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Dear Dabby… Cannabis Grow Tips

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Dear Dabby… Cannabis Grow Tips

Photo Gracie Malley for Cannabis Now

Dear Dabby… Cannabis Grow Tips

With recreational cannabis expanding across the globe, more and more people are allowed to grow. Here are some tips to get started.

I HAVE A NICE LITTLE GROW OUT HERE IN THE WOODS. WHAT DO YOU DO TO KEEP WILDLIFE AND OTHER PESTS AWAY? ALSO, CAN OUTDOOR CATS PLAY AROUND YOUR PLANTS? IS IT SAFE?

— Mr. Green Jeans

Good fences make good neighbors. And good cannabis. A nice chicken wire fence will keep most four-legged beasts at bay. Deer can be a little tricky (those suckers can jump really high), but mostly they just nibble a few leaves. As for the other pests, like spider mites and russet mites and the like: Make sure you have good dirt. Good dirt makes for good, strong, healthy plants and healthy plants are more resistant to pests. Also, beneficial insects like ladybugs might help, but you may have to bring in some pirate bugs or similar insects to really grapple with your problem. Check out Nature’s Control — they sell insects that eat the mites — for some good ideas. If you think you have mites in your dirt, well, I wish you good luck. There are some things you can do, though. Mixing in beneficial nematodes or diatomaceous earth can help. You might also try introducing some predatory fungus mites like Hypoaspis miles (Stratiolaelaps scimitus) if you like the idea of millions of tiny bugs waging war on the ground beneath your feet.

If adding more bugs to your bug-infested plant doesn’t appeal to you, you can just spray them. I have heard good things about the organic pesticide known as AG Plus. It’s expensive, but it is full of ingredients that aren’t harmful to humans, and it is designed to suffocate the little buggers as opposed to poisoning them, so you don’t have to worry about the mites developing a resistance. The price of good weed is eternal vigilance. Good luck.

As to your cats: It shouldn’t be a big deal. I am a proponent of keeping all pets out of the garden, but it isn’t always possible. Your cat may eat a leaf or two, but it shouldn’t really affect them in a negative way. Maybe spread out some catnip in an area away from the weed to keep them distracted.

MY FRIEND ADDS FAR TOO MUCH FERTILIZER AND THE FLAVOR COMES THROUGH IN THE BUD.  IS IT POSSIBLE TO FERT STRONG WHILE MAINTAINING THE FLAVOR OF THE STRAIN?

— K. O. Curtopia

Flush your plants! Stop giving them fertilizer about one week after they go into flower. Just give them pure water and watch your plants thrive. Problem solved.

I SERIOUSLY GREW A LOT OF WEED THIS YEAR. HOW DO I STORE IT?

— O. Vergroan

Avoiding heat and light are the two biggest things. Keep your meds in an airtight container. Some people like Tupperware and there are many companies like 420 Science that make really nice glass jars just for storing cannabis. If you have a cooler area of your house (like a wine cellar), store your buds there. You can also keep them in the fridge. Hell, it won’t be long until someone invents a portable “weed cellar.” Anyway, properly stored cannabis will last for months, maybe even a year or so.

Humidity is also an issue. Allow too much moisture in your jar and you end up with mold. Too little, and your cannabis gets all dry and terrible tasting. It used to be a big challenge to keep humidity at the right level, but companies like Boveda (née Humidipak) make great little packets that you can put in your storage jars and these packs will keep your medicine at an optimal level. Find a nice, cool, clean, dark space for your cannabis to rest peacefully before you call it into service.  Keep your buds well, and your buds will keep you well.

MY HOMIE HAS A NICE OUTDOOR GROW, BUT I HAVE NOTICED SOME MOLD ON HIS PLANTS. IF IT GETS MOLDY OR SOME-THING, HOW HARMFUL IS IT TO SMOKE?

— Chaki the Fun Guy

Don’t smoke mold. Ever. Mold and fungus are no bueno. You are just asking for a nasty-ass lung infection when you smoke moldy weed. Molds and fungi love warm, moist, dark spaces. Throw out that weed and try again next year.

Originally published in Issue 29 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

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