Sunday, December 11, 2011


Put together a tool kit...before the Spring digging/planting season hits:

A good set of digging tools will make all the difference in the world when you go to dig out your cannabis cultivation garden. When the guerilla grower is using the proper tools, the job goes much quicker, and the digging/cultivation of the soil is much easier. Using the proper tools allows the guerilla gardener to dig for a longer amount of time before becoming fatigued, resulting in a larger garden than could normally be dug. A faster digging time also means less time at the garden site, which helps with security concerns. Always remember this very important cannabis cultivation rule; the more cubic feet of cultivated soil in the marijuana garden, the higher the final yields.

Your choice of digging tools will be dependent upon the type of soil that you are starting with. Starting conditions for your soil can be any of the following, or a combination of the following:

1.) decent topsoil that is overgrown with grasses, roots, and weeds, making it hard to penetrate and dig out.
2.) decent topsoil, good drainage, filled with roots and tree branches.
3.) sandy soils: almost pure sand to a blend of sand and soil/organic matter.
4.) soil with a very high clay content, or a 'hardpan' soil.
5.) rocky, hard packed soil/gravel combination

Depending upon the starting conditions in your guerilla cannabis garden, the existing soil will either be cut up and completely removed and replaced, or it will be broken up into a crumbly soil and combined (usually half and half) with a peat, coir, or topsoil based grow mix. Compost and other organic amendments are then added to the soil mixes.

The aspiring guerilla grower will first want to choose a decent pair of work gloves. The areas that you will be breaking up have probably not been disturbed for decades, if ever. Unless you dig for a living, your hands will be blistered and skinned after any period of guerilla digging. Not only does this hurt like hell, it will keep the grower from excavating additional gardens until the hands are healed.

A good pair of work gloves is a must, usually a pair made of high-quality, premium cowhide leather. These leather gloves do a very good job of shielding your hands from blisters, slivers, and abrasions. I usually use the premium leather work gloves for the hard digging and prying chores, but I switch to a decent cotton, or canvas, work glove when the going gets a little easier. The leather does a much better job of protecting your hands, but it can become very hot after a long period of digging. Do not use rubber work gloves because they will heat up in the sun and become very hot and sticky.

After the gloves have been selected, it is time to stock up on the digging tools that will be required for your type of garden soil. There are many different types of digging tools out there, but we will start with the simplest one, the shovel:

1.) Long handled round-point shovel: My personal choice is the Union Pro long handled round-point shovel. Long Handled Shovel It has a 9 inch round point blade, and a 48 inch wooden handle. A long handled shovel gives tons of leverage when attempting to pry roots or rocks out of a hole. Shovels of this type are available with either wooden or fiberglass handles. Fiberglass should be used if the tools will be stashed out in the woods because a wooden handle can dry-rot if left out in the elements for too long a time. The fiberglass handles are usually yellow in color, and will have to be painted camo colors for use in the deep woods.

2.) Short handled mini round-point shovel: This is the short-handled version with the same size, 9 inch, round point blade at the end. Short Handled Shovel Good for getting into tight spaces: cutting stubborn roots and squaring off the sides, and the edges of grow holes or water reservoirs. Usually an 18 inch, wood or fiberglass, handle.

Both of these shovels have a sharp point at the end of the blade, along with a sharp, cutting edge for slicing through tough sod, roots, and hard clays and topsoils. When using these shovels on undisturbed, hard-packed, or root-filled soils, take a file, or a grinder, and actually sharpen the point and the cutting edges of the shovel like a knife. This will allow the blade to easily cut thru roots and other obstructions, and will generally make the digging chores much easier. Be very careful with a sharpened shovel though, do not cut a piece off of your foot, kneecap, or your shin, or your partner! These things can be made very sharp!

In the case of a garden where all of the existing soil is going to be removed, relocated, and replaced with a growing mix, these sharpened blades are used to cut the soil into 8-10 inch squares, about as deep as the shovel blade, which are then easily pried up fom the hole, and tossed off to the side.

If the existing topsoil is going to be reused in the cannabis garden, but there is a thick layer of wild grass and weeds on the soil surface, use the sharpened blade to cut out squares of soil/grass to a depth of 8 or 9 inches, prying them up, and flipping them over. At this point, the topsoil can be knocked off of the roots of the grass/weeds, and the leftover grass/weeds can be tossed into a pile on the side of the hole.

If a thick, tough root is encountered when digging the marijuana garden, use the sharpened shovel blade to cut the root. First, cut the root in half with the shovel blade where you first encounter it. Grab each end of the cut root and pull it out of the ground, using your hands, until you reach the perimeter of the hole. Cut the root off at this point, and it will not bother you any more when you are digging. Do the same with the other half of the root, cutting it off at the other edge of the grow hole. No need to pull and remove the entire root, just the part that travels through your chosen garden area.

These shovels are perfectly fine for digging in sandy soils. A garden spade is also a good choice for a sandy soil. The spade is a long handled shovel, but it has a square blade, as opposed to a pointed blade. Either one will work fine, but the square blade seems to hold more sand per scoop than the round pointed blade.

Digging in a high clay content soil, or a hardpan soil, with these round, or square bladed spades will quickly lead to a gooey, sticky mess! Hardpan is a very thick, and very sticky, (much stickier than pure clay) layer of claylike material found below the surface of topsoil in certain areas. This sticky, gooey mess actually adheres to the surface of your shovel. Sometimes the shovel can be knocked into a tree trunk to knock the gunk off of the shovel, but usually a second, smaller shovel must be used to actually scrape the goo off of the digging blade. Areas like this can be dug out, but it is extremely time consuming and back breaking to do so. Most cannabis cutivators will move on to a different area instead of having to deal with this sticky mess.

3.) Pickaxe or Mattock: the traditional pickaxe HERE is used to chop, pry, or shred anything that gets in your way when digging out your guerilla cannabis cultivation site. The mattock is simply a pickaxe with an extra wide (3.5 inch) blade on one side of the pickaxe blade, that can be used as in the same way as an axe blade. Cutter Mattock The extra wide blade gives the guerilla gardener added leverage when chopping, prying, or shredding materials. The pickaxe or mattock, is used when the guerilla grower comes across a large stone, or a thick root, that the shovel will not budge. Use the mattock as a lever, for prying rocks out of the ground, or for breaking roots and chopping them out of the ground.

My personal choice when it comes to the pickaxe vs mattock argument is the Union Tools 5 pound Cutter Mattock with a 36 inch heavy-duty fiberglass handle. The blade head on this thing weighs 5 pounds, and is very solid, while the fiberglass handle is splinter proof.

I have been guerilla growing for about thirty years now, and I have personally used all of these tools. The ones that I mentioned have a pretty high price tag, the are definitely not the $5 shovels that are found at wal-mart, home depot, menards,etc. but they are manufactured for the professional landscaper, firefighter, and forestry service worker. Your investment will last you a very long time, and it will save you a lot of hard work.


Good Luck

Vinnie Kaz

Author: Guerilla Growing Trade Secrets: Hints Kinks and Tips for the Clandestine Cannabis Grower

No comments:

Post a Comment