Back with another update from my favorite spot in the yard. I had no idea there were Smokers out there looking forward to my garden posts. After my last post, and the stated interests, I hope I deliver this season, as I did last.
Today I took the time to do my final defoliation and clone taking of the Gorilla Passion F1, before the summer solstice this weekend. This is the time my natural sunlight begins to shorten for the season. Although my plants will not notice the effects of the light loss for the first couple weeks as the sun will still be shinning on my garden for the same amount of daily hours as it has been until the arc of the sun drops bellow a crest of a tree.
A few pictures of the gal prior to defoliation....
As with the Snow White last year, this plant seems to be easily manicured into a bush, which in my opinion is your best method for personal growth. The plant is stout and presents a lot of node structure. A good root zone is attributed to a healthy plant, but a well nutrient balanced, sturdy base cannabis plant needs a good highway stem structure, check out this stalk so far...
I call this method Knuckle Fucking the stalk. You know it's done right when you see the branches that look like they've been grafted to the stalk. Or a knuckle!
I say that a bush is your best friend when growing outside for personal purposes and here is why I believe this. I really think my harvested weights always exceed what is commonly harvested from a standard branch staged plant of the same strain. I also seem to have more higher quality buds, in the respect to tops. On a standard branch staged grown plant, you get that one really really nice cola and some nice colas from the branch tips, of which seems to get less quality as you work to the ground. With the bush method you seem to receive a more consistent quality and amount of top buds. Granted the buds are a bit smaller than that really really nice cola, but the amount of colas really make up for that! Then add the SCROG netting to aid you in laying your main 'highway' branches horizontal and you are well on your way to achieve those crazy harvest weights that the seed companies swear these strains today can reach.
There are a few things that I like to do when defoliating the gals. First and foremost, when taking off the leaves, be absolutely sure to remove the cannabis leaf stem as completely as possible. I learned this the hard way. The stems left behind become a hot-spot for the development of Botrytis. Especially for those of you whom do grow outdoors, as an extended moisture event will elevate the chances of Botrytis. None of us can control the weather.
How do I select the leaves to remove? This is what I look for...
A completely developed node branch. This tells me this branch is well on the way to being a great bud holder. In order to keep the nodes a bit lower on the plant well exposed to the wonderful sun light, this leaf will be removed allowing deeper penetration of the sun's energy.
The next thing I highly recommend is to examine your leaves that you have removed! This will give you a heads up on any ailments, bugs, nutrient deficiencies, animal damage. As you can see in the next photo, the white spotting that is affecting parts of this plant. This is an internal spotting, this is not powdery mildew, and can be a sign of a pest attack that may be revealed as you examine the leaves.
Be sure to look at both sides of the leaf, the top sides usually show nutrient deficiencies, and the undersides usually show the pests. After examining almost all my leaves that I removed, I did not see any visible pests. This does not rule out soil pests, or an internal parasite, but at least I know the topside is clean.
Check this leaf out! I always look for those phenos that have an anomaly. This could be a cool one! See the 2 spikes coming out of the center of the main fan leaf? They actually make up a 2 stage leaf. I have never seen this oddity before. Has anyone out there seen this previously?
Here is some pics after defoliation...
I also take the lower branches that I remove and use them for clones to pass out...
Add them to my collection...
Some more good news from the garden to offset the bad news of No Snow White this year. I sowed 2 Gorilla Glue #4, and 2 Gorilla Cookies in the garden to try to get them to be least 12" before they start to flower. Fingers crossed, these photos were taken today as well, the race is on!
Gorilla Glue #4 Up Close
I get a lot of special friends in my garden. Can you find the one that is visiting here today? I do not mean the dragonfly either!
That is whats happening under the Wisconsin sun! Hope you enjoyed the article.
Until next time, toe toe toke it up!
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