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            A Tale of Two Gardens
            ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
		  
               by Ed Rosenthal
      originally published in High Times

	 
	Liz started a garden to keep herself supplied with primo buds.
She wanted an efficient low care system which would produce high quality
buds without much effort.
	Since she did not have a lot of space to spare, Liz emptied
a closet and prepared it to serve as a garden.  She painted the 4'x4'x7'
closet flat white and installed a heavy plastic tarp on the floor to
prevent water spillage.
	She hung a 400-watt high pressure sodium (HPS) lamp from a hook
in the ceiling with a chain so it was adjustable.
	A 20 lb. CO2 tank and short interval timer were placed in the
chamber to inject the gas into it.
	A hole was made in the wall to vent an exhaust fan connected to a
thermostate-humidostat.  This was designed to keep the room termperature
in the 70s and the humidity in the 50s.
	An oscillating fan was placed in the room to keep the air
Circulating. (a negative-ion generator was used to control odor).
	Now it was time to start the seeds.  Small rockwool cubes were
placed in a tray and watered with a dilute solution of hydroponic
vegetative growth stage fertilizer.  The tray was drained of water so that
only 1/4" - 1/2" layer remained.
	A seed and a label were poked 3/8" deep into each cube.  The cubes
were kept moist.  The seeds, descendants of several varieties of Dutch
seed, germinated in a few days and were ready for transplanting nine days
later.
	The seeds were transplanted into round 6" diameter containers
filled with pebble-sized crushed lava rock.  The rock absorbs water and
transports it through capillary action, much as a tissue moves water.
	Six containers were placed in each tray.  An aerator was placed
on the bottom of each of the five trays.  Each aerator was attached to a
gang valve which in turn was connected to a single small aquarium pump.
	The containers were watered from the top with a full-strength
vegetative growth stage nutrient/water solution.  About two to three
inches of water was left in each tray for the lava to draw up, much like
a wick.  When the water level went down in the tray, unfertilized water
was added.

Liz's Garden part 2

	Last month, Liz transplanted into 6-inch containers.  Liz's closet
garden took off.  In 30 days, the plants were 18" tall and growing very
rapidly.
	Liz changed the fertilizer solution in the trays every 10 days
and kept the light about two feet above the plants.  She made sure that
the water level in the trays was maintained at about two inches.  During
the month that she was away from the garden for a three and a four day
stretch.  Though the water level in the trays had dropped a bit when she
returned, the plants were still healthy and doing fine.  The plants
looked vigorous and showed no signs of deficiencies.
	Shortly after these pictures were taken (sorry no pics), Liz
turned the lights back to 12 hours to induce flowering.

Liz's Garden part 3

	Liz's garden was in mid-flower.  The buds were swelling and
creating their characteristic definition.  The Early Pearl and Northern
Lights bids grew along main branches, developing their configurations,
then swelling out.  The Skunks were maturing slower, their buds growing
large on the primary branches.
	The plants looked healthy with no sign of deficiency.  They were
growing fast and vigorously.  The system continued working without a
hitch.  Liz added water to the trays as needed to keep a level between
1 and 2 inches.  The fertilizer solution was changed in each tray every
ten days.
	Liz changed over to flowering fertilizer when she turned the lights
down to 12 hours.  Still, the plants showed no signs of lack of nitrogen (N).
	Because of scheduling problems, Liz was unable to take cuttings off
the plants until two weeks after turning the lights down.  After taking
the cuttings she placed them in the refridgerator for a few days until
she had time to work on them.
	From bottom up, her cloning kit consisted of:
+ A small heating mat (sold in nurseries) over the wooden bookshelf
+ A plastic tray about three inches deep, filled with water
+ An aerator sitting at the bottom of the tray hooked to a pump
+ And an almost flat styrofoam plate salvaged from a fruit carton.
(The plastic tray had melted into the mat a little, so it was replaced
with a glass tray.)
	The clones were cut from the bottom of the plants.  Liz trimmed
them to about 2 1/2"-3", leaving only a few leaves at the top.  She
punched holes with a pencil and inserted the cuttings.  The styrofoam
held the clones in place.  The water-nutrient solution contained flowering
fertilizer at 1/4-strength and Olivia's rooting solution (a brand name).
The heating mat kept the water in the tray at a constant warmth, in the
low to mid-'70s.  The aerator insured adequate supplies of oxygen to the
stems.  The flowering fertilizer was used to limit leaf growth and help
stimulate root growth.

Part 4

Liz transplanted the seedlings to 6" pots about 90 days ago.  Now half
the garden has been harvested.  The Early Pearls and some Northern Lights
have blossomed, ripened, and been cut.  This leaves some NL crosses, the
Skunks, and Hash plant.  Hash plant seems to be having a hard time flowering
and probably needs a shorter light period.
	The glands have filled with resin causing the buds to floresce.  New
pistil growth has stopped.  The fan leaves are yellowing and dying, leaving
the maturing buds naked.
	The tray and pot system worked extremely well.  Liz now changes the
water every two weeks and adds water as needed to keep the level at between
one to two inches.  the five-parts-lava-one-part-vermiculite mix stays
moist through capillary action, but has large air spaces, so the roots
always have oxygen.  The water itself is aerated with a small fish-tank
air pump.  Roots have been growing out of the containers into the water
trays.  They look healthy and white.
	The clones, which were started last month, are now rooted, ready to
be transplanted into the garden.  They have been growing in a tray filled with
water.  They are supported by a styrofoam divider salvaged from a vegetable
box.  The water is kept at 75 degrees F. using a fish-tank thermostat-heater.

Part 5

	Liz has harvested all of the plants in the garden, yielding between 6
and 8 ounces.  She likes all of the plants, but especially the NL-Skunk crosses.
	Liz now has three growing areas.  Her largest space, is the 4' x 4'
flower room.  Underneath this garden, she has built a small vegetative growth
space which can handle either clones or plants which are less than 8" tall.
It is lit using flourescent lights.  This space is not being used right now,
but will be soon.
	There are only a few clones left in the rooting chambers.  The rest
of them have been potted and placed in the flowering room, where they are
being given constant light.
	Some of the plants which were harvested are also in the room.  Most
of the buds have been picked off them, leaving only leaves on a stem no higher
than 12".  The plants are expected to revert to vegetative cycle and then will
be reflowered.  The lighting cycle will be cut back to the flowering cycle of
12-on/12-off within a few weeks.

Part 6

	All three of Liz's gardens are being used now.  The rooting section,
the stage two vegetative growth section and the flowering section have healthy
plants.
	The rooting section consists of a glass baking dish filled with water
slightly enriched with high phosphorous fertilizer.  Styrofoam forms the
float on the water, holding the clones in place.  The water is aerated using
a fish-tank pump and aerator unit.  To promote rooting, the water is kept
between 70-75 degrees F. using a plant heating mat.
	The second stage garden is where the rooted clones are fattened up
before flowering.  The space is lit by flourescents and allows the plants
to get about a foot tall.
	The plants in Liz's main garden, where flowering takes place, are in
early flowering and filling out.  Most of these plants have already flowered
once.  After removing the buds from the plants, Liz let them go into a
vegetative cycle by running the lights continuously.  After a few weeks the
flowereing cycle regimen of 12 hours light/12 hours darkness was reinstated.
	When plants are reflowered they tend to be very bushy.  To eliminate
small branches crowding the area, most are clipped off.  Liz let most of the
branches grow.  As a result she has hundreds of flowering sites on each plant,
but they are much smaller than they would be with fewer branches.
	Liz is away, so she has placed "water fountains" in her garden to
make sure that the plants do not go dry.  The reservoirs are designed to
keep the water level at two inches.  The water is stored in a 2-liter plastic
soda bottle and travels through a small tube directly into the tray.