Starting a cannabis crop indoors or in the garden is not for everyone, so many growers opt for a third way, buy 4×8 grow tents and going into the bush or forest to plant. By choosing the right place and being cautious, this option can be as valid as any, even requiring less care than ordinary crops. We explain the tricks to obtain a successful harvest in a wild environment.
The so-called guerrilla cultivation is that which is done in the middle of Mother Nature, that is, hidden by the field. There are many years of experience and stories about this type of plantation, which although it does not seem to have enough advantages and some risks that should be controlled. It is a method that hardly requires maintenance, since the plants will grow in a wild environment without much help from man. Therefore, the key to its success lies in choosing the right place and conditioning it to avoid scares. Once this is done, the game will be decided almost in the first few minutes.
An intelligent location
The first and probably most important task is to trace the area chosen for guerrilla cultivation in order to find the most appropriate site for planting, and to do this several key factors must be weighed.
To begin with, we must find the most discreet place we can find, since any outside glance can ruin our cannabis mission. It has to be far from population centres, but also away from places where people are in transit. Like Frodo in ‘Lord of the Rings’, stay off the roads and away from any beautiful areas frequented by hikers.
Animals are a clear danger; it is important to see that there are no paths in the grass marked by species that might trample our plants or take them away. As an extra measure, it is worthwhile to camouflage and protect the cultivation area a little, for example by fencing it off with sticks or brambles and not covering it, as it will need solar energy to develop. Some people also use animal repellents, although one trick that usually doesn’t fail is to mark the area with a little urine.
Natural factors will also determine the success or failure of our crop. If we throw ourselves into the bush, it is better not to plant above 800 metres, and always point the plants south-east. The latter will allow the plant to better absorb sunlight, especially at dawn, thus eliminating morning dew and preventing the appearance of fungi.
Air and water must also be taken into account. It is essential to avoid areas where the wind blows too hard, as this can dehydrate our plants or bring the smell to a place where it arouses the suspicions of curious people and the attraction of animals. It is convenient to have water close by, whether it is a stream or a fountain: if it is time to water the plant, the closer we have the water the better, so as not to walk around the forest carrying drums in a suspicious way. Beware of planting in the river bed, which in summer a torrential downpour (typical of the Mediterranean climate) can wipe out the crop in less than a crow.
How to maintain a guerrilla crop
If you don’t want to make your life too complicated, it’s best to choose a resistant variety of marijuana (skunk, White Widow or Nothern Lights may be a good fit) and have it feminized, so you don’t have to remove the males later. Choosing auto-flowering seeds is also a good idea, as they will be able to flower independently of the natural photoperiod, their growing periods will be shorter and they will resist outdoor conditions better. This also helps to throw off the cannabic treasure hunters, who come out in autumn to steal guerrilla crops when the plants are about to be caramelised.
Spring is the ideal season to go out and set up our guerrilla plantation. Before that we should have germinated the seeds at home and leave a small growing period, to avoid insects and predators during the most vulnerable stage of the plant’s growth. We will dig a 40 cm hole in our hiding place and add the seedling with substrate, compost and fertilizer. Many growers then tend to cover the base of the plant a little with straw or other plants, in order to maintain moisture and protect the substrate. If the soil chosen is not the most suitable, adding a little peat or coconut fibre will make things easier for the plant. But generally, there is no better substrate than the soil itself in the middle of nature.
Once the plant is in place, as we explained before, we can use pesticides, repellents, obstacles, nets… to ensure that the crop is well protected. Some people are so careful that they install surveillance or hunting cameras to monitor the health of the plant at all times. It is true that here many times it only depends on the luck factor, since we will never be one hundred percent safe in the middle of the field. But establishing a good fence and effective camouflage is going to save us a lot of insecurity and reduce the chances of scare to a minimum.
Afterwards, we will only have to let the plant grow, and we will be able to observe how Mother Nature works wonders. Approaching the plantation every 10 days will be enough, especially if it has not rained in that period, as the plant will require watering. Going to the hideout too often is risking detection; therefore, have an alibi ready if someone asks you (take a pair of binoculars or some sports equipment with you to disguise it). Another tip is to take different paths each time: if you approach with your car, never leave it in the same place, or try to cover your tracks in the ground once you are back.
Perhaps in summer we should be more on top of the plant, due to the lack of water, but also in other years we should be aware of the excess of humidity, which can make the plants rot. Shake the plant during the last visits so that it does not retain the humidity from the rain. It is also important to observe the appearance of the plant in order to detect if it suffers from any lack of nutrients and therefore needs nitrogen, potassium or phosphorus, which are usually the most common faults and also the easiest to solve with a good irrigation rich in nutrients.
If there have been no complications, your last visit will only be to collect the fruits of your guerrilla harvest. For this, it is best to choose a time without much traffic, first thing in the morning or on weekdays. Bring a large, well-sealed container with you to avoid strong odors on your return. This will be one of the most exposed moments of the crop, so don’t take too long to cut the branches.
If everything has gone well, you will surely have had an excellent experience in guerrilla cultivation, and you will be ready to repeat next year. This is certainly an ideal cultivation method for those who love strong emotions.