Planting by the cycle of the moon is one of the oldest techniques in farming.
Healthy soil is the lifeblood of any organic farming operation.
“I know every farmer thinks they grow the best weed — and I do too,” Peter Butsch says, laughing at his own boldness.
It’s more about the fact that planting by the moon does work — for one reason or another — not about how it works.
The nitrogen-fixing cover crop was planted March 1, then chopped down about three months later. While some farmers prefer to harvest their cover crops and leave the plant material on top of the soil, Butsch cuts down the plants and reincorporates the “green manure” into the soil. He tills the field and integrates the decomposing cover crop into the native dirt. The process adds biomass and helps the beneficial bacteria and fungi thrive. It also produces naturally occurring fulvic acid, a common element in organic farming that helps with nutrient uptake.
The result is an “indoor-quality” flower produced in a sustainable, low-impact manner and currently carried by about 30 Oregon retail shops. Meanwhile, the Butsch brothers also run Massive Seeds, a separate brand focused on genetics.
The concept is that the moon’s gravitational pull impacts moisture in plants, the soil and water table, so planting at the optimal phase helps produce healthier crops and larger yields.
Adding another layer to the complexity of the subject is that while most lunar planting calendars list favorable planting dates for a wide range of flowers and vegetables, cannabis is, not surprisingly, absent from most lists. That means growers who want to plant based on the cycle of the moon would have to find a comparable plant to use as a guideline or refine their own schedule through years of experience.
The foundation of a cannabis plant is its root base. The larger the root base, the larger the plant. The healthier the root base, the healthier the plant. How a cannabis plant grows and how healthy all of the parts of the plants in your garden will ultimately be determined by the plant’s root base. If you want to grow big, you need a solid base.
Be aware that seeds or clones of the same strain name may vary from breeder to breeder. Your best bet is to find someone you trust who has successfully cultivated a particular cannabis genetic in your area — see if you can replicate what they have already accomplished.
Purchasing seeds online, or acquiring seeds or clones from dispensaries — even the most reputable dispensaries — can be a bit like rolling the dice (and blatantly illegal in many instances), so be leery of any claims about particular cannabis strains. If what the seller is saying seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Soil, Containers, Sun, & Water
If you succeed at cultivating outdoor cannabis plants that yield big buds, which is obviously the goal, you will want to prepare ahead of time for harvesting and drying those buds. A massive outdoor cannabis plant is going to produce a massive amount of buds.
Find a dark, dry place with a consistently moderate temperature to dry your harvest. Keep in mind that you want to be able to have the hanging branches separated to avoid any mildew or mold issues. Also, keep in mind that it is going to smell a lot in that area and that the smell will likely linger long after the buds are gone.
Bracing Is Important
Know ahead of time how long it will likely take to germinate the seed(s). Determine the best time to plant an outdoor cannabis plant where you live. Gather as much of the resources and materials you will need before you start planting.
Growing bigger buds outdoors is easier to do than it is indoors for various reasons. Growing indoors under grow lights has its advantages, not the least of which is benefitting from being able to control every aspect of the marijuana plant’s environment.