion bulbs or the cloves from a garlic bulb so that the top of the bulb is about one inch deep. One garlic bulb yields quite a few cloves; so a large garden requires only a few bulbs.

Geraniums are reputed to repel leafhoppers and many kinds of beetles. These plants prefer a dry soil, thrive in full light, and usually grow two feet tall. Geraniums should be interspersed with the marijuana, or potted geraniums can be set out if problems develop. Tansy (Tanaetum vulgare) is a tall, fragrant, woody perennial which grows five feet tall. It protects against cut-worms, beetles, cucumber beetles, and other eaters and borers.

Mints repel many insects and are sometimes used as mouse repellents. They are especially useful for the control of the flea beetle. They thrive in semi-shaded areas with rich soil.

Marigolds can be planted to eliminate nematodes. They are fast-growing annual plants which flower profusely. They come in many varieties, ranging in height from six to 30 inches. They grow in a wide range of soils and do best in the sun. The scented varieties - usually nonhybrids - offer the most protection.

All companion plants must be planted close to the plants to be protected, since their repellent qualities spread only a short distance beyond their circumference. They are effective when they are planted before the damage is apparent, and offer long-tern protection. They are used when a pest is expected. For instance, growers in the San Francisco Bay Area expect rose leafhoppers to attack their plants. Since geraniums grow in the area as perennial plants, some growers plant them permanently in the garden. As the geraniums develop into small bushes, the hoppers leave, never to return.


Many of the insects in your garden are called beneficials, because they perform a useful service in the garden. Some of them eat decaying matter; others help in the pollination process; and some pry on insects which damage crops. Almost everyone is familiar with the ladybug, which eats aphids and insect eggs and has a voracious appetite. They are available commercially by the pint. The praying mantis eats slow-moving insects. When it first hatches, it starts out on aphids and mites. But as it grows larger, it eats bigger insects and worms. Mantis-egg cases are foam-like, straw-coloured masses which contain 100 to 300 eggs. These cases are sold commercially but can also be found in the late fall in bushy areas. Another insect which is sold commercially as a plant protector is the green or brown lacewing. It has golden eyes, looks fragile, and flies erratically. But in their larval state, lacewings eat thrips, mites, caterpillar eggs, scale, leafhopper nymphs, aphids, and mealybugs. The trichogamma wasp is an egg parasite which lays its eggs in the eggs of over 200 species of insects, including many moths and butterflies which hatch into worm pests. Cryptolaemus is used to destroy mealybugs. Adults are released when mealybugs appear in the spring. They seek out the mealybug colonies and lay their eggs. When the eggs hatch the larvae wander around the infested area and eat the young mealybugs.

The use of commercially bred or gathered predators is most feasible in large gardens or fields. The insects may not have much effect on small gardens, since they wander off to find food and may never return. Try to buy from manufacturers who intentionally do not feed their product before shipping. Hungry predators are more likely to stay and eat the pests.

Insects are just one groups of predators. Birds such as purple martins, robins, blue jays, chickadees, and even starlings and English sparrows eat large quantities of insects and other small pests. They can be attracted to the garden by placing a feeder, bird houses, and water in the area. When plants get larger, some gardeners let chickens, ducks, or geese run through the garden. In a short time, they pick it clean of pests and weeds. Reptiles and amphibians, including frogs, toads, snakes, lizards, and turtles, all eat garden pests and should be encouraged to make a home in the garden.

Homemade Repellents and Insecticides

Another way to control garden pests is to make sprays from plants which repel insects by using a juicer or blender or by baking a tea. Ingredients can be found in most kitchens. Chile pepper, garlic, coffee, horseradish, radish, geranium, and tobacco are the usual mainstays of herbal sprays, although most strong-smelling herbs and spices have some repellent qualities. Many gardeners experiment to see what works in their garden. For instance, if an insect which bother marijuana stays clear of a nearby weed, a tea or blended spray made form that plant may control the pest. But try it on only one plant (or part of a plant) first, because the spray may also be harmful to the marijuana.

Garlic is probably the most popular ingredient for general-purpose sprays made from kitchen ingredients. A typical formula is to soak three ounces of chopped or minced garlic in a covered container of mineral oil for a day. Then, slowly add a pint of lukewarm water in which a quarter ounce of real soap (Ivory will do) has been dissolved. Stir and let stand several hours, than strain. Use as a concentrate, adding between 20 to 100 parts water to one part concentrate.

Other recipes call for boiling the garlic or for grinding or juicing it. Some brewers add other spices to the basic formula. One recipe calls for one clove garlic, three cayenne peppers, one onion, a quarts ounce of soap, and sufficient water to blend. Let it sit for three or four days before using, and use one part concentrate to 20 parts water. Homemade tobacco teas are sometimes used as insect sprays. Use one cigarette in a quart of water. Let it brew 24 hours before using.

Snails and slugs are attracted by yeast solutions, which are easily prepared from cooking yeast, sugar, and water. This is also why gardeners have success trapping these leaf munchers in bowls of stale beer. Place deep-sided containers at the soil level. The pests slide in and drown.

Gardeners should not overlook handpicking as a viable method of pest control. The foot or a quick thumb and forefinger can eliminate large numbers of pests and can keep a small garden pest-free. Collect the bugs and drop them in a tin can with some alcohol to kill them. Early morning is the best time to collect pests, since they are slower-moving until the sun warms them.

Snails, slugs, earwigs, and some other insects gather in cool, moist areas during the heat of the day. By providing just such a space in a garden, many of these pests can be located and destroyed. Place pieces of cardboard or boards around the garden; look under them each day.

Home Remedies

Gardeners and farmers have discovered and invented ingenious ways to control insects without harming the environment. Some of the more popular ones are listed here, but there are many more, each suited to a particular situation.

Soap and water is an effective control measure for mealybugs, mites, leafhoppers (nymph stage), leaf miners, and aphids. Simply wash the plants thoroughly with a solution of two tablespoons of soap dissolved in a gallon of water. Rinse the soap off thoroughly. (Some growers feel that the addition of kerosene or alcohol makes the solution more effective, but these can harm the plants and dissolve THC.) This treatment does not eliminate all of the pests, and may need to be repeated weekly, but it does keep them under control.

Sprays are sometimes made from healthy insects, which are caught, ground up, and then sprayed back onto the plants. When the pests come in contact with the spray, they become infected with the pathogen and get sick. This method is very effective, and is considered safe, but it is not easy to capture sick insects. A variation in this technique was described in the October 1976 Organic Gardening and Farming Magazine, in which a spray was made from healthy insects. In a followup article in the May 1977 issue, the authors theorised that any population of insects contains pathogens. If enough insects are collected, some of them are sure to be sick, and they contain enough germs to spread the disease. To make an insect spray, capture about a hundred pests. (Make sure not to include any beneficial insects or the spray may also work against them.) Using a blender, mix them with a cup of spring water, strain, and dilute with enough water to spray your garden.

Whenever making or storing sprays, use a glass container. Metal or plastic ones may react with the chemicals that the liquids contain.

Another home remedy for the control of mites and aphids is a mixture consisting of a half cup of milk in four cups of wheat flour, added to five gallons of water. When it is sprayed on the undersides of the leaves, it suffocates the insects and then flakes off as it dries.

Some growers use mulches to control insects. Cedar chips repel beetles, moths, mites, and mealybugs. Aluminium foil is used for aphid and thrip control on small plants; the reflected light disorients them and they do not land on the plants. A sprinkling of cream of tartar eliminates ants, and boric acid kills roaches. Sulfur powders, available at nurseries, are used to control mites and fungus infections.

Organic Insecticides

Pyrethrum, rotenone, and ryania are effective insecticides which come as powders (dusts) or sprays. They are concentrated form of naturally occurring plant substances, and are considered harmless to warm-blooded animals when used as directed.

Ryania, which is found in the roots of a tropical shrub, is most effective against chewing insects, worms, and larvae, which it incapacitates, rather than kills.

Rotenone is a general-purpose insecticide with little residual effect; that is, it breaks down soon after application, and is therefore one of the safest insecticides. Two or three dustings during the seedling stages afford protection against most insects and bugs.

Pyrethrum is one of the most powerful natural insecticides, and is effective against a wide range of pests. It is also relatively nontoxic to bees and ladybugs. Pyrethrums are found in the pyrethrum plant as well as in chrysanthemums. They are non-persistent, and in small doses may make the insects sick without killing them. These insecticides are available at many nurseries and may provide the surest, easiest form of protection against serious insect attack.

Barriers and Traps

In gardens and small farms, insects and other pests are sometimes controlled by the use of traps and barriers that prevent them from reaching the marijuana. When the plant are young, they can be protected from cutworms, caterpillars, snails, and slugs by a collar that is buried an inch into the ground and is six inches high. Some growers face it with aluminium foil, which many insects seem to dislike. One ingenious grower painted collars with molasses to capture the crawlers. She also caught a significant number of leafhoppers. Commercial stickums such as Tanglefoot can also be used to trap insects.

Snails, slugs, and some crawling insects are repelled by a border perimeter of lime, potash (wood ash), sulfur, sharp sand, or cinders. Place a thin layer, six inches wide, around the perimeter of the garden, or around each plant. Flea beetles and some other flying insects are repelled by wood ashes dusted on the leaves. The powders are water-soluble; so they should be replaced after a heavy rain. Crawling pests sometimes have a hard time reaching plants grown in containers or raised beds.

Flying insects, such as leaf and treehoppers, can be prevented from getting to plants by barriers made from cheesecloth. Other growers place cardboard sticky with glue between plants, and then shake the plants. The cardboard catches a good proportion of them. One innovative grower in Palo Alto, California, placed a furniture crate, with the top cut off and with Tanglefoot spread on the inside, around each of his six plants. He said that by shaking the plants, he eliminated leafhoppers in four days.

Chemical Insecticides

Insecticides were developed as an easy way to control pests. They have an immediate dramatic effect, but the long-range damage that they do to the entire ecological system is sometimes overlooked. The chlorinated hydrocarbons, such as DDT, DDC, Aldrin, Kelthane, and Dieldrin, were the most dangerous commercial insecticides. They affect warm-blooded animals and are no longer available. (In no case should any of these by used.)

Diazinon, Sevin, and Malathion are three insecticides which are often soil in nurseries to protect vegetable crops. They are considered safe for warm-blooded animals and have a limited residual effect, since they break down in a few days. But these insecticides are not too selective and may kill beneficials as well as pests. Sevin is the most toxic and kills the widest range of insects, including bees.

These chemicals come as sprays, powders, and baits, formulated for specific pests. They should be used only when an intolerable situation has developed. Plants should be harvested only after the required safety period has passed since application. This period is from two to 35 days, and is specifically listed on all insecticides that can be safely used. Insecticides should be used and handled carefully, following instructions, wearing protective clothing, with no children or pets around. It is advisable to use a mask when applying dusts and to work upwind.

Common Pests

Cucumber Beetles

Cucumber beetles are about a quarter-inch long and look a lot like ladybugs. There are several species of cucumber beetles. The striped beetle is found east of the Rocky Mountains. It is yellow, has two or three black stripes running down its back, and has a black head. The spotted cucumber beetle has a yellow-green back with 11 or 12 black spots and a black head. There are related species, such as the banded cucumber beetle, throughout the United States. The larvae of all varieties are white, turning brownish at the ends, slender, about one-third inch long.

Cucumber beetles do the most damage in the early spring, when the adults come out of hibernation and begin to eat the new growth and leaves. These leaf-eating adults damage young marijuana, especially when there is a scarcity of other food. They also transmit bacterial diseases and viruses to the plants. Within a few weeks after they come out of hibernation, they lay their eggs at the base of plant roots. The larvae of the striped cucumber beetle feed only on melon- and cucumber-type plant roots. The spotted-beetle larvae are fond of corn, and are known as the "Southern cornroot worm" in some places.

The best way to prevent cucumber-beetle attacks is to keep the areas that you plant isolated from corn and melon plantings. Heavy mulching or tilling destroys the pests when they are hibernating. Late plantings minimise damage inflicted by cucumber beetles.

Cucumber beetles can be controlled by use of Rotenone or Malathion. Dust several times during seedling growth. These beetles are also prey to many insects, including the common garden soldier beetle, predator flies, wasps, and nematodes. Hand picking is also an effective control for cucumber beetles.


Thrips are slender, yellow or brownish, winged insects about 1/25 inch long. They have fragile wings which keep them aloft while they are blown by the wind. Thrips have a cone-shaped mouthpart, which they use to cut stems in order to suck plant juices. The larvae look like adults, but are smaller and wingless. Most thrips feed on a range of plants, especially onion and other bulbs, and marijuana is at most a marginal part of their diet. A well-cultivated marijuana plant can outgrow and damage that thrips are likely to inflict.

Thrips hibernate in plant debris during the winter and begin sucking in early spring. They lay eggs during warm weather, and can produce a new generation every two weeks. Since thrips eat a varied diet, keeping the garden area clear of weeds is an effective control. Thrips can also be controlled by turning debris under, so that their nesting sites are destroyed.

Thrips can be controlled by use of tobacco sprays. Rotenone, or Malathion. Aluminium-foil mulches are effective thrip repellents. The light reflected from the foil confuses their sense of direction.

Flea Beetles

There are many species of flea beetles. The adults range in size between one-twentieth and one-fifth of an inch, and are usually black or metallic green or blue. They are called flea beetles because they use their enlarged hind legs to jump like fleas when disturbed. Many flea beetles are host-specific, and probably only a few species munch on marijuana.

Flea beetles hibernate in plant debris. By ploughing the debris under, their hibernation places are eliminated, and there should be few pests the following spring. Flea beetles are repelled by a mixture of equal parts of wood ashes and limestone sprinkled on foliage every few days. Containers of the mixture may also by placed around the plants. Garlic sprays also repel flea beetles. The chemical poisons used specifically for flea beetles are stomach poisons, which break down slowly and may not be safe to inhale. Home remedies are best for flea beetles.

Vertebrate Pests


Until it develops a hard fibrous main stem, usually at about two months, the young marijuana plant attracts rodents, including mice, rabbits, moles, squirrels, groundhogs, and rats, as well as raccoons. Cats are probably the best means of rodent control. They stalk small prey, go after any movement, and are active at night, when most of these animals forage. Young plants are often protected from rodents by placing a coffee can with top and bottom removed around each plant. When the plants get bigger, they can be protected from rabbits and other animals with a wire fence three feet in height. A double layer of one-inch chicken wire is most effective. But many animals can climb or burrow; so more ingenious methods are needed to protect the plants. Rodents, especially moles, are repulsed by castor beans and castor oil. A formula that gardeners sometimes use is two parts castor oil, one part detergent, mixed to a consistency of shaving cream in a blender. Use a tablespoon of concentrate per gallon of water. Spray or mist the solution on the plants.

Rabbits shy away from blood, bloodmeal, and tankage. To use, sprinkle the powder around the perimeter of the plot in a band about a foot wide. They can also be mixed into a concentrated solution and applied as a spray. However, the small of blood may attract mongoose or other predators, which dig up the garden in search of flesh. Noise from radios, chimes, and bells deter some animals, and human smalls such as hair and urine may also deter some animals. In dry areas, a half-filled bucket of water is an effective rodent trap. The animals fall in and drown.

Deer seem to go out of their way to munch on tender marijuana leaves, but generally don't bother marijuana after it has grown for a few months. Gardeners and farmers use many ingenious techniques to keep them away from crops. Sturdy fences are the best deterrent. The fences should be about 10 feet high: the bottom five feet should be made up of single strands of wire string at two-foot intervals. The wire strands prevent deer from jumping the fence.

Another great article by PureSativa420


Protecting your plants from Deer
Protecting your plants from Deer can be a hot topic for outdoor growers, so I compiled some good info for those it may concern.

Why do Deer eat Cannabis?
Deer are selective in what vegetation they eat, unlike most livestock(Cows, Sheep) who eat mostly coarse grasses. Deer are a high energy predator evading machine, to fuel this machine they concentrate on eating the most nutritious vegetation they can get. Deer tend to eat tender young growth of trees and bushes, the tops of grasses containing young seeds, and other rich tender vegetation and fruits.
In areas with little or no rain during the Summer months, the Deers primary feed can become scarce. In my home of south-western Oregon, the rain stops typically from late June to late September, its not rare to have less than 3" of rainfall during that period of months. During this time, Deer become desperate for rich, moist sources of food, they may start eating things that they would normally pass by. Many of you may have experienced Deer damage in your gardens and landscaping, despite the obvious smell of humans, and even dogs near by. Starvation is a powerfull force.
As a child, I remember my fathers fight with deer who raided our vegtable garden. We used human hair, and various homemade sprays to try and stop them, we even tied our dog in the garden hoping that might help, the sprays didn't phase the hungery deer, and they simply ate up to a few feet of the end of the dogs chain. We eventually built a 9' fence, and that stopped the madness.

How much your plants are in danger, and how well various methods of deterring Deer will work for you depends on how hungery the Deer roaming your area are. If desperate enough, they will eat plants sprayed with nasty tasting stuff, surounded with human urine, or any number of other homegrown or store bought deterrents. When Deer deterrents are tested by Agricultural researchers, the effectiveness is messured in percentage of damage, not complete lack of damage. Over and over again, the only proven method of stopping Deer damage is fencing.

Some growers provide no protection for their plants, and they may not need to if they live in a climate where it rains in summer, the Deer will probably concentrate on their normal food. I also think this is the reason some old standbys like Human hair(and urine), Mothballs, and Soap seem to work for some folks, if the Deer are fed well already, these deterrents may be all that is needed, but I can assure you they will not work in my dry summer climate. I have to depend on fences/cages.

Many outdoor growers shun fences as a secrity risk, considering wire fencing is not vegetation, and may stand out like a sore thumb. In my experience, properly conditioned Chicken wire fencing(Poultry netting) actually disappears well into the surounding vegetation(more on that later).

First lets see what some Deer deterrent tests have revealed about their effectivness-

Bars of soap are used sometimes with varying effectiveness, shavings are spread around the plot or bars are hung from nearby tree branches. Anyone who decides to use this method should avoid soaps with a Coconut oil base, Deer seem to be attracted to them!
Quote:Originally Posted by University of Vermont Extension*
Department of Plant and Soil Science*
In the category of offensive scents is one of the easiest controls -- hanging bars of smelly soap in the garden, the stronger the scent the better. I actually buy them in bulk at the grocer, then cut them in half and hang in burlap or cheesecloth stapled to stakes in the garden in early spring. I find they are still scented going into the winter....*
Studies actually have been done on soaps to repel deer, finding that those containing coconut oils may attract deer. The repellent factor seems to be tallow, that part derived from animal fatty acids. Studies have also found deer can feed to within three feet of soap in the garden. This means a 100-foot border may need over 30 bars of soap! I tend to use less, one about every ten feet or near special plants, and hope for the best. But then I don’t have high deer pressure either.

In the only University study I could find, soaps rated a 34% reduction in Deer damage, not great, but not bad. It may work well in places with low Deer pressure.

Human Hair/Urine
I found no studies evaluating urine, but I did find two that tested hair. The same study that rated the soap above, rated human hair at a 15-34% reduction in damage. A second study giving captive deer a choice between Corn with Human hair and corn without concluded that their was very little difference in the Deers preference, and dismissed it as a effective method.

Considering that Deer regularly raid Human tended gardens, its easy to see that Deer have little problem overcomming our scent if it means a good meal.

Mothballs scored low in tests, the same study that fed it in corn rated it about the same as Human hair.

Predetor urine
Coyote urine rated high compared to most deterrents, it could be assumed urines from other carnivors would also be effective.

Chicken eggs
Sprays made using chicken eggs rate high, the smell and taste of the eggs seems to put Deer off.
Quote:Originally Posted by Colorado state University*
A spray of 20 percent whole eggs and 80 percent water is one of the most effective repellents. To prevent the sprayer from clogging, remove the chalaza or white membrane attached to the yolk before mixing the eggs. The egg mixture is weather resistant but must be reapplied in about 30 days. See Table 2 for a list of commercially available repellents and their ratings against deer and elk browsing in Colorado

Hot sauce
Sprays using hot sauce seems to be moderately effective.

Commercially available spray repellents
Various brands of repellents exist, all seem to be effective in some areas, and can be down right usless in others. Some require frequent reaplications, some can't take the rain, and many are not rated to be used on plants meant to be consumed. Brands include Liquid fence, Hinder, Millers’ Hot Sauce, Deer Stopper, Plant Pro-Tec, and Deer buster deer and & rabbit repellent are all rated safe to use.*

Quote:Originally Posted by University of Minnesota*
Six repellents were tested in a recent Connecticut study. Generally, repellents were more effective on less preferred plants. Here are the findings:*
Big Game Repellent also known as Deer Away, made from putrescent (rotten) whole egg solids was 46 percent effective.*
Hinder, made from ammonium soaps of higher fatty acids was 43 percent effective.*
Thiram, a bitter tasting fungicide, now commonly used in repellents, was 43 percent effective.*
Mesh bags of human hair, collected from hair styling shops, was found to be 34 percent effective. (Hair should be dirty, not collected after a shampoo.)*
Magic Circle deer repellent, a bone tar oil which was soaked into 10 by 30 cm. burlap pieces, was 18 percent effective.*
Miller Hot Sauce, containing capsicum, an extract of hot peppers, was 15 percent effective.

Quote:Originally Posted by University of Maryland*
Growers who use repellents should understand some basic principles:
• Repellents do not eliminate browsing, only reduce it; therefore, repellent success is measured by the reduction, not elimination, of damage. If even minimal damage is intolerable, 8-foot fencing is the best option.

• Rainfall will wash off many repellents, so they will need to be reapplied. Some repellents weather better than others.

• Repellents only reduce antler rubbing to the extent that they keep deer out of the area.

• Repellents work by altering deer behavior. Therefore, they work best if used before feeding habits become established in a certain area. Deer establish their feeding habits in the late fall and spring.

• The availability of other, more palatable deer food dictates the effectiveness of repellents. When food is scarce, deer may ignore both taste and odor repellents.

• If you use repellents, do not overlook new preparations, products, or creative ways to use old ones. New products are constantly appearing on the market.

• Growers who are facing a long-term problem should compare the costs of repellents and fencing over time.

• A repellent that works in one area may not work elsewhere, even if the crop and conditions are similar to the first site.

As you can see, scent deterents can be effective in some situations, but they are not 100% effective, and effectiveness depends on the ammount of Deer pressure in a given area.

Protecting your plants with fences/cages
By far the most effective way to protect your plants is to build a a fence. Chicken wire(Also known as Poultry netting or fencing) is the material used most often by Cannabis growers.

I use Chicken wire rolled into a ring, and attached to itself, it can free stand on its own to some extent, but I usually secure it to surrounding bushes or trees, I can lift the ring off the plant if I need close access. Secured tightly to the ground, it should also protect from Rabbits.

Some folks use posts(made from wood native to the area) to secure their wire, or run it between surounding trees or bushes, using them to fasten the wire.

If you use a ring to surround your plants, allow extra slack wire so the ring can be expanded as the plant grows through the season. Also keep in mind you may need to add wire to raise the level of the ring as the plants grow taller, wire can be attached by breaking the ring, laying it flat on the ground and adding a new layer of wire that overlaps the original and securly attached. The ring can then be rolled up again, and put back in place.

A alternative to wire is plastic netting, usually sold as deer netting or bird netting. Netting will not bear its own weight, so it will need to be attached securly to something. It will also need to be fairly taunt to be effective, this will also reduce the chances a deer will become snagged in it, and destroy it. Keep in mind this netting is light duty, and could become snagged in a Deers antlers, destroying it.

Shiny wire
Its important to make sure the wire you use is not shiny, as most new wire is. Sometimes wire pre-coated with paint can be purchased. My wire is old and rusted by time, but most people don't have 20 year old rolls laying around.
Some folks paint their wire, either with spray paint or by dipping their wire in paint. Some folks soak their wire in various acids to quickly weather them.
One of the best quick weathering methods I have seen involves placing your roll of wire in a fire, this will quickly deaden the shine.

Yet another method(If Rabbits aren't a concern), is to plant in a thick patch of thorns, it is possible to use the vines in such a way that the Deer will loose interest in entering the thicket. Keep a eye out, natural fences do exist.
This great piece is courtesy of BACKCOUNTRY


Making cages to keep animals away from plants
I have been asked numerous times recently how to make cages to keep animals from eating plants when they are put out. As it's hard to explain without pictures, I took some time to put together a tutorial on how I do them.

All you really need is a roll of chicken wire, a pair of wire cutters, a tape measure, a rock and some green stakes for securing them.


What I do first is roll out 30 inches of wire and secure it, and cut through it all the way across. I use a 2ft roll as it is easiest to control. You can use a 4 ft roll, but it is bulky. Depending on the area that you live in, your cages may be up to 4 feet in heighth, depending on food availability. If you use four foot or taller cages you should cut the wire at 40 inches to have a wider base.


Next, you will want to let the wire go into a circle and turn the cut ends of the wire to fasten them together. Notice how the cut ends cross each other and are easy to twist together.


This is what it will look like.


Because I want only 12 inch screens I will cut this in half. It could be left as it is if you have taller plants and need a 2 foot screen.


You now have a screen with a smooth edge and an end that has been cut. You want to put the smooth end down on the ground. Take notice of where I bend outward, sections of the bottom so I have a place to put stakes through to hold the screen in place.


You can now put your plant into the ground, put the screen over it and push the sticks through the tabs you made to hold the screen into place. I usually use 4 sticks and put them through at an angle. If you were using a 4 foot screen, you would want at least six holding the base in place.


The last step is to close the top of the screen and make sure the cut pieces of wire are pointing upward. This will prick the noses of deer and other animals that get curious and decide to sample the taste of the plants. This is why we put the "factory" edge down and the "cut" end up.


Deer do not see well, but they have good memories. They will get pricked, but they will remember and leave them alone. They may stomp them in anger at times, but most times you can just straighten the screens and they will continue to grow into nice plants. When the plant starts getting to tall, you will have to return and open the screen to let the plant out. By this time there is usually enough native food in my area that they will leave your plants alone.

This article brought to you by JJScorpio


That's all for now folks! I'll edit in more articles at a later point and time. Enjoy!


I soiled myself after reading this thread, brb, I would rep you again PGW, but it says I gotta spread around rep.:call

Edit: I gotta mention, some of the links that were shortened by the vbulletin software don't work.:scared0016:


Thanks rounders!

kill-9....I'll try to get that fixed. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
**EDIT**--One link fixed, one was no longer valid so I removed it entirely.

Mr. Outdoors aka Dr.Candyman:hi, thanks. I hope some find it useful.

guerilla family

Great Thread Progrow! This is a very helpful guide to new outdoor growers, and a good refresher for experienced outdoor growers! Great read! Thanks for sharing!


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