Tag Archives: growing

Strain in Rotation: Wonder Woman

The most recent strain in my rotation that I have had the chance to grow several times over the past year is Wonder Woman.  This indica dominant hybrid has a fruity/piney taste on the inhale that cannot be ignored.  The flavor that this strain brings to the table is the reason why it has been a repeat in the garden this year.  Yes, the yields are on the heavier than average side when compared to other strains, but it definitely isn’t the highest I’ve seen even in my own small garden.  It likes to grow short and bushy like most indica strains tend to do.  If you give it enough time in the vegetative cycle, it can grow some monster branches.  The typical 2 months in veg 2 months in flower time frame has yielded as much as 8.5 ozs per plant.  This is really impressive considering the premium quality of the buds it is capable of producing in the right growing conditions.

Wonder woman originates from breeding the 1998 cannabis cup winner, Ice, with a strain known as Top 44.  Ice is sativa dominant and Top 44 is a pure indica strain.   This results in wonder woman initiating more of a heavy body high than an energetic one.  It’s an extremely relaxing feeling that also comes with a strong appetite boost.  It’s best used for medical conditions like depression, insomnia, anxiety, and PTSD.  This is because the mind is put at ease and there isn’t a ton of racing thoughts that many people experience from sativa strains.  For those who don’t suffer from any medical conditions, it tends to bring a lot of euphoria and laugher.  I know that it will stick around the rotation for years to come because it is extremely popular among consumers for the flavor and growers for the shorter flowering period.  Expect it to be ready after 8 complete weeks although I have seen better results from adding an extra week.

 

 

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Growing Buds with Noticeable Flavor

Outside of paying close attention to your plant throughout its entire lifecycle, there are two specific stages that a grower can strategically use to maximize the flavor of their harvests.  They include the flushing period that makes up the last two weeks of the crop’s flowering cycle and the final step to the process, curing.  It blows my mind when growers spend 5 months or more of their time and effort growing their plants but then destroy their crops flavor by failing to flush nutrients out of the buds.  This causes an extremely harsh taste that will likely mask any flavor that your crop may have contained.  Not only will there be no taste, but you’ll likely find yourself coughing much more than normal.  People new to marijuana or occasional users may not notice any differences because they likely find any smoke to be harsh.  It takes some experience to differentiate from batch to batch which still contain nutrients.  Another way to tell if weed has been properly flushed outside of the taste is to look at the ashes.  If they are completely black and do not contain any white coloring, that is indicative of a poor flush.

There are a few easy steps a grower can take to avoid any issues with nutrient build up.  The most important thing is not to get caught up in abnormally fast growth that results from feeding the plants too much at a time or too frequently.  Do not get impatient with your garden and give it the required time it needs to grow at a healthy, natural rate.  Otherwise, you will be dealing with nutrient burn or best case scenario, some large plump buds that burn extremely harsh.  Cannabis should be given just water for a complete two weeks at the end of its growing cycle.  If you were using the correct amount of nutrients throughout the process, this is an adequate amount of time to ensure great flavor and a smooth smoke.  However, if you were just boosting your plants with as many nutrients as possible, then flushing all that out will be very tricky.  Cutting out a plants nutrients before the final two weeks could really impact the bud production negatively.  It’s extremely important that during weeks 5-7 the plants are absorbing a lot of phosphorous so giving them just water is not a good plan.

Just like following a proper flushing technique it’s also super easy to correctly cure your buds.  This is where a grower’s patience is really going to be tested.  There is nothing like having smokeable buds lying around that you must resist breaking into.  The difference between cannabis that has just finished drying and one that has been placed in jars for weeks, is night and day.  You won’t gain any weight to your buds over time but the flavor and scent profile will be recognizable.  I would argue that they also gain potency throughout the curing process.  The buds are still maturing just like they do as you progress through the flowering period of growth.  The texture and taste change and bud that has been cured always has a stronger scent.  So I would bet there is going to be some maturing in the potency from my personal experience.  Even if it didn’t increase the strength of the weed it is worthwhile to wait it out for 2 weeks.  For the first week be sure to burp the jars for 10 minutes of open time a day.  For the second and following weeks just leave the jars closed.  I usually always break into my stash after 2 weeks, but if you want to wait longer, it is supposed to get even better with time.

 

Maintaining Stealth in the Grow Room

It’s always a pleasure for me to show close friends and others also in the cannabis industry the beautiful results of the garden.  There’s nothing like impressing others with high quality medicine that took hours of tedious work every day to create from a simple seed.  The process of growing is expensive and time consuming and the worst nightmare of any cultivator would be the discovery of the garden by unwanted visitors.  Whether it’s the police or someone looking for the five finger discount, there is far too much at stake if the garden were to be detected.  There are several precautionary steps that can be done to maximize the chances that the flowers are safely harvested and consumed.

The first thing that growers are conscious of when it comes to being compromised, is the strong pungent odor the plants emit while flowering and/or drying.  The most popular solution to this problem is the use of carbon filters.  Regardless of your lighting setup, the filter would be hooked up to a ducting fan, pumping the now clean air out of the tent/room.  The high pressure sodium setup is going to require more equipment then LED’s to effectively clean the air.  In a high pressure sodium grow room there must also be fans used to remove hot air from the hoods of the lighting system before it reaches your plants.  So there needs to be a ducting connector used to combine the hot air from the lights with the clean air coming from the filter.  This is going to use more fans and incur more overhead than LED grows.  LED lighting does not emit anywhere as much heat as a HPS, so there is no need to have a separate ducting fan.  I’s also important that all the air exiting your tent will need to be vented outside to ensure an optimal growing climate is maintained.

Equally important as masking the identifiable smell of cannabis, is avoiding suspicions from the neighborhood.  It’s human nature to get a little to nosy, and there’s plenty of people with too much times on their hands.  The home being used to cultivate needs to look as inhabited as possible.  Many times people transform a properties bedrooms and living rooms into a full blown growing operation, containing plants in various stages of growth.  It’s going to have a much higher chance of drawing attention if someone is going to the house for a few hours a day and leaves, instead of appearing to spend a reasonable amount of time inside the home.  There’s numerous ways to do this so get creative.  It would also be smart to leave designated spaces near the front door and windows full of furniture and other decor.  For those with smaller less organized operations, it’s much easier because they often live where they cultivate.  These types of grows have a far different risk than not looking inhabited.  Other types of activity like having lots of traffic that doesn’t seem to hang out long, is a quick way to receive complaints from neighbors and put you on the radar of the local task force.  The sounds of high output fans combined with bright lighting systems can also give you away if not properly contained.  In a small apartment or condo with neighbors close by, the more centered the grow is in the unit, the better off you’ll be.  Walls aren’t going to block the sound of multiple fans if they’re just feet away from the source.  Both high pressure sodium and LED lights will completely illuminate a room and all windows in that room.  This is one reason why I prefer using tents then an open room.  If you don’t utilize tents, it will be tricky to both ventilate air and block light from the same window.  This is why many people choose use the basement as an open growing space.

Taking steps like these and consistently investing money back into the security of the grow will help your odds and reduce the chance of becoming the target of a violent robbery or a drug investigation.  While cannabis is legal in more and more places each year, it remains illegal federally and attention from law enforcement in this industry is yet to prove beneficial.  Never get to comfortable and cut corners when it comes to operation security.

 

 

Northern Lights Strain Review

The northern lights when grown correctly will have you staring up at the night sky as if you really were in Alaska enjoying the northern lights.  Besides an amazing hybrid high that you can feel throughout the entire body, the most notable trait is the flavor.  It’s best described as very piney and organic and has a sweet aroma to it, especially when burned.  I’ve done two separate runs of this strain now and have been impressed by the yield that these plants give.  Even though she won’t reach very tall heights because of their indica dominant nature, it will branch out and still produce tons of budding sites if pruned correctly.

The flowering time for this phenotype is in the 8-9 week range although I have harvested after week 8 both times because the trichomes are really milky already at that point.  If you read my previous article you’d know I’m using coco coir as my preferred grow medium and this plant responded great to it.  I would definitely classify this strain as a good beginners strain for those starting out in growing because it really doesn’t pose many problems and is quick to recover from errors with nutrients, ph, etc.  It definitely needs to be up kept as it will grow extremely bushy and may take up too much of your grow area if you don’t trim it up regularly during veg.  Out of the 3 different strains that I have grown it is my favorite so far across all important categories.  As long as you flush the plant properly at the end, the flavor should be hard to match, it’s very unique.  If you’re a medical cannabis grower I would definitely add this to your garden if you have patients that are dealing with severe pain.  This one works very well for those that need relief in different parts of the body.  It relaxes the muscles much more then your typical hybrid or sativa strain and you can find yourself asleep before you know it with higher doses.

This strain is extremely popular and most likely would not be hard to find at your local compassion club.  I have come across this strain a number of times outside of my own stash of seeds and I’m sure many of you readers have had the pleasure of trying it as well. What other medical uses have you guys found this particular phenotype to help deal with?  Share your experiences with growing/sampling this strain.