Lessons from a Hawaiian Garden Part II Growing Culture

Photography by Zach Socher

In the first part of this article, “Lessons from a Hawaiian Garden,” I visited two medical gardens on the small Hawaiian island of Molokai.

The island sits at 21.14 ° N., close enough to the equator so that there is only a small variation of light length through the year, On June 21, the longest day of the year there is 13 hours, 25 minutes. On December 21, the shortest day there is 10 hours, 51 minutes of light. This is a long enough dark period to induce most plants to flower. To prevent this, my hosts used fluorescent lights, turned on throughout the light to keep the plants from complete darkness. The relatively dim light was sufficient enough to prevent the plants from flowering.

When they had grown fairly large, the lights were turned off. With long hours of darkness, they immediately started to flower. I was in the garden around Dec. 4, 2017 when the plants were at the start of the flowering cycle; the lights had been turned off the previous week. I thought it would take two months for the plants to ripen and that I would return in time for the harvest.

I should have known that was not to be. I had forgotten that the plants were getting a far shorter light period. Longer nights speed up ripening, so the plants sacrifice bud size for shorter ripening time.

Photography by Zach Socher

My friend Zach was kind enough to take the photos you see in this column. They were taken on Dec. 6, 2017, shortly before and during harvesting.

They were mostly Molokai G13. G13 is a heavy, almost couch-potato indica has a high content of pinene, which makes it sedative and relaxing. The Molokai version is lightly sprinkled with sativa genetics. This gives it a bit more energy and is more conducive to daytime, as well as evening use.

Although people think of it as an indica, it has a mostly sativa morphology. It’s a vigorous grower with a lot of spreading lateral branches, and it can easily grow 8-10 feet tall. Those characteristics indicate its substantial sativa heritage, but its effects come from its indica side.

Another sativa characteristic is continued vegetative growth in during the first half of flowering. The plants fill out with continued stem growth, adding several feet taller and extending branching. At maturity, these plants were 8-9 feet tall and were 8-10 feet wide.

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