If you have been thinking about growing outdoors this year, right about now is when you should be laying the foundations for a nice little patch somewhere. Here are some tips to get you started.
Choosing a site; Get a map of your local backroads, there are old logging roads, forestry access roads, and fishing lake roads that can get you far off enough into the bush that you stand a decent chance of not being discovered. Toss some gas in the tank, and head for the hills.
You are looking for a spot that will give you a few advantages, I like going to a remote fishing lake, finding the feeder stream to that lake, and taking a good long hike up that stream. If you find the going tough, good, the more shit you go through getting to your site, the less likely anyone will follow your trail up there. As well, areas near streams have natural groundwater, and you will not have to water your plants as long as they have a chance to develop good roots before things dry out in the summer.
The ideal spot is a clearing near a stream, you need to be sure your plants will get sun too, so don’t pick a site too near a steep rock wall or anything that will keep your plants in the shade for too much of the day. Clearings at the bottom of south facing slopes are also ideal. Areas that have been logged not too recently are good as well, but don’t choose one where the trees are less than 3m/12feet high as these areas are visited regularly by brushing crews and forestry workers.
Once you think you have a good spot, dig down a bit into the soil. If there is a tough mat of compacted grass you might want to reconsider, as the grasses could choke out your plants. Hopefully you find a foot or so of topsoil, and sand and gravel under that. If you are going to grow under less than ideal conditions it is not impossible, it just means you might have to visit them more often to feed and water them.
Once you have selected a site, come back a few times to make a stash of materials and hopefully find a few different routes from where you park to your site, rotating your routes to your site will prevent you from making too much of a trail. You should bring up your garden shovel, a couple of empty 20 gallon water jugs, and your 10-10-10 fertilizer before planting to avoid having to pack these things in during summer months when you stand a better chance of being spotted. Hide your goods under a brush screen or in a dugout under a fallen log, make sure your fertilizer is double bagged.
Prep your site by digging a 1.5 foot hole for each plant, and clearing the brush away in a 1 foot radius around each hole.
Then pack in your peat pots and soil. Peat pots are planters made from compressed peat moss. They will be sufficiently broken down by the time your plants roots need to go deeper. Use 12′ peat pots filled with standard potting soil. Put one into each of your holes, fill in around it. If you have easy access to a creek, cover each pot with creek stones. This will help keep moisture in the soil underneath them.
Prepping your plants; You will want to get your plants in as soon as you know you can do it without worrying about frost. Keep track of your local garden store, wait till they are selling tomato and pepper plants. Then wait another week, just to be safe.
If you are starting with clones, make sure they are well rooted, and getting new growth. If you are starting from feminized seeds, germinate them and wait until they are at least 4 inches high. If you are starting with regular seeds, start two seeds for each plant you want to produce as you will have to weed out some males.
Hopefully you don’t traumatize your plants too much taking them up to the site. Cutting a 500ml pop bottle in half, putting your plant into it, and then taping it up is an ideal transport method.
Put the seedlings/clones into your perfectly set up pots, burying each one at least 1 inch above the roots.
Don’t hit them with too much fertilizer in the beginning, a very light sprinkle is good. Go home, sleep well, and trust in nature for a couple of weeks. Then check your patch, maybe bringing along some clones to replace any plants that didn’t make it.
See you in April for pest control tips.
Alternate method; find some secluded land and plant a dozen clones, come back in early October, might be good, might be gone.
“I was the king of grade 11, why?, because I had 3 lbs of grass in my closet, that’s why”