Valencia Grow Trip Part I
Cultivating and Growing Cannabis for fun and profit!
In the first week of June I had about 25 plants. The sun is great in Spain. The plants were on my balcony doing splendid with only 6 hours direct sunlight.
True to plan, there were enough mothers ready for a clone harvest in the first week of June. I had made a hundred assorted cuttings from our Barcelona herbalistas plants: Jack Herer from Sensi-Seeds, Chronic and AK47 from Serious Seeds, White Widow and Super Silver from The Green House seed company.
On the 10th of June friends from the local grow shop came out to help put the lighting, ventilation, and other things needed to get the grow-room operational.
We start with two 600-watt High Pressure Sodium lamps. A special power box is brought down from the meter with heavy duty fused connections. The lights are mounted to the ceiling using hooks and ropes that can easily be moved up as the plants grow.
We decided to wall off about 6 square meters of the room, using Mylar on the walls and white reflective plastic to divide the room in two parts. A high-powered extraction fan is mounted near a sealed off window to provide ventilation and a charcoal filter waits to be mounted to it when we force flowering.
Most of the plants are removed from the balcony and put in the new controlled environment. The lights are switched on and our indoor grow is in production.
The indoor-outdoor grow room has been canned in favor of two alternatives. One is to plant near a riverbed, the other to plant on the back of a lonely mountain in abandoned fields. We have not planted anything in the mountains yet, but the river provided some interesting sites to plant. Finding a suitable place that is out of sight and far from the traveled paths is more difficult on a river. The benefits are great though. With the loamy soil rich in minerals and the constant water source the plants will grow abundant with little attention.
The question is; will we get to harvest them or will robber bandits harvest them?
As we end June the main mother plants are now the same height as the seeded plants, about a meter high. At that same time we were hit with what the Spanish call “The Plague.”
We had a guest grower out to visit in the early part of June. He brought us gifts of two clones. One Sensi-Star and one White Widow. I was thrilled to have them, specially the White Widow. The White Widow was true breed and had all the characteristics to show its genetics. Having a Sensi-Star was a great addition to my mother collection. I never once thought to check them for bugs and would pay for this indiscretion soon.
Discovery came in the last week of June as I sat cutting clones from the mothers again. After cutting 200 clones from the mothers, I sat cleaning the leaves from the floor and table when I noticed a moving spot on a leaf. Damn, what the hell was that? I took out my 20x photographic loop and started to look at the discarded leaves, only to find a plethora of creepy crawlers on them. They looked like crabs and were the size of a pinhead. They were only on the Super Silver Haze and the AK-47 and I was freaking out. My super powered mothers were under attack, and worse, the 200 new cuttings were together in the clone-dome I had built and would also be infected.
The next 24 hours were spent looking carefully over all the plants, clones and cuttings. SHITE! I had fallen to the Spanish Plague, Spider Mites. The only plants not infected where those on the balcony (Bob Marley and Jack Herer), yet the cuttings got infected as they were now together in the clone-dome. All the plants in the main grow room were now infected, the worst being those close to the Sensi-Star, which was the main carrier.
It was Saturday when I discovered the blight and I had to wait to Monday to get to the Internet for information on how to rid the problem, all the time the bugs were spreading like butter on a hot potato. Needless to say I was freaking out that my crops were infected and thought the worst. I sprayed them with some heavy insecticide, which helped. But the next day they were back and on more plants. SHITE!
Finally Monday came and I was on the Internet and checking the various sites for information. I found the info scarce on many sites. Finding nothing on High Times Grow-America site but advertising, I ended up on Overgrown.com where I found their FAQ database very helpful. It seems while it was a terrible blight there could be relief for anyone with the time and energy to do battle. I decided to fight them rather than sacrifice over 200 plants that I had carefully built up over the last six months.
This entailed the evacuation of the grow room and clone-dome of all plants. Each plant was taken to our large kitchen where it could be inspected and carefully dipped and wiped with dish washing soap. Yes, that was the best advice I found on those sites. Apparently the soap suffocates them and they die. DIE MUTHER FUCKERS!
In the morning the plants seemed ok except for one bug we found on a Bob Marley plant. The adventure will continue now for at least 5 days as the eggs hatch. Each day I have to spray the underside of the plants with soapy water. While the plants do not die from this, they are put under stress from it and will take a growth hit for the adventure.
Lesson learned: do not take new plants from strangers without adequate care and inspection prior to placing with established plants.
A week later the plants in the main grow room show no more insects. The clone cuttings were too infested to clear and we end up throwing 200 cuttings away.
We took another set of cuttings, including; 33 Jack Herer, 7 Bob Marley, 25 Chronic, 5 Chronic from seeded mother (we found a seed in one of the buds from the Chronic – more about that later), 5 from Hindu Kush plant number 2, and 5 from Hawaiian Skunk plant 1 (both from The Seedsman) for a total of 80 more cuttings. We placed these in the second room.
The main room now has 18 mothers and seed plants that survived growth along with 50 clones. The clones are now potted and about a foot high, with some Jack Herer and AK-47’s almost 2 foot high. The branching is phenomenal, to say the least. The plants are making a canopy even at this young age. The main grow room has a third HPS light now and the second room is now readied with Fluorescent lighting. The mothers and small cuttings are placed in the second room under the TL lighting for slow sure growth and we are getting ready to turn the lights to 12/12 in the main room first week of August and start the flowers.
The anticipation is so thick it is palatable and we just cant wait to see the flowers start. We just have to wait for the next issue. See you then.