Spring and 420

Amethyst, my first ever cannabis plant. It was a patient and resilient teacher.

It has been an unusually cool and wet Winter and Spring (so far) in the mild weather bay area where I live and garden.  In past years I’ve had to resist the urge to plant my cannabis seeds by now.  Usually our weather is full-on brilliant sun with temps in the 70s by mid March, and so it’s very tempting to get those cannabis plants in the ground sooner than later. But each of the past several growing seasons has impressed upon me the need for patience.

The first year I grew weed in my small backyard garden was one of learning: aka I learned a LOT of what not to do just by doing it. For instance, I planted a tiny little seedling and one clone in mid March. The clone did exactly what it should have. It flowered immediately, while growing only about a foot tall, and then promptly died by the first of May. But that little seedling? It persisted, struggling through a couple weeks of coldish nights and warming days as the earth silently rotated through the Vernal equinox. That little seedling turned out to be a magnificently healthy plant, and my first harvest ever. It was my best teacher about what works, and what doesn’t, in the outside cannabis garden. And it was my first step to becoming a cannabis educator and author.

This season I’ll sprout my seeds in early May – two whole months later than my first season. It took me resisting my natural impatience and the false warmth of a California spring to learn that when I sprout cannabis seeds later I get healthier, younger plants at harvest. While this means that each plant is smaller as September dawns, it also means that I have less problems with diseases of the aging plant: powdery mildew, brown rot, even bud worms.  

As April dawns (it’s almost 420!) I am delighted that the pandemic has released its grip enough that I can do public events in person. I have four upcoming events, just in time to get people ready to grow their own cannabis in their gardens. April 15 noon at Berkeley Horticultural Nursery, April 16 1:00 pm at Flowerland Nursery in Albany, May 7 1:00 pm in a private East Bay home with Wondering About Weed, and May 21 with the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. Check out my Events and Collaborations page for more info. If you can make it to any of these events please introduce yourself to me!

For us all, I hope that the 2023 growing season is one of bounty and learning. Cannabis belongs in the garden, just like we do.

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