Member of the Month: March 2018 - Photo of the Month: April, Dec 2018, Apr, Sept 2019
Welcome to another southern summer adventure in the forest!The Southern Hemisphere summer has landed and despite the strange weather and mega fires in nearly all directions, the outdoor grow has kicked off and all my seeds have sprouted in the last few days.
I grow on the SE coast of Australia, in the forest about 2km inland from the sea, as the eagle flies (and they do!). I grow for pleasure as well as to provide the medicine I need to manage the effects of a genetic connective tissue disorder, and for managing PTSD and depression for myself and some people around me.
This is my 3rd full grow in this garden and my second year using specially amended soil and Doc Bud’s High Brix Blend products. I’ll do a dedicated post on the soil later but the basics are that in 2018 I had this soil (LOS that I’d built and grown in the year before) tested by Doc Bud and he formulated a custom amendment for me to bring the soil into the right zone for his HBB gear. After this season, I will have it tested again.
Doc’s system and products allow me (and many others ) to grow top-shelf, nutrient-dense, cannabis that is without doubt the best I have ever experienced, except maybe once in Hawaii, so leagues above anything I’ve grown before. The system involves dry soil ammendments, specially-formulated soil drenches, foliars and the persepctive that our job is to keep the soil biota community thriving and it will take care of the plant. We think of the soil like a battery that powers the plant - give the soil what it needs and the plants will power on. This approach is in many ways the same as any Living Organic Soil growing (LOS) but in High Brix, the organic content of the soil is kept low and the mineral content high. The reason for this is that these are the conditions that provide the most biota-active soil environment. I’m super grateful to Doc for the years of R&D in gardens, libraries and laboratories developing this system and keeping it so affordable!
I am fortunate enough to have rain water - although it is extremely low at present due to the heavy drought we are currently in and we may have to purchase some if we don’t get rain this month
So, enough of the functional details, lets get to the plants!
I am engaged in an ongoing search for strains that suit my medical and recreational needs and desires, that also fit the growing conditions here. This year I will grow out 4 different strains/chemovars in a 4’ x 4’ raised bed. I have deliberately waited until now to drop the seeds because I don’t want them to get huge. Manageable is the aim here. Seeds were soaked in water from Friday midday to Saturday morning when I put them into peat pucks. Sunday all the pucks got carefully planted into small pots of soil from the amended raised bed. I used generous sprinklings of Doc’s ‘Roots!’ powder (good VAM for any grower) when I first planted the seeds and then again when planting the pucks
Two of them are regular seeds (not feminised) so I’ve dropped 2 of each of those and hope one of each, at least, is a female. I checked the seeds for the volcano thing that is rumoured to be an indicator (although not at all definitive) and am pretty confident about at least 1 of the seeds, for each strain. If i get a male, i may flower it out indoors and throw some pollen around. I’ll keep these 4 in .5gal pots until they show sex before they go into the raised bed. The feminised ones will get transplanted in a week or so, once the weather is better overnight (strange cold nights for this time of year ).
Purple Satellite (reg.) (Green Mountain Seeds)
This is a creation of a member here, @tropics, and is sold through Ace Seeds. Tropics and the Green Mountian crew have been keeping and breeding Landrace genetics for over 40 years. Here’s what the Ace website says about Purple Satellite:
My Purple Satellites both popped up on Monday, 2 days after going into soilPurple Satellite is a cross of two Inbred lines: Oaxacan Gold kept from 1979 and a high altitude pure Nepalese sativa.
The Oaxacan bumps up the potency immensely.
Purple Satellite is one of the earliest sativa of its quality available to northern growers, coming in before most of the others, finishing when the sun is still high and strong for extra trichome production, with great mold resistance.
Remember to mind your nutes starting early flowering.
Plants are very consistent and may look like clones. Almost all will develop pink to fuchsia pistils and purple in the calyx even without a chill period.
The smell of plants in mid to later bloom are seriously strong cherry that fills the air upon finishing the smell gets more complex with a fragrance of pine, incense with a touch of berry that carries into the very smooth smoke.
I’ve been looking forward to growing this one for quite some time and I thank @dynamo1 for helping me procure the seeds. It sounds like a euphoric but relaxing Sativa and even tho’ it’s bred with extreme northern latitudes in mind, it’s early-flowering traits and resistance to mould should, hopefully, suit my shortish season and humid late summer/early autumn. Time will tell!
Star Pupil x WeaponX (reg.) (Mass Medical Strains)
This was a last minute surprise substitution - it’s the 2019 freebie from Mass Medical Seeds which came when I purchased their Lambs Pupil (which will hopefully get a run in the next indoor cycle). I’ve always liked the look of Star Pupil and when I saw the qualities of Weapon X I couldn’t resist giving this one a go! Here’s what MMS says about it:
These also popped up very quickly, 48 hours after being buried 3/4” inch deep into peat pucks.Our 2019 Freebie Star Pupil x Weapon X is a very special seed line of some of the world's most enjoyable unique purple strains all coming together! Star Pupil is our flagship purple strain with fantastic happy and introspective enlightenment. Weapon X is a combination of Mendocino Purple and Pakistani Purple, bred by Nspecta. It's another purple strain that is very enjoyable and has unique flavor and effect. Combined with Star Pupil, this Weapon X cross is an amazing purple gene pool! Phenotypes range between various traits of all parents, and can exhibit a variety of aromas and effects. My favorite is the pineapple mushroom pheno, with super dark tall sativa shaped buds and a special raw mushroom aroma with sharp pineapple undertones! Other plants have delicious creamy vanilla terps from the Mendocino Purple, and various amounts of Pupil funk shine through on all phenos in various amounts as well. Plants grow massive fan leaves and are medium to heavy producers, some producing extremely large colas! Deep purple coloration on flowers, most from the onset of bloom. Thick stalks and strong medicinal value. Most phenotypes are geared towards deep relaxation and heavy medicinal relief, both physical and mentally. Some may be slightly energetic for some people. Due to the nature of the heirloom and landrace strains used, these plants are a bit finicky indoors, approximately 25% of females show mild intersex (hermaphrodite) traits indoors. With a close eye these phenos can still be grown seedless, as it's usually a single ball or nanner down low that needs to be removed. Many keeper phenos are waiting to be found by those who are willing, and they should perform fantastic outdoors! Indoor growers have had great success with these plants as well.
Flavor: Ranges from pineapple, raw mushroom, vanilla cream, grape candy, deep purple, with various Pupil funk.
Effect: Calm, relaxed, sleepy, hungry, happy, intense body pleasure.
Flower Time: 7-9 weeks
Northern Lights (fem.) (Sensi Seeds)
A classic that is super popular on this continent so I figure I should try it out and see. It will also fit the bill for pain relief and sleep aid. This is the Sensi Seeds version that was reproduced by @beez0404 in this journal, which contains really excellent guides to making your own seeds! I don’t remember whether beez reversed a regular plant or a feminised plant to make these, I’ll have to go back and check. In any case, I am very grateful to have them and really looking forward to the iconic fast-flowering heavy-hitting indica that this promises to be. According to Sensi (on their feminised version):
So funny, everytime I read that “As far back as the eighties,” I’m like ... the eighties isn’t that far back!As far back as the Eighties, Northern Lights was setting the standard by which other Indicas are still judged and she remains one of the most trusted names and sought-after varieties in modern cannabis culture. For many years, Northern Lights dominated the various harvest festivals, winning cup after cup, leading to more than one request that she be retired from competition in order to allow other strains a shot at the title.
With this new Northern Lights, the legendary Afghani Indica makes her debut as a feminized strain! With no need to identify and eliminate males, it’s never been easier to grow the definitive example of cannabis Indica - Northern Lights from Sensi Seeds.
Like most of her family, Northern Lights Feminized is usually grown indoors, under lights, though this strain can also perform very well outdoors in a warm, sunny Mediterranean climate.
Northern Lights Feminized continues the traditions of her classic ancestors; she produces fast, solid harvests with surprisingly little growing-odour. Nevertheless, her buds are sweetly fragrant and, due to their thick coating of THC-rich trichomes, remarkably powerful!
This one also popped up quickly but had it’s membrane stuck all the way over its ‘head’ so I had to do some delicate work to remove it. You can see a tiny bit of damage on the cotyledons. I’m sure it’ll cruise straight past that minor delay.
And finally... save the best for last!
Lilly (fem.) (Delicatessen Seeds)
Just the name makes me smile. And the fact that we have a Lilly theme going on here - we have native swamp lillies at our front door! Quite a few folks have recommended this strain to me since I joined here and started asking around about sativas that might suit my condition and, in particular, the seasonal schedule. It also came up when I was reading about Queen Mother, a very interesting sounding strain that had piqued my interest and one of Lilly’s parents. Lilly is not so readily available these days so I’d kind of given up on it, until a Lilly angel appeared! I now have @dr.h00k to thank for this one , much gratitude to you sir. Web info on Lilly says this:
This one was a bit slower than the others to come up. Last night I was wondering if maybe it wouldn’t, the seeds are likely a bit older than the others. Then this greeted me this morningLilly from Delicatessen Seeds is a 100% sativa cannabis hybrid created by combining Central African varieties, crossing Reina Madre (Queen Mother) and Congo.
Gaining a solid reputation over the years, Lilly has become famous for her massive, resinous buds, for her intense tropical fruit flavoursand, last but not least, for her incredibly rapid flowering, ready to harvest after just 50-57 days indoors, and finishing in mid-September outdoors, really very fast for purely sativa genetics
Also nicknamed 'Piña Colada' for it's similarity in taste to the tropical cocktail, Lilly's beautiful pineapple fragranced flowers take on strikingly dark colours, turning violet, purple and almost black in late bloom. The buds have a great calyx/leaf ratio, making trimminga simple and quick job at harvest time.
Quick-growing and with exceptional hybrid vigour, Lilly is especially easy to grow indoors, outdoors and in greenhouses, she doesn't need much feeding and is resistant to pests and diseases. She grows to a medium height with abundant branches that may need tying-up to support the weight of the buds.
When smoked, Lilly's mouth-watering flavours are sweet, fruity and floral, giving a clear, cerebral high typical of top quality African genetics, an effect that keeps users active and energetic all day long.
Lilly is a great choice and a particularly interesting plant for novice growers who want to try cultivating sativa plants, and more experienced gardeners will be won-over and impressed by both the originality and the quality of this fantastic hybrid.
That means everybody is up and my 100% germination record continues
I also have a couple of autos in various spots around the place and will maybe drop another as the summer goes on - bonus buds, when they succeed. More on those down the track.
I always like to mention at this point that I live and grow with a pretty debilitating condition and while it is well managed, there will be times I am unable to do anything at all in the garden and sometimes the plants suffer a little bit - and other times I suffer to give them what they need. It’s a symbiotic thing and the meds they give me make my days liveable at all.
That seems to cover the basic setup for this year and feels like plenty to get started with. I’ll cover some peripherals and other details long the way. I’m looking forward to sharing another grow journey with my wonderful 420Mag friends.
Because I live and grow in a forest, my day to day world is like living inside a national geographic (as @InTheShed has noted). A gazillion different insects and many forest critters (marsupials, reptiles, birds...) are my daily companions, so the outdoor grow always includes a critter of the week... We’ll kick things off with a beneficial insect:
They also like to hang out on little plants and hawk gnats and tiny midges - I was watching them do that while I took the photos.Trigonospila brevifacies is a species of true fly in the family Tachinidae native to eastern Australia. Like the vast majority of tachinid flies, T. brevifacies is a parasitoid of other insects, specifically late larval stages of a number of species of Lepidoptera
Thanks to all those who join me here, whenever that may be. It’s a joyful pleasure to share my love for growing this beautiful botanic gift!