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Cervantes J : Indoor Marijuana Horticulture (2nd Ed) USA 1993 - 316pp

Disclaimer: "The material in this book is presented as information which should be available to the public. The publisher does not advocate breaking the law in any way, shape or form and does not promote readers to break the law.", with a further disclaimer of any product endorsements. The foreword explains the purpose of the book "to give a simple, complete, description of basic gardening techniques growers use to cultivate marijuana indoors today", the factors involved in marijuana cultivation, and "rules of thumb" - simple guides on key points for the reader. There is a long section on the legal considerations, including police practice and advice on dealing with the authorities if searched, arrested and brought to trial.

Chapter 1 includes general matters concerning cannabis cultivation, the indoor-outdoor dilemma (indoor recommended), and setting up a growroom. Cervantes suggests separate areas for propagation, growth and flowering, and (p32) also a perpetual crop "Several clones are taken every day or week, the same amount of plants are moved from the vegetative to the flowering room, of course the harvest is almost perpetual!". Advises a little-used area, painted white, enclosed and isolated, ventilated, with water supply, a smooth or concrete floor, a heavy duty hook for the growlamp, adequate tools and testing kits, and a properly functioning high-intensity growlamp.

Chapter 2 is a detailed review of light types (metal halide/HPS recommended), intensities, spectrum and coverage. Maximising the available light through reflectors or moveable systems. Advises use of fluorescent tubes for rooting cuttings. There is a discussion of electrical wiring and safety, power consumption, and setting up a control board.

Chapter 3 is a discussion of soil types and containers. The soil section advises a sandy, neutral soil with added perlite, vermiculite or pumice, peat, lime or fertiliser, depending on soil type and pH. Discusses soil-less systems, including how to prepare a soil-less mix from basic ingredients, and there is a discussion on making organic composts.. Suggests container sizes to allow 1.5 to 2 gallons (US) per month of intended growth, photograph of the effect of pot size on development.

Chapter 4 discusses water and fertiliser. Most watering options discussed (manual, drip-feed or gravity-feed), fertiliser requirements, content of major elements in various organic waste materials, and nutrient disorders (over-fertilisation and deficiencies).

Chapter 5 is a detailed description of hydroponic gardening systems, with sections of different systems, growing media (rockwool etc.), provision of water, nutrients and the need for sterile conditions.

Chapter 6 discusses heating, ventilation and air quality. Discussion of air circulation, plant transpiration, air temperature, use of maximum/minimum thermometers, humidity, additional CO2, venting and extraction, to prevent odours with negative ion generators etc.

Chapter 7 is a detailed description of the various problems experienced from insect and fungal attack. Advises prevention rather than cure, and primarily organic solutions (such as predatory insects to keep down aphids, home-made organic insecticides and fungal control.

Chapter 8 discusses the early stages of cannabis growth from seed, advising growing many smaller plants rather than fewer larger specimens. Suggests germination in tissue paper or soil/compost, transplanting to larger containers when required. Discusses attrition rates and need to plant more seeds than will finally be required.

Chapter 9 discusses in great detail the stages of vegetative growth, including propagation of cuttings, transplanting, pruning and 18 hour days.

Chapter 10 deals with flowering, sexing plants (inc. hermaphrodites), day-length (12 hrs) and sinsemilla production,

Chapter 11 advises on harvesting, including choosing the best time, sampling the crop, and diagrams of the different resin glands as they appear under microscopy. Includes step by step advice on harvesting the plant, manicuring and drying techniques, production of seed crops, and achieving second crops from underdeveloped lower branches on the plants.

Chapter 12 contains information on breeding cannabis, including pollen collection and fertilisation of female flowers. A lengthy section on indoor breeding is provided by RC Clarke (author of Marijuana Botany) including a detailed history of the development of modern hybrids, and tips on breeding for specific characteristics, with a review of the suitability of various hybrids (skunk, northern lights, big bud, Afghani, haze etc.) for indoor cultivation.

The book finishes with several case studies, a calendar and step-by step checklist. There is a glossary of terms, an index, and advertisements for other cannabis-related publications.

Comment: This book is extremely comprehensive, covering many aspects of indoor cannabis cultivation in great detail. The chapter on legal advice leaves the reader in no doubt as to the illegality of cannabis cultivation, and the breeding chapter suggests some access to inside knowledge of development of cannabis varieties such as "skunk". This work contains much scientific information, although it is presented in straightforward language, it would be beyond many novice growers, although a novice grower following the instructions may be able to produce a crop. As a reference work, this is a valuable publication, though it would appear to be a little too complicated for the average cannabis grower.

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