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GuitarDude's path to Organic Cannabis


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#1 Guitardude

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 04:52 AM

Greetings...
Here is a few more words on organic cannabis bliss...
I finished working on our method for raising juicy cannabis. Hope you enjoy.
Today is 10/23/09 Please give me a day or two to post and edit b4 I get into Q and A... I am kinda new at posting so bear with me....

#2 Guitardude

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 05:02 AM

GuitarDude’s path to Organic Cannabis v 1.0
Due to a few requests, some interest from my fellow mycotopians, and some of my buddies out here, I have requested that my FOAF who provides us with Medical Cannabis to do a detailed TEK of his methods. FOAF is computer illiterate and has asked that I do all the posting and organization of the information he will be giving me about growing good organic cannabis. This is a TEK for people who have some experience with cannabis and little money to invest from the beginning. FOAF said it cost him about $4500 to set up and produce about 2 lbs of buds shown in these pics. After the initial investment, it costs about $500 (electricity and supplies) to get 2lbs. For us, this works out to be much better than paying 300 to 400 an ounce dispensary prices. We all pitch in to help with the cost of producing our medicine. We may only do one or two cycles a year.
For my own clarity, I have asked him some pointed questions that can help us learn how he thinks and how he does it.
Here were my questions:
What is your experience with raising cannabis and how did you get started?
“First off, this method is not for the dollar hungry monkey or the monkey looking for baseball bat sized colas. I am aware there are those who would prefer the 2 lbs per light chemical super nutrients can achieve. I have always been more interested in quality over quantity. Cannabis seems to sense greed and does not appear to do as good when it’s about the money. Done right, this herb has healing powers in that it gives the soul rest and clears the static, so that we can learn to live without fear and resentment. I wish others could experience what I have, seeing these herbs grow, and become a source of such a healing power. These are just my opinions.”
“My experience started with my mentor who had 25 years experience when he taught me about organic medicine (that was…mmmm 2001). I helped him build a 16 light room. It was powered with a 50,000 watt generator in its own sound proof room. This took us about a year to set up. Lots of construction… I got my start from a percentage of our first few harvests.”
“Raising cannabis like this is not easy, but good results can happen the first time. By providing the various strains with the conditions that are best for them, they will reward you with their particular gift. We have raised over a hundred different strains and many of those multiple times and each strain has its own gift. Some of us are lucky enough to find our strains… the ones that work for us. Unfortunately, as my mentor told me, it takes 3 months to practice once. That is why we need help learning the process.”
“Currently I am part of a very small co-op. I oversee the flowering of our medicine. We are very small compared to many grows I read about. We are a group of people who all pitch in to run a small co-op for our own medical marijuana. Some of us have many years of experience growing. We have been somewhat secretive in our personal research due to the climate the Bush administration has had towards raising our own medicine. But now that Obama has officially stopped the raids, California has become a haven for people like us who rely on cannabis for severe medical conditions. Blessings to Obama and the people who made this happen.“
Since we are living in a time of change… I thought that some of our methods would be helpful to those who choose to raise their own medicine.”
“We are all very sick people whom need medicine that has no harmful qualities. We have found that organically raised medical marijuana is much more medicinal than other methods tried. We prefer safe organic nutrients and no harmful pesticides on our medicine. We look forward to getting medicated when it looks and tastes good.
Most recently we acquired a chamber with 2 water-cooled 1000 watt lights. We have finished 2 cycles with with this system and both have done great. Perhaps a step-by-step guide to show you how we made these nuggets would be helpful to those who suffer with inferior ganja syndrome.”

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#3 Guitardude

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 05:07 AM

How can I start up a medical garden that will consistently and easily produce the best medicine possible?
What equipment should I use and do you have an easy step-by-step guide for the beginner that will give us good results the first time?

“ First off, lets talk about set up. A good organic environment should be set up before plants are even considered. Good medicine is directly correlated with good set up and strain selection. In this method just about everything that plant will need during its flowering stage will already be in the soil. Remember, this method if followed will give you quality not quantity.”

Equiptment
“Here were the supplies we used to provide the growth environment. This includes everything except the electricity and the place to do it.

4x8 growchamber … note: some of the other providers of these kinds of rooms have used toxic plastics to produce their product.” This room looks like:
http://www.4hydropon...kRoomDR300W.asp
it is safe.. and it looks really cool. When set up it is very stealthy and can be used in apts etc.”
“It can be set up in a 10 x 10 room or larger that has it’s own source of heating and cooling. I don’t recommend I garage, unless it’s dry-walled and has it’s own heating and cooling and capable of maintaining average temperatures. The idea is that unlike other systems, the water-cooled system is not dependent on air-conditioners or complicated ventilation systems for the lights to be cool. Set up would be optimal if the chamber was also near a water source.”

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#4 Guitardude

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 05:11 AM

Water-cooled lights

http://bestcoastgrowers.com
Reflectors for lights
http://www.constantl...products_id=964
These bulbs
http://www.constantl...products_id=469
These Ballasts
http://www.constantl...products_id=940
Pumps for the lights http://www.constantl...products_id=710

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#5 Guitardude

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 05:18 AM

Two Large 65 gallon trash cans that can hold water
Got ours at wall-mart (we used one 65 can with a chiller cause of limited space. Two cans will fit)

Two seventy-gallon reservoirs used to grow plants in.
We used these ones… they are 4 x 4 and fit perfectly in the chamber with a little room to stand and work. They are deep enough to hold plenty of soil. Pic on website makes it look rectangle but they are square.
http://www.constantl...products_id=356

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#6 Guitardude

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 05:25 AM

Enough high temp hose to run to and from lights. I used this stuff from ace. It has this braided stuff that keeps it from closing off when the water-cooling system gets warm.

Soil: 10 bags this stuff
http://www.constantl...&products_id=30

Two bags Expanded Clay http://www.constantl...products_id=621

Eight 1 & ½ foot sections of 2” pvc pipe
Your local hardware store will cut these for you

Roll of root cloth 4 x 100
http://www.homedepot...03 90029 502991

#7 Guitardude

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 05:31 AM

These next items will make life much easier for mixing and feeding awesome teas for your organic bud:

A good PH meter:
Hanna combos are good and don’t break down as much as the hand held ones. (Although I am sure there may be a good one out there too)

Reverse osmosis water filter… http://www.hydrofarm...php?itemid=7731

This sprayer
http://www.constantl...products_id=926

#8 ShroomGuerilla

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 08:29 AM

Ive been thinkin about trying out the
water-cooled cool-tubes.
How did they work out for you?

#9 tenjin

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 09:17 AM

Alot of good info and products you have there.
I like that 4x8 growchamber, pretty slick. I think it's wonderful you are involved with organic medicine for people that benefit very highly from it. :bow:

#10 Guitardude

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 09:43 AM

These foods and fertilizers:

Live foods and tea ingredients:

VermiT fresh brewed tea

Bokashi

Bat guano

Worm castings (vermacrop soil enhancer)

Large bag of perlite (medium coarseness)

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#11 Guitardude

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 09:48 AM

These foods are also good:

These can all be used… The Open Sesame, beastie bloomz, and Cha Ching are not as organic as we like… but sometimes we use it.
Lately it has been a fresh brewed tea(vermacrop or natures solution foliar spray) and a tea made from bokashi and bat guano. Big bloom is also used.

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#12 Guitardude

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 09:55 AM

Setup
You will want a room that is close to your water source. Also, you will need enough electricity available in the room you plan to set up your chamber. The chamber fits pretty good in the dry-walled garage we use. There is plenty of power too as the garage used to have a washer and dryer too. 220 power is best to use for the light ballasts, but 110 is good as long as you are not overloading your circuit. 1000-watt ballasts use approx 9 amps. Many bedrooms are only 15 amps. Better to be sure than to make an expensive bonfire outta your medicine. DON’T STEAL ELECTRICITY… borrow some from a neighbor, generate some, get it as a gift, but if you are a medical cardholder… don’t steal… that pisses the power company off. Be a shame to have all that legal bud and get sent to jail for stealing electricity.
An electrician can help with this problem if your options are limited to a low amp circuit. The room needs to be able to maintain a 78-degree temp year round. A 50-amp circuit and a good timer/power box will do the trick. More info can be found through many of the resources here in Mycotopia or in a complete grow guide.
Many chambers rely on sophisticated ventilation systems for the lights, however, since we will be setting up a water-cooled system we don’t have to worry about these issues. We will only need a small exhaust fan to keep the plants happy with fresh air. The chamber comes with various ports and vents that can be used or sealed depending how you use the chamber.
Once you find your room, follow the directions to set up your chamber. This part was kinda like camping… Once the room is set up. Follow directions to set up water-cooled lights.
There was some assembly involved and a little jerry rigging to get my reflectors to work with the water-cooled tubes…
Once assembled, set up two large trash cans (65 gallon per light) and tubing to lights. (Use heavy-duty tubing from ace…. See photo) I put some plastic ties around connections as the water will get up around 85-90 at the end of a 12 hour cycle. The ties keep the ends from leaking. Connect pump to one hose, place both in trash can
Note: make sure the trash container can hold water before filling up in the chamber. There is just enough room for two trashcans and the planting boxes.
Side note: I have heard of people who heated outdoor swimming pools in cold areas with several lights. If a long series of tubes were run through floors, perhaps homes could be heated. I am thinking bout a used spa. There are several schematics at the Best Coast Growers site where they sell the water-cooled system.
Plumbing ideas here: http://bestcoastgrow...grams/index.php
Suspend lights with heavy-duty straps that come with chamber. Make sure you have put together the chamber good cause the weight of the water in these lights get up to around 30 lbs each. The company that sells the water-cooled system has a sturdier light suspension system that we did not have the money for at the time. If you are handy with 2x4’s you could make a rack for the lights or many hydro stores have rack systems to hold up lights. I jus been hanging the lights with the canvas straps that came with the chamber from the top of the chamber structure.
Once you are convinced the setup is working correctly you can test the system. I like to test it without the bulbs in case there is a leak. Let it run for a half hour or so. Once you are convinced there are no leaks you can put the bulb and socket assembly into the unit.
It looks like this assembled:
Safety Note
There is a new product that is available and highly recommended for this system… especially if you are going to be gone during the light cycle. It’s called no flow-no go. It is a switch that turns off the lights if there is a problem with the water flow.
It can be seen here: http://bestcoastgrow...no-go-110v.html

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#13 Jaspmf

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 10:07 AM

Two seventy-gallon reservoirs used to grow plants in.
We used these ones… they are 4 x 4 and fit perfectly in the chamber with a little room to stand and work. They are deep enough to hold plenty of soil. Pic on website makes it look rectangle but they are square.
http://www.constantl...products_id=356


You just fill a giant bin w/ soil and plant right in there?

I'm also confused about the giant reservoirs...you're using liquid cooled lights and cooling em from the big rez inside the room?
Cool posts/plants

Waytogo on organic too! Tis the light

#14 Guitardude

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 10:28 AM

Soma is one of our hero's. http://www.somaseeds.nl
I was thumbing through a Cannabis Culture mag a few years ago when I ran across Soma's article on how he does his planting boxes. Many blessings to Soma for this incredible idea.

Setting up planting boxes
The planting box idea we use is a modified Soma organic planting box. We find that the plastic boxes are easier to keep clean. Plus… there is very little clean up or maintenance. Soma’s method produces quite a significant amount of plastic waste. A few years ago we decided to reduce as much waste as we can. We also switched over to oasis cubes instead of rock wool for the clones cause they fall apart and are biodegradable. Root-cloth is used to expand our out door veggie-garden. Being cannabis users (ingeniously lazy and McGeiverish), we have reduced our labor down significantly with this method. Plants can be watered and they will stay moist for several days and sometimes up to a week.

Take 70 gal res and put one 50 lb bag of clean expanded clay pebbles in the bottom of the res. I like to clean the clay pebbles first. Small holes can be put into the bottom of bag they come in and the top can be cut off allowing the clay to be washed in the bag.
Place each 2” pvc pipe in each corner of the planting box.

Next take the roll of root cloth and cut two sheets a little larger than the planting box. My arms stretched out with the root cloth the perfect length for me. Lay one this way.
Then lay another one the other wayso that they criss cross.

This will keep the soil from getting into the layer of expanded clay.
Now you have created the place where your soil mix will be.

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#15 Guitardude

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 10:56 AM

Place one bag Ocean Forest Soil in bottom on top of root cloth.

Pour equal amount of perlite in top of soil. If you do this slowly it doesn’t kick up as much dust. It’s best to use a good dust mask.

Then throw ½ bag of vermacrop soil conditioner on now.

Now put one more bag of Ocean Forest over all the previous mix.

This will fill the box up almost half way. Mix all this together thoroughly so that it looks like this. Make sure there are no pockets of any of the mix in this layer.

We have now created a bottom layer for your happy plants. I use the sprayer with this mixture of food:
1 shot glass biogrow
2 shot glasses Fox farm big bloom
300 ml of vermacrop T
PH up or down to 6.2 to 6.4
In 5 gallons of water

I use reverse osmosis water for all feedings and waterings. I use the fine mist sprayer or the second to finest mist to slowly put the food and water into the bottom layer.

Now put 1 bag ocean forest and spread out over moist layer.
Add ¼ bag of Bokashi by spreading a thin layer over the top of the ocean forest.
Now add one more bag of ocean forest. Spread evenly over the top. This stuff smells great.


Fill up sprayer again with 5 gallons R/O water and add 300ml Vermacrop Tea. Spray with fine mist till all 5 gallons are in the top layer. By putting the water in by mist the soil will not look like it has 10 gallons of water in it.
Now you have created a layered soil system that the plants will love. It is best to let it sit for a day or so with a few empty fox farm bags over the soil to keep moisture in and to kick off all the live organisms that help make tasty medicine.

The plants will have the advantage of having low food soil on the top layer. As they grow they get into the food that they need as they dig deeper into the soil. As they grow deeper, they get more food. The food is layered to provide them with the nutrients they will need for 2-3 weeks. They can also spread out their roots. Much less chance of drying out. And very little water is needed compared to other ways we have tried. These boxes can be dug out and replanted 3-4 times before the rocks need to be cleaned. (about once a year) A good aquarium cleaner works good. No containers to clean. No piles of rock wool. Just good dirt for the outside garden. 4-5 bags in for each box… 4-5 out is the only setup. Much healthier for us and the environment. If you get a bug in your jeans, you can take off for several days if you “fill the tank” with each box with a few gallons of water. I once watered like this and went to so-cal for a week, came back and the plants were still doing well. You must forgive me if I get carried away here, the advantages of having a layer of expanded clay under the soil still excites me.
Ah the simple pleasures.

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#16 Guitardude

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 11:05 AM

After a day or so you can plant. Again: Make sure your water-cooled system is set up with no leaks Before you put bulbs in.
We veg clones for about 1 week or until they are 12 inches high in plastic solo cups we reuse until they fall apart. They last about a year or so.

We find that a 400 watt halide for 18 hours a day useful in this task, although you can veg them in the chamber.
Be sure to clean off small leaves and branches off the bottom 4 inches of your babies. We like to spray them with Bio-soy or neem. Be sure to get the bottoms of the leaves real good.

Plant 16 per-box.

With the light being this close it really kick starts the baby plants. You can safely put the light right over the tops... I like about 10-12 inches over canopy.

Most strains at 55-60 days look like they are at 70 days. The resin production is superb creating tight clean medicine with a full potency and full flavor.

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#17 Guitardude

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 11:18 AM

There are many good choices to feeding. Each strain has its own needs so a step by step for this part is futile. With all of the dirt and additives we put in they usually have enough for about 2-3 weeks. Follow the schedule for the food you choose keeping in mind that it takes much less food than container growing.
Some of the food we have used:
Biogrow
Biobloom
Top Max
VermaT tea
Fox Farm
Foxfarm big bloom
Open sesame
Beastie Blooms
ChaChing
Bud swell
As you learn the needs of your strains, how this system works, and familiarize yourself with the process, you will find what makes your plants healthy. If nutrient lock up rears its time-consuming head, you can put 2 ½ gallons filtered water PH’ed to 6.4 down the pvc pipe and they will break out of most problems. Usually within a day!
Most commercially bred cannabis seed stock is going to flower and finish somewhere between 8-12 weeks of flowering in this system. A good rule of thumb is to add a week to whatever is suggested. There are some strains that go shorter and longer… We think that plants are a little like people. The delicate and petite females eat less (you know who you are you sexy thangs). It’s the same way with cannabis…. Big fatty plants need some grub. Try to plant all of one kind in your box. They don’t have to be the same strains but be aware of the structure of the strains and plant the smaller size strains in one and the larger strain in the other. This will make it easier to keep the lights at optimal levels for all the plants. We break them up into approximate finish times/size of plant.
This is a very forgiving system and once set up, can provide you with some of the best buds you have ever seen.
Although the temptation is to think more is better with your feeding schedule, resist this cause the beauty of this system is that we are not washing out the good stuff the first week or so like we do with a container soil system. This uses very little food compared to other systems we have worked with.
Guitardude’s tea recipe
½ gallon vermacrop tea
5 gallons water
1 cup bokashi
½ cup bat guano
1 ounce molasses
Mix together in bucket and let sit with air bubbler for a day… it takes about 24 hours to brew and is good for a day or so... longer if bottled and refrigerated.
Mix ½ gallon GuitarDude tea with 5 gallons filtered water feed 2 times at week 3 through week 7 unless plants show signs of stress. Make sure ph is at around 6. You will need to filter the tea if you use a sprayer to feed like we do.

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#18 Guitardude

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 11:28 AM

For pests I would suggest Einstein Neem oil or Orange Guard sprayed at 4 day intervals. VermaT on day three as folier spray. This washes the pores and gives the plant time to breathe. However, if you can find it…. Bio-soy by supernatural is hands down the best organic pesticide out there… It can be used during flowering. It seems to be the only product that does not affect plant growth and does not leave residues or smells like neem. Plus, it kills mite eggs…. It is also a cure AND prevents powdery mildew… the second worse enemy to indoor cannabis next to mites. It’s made from soybean oil.

For molds and diseased plants use Serenade. Be sure to wear a mask anytime you spray anything. Also don’t spray when lights are on or within an hour of the lights coming on. This stuff is awesome! Serenade is a solution and works for many diseases that cannabis can suffer from. Plus it will pull plants out of nutrient problems. I may use it to increase plant health once or twice in the first few weeks of growth and at the slightest hint of powdery mildew. Plants treated with Serenade produce big thick leaves like on outdoor cannabis.

#19 Guitardude

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 11:32 AM

We usually are harvesting about a week past suggested times for strains. We like to harvest the medicine when the tricomes are about half amber or white.
We have found that a day or two can make a huge difference. At this point, why go strictly by the calendar when you have taken such great lengths to go this far. Wait it out... ITS WORTH IT....lol. I was told by my mentor that early harvest makes us a bigger pest than spider mites... Sadly, there is no sprays for this....lol
Also... as hard as it can be... get into the habit of NEVER snipping off a little just to smoke. That little bud could puff up into an ounce the last two weeks. DOn't be a spider mite.... lol
Cannabis seems to get oily when it is ready. Usually all of the hairs have died off and the buds swell. There is sometimes a change in hue for the bud. I will also see color changes in the stems that denote ripeness. This is a personal preference. There does appear to be a "harvest window" where the medicine can be taken at different times to increase or decrease desired effects. For example, Purple Kush can be taken at 8 weeks and the effect would be more suited for a daytime medicine. If the Purple Kush is taken at 10-11 weeks.... she will put you down for half the day in an indica stupor...lol It takes a little time to know this with your strains.

When it is the right time, cut your plants and hang them upside down. We use hangers. Hang them in a place where they will not get too hot or cold whiie they dry. Ideally, slow drying over about a week. At one and a half weeks, the large stems should be the only things that are a little moist. Trim off large fan leaves, cut plants up, place buds carefully in a cardboard box or large paper bags. Close box or place another bag over first one and place in a cool room. Open box or bag every other day... close back up. After two weeks in the bag, take out and manicure. After this we place our buds in vacuum sealable containers and they are placed in the fridge. We have had buds stay potent for up to two years like this. They seem to taste the best about 1-2 months after harvest.

This process will give you full flavor and preserve your tricomes.

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#20 Guitardude

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 12:10 PM

During Cycle:
Check for leaks in your light fixtures few time daily. At least for a few days.
Make sure trash cans are full so the water wont get too hot. You will be adding about 5 gallons during a cycle due to evaporation.
Check exhaust fan to make sure there is a good air flow.
Between Cycles:
Dig out soil: a good dust pan and a claw hoe are used. We dig all the dirt out and replace it every time. Save 5 empty Ocean Forest bags and zip ties to bag up old dirt for you or a friends garden. Btw- we have gotten 20 foot tall Sunflowers with our old dirt… not to mention GIANT pumpkins. Also, the best tasting tomatoes around….lol
Replace water for lights
Clean lenses if dirty.
Wash or replace expanded clay every 3 to 4 cycles.
Bomb inside with insecticide. (optional extra strep)
Clean floors vacuum.
Well I sure I will edit this to get it clearer as I see fit… but here it is… Be sure to stop by as I will be adding pics from time to time… And adding new ideas we come across.
Remember… quality not quantity and you and your plants will be much happier…
Special thanks to SOMA for his planting box ideas…
Also to ms guitardude for the awesome photography...
Well thats all for now. I will use this thread for ongoing posts of harvest and to do Q and A's for anyone who wants to try these methods. Thank you Mycotopia for all you teach us....
Blessings
GuitarDude
Oh yeah... how could I forget. The most important additive to any organic cannabis is organic prayer... Thats right... pray for those plants... they love it. These are living beings and they respond extremely well to prayer. Ask each strain to give you its healing gift...
Then, when you get that awesome bud in your hand.... burn one for me.... lol

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