Once again the earth has circled our solar source of light and spring has arrived in sunny Cape Town. And we all know what that means... It's time to plant our Cannabis!
Now, we know growing at home seems a little intimidating, but with recent laws legalising its propagation, and a flourishing of new grow shops, seedbanks and online support, there's never been a better time to grow your own dagga.
So, we've put together a really simple and practical guide to growing Cannabis in Cape Town, and we hope it helps this magnificent medicine flourish across our fertile lands!
We should probably mention now that this is going to be an outdoor grow guide, as we at Cosmic Bazaar firmly believe that Cannabis should be grown naturally in the sunshine and soil. It's good for the planet, good for the plants and it's ultimately much easier for you.
So, we start with the soil. Although many areas of Cape Town are blessed with rich and abundant soils many terroirs do tend to contain an excessive amount of sand.
To rectify our overly sedimenty soil we suggest getting a bakkie load of good compost from a local producer and mixing it through the first half meter of your growing bed to give your plants the best start in life.
For Compost Suppliers Check out Reliance Compost in Tokai, YWaste near Gugulethu or Soil for Life in Constantia.
- Are Feminised - meaning you don't have to worry about pulling out the males which cause lots of seeds and low THC levels in your bud.
- Grow Well Outdoors - meaning that they'll withstand our windy, wet and unpredictable South African weather.
- Have lots of reviews online from sites like Leafly or come from trusted seedbanks.
We're particularly big fans of the Green Smoke Room range on the Trophy seeds site, which are all African genetics specifically engineered for superb outdoor growth.
p.s. If you don't have thousands to spend on seeds you can just use any bag-seed you find lying around, just make sure to pull out the male plants as you go, there's a great little guide to identifying the sex of cannabis plants HERE.
The first few months of your little plant's life are the most precarious and energy-intensive, luckily we have some simple tips to make the process a breeze.
SPROUTING: This is where a lot of people fail before they've even begun. After experimenting with many sprouting methods over the years we recommend the use of Coco-Coir Inflatable 'Jiffy's' as the most reliable way to bring your seeds to life. Simply rehydrate the jiffy's, place your seeds inside, and keep moist for a few days. We get our Jiffy's from Hydroponics SA. Conscious Sowing Tip: Put the seeds in your mouth for a few minutes before placing in the jiffy to kick-start the germination process and impart your energy into them.
POTTING: Once your seeds have sprouted, transplant the jiffy's into small, aerated (with slits in the sides - find our favourites HERE) pots and grow them indoors for the first month, ensuring they get as much light as possible so they don't start stretching, but not so much they burn (hint: the babies can handle more direct light exposure as they age, avoid direct sun completely in the first few days).
TRANSPLANTING: Once the plants are about a month old, or when you can see the roots peeking through the pot, they're ready to be transplanted into the great outdoors. Take care to water them first, and give the pots a nice massage before tipping them out and into their new home. Also, try and make sure that you're putting them in a place with plenty of light, cannabis LOVES the sun.
Now comes the easy part... Once you've got semi-mature plants in rich and living soil the rest of the process is really a breeze, although there are a few things to keep in mind:
~ Water: Make sure to water your plants every day or two, about 1L each should be enough depending on the amount of sun they receive and whether they're in raised beds/pots or soil (raised beds/pots drain faster). A good indicator is, that if the soil is still moist, you don't need to water.
~ Nutrients: There are so many nutrients and fertilisers out there that the choice can be quite overwhelming. Just make sure that you're regularly feeding with an all-rounder NPK like SeaGrow and you'll be fine, although you can also supplement with super-nutrients like the BioGrow range or one of our favourite micro-nutrient boosters Ormus (from TransfOrmus). Our favourite supplier of nutrients is Hydroponics SA, although we will soon be stocking a few select cannabis nutrients ourselves, so watch out for that exciting event! (Just make sure everything is organic, obviously!). You will be able to identify a cannabis magnesium deficiency if your plant shows yellow spots on the edges or between the veins of its older leaves, while the veins themselves remain dark green. Here's a good article on this.
~ Pests: Make sure to regularly check your plants for any sign of disease/nutrient deficiency or pests.
There's an awesome blog on nutrient deficiency's HERE and one on pests HERE.
~ Love: Show those plants some love, prune off sad-looking leaves, regularly give them a good look-over, play them a little Mozart and take care to connect with these living beings, they can teach you so much about how they're fairing if you only take the time to listen.
~ The Harvest: Knowing when/how to harvest is one of the trickiest things about growing cannabis. We've found an awesome guide HERE to help you out, but we'd also like you to consider that Cape Town Autumns tend to be very humid and buds are much more prone to contracting mould. SO, keep a careful eye on early signs of budrot and mildew and rather harvest earlier than later (trust us, we've learnt from some hard experiences.).
~ Drying, Trimming and Curing: Once you've harvested your buds you'll need some space to hang them up to dry and then a cosmic collection of willing friends to help you trim their leaves. HERE is an extensive guide on this process. P.S. If you have encountered some of Cape Town Autumns' nefarious powdery mildew you can check out Jorge Cervantes' H202 bath method to get rid of it HERE.
~ What Now? Well, there are many things you can do with deliciously cured cannabis. You can turn it into canna oil via some of the methods mentioned HERE, you can cook with it, vaporise it, integrate it into natural skincare, make tea from it or just plain smoke it.
Whatever your reason, and whatever your rhyme for growing this magnificently healing plant, we wish you only the best of luck on your cosmic cultivation journey.
The Magik Is Within,
xx The Cosmic Clan xx