I LIVE IN A STATE that permits patients to grow their own medicine, so I decided to start a small outdoor grow.
I HAVE A SUNNY BACK YARD with reasonable privacy and a profusion of other plantings — so it’s hard to spot the medicinal ones among the flowers, shrubs, vegetables, and weeds. I’m emphasizing autoflowering varieties for two reasons: 1) autos’ relatively dwarfish stature and 2) to avoid any flowering difficulties potentially caused by local light pollution (street lights).
I SOURCED MY SEEDS by mail (with fingers crossed), because autoflower seeds are not available locally. Seeds from Europe come in many varieties and in some pretty cool packaging.
• Internationally sourced seeds
THIS IS MY FIRST GROW, and I’m keeping it very simple indeed. I’m growing outside (no lights, fans, or other gear); I’m using the finest virgin “supersoil”; I’m leaving high-end training to Horse, Dog, and Ganja whisperers; and I will do little to no nutrient additions, since the seed bank assures me that their seeds need almost no care. We’ll see.
MY BABES ARE Jack Herer x AK47 x stabilized ruderalis from a seed bank I’m not promoting on this site but I’d do business with them again.
• Peat-pot germination
THEY TELL YOU NEVER TO TRANSPLANT Autoflowers, so I did anyway, because I didn’t want to stick my expensive seeds in the ground (pot) and just hope. I germed using traditional tiny little peat pots.
When finally set out in the grow area, things were not entirely ducky. Jack #1 went into transplant shock: a state of suspended animation where the seedling did absolutely nothing except not die.
Jack #2 happily adapted to the outdoors and began steady if underwhelming growth.
• Teed up for the grow area — adventure awaits!
ABOUT 4 WEEKS IN and Jack #2 and Jack #1 are puttering along. This is when you might see first preflowers, but not so far.
• Jack #2 at 4 weeks
• Jack #1 at 4 weeks. Not so impressive
HOWEVER, RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER AT 5 WEEKS, we have liftoff: the first observable pistils (see below). Immediately following this was our first and only feeding: a quarter dose of Earth Juice’s ‘Bloom’ application, to ensure both nutrient and beneficial microrganisms are available to do their thing.
• Jack #2 — first pistils and sugar leaves
AND ONWARD, with budsites popping up all over Jack #2 in weeks 6 and 7.
• Jack #2 secondary budsite
DELIGHTFULLY, JACK #2 DEVELOPS MANY, MANY TRICHOMES in weeks 8 and 9:
• Both clear and cloudy trichomes on Jack #2
I CAN’T BE SURE WHETHER JACK #2 HAS SOME PURPLE IN ITS GENETICS or whether I’ve stressed the plant with overnight temperature drops or phosphorous deficiency or just strong sun, but the budsites are distinctly purple, including sugar leaves and stems. The plant is so darn healthy that I’m leaning toward this being a completely natural reaction, like tanning (and yes I know that tanning is actually terrible for your skin, etc., etc., but let’s not try to take the metaphor further than it really wants to go).
Meanwhile, the buds swell, filling in both horizontally and vertically.
• Top of Jack #2’s main cola
NOW EXACTLY 10 WEEKS — THE PLAN IS A TEST HARVEST of Jack #2’s main cola, where the trichomes have been mostly cloudy/white (no appreciable amber) for several days. Using absolutely top-flight equipment, the precious buds are individually coddled (hung up by their heels) toward the perfect pre-cure dryness.
• Bud Box 3000 ™ high-tech drying system
This highlights the yield from this particular plant, which topped out at about 2’ tall, with one main cola (drying above) and approximately 12 satellite budsites that are (as of the writing of this message) still maturing in the grow area in my back yard. I’m guessing maybe 20 grams all in from this plant, which is not humongous, but my plan is to have one mature about every two weeks for the next several months, so over time my yield will be just fine. I’m also trying lots of different strains and will no doubt learn quite a lot from the process – I already have.
• Jack #2: Cola harvested, but not quite done
SO…ONLY ONE THING TO DO…sit back and wait for the buds to cure…and then the taste test.
TO COMPLETE THE PICTURE here’s the harvest itself (well, half the harvest, with the central cola already having gone to the blade). This time I’ll be trying the brown paper bag drying method.
• Shake to the left, buds to the right, and a pair of really gummed-up scissors
AND THE PLANT FORMERLY KNOWN AS “Jack #2”
• Looking a bit Stark (Ned Stark, to be precise), following the beheading