Dear Danko: Expert Grow Advice from the High Times OG

High Times’ cultivation specialist Danny Danko solutions all of your burning questions on being the greatest grower you might be. But first, some fast ideas from the professional himself:

  1. Use a light-weight meter to measure whether or not you’re getting the minimal 6,000 lumens per sq. foot at the cover degree.
  2. Always examine pH ranges after you’ve added all the vitamins to your liquid plant-food answer.
  3. Dead leaves and plant particles on flooring are a breeding floor for pests. Keep all growroom surfaces clear always.

Subject: Two Plants, One Pot
From: CG

I’m a newbie grower and I stupidly put two crops too shut collectively in a midsize pot. I knew it was time to switch them to a bigger pot, and once I did so the roots have been tangled. I attempted to untangle them with out harming them, nevertheless it simply couldn’t be accomplished. I knew that if I stored on messing with them I might make them actually sick. They at the moment are barely in shock, however they don’t appear to be goners but. Anyways, is it okay that the roots are tangled? Also, what can I do to deliver them again as much as well being? I recognize your time, man.

Dear CG,

Planting multiple hashish plant in the similar container is ill-advised and fewer than best. As you talked about, the roots grow to be tangled, and they’ll additionally compete for vitamins in your medium whereas the crops up prime will even compete for mild. This will end in considerably smaller yields than if the crops have been in their very own pots and never crowded collectively. At this level, I wouldn’t advocate separating them as a consequence of the stress that it will probably inevitably trigger. Chalk it as much as a lesson discovered and keep in mind in the future to “keep ’em separated.”

Subject: Praying Mantis
From: Bugging Out in Butte

A good friend of mine informed me that having a praying mantis in the growroom might help kill dangerous bugs. Is this true?

Dear BOB,

Indeed, carnivorous praying mantises (or mantids) like to eat lots of the bugs that plague our ganja gardens, and they’re considered one of nature’s most voracious backyard protectors and an ideal natural various to chemical pesticides. Pests like aphids, white flies, and spider mites and their eggs make hearty meals for these predators. You should purchase mantis eggs on-line and have them delivered as pods containing as much as 150 or extra infants that may ultimately hatch in heat climate or in your heat growroom. Once they’ve eaten their fill, they’ll need extra meals, so that you’ll have to both feed them extra bugs or ship them on their method. It’s fairly enjoyable to observe them assault the vegetarian pests!

Subject: Drain to Waste
From: David H.

I’ve been rising hydroponically utilizing a flood-and-drain system for a while and would like to see some information on drain-to-waste methods. Are they kind of environment friendly? What are the causes that some growers select to run vitamins by way of solely as soon as?

Dear David,

Hydroponic methods can both make the most of the recirculation of nutrient answer, similar to in your flood-and-drain unit, or drain to waste for watering functions. The distinction is that the first technique waters your roots time and again with the similar liquid, and the second technique solely makes use of the liquid as soon as earlier than it’s discarded. Both methods every have their very own advantages in addition to some drawbacks.

Recirculating methods similar to the flood-and-drain technique you’ve been utilizing simplify the watering course of by reusing nutrient answer time and again for 1 to 2 weeks earlier than being changed. The pH degree and the quantity of vitamins (parts-per-million, or PPM) will range and alter as the crops deplete water and meals. Reservoirs have to be replenished with recent water and vitamins and be monitored always for variations in circumstances.

The benefit of utilizing a drain-to-waste system is that it prevents the unfold of illnesses, pathogens and root rot, and it negates the typical pH fluctuations of recirculating hydroponic methods. Drain-to-waste techniques work greatest in gardens with a couple of crops in giant containers somewhat than in gardens with many smaller crops bunched collectively. Even although it sounds prefer it’s inefficient (partly due to the phrase “waste” in its identify), one of these system can truly find yourself costing much less on account of the degree of management the grower has over the feeding course of. If you employ solely somewhat greater than the crops want, the precise “waste” is minimal in a well-dialed-in system.

Subject: Female Pre-Flowers
From: Vasco De Ganja

How can I inform what the intercourse of my plant shall be earlier than the flowering stage has begun?

Dear Vasco,

You want to look at the node the place the leaves meet the stems and search for the pre-flowers. Male pre-flowers appear to be tiny spikes with balls on the finish, and feminine pre-flowers seem like tiny teardrop-shaped pods with white hairs protruding.

Subject: Hybrid Vigor
From: Coinspinner

I’ve a query about breeding hashish. Does the time period “hybrid vigor” suggest that we’ve bred out this power from repeated back-crossing and the ensuing lack of the second gene copy? I consider that is like the idea of “purebred” canine, in that to get a real breeding pressure you should cleave off the second copy by breeding again to a dad or mum.

Dear Coinspinner,

Hybrid vigor is the results of crossing two in contrast to strains, resembling a sativa from Africa and an indica from India. Also known as the “F1 cross,” the seeds from this pairing will carry out with extra gusto than both of their mother and father. The F2 and additional crosses won’t end in hybrid vigor—solely the first filial era will profit from the vitality and power of progress produced. The greatest seed breeders promote F1 crosses with hybrid vigor as these make the greatest mom crops for future clone gardens.

Growers wishing to reap the benefits of hybrid vigor on their very own would profit from studying up on breeding concept, phrases and methods. Two nice books to start with are Robert Connell Clarke’s Marijuana Botany: An Advanced Study: The Propagation and Breeding of Distinctive Cannabis and Greg Green’s The Cannabis Breeder’s Bible: The Definitive Guide to Marijuana Genetics, Cannabis Botany and Creating Strains for the Seed Market.

The second breeding method you’re referring to known as back-crossing, whereby a specific pressure is “crossed back” to its mother or father and even its grandparents. This is completed so as to stabilize genetics if you’re rising out giant populations and selecting correctly for fascinating traits. Each subsequent era ought to be increasingly constant in producing crops with the qualities you want whether or not they’re efficiency, taste, odor, yield or bud construction.

Subject: Harvest Time
From: Zach’s Dad

I’ve a plant that’s about 2 ft tall. It began flowering early for some purpose, nevertheless it’s budding superbly at this level. It’s been raised strictly outdoors and it’s my first time making an attempt to develop something. My query is: How will I do know when it’s the proper time to reap? Right now, there are about 25-30% purple hairs. Is it too quickly?

Dear ZD,

The quantity or proportion of purple hairs just isn’t an correct method to decide the correct time to reap your crops. The neatest thing you are able to do is to get a magnification gadget similar to a loupe or microscope that will provide you with a better take a look at the precise trichomes in your buds.

Typically known as “crystals,” trichomes are literally glands full of important oils made up of cannabinoids reminiscent of THC, CBD and CBN, in addition to flavinoids and terpenes. They look slightly bit like clear little mushrooms with a stalk and a bulbous head. These gland heads might be separated and pressed collectively to make cannabis.

As harvest time approaches, the gland heads will flip from clear to cloudy white, after which ultimately amber as they start to mature past ripeness. If you harvest when a few of the gland heads are nonetheless clear, you’ll get a extra uplifting excessive. If you wait till most are amber, the results shall be extra torpid. It actually comes down to non-public choice, however most individuals favor them once they’re cloudy—that’s when the THC ranges are at their highest with no degradation.

Subject: Light Leaks
From: Jordan C.

I’ve a closet develop field and two of my crops turned hermaphrodite on me. I requested some individuals they usually all advised me that mild someway should have gotten into my field. I consider them as a result of the two crops affected have been closest to the door. My query is: If such a small quantity of sunshine can do that to a closet develop, how do individuals hold their outside crops from turning hermaphrodite when there’s a full moon or vibrant stars? I’m going to develop a pair crops outdoors and want to know if I have to cowl them at night time!

Dear Jordan,

It is true that mild leaks may cause feminine crops to grow to be hermaphrodites and exhibit male flowers, probably seeding your entire crop with virtually ineffective beans as an alternative of sinsemilla (“without seeds” in Spanish) buds. If the crops obtain robust mild throughout their “night” cycle, when the lights are presupposed to be off, they react with shock and the ensuing stress can present itself in hermaphroditic tendencies. A small quantity of dim mild is often inadequate to trigger this response and it tends to occur extra typically when vibrant mild interrupts the darkish cycle.

Outdoors, the pure night time cycle consists of mild from the moon and vibrant stars that doesn’t have an effect on the crops as a result of they’re not vibrant or surprising sufficient by themselves. Only a road mild or motion-detector mild might actually disrupt the outside darkish cycle, as crops are accustomed to face up to small and uninteresting quantities of pure outside mild all through the night time. Avoid planting close to synthetic sources of sunshine, however don’t fear about the naturally occurring glow of the moon and stars.

Need recommendation on rising and harvesting hashish? Send your Q’s to

This function was revealed in the July 2018 problem of High Times journal. Subscribe proper right here.


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