Tokermon Tuesday # 85

TOKERMON ALERT

New data has confirmed the existence of a different kind of Tokermon. The stealthy creatures live secretly in the Cannabis garden and feed on the other Tokermon. Known as the Pharmacons, these nasty little predators exist solely to destroy the Cannabis loving Tokermon.

The first Pharmacon discovered is Humira. This Pharmacon can be seen clutching its belly, aching for a tasty Tokermon to consume. Humira commonly feeds on Tokermon that dwell on top the soil minding their own business.

Pharmacon_Humira

You can view all the Tokermon (and the Pharmacons) so far by clicking the link below:
Who are the Tokermon?

Tokermon Tuesday # 84

Tokermon Tuesday. Today we welcome Carrit. This Tokermon enjoys a snuggle in the dirt with only a green tuft exposed. Often Carrit Tokermon has been accidentally fed to rabbits or added to stews. It is important to note, all Tokermon taste bad.

Carrit Tokermon

You can view all the Tokermon so far by clicking the link below:
Who are the Tokermon?

Hermaphrodites Happen

As a Cannabis grower, there are many challenges on the way to harvest. From selecting the seed, germination, nurturing through pests and blights, even the actual destruction of the plant is a process. Let me add another issue the Cannabis farmer needs to look out for.

Hermaphroditism is a phenomenon where a plant can present both male and female flowers. This is a bad thing for Cannabis growers as the creation of pollen can turn an entire garden into seed laden flowers.

While some Cannabis strains may be more prone hermaphroditism, any female can “hermie” while in flower. A farmer must keep a close eye on the development of their Cannabis plants’ sex organs.

The Cannabis hermaphrodite needs only a few of the females’ flowers to develop male “parts” to completely overwhelm a garden with the pollen that creates seeds. The seeds from a hermaphrodite will be prone to hermaphrodite as well, making them worthless for a future crop. Each one of those male yellow “bananas” (stamens) produce an obscene amount of pollen. Check out the video below of me “jacking off” a male stamen:

Hermaphrodites are most commonly caused by stress on the Cannabis plant. Overheating and interruptions in the light cycle are the most common reasons for a plant to “go hermie”. The Cannabis farmer can reduce the risk of a hermaphrodite by simply removing any stress on their plants. Light leaks, spikes in temperature, inadequate ventilation even the shock of over fertilization can cause your green babies to become hermaphrodites.

If a hermaphrodite does develop in your garden, get it out of there. Take a close look… you may be able to pluck all the male parts off. But remember, if any of those male “nanners” survive, there WILL be seeds in your harvest.

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Fun with Fungus Gnats

I noticed little black flyers in my grow tent during the vegetative stage. At first I assumed them to be fruit flies but a quick look on the web identified them as the fungus gnat. All indoor Cannabis growers will deal with an infestation of fungus gnats at some point.

Fungus Gnats usually come from the soil medium, especially if the soil spent anytime outside in a moist environment. These little buggers like moisture, light and carbon dioxide; all found in every garden. These tiny black gnats begin life as fungus eating larvae actually aiding in decomposition but too many may have them munching the plant roots as well. Letting the soil dry out between watering, adequate ventilation and removing any dead leaves around the plant will help to control their activity.

Cannabis is a crop I would expect most people would want pesticide free. Luckily there are multiple, low impact solutions for just about any pest you would have in the garden. Fungus gnats are no exception. I was seeking the fastest and cheapest method that would have the least impact on my Cannabis’ growth. Some web research revealed a product that provides two methods of control in one package.

Nematodes are the most numerous multi cellular animals on Planet Earth. There are more than 20,000 species of nematodes, also called round worms, that live on every part of the world. Nematodes live in the oceans, the soil, even in our bodies! Nematodes can be harmful as well as beneficial. Of course, as Cannabis growers, all we care about are the beneficial nematodes.

nematodes in a box

This kit comes with millions of live nematodes as well as a pack of yellow tinted sticky strips. One simply places the Nematode covered sponge in a couple gallons of water (not tap water, the chlorine will kill the ‘todes). Wait five minutes before watering the Cannabis plants with the nematode soup. Within a few days those nematodes will grow into fungus gnat larvae killers.

fungus gnats

While the nematodes make themselves at home, the yellow sticky strips can be deployed in the garden. Even though these weak flying pests are more at home running all over the leaves, they do take flight and land permanently on the yellow stickum. It is very satisfying to see the little bastids on the strips yet at the same time it is kind of disturbing. You will notice less flies as the nematodes do their job and kill the future of the fungus gnat infestation.

There are other low impact, non chemical treatments I haven’t tried to control fungus gnats. Diatomaceous earth is essentially microscopic shells that, when spread around the Cannabis plants, will cut up the pests when they come into contact with it, killing them eventually. Steel wool will have the same effect on any little flyers that land on it. If I have fungus gnats in the future, I will give these methods a try and report back.

Amazon sells the Fungus Gnat eradication kits for about $15.00.
Here’s the link: Nema Globe Fungus Gnat Pest Control.

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The Cannabis Under the Stairs – Part 2

Cannabis is legal to grow in many of our United States. If you’re able to grow, you should. It is easy, fun, educational, and not very expensive. The first post: The Cannabis Under the Stairs, assembled the equipment needed to start growing in a closet. This post is about the setup of the growing medium in your newly constructed microfarm. Hopefully this quick guide will inspire YOU to start your first grow.


Now that the grow tent is setup for growing Cannabis in a closet under the stairs, the growing medium needs to be considered. At this point a decision needs to be made: soil or hydroponic? I have been growing with soil for nearly two years. For me it was less expensive and easier to go with soil. I hope to give a hydroponic grow a try some day when I feel more confident with my growing skills and I can expand my grow area.

Making a soil mix that will maximize growth is not difficult, especially these days. With the legalization of Cannabis, growing stores are popping up like Starbucks! Additionally, more companies are competing for farmers’ dollars with specialized Cannabis products including premixed “megasoils”. How much soil mix to buy/make depends on the number pots and the size of those container. There are approximately 7.5 gallons per cubic foot of soil. The soil bags are usually clearly marked in cubic feet.

cannabis soil choices

Remember, a little research goes a long way. Here’s a list of soil companies to check out:

Adding some Perlite will lighten the soil and help with drainage, letting the soil dry out between watering. Perlite is a volcanic mineral that is treated to create properties to aid with soil aeration and water retention. Perlite retains some water but more importantly, it traps oxygen on it’s textured surface keeping the soil aerated. I usually put in a handful of Perlite per pot and mix it in well. If you choose a Cannabis premix, check to see if the Perlite might already be in there. Once the soil mix is ready, the container must be considered.

Since a tent is limited in area, the pot size will be limited as well. A larger pot will yield a larger plant and a smaller pot will yield a smaller one. The correct size not only dictates the number of pots in the tent but how big the Cannabis could grow. It is important to remember only one Cannabis plant should be in each pot. Also keep in mind there are growth training techniques that maximize yield per area but, as a beginner, they are best tried after a few successful grows.

cannabis potting diagram

The bottom of the pot must have a layer of small stones so the soil can drain freely. Of course, you’ll need a tray under that pot to catch the water that will leak out from the drain holes. Use those clear plastic trays that raise the pot a tiny bit above the water. They cost about a buck at most garden stores and will keep water off the floor of the tent.

The tent I am using is 48 inches by 24 inches. I start with 8 plants in the tent but, as the Cannabis grows, I will remove any male plants as well as the weaker ones so that 4 plants remain. The foliage and buds of the four Cannabis plants will completely fill the tent by the time they are ready to harvest.

It is time to get some seeds or clones and get this party started. But that’s a post for another day.