hands wearing purple gloves harvesting marijuana buds from a green plant


I’m not really the devil. Raising weed for personal use is legal in New Mexico and there will be no stain on our souls or our records for cultivating it. So let’s get growing, as they say in all of the glossy gardening magazines.

Of course you won’t be sending marijuana up a trellis next to the portal. According to state law, you’ll be growing it out of sight and away from the street, thank you very much. You are allowed to grow it in your backyard or other secluded spot, six plants for each adult member of the household. Mom and Dad can decide how high to build the fence to keep out the kids and the dogs and the neighbors.

Just because they call it “weed” doesn’t mean it grows like one. Growing marijuana in the soil can be tricky. The unmitigated effects of desert heat and wind can play havoc with marijuana’s seed-to-bud cycle. If you’re looking forward to weekends with nothing to do but sit back and smoke it under said portal, growing grass in the ground is not what you’ve signed on for.

But hydroponics. Aaaah, now there’s the ticket. You can regulate the temperature and the amount of light and air. It’s easier to bud it, harvest it and reap the enjoyment. It can be privately grown in a small slice of your home or apartment, away from prying eyes. What’s not to like?

I don’t know yet.

And that’s the gist of this introduction to our new column sponsored by AHL Garden Supply. I’ll be learning right along with you as I grow my own. I’ll take your questions as we grow and learn by trial and error, just as I first learned to garden with other, less fun plants. I won’t know the answers yet but the folks at AHL will. I’ll lean on them and other experts heavily for information and pass it along to you. Sometimes it won’t even be me writing this column. (That’s the secret of using a pen name. You get to pass the work around.)

Occasionally we’ll talk about the design aspects of gardening with Mary Jane–how to make it the centerpiece of a medicinal garden, a moon garden or a border. Can you underplant it with pretty things to distract the eye, or stinky things to keep away pests? What are the pests that attack high-desert marijuana plants anyway? You’d think they would be poisoned by the oils, but that’s another question for the experts.

Does the Master Gardener Hotline answer questions about growing your own? Will your county Extension Service be handing out pamphlets with handy hints? Which of you ambitious growers will create a podcast called Grass Up the Ass? Who knows?

Not me. But I’ll look into it for you. Send all questions to editor@abq.news. — GG