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Old 02-29-2008, 02:59 AM #1
Elevator Man
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Elevator in the Forest

I've decided to start my outdoor thread now, despite not having any planting to do until April. But I figured if I start the ball rolling now, the thread will help drive the grow along when the time comes, and I can modify my plans according to suggestions/comments.

So - the growspot I've chosen was used as the site for a small test grow last year, and documented in my main grow diary thread below. It was a 'test grow' that was forced on me by my landlord selling the house, and meant me having to use the outdoors as a kind of storage area, as well as checking it out for future potential.

The site is predominately South and Southwest-facing, and on a hill long overgrown with bracken, small hawthorn and other assorted trees, and gorse. It's in a wooded valley, and is the only part of the landscape not to be covered in large trees, being probably used a long time ago for grazing, as there are many crumbled drystone walls which divide up the space. There are some red deer present, who seem to be the only occupants apart from me, though there are also deer-fans in the area who like to photograph them from long-range, so that's my main security risk until the bracken cover has returned.

It's quite a popular spot for hikers and bikers, though my grow-area is the most awkward, inacessible and relatively bland (in terms of views) chunk of the valley, so there won't be many people around - I didn't see a single person in five months last year, but I did see plenty of deer there, which suggests to me that people don't often go there, or the deer wouldn't be so relaxed.

Part of the hill is quite exposed, and steep, and offers many areas of potential planting - they will get more direct sunlight here, although also much stronger wind. The hill is steep enough to shelter plants from any cold winds from the North and East, and high enough to be out of the frost zone - all my plants were harvested in early Nov. last year with no frost damage.

Apart from the large patch, the remainder of the hill is split into separate clearings, each divided by more trees - this is one of the clearings, and it's where I grew some of my plants last year:



And at ground level, taken from the right of the tree in the centre looking North toward the gap at the top:



And this last year, sitting under the silver birch tree in the centre of the photo above, looking West (to left of photo above) - this gives a good idea of the bracken cover in high summer:



And one of my little Flos in situ:



The soil is reasonable - mostly dead bracken, which has compacted over decades, and then the old grazed soil beneath - it should be of fairly high nitrogen content, and evenly compacted. Last year it was very dry and dusty, but after six month's rain, it's swelled dramatically, and looks and smells much better. However, I'm still going to dig out holes a couple of weeks in advance and fill with my own soil mix (to be decided). This will have to be taken out in divided loads in a rucksack over several days to avoid suspicion - I don't drive, so will have to use public transport and walk, so I don't want to be visibly 'weighed down', for the obvious reasons!

Natural water exists in the form of a stream at the bottom of the hill, though it also runs alongside the main footpath, so could be tricky gathering water if people approach (which they will). It can be gathered higher up in a less busy place, but it will be reduced to a trickle in high summer, and can't be relied on if it gets really hot, so I'll be adding water-retaining crystals in all my holes. I don't want to visit too often, and so they'll have to fend for themselves most of the time.

So - the strains. This is the rough list I'm working on right now - I have no evidence that they'll all finish, but they should - or get close. Even if not, each plant will be a massive clone source for months, which is worth growing the plants for anyway. That would be impossible indoors!

I may not get to do all these, but this is what's available right now.

Named strains:

Flo #3 and #4 (purple and green phenos)
Grape Krush #2 (sour grape pheno)
Cocoa Kush #1 and #2
Vanilluna
Cheese
Leb27
Mikado

Other:

B3/N7 X Erd/PurT
Eroc X DP
Mystery Strain
JLo (Kentish Creme Jamaican X Flo)
The Funk (Skunk#1 X Flo)
Overflow (Mystery Strain X Flo)

I'm sure there's more I can do yet, but they really have to be capable of finishing outdoors in England, so ten-week strains are out - 8 weeks or less, and ideally triggering in August, not September!

The JLos are the most exciting for me, as they're another new strain in the making, and the Kentish Creme mother has already proved it's worth, indoors and outdoors with sometimes spectacular results. It's the most resinous plant I've grown, and I don't see why adding Flo to the mix will hinder it any. This gives me the opportunity to test it outdoors immediately, for hardiness and flowering times, etc. I'll be setting up a new thread for this cross in the 'Test Grows' section soon.

So at the moment I'm focusing on getting the JLo, Mikado and Leb 27 to a state that I can sex and clone them, and then get them multiplied asap, ready for planting out probably mid-April. I'm more concerned about low light levels than frost, but mid-April should give me nearly 14 hours total daylight, which should be enough to prevent flowering.

So that's about it for now - I need to think a lot and plan a lot, but try and stay away from the spot really to avoid getting a familiar face in the area. I'll start digging the holes mid-March, but in the meantime will obviously be happy to discuss any of this with anyone, so fire away...

Last edited by Elevator Man; 05-08-2008 at 07:23 PM..
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Old 02-29-2008, 05:13 AM #2
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JLo! That's outrageous! Sounds sooo good. I'm missing a good Jamaican...

Looks like you've got it nailed down for the most part...

I'm probably going to go with grow bags this time as the container is a liability in the wild. My plan is to amend old holes and dig a few more by taking in a garbage bag of pre mixed soil and fill the holes half full. You know- let all the beneficials start working and the pH stabilize... And then, a few at a time, pack in the plants in 3 gallon bags... The plants can be left in the bag until you get to them or you can zip the bag open and plant. I like to use the dirt from the hole to build up a ring shaped mound around the hole and smash weeds and grass into it for camo...

Personally, I am against bone meal and blood meal in the outdoors. I've come upon too many dug up plants looking scraggled and whooped... Critters digging at the root looking for something to scavenge- they don't care about the plant! They are teased by the blood and bone smell...

Do Red Deer like Flo as much as Ulysses like Flo? I have Whitetails around here- they don't actively seek out the plant but if they stumble across it, they'll sample it-sometimes grazing heavily leaving you a stump... At a certain point the plant must become unpalatable to them and afterward they don't touch it- is it the resin? I hope there is no hunting allowed in your spots...

Do you have a slow release fertilizer like FoxFarms in the UK? Fertilize everything surrounding the grow area- bright blue green red purple Flo plants standing tall amongst the long dead bracken- well, you get the picture... If you have good topsoil around you could gather that and pack in some perlite- it's real lightweight...

I will tune in to see how DJ's new strains fare outdoors... I think that JLo will be a blast!
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Old 02-29-2008, 05:17 AM #3
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Well, my friend, it seems like you have all of your ideas in order. Looks like with some physical labour and a bit of good fortune you'll have a stellar outdoor season.

Did you get those aerial views with google earth?
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Old 02-29-2008, 06:42 AM #4
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NIce thread dude!
Im already installed to watch ya show! good luck bro!
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Old 02-29-2008, 07:25 AM #5
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You brits like Google earth

Eh, I like it too
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:17 AM #6
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Yep - Google Earth rocks for this kind of thing - remembering to crop out the lat/long data before putting on a public forum though!

Ulysses - there's no hunting around here. Actually there's no hunting for food anywhere in Britain, but that's a long story - about 800 years, and still running! But the deer are protected to some degree, and I'd like to minimize any issues with them. That's why I'll be avoiding any chicken-wire cages etc. as they run around the hill quite quickly and clumsily, and I think they could get injured if they got caught on one - lame, bleeding deer would not go down well with anyone around here, and would raise all sorts of attention. This isn't wilderness by any stretch, as it's only 15 mins on the bus from my house right in the city, and it's much too close to civilisation to risk any animal damage.

But thanks for popping in already everyone - I can see there's a lot of typing ahead...
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Old 02-29-2008, 04:39 PM #7
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your spots looks awesome mate! wish you the best of grow luck out there! your plan is lovely, im shure it will work out good.
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Old 02-29-2008, 04:47 PM #8
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Originally Posted by Elevator Man
attention. This isn't wilderness by any stretch, as it's only 15 mins on the bus from my house right in the city,
I can already imagine you boarding the bus next fall, carrying a very large black plastic bag that smells kind of funny, and the old ladies on the bus turning their heads, thinking your wife must be in that bag.
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Old 02-29-2008, 09:01 PM #9
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fair play for effort-hope it goes well and will be watching progroess

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Old 02-29-2008, 09:22 PM #10
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nice spots...hope some of the ones i looked up on msn maps are that good on the ground. looking forward to seeing some plants
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