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The Official НT Magazine STASH Awards of 2018

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Our yearly roundup of the best grow gear of the year started in 1998 and was dubbed the STASH Awards (for Significant Technological Achievements in Secretive Horticulture). Behold our informed choices for the finest cultivation equipment of 2018.

STASH Awards 2018

BC Northern Nights Roommate

Best Grow Box: The BC Northern Lights Roommate

For almost 20 years, BC Northern Lights has created and innovated the highest-quality grow boxes on earth. The state-of-the-art units the company produces are still the only CSA/UL safety-approved boxes available, and the BCNL customer-service team provides round-the-clock support. Aspiring growers interested in growing a few plants for personal use will love the Roommate—a compact, lockable, odor-free and automated box on casters that’s discreetly shipped and ready to plug and play in soil or hydroponic applications.

Price: $2250

STASH Awards 2018

Ultra Trimmer

Best Trimming Machine: The Ultra Trimmer

The biggest knock on industrial trimmers has always been that they destroy the gland heads containing the essential oils we’re after. The units from Ultra Trimmer simulate scissors and avoid manhandling precious flowers while preserving the trichomes. The company’s even been giving live demonstrations with microscopes at our Cannabis Cups for over five years to show how gently the machines work. It’s no secret why Ultra Trimmers are the first products to be federally patented specifically for trimming cannabis.

$4,250, Collective; $8,000, Industrial

 

STASH Awards 2018

Quest Dehumidifier

Best Dehumidifiers: Quest Dehumidifiers

High relative humidity causes excess moisture and condensation that can ruin a ganja garden quicker than a rabbit gets fucked. Avoid potential issues with mold, mildew, and pests by employing one of the powerful dehumidifiers from Quest, each built to powerfully yet efficiently remove water from the air. At Quest, there’s a unit for every size and application, including portable and overhead versions. So take control of your environment and reap the benefits of a proper grow room climate.

Prices vary

STASH Awards 2018

Stash Box

Best Grow Tent: The Stash Box from HighDroGro

If you seek an affordable grow tent that’s easy to assemble and take down, look no further than the Stash Box. This sturdy tent is built with three windows, heavy-duty lightproof zippers, a ducting port for venting and air-purification equipment, and a removable inner flood-prevention insert tray. It’s shipped in a compact and discreet box with everything you need to get growing including T5 fluorescent lights to keep heat at a minimum, carbon filters, humidity and temperature monitors, and quiet but efficient fans.

Price: $665

STASH Awards 2018

Wiggle Worm Soil Builder

Best Worm Castings: Wiggle Worm Soil Builder

Nature provides the best plant food, and smart farmers know that earthworms are the workhorse of a productive organic garden. Rich in nutrients and trace minerals, worm poop makes for a perfect mild fertilizer and soil amendment. The odor-free castings in Wiggle Worm Soil Builder come with a money-back guarantee—so give them a try and your plants will be thankful. Mix the castings into your soil and top-dress your plants as needed for the best results.

$9.10, 4.5 lbs.; $15.49, 15 lbs.; $26.89, 30 lbs.

STASH Awards 2018

Suite Leaf Finish

Best Flavor Enhancer: Suite Leaf Finish

Proper feeding during the middle to late stages of flowering can make or break a harvest due to the specific nutritional requirements of blooming cannabis plants. Suite Leaf Finish is a vegan formulation designed to naturally enhance essential-oil production during this all-important phase of growth. Perfect for soil or hydroponics, this nutritional supplement greatly improves the flavor and scent of your flowers and will increase the terpene profile significantly. Grow loud and finish strong!

$12.82, 250 ml.; $24.65, qt.; $56.95, gal.

STASH Awards 2018

Green Cleaner

Best Pest Control: Green Cleaner from Central Coast Garden Products

We’re always looking for safe and natural ways to combat pests and powdery mildew in our gardens. Central Coast’s Green Cleaner kills mature bugs and their eggs while discouraging and repelling mold as well. The mixture coats and suffocates spider mites, whiteflies, aphids, broad mites, and russet mites. Spray it as a foliar application as needed, making sure to drench the surface of your medium and the underside of your leaves. Also, try Central Coast’s Root Cleaner to fight pathogens and pests at the soil level.

Prices vary

STASH Awards 2018

Mykos from Xtreme Gardening

Best Mycorrhizal Product: Mykos from Xtreme Gardening

Organic growers have learned the benefits of colonizing their living soil medium with a beneficial fungal network. These microbes work in conjunction with plant roots to break down nutrients and also act as an inoculant to protect the plant from pests, pathogens, and disease. OMRI-certified Mykos contains a single species found to help store plant food and water while enhancing root uptake and increasing yields substantially. Available as a granular spread or a wettable powder, this miracle product works wonders.

Prices vary

STASH Awards 2018

Under Current Evolution 9XL

Best Hydroponic System: Under Current Evolution 9XL from Current Culture H2O

Explosive hydroponic growth rates result when plant roots have access to highly oxygenated nutrient solution. The patented Sub-Current Culture system in the UCE9XL utilizes premium pumps to recirculate a supercharged fluid rich with dissolved oxygen for previously unattainable levels of absorption. The nine-plant model is perfect for a 10′ x 10′ room or tent under four 600-watt HID lights, and the XL version provides extra room for lateral growth, which greatly increases yields.

Starting at $2,054

STASH Awards 2018

Advanced Nutrients

Best Wetting Agent: Wet Betty from Advanced Nutrients

The plant scientists at Advanced Nutrients understand that when plant-food solution sits on top of hard soil, roots can’t properly absorb the vital liquid and food. Wet Betty, a non-ionic surfactant, lessens surface tension while softening and enhancing water droplets for better uptake, leading to stronger growth and bigger harvests. Great as a soil drench or foliar feed, Wet Betty helps your nutes permeate more efficiently and effectively to maximize yields.

Prices vary

STASH Awards 2018

Can-Filters

Best Air Filtration: Can-Filters

Clean air is absolutely crucial to any successful marijuana-growing op large or small. Can-Filters have been at the forefront of ventilation and filtration for nearly three decades, and the company is still innovating with its line of dependable filters, fans, ducting and accessories. The pelletized and activated charcoal in the units acts like a sponge, removing odor particles from the spent air and scrubbing it clean of any telltale scents before being expelled out of the space.

Starting at $142.13

STASH Awards 2018

Solis Tek

Best Grow Lighting: Solis Tek

Solis Tek has been at the forefront of indoor grow-lighting equipment research and technology for over a decade. Its complete line of products includes the best digital HID (high-intensity discharge) lighting systems including HPS (high-pressure sodium) and MH (metal halide) fixtures as well as cutting-edge efficient CMH (ceramic metal halide) units with both single and double-ended lamps. Solis Tek’s controllers, remote ballasts and reflectors make safely growing cannabis with multiple lighting systems heat-free and simple.

Prices vary

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  • Похожие публикации

    • Автор: [Grower Бот]
      Back in the day, if you wanted a novel way to experience marijuana, you had to hunt down the mythical Thai stick or get really creative with your homemade bong. Now, novelty abounds in head shops from coast to coast. One of the newer approaches to dancing with Mary Jane is the THC cartridge.
      THC cartridges are so new you may not even know what they’re all about. And that’s a shame because THC cartridges really are one of the easiest ways to get your ganja on.
      What Are THC Cartridges?

      It all started when some canny cannabis consumer came up with the brilliant plan to modify an electronic cigarette to handle marijuana instead of tobacco.
      Those MacGyvered electronic cigarettes caught on quickly and are now known as vape pens. When they first came out, you purchased a small bottle of your favorite e-liquid (or in marijuana circles, “vape juice”), and filled the vape pen yourself.
      But progress is all about doing fewer things yourself. That’s where the THC cartridge came in.
      A THC cartridge is a pre-filled, disposable container filled with your favorite strain of THC oil. Once the oil in the THC cartridge reaches a certain temperature, it vaporizes. You can then inhale to your heart’s content without worrying about the adverse effects of smoke in your lungs.
      But you’re not going to throw your THC cartridge in the oven or boil it on the stove. There’s a very special method to this madness.
      How Does A THC Cartridge Work?

      All right, let’s walk through this using the above picture as a reference. See the small piece in the foreground with the left end that looks like the mouthpiece of a pipe? That’s a THC cartridge.
      Now see the longer piece above it? That’s the vape pen, e-cigarette, or just vaporizer (call it whatever you like, it’s all the same thing).
      Actually, the vaporizer is the black shaft from the silver tube on the left to the end on the right (this vaporizer has a THC cartridge attached).
      As you can probably surmise from the picture (unless you’re really stoned, in which case, right on!), you first attach the THC cartridge to the vaporizer (usually by screwing it on).
      When you’re ready to fly, you press a button on the vaporizer and a small battery heats a coil. The coil then vaporizes the oil in the THC cartridge and you’re off to the races.
      “That all sounds great,” you say, “but I’m good with joints, blunts, bongs, and edibles. Why would I want to switch to a THC cartridge?” Good question.
      What Are The Benefits Of THC Cartridges?
      1) Higher Potency

      Vaping with a THC Cartridge is more potent than smoking because using a vaporizer reduces the temperature at which cannabinoids change from solid or liquid into gas.
      This temperature reduction preserves many of the active ingredients in marijuana — the stuff that gets you high and makes you feel good — that would otherwise be destroyed when you burn your cannabis.
      Think of it this way: a flame is pretty much only one temperature. It’s hot enough to burn your bud and turn it into smoke, which occurs at around 450℉.
      But — and here’s the kicker — cannabinoids can be changed into a gas at much lower temperatures (around 284℉). All that extra heat is just destroying a large portion of the cannabinoids and terpenes you’re trying to get into your system.
      That’s where the THC vape pens come in. They operate at much lower temperatures than your common, everyday flame. Rather than producing smoke (through burning), they produce vapor (through vaporization).
      As a result, you get more “bang for your buck” — or perhaps “cannabinoids for your cash” — because the THC, CBD, CBG, CBN, and others don’t get burned away.
      And this occurs in a sleek and indiscreet package that doesn’t require bulky bongs or a plethora of extra tools. All you need is a THC vape pen and your favorite THC cartridge.
      2) Ease Of Use
      Sure, pills, dissolvable strips, tinctures, and creams are probably the easiest methods of getting marijuana into your system, but vaporizers and THC cartridges are, at the very least, close to the top of the list.
      Do you know how to screw two things together? Do you know how to push a button? Do you know how to inhale?
      If you answered yes to these three questions, using a THC cartridge will be a breeze.
      3) Portability

      We love THC cartridges for their portability. Pop a THC cartridge and heating element in your shirt pocket or handbag and you’re good to go.
      No baggies that can break open and spill. No lids that can come off. No muss, no fuss. Just plenty of THC goodness in the palm of your hand.
      4) Controlled Dosing
      Getting just the right dose (be it CBD or THC) is on everyone’s mind when they first use a new product. Nobody wants a bad trip. But with a THC cartridge, you get a controlled dose from each inhalation.
      Are colors starting to talk to you? Put the vape pen away for a while and come back when the edges get dull. The THC cartridge will be waiting for you to press that button and start inhaling again.
      You can’t do that with a joint or blunt.
      5) Secrecy
      With joints and bongs (and other “burn” methods), you’re always concerned about the smoke and smell. You certainly can’t fire up a fatty in the office and not expect some repercussions.
      But with a vape pen and THC cartridge, you don’t have to worry about drawing the attention of those around you. Everything is self-contained and the vapor doesn’t really produce an odor.
      Plus, the whole thing looks just like an e-cigarette. So you can always tell your anti-ganja friends and neighbors that you’re just trying to quit smoking.
      There are more discreet methods of ingesting marijuana, but if you enjoy the act of inhaling your cannabinoids, THC cartridges are just what you’ve been looking for.
      What Are The Drawbacks Of THC Cartridges?
      1) Undecided Science

      The jury’s still out as to the long-term effects of vaporizing with THC cartridges.
      But, hey, for the longest time, that same jury was convinced that cannabis was the devil’s weed. Now, look at all we’ve discovered about the medical benefits of marijuana.
      2) Shorter-Lasting Effects Than Edibles
      Honestly, is this really a drawback? Few methods of consuming cannabis stack up to edibles when it comes to longevity.
      To us, this feels like saying, “My Mazda Miata won’t haul as much cargo as my ¾-ton GMC Sierra.” Well, yeah. Duh.
      If you want a fun, fast ride that will fit into tight spaces, go with the THC cartridge. If you’re looking for an all-day long haul, gnosh on a pot brownie. It’s all about choosing the right tool for the job, folks.
      3) Fewer Terpenes
      Because of the way THC cartridges are made, they contain fewer terpenes than raw bud. And when it comes down to it, most concentrates fall into that same boat.
      Just like the second drawback above, there are trade-offs with each method of consumption. If you’re ultra-concerned about flavor, stay at home and smoke some fresh organic bud.
      4) Expense

      When compared to other types of extracts, THC cartridges can be expensive. But you’re also paying for the convenience, portability, and discretion. That’s worth a few extra bucks, isn’t it?
      5) Special Knowledge
      No, we’re not talking alchemy and Kabbalah. But do you know how to use a vaporizer? That’s the special knowledge you need to get the most from a THC cartridge.
      Really, though, it’s a lot less difficult than rolling a joint. Just read the instructions.
      Should You Try A THC Cartridge?
      Absolutely! Trying new things is the name of the game in the cannabis community. And honestly, what do you have to lose?
      If you don’t like it, that smoke sesh is less than stellar, but you can always go back to the old standby (whatever that is for you). But if you do like it, you may just find your new favorite way to get baked.
      Before you run out and drop bookoo bucks on a THC cartridge, bum a ride from (a.k.a. share a few tokes with) a friend who already owns a vaporizer. Or maybe she’ll be generous enough to lend it to you for a day so you can really get a feel for how a THC cartridge works.
      However you do it, trying before buying is the ideal way to test a THC cartridge and vaporizer for yourself. Just be sure you return the favor should someone ask you.
    • Автор: [Grower Бот]
      When it comes to cannabis, variety really is the spice of life. From Fruity Pebbles to Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies, there always seems to be a strain for every occasion. But did you know that all the strains we have today trace back to a handful of original cannabis plant types known as landrace strains?
      It’s true. In fact, botanists can trace the entire cannabis lineage back to an original landrace strain in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan and Pakistan. We know — mind blown, right?
      So what is a landrace strain, specifically? What makes them unique? And should you drop everything, sell your car, and trek to the back of beyond just to try one?
       
      An Extremely Brief History Of Cannabis

      Historical documents from as far back as 2900 B.C.E. (before common era) and archaeological evidence from various regions indicate that cannabis was already in use during the Neolithic period in China.
      That means humans could have been smoking weed as far back as 10,000 B.C.E.!
      Actually, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Our ancient stoner ancestors probably consumed cannabis as an edible or as a weed tea. It probably wasn’t until later that some ganja genius got it in his or her head to inhale the smoke of a burning pot plant.
      We really don’t know for sure about cannabis use, though, because Wikipedia didn’t exist back then and no one wrote anything down (they probably forgot because they were stoned off their weed tea).
      Cannabis genetics are a different thing entirely. Botanists don’t need written records to do some pretty amazing things, like trace all the cannabis strains that we know about today back to single plant variety that first developed in the Hindu Kush region of what is now Afghanistan and Pakistan.
      Keep in mind that this area was a no-man’s land between Indian and Chinese civilizations way back then. But it’s not hard to imagine an intrepid Chinese explorer stumbling upon a crop of wild cannabis in this region, eating it, burning it, or just using the fibers for something, thereby kicking off our current marijuana revolution.
      From that earliest discovery, mankind took cannabis wherever they went and the plant spread outside the Kush and China to Russia, Africa, South America, the Caribbean, and even parts of North America.
      Through the intervening years, ganja growers have combined strain after strain of cannabis plants in order to produce different results.
      Some growers wanted the plant to grow in cooler climates. Some growers wanted the plant to grow in warmer climates. Some growers wanted to isolate a particular flavor. That led to the production of the myriad strains we have now.
      But everything can be traced back to that one original strain and the handful of landrace strains that followed.
      What Is A Landrace Strain?

      A landrace strain is a variety of cannabis plant that has less diluted DNA than other strains of cannabis. That means landrace strains have not been crossbred with another variety of cannabis.
      To take the distinction even further, landrace strains are usually indigenous to a certain part of the world (meaning they have adapted to the environment of a specific geographic location). And since these landrace strains are the original cannabis plant from that area, descendants from those strains often bear part of the region’s name (e.g., Kandy Kush, Durban Thai, Super Lemon Haze).
      Let’s think of it this way for clarification: The original strain that developed in the Hindu Kush so many thousands of years ago was a wild species.
      Caveman potheads took seeds from that wild species and planted them in various parts of the world in the thousands of years between then and now. Those plants that were directly descended from the original species are now known as landrace strains.
      From there (in, say, the past 100-200 years), mankind continued to practice selective breeding of the cannabis plant for genetic improvement. That produced the modern hybrid strains we enjoy today.
      6 Landrace Strains From Around The World
      Here, for your pleasure, is a brief list of six landrace strains from around the world. This is by no means an exhaustive list. It’s just to give you an idea of where that Chem Dog you’re smoking came from:
      Hindu Kush, Pakistan
      Pure Afghan, Afghanistan
      Lamb’s Bread, Jamaica
      Acapulco Gold, Mexico
      Durban Poison, Africa
      Panama Red, Central America
      Are Landrace Strains Unique In Some Way?

      It’s important to understand that the landrace classification only describes the strain’s genetic purity and indigenous upbringing.
      It does not mean that landrace strains will get you higher than a good batch of Blue Dream or cut your anxiety quicker than a high-CBD strain.
      In fact, modern strains are much better than landrace strains at generating the effects we’re all looking for (be they recreational or medicinal). That’s because growers have bred the plants for those specific effects.
      Landrace strains are not “better” than modern strains, or even really unique in any way. They just have less diluted DNA. They’re closer to the original wild species than anything else we have available today.
      To put it in perspective, it’s like comparing the very first car (let’s say it was the Model T for simplicity’s sake) with the newest BMW.
      You’re going to enjoy cruising around in the BMW more than you would the Model T — the BMW is comfier, rides better, is easier to start, and goes faster (just to name a few) — but it’s still good to know where that BMW originally came from.
      That’s how you can look at landrace strains today. They’re really only useful to historians, scientists, and pot purists.
      The one benefit from trying a landrace strain would be experiencing more genuine effects that are closer to those produced by the original cannabis strain. Maybe the high or the medicinal effects were completely different. We just don’t know.
      Where Have All The Pure Landrace Strains Gone?

      You may be wondering why you haven’t heard about landrace strains before. Where have they all gone?
      To answer both questions at the same time: the original landrace strains have been taken out of their native environment and endlessly crossbred with other varieties to produce something new.
      When a landrace strain is removed from its indigenous environment (say, Pakistan) and forced to grow elsewhere (say, Mexico), it has to mature in different growing conditions. In response to those new growing conditions, the plant will exhibit new characteristics (e.g., smaller flowers, longer grow time, higher THC).
      During that transition from indigenous environment to new growing conditions, some of the characteristics of the original plant will be lost. To get those characteristics back, you’d have to return the plant to its native environment.
      Even then, the “purity” would be in question because you’ve grown a plant in a different location (Mexico) — producing slightly different characteristics — and then tried to return the seed to the place where its grandparent plant came from (Pakistan).
      See how quickly things can get murky and diluted? It’s enough to make your head swim and your eyes go googly (even without taking a toke). That’s why we recommend not thinking about it too deeply.
      It’s enough just to know that landrace strains exist. You don’t have to get intimate with the subject. Just give a polite ‘sup nod as you pass by on your way to the local dispensary for a dime bag of Yoda OG.
      Should You Try A Landrace Strain?
      Our answer to questions like these is usually a resounding, “Yes!”
      There are a few times when we have to say no — like, should you make your own THC-O-Acetate or CO2 cannabis oil — but, for the most part, it never hurts to try.
      That said, don’t cash in your life savings for the chance to puff a landrace strain. You’ll probably be disappointed. Modern strains are often better at producing the recreational or medicinal effects that you’re looking for.
      Remember, landrace strains aren’t stronger, more potent, or better in some way. They’re just less diluted (genetically speaking) than other strains.
      And, honestly, even that’s debatable given how much time has passed since the discovery of the original landrace strain and man’s tendency to crossbreed plants to make them grow “better.”
      It’s good to know about landrace strains, but we seriously doubt they’re going to be the next big thing in cannabis consumption unless scientists find something in their DNA that cures cancer better than Rick Simpson oil or completely cures anxiety and depression.
      You’re better off using organic, pesticide-free marijuana than spending your hard-earned money on something that claims to be a landrace strain.
    • Автор: [Grower Бот]
      Organic Fire on the Mountain
      It’s no secret that the Emerald Triangle, in Northern California, has been the reigning champ of cannabis production in the United States for decades. However, with the advent of legal recreational pot in California, the rules of the game have changed. Growers are now forced to comply with legalization restrictions while hopefully not losing sight of what should be the goal—growing great pot. For many of us, this is a breath of fresh air, literally, as chemical fertilizers and pesticides will no longer fly thanks to lab testing. If you’re new to farming or transitioning from nonorganic farming practices, growing organically is the highest ideal a farmer can strive for. It’s essentially replicating the soil biology in the natural world around us, but in our garden beds. From developing good soil and fertilizers to harvesting and trimming for quality hash production, we’ll share some secrets and tips on how a couple of mom-and-pop operations are still getting it done the organic way.
      About an hour outside the town of Willow Creek, up one of the many long dirt roads and perched on a boreal-forest ridge, sits Love and Laughter Farms. The farm is an impressive tract of forested land that rises from a creek and valley to a craggy mountaintop, and it is home to black bears, cougars and fishers. Old-growth Douglas fir and madrone surround the two gardens that sit high atop the mountain at an impressive 3,900 feet.
      Love and Laughter was founded by Stephen DiTuro and his partner, Brianne Aalders, as a small medical farm in the late 2000s. With backgrounds in chemistry, environmental engineering and herbal medicine, the couple have always aimed at producing medical-grade full-sun flowers with a respect for sustainable practices. Now almost a decade later, the crew at Love and Laughter is navigating the waters of legalization, including the emerging recreational market, and learning to embrace California’s new regulatory landscape.
      A wall of drying plants releases its moisture; Ian Stout
      The Soil Is Everything
      One can spend a lifetime reading about soil—and if you’re a farmer, you should. For those embracing legalization and organic growing methods, proper soil development begins with knowing what you’ve got. Whether you’ve just had your first load of soil dumped or you’re an experienced grower with established beds, you should have a soil sample tested by a local soil-testing lab.
      Through the analysis, the lab establishes the pH balance, nutrient content, fungal and bacterial count, and soil composition. This is especially important if the soil might have had chemical fertilizers and pesticides running through it in the past. Many of those compounds are insoluble, or they break down extremely slowly, and can stick around for many years. Even clone stock from mother plants that were treated with conventional fertilizers and nonorganic pest-management products can introduce contaminants into a grow site, which can lead to a dirty test at market time.
      If you’re pretty sure that your beds are clean and want to forgo the soil test, an electric soil or electrode meter, available at your local hardware store, is highly recommended to help dial in your pH. pH levels are the key to unlocking a plant’s ability to synthesize the provided nutrients. For outdoor growing, the soil pH should ideally be in the range of 6.4-6.8. All too often, nutrient deficiencies in the growth cycle can be traced right back to a pH imbalance.
      There are essentially two kinds of outdoor growing styles when it comes to garden beds: aboveground or in ground, or, to put it in grower parlance, pots or trenches. Both have their pros and cons, but trench beds can be developed over time. The idea is to have soil that consists of the necessary components of organic matter, minerals, air and water, but also contains a healthy mix of bacteria, fungi and worms. Essentially, it’s the creation of a whole permaculture environment in the growing beds that, if properly maintained, will give back to the plants year after year.
      The key minerals or macronutrients for marijuana are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, or NPK. Nitrogen helps spur growth and photosynthesis in the plants’ vegetative cycle. Initially during this phase, the nitrogen level in the fertilizer should be raised, as the plants will require more of it as they grow through the summer. Phosphorus is needed for nutrient uptake, and it also has its part in the vegetative cycle, but it’s usually associated with flowering. Initially during the vegetative stage, phosphorus levels should remain lower.
      As flowering approaches, nitrogen should be dialed back and phosphorus and potassium levels increased. Sometimes overlooked, potassium takes care of the plant’s roots, metabolism and immune system. During flowering, phosphorus and potassium will be the driving force in flower or bud production. The amount of phosphorus and potassium used during this time has a direct impact on the growth and final size of the buds.
      Dry and liquid amendments, including compost teas, should be used as organic fertilizers. Dry amendments, which are used as a general fertilizer and soil conditioner, are more insoluble and break down slowly over time. Compost teas are like a quick hit, and because they are soluble or water-based, the plant will be available to synthesize or use the nutrients more quickly. Both types of amendments can be used on a schedule throughout the season, but the teas should be used to quickly correct for deficiencies or to add small amounts of nutrients at different stages of the growth cycle when nutrient requirements change.
      Growing beds are filled with organic material in mounds; Ian Stout
      So How Do They Do It?
      The foundation of Love and Laughter’s soil begins with a growing method called Hügelkultur, or “hill mound,” which is kind of a mix between the in-ground and aboveground methods. Hügelkultur is an ancient practice, used by many native peoples around the world, but it gained its most recent popularity through farmers in Germany and Eastern Europe. The basic idea of Hügelkultur is to bury wood and other organic plant material in a trench beneath the growing bed. Soil and other nutrient compounds are then added and mounded slightly above the existing ground level. As the wood matter slowly rots underground, it creates a long-term source of nutrients rich in nitrogen, increases water retention, helps aerate the soil and produces heat that will keep roots happy as fall temperatures drop during the flowering season.
      For the gardens at Love and Laughter Farms, Hügelkultur was implemented in a big way. For the bed rows, five-foot-wide trenches were dug five feet deep, then filled with various types of oak (except for black oak, which has excessive toxins in its acorns). After the wood and leaf matter were placed at the bottom of the trench, organic mushroom soil, loaded with earthworms, was added on top of the wood base. Next, mealworm castings from an organic avocado farm in Southern California were mixed into the mushroom soil. Finally, a 50/50 mix of organic compost and potting soil, from a local landscape supplier, was added on top—just the tip of the iceberg of the Hügelkultur trench. The soil was then mounded over with the peak of the bed sitting about 16-20 inches above ground level. As the plant matter underneath decomposes with the help of proper amendments, the soil is rich in life and singing.
      In the spring, the beds are weeded of their winter ground cover of alfalfa. Love and Laughter Farms practices a “no-till” method of farming. This means that other than the removal of the ground cover, there’s no root-ball removal or yearly tillage of the soil as is commonly practiced in modern commercial and home farming. After the harvest, stalks are cut as close to the soil surface as possible. By not disturbing the soil, healthy bacteria, fungi and worms are not harmed and allowed to flourish.
      Put Them in the Ground
      After the beds have been prepped and fertilized, and the proper spacing has been determined, the plants are ready to go in the ground. For each plant, a hole four times the size of the root-ball is dug out of the beds. The soil is saved and mixed with composted goat manure, mealworm castings, mushroom compost and mycorrhizal powder. This will surround the plant with an added mix of bacteria and fungi along with what’s already present in the soil. The manure is composted before being directly applied, which removes excessive ammonia and nitrogen levels that can burn plant roots, and it also kills grass seeds that are still alive in the manure, saving the farmers many hours’ worth of weeding and nutrient loss to pesky weeds. Once the plants are in the ground, they’ll receive only water for the first week or so as the roots establish themselves.
      Supercritical CO2 oil fills up cartridges for vape pens; Ian Stout
      The Magic of Tea
      As the roots take hold and the young plants begin to grow, custom compost teas are introduced into the feeding regimen. Although there’s a wide variety of great concentrated premixed solutions on the market, Love and Laughter Farms’ custom tea consists of, but is not limited to, bat guano, earthworm and mealworm castings, yucca extract, silica, bacteria, fungal spores, bone meal, oyster shells, dolomite lime, fish concentrate and emulsion, seaweed powder and molasses, which is a chelating agent. The compost tea is brewed in 60-gallon pickle barrels in the shade for 24 hours at an ideal temperature of 72°F. Aeration with a standard aquarium pump and air-stone diffusers produces oxygen supersaturation. When the tea is done, it’s hand-watered into the plant wells through a standard inline feeder, usually a quart dispersed throughout 150 gallons of water.
      Initially, the tea is richer in nitrogen, but a couple weeks before flowering begins the nitrogen is dialed back and a higher-phosphorus bat-guano solution is maintained. Some people like dialing the nitrogen way back, but Love and Laughter actually keeps it somewhat high. This keeps the plants stronger and more disease- and pest-resistant throughout the plant’s natural life cycle.
      Prune Her for Production
      There are many techniques out there for pruning marijuana for higher yields. The preferred method at Love and Laughter is a technique called bending. The structure of the plants will vary depending on whether they’re indica- or sativa-dominant and how far along they are, but essentially young plants will have a main stem referred to as an apical meristem and then sub-stems called laterals. Traditionally, growers cut main or apical meristems, from which several more meristems will grow. These additional stems are the key to creating larger colas versus one main cola on an unpruned plant.
      Cherry Pie is a well-known strain in Humboldt County; Ian Stout
      Cutting, however, can stress the plant for sometimes up to a week or more. By bending the main stem 90 degrees 7-10 days after the young plants are in, auxiliary growth points are created. And from this auxiliary growth point, several more meristems will begin to grow (eventually forming additional colas). This process is ideally repeated three or four times over the vegetative cycle, but should be completed a couple weeks before flowering begins.
      Another important aspect which falls under pruning is defoliating. Yellow leaves will develop on marijuana plants for a variety of reasons, but the most common are due to nitrogen deficiencies, overwatering, a pH imbalance or shock from cold weather. It’s easy to correct for these problems, but leaves that have begun to die are removed before they start to mold.
      Another defoliating technique that increases yield is the selective removal of fan leaves throughout the plant. This creates better airflow and allows more light into the inner and lower canopy, which in turn creates larger buds in places that might usually end up with larf (spindly lesser buds). By paying attention to the plants throughout the day, farmers can see which ones receive less light and remove those selectively. Lastly, if the bottom third of lower branches are removed (which usually produce larf anyhow), a plant will divert its energy up to the apical buds. This results in healthier colas and bigger yields.
      Flush Away
      A common mistake that novice growers make is improperly flushing before the end of flowering. Flushing helps the weed burn cleaner and improves aroma and flavor. Different strains, even different phenotypes of a same strain, will have different flowering times. By knowing the flowering time of the strain you’re growing, you can subtract two weeks from the total flowering time. Also, paying attention to the trichomes will help as well. If they look big and sticky but are still clear, it’s a good point to stop fertilizing. Love and Laughter harvests when about half of the resin glands have turned from milky to amber. During the last two weeks, a good trick is to flush by alternating between water alone and water mixed with humic acid, fulvic acid and molasses. This mixture will help break down the remaining insoluble fertilizer still in the soil and stems.
      Golden Ending
      Until very recently, many farmers discarded their trim and waste material. But in a short time, this material has become a sought-after commodity for those with knowledge of extraction techniques. While nugs may yield the most flavorful concentrates, hand trim and even machine trim can be more valuable to an extractor’s bottom line.
      Take a half day’s drive down Highway 101 to Route 1, at Monterey Bay, and you will find an enclave of cutting-edge extraction artists. Among them is John Ollila of Santa Cruz Concentrates and Hushpuff. An early adopter of CO2 extraction, Ollila is fighting the wave of investment dollars pouring into many large hydrocarbon labs that are tanking concentrate prices in parallel with what farmers have experienced with flower rates in recent years.
      Love and Laughter Farms provides properly cured, organic, pesticide-free trim that is ideal for supercritical CO2 extraction. Raw material is sorted for remaining stems and fan leaves before being vacuum-sealed to preserve terpenes. While many manufacturers start with fresh frozen material to achieve a “live resin” or “sauce,” this is only a viable option for solvent-based extractions—mainly butane, though ethanol extracts are on the rise. California has always frowned on hydrocarbon (butane and propane) extractions because of the risk to public safety, and it should be noted that this is still an illegal practice without a local hazardous-materials license and applicable state license. The rest of us are allowed to use CO2, ethanol, water, manual press and sifting techniques.
      Properly cured trim will be free of excess water, which is detrimental to most of the above-mentioned techniques. Using a liquid CO2 extraction machine fabricated by Paradigm Supercritical Innovations of Springfield, Oregon, Santa Cruz Concentrates prefers to operate extraction chambers at roughly 2,700 psi and 100°F. Ollila’s unit, named Lucy, is powered by a 15-horsepower compressor that keeps the flow rate high. It takes roughly 7.6 liters of supercritical CO2 to extract one gram of THC, so patience for this process is necessary while being limited to processing a maximum of 101 pounds in a 16-hour day.
      Many turnkey CO2 systems that allow an operator to walk away and return a day later to a completed extraction cycle run upward of 4,500 psi and 130°F; while this will allow for a more complete extraction of cannabinoids, it also pulls many impurities that decrease the initial potency of the extract and make it more difficult to achieve maximum oil potency after refinement. There are, of course, solutions to any problem if you have deep enough pockets. Wiped-film units are becoming increasingly common, and, similar to turnkey CO2 systems, they allow operators with little or no chemistry knowledge to hop in the game and refine crude oil to shockingly potent distillate.
      The final product—a golden concentrate that’s ready to dab; Ian Stout
      Clean Oil
      Here on the Central Coast, Santa Cruz Concentrates does it the old-fashioned way. Supervised by an intelligent chemist, the short-path distillation of a properly dewaxed and bleached CO2 extract yields just as potent oil as a wiped-film unit running crude B/PHO. Pressures and temperatures on the lower end of the supercritical spectrum during extraction also allow Santa Cruz Concentrates to achieve a shatter with no additional post-processing required other than a few hours in a vacuum oven to remove residual water content. And in an exciting move to more accessible cannabis-derived terpenes, innovation continues further as Paradigm has just provided an in-line terpene trap to add to its extraction units.
      With all the dollars flooding into this industry with the goal of mass-producing marijuana vaporizers, Santa Cruz Concentrates is just fine with being a micro-brew, proud to source from small organic farmers, like those at Love and Laughter Farms, who take pride in their process.
      Patients and recreational users should be encouraged to be picky about what they inhale; while our lungs may be able to take some hits, they are very sensitive and, especially in a smoker’s life, often the most susceptible to compromise by heavy metals or carcinogenic pesticides. Know your grower and your extract artist. Demand test results. Be very wary of bottom-dollar extracts. And #puffon.
    • Автор: [Grower Бот]
      New cannabis cultivators must learn to identify and treat various conditions in the grow room promptly and accurately. Here are the most common marijuana-growing problems and how to solve them quickly and effectively.
      My leaves are turning yellow and falling off. What gives?
      This is an indication that your plant is short on nitrogen, an essential nutrient. As a result, the plant is using the available nitrogen stored within its leaves for photosynthesis and chlorophyll production. You may have returned to the garden to find that a few of the most significant fan leaves have become lifeless and the connecting part of the leaf can be flicked off.
      What you want to do here is remove the yellowing leaves for a few different reasons. You will want them out of sight and out of the garden as insects are attracted to the color yellow. (This is why sticky strips made for catching flies are yellow.) Another reason to lose the leaves is that they’re useless to the plant and removing them will allow more light to the lower parts of the plant that the fan leaves were covering.
      If you find that the newest smaller leaves are becoming bright yellow and brittle, then you need to immediately add nitrogen that’s readily available. Add organic matter that’s in a state of humification, such as worm humus or tea, liquid seaweed, fish emulsions, blood meal or other things that are naturally high in nitrogen.
      Why is there a rotten-egg-like smell coming from my grow room?
      This will most likely happen when you are growing organically. That foul sewer-like smell is produced by a microbe that is in the growing medium. The bacteria are anaerobic, which means they thrive in environments that are waterlogged with low oxygen—basically, swamp conditions. If you get a whiff of sulfur and rotten egg, then you know this is the cause.
      To prevent this, introduce hydrogen peroxide into the growing medium at 3 percent strength. This is distilled water with an extra hydrogen molecule attached, an unstable molecule. Once it is in contact with any bacteria, it will starve the organism of oxygen and kill it. It will also kill any beneficial bacteria you have in your grow medium; however, your roots will revive and the anaerobic bacteria will disappear.
      A good tip here is to make sure your growing medium is not waterlogged. If you’re bottom-feeding, never let your plants sit directly in a tray of stagnant water. This is precisely how anaerobic bacteria are formed, and even more so if you’re using organic nutrients.
      Why do the leaves of my plant have tiny yellow or white dots on them?
      If you’ve noticed under close inspection that your fan leaves and newest growth have tiny yellow blotches on them, then, sadly, you have signs of spider mites. You will not notice these tiny pests with the naked eye; you can only see the collateral damage they leave behind.
      A spider-mite infection at any stage of the grow can be devastating, so my advice here is to be careful where you source your clones from. It’s important to limit any potential threats that are being brought into the garden. You’ll also want to reduce your humidity, as spider mites thrive in a clammy environment.
      It’s always good to have living predators on standby ready to patrol your garden. Once you have introduced these predators into your grow space, the results will be a slow reduction of the number of spider mites or whatever problematic insects you’re dealing with.
      Webbing is a sure sign of a spider mite infestation gone awry
      I tried to cut the top of a shoot to create two shoots, but I missed. What will happen now?
      Don’t worry, as this is a technique practiced on a broad spectrum by all types of growers. It entails the removal of about 70-80 percent of a shoot so that enough is left behind for the plant to reduce the growth hormone auxin but also promote lateral growth from the lowest parts of the shoot that was cut. It’s called “fimming,” for “Fuck, I missed.”
      If you intended to grow two new shoots from one, this can still happen, but you need to wait about 10 days for the plant to recover and become bushy. Then you can start the process to top the plant again.
      My once white and fluffy roots are now thin, fragile and brown. What happened?
      You’ve got what’s called root rot, and this happens when the growth medium becomes waterlogged. Roots need oxygen to breathe during their search for moisture and nutrients. Again, using hydrogen peroxide will help bring the roots back to life, but so will repotting the plants into a medium that contains plenty of air pockets.
      A good idea is to use a 50 percent coco and 50 percent perlite mix as a medium, and adding worm castings, blood meal and any humate rich in nitrogen. You will notice your roots bounce back to life and form new fluffy root hairs, so ensure that the growing medium is dry more often than wet.
      I noticed spiderwebs forming around the leaves. What is this?
      This is not a web from a spider that has somehow entered the garden, but instead a full infestation of spider mites. These pests can lay eggs and multiply in a short time in the right environment, so controlling that situation with clinical effect is necessary.
      When you inspect your plants, you need to look at each one in the garden and remember that the spider mites are so small that they can move from plant to plant using the air currents from the fans in the room.
      Get a magnifying glass and get close up and personal in order to identify their presence; once you do, you can then try and control the problem with predators that will depopulate the spider-mite colony.
      There are tiny gray flies on the surface of my growing medium. Where did they come from?
      These little fly larvae can be frustrating, and they can even be inside the soil or coco from a grow store. There is not much you can do about these apart from setting up sticky fly traps. You can also keep the top of your grow medium dry and maintain constant air flow, as adult flies cannot lay their eggs in dry growing medium.
      Supporting branches by using a screen increases yields substantially
      I’ve been told to use a screen on my next grow for a more significant yield. Why should I do this?
      Using a screen at canopy level is a growing technique in which leaves above the screen are kept and leaves below the screen are removed. The screen not only adds support for heavy branches; it also allows you to expand your canopy greatly by training your plants during the vegetative stage.
      The idea with a screen is to pull the new trained shoots through each square strategically, so that when the plant flowers, the area above the screen is dedicated to producing dense buds. When you have efficiently filled every square of the screen and removed the irrelevant lower growth, the plant will now focus all its energy on the upper canopy above the screen.
      Why are my temperature and humidity so high?
      There can be several factors why you cannot get your temperature under 80°F and your humidity is uncontrollable. This is not good and can lead to all sorts of problems, particularly during the flowering period. If you have your ventilation system dialed in, it should remove and recycle the air in your space between 15 to 20 times per hour. One reason that many grow rooms fail is that the ventilation is not on par with what is required to remove the hot, stagnant air and to bring in carbon dioxide.
      The other reason why your temperature can be sky-high is that you have your lights too low. Hot air will rise, and cool air will sink. You should have cool fresh air blowing in from an intake fan that is smaller in volume than the outtake fan. The space should perform as a vacuum—dispelling hot air from the grow lights and ballasts and replacing it with fresh air from the lowest part of the space.
      Another tip is to keep your carbon filters and wall fans on even during the lights-out period. If you consider how the hot temperature and high humidity level build up, you can see that the heat cannot escape and adds to the moisture that forms on the walls and the surface of the plants. This is how powdery mildew and mold become a threat, so make sure you have constant fresh-air cycles and persistent blowing fans that mimic nature.
      There’s white powder all over the leaves when I check my plants. What is this?
      This is called powdery mildew (PM), a living spore that attaches itself to the surface of your leaves. This fungus will grow on fresh foliage and can cause problems to an entire grow room in a short time. PM travels through the air and requires wet and damp conditions with little airflow.
      This unwanted fungus can be treated with acidic-based washes, or with hydrogen peroxide and then rubbed off. It can take several days to entirely remove a PM infection, so keeping a close eye on your plants is essential at this stage.
      Root-bound plants should be transplanted into fresh growing medium.
      What do I do about the rusty-brown and yellow spots on my leaves?
      Rusty-brown spots on the lower leaves are your plant’s way of telling you that it is deficient in calcium and magnesium. Calcium plays a huge role in the cell division of plants, alongside potassium. Use Epsom salts to boost your nutrients, or get a Cal-Mag supplement from your grow store.
      The grow shop told me that my plants are showing a deficiency and that I should feed them trace elements. What do they mean?
      Well, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are the three primary nutrients for your plants. The other remaining nutrients, called micronutrients or trace elements, are calcium, magnesium, sulfur, manganese, boron, zinc and copper. Cannabis requires this full lineup of nutrients to be able to do complex jobs deep down at the cellular level.
      My plants are root-bound. What should I do?
      Root-bound pots may look good, and many naive growers will show them off with pride without realizing that their plant has become restricted. When growing in a fabric pot or a pot with air holes in the bottom, roots will have a chance to come into contact with air and, as a result, react by pruning themselves. Fibrous roots will multiply and turn back on themselves and repeat this process like a spider does when building the structure for a web.
      Prepare a larger container with a new medium into which to transplant. Wet your existing grow medium and turn the plant upside down with your fingers around the base of the main stem, carefully removing the entire root ball and placing it into the new medium.
      When I touch my grow medium with my hands, the soil is cold and wet. Is this good or bad?
      Cold temperatures are never good when it comes to growing cannabis. A cold medium can mean several things: poor air circulation, inconsistent wet and dry periods, the breeding of anaerobic bacteria, roots unable to take up phosphorus efficiently or sparse microbial life.
      You want your grow medium to be warm, and a good tip here is to use felt pots and have a temperature of 75°F around the base and tops of the plants. Lifting your pots off the ground and making sure they’re not touching the cold floors can make a big difference. Add a heater set at a low temperature to keep the air nice and warm for the roots. “Big roots mean big fruits,” as the adage goes, so keep the roots and microbes warm and happy.
      If you are hand-watering or bottom-feeding, use half as much nutrient solution twice as often. This can be more beneficial in the long run than finding out the hard way and having to work backward to find out where you went wrong.
      Good luck in growing your killer plants, and I hope these diagnostics have helped you already.
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