material in this book is presented as information
which should be available to the public. Neither
the publisher nor the author advocate breaking any
law. However, we encourage readers to support the
efforts of NORML, CALM and other groups in their
efforts to secure the passage of sensible and fair
preface refers to the widespread incidence of
marijuana use and cultivation in the USA, and
states "the purpose of this book is to let
you know how home gardeners successfully grow
high-quality marijuana, no matter where they live,
or whether they've ever grown a plant before."
Chapter 1 gives a brief history of cannabis use,
an account of the life cycle, whether to grow
indoors or out, and a list of federal penalties
(including sequestration) for persons found growing
marijuana. The author urges the reader to consider
the consequences "the purpose is... not to
encourage you to grow illegally, but to report
on how growing is done legally, and how it may
be done when growing is decriminalised".
Chapter 2 discusses the different types of lighting
available - fluorescents, high-intensity (MH/HPS)
and fittings, light movers, coverage and spectrum.
The costs of such fittings (by brand name and
coverage) and sources of supply are also listed.
Chapter 3 - setting up an indoor grow-room - discusses
requirements of space and lighting. The "basic
set-up" is shown as a light fitting, timer,
thermostatically controlled fan heater and oscillator
fan. There are sections on hanging the light system,
fluorescent fittings, reflectors/light balancers,
electricity, wiring and safety measures. Chapter
4 - photoperiod, discusses the day lengths necessary
for propagation, growth and flowering, and the
need for electric timers to control lighting.
Chapter 5 looks at grow-room options, discussing
single and multiple chamber (for propagation/vegetative
growth, and flowering) systems, and crop rotation
schedules, suggesting a "continuous"
process of transplanting and harvesting, as well
as simultaneous transplanting of the whole, or
half a crop at one time. Suggests (p77) three-chamber
(Tricameral) system, and shelf-gardening systems,
where all three stages are contained within a
single area, partitioned with light-proof materials,
similar in concept to that of the Kushti box proposed
Chapters 6 and 7 deal with indoor natural-light,
and outdoor/greenhouse gardens.
Chapters 8 and 9 advise on containers, soil and
hydroponic systems. The main requirements are
stated to be a loose texture, presence of nutrients,
and a neutral pH. The author recommends rockwool
blocks for use in hydroponic systems, for ease
of use and transplanting. Organic composts and
soil-based systems (with added moss, vermiculite,
perlite etc.) are discussed, with a list of nutrients
provided by organic fertiliser types. There is
a very detailed account of the theory and practice
of hydroponic cultivation and watering/nutrient
Chapter 10 amounts to 20 pages of advice on selection
of cannabis varieties, with descriptions of the
characteristics of cannabis from different parts
of the world, including "skunkweed"
(stated to be developed from indica varieties
from Afghanistan & the Hindu Kush). Chapter
11 advises on germination (recommends direct planting
in soil or germination blocks) and the early stages
of plant development.
Chapters 12 to 15 advise on the requirements of
growing plants: water (frequency and nutrient
composition); air (temperature, circulation, humidity
and CO2 enhancement); fertiliser (including
foliar feeding, and the dangers of overfertilisation);
and general plant care, including transplanting,
pruning, evening growth, repairs and training
to particular shapes and/or sizes. Chapter 16
deals with the problems of insects and pests,
including aphids, and spider mites, garden insects,
rats, mice, cats & dogs. Suggests biological
control (predators) where possible, as well as
organic and proprietary insecticides and fungicides.
Chapters 17 & 18 discuss sexing of plants
and the flowering cycle, advising removal of male
flowers and the problems with hermaphrodites,
with illustrative photographs.
Chapters 19 & 20 deal with breeding and propagation
of cuttings, including the steps required to produce
cuttings from mother plants, and the selection
of plants & collection/storage of pollen for
Chapters 21 to 25 give detail on changes in THC
potency during the harvest period, advising that
potency of flower clusters is higher in the evenings
than during the day, and peaks at 10-14 weeks
of flowering. Advises on harvesting and manicuring,
rejuvenation of underdeveloped lower branches,
and drying techniques. Advises grading into tops,
smaller leaves and shade leaves, with tops up
to 8 times as potent as the lower leaves, and
on storage of marijuana, indicating that with
storage in a cool place, without exposure to air
and light, marijuana can retain up to 90% of its
potency two years after harvest (p348). Advises
on storing seeds.
The book closes with an exhortation to "grow
American" and a request for feedback from
readers. There is a comprehensive index, a note
that the directory of suppliers had been removed
following "Operation Green Merchant"
- the DEA operation targeting suppliers of horticultural
equipment advertised in High Times. There is a
commentary on drug policy, and addresses of cannabis
law reform organisations, and advertisements for
other publications by the author.
Comment: The book contains a great deal
of technical information and reproduced research
findings. As a reference it has particular value
in bringing together much disparate information
on the subject. The principles of growth and grow-room
construction are similar to those in Tricameral
Sinsemilla, although Frank appears to favour
hydroponic, rather than soil-based, cultivation
systems. Although the "shelf-unit" system
has many similarities to the "Kushti box"
it differs in the arrangement of compartments
and partitions. Alludes to continuous production
without recommending it. There are a large number
of diagrams and tables, roughly every other page,
illustrating points made in the text.