Unusual grows The dedication and creativity of growers all over the world has risen to the challenge of cultivating cannabis in all manner of locations, from high in the trees to under trampolines. Here we share some of the most unusual outdoor cannabis cultivation places that have been made known to us, and suggestions for strains to fit them.
“Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, and sow it EVERYWHERE” – George Washington, first President of the United States of America
“Do you have any GMO cannabis seeds?”
The question is not an especially common one in the Sensi Seed Bank, but uncommon questions are, ironically, often asked in one of Amsterdam’s oldest and most famous seedbanks. Having ascertained that the questioner really does mean genetically modified in the Monsanto sense, where the genes of one species are spliced with that of another in a way that would never occur naturally, the answer is an emphatic ‘No’. Sensi Seeds has never attempted the genetic modification of any type of plant. Cannabis strains can accurately be described as genetically engineered, as the parent plants are carefully chosen by breeders and the resulting offspring are selected for further breeding or seed production on the basis of strict criteria. Unlike genetic modification, however, the genetic engineering process relies on naturally compatible life-forms in order to produce new types of a species.
“But I need GMO cannabis seeds!”
This is unusual. Most cannabis lovers are opposed to the kind of profit-driven interfering with nature that Monsanto and their ilk practise so recklessly. Further conversation with this particular customer reveals that he and his friends have been practising a particularly cunning form of guerrilla growing – cultivating cannabis plants in large wheelbarrows. Their current preferred strain was Sensi Seeds Super Skunk, an excellent choice for outdoor growing in that kind of temperate, fertile climate.
Wheelbarrows full of cannabis
Having started their seedlings in the normal way, once the fourth set of serrated leaves made their appearance they were carefully transplanted into large plastic wheelbarrows filled with a mixture of soil, perlite and mulch, with some drainage holes drilled in the bottom. Once settled into their new ‘pots’, the young plants could then be wheeled from one location to another with little difficulty. Unfortunately, the clandestine growers were moving their plants around farmland where some of the notorious ‘Roundup-Ready’ range of agricultural seeds were being grown. This meant they were also sprayed with Roundup herbicides, which brutally wipe out every plant not genetically modified to resist them, including the precious wheelbarrows of weed. Sadly, the only advice that could be offered to this customer was to move their mobile grow operation to fields where the highly toxic herbicide would not reach the lovely Super Skunk plants!
Outdoor cannabis cultivation – as old as farming itself
Outdoor growing is the oldest and simplest form of cannabis cultivation, and cannabis is one of the first ever crops to be deliberately cultivated. The very beginnings of farming itself are inextricably intertwined with the deep-reaching roots of one of humanity’s favourite plants. Sadly, current legislation means that in many parts of the world, well-intentioned humans who wish to follow the advice of George Washington to his gardener and ‘make the most of the Indian Hemp seed, and sow it everywhere’ are running risks ranging from fines all the way to the death sentence.
With the current re-evaluation of legislation affecting both personal possession and cultivation of cannabis in many parts of the world, this kind of ingenuity may soon become obsolete. The need for GMO seeds able to grow in wheelbarrows will be just an unlikely urban legend in a world where cannabis can be freely grown.
In the interests of preserving some special cannabis folklore, therefore, here are the more unusual methods and locations that have been shared with Sensi Seeds by our enthusiastic fans over the years…
High in the canopies of forests where the sun shines uninterruptedly, the wee woodland creatures scampering in the top branches may be surprised to discover large buckets with anything from compact Indica varieties like Afghani #1 to towering Early Skunk, a favourite of growers in cool, wet climates for its mould resistance and general hardiness. Although this method obviously involves climbing trees, it does keep annoying natural predators such as deer and dog-walkers safely away from this Tarzan-inspired treetop garden option.
Randomly in parks
Going on anecdotal evidence, the numbers and locations of cannabis plants poking their heads up in public parks seems to be more a result of smokers with seeded buds simply leaving the seeds lying around on the grass than any kind of organized planting effort. Given the thousands of people who attended the protests against cannabis laws throughout the world in April and May this year, coupled with the natural hardiness and tendency of cannabis to have a go at growing practically anywhere it manages to germinate, it is highly unlikely that park-keepers have managed to remove them all.
There is an exception to this in Britain. Feed The Birds is a nationwide effort to show the inanity of the UK’s cannabis laws and highlight the fact that making nature illegal is both impractical and unnecessary. Birds love hemp and cannabis seeds, but will often miss a few; feeding the birds is legal, so the anonymous spreaders of seed can’t be blamed if some of them take root and grow in public areas such as public flower beds and roundabouts.
Under a trampoline
One gentleman’s frustration with having to crawl under his large trampoline with a weed-cutter to clear out metre-high undergrowth turned to joy when he realised that if nettles could thrive under it, so could his favourite weed! Opting for the short-statured, fast-flowering American Dream as an easy and rewarding outdoor strain for temperate climates, he was able to produce a sizeable harvest. Inspired to continue his inventiveness, he was even able to flower his plants early by covering the trampoline with a tarpaulin each evening to control the lighting cycles. The one drawback with this system, he admitted, was having to stop his kids jumping on the trampoline during the summer!
Intertwined with tomato plants
Since tomatoes and cannabis enjoy similar growing requirements, letting the two share a patch of earth can work well. There is even a slight similarity between the leaves and overall shape of tomato plants and cannabis, especially a hybrid variety like Jamaican Pearl. Reports of this growing technique confirm that to the untrained eye, the closely mingled plants appear to all be producing tomatoes; on the other hand, there have also been stories of people who are only growing tomatoes having their gardens checked by police, as the plants had become so large and vigorous they were suspected of being cannabis. Co-gardening is becoming more popular as a natural way to improve outdoor cannabis gardens, not only to make them less obvious, and there are various companion plants that are ideal for this.
In flower displays during the town horticulture competition
Proving that cannabis is not only versatile but also beautiful, one of Glastonbury’s loveliest shops, In Harmony With Nature, won the coveted first prize in the 1998 Glastonbury in Bloom contest with a gorgeous display in front of the New Age and hemp store. The display – which was watered by town employees, and even by the Mayor of Glastonbury as part of the photoshoot for the local newspaper – featured daisies, chrysanthemums, and no less than thirteen cannabis plants. In Harmony With Nature is the brainchild of Mr. Free Cannabis, one of the UK’s most interesting and passionate advocates for the plant, who has visited Sensi’s sister company The Cannabis College several times to give talks on the many benefits of the plant – and share some of his more unusual adventures, such as this one.
The creativity of cannabis growers
It is a tribute to the ingenuity of humans, and their love for this very special plant, that even the most adverse of conditions doesn’t stop its cultivation. The potential that could be unlocked in terms of growing methods, were the need for a covert factor removed, should surely be an exciting prospect for all aspects of agricultural development. Properly harnessed, the creativity of amateur cannabis growers could one day remove the need for such dubious practises as genetically modifying plants to make them grow successfully!
There is one more thing that the gentleman enquiring after GMO cannabis seeds confessed, with a twinkle in his eye. During the whole process of planning the wheelbarrow-borne cannabis extravaganza, it had never occurred to him that this covertly intended operation would attract the attention of those seeking evidence of life on other planets. In practise, the monthly ritual of wheeling the plants from one location to another sometimes involved twisting paths through fields of GMO wheat and corn. The result was tracks that were immediately hailed by believers as crop circles of obviously otherworldly origin.
Share your stories!
Have you or a friend ever grown cannabis in an unusual place? Is there a strain that you found ideal for covert cultivation? Have you ever come across a plant growing somewhere that is the last place you expected to find it? Let us know in the comments, and maybe we will feature your story in a future post!