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Cannabis seeds

Marijuana Grower’s Handbook

In Marijuana Grower’s Handbook, the Philosopher Seeds team will provide all necessary information to get the most out of their cannabis strains, making specific growing reports for each variety. Get to know the different marijuana growing methods and techniques best suited for the strains of our seed bank.

Of all the pleasant experiences to savour when growing our own cannabis, undoubtedly one of the most special and highly anticipated is the moment we finally take the scissors and cut the plant at harvest time. In many cases this emotion is followed by a great relief, brought on by the tranquility of removing plants, especially outdoor grown plants, which may have been exposed to certain prying eyes.

Situations such as this one, as well as others such as, for example, the grower’s sheer impatience to finish the crop, can lead to bringing forward the harvest and cutting the plants too early, before they reach their optimum maturity. Rushing these things is never a good idea, as haste clouds our judgement and can force mistakes, so the decision about whether to harvest or not will require close observation and patience.

The most common harvesting mistakes are usually to do with to the maturity of the plant, although there are other, less serious errors that can prove decisive to the quality of the harvest, alongside following the proper drying and curing process to ensure a top quality cannabis crop.

Harvesting and trimming our variety Fruity Jack

Harvesting and trimming our variety Fruity Jack

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Guerrilla growing cannabis

Guerrilla growing cannabis is a fairly common practice among those growers who don’t have any place of their own to cultivate, whether it’s an indoor grow, an outdoor garden or a balcony. In short, the idea is to find a suitable site in a nearby forest or scrubland where you’ll be able to safely grow a few plants and remain undetected. This can end up being a real challenge, given the numerous potential dangers we can face: Forestry patrols, hunters, hikers, wild mushroom collectors… they could all accidentally stumble upon your plants, something every grower wants to avoid at all costs.

In this article we’re going to explain everything you’ll need to consider when looking for the best spot to grow cannabis, as well as the best way to prepare the site so your plants are as well camouflaged as possible and can offer their maximum potential. We’ll also recommend the most suitable cannabis varieties and teach you a few tips and tricks to help you get the best out of your guerrilla grow, because, as every outdoor grower knows, the head stash supply for the whole year can depend on just one harvest, so there’s no room for errors!

With this in mind, security, discretion, weather conditions and genetics are just some of the aspects that we’ll be dealing with so that you can harvest the very best buds from your guerrilla grow… as if you cared for the plants in your own garden!

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Cannabis in a guerrilla grow (Foto: @theenglishcut)

The ideal spot for guerrilla growing

There’s one thing that we must make very clear from the beginning: plants cultivated in guerrilla gardens are no different from any other outdoor grown cannabis plants and will have exactly the same basic requirements which the grower must satisfy. If the plants suffer any type of deficiency or disease (insufficient light, water, pest attack, mould, etc.) it will have a negative impact upon the quality as well as the quantity of the final harvest, so it’s vital to plan the grow well, especially if we don’t want to be making frequent visits to the site and drawing unnecessary attention to ourselves. We’ll be talking about the main aspects to take into account when planning the garden and choosing a location for it, making things easier for you and helping you get the best possible yields from your plants.

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The first time you venture into the world of cannabis cultivation at home, it’s perfectly normal to be overwhelmed with doubts and questions, making you feel like it’s all too much!

You will, of course, have made sure to read all the information you can get from the Internet blogs, forums, books and magazines, and your grower friends (if you know any) will have filled your head with loads of tips, tricks and secret, infallible techniques (so they say, anyway!) that we must follow to the letter if we want an abundant and high quality cannabis harvest.

Fruity Jack harvested

Germinating Fruity Jack seeds

Because we’d like to make things easy and help resolve any doubts, we’ve written this article to show you what you should and shouldn’t do, so even if you’re not 100% sure how to cultivate, you ‘ll be able to avoid making the most frequent and fatal errors, get started out on the right foot and not overcomplicate your life!

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Principle characteristics of Automatic plants

Autoflowering or Automatic cannabis seeds are characterised by being varieties that flower all by themselves, or in other words, they are not photo-dependent, unlike photo-sensitive feminised cannabis seeds they do not depend on the cycle of light and darkness to trigger bloom.

Once the seed germinates, it goes through its vegetative growth period of about 15-21 days, after which in then begins flowering, regardless of the hours of light it receives.

This is the feature that makes autos so popular with many growers, as they can deliver a harvest just 60-80 days after germination, much faster than any traditional genetics.

Cheesy Auto CBD in full bloom

Cheesy Auto CBD in full bloom

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When we cultivate cannabis outdoors or indoors, it is always exciting, especially if it’s our first time, as it opens us up to a new world of opportunities in which anything is possible, and in which the growers wishes, doubts and dedication are combined.

The usual way is to start reading, immersing oneself in reference books to make sure everything, or at least the basic notions, are clear before getting down to work. What can leave us, either with a strong sense of being overwhelmed, or with full understanding of the “Kung Fu of cannabis cultivation.”

Philosopher Seeds varieties

A grow of Philosopher Seeds varieties

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Of all the procedures we should follow when growing cannabis, none are as simple or as important as flushing the roots at the end of flowering. This simple operation, basically consisting of flooding the substrate with water, can make the difference between obtaining good or bad results from our cannabis harvest: if we haven’t washed the plants correctly they will contain residues of nutrients which will negatively affect the flavour of the smoke.

Cannabis plant ready for harvest

Cannabis plant ready for harvest

Why flush the roots at the end of flowering?

After weeks of applying nutrients to the plants, and possibly insecticide or fungicide treatments too, the growing medium may suffer from an excess of residues, principally the remains of fertilisers in the form of mineral salts. In addition, this excess of nutrients is often accentuated by over-fertilisation, due to the erroneous idea that more food will mean more flowers.

Through the metabolic processes of the plant, these mineral salts concentrated in the substrate reach the buds, reducing the flavour and quality of the resin if the plants are harvested without properly flushing, that is, without us having removed the residual nutrients from the plant and substrate.

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Why grow cannabis as a monoculture?

Even if we only have a little outdoor space for cultivation it can seem a bit absurd to only grow a single product. In cannabis cultivation, for various reasons, growers usually opt for monoculture, turning their back on the wealth of advantages brought by integrating cannabis within a polyculture of vegetables, aromatic plants and flowers.

Cannabis plants are perfectly adapted to horticultural gardens, whether urban or rural. Sharing the cultivation space with other vegetables has great benefits which can be used by cannabis plants in different ways.

Aside from the obvious benefit of harvesting a variety of products, polyculture cultivation has a range of direct benefits to the cannabis grown in it, positively influencing aspects as important as the control of pests and diseases, fertilisation, yield, and the final quality of the harvest.

Growing among herbs and other aromatic plants can help to mask the distinctive aroma of our cannabis harvest.

Growing among herbs and other aromatic plants can help to mask the distinctive aroma of our cannabis harvest.

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Towards the end of winter or in early spring is the best time to plan our next outdoor cannabis grow, to allow enough time to calmly prepare the ideal plan to suit our possibilities.

Studying the cultivation space fully, together with the assessment of the means we have at our disposal and the dedication and effort that we can provide, will mean we are much more likely to  optimise resources like the time and money that we will invest over the entire process of the culture.

The previous planning work will also help us to anticipate specific situations or needs of the crop that will occur during its development – irrigation, fertilisation, pruning, pest management, harvesting, etc.

Small outdoor grow space with a few autoflowering varieties in pots

Small outdoor grow space with a few autoflowering varieties in pots

Our first advice is to recommend starting a cultivation notebook, or downloading one of the many grow apps that have appeared recently. Using this tool we can organise the grow and take the necessary notes on our subsequent monitoring of it.

Growing space

First of all we must examine the surface area and environmental conditions of the space that we’re going to dedicate to cannabis cultivation. By calculating the area we’ll know the number of plants that we can grow at the same time. The recommended distance between plants is 1 meter to 1.5 meters, although if space is available it’s better if they can be even further apart.

The main environmental factors to be taken into account in the cultivation space are the solar orientation, the hours of direct solar exposure, shelter from wind and bad weather in general, and the degree of humidity in the air. Another factor to take into account in the cultivation space is access to water for irrigation.

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Healthy soil, productive soil

A healthy crop soil is a productive soil. The health of the growing medium can be measured by the diversity of organisms and microorganisms that inhabit it. These microscopic soil inhabitants, mainly fungi and bacteria, establish a whole series of relationships with the plant that are essential to the proper development of a cannabis crop.

In all substrates these beneficial microorganisms must be maintained and promoted. This is essential to achieve a balanced growing medium, as this equilibrium will give us the optimal conditions for the development of plants. All these soil microbes live in a symbiotic relationship with the plants to make up the so-called soil food web.

Organisms and microorganisms that make up the soil food web

Organisms and microorganisms that make up the soil food web

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What is a pure or landrace cannabis variety?

Landrace or pure strains are those cannabis varieties that are native to a specific area and have been adapted generation after generation to the conditions of that area and remained isolated from other varieties, keeping their genotype unaltered.

Cannabis is an ancient plant – probably originating from the Himalayas – that has been cultivated by humans for millennia, either for its recreational virtues, for its well-known and documented medicinal properties or for the multitude of industrial uses (including food) that he has. Over the centuries, it has been adapting to cultivation according to latitude and to different climates across the world, especially in the intertropical zone and in many of the temperate parts of the globe.

Cannabis a traditional crop in many parts of the world

Cannabis a traditional crop in many parts of the world

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