Spring Planting for Sungrown Cannabis at Swami Select

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The days are longer, and the sun has warmed the soil—planting season is upon us. Even before the seeds are cracked, and long before the magic herb goes in the ground, there is a fair amount of preparation work to be done. Ganja Ma Gardens, home of Swami Select cannabis, is nestled in the mountainous woodlands of Northern California’s Emerald Triangle. Last fall, we decided to move the 30 cannabis plants that grew in the Rose Garden to the primary cultivation area known as the Sri Yantra Garden. The Rose Garden was the first place we grew cannabis when we started the farm many years ago. But over the past few years, the plants got smaller and smaller, even though they received all the same amendments, compost teas and manure as the plants in the other gardens. We finally figured out that the roots of several enormous Oak and Doug Fir trees growing outside the garden fence had invaded the garden. The roots were stealing most of the water and nutrients that we thought were going to the plants. In April, we moved the Rose Garden soil to our mixing area next to the Sri Yantra Garden. We used an excavator to dig 30 new holes in that garden. The crew gathered old fallen logs from around the ranch which were placed in the holes, along with hardware cloth for gopher protection and gypsum to help loosen up the clay in the native soil. This became the base of the mounds, or “hugellettes,” as I call them. To meet canopy requirements set by the state, each cannabis plant has its own little mound, measuring approximately seven feet in diameter. As the buried wood decomposes, it holds water and fosters microbial life. In the beginning of the process, however, it consumes a fair amount…

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