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I suggest growing a few strains of varying THC content and work to maximise terpene production. Growing indoors with synthetic nutrients will generally yield the highest THC, while growing organically under the sun often produces higher terpene content. One time a chicken completely stripped one of my plants of all leaves.

Surprisingly it recovered after a few weeks, but was a bit smaller than the rest. I can hardly blame a chicken for loving cannabis, most creatures do. VICE: Hey Ash, what are your three top tips for growing? Basically, the key to cultivating cannabis is to be OK with failure. We live in a world which prides itself on perfection and some have a problem with knowing that they aren't organically the best cannabis grower on their first try. Over time, the appearance of the plant will change but its needs will also change. Different stages require different quantities of light, water, training techniques and nutrients. That's why I run ganja school classes—it’s complicated!

Is there another crop people grow that is similar to cannabis? Although, they are quite different, they grow in similar conditions and both plants do quite well in rich soil. I speak to them and I play a lot of music for my plants. Literally, every type of music from classical to dance hall. There is nothing better than seeing your plants praying while rocking out with your air guitar [laughs]. Awesome stuff, but how can we make sure what we do grow will get us good and stoned? It all comes down to the trichomes—aka that sticky icky when you touch the buds. Understanding the best time to harvest your bud is answered through analysis of the trichome heads. Do you prefer milky trichome heads (that cerebral high) or amber heads (more of a body high)? My plants are like my children so I tend to them daily. JW: Know what seed/strain you are growing as genetics play a big role in the timing of the light cycles. Overwatering and overall stress to the plant will kill it quickly. Use half of the recommended nutrients if it’s a first time grow. And don’t constantly stress about them—after all it’s just a plant and can be grown again. Being impatient will kill plants faster than anything. I use a two-by-four foot grow tent that conceals everything inside. A carbon filter cleaning the smell from the air is necessary if you want to remain discreet. The trash you throw away is probably the biggest giveaway. I’m sure to toss my trim or nutrients or packaging in the dumpster right before the truck picks it up. This way I know only my eyes see it until it gets to a landfill with thousands of others people’s garbage. Right now I really like Blue Dream, Northern Lights and Flow. These first two for me work best for bipolar insomnia, depression and anxiety. Flow just tastes amazing and has a very high potency. (Not to mention its colours look incredible when growing!) Have you ever named your plants?

No, I’ve never understood with the human need to name something you want to and eventually will destroy. Verana: Sure, if you are growing inside: Keep your space, tools, stakes, pots, walls and everything you can think of tidy, clean and sterilised where possible. Monitor your room temp, humidity, water temps and pH levels—if you can keep a stable and consistent environment on all accounts, the girls stay healthy and strong and have a much easier time blooming to full potential. We are trying to mimic mother nature—though immense forethought is required [laughs].

For pests I recommend essential oils, compost teas and other pest and fungicide sprays that are safe and easy to spray and contribute to the strength and vitality of your plants—I alternate sprays every three days. It’s super easy and the product you get in the end is way better on so many levels.


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