Originally Posted by TychoMonolyth
1. In your situation I'd plant a few autos, then photos. Start your Autos in 3" peat pots about 4 weeks before you can get out to the spot. Then start some a couple weeks after that. Scheduling your harvest is important.
Besides the logistics of moving a pot to the location (do it at night?), put your pot in a garbage bag the the garbage bag in the hole. The soil won't wick the water away from your plant this way. Remember to poke a few holes (5-7 pencil sized holes) in your garbage bag for drainage.
I'd completely defoliate the plant (bring your scissors), ring the plant. That means removing the bark from around the foot of the main stalk and let it die standing. If humidity is low enough, you might get away with the majority of the drying.
If you want to seed, make sure it's far far far away from your plants. Like miles away. Years ago I planted a couple Fems in a forest clearing (I have 500 acres to play with), and I still found a few seeds in the bud. Pollen travels like clouds and can go for miles and miles. The day you see pollen sacs open, carefully slide a garbage bag over it, and cut it down. Stick a few bud branches in the bag, shake the bag and remove it gently. Tie up the garbage bag and carry it out to a garbage bin.
About peat pots: They can be acidic, so before you add your soil, dunk them underwater and rinse them until bubbles stop coming off them. It only takes a few seconds. When you water, water from the bottom in the tray. Don't be afraid to add 1 inch of water in the tray. When the top of the pot starts drying, add water from the top, then water from the bottom again. Let the pots wick the water to your seedlings, and don't start adding 1/4 nutes until week 2. Normal feeding at week 4 before they go out.
Thanks for your detailed response!
I think I'll only run one round of autos for some quick stash. For photoperiod strains, I wanted to do a couple Flos and/or a couple Baglung Nepalis, which are both supposed to finish around the end of Sept.
If I started seed in early July and planted them out in the beginning of august, i figure they should stay pretty small. I'll start the Durban and PNG in august, in the hopes that they start flowering as soon as they're able.
Are you growing out some of your Honduran seed outdoors? I figure if you can finish a tropical strain as far north as you are, I might as well try to at least make some seed.
How often do you have to water with your trash bag method? I was thinking I'd plant directly in the ground, but keep the hole small. Hopefully, this will help to restrict the ultimate size while still allowing the roots to scavenge for water so I don't have to visit that often. The advice I always used to give folks who were planting trees was to dig a hole twice as wide as the rootball and mix compost in with the native soil to give a good transition zone for the roots to grow through.i think by keeping the hole roughly the size of a #3 or #5 pot, it should provide plenty of space to grow and establish itself before the roots reach the heavy native soil and slow down.
I checked the RH for Oct and Nov, and it looks like it's usually around 70%. That seems fair for the first stage of drying, ya? I could visit with some big kilners jars and do a rough trim to bring them home to start curing.
I have been considering girdling to force the plants to finish faster, and it makes sense that it would also help to dry it in situ without the need to hang it. Would it dry too fast without defoliation, or is that just to encourage the plant to die where it stands?
Regarding pollen travel, I used to live in Portland, OR, 50 miles downwind of the biggest growing area for sod and grass seed in the western US. I'm allergic to grass, so i'm well aware how well pollen travels. I'll try to catch any males before they start dropping and collect as much as I can for controlled pollination on the females.
Thanks for the advice on soaking the peat pots.