Garden Calendar - Outdoor and Indoor | RQS

Garden Calendar - Outdoor and Indoor

OUTDOORS

April kicks off the first frost-free growing season in much of Ameri­ca. Check with your local County Extension Agent to leam the last average day of frost, or you can hit this site: victoryseeds.com/frost/. You can move plants ouldoors in many warmer climales now, bul they should still be protected with a plastic greenhouse or covering.

Shop for seeds now and buy them before stocks run Low. Look through your seed collection and select strong, dark, hard, well-formed seeds to germinate. Keep extra seeds for future planting in a cool, dark, dry place in an air­tight container. You can still pur­chase seeds in retail shops in Canada, Holland, Spain, the UK and Italy (though Italian stores have been feeling some heat from the authorities lately). But there's nothing tike a personal trip when purchasing a lot of seeds.

Start tilting new and old grow patches. Always be on the lookout for more new grow sites. Walk around with a folding shovel to sample soil and remove weeds. Tote a backpack full of peat moss or compressed coco bricks to amend heavy clay and sandy soils. Also add rock powders and slow-release organic fertilizers. You should prepare the soil a month or two before planting.

Plants need at least five hours of bright midday sunlight to yield a respectable crop. Grow sites must be secure and have good soil and a source of water, (Keep in mind that water weighs 8 pounds per gallon and is difficult to haul.)

Plant flowering clones outdoors or in a greenhouse and harvest a spring crop. Harden off planls by moving them outdoors or to the greenhouse for a few hours daily until they become accustomed to the harsher climate. Even though the days are progressively longer, plants that have been flowering a month indoors can finish flowering outdoors, Buds will grow bigger under natural sunlight.

Take clones and germinate seeds to plant outdoors for the summer season; they can be planted when they're 6 to 12 inches tall. Be sure to harden plants off by mov­ing them outdoors into a green­house for a few hours daily. It will take lhem about a week to get used to their new conditions. Once they're hardened off, they can be transplanted to a remote garden.

The Wall-'o-Water keeps small plants safe in temperatures below freezing; search for it on burpee.com and you'll find sever­al reviews. You can start plants a month or two earlier when using a Wall-'o-Water.

Harvest spring crops! if you took the time to plant a crop two months ago, you'll be enjoying the fruits of your labor now.

INDOORS

Open the windows and air the place out! Temperate spring weather is here, sa take advan­tage of all that fresh air. Spring cleaning is upon us now, and it's a great time to remove any rubbish or signs of cultivation in and around your grow area.

Outdoor weather will affect the atmosphere in your growroom: Gardens behind sun-baked outer walls and roofs experience hot days and cool nights. Make sure walls and ceilings are well insu­lated and vented. Excess humidity afler the lights go out will be a common problem now.

Central heating systems get turned on less frequently these days. This could affect the humidi­ty Levels in your house and grow-room. Watch them closely; Keep the humidily around 60% in the vegetative room and 50% in the flowering room.

Pests and diseases get around more easily as the temperature climbs outdoors. Be sure to change your clothes and shoes before enlering your growroom after being outside. A little bit of hygiene now will prevent many problems from developing later.

Inspect foliage for pests and dis­eases. Look on leaf undersides for spider mites and their eggs; also check for discoloration and any other signs of trouble. A 10x to 30x handheld microscope really helps to identify populations of pests and diseases. Exterminate most pests (including spider mites) with Whidmire's Exclude: It contains a natural, potent encap­, sulated pyrethrum. Apply it three times at five-day intervals.

Scrub out the hydroponic reser­voir and fill with fresh new solu­tion. Use graph paper or a calendar to chart nutrient pH, EC (ppm) and usage levels. Compare the results to previous months when the weather was colder. You may find that plants tend to use more water now. Adjust the solu­tion accordingly.

Check the pH and EC (ppm) in both soil and hydroponic gardens regularly. Check the runoff water as well—if it has a pH much dif­ferent than the input solution, or if the EC is the same or higher, then there are salts built up in the growing medium. This means the containers will need to be flushed to leach out the toxic buildup. Flush containers with three times the volume of a mild nutrient solution to the quanlity of sub­strate. Taking this trouble now will save your plants many prob­lems in the future, meaning that it's time well spent.

Neighbors become more active as the weather gets warmer, so it's a good time to review your security. Take a stroll outside around the perimeter of your growroom and pay special attention to the sounds of fans turning on and off, humming ballasts, light leaks, or any evidence of an indoor grow-room in the garbage. What about fragrance Is there the slightest trace of cannabis? Be sure to direct your air-conditioner runoff indoors.

Take clones two to three weeks before harvest. Germinate seeds about two months before harvest so they're ready to move into the flowering room.

Harvest!

Clean room thoroughly and move in the next crop of clones.