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Class 207: Faculty Lounge

Class 207 is about to embark on our next run where we will #fillthetent. I have the plants under SCROG (Screen of Green) which is a low cost method using trellis netting to open up the canopy. Opening the canopy and allowing any lower branches to get light. This allows the lowers to grow, catching up to the tallest branches while helping the canopy to even out by weaving taller branches aside. The process will go for a few weeks and the trellis will be adjusted around week 3 to defoliate and avoid interrupting any bud sites. My nutrients have changed to Aptus, and we will still be using our Beastie Budz in a few weeks. I am supplementing with NPKelp, Kelproot, ZincKelp, and CopperKelp in between feedings. I have also introduced King Crab along with Great White mycorrhizae into my weekly routine, which is a beneficial bacteria blend used to strengthen the roots and mycorrhizal. This is one change we’ve made with the other being our transition to flowering.

We switched to flower with our 12 plants using 36 hours of darkness. We are going to use the dark to send a signal to our plants to transition into flowering, while also working toward the goal to increase the amount of trichomes before harvest. Let’s look at how cannabis uses light changes to send this signal using a group of receptors that detect light pigments in their leaves. There are 2 different pigment receptors, each with a different task: Phytochrome Red and Phytochrome Far-Red. They absorb light in different wavelengths and transmit that information to the plant. During times of vegetative light(16-20hours) both receptors are balanced in number, but with an abundance of sudden darkness(24-48 hours), Far-Red receptors slowly change into Red receptors. With longer dark periods, Far-Red can be manipulated through the amount of light given to the plant.

These receptors keep the plant in the vegetative stage, so less light in the far-red spectrum will signal this receptor to pass the chemical signal to the plant that it’s time to change photo cycles. We create the signal by keeping our plants in the dark to change Far-Red receptors into Red receptors, until the number of Far-Red receptors reduces so there aren’t enough Far-Red receptors to counter the signal from the Red receptors, which tell the plant to flower! After this signal, we move our plants into the flowering photo cycle of 12 hours light and 12 hours dark. For more grow education, download the @cannabiscactus app to meet some of the resources here, based in Arizona. We want to learn more about everything, always so keep talking, sharing, and work to the benefit of the community. Let nobody bring you down with negativity, or let their condescending tone take your passion away. Everybody can find their success while doing it their way, so let’s explore some experienced growers and their methods.

The first is Southsides Finest Meds, which has some of the best cannabis in South Phoenix being cultivated. Jacob has made the grow a masterful use of space, experience, and it is reflected by his plants. If you look, you will see large dense buds with healthy amounts of trichomes coating them. Let’s talk to Southside’s Finest Meds to learn more about his methods and experience.

@Southsidefinestmeds aka Jacob G.

How long have you smoked cannabis?

I have been smoking cannabis since 2017 when I started growing it.

How is your experience with home cannabis cultivation and can you tell us about your setup?

My experience with home cannabis cultivation has been really good. I have learned a lot about cannabis in the past 4 years. My preferred method of growing cannabis is indoors under high pressure sodium lighting in the flowering stage and metal halide lighting in the vegetative stage. I currently choose to use coco fiber as my growing medium. It produces great quality flowers and is also easy to manage.

What do you find most enjoyable about home cultivation?

I enjoy spending time with my plants so I prefer to hand water them.

What are some challenges you faced when cultivating?

I have battled with hemp russet mites in 2019 and I could not find a solution to get rid of them. I ended up getting rid of my whole garden and starting over again.

What makes a successful harvest?

In order to have a successful harvest you need proper lighting, some type of nutrition, constant flowering temps of about 75 degrees or lower, humidity around 30 to 40 percent.

What are some nutrients, biostimulants, or other products you would recommend?

I use Flora Flex nutrients. It is a great nutrient and easy to use.

What are some techniques, tricks, or tips that you would pass to anyone starting out?

Allow your plants to get a proper dry back time before another watering. You can determine the dryness in your media by gently lifting the pot to feel the weight of it.

Do you have anything else you would share with the Cannabis Cactus readership?

A lot of growers seem to get some type of pest or bugs on their plants like spider mites, white flies, aphids, fungus gnats, and hemp russet mites. You may want to consider some type of pest management. Most pest and bugs come from clones that are bought from somebody else’s garden.

Our next point of contact is located in Bisbee, AZ and has some of the most impressive plants I’ve seen. The methods and genetics are unique as the cultivator, Carbon Black. Talk techniques, or help test seeds, Carbon Black is always hunting good beans from the likes of Gnostic Seeds based in Oregon. He is a friend, teacher, and maybe a guru part-time, let’s talk.

@warrenterpenblazer aka Carbon Black

Can you suggest some Recommended Listening?

Groundation Motorhead  Manly P hall  Trap slowed,chopped and screwed. 

How long have you smoked cannabis?

28 years up in smoke

How long have you grown cannabis?

7 years in the man made sun

How is your experience with home cannabis cultivation and can you tell us about your setup?

My experience so far has been a focused study of a plant and its dynamics which enriches my life in a very holistic and positive way. I run three tents that are in a row. A 5x12x8 flowering tent with two 1000watt bestiva lights on one side and a 1000watt chilLED tech six bar on the other side of the tent. On top of a small ac unit inside the tent sits the 6 inch carbon filter that vents into a 5x5x8 veg room with a 1000 watt bestiva light. That tent vents into a 2x5x7 tent using a 600 watt KingLed, cooling the whole system from the flowering room to the seedling/clone tent,which vents out a 4 inch filter into the garage. Loyal to the soil and grow bags.

What do you find most enjoyable about home cultivation?

When I first started growing I had so many questions it was almost overwhelming. On my way through trial and error, I found that my self education is never ending. My hobby has turned into a passion, which in turn has given me a new, untapped feeling of having a purpose in the magical world of this amazing plant.

What are some challenges you faced when cultivating?

Thankfully, the adversity has not ended. Everything from heat to getting up before the sun to garden,but all said and done, every grow is very unique. Each plant needs to be studied every day, regardless if it’s all the same strain, each plant (from seed) has its very own set of challenges. I enjoy small problems to work out and growing gas is like playing chess. Plenty of small problems to consider. I joke with my wife that it’s not ALL I think about,I’m just a very enthusiastic hobbyist.

What makes a successful harvest?

Genetics. Starting from regular seeds is always fun because you could get a male. If that’s the case, I move the boy outside to flower and collect pollen for seeds. More seeds are good. I am loyal to the soil. Keep everything as consistent as possible, not only does this give you a scheduled regimen to follow but you are more in tune with your garden. Bags over pots. A good nutrient cycle and to go as bright as the sun. Feeding the soil microbes sugars like molasses. A two week flush,then two days of darkness. Hopefully a 10 day drying period and i like to go for a 10 week cure. Keeping a grow journal. Keeping track of the weight you produce over the year and eliminating past recognized problems. In short: Ppence, genetics, soil, light, nutrients, proper drying time and a solid cure. More patience. If you love marijuana you will have respect for your grow.

What are some nutrients, biostimulants, or other products you would recommend?

Fox Farm Ocean Floor, Earth worm castings, happy frog, bigfoot mycorrhizae and silica in the bag from the jump. Fox Farm Big Bloom more than I should, molasses. Incredible Bulk from Growganica from first day of flower. I’m a seed tester for Gnostic Seeds, so I recommend them if you want high THC 25+, and they have a large selection of some great clones for sale. Their seeds are great. Once again, keep it simple. Have fun. Share what you know so we all can grow.

What are some techniques, tricks, or tips that you would pass to anyone starting out?

Take it easy. Keep it simple. Stay quiet. Constantly plant and watch closely and you’ll figure it out. It’s just weed. Give it a little love at the right times and it will give you what you want. Another good thing to remember is “as above, so below” in this case meaning if you see problems on your foliage you have a problem with your roots. Grow bags all day. Stay consistent with every grow so you can see what happens when you do certain things. Take clones from every plant, the males always show first which gives you a quick way to sex the plants and remove the father from the flowering tent. Smoke a lot of weed so you can grow more pounds. Stay positive.

Do you have anything else you would share with the Cannabis Cactus readership?

Shine your light. Stay high for life. Grow the best you can and remember that all thoughts are lies, all the time. Be the person you need to be. Peace.

Our last educator is working the hardest, and doing it beautifully in one of the most unforgiving places in Arizona. West Coast Green Thumbs is in the empty high-desert, and he is looking to change it to a true sea of green. His outdoor plants are spectacular, and he is changing my mind about what can be grown in the challenges of Arizona. We will talk more to him in a full feature but he lends his insights on home cultivation of outdoor plants in Arizona.

@wcgt_ aka West Coast Green Thumb

Can you suggest some Recommended Listening?

The Jacka – Target Practice Nate Dogg – My money  Big Mike – Havin’ thangs

How long have you smoked cannabis?

Since I was 16…. I was born and raised in a cannabis household.

How long have you grown cannabis?

On my own since I was 16 but again… grew up in a cannabis affiliated household and was around cannabis cultivation since birth.

What is your experience with outdoor cannabis cultivation and can you tell us about your setup?

It is a form of “horticultural therapy” I have been practicing for years. Currently I am cultivating 1/2 acre of canopy split between 15 hoop houses and 1 open field plot. We are in USDA Zone 9a and it is not an easy spot to farm, especially being off grid.

What do you find most enjoyable about outdoor cultivation?

The challenge of working with elements, being nocturnal in the fall, the freedom, and the excitement of the harvest when you get to the finish line with the 12 footers. Nothing like being out in the bush with an army of ladies….

What are some challenges you face when cultivating outdoors and how did you overcome them?

USDA zone 9a is one of the harshest places to cultivate in the northern hemisphere. High light intensities, below 10% humidity, blow dryer winds and massive monsoons are just some of the abiotic pressures we face. Biotic pressures are usually limited to grasshoppers of all shapes sizes and colors and the occasional “lace bug” prescience. Life challenges occur daily as well because…. well… shit happens when you’re farming and life doesn’t stop. But at the end of the day all challenges aside…. I love what I do.

What are your thoughts on bud washing?

99.9% of the time I am against it. You can debate and argue all you want but you are playing with fire putting “free water” on bud sites and plant material directly before hanging. IF you really want to or feel it is necessary to do something like this…. I recommend applying a foliar application to the plants 24hrs before harvest to make sure you have no excess moisture hiding in and around those bud sites. To be clear, this is a practice I do not promote.

What are some nutrients, biostimulants, or equipment you would recommend?

Nature’s pride, Tierra grow, Dr. Earth, Agromar Seaweed Solutions, More by bio at solutions, Tony’s used grow equipment.

What are some techniques, tricks, or tips that you would pass to anyone starting outdoor cultivation at home?

Always remember with nutrition and watering …. less is more. You can always add more on if you’re shy but if you go too heavy, the damage is done. Avoid killing them with love in other words.

Do you have anything else you would like to share with the Cannabis Cactus readers?

Just want people to remember that the “cannabis community” comes from a real place… not the same for the “cannabis industry”. Times have changed and things are different, but… the principles stay the same. Try to stay with the community side and don’t get lost in the sauce with that industry shit.

See the whole cultivation series to keep reading and learning.

Adrian Ryan was born in New Mexico and attended school since elementary in Arizona, his time growing up split between the two states. He hopes to work towards recreational cannabis, enjoys reading, writing, film, music, and also writing music.



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