Gorilla growing is a common strategy in many countries in the world, especially when dealing with very big crops in prohibited locations. Let’s dive in this subject and understand more about the risks, sustainability and what to grow.
Anyone who follows us knows that talking about cannabis cultivation is one of our favorite subjects. Back in California, where Alice lives, planting is currently legal under some circumstances – there are a number of plants per person, and it is necessary to pay good money to completely regularize the practice – but it was not always like this. People have been gorilla growing cannabis in California since the 70’s, this is a very common practice here and in many other countries in the world.
Guerrilla cultivation involves illegally cultivating cannabis in hidden areas, which are normally accessible. They can happen on private property, government property, national parks, national forests, etc.
And it is not just for other people that this practice can be dangerous. Although it is an alternative to circumvent law and police action, guerrilla cultivating without conscience can contribute to polluting forest areas or even to deforestation. So, you need to be aware of the process and make the right choices!
Here, we will talk about the advantages and disadvantages of this type of cultivation – which, like any guerrilla, is a form of subversion and opposing oppression. Come with us!
Advantages and disadvantages of outdoor cultivation
Because they are located in quite distant places, guerrilla crops have a very obvious advantage: far from a residence, it becomes more difficult to be discovered by neighbors or police, preserving the safety of those who plant. After all, here in Brazil, planting cannabis without a habeas corpus is synonymous with prison – especially for people in the most vulnerable situation or in regions where the police act with full force.
Often, access to these guerrilla crops is difficult, and it is necessary to make trails, or it is only accessible with 4×4 vehicles and a good adventure on the way. After all, the more hidden the better. But that does not mean that it cannot be discovered, whether by people or animals. The local wildlife can cause a great deal of damage, from birds and insects to large mammals. And it can also be found by third parties: there is a great risk of incidents such as theft of whole crops, which throws all your work down the drain.
And speaking of drains, water can also be very harmful. Too much or too little, rain can mean the end of your beloved (and unprotected) plants.
It is a great challenge to maintain the discretion of an outdoor grow and not to lose a good part of cannabis, either due to external factors or even due to the difficulty of adapting to certain soils and climates. So it is very important to get informed and choose the best tools.
How to choose the ideal location?
The location of a guerrilla cultivation should be as far away from human eyes as possible. Some of the most sought after environments for this are areas in the middle of forests, far away and abandoned rural properties, in mountains, and other habitats as such.
It can seem like a pretty cool adventure, and it can do no harm if you take care of everything properly. But there are some crazy examples of what NOT to do – like the case of an international cartel that decided to grow cannabis in parks like Yosemite and Lassen Volcanic National Park. In them, millions of plants were found, in addition to signs of use of pesticides and pollutants that interfere negatively in the life of the local fauna and flora.
It is essential to remember that we are 100% in favor of more organic crops, with fair exchanges with the land and the use of sustainable and natural materials. It doesn’t make much sense to fight for this cause if it isn’t to improve the planet, and not destroy it even more, right?
The pains and pleasures of outdoor cultivation
We will not deny it: outdoor guerrilla farming is not the best way to grow for those who want quality. But it’s the only option for a lot of people, and it also doesn’t mean you can’t reap great rewards from it – it’s just going to be more difficult.
Some tips to facilitate this process for you and plants are:
Look for the best strains for the climate of the region: cannabis grows in icy mountains, like Afghan kushes, or in dry plains with full sun, as is the case of our Manga Rosa here in Brazil. The difference is in the species! Do a research to find out which are the most suitable for the climate that you observe in the chosen planting location. It is also nice to choose more bushy strains, which grow more sideways and are easier to camouflage.
Prefer automatic seeds: as the plants will be far from you and will spend a long time without your supervision, the most suitable seeds are feminized or autoflowering. This way, you don’t run the risk of having males infiltrating the grow – which make the plants produce seeds, and not tasty and fragrant buds.
Start with clones: throwing the seeds directly into the soil may seem like a good idea, but germination can be a very difficult phase in an outdoor setting. The best thing in these cases is to transplant the seedlings that are already grown and properly rooted to the ground. So, you have that special control in the development of the plants and make sure that the seeds will sprout in the correct way, without bad weather, fungi and insects interfering in its first stage of life.
Enrich the soil: it is interesting to look for a place of dark soil, with organic material – such as leaves and other vegetation remains. If the medium has imbalances or is too compacted, you will have to manipulate it. Substrates rich in organic nutrients, such as earthworm humus, bone meal or compost chorume, are great for this. Perlite, peat or coconut fiber help to make the soil soft and airy. To make sure the pH doesn’t get too acidic, use a pinch (like 1 shallow tablespoon for every 20l of soil) of dolomitic limestone in the mixture.
Take care and protect without pollutants and poisons: as we have already said, a great risk of guerrilla cultivation is precisely the pollution and imbalance of the planting environment. For this reason, we strongly advise against the use of any type of insecticide or pesticide. The reciprocal relationship with the land is real, and it returns everything we give it. Cannabis that grows with poison may also cause damage at the time of use.
Irrigation: to avoid relying solely on rain, you can improvise some irrigation systems – especially if the chosen area is close to streams or freshwater sources. Otherwise, building cisterns to capture rainwater and channel it to the plantation can be a great idea!
How to camouflage the grow?
After their development in the soil, the plants will grow and spread more and more – which calls for special camouflage care. Ideally, your cultivation site should be hidden enough so that you don’t have to make much effort to cover it. If necessary, you can use the surrounding vegetation to hide your plants, building a kind of natural fence, making it necessary to move these plants out of the way to access your hidden culture.
As there is always a risk of discovery, many more experienced guerrilla farmers often spread their plants in multiple locations, rather than relying on a single location. In other words: don’t put all your eggs in one basket! If you plant your herb in more locations, any unexpected event will not result in your entire crop failing.
In addition to choosing lower species, you can also use other methods to maintain less visibility.
Occasional pruning is a good way to keep your plants shorter and less visible. Best of all, you can remove clones during these prunings and replant branches that take root.
Planting in clearings, surrounded by denser forests, is also a good strategy. The ideal is to surround the planting site to avoid unwanted visitors, but this can also draw some curious people.
A curiosity is how prohibitionism makes people more creative to be able to cultivate in hidden ways. In Honeydew, California, they even placed cannabis plants on top of pine trees to make recognition difficult.
You can see that practically anything goes at this time, right?
Guerrilla cultivation is a strategy widely used in several countries to circumvent prohibition and ensure access to plants without so many risks involved. Although indoor is the most suitable for those who want good plant control – from the beginning of development to the harvest, we know that it is not an option for many people.
Our biggest tip is: protect yourself and preserve yourself. No process within a prohibitionist location is 100% secure, which is why fighting for regulation is important regardless of the context in which you want to cultivate.
Did you like this information? Tell us what you think and if you have seen or had experience with any cultivation like this!