Happening:
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Seeing through the smoke


Christopher Gallagher

Want a sweet marijuana grow come fall? Better start now. Here’s how

Ar 170509969
Alexi Grojean/Special to DGO
Ar 170509969
Alexi Grojean/Special to DGO

I don’t know about you, but after spending the last month reading about, basically, the history of cannabis, and specifically, the million and one varieties available to us here in 2017, coupled with the actual arrival of spring, all I want to do is get my hands in the dirt and try out a few of these innumerable lovely strains. I imagine that I am not the only one itching to be growing and here’s the beauty of the situation: Right now is the perfect time to start a grow project for this season, so pay attention as I walk you through the basics of what should be done over the next few weeks to set up for a bountiful autumn harvest.

First, you’ll want to consider soil, which will provide the foundation for your crop. Dirt is the stuff I seemingly always manage to smear all over the seat of my pants (it matches well with the food that invariably finds its way to the fronts of my shirts, so I have that going for me) but soil is another matter entirely. Soil is dirt mixed with nutrients, minerals, organic fertilizers, living organisms and all other potential additives and if you intend on growing in the most natural, organic manner possible, it will behoove you to take the next several days to read up on the potential variations in order to decide on what will work best for your specific situation. Pro-Tip: Take the time to research this now because there is a strong possibility that any choices you make beyond going with what seems to be the best pre-bagged soil will require a bit of time for your soil preparation to set/blend together in order to optimize its effectiveness. Seeing as this is Colorado, you will be able to enlist professional help without the use of goofy codewords at your local grow shop or garden center. Investing time and money in your soil will save you problems down the line and help produce the most excellent return on your labors.

Next, as the days lengthen, you’ll want to look into the actual strain or strains that you want to be enjoying (properly cured) around Thanksgiving. This is where the top pops off of the whole endeavor and the world opens wide for the taking.

If you want something to jumpstart your day, look into the sativas and sativa-dominant crosses available out there; these are tall, slow-growing plants so ensure that you have adequate space to accommodate them or otherwise create a situation where their natural characteristics are accounted for in the planning stages of your grow. One workaround is to start these strains into flower almost immediately, thereby limiting the height they will reach during their 80- to 90-day cycle. Another is to train the plant like a topiary using stakes in order to create plants that only grow up to a certain stature before branching out widely.

If you prefer indicas and their sedative effects, you should read up on how to manicure a plant in order to create a “lollipop” effect, which creates big, juicy buds at the end of its branches. This allows all the nutrients from the soil, the energy of the sun, and the vital water to be directed exactly where you want it with little to no waste. You might also begin to look into hashmaking techniques.

The beauty of spring is in its endless possibilities for life; look at the show Mother Nature is putting on out there for us and join her; I cannot recommend any better use of your time. Next week I will break down a few of the strains that I had great success with through the years. Enjoy the vernal show til then, DGO.

Christopher Gallagher lives with his wife and their four dogs and two horses. Life is pretty darn good. Contact him at chrstphrgallagher@gmail.com.