TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR OUTDOOR CANNABIS TREES ALIVE DURING THE SOUTH AFRICAN WINTER

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JOIN US AS WE EXPLORE MEMBER VERIFIED TECHNIQUES TO PREVENT SERIOUS DAMAGE TO YOUR OUTDOOR CANNABIS TREES.

Written by #willbehigh_cradlegenetics, information compiled through and from all member’s techniques and prevention methods.

Early April to Mid-May you spent so much time & money on genetics and effort to coach your Cannabis girls to mid-flower…where we are now, middle June.

This coming after a snow warning last night for certain parts of Gauteng, and if you are South Arican, you know that is a very rare warning. Usually the Western Cape, Boland, Transkei and Drakensberg areas are annually prone to snow fall.

The question remains, what about my well cared for Cannabis girls outside and how can I keep them alive. Well, stress not; dear Growmie – we got you covered. These techniques can NOT PROMISE the same results with all growers, but they are a very good start and can be further advanced and combined with other principles of Cold care for Plants. At the end of the day, after all efforts have  been exhausted, if a plant is not cold resistant, there is most definitely damage or stress induced and could lead to the plant’s fatality. Sometimes slowly and systematically, sometimes rather sudden.

1) MULCHING

A mulch is a layer of material applied to the surface of soil. Reasons for applying mulch include conservation of soil moisture, improving fertility and health of the soil, reducing weed growth and enhancing the visual appeal of the area. A mulch is usually, but not exclusively, organic in nature. Wikipedia

Mulching (adding a protective layer on your top soil) is a great start. Mulch mixes can be made up of bark, pine needles, yard clippings, leaf drop from trees, straw or even a good composting mix can acts as a mulch. 

The idea here is to protect the delicate root zone. Above soil damage will most certainly take place and will sometimes be completely out of your hands. Most resilient plants have the ability to jump back to life after severe foliage damage and pathways that carries nutrients to the full extent of the plant.  See point 3 on above soil cold damage.

2) HEALTHY SOIL

If we look at far northern or southern regions (like Russia in the North or Chile in the South), we do found Cannabis land-races that are well tolerable to -0° C and even below. Apart from the gene being resistant to cold climates such as frost and snow, the soil underneath are still teaming with life. A popular variety – Ruderalis, also known as ‘autos’ for the independence of Photoperiodism (not light duration dependent due to short days/sun.

A healthy soil can play a massive role in keeping the plant’s main cyclic functions alive, and it does this via microbial activity – in better terms, little microscopic or slightly bigger little creatures in the form of bacteria/pro-biotics. These little fellas are crucial in aiding the plant’s ability to prevent freezing roots or severe stunting. Some beneficial bacteria to mention as excellent inoculations to help build plant resistance are:

Flavimonas Oryzihabitans, Bacillus Licheniformis, Trichoderma Virens/Harzianum, Azobacter Vinelandi among plenty more.

Check out ExploGrow in our Shop for one of the most sought after Products, proudly South African and breaking records in crops of all varieties across South Africa.

3) FROST COVERS

Frost covers are typically produced with Polypropylene fibers or better known as  frost covers.

They work in many ways, one by separating the plant outer layer from direct touch to frost-chill or freezing cold still standing air, all whilst allowing 60% of sunlight energy through; as the plant will always need a light energy source as Rule Nr 1.

For those with a slightly higher budget, the net is filled with all shapes and sizes of plant hoop-houses or better known – small Greenhouse boxes or tents.

4) BRING POTTED PLANTS INSIDE 

You might be thinking, well duh – but many first time growers have the perception that the plant needs to be outside all the time.

If you have the energy and determination to shuffle your plants indoors in the evening and out again in the morning, then do it. Cannabis plants are in nature a hardy plant. But to prevent the single digits around its plant cellulose can be of great benefit to your babies.

Even better if you have an open space in your indoor garden for the evenings. Widely referred to as Hybrid Light growing (using different sources of light between day and night).

5) KEEP THE AIR MOVING, EVER SO GENTLE.

When frost threatens vast crops in commercial agriculture, farmers have employed strange, yet effective, tactics to simulate wind.

While neither of these are practical solutions for the home gardener, the concept of air movement to ward off frost can be utilized at a much smaller scale.

Simulating wind this way can raise the temperatures in your garden patch by 2 to 10 degrees, depending on other cues.

On still nights with no rain in the forecast, an electric fan can be used to create an artificial breeze.

6) CREATE A CLOCHE or DOME COVER

If you’re into DIY and are pretty handy with building your own structures or tents, then this could be your option. 

Many things in and around your current garden setup can be used, an upside pot, water bucket, large plastic containers cut-out in domes or even large plastic sheets built as a tent cover.

7) PLANT STRATEGICALLY 

Most urban growers know their property’s geo-location quite well. By planting your more ‘hardy’ and resilient plants in the southern flanks of your yard and your more delicate plants in the northern facing part of your yard could also be a beneficial strategy to prevent frost/cold damage.

With the Sun rising in the East and setting in the West with it always tilted and hitting us from the North (for Southern Hemisphere), it’s a clever method to make you think and plan ahead for the cold months, and the coldest parts of your property.

8) FIND ANYTHING AS COVER

The last point is for the quick thinkers, the ‘get-it-done’ type of individuals who would do and take anything to make something happen.

For example, not aesthetically pleasing, erecting a gazebo directly over your plants. That’s if they are compactly planted. The idea of protecting too much heat radiating up and out, and also preventing downward drafts which brings cooler air down (yes, that happens).

Anything from corrugated metal roofs, to simple tarpaulins or plain plastic sheeting will be a great go-to for simple coverings. 

Remember the above points and let your imagination run wild. Get it covered, no matter what you use or do. 

As mentioned earlier, these techniques are only guidelines and a great start. No-one can ever assure a plant’s success, because the plant, like all things alive, has a gene structure that depicts its virtue in life. Become a smarter thinker in your small space and make it work for you.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for ANY further discussions and assistance regarding Cannabis Tips & Techniques.

Stay humble, respect the Plant!

The Team @ Cradle Genetics

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