TESTING THE VARIETIES: PART 5

In January, clones of 35 varieties were started n a 4’ x 4’ tent under a 1000 watt HPS lamp. After two weeks the adolescent plants were forced to flower by changing their light cycle from continuous light to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness. At the same time the fertilizer was changed from a vegetative to a flowering formula.

Photo 1

Photo 1

The plants were still growing as they flowered and they were getting crowded, so in late February I moved them to a 4’ x 8’ section of a dimly lit greenhouse and provided the plants with five hours of supplemental light daily to elevate the intensity and increase the day length to 12 hours.

The harvest began on March 25 and ended three weeks later. The plants were slowly dried in a cool room with temperatures under 700 most of the time. They were hung in tents with a gentle draft generated by an oscillating fan.

After drying and curing, the plants were manicured and weighed. The results were not impressive, which was a result of low total light level during flowering and harvest. The outdoor plants were also manicured

Photo 2

Photo 2

and weighed, all of which are being tested for cannabinoid content and the results will be published next month.

Meanwhile, my five-plant spring garden is coming along. The varieties are Romulan Grapefruit x2, Sour Grapes, Killawatt and Sour Tangie. They are all in five-gallon soft containers in a 2’ x 4’ tray mounted on rolling tray. They started flowering in early April soon after they were placed outdoors. Although it was past the Equinox and the plants were receiving fewer than 12 hours of darkness, they are flowering profusely. Their critical dark period is shorter than that, probably 9½-10½ hours, although it could be even shorter. Thought of

Photo 3

Photo 3

another way, the plants could probably be induced to flower under a regimen of 13½-14½ hours of light daily. Many outdoor varieties start to flower in early August, when the light period is still considerably longer than 12 hours.

When the plants were placed outside, the dark period was just under 12 hours. Now dawn to dusk in San Francisco (as of May 9) it is 15 hours and 3 minutes. The dark period is only 8 hours and 57 minutes and the plants will soon be heeding the signals of the shorter dark period to revert to vegetative growth.

For this reason, I will be providing the plants with a custom-made darkroom. From this point on, the plants will be wheeled into the dark space nightly anytime after dusk. They will be wheeled out again 12

Photo 4

Photo 4

hours after dusk, which occurs now at 8:37pm. Dawn lights up at 5:34am, but the plants will be napping until 8:37am, when they will be wheeled out to the sun for another fine day of sunbathing and photosynthesizing.

PHOTOS

  • Photo 1 Close-up of dried Harlequin Bud.
  • Photo 2 Close-up of dried Grand Daddy Purple.
  • Photo 3 Plants were measured and photographed to picture their shapes. This is a Sour Diesel.
  • Photo 4 Plants on wheels (a dolly) can be moved as the sun’s position changes or pushed into the darkroom.
  • Photo 5 The plants in the tray are basking in the sun.
  • Photo 6 These Sour Tangie buds indicate that the plants are well into flowering, with about five weeks to go.
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Photo 5

TIP OF THE MONTH

This is the ideal time to get your plants outside for a big harvest in the fall or a smaller, but more potent harvest in late summer. Whether you have adolescent plants, clones or seeds, now is the traditional time to plant. The day length is long so the plants will grow vegetatively to start. The strong stem will support branches and leaves for now. The flowers will grow later in the season.

Most people start seeds in containers and then transplant them. Living plants can be planted directly in the soil or grown in containers. Enjoy!

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Photo 6

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