Ask the Grower

Meet “Truck” Stevenson

Meet Thomas “Truck” Stevenson

Master Grower at The Herbal Alternative

Grower_Img_v2Growing marijuana in a controlled 100% organic environment, that is of consistently superior quality and variety, is more than a just a skill, it’s an art form.

Truck not only loves growing, he loves sharing his art with the world. 

Have a question for him about growing, strains, or anything, then send him your questions and comments right here.

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Recent Posts from the Grower

Cloning… What time of light is best to clip for clones?

A.  The best time to take clippings is during the vegetative stage to reduce stress and likely hood of inducing hermaphroditic tendencies or cause unwanted stretching.  Though you can clone a plant all the way to the end of its life cycle which is called reverting from clone, it is harder and takes longer to clone and becomes vigorous the longer the plant has been flowering.  The vegetative stage is any time 18-24 hours of light.  There isn’t a big difference in time of day you actually take the clipping.  Water your plants right before taking clones for best... read more

Q. What is the best way to recover from heat shock?

A.  If you are indoors raise your lights up a bit higher, mist your plants with water before the lights come on and as they are going off.  If you are outdoors use shade netting.  Supplementing with small amounts of silica and or kelp have been known to help plants recover and adapt to heat better.  Supplementing your atmosphere with CO2 helps plants adapt to hotter climates as well.  The other thing you could add to the water while misting your plants is Epsom salt as it will help with any deficiencies that are usually created by hot conditions as little as 1/4 tea spoon per gallon works well some people suggest more, but if you are misting consistently then i’d go with smaller amounts, say if you are misting once a week then 1 teaspoon per gallon.  Just don’t go overboard on trying to many things at once, the best thing to do is keep is simple and be patient tell the heat off the summer... read more

Where to Begin?

Q:  Made my first trip from AZ to your store last week! completely satisfied with the quality! I’ve been thinking of starting my own little garden but have no real experience growing marijuana plants. Not sure where to begin. Could you suggest just a basic set up? Do you use filtered water for your plants? Thanks     A:   Thanks for the visit!  For beginners I suggest getting two books that will make life easy.  The first is George Cervantes Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower’s Bible and the Second is True Living Organics by The Rev.   As far as equipment I suggest a 400 watt metal halide, if you can afford it I’d go with a digital ballast, but  magnetic ballasts are fine too.  Make sure you find good solid genetics to grow, its a very important factor in having success.  Yes you will need to get at least a basic carbon filter, for simple and cheap you can get a RV carbon filter at a hardware store that will screw right on to a garden hose, or you can upgrade and find KDF 85 filters that not only remove chlorine but remove fluorides and chlorimides as well from city water which can be detrimental to organic grows.  You can even get reverse osmosis filters which are a bit more expensive and you are using a lot of water in the filtering process, but its pure water.  I suggest using high quality organic soil and nutrients such as the Fox Farm Happy Frog Line.  The other thing if you can afford it I suggest buying a grow tent... read more

Growing Question

Q:  I have only 1 plant female, of which I am growing for seeds. The buds are currently stenchy like strong lemon, ? best way to harvest for seeds? Outdoor in vegas, I am wondering if i should sacrifice my seed plan to endulge, seeds are now white solid, when to pick –Larry A:  From Truck: Hello Larry, I would wait tell the seeds are dark and tiger striped.  Another method is to pinch one or two between your fingers.  If its hard they are good to go.  If they squish or crush most likely not ready.  The longer you weight the better the seeds will be.  If you want to smoke it you got to separate the seeds, just like in the good ‘ol days of shwag weed. Your Friend,... read more

Curing Marijuana to Smoke

Q: I have a plant that has produced flower that is crazy grapey, like a grape jolly rancher, after 10 days of dry time and a few days of curing and burping..  I am scared that it will lose the grape flavor in the cure process.  Any recommendations on how to better preserve or develop certain flavors during the cure process? A: Other than growing, curing is the most important step in getting good quality cannabis to smoke. Please know that relative humidity inside and outside the jar and how dry or not dry your bud is will greatly overall change each time and depending on the time of year and moment to moment weather patterns.   The best advice i can give is keep following your nose. The stems should snap before jarring to cure. More burping more often in the first 2 weeks of curing 3-4 times a day, 30minutes to a couple hours open depending on your feel for humidity and overall need to dry vs just let the bud breath and let out what ever has been off gassed in the curing process.  The second two weeks it can be once or twice a day.  After a month you should have fully cured bud.  Stored properly in a glass jar out of light the bud should be good for long term storage after 30 days.  Most weed is like a fine wine, cured for 3-6+ months you have something very special.  If it starts to smell like grass its too wet, pull it out and let it dry out more.  If it doesn’t smell or seems... read more

Growing in Hawaii

Q:  I’m not able to grow in an in-closed environment and must grow outdoors in a residential area in Hawaii. Everything goes after my plants. What is an effective spray for my plants to eliminate and or repel most or all insects that I can use daily and still have safe smoke? I used to use dish soap but the ingredients have changed and the soap burns the plant now at any effective level like one drop of soap per gallon of water.   A:  Aloha friend and fellow grower! You may not want to spray every day since you are in such a humid environment already, unless you have a system for keeping the morning dew off your plants or after rains when the buds are starting to harden, you don’t want bud rot or other fungus problems. You never want beads of water sitting on your plant can act as a magnifying glass burning holes in the leaf under direct sunlight.  A leaf blower is real handy for getting all the water off easily and quickly each morning or after rains.   I have bugs all over the place, in my soil and on my plants.  Its a actually a good sign of biodiversity in an ecosystem, true bio organics at work.  Just don’t allow one bug to proliferate and take over, when a pest or any thing over populates it brings disease to the plant and soil.  You just want to keep pest population balanced through spraying or introducing a predator to the ecosystem that will attack them naturally and restores balance.  Lady bugs and predatory... read more

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I love this place! Everything is grown organically, every one seems very knowledgeable about what they sell. Prices are great. I enjoy the professional feel and environment surroundings.

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