HUMUS: What is it, How to Make it

  Humus is nothing more than soil particularly rich in nutrients that are easily assimilated by the plant immediately. It is a true concentrate of elements such as carbon, nitrogen, iron, phosphorus, calcium and manganese, which are essential for the thriving and healthy growth of vegetation. Furthermore, by increasing the water retention capacity of the soil, humus makes it even more fertile. Biologically, humus acts as a source of energy for the development of microorganisms; without microorganisms humus would not exist, and finally without humus, life on our planet as…

HARVEST AND DRYING CANNABIS

  OVERCOMING IMPATIENCE AND HARVEST AT THE RIGHT TIME To produce quality cannabis, you must above all be patient and respect the timing of the plant, flowering and drying. We know that patience is the virtue of the strong at least as the grower’s anxiety to harvest and taste the buds increases exponentially every day. The plant begins to bloom and the buds to form and swell. The buds begin to develop thousands of tiny crystaline dots filled with resin. Inside the glands, or trichomes, resin and THC accumulate. In full…

GUIDE TO GROWING CANNABIS INDOOR

  Whatever the motivation is, to grow cannabis indoors, we must consider that there are outdoor and indoor varieties when choosing the seeds to plant. Outdoor plants, even of great quality, would need an adaptation to the artificial environment that requires generations of selected seeds to achieve good results. Especially in the Netherlands, this has been done for years, so much so that in recent years there is a great number of seeds of guaranteed quality for all types of crops.  The genetics of a seed is the most important…

MOST FREQUENT PROBLEMS GROWING CANNABIS

  Growing hemp is as simple as growing other plants. Just plant a seed and water it. Every plant needs light, water, air and a substrate to hold on to in order to live, plus some nutrients. For the plant to thrive, all the elements must maintain a certain balance since both the excess and the lack of one of them would compromise its optimal development. In general, it is recommended to apply all fertilizers very diluted to avoid overdosing. As already discussed in the article “Nutrients and micro elements…

CANNABIS PLANT MOST COMMON PARASITES

  Here the saying “prevention is better than cure” applies. The best way to prevent disaster is through hygiene. So if you grow indoors never take your plants outside except permanently. Likewise, do not bring other plants or pots into the system. Before entering the system, if you have been in contact with other plants outside it would be advisable to change your clothes and wash your hands thoroughly. Maintaining ideal atmospheric conditions in the system is another way to prevent problems, healthy plants are more resistant to diseases and…

NUTRIENTS AND MICRO ELEMENTS IN HEMP CULTIVATION

  NUTRIENTS AND MICRO ELEMENTS For their growth, plants need various elements for their development. These are divided into three groups, the primary elements, the secondary ones and the micro elements. The primary elements are Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) which are always indicated in the order N-P-K. They are considered primary elements because they are the ones that plants consume in greater quantities. The secondaries are Magnesium (Mg) and Calcium (Ca). Micro elements are consumed in very small quantities and are often present in the seeds if…

CANNABIS FLOWERING STAGE TIPS

  Once the light regime suitable for the flowering of the marijuana plants is changed to a cycle of 12 hours of light and 12 of dark, plants undergo a change in the internal chemistry that causes another type of growth, the formation of flowers. It is important that the regime is severe. A longer daytime period would cause a delay or non-flowering. A shorter light cycle, on the other hand, would lead to lower production. The plants will begin flower formation ideally within a couple of weeks. During these…

CANNABIS VEGETATIVE GROWTH STAGE

  Since at the beginning of the process we don’t know exactly how many females we will have.It’s always convenient to plant almost twice as many plants as we intend to grow (as long as feminized seeds are not used). If in the worst case we only get a female, we can continue the process by means of cloning. Cloning is a technique that consists in cutting sections of the branch of a mother plant (cuttings) inducing the development of the root. This allows us to obtain new seedlings with…

CANNABIS: MALE PLANTS VS. FEMALES

Male flower male plant

  HOW TO DETERMINE CANNABIS PLANTS SEX There is no way to determine the sex of cannabis plant until they begin flowering. Even using feminized seeds that give us the highest chance to know their sex in advance, there can always be a 1% chance that a male plant come out from a feminized seed. Male plants are the “nightmare” of any grower that grows cannabis for its bud as there always will be a chance to waste time and space growing plants that won’t produce any. Normally male hemp…

CANNABIS SEEDS GERMINATION TIPS

  GET HIGH QUALITY SEEDS The seeds of any plant in general are delicate and can be easily affected by the surrounding conditions, humidity and temperature play a fundamental role. There are specific boxes for the germination of cannabis seeds, surely mild temperatures help germination. In this regard, there are mats that can heat the soil to promote germination. The seeds must be of guaranteed quality and adapted to the cultivation you intend to do, so it is important to know at the time of purchase if you are going…

HOW TO INTRODUCE WASTE IN THE COMPOST BIN

  Here are some tips to feed the worms in your compost bin, introducing our  leftovers food while doing home composting. It’s not just about throwing as much food inside as possible. My worms have preferences: they eat less in fall and winter, while in spring and summer their appetite increases. Introducing too much waste in the compost bin is counterproductive. By observing how much waste has been left since the last time you fed them, you can quantify the amount of food to introduce. It is always good to…

BEST GROWING MEDIA FOR HYDROPONIC

  There are dozens of substrates suitable for hydroponic cultivation, including organic and man-made ones, and many can act as a means for the growth of our beloved plants. On the other hand, establishing which is the best growing substrate would be like judging which is the best shoe model, etc … Different growing media may work just as well for your specific needs, the choice is more related to availability, cost and personal preference. I have listed some of the most popular growing media indicating some advantages and disadvantages…

HEMP: the Plant and its History

  THE PLANT Hemp is a herbaceous plant, angiosperm, belonging to the Canabaceae family. The plants have an annual cycle, germinating in spring and blossoming in late summer. With the necessary precautions, hemp plants can also grow into a shrub and live for several years. The height varies from half a meter for the ruderalis species, and normally between one and a half meters up to over 5 meters for the Indica and Sativa species, where especially the varieties of the latter can reach greater heights. Generally hemp is a…

HYDROPONIC CULTIVATION PRINCIPLES

  BASIC HYDROPONIC PRINCIPLES Plants require light, oxygen and carbon dioxide while the plant root system require water, nutrients and oxygen. When plants are grown normally in soil, water converges nutrients from the soil and carries them to the roots. Water and nutrients are absorbed by the roots to fuel plant growth. Soil drainage therefore allows you to replace water with air in the spaces between the soil grains, and provide oxygenation to the roots. With hydroponic, nutrients are dissolved in water. The soil is replaced with a growing medium…

COMPANION PLANTS: Which Plants Grow Best Together

  If you are planning to create a vegetable garden, you are probably also thinking about which vegetables and herbs to grow. In this phase it’s essential to take into consideration the associations to obtain a result in balance and harmony, here comes companion plants! WHAT ARE COMPANION PLANTS? Companion plants refer to plants that grow particularly well when planted side to side. This mutually beneficial association consists in growing different species at the same time in the same soil. This ancient technique is a simple imitation of nature where…

HIBISCUS: Properties and Benefits of a Beautiful Flower

  Family: Malvaceae Gender: Hibiscus Common names: Hibiscus, Rose Mallow, Rose of Sharon Hibiscus genus include hundreds of species widely cultivated and appreciated for their large, showy flowers. They are large with five or more petals, typically trumpet-shaped and come in all types of colors. Leaves are alternate, deep green lanceolate, often with a toothed margin. Hibiscus is a perennial and flowers through the year attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. These plants are generally very hardy and versatile, thrive in tropical conditions but can enhance the beauty of one’s garden in…

HOW TO MAKE SEITAN: The Ultimate Recipe

  Seitan is also called wheat meat or gluten meat and is considered by some to be an incredibly versatile and protein-rich alternative to meat. Personally I prefer to think of Seitan as a food in its own, in fact it could also be integrated in preparations that are not necessarily vegan. The proteins of which it is rich derive from gluten. Gluten is a complex protein that appears in foods processed from wheat and related species, including barley and rye. Wheat gluten is not digestible at its raw state,…

HOW TO MAKE KOMBUCHA TEA

  Kombucha tea is a fermented tea with ancient roots, that has recently become again a popular homebrew. Fizzy and slightly alcoholic, Kombucha has a sweet and slightly sour taste very refreshing and pleasant. Packed with probiotics and acids that promote our guts health, this drink can be consumed daily as a beneficial tonic. Kombucha is made by fermenting sweetened teas from the Camellia sinensis plant, indifferently black or green. A culture of yeast and beneficial bacteria is added, the so called SCOBY, that is very similar indeed to the…

7 GREAT WAYS TO USE VINEGAR AT HOME

  Vinegar is an essential substance for me, and over the years I have always made sure I never run empty. I use it very often on a daily base, and is the reason I am so keen on making my own fruit vinegar as much as I have the chance. We know how good is as food preservative and taste enhancer for our dishes, but is just as good for sterilizing and cleaning purposes. Here are some great ways to solve house cleaning problems without polluting: 1. A soft…

MILK KEFIR GRAIN: Let’s eat them

  Milk Kefir grains are the starter culture that is used to make not only kefir, but various foods including cheese and bread.  Kefir grains can be used for countless recipes rather than being eaten on their own. From my personal experience I know that most of my self-producing colleagues often end up having so many grains that they don’t know where to store them. Many ask me what to do with the extra grains they still have after refrigerating them, drying, sharing around and so on. Your kefir grains…

PROBIOTICS vs. PREBIOTICS: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

  The idea that bacteria can be beneficial for our body can be difficult for someone to assimilate. Especially in this period, where we are increasingly pushed to take antibiotics, sterilize surfaces and hands with antibacterial gels and lotions, wear masks, etc. The truth is that there are millions of bacteria in our bodies, even more than our own cells. It is therefore necessary to make a distinction without generalizing, since if it is undeniable that some bacteria can create serious problems for us, some of them that we will…

STEVIA: Your Own Calorie-Free Natural Sweetener

Family: Asteraceae Genus: Stevia Common Name: Stevia Rabaudiana, Sugar leaf, Candy leaf   Stevia is a perennial herb that reaches up to 50-80 cm  in height. The oblong aromatic leaves are times sweeter than traditional white sugar, containing neither calories nor carbohydrates. CULTIVATION Germination from seed is difficult, comparing to other aromatic plants; reason why most plants are grown from cuttings rather then from seeds. The plant requires rich well-drained soil and thrives in warm humid climates. Once established, Stevia is a low water, low maintenance plant, but tender young plants…

LACTIC FERMENTATION: THE SAUERKRAUT RECIPE

  Sauerkraut are healthy and easy to prepare at home. The result of lactic fermentation, many versions can be made and be used in even more recipes. The origin of sauerkraut has ancient and surprising roots. It appears that as early as 4000 BC in China, cabbage was fermented using lactic fermentation. Later they got to Europe and spread rapidly around the world thanks to the simplicity of its preparation, combined with the benefits associated with the consumption of this food rich in lactic and probiotic enzymes. LET’S MAKE SAUERKRAUT:…

VEGAN PANNA COTTA RECIPE WITH AGAR-AGAR

  Most of us have already enjoyed “panna cotta” dessert at least once in our lives. A Northern Italian recipe based on fresh cream and a few other ingredients that gently blend into a delicate and delicious dessert. Today we invite you to try a variant of this vegan dessert made with coconut milk and the addition of Agar Agar, a thickening agent of vegetable origin instead the common jelly of animal origin. If you are not familiar with this product extracted from certain red seaweeds, I invite you to …

THE 3 TYPES OF FERMENTATION: ALCOHOLIC, LACTIC AND ACETIC

  There are numerous types of fermentation, the main ones being the alcoholic, lactic and acetic. We are talking about metabolic processes that take place in the absence of oxygen, where glucose is degraded into other organic compounds. Normally these processes take place through bacteria and yeasts, and are widely used in the industrial field for the production of beverages and foods such beer, wine, vinegar, yogurt and fermented foods. ALCOHOLIC FERMENTATION In this natural biological process, sugars such as glucose, fructose and sucrose, are converted into cellular energy by…