Kia ora kids! Harold the Giraffe here. Aunty Jacindy might have banned the ol’ wacky baccy despite disproportionately racist levels of cannabis-related incarceration in Aotearoa, but don’t despair. DIY is in our DNA! Anyone can grow the devil’s lettuce in their flat with a bit of magic and imagination. Come into my van, children, and let’s go on an educational adventure together.
Get some seeds
Talk to some strangers on Castle Street, or your friend’s weird hippy mum, to acquire some seeds. Harold the Giraffe also endorses the Dark Web.
Good cannabis seeds are brown, black or grey, with even darker stripes or spots. Green or white seeds are immature and unlikely to grow. Look out for a thin, waxy coating and no cracks. They should also have a solid hard shell. If it crushes easily in your fingers, the seed might be dead.
You can grow cannabis anywhere! Attics, spare bedrooms, closet, or the Life Education van. You can even go full Scarfies (1999) if you have a basement. Make sure the space has a good power supply or natural light.
White walls are best for reflecting light. You can also cover walls in aluminium foil (use the dull side), which has the added bonus of deterring alien mind reading.
Plant your seeds
A little bit of potting mix and some love can go a long way. Get some nice soil from Te Warewhare or Mitre 10. The pH should be between 6.5 and 7.5, as high acidity encourages the plants to become male, and male plants don’t produce as much THC.
Soak your seeds in distilled water overnight before planting. This softens them and helps them to germinate. Avoid harsh chlorinated DCC water.
Plant the seeds around a knuckle deep with the pointy end up. It’s best to germinate them in a small pot at first, ideally in a decomposable indoor starter box like New World’s Little Gardens. Keep them nice and warm. When they grow bigger, transplant them to a pot around 10 litres large so that the roots don’t cramp. Be very gentle or you’ll damage the seedlings. Make sure the pot has a drainage hole so that the roots don’t rot.
Use plant food every three–four weeks to keep the soil full of nutrients. Be wary of fertilizer, as it can burn the roots.
The more light your plants get, the faster they’ll grow. They need a minimum of 8-12 hours of light a day. Ōtepoti is awfully gloomy, so you’ll want to buy some specialised grow lights.
Fluorescent bulbs are the cheapest to buy and run, as well as providing a healthy spectrum of light for your saplings. They aren’t very powerful, however, and won’t support a fully mature plant. LED lights are better but have the downside of making you look like a gamer. HID (High Intensity Discharge) lights are the industry standard if you feel like splashing out.
Get a timer and keep the light constant or you’ll stress the plants. Harold’s friends at Erowid state that if your plants receive 12 hours of light per day, they will probably mature in 2 to 2.5 months. If they get 16 hours of light per day they will probably be blooming in 3.5 to 4 months. With 18 hours of light per day, they will flower in 4.5 to 5 months. In saying that, older plants tend to produce better quality jazz cabbage, so kick back and relax for a bit.
This one’s important. You want to gaslight your plants into thinking they’re outdoors, so replicate a cool breeze with a fan. High powered exhaust fans prevent your laboratory from becoming too humid and also encourage a fresh flow of carbon dioxide, which your plant babies will need as they photosynthesise. It also stops your house from becoming too smelly when the landlord comes over.
Your secret weed lab will be the cosiest place in your flat. 20-25 degrees Celsius is the ideal temperature for light hours, 14-21 degrees for when the light is off. Hooray for Hour of Power!
Stick your finger in the soil. If your finger comes out wet, leave it alone. If your finger is dry, your plants probably need watering. Give them enough so that the soil is moist evenly through. Avoid overwatering, as the doobage is very prone to fungal diseases.
Avoid harsh chemical-ridden water. Pamper your plant by buying the spring water from the supermarket or using the Speights tap.
How do you know if it’s harvesting time? Look out for these three things:
-The leaves are turning curly and yellow.
-The buds are plump and not growing anymore, and the branches are beginning to sag.
-Use a magnifying glass to inspect the trichomes, those sparkly, sticky crystals bedazzling your plant. When they have changed from a clear to cloudy colour, it’s harvest time.
Trimming and curing your goofy boots its own process with a range of methods. Unfortunately, it’s time for Harold’s smoko, so for more information turn to your de facto parents: the internet.
Today’s lesson was a lot, but don’t stress too much. Cannabis is a plant. Light, carbon dioxide, warmth and water are the essentials for growing big and strong. See you next time for our class on extracting poppy seeds into black tar heroin. Ka kite!