Irving D: A guide to growing
Marijuana in the British Isles and other cool climates.
UK 1978 - 48pp - republished 1995 as "A
guide to growing Marijuana in cool climates"
original (or at least the copy in my possession) carries
no disclaimer, the introduction stating "In producing
this book we don't wish to repeat lengthy argument for
and against the legalisation of cannabis. Anyone merely
glancing at this book will be well familiar with the
outrageous hypocrisy of successive authorities' attitude
to marijuana and all other hallucinogens".
Contained in the 1995 version: "Warning - It is
a criminal offence in the United Kingdom, punishable
by imprisonment, to cultivate, possess or supply Cannabis.
You should therefore understand that this book is intended
for private amusement, and not intended to encourage
you to break the law.
booklet has been available in the UK for the past 17
years, and has recently been republished with colour
photographs and amendments to the text. As the guide
has been available in the UK for some time, I shall
refer to the original version unless otherwise stated.
booklet starts with a historical introduction, followed
by a discussion of the botany, a description of the
plant and the main sex differences. The 1995 version
updates the botanical knowledge, current taxonomic conventions,
and a more detailed account of cannabinoid phenotypes.
effect of latitude and climate for outdoor growers is
discussed with a map showing expected dates of first
and last frosts in different parts of the UK. The author
gives advice on choosing a site (advises south-facing
slopes), and the 1995 version advises when to plant
versions contain identical sections on soil preparation,
favouring an organic approach, and advising on the soil
quality, texture, pH value and nutrient content, with
advice on how to produce compost from domestic waste,
as well as the value of earthworms.
are differences in the advice on seed selection between
the two versions, the author now suggesting that seeds
from potent original plants should be sought, rather
than those which have acclimatised to UK conditions.
Both versions give the same advice on planting (in shallow
soil), transplanting and hardening-off, with the new
version giving a section on propagation.
sections on plant care advise on feeding (nitrogen for
growth, potassium/phosphate for flowering) soil deficiency,
pruning, cuttings (new version as propagation above),
stem manipulation and pests (new version discusses stress
and stressing practices).
on the perfect environment discusses light (natural)
photosynthesis, photoperiodism, temperature, water.
and modifying the outdoor environment, with diagrams
of male and female plants, and of using water barrels
to store heat in a lean-to greenhouse.
on maturity discusses identification of pubescent flowers,
the dilemma between sinsemilla and seed production,
removing males to produce sinsemilla, and the incidence
of hermaphrodite plants. Diagrams of immature and mature
on harvesting, denotes the critical balance between
keeping plants outdoors for optimum flower production,
or harvesting them before they are destroyed by frost.
Discussion of grading, drying, curing and storage.
on indoor growing: Original booklet refers to hydroponics
as experimental technology. The latest version deals
in much more detail with hydroponic cultivation. Original
booklet recommends "gro-lux" fluorescent tubes
for indoor cultivation, with output spectrum chart of
standard and gro-lux tubes. New version describes high-intensity
discharge lights, specifically mentioning with approval:
mercury tungsten filament, mercury vapour, metal halide
and high-pressure sodium lights. New version omits chart
and diagram showing growroom under fluorescent lights.
Both versions discuss day length for vegetative growth
and flowering, newer version suggesting 18 hours vegetative,
and 12 hours for flowering (original version 16-18hrs
and under 13 hrs respectively). References in original
version to fluorescent lights are omitted from the section
on "indoor set-ups" the author now recommending
cultivation of many smaller plants, rather than fewer
large plants, in a restricted space. Newer version gives
more detail on indoor environment with sections on proper
ventilation, heating, and maintenance of watering in
on advanced techniques discusses selective breeding,
production of female seeds (from hermaphrodite plants),
cross-breeding techniques, use of colchicine (now not
discussed with the same enthusiasm as 1978) and provision
of additional CO2.
bibliography, new version contains advertisement for
Magic Mushroom guide.
This is the classic UK text, in original or amended
form. It involves simple step-by-step instructions for
growing cannabis, mainly outdoors, from seed to harvest.
The original carried no disclaimer, and I understand
that this booklet was the subject of a previous prosecution
(R-v-Toskanex 1985) where the publisher was acquitted
on obscenity charges. The recent revision brings the
publication up to date, with about 10 to 20% of the
booklet being revised or re-written. In particular,
the use of gro-lux fluorescent tubes has been eclipsed
by high-powered growlights supplied by specialist retailers.