Cannabis has infused itself firmly within the transcendental realms of ceremony and the search for enlightenment for thousands of years. As a happy participant of our herbal culture, I am one to enjoy the cerebral side of cannabis. I like when a fine sample of mother’s magic takes me to the contemplative zone. Puzzles, like those described last issue (after my encounter with the crazy Doc Parker) provide much creative think-space and wonderment. I hope you had fun with these over the holidays—I did. I was not, however, prepared for the unexpected gift that arrived in my post box during the week after Christmas.
Jeez-Louise! Talk about a mind-twister. You can see this single playing card in the photograph. There are no secret joins, it is genuine. Further examples can be found at www.wowbound.com. Grab a hit of your finest cerebral herb and explore these objects of beauty. It’s a trip! Tell ‘em, JB sent you.
I had (before becoming side-tracked with last issue’s mind-twisters) wanted to discuss pots—the receptacles that we house our plants in. While it’s true that any old container will do the trick in a rush (so long as it has drainage holes and is only a temporary fix), there are a few things worth considering for healthy potting.
Firstly, and most importantly, you should never be in a rush. Growing fine plants is something requiring patience and calm. Good results cannot be hurried. I’m sure you’ve heard the anecdotal accounts of plants growing better when they are played classical music during the vegetative and flowering cycles (Mozart/Vivaldi). Yes? Sometimes the plants appear to do better, no doubt. However, it’s unlikely that the plants are actually listening to (or enjoying, and then reacting positively to) the music. The reason for the improved growth, if quantified, is (most likely) that the grower is spending more time with his plants—giving them greater attention, love, and care (while he, himself, also enjoys the music). The more quality time spent in your garden, the earlier you’ll detect problems, and the sooner you’ll be able to address them.
If just growing a plant or two in pots—outdoors, as a recreational user or medicinal patient—here are a few good pot-pointers to keep in mind. Attention to these things will look after your plant’s root-mass. Healthy roots, healthy plant, healthy medicine.
To achieve a comfortable potted environment, we need to consider the attributes of various different pots. We must endeavor to regulate temperature and maintain healthy water and oxygen flow.
Your plants do not like to over-heat. This will stunt growth and can lead to dehydration and death. It is paramount that the contents of the pot be kept temperate. As we look through the types and materials used to manufacture pots, I’ll draw attention to the relevant points.
Tin, terra-cotta, plastic?
Forget the over-sized tin coffee can. It’s no good. Why? Because it will over-heat at the slightest hint of sunshine. Sure, it may have contained roasted beans in its previous incarnation, but you do not want roasted roots. In due course, you could also have problems with rust. This can lead to pH imbalances, (an iron-heavy environment) and the chance of cutting a finger. Just not worth it.
Terra-cotta looks nice, feels nice too. Plus, you can almost convince yourself that no-one will notice your plants if the pots blend in nicely with the rest of your herb garden.
Resist the temptation.
Terra-cotta is a poor choice for our application because it dries out the soil-mass too quickly. This occurs due to evaporation. A little moisture soaks through the pot’s walls to the outside where it evaporates. This evaporation pulls more water through the walls, and so on. Result? Dried and withered plants. Quite frankly, terra-cotta pots are just too damned heavy and fragile to be practical, anyway.
Plastic pots are the most commonly available and the most frequently used. If you have any sort of garden, then you probably don’t need to buy any new pots. They tend to collect into little stacks over time. You’ll use tiny pots for clones and seedlings, medium pots for vegetation and larger ones for the final flowering stages. A good tip is to hunt out some low and rectangular pots if you intend to grow using regeneration, or to train using Early Training Techniques. Both of these disciplines rely heavily and physically spreading the plant out horizontally. A large and rectangular pot/tub can be seen in the photograph.
If you can, avoid using black plastic pots for anything other than indoor growing where heat is not a problem. Black is the most common color, that’s a given, but outdoors they tend to over-heat. Too hot for most plants, not just cannabis strains. Want to know why your soil gets hard and compacted? They over-heat and dry out. Black absorbs light and heat, we all know that.
Better colors are the brown or green versions. These colors reflect more of the sun’s radiated heat. The green pots in the photograph will likely outperform the black pot.
Another tip for keeping the pots cool is to never set them directly on sunlit ground. Always raise them off the ground so that the roots don’t overheat.
A clever way of keeping a group of three small pots cool and off the ground is to configure them in the mouth of a larger pot. See the photograph. These three plants are sick, having been left on a concrete slab in the hot sun. The rookie responsible has had his ass roasted, believe me. (I’ll bring you the “recovery photograph” in the next issue of Weed World). The barrier of air between it and the smaller pots creates an insulating shield which will keep these plants cool and off the ground. They should recover over the next few weeks.
Another solution: Nest two pots together to create the insulating barrier of air. Pots are made to nest (not for this purpose, but for transport/storage) so it’s an effortless fix that can make a world of difference to the health of your plants.
Having read the above, it seems logical to assume that a white plastic pot may be the best solution. Unfortunately, on its own, this is not the case. White allows too much of the visible spectrum to penetrate into the soil-mass. Cannabis roots do not enjoy light.
Nest a white and black pot? Now we are talking. Almost perfect. The outer white pot reflects most of the sun’s radiation, and the interior black pot kills any residual visible light. The cushion of air between both pots provides insulation. The inner pot is also (conveniently) lifted off the ground. Call it the Pot Pot.
Best Buds Always …
About the Author
J.B. Haze is an innovative grower favouring “the dazzling magic of regeneration” over the more traditional methods of cultivation. A true hippy at heart — well traveled, well-toked, and insanely curious — J.B. Haze brings an educational, friendly, and humorous style of writing to the cannabis genre. He lives in a fine state of mind with his cat and his guitars.
J.B. is currently editing his second book about cannabis.
Originally published in Weed World Magazine Issue 139