ORGANISK MARIJUANA. FÅ DIN JORD REDO INFÖR UTOMHUSSÄSONGEN

Days are beginning to get longer. In the North, winter has turned and in the South, there are whispers of warmth on the breeze. There is excitement in the air. Spring approaches and with it the annual cannabis season.

Healthy soil is the main concern when preparing for the coming marijuana grow season. Well-prepared organic soils promote expansive root growth and lush and vibrant vegetation from plants less prone to pests and disease. End yields are always more than satisfactory from organic gardens. The finished product is more fragrant, tastier and heavier with desirable resins.

You can grow many more, bigger, better buds on healthier more disease resistant plants if you don't til your soil. No-til garden beds require less fertiliser are less susceptible to weeds and increase water penetration and retention. No-til organic gardening is the secret to higher yields with better tastes and more complex bouquets. Less maintenance for higher quality is a no-brainer.

MIGHTY MULCH

Mulch is the decay that brings life. Chopped leaves, wood chips (untreated and preferably hardwood) hays and straws, green manure or a well-maintained compost all make for great mulch. Mulch also makes your garden more visually attractive than bare dirt. Beauty has value in the garden as well!

Compost or mulch. It doesn't really matter. Dry mulches like hays and straws can be difficult to handle. If they are slightly composted with a humus smell and have turned dark they are ideal as mulch. They have readily available nutrients and won't attract slugs and snails as it has no food for them. Compost and decayed materials will dry on the outside, but remain fluffy and aerated leaving the soil beneath moist and friable at all times.

Mulch

With an organic garden the mulched layer from last autumn has noticeably broken down over winter and the soil is rich with nutrients and soil micro-organisms. Those microscopic superstars that make your soil a living functioning organism that feeds and protects your plants as part of the soil food web.

Numerous studies have revealed that mulching an undisturbed garden bed performs numerous functions in a healthy garden ecosystem:

  • Saves money: fewer inputs, time saved in less maintenance, higher plant survival rates, larger crop yields all mean dollars in the pocket
  • Improves soil water regime
  • Reduces soil erosion and compaction
  • Helps maintain optimal soil temperatures
  • Reduces pesticide needs
  • Reduces weeds and disease
  • Increases soil nutrition
  • Reduces salt buildup
  • Improves survival rates and stronger root establishment
  • Improves plant vigour and early growth
  • Reduces pests
  • Minimises watershed pollution
SOME SPRINGTIME SCENARIOS
  • A You are an experienced no-til organic cannabis farmer and you already have a healthy soil biosphere. Last year your plants grew well, yields were excellent and you didn't require any fertiliser. Your winter cover crop is working its wonders. It is ready to be harvested and laid down as green manure. It is also time to top dress your garden with 150mm of brown mulch. Of course, you plan to do the same thing in autumn. When the days are at least twelve hours long and there is warmth in your soil transplant your young cannabis.

    Pull back the mulch, make an appropriate sized hole, put in your seedling and back-fill with soil. Be sure not to pile mulch up against young stems as this can cause stem rot and kill the plant. Water in well. Keep your mulch thinned in the immediate vicinity of your stalks and thicker everywhere else. A piece of 40mm conduit or plastic bottle opened top and bottom act as good stem guards. Pile mulch up against the guard with no fear of stem rot. They also stop mice, voles and other vertebrates gnawing at your plants.

  • B You have garden beds, but the soil is not very healthy and needs some fortification before the growing season starts. This means you may have had some pest or disease problems last year or had to add fertilisers. Your soil needs a microbiological boost. Cover your whole garden in 25mm of worm castings or pleasant smelling old compost. Alternatively, you can deeply soak the area with an aerated activated compost tea then mulch as normal with 150mm of brown mulch or wood chips. Wait a week and you are ready to start planting your garden. Do the same again come autumn, then spring once more and you will soon be enjoying a healthy no-til garden.

  • C You don't have established garden beds, but want to enjoy no til organic cannabis gardening. There are several ways to make a healthy garden bed that is ready to go this season. One that will go on to be the foundation for your annual cannabis harvest. Lasagna beds, built up beds, sunken beds for hot climates, hugelkultur or make your own custom cannabis super-soil to name a few. Whichever method you choose, be sure to add 150mm of mulch to begin the no-til journey.

INDOORS

Spring cleaning is a good idea. The things that can do your cannabis harm start very small. Any kind of spore, seed, egg or microscopic creature can hide in tiny crevices. Better a half day of work now than some mystery blight later than can destroy a whole grow room. Time to glove up, take out the peroxide face mask and get to work.

Flush your lines, clean your pots, pull apart reservoirs and pumps, clean and flush. Wash down walls, pull apart fans and clean the blades and guards. Be very pedantic. Indoors cleanliness is king. Flush out or replace dripper and misting nozzles. It is probably even time to replace globes and tubes. Run vacuum or dustbuster over the light ballasts. The magnetic field attracts dust. You can't be too careful when sterilising indoor environments. Just ask anyone who has tried to get rid of root aphids or an algae infection.

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