THE THE 2004 CANNABIS CUP for best indica secured by the Godbud, Skunk caught up with Dan Vanpot, grow expert for the BC Bud Depot and producer of the winning weed. We were curious to see what Dan was up to and get an insiders look at the room that grew the now renowned herb. Dan was diligently looking after his rooms and was setting his sights on another cup and another trip to Amsterdam. “Even though competing for the IC Mag 4:20 Cup caught me off guard,” says Vanpot “ I quickly made the alterations to my house to properly grow cup winning weed. I’ve been in business for many years and have become successful by staggering my crops so I can count on my harvests. I am a pro when it comes to staying on schedule and flipping plants into bud on a regular basis keeps me in business but we’re really pressed for time trying to get our seeds and buds finished for the end of the month.”
With a feverish pitch in the grow room we got Vanpot to tear himself away for long enough to shed some light on how he did it. One of the things we were most curious about was the actual room that the bud was produced in and how it was set up. As it turns out Dan’s room is not so much bigger than many we’ve seen and not overly high tech. What makes Dan’s room run so smoothly and produce so well is a combination of other factors, the first factor being the aforementioned diligence. Always doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done. This is one skill that is underappreciated by many growers. Another is obviously having good genetics. Dan’s lower tech approach also allows him to pay more attention to his plants than his equipment.
“To the disbelief of most, I operate in a 2400sq. ft house. Basically I use two 10’x8’ rooms. Each room runs 4 1000W sodium bulbs, two oscillating fans, and a 2500 CFM fan run on a dimmer switch. 25 plants in 3 gallon buckets are spread out under the 4 lights. I usually have about a two week to a month interval between crops.”
Instead of filling tables with a high number of small clones Dan’s larger plants in pots allow him to move and rotate his plants. More importantly, it allows him to get a better idea of the true growth characteristics of a strain or particular clone for breeding purposes (plus, big plants give big impressive buds.) To keep big plants going on a regular harvest cycle requires a good vegetative room to get plants close to flowering size.
“I use a 4×8 clone rack which holds 8 trays of cuttings. In my crawl space I have a 250W sodium and a 1000W halide. I spread out 50-100 transplanted cuttings. From there I have a 2 x 1000W bulb veg room where I have 50 plants veging in 3g buckets getting ready to be put in the 4 light room.” Because he uses a flip-flop switch only 4 of Dan’s 8 bulbs are on at a time in the flowering rooms. This way he only requires 4 ballasts that run constantly to power the 8 lamps. Extra veging in these rooms is done using an extra 6 hours of light from florescent fixtures. This provides the longer schedule needed to keep plants vegetative and the 12 hours of intense light from the HID lighting provides enough light to keep plants from stretching. This is a great way to lower equipment costs but if a ballast goes it’s like losing two.
“I like to veg plants long enough so they dry out every two days when I kick them into bud and they grow 4-6 inches they start sucking up the water every day and sometimes have to be checked twice. With so much going on in a small place I’m there twice a day watering just after the lights come on.”
“I think the most asked question I receive is what kind of food I use. Well, I always recommend my enhancing grow mix. I never go without for big buds and strong, smooth flavor. When it comes to selecting food I have tried almost every kind of food and found my results to vary accordingly. Chemical fertilizer must be flushed where I find the organic foods tend to improve flavor and smoothness. When using organic food I use low doses right to the end, dropping the nitrogen halfway through the flower cycle. I want to apologize to you all who want to know what actual type of food I use but like I said I have tried every type and found different things work for different people and different rooms.”
1 Flip flop electric relay
11 1000W lamps
250W vegetative light
4, 4’ florescent fixtures
2 2500 CFM turbo fans
3 1220 timers
6 Oscillating fans
100 3g buckets
100 4” square pots for veg.
2 Air Tiger ozone generators
2 1500W cube heaters
200lbs. DVP Enhanced Grow Mix
Fertilizer: Misc. liquid organics