Diary Of A Cannabis Grower Part 1: Winter Is Coming

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Diary Of A Cannabis Grower Part 1: Winter Is Coming


Winter is coming! and it's time to move your grow show indoors. Cannabis cultivation is on the verge of a new industrial revolution. The future is now, I say embrace it. Join me as I explore the latest grow room tech in an effort to build a spectacular high tech organic garden.

Zamnesia is proud to introduce the first part of their series following the exploits of a veteran cannabis grower as he grows indoors over this winter. Be sure to tune in for some valuable insights!

WINTER IS COMING!

As I conclude my second outdoor organic crop, feeding my low profile garden of tasty autoflowers a sweet feed of molasses tea, I ponder my options for growing next season. 2016 has been something of a year of firsts for me personally and in terms of cultivation too.

It’s early September but the days are already growing shorter, even in the sunny south of Spain the natural light cycle is almost an even 12-12 split between hot dry days and humid nights.

This time of year it’s almost harvest time whatever you’re growing, be it Kush or cabbages. Autumn is Mother Nature’s season of senescence. The choice was obvious. I simply must grow indoors, after all winter is coming!

 

 

Harvest Time Cannabis

MY KIND OF GADGETS

21st century technology has been a massive disappointment for me. Sure we’ve got all kinds of “smart” gadgets, it’s just that there not my kind of toys. Technology at its finest is simplicity fused with functionality.

These are the rare devices that are really easy to use and serve just one purpose, but they make it look like magic. Light sabres, hover boards, jet packs and LED Lighting are such products and as the first three have no business in the grow room, unless you´re Ironman, I’m going to delve into the LED Lighting.

DIVORCING FROM HID BULBS & BREAKING IT OFF WITH CFL’S

HDS Lighting

I have long been married to HPS lighting when it comes to indoor cultivation. Don’t get me wrong, over 15 years of growing my own, I’ve experimented, boldly and persistently to paraphrase Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Approximately five years ago I divorced from my beloved 250W MH bulb and digital ballast in favour of a cool White 250W CFL. Not only was the CFL new and different, it was better and came with no baggage, err, ballast.

CFL Light

After the switch I found vegging my plants under CFL’s to be superior to MH bulbs, the obvious advantage being vastly reduced heat emission from the bulb, allowing me to hang the reflector closer to the canopy, ensuring tighter internode spacing and easy climate control. However I was loathe to part with my precious HPS bulbs for the bloom cycle.

Of course I experimented further using both red bloom CFLs and those purple dual spectrum CFLs, but I never managed to achieve a yield nor a quality comparable to the fat frosty buds my 1000W HPS system consistently delivered.

Sure at times the heat produced, from the spare room housing my grow tent with a 600W HPS hanging in a gigantic reflector to one side and a 400W HPS in an comparably sized reflector on the other, was pretty intense.

Strange humming sounds from digital ballasts combined with the peculiar whoosh of fans were all part of the bargain too. High power bills seemed to be on the horizon once again.

THE MAGIC OF LED’S

Then I discovered the 600W full spectrum G8 LED by DormGrow. As I read through the specifications I was very impressed, more accurately I was sold. The manufacturers claim the unit is the equivalent of an 1000W HPS bulb literally had me drooling. This was my kind of technology.

LED cannabis

The beauty of LED is almost all the energy is directed into light rather than heat. Plus just like CFLs there is no need for a ballast and one better because there’s no need for a reflector either as the light panel is self-contained. My winter project would be high tech and cutting edge without compromising quality and yield.

HEAL THE WORLD

My preferred method of cultivation is organic and although I’m not exactly “Swampy” the eco-warrior it’s partially a matter of taste and about not harming the earth.

Perhaps it’s from my recent fondness for outdoor cultivation or just plain heat stroke, in any case I’ve certainly got a greater sense of appreciation for the farmers and how important it is not to pollute the land.

Cannabis cultivation and pollution are not natural bedfellows. However, as indoor cultivation increases so too will power consumption.

Already in Colorado marijuana is becoming guilty by association. I’m not suggesting a ban on HPS lighting is the answer; rather look to the technology of the future to produce crops of the future.

  Vertafort

NO RISK, NO REWARD

By making the conversion to an LED system, I admit it I’m taking a leap of faith but like I said 2016 has been a year of firsts for me. Of course I have my selfish reasons, as the unit is eco-friendly it’s also super freakanomical to run.

As for seeds, I selected some exotic feminised varieties from Spliff Seeds. A pack of Purple Berry Kush for flavour and a pack of Mega Power Plant for the frosty fire por favor. No SOG, no ScrOG, just a handful of healthy free range plants with room to breathe and bloom lush frosted acorn colas.

KEEP IT SIMPLE, KEEP IT NATURAL

When it comes to nutrients I’m stubborn as a mule that stepped in quick drying cement. I exclusively grow in soil these days.

Hydroponic systems both active and passive have delivered huge yields and high potency buds for me in the past. But when it comes to flavour nothing comes close to organic buds grown from dirt.

I tend to experiment with various brands and new products but I like to keep it simple. Complex feeding schedules using a dozen or more bottles of product is unnecessary when you grow organic.

  All natural ingredients

Whenever possible I like to incorporate local knowledge into my grow show, this was especially important when selecting suitable autoflowering strains for my summer outdoor grows, and the locals have nothing but good things to say about LEDs and I’ve smoked the bud with them to prove it.

At time of writing in fact I’m blazing a nice fat joint of a locally grown heavy Indica strain called “Dulce” that was cultivated; you guessed it, under LEDs.

In fact I have yet to come across any growers that use HID lighting in Spain. So I’m interpreting the positive feedback as Yeats I imagine would have “a terrible beauty is born”.

The future is now and apparently all the growers in Spain already knew. Winter is coming! Bring it on! I might have the latest in 21st century cutting edge technology at my disposal for this coming season but essentially I’m still a storytelling caveman that grows dope with his hands in the dirt.

 

         
  Top-Shelf Grower  

Written by: Top-Shelf Grower
Veteran cannabis cultivator originally from Dublin, Ireland and currently on the loose in southern Spain. 100% committed to Top-Shelf reporting until captured or killed.

 
 
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