I was given my first plant this spring - a clone of "something." Supposed to be guaranteed. Anyway, I live in Denver CO area, and we had so many rough storms and rain this spring that I couldn't plant it outdoors until end of May or so. It is about 5 feet high and very nice and round with thick middle and all the stems and leaves are lush and thick. It's not a stringy plant and doesn't appear to have any bug damage and all leaves are nice green. No buds yet. When should I expect them?
My plant gets 6 to 7 hours of sun per day in an area sheltered from wind. When, where and how do I begin pruning? Also, there are lots of big fishing-size worms in the dirt it's in. I have good natural soil but added some compost and mulch a couple weeks ago. I fertilized it only once, about a month ago, with Happy Frog. Is there anything I should use for encouraging the buds? If so, what, and when do I apply it?
Lastly, when should I harvest the plant this year in this part of the country? I'm in Zone 5. As an aside, it's an organic plant, I pull my weeds and don't use bad chemicals. Are there any plants that grow well with or are beneficial if grown next to marijuana, whether flowers, herbs, shrubs or veggies? There are a few small Salvia and Yarrow near it. - Rebecca
It sounds like you have a nice well-growing plant on your hands. As far as buds, you should start seeing buds forming on your plant around August. If that hasn’t happened, then you may have an issue with light getting to the plant during the dark cycle (nighttime). Make sure there’s no light leaks coming from your house or a streetlight that could interrupt the night. Any interruption will keep your plant from flowering and maintain it in the vegetative stage.
Also, 6-7 hours of sun is less than ideal during the vegetative stage so any way that you can increase the amount of sun or supplemental light would be helpful until the flowering stage begins. You can encourage flowering by adding nutrients higher in Phosphorus and Potassium such as bat guano.
It’s hard to predict when you will need to harvest without knowing the strain you’re growing but you should certainly take your plant down before any frosts can affect it. Most plants in your zone should be harvested in late September to early October but longer-flowering sativas may need a few more weeks.
Several plants work well as companions to marijuana and it’s wise to grow them nearby. Chrysanthemum (“mums”) discourage and repel pests. Coriander is great for keeping away aphids and spider mites. Nasturtium and bean stalks attract pests and can be used as a “canary in a coal mine” to discover infestations before they’ve made a ton of headway on your plants. Also, marigolds will help keep away whiteflies while peppermint deters aphid populations, and dill discourages spider mites.
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(photo by @DannyDankoHT)