Harvest Moon Herb

Soft Secrets
10 Nov 2016

Throughout the summer of 2016 I’ve been enjoying the fruits of my labour in Spain. Of course I refer to my first outdoor organic Auto harvest.

Throughout the summer of 2016 I’ve been enjoying the fruits of my labour in Spain. Of course I refer to my first outdoor organic Auto harvest. Back in June I harvested a healthy 150g of delicious buds. As the days grew shorter after the summer solstice my window of opportunity to sneak in another rapid fire auto-flower crop began to shrink. On 26th July as my stash dwindled from excessive consumption I finally summoned the motivation to start a second crop before it was too late. Always eager for a challenge and a fresh stash, I carefully selected 5 different strains and germed one seed of each. 48 hours later and the grow was underway with 5 out of 5 seedlings emerging. If my luck could hold out for just a couple more months. All those lazy afternoons getting baked smoking citrus sweet blunts packed with Devil Cream Auto & Cream Mandarin Auto gave me quite a taste for these two Sweet Seeds varieties so another bean of each was an easy choice. Next I selected a little known strain called Fantasmo Express, in truth I was sold on the name and the pedigree lineage too... later. I’ve always been a fan of old school strains, especially the tasty potent ones like Cheese so I decided to add a bean of Cheese Automatic. Following this theme my last pick was Kush N Cheese auto by Dinafem. This was another no-brainer and completed a diverse flavoursome line-up.


The weather in August was positively Martian with regular daytime highs in excess of 35 Celsius. Occasional thunder storms released sudden downpours of sand laden rain to keep me on my toes. A DIY screen come shelter inspired by too many wasted hours watching survival shows turned out to be an effective solution and saw my seedlings through the worst. My experiments with organic cultivation methods continued with this crop. I recycled some soil from the last grow and I still had pretty much 50% of the outdoor BioBizz range so this grow literally cost nothing. Again I used a wide range of pots ranging from cheap and cheerful to smartpot. Plus I still had plenty left in that jar of wonderful local molasses to fatten up the buds naturally. For the vegetative stage during the month of August progress was mixed amongst the strains in contrast to the first crop back in April. 13 hours of intense sun light was optimal for some plants and just not enough for others. The Cream Mandarine Auto was the obvious stand out performer towering above the rest of the garden. But as the heat wave abated and nights got a little cooler towards the end of August I was optimistic that all five plants could still finish strong. STRANGER THINGS The change in the weather came at just the right moment, during week 5 the magic started to happen. All five strains developed rapidly and commenced budding vigorously. No signs of purple from the Devil Cream Auto 35 days in were a mystery, but she was looking healthy and still had time to deliver a pleasant surprise. I maintained a simple feeding schedule of Feed-Water-Feed-Water with some tweaking of the fertiliser for the Sweet Seeds varieties to get them dialled in exactly. A little less nutes for the Devil and a little more nutes for the Cream. Hey, I guess I did learn a trick or two from the first crop! As the summer melted into September and the hours of sunlight dwindled to an even split of 12-12 between day and night, the plants found their second wind and thrived under the amber glowing sun. By week 6 the garden was cooking with gas. The balcony was filled with an extravagant blend of odours from pungent stinking Cheese wafting from the Cheese auto to lush orange scents from the Cream Mandarine floating on the breeze. At time of writing its Thursday 15th September the eve of the Harvest Moon. Whether your growing Kush or cabbages that’s Mother Nature’s signal that the senescence is coming. Week 7 has almost ended and the garden looks simply splendid. After some early jitters they hit their stride. Although it looks as though it will be 2-3 weeks before I can harvest making this crop not quite as lightning fast as the first but 9-10 weeks from seed ain’t bad. All that remains is to Flush, Flush, Flush with pure water to ensure a smooth organic taste. Growing autos in late summer is not ideal but still possible and with the right strains irresistible. This second crop has been full of surprises; fortunately most of them have been pleasant. Just the other day while giving the plants a last sweet feed of molasses tea I literally danced about the balcony in delight when I noticed the Devil Cream Auto was suddenly Purple, in fact rather a more light pinkish shade than the deep purple pair from my first crop. CONCLUSIONS & FUTURE PROJECTS Outdoor growing has been a thoroughly enjoyable learning experience and I’m certainly going to miss it. The mountains of the south of Spain really are perfect for marihuana cultivation. Best of all nasty pests and molds have been entirely absent. But I suppose it’s like Gold Mining once you find a few specks in the pan you’ve got the bug. I consider outdoor frosty organic nuggs as precious as gold nuggets so this certainly won’t be my last outdoor adventure. Alas Winter is Coming! However that doesn’t mean the cultivation must end. Having gone back to the primitive over the summer I’m planning a leap back to the future with my grow show this winter. Actually I’m planning on embracing the latest 21st century grow-tech in pursuit of the most potent eco-friendly cannabis possible. Back soon with a spectacular LED indoor grow report. Note: The Worm has turned! On the ground here in Spain things have changed for the better. Private member clubs and associations are proliferating not just in Barcelona but down south too, and at least one will be proudly opening its doors soon within proximity of my Mountain Lair. Ganjapreneurs are legally cultivating a whole new boom industry that could transform the economic situation in Spain. The sooner the politicians catch up the better! By Top Shelf Grower
Soft Secrets