angle of the sun changes dramatically between late August and late September. The
plants on the deck that were brightly lit during the summer lost their direct
exposure to the sun. By early September, the plants were shaded by trees and
buildings most of the day, as the sun drifted lower towards the horizon. This
was unfortunate, because just when the plants should have been receiving more
intense light for bud growth and ripening, they were getting dim shade light.
Without the sunlight, the deck took a longer time to warm up in the mornings so
plant growth was further diminished. Plants grow faster under warm
temperatures, 80°F–85°F, than in the 60s.
I had been away most of early September. When I left the plants were
vigorous and healthy. I returned to a disappointing sight. Some of the plants’
leaves had a fine covering that looked like powdered sugar—that’s the powdery
mildew. Grey mold had infected about a quarter of the buds. It can be
considered an environmental disease, because it attacks when humidity is high
and the temperature is low, in the 60s. Lower the humidity or raise the
temperature and the disease stops spreading. I sprayed the buds that had grey
mold, then the mushy, moldy parts dried up and the infection was stopped.
After about 10 days of cold, the days warmed up again and the humidity
dropped, enabling the plants to continue bud growth and ripening. The old
growth that had resisted the fungi and the new growth both remained unaffected
and ripened into small but fragrant, nice-looking buds. Although the mold had
affected the buds, you could still see the trichomes rising from the browned
material. The mold had destroyed the vegetation but had not affected the THC-containing
The plants were almost ready to harvest. Just a few more days of clear
skies and warm weather and it will be time to pick.
OF THE MONTH FROM ASK ED®
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You can grow awesome plants in your south-facing window in the winter
months. The sun is at a low angle so it shines through brightly. To start and
grow the plants for the first two-to-three weeks, supplement the light using
bright fluorescents to extend the light period to at least 18 hours daily. Then
give them just the natural light or supplement it with the bright fluorescents
only during daylight hours. The plants will start flowering under the long dark
period. Don’t turn the lights on, even for a second, during the dark period.
The plants will flower and ripen in eight to nine weeks.