- Herbalize is passionate about cannabis and enjoys the company of many marijuana growers who follow his grow diaries on the platform that shares this name: GrowDiaries; an online community of growers that, together with Instagram, brings together thousands of users who share information about their grows.
- In 2018, he received GrowDiaries’ ‘Grower Of The Year’ award for the quality of his work. He’s a Dinafem Seeds’ fan, and we’ve had a chat with him to get to know him better, to learn some of his growing tips, and to ask him about some of his favourite strains, such as Remo Chemo and Moby Dick, with which he’s become a real connoisseur.
Herbalize is passionate about cannabis and lives in France, where he enjoys a simple life in full contact with nature. One of his main pastimes is growing cannabis, but he also loves sharing his grow diaries online, where he exchanges views with other growers. The diaries he shared in the popular online platform GrowDiaries earned him one of the most respected awards in the online cannabis community in 2018: the 'Grower of the Year' award for his indoor Moby Dick grow. Given that most of the grows that he's shared in GrowDiaries were dedicated to strains by Dinafem Seeds, we couldn't resist asking him about those genetics that he knows so well; and we seized the opportunity to get to know a little bit more about the person behind the cannabis nickname 'Herbalize'.
Thank you so much for talking to us, Herbalize. We'd like to start by asking you about where you come from.
First of all, I'd like to thank you for this interview. I'm a small grower and I'm really excited that a seed bank of your calibre has recognised my work. The truth is I've been following your work for years… As far as where I come from, I'm from a small village in the north of France. I live in a house with a huge garden, where I grow all sorts of fruit and veg, depending on the season. And I also have lots of animals. I enjoy a simple life in full contact with nature.
You say you're a small grower, but you were considered 'Grower Of The Year' by GrowDiaries in 2018, for your Moby Dick grow. So saying that you're a small grower is a bit of an understatement, isn't it? How did receiving the prize feel?
It was amazing. Honestly, I didn't think I was going to win, but it's definitely something that I'm incredibly proud of, because I've always wanted to work in this industry. Unfortunately, earning a living from growing cannabis in my country still isn't possible. People's mindset needs to change masses for this to become a reality. So winning this prize was like obtaining recognition from a sector that means a lot to me, for growing cannabis in a country where the plant is still highly stigmatised.
What kind of advice do you like getting from other growers when you've just started growing a new genetic?
I like to know little details before I start growing, such as how the plant behaves (in relation to the application of training techniques), water and fertilisation requirements, vegetative period (so I can prepare in advance), or the final flavour that someone who's already grown it has obtained from their plants. Well, truth be told, I'd like to have much more information than that, because the world of cannabis is so fascinating to me and I'm always eager to learn more.
Which are the three best attributes that you want to find in a cannabis plant?
Good resistance and yield, and enveloping flavours. I really enjoy discovering new flavours, like for instance Remo Chemo's, which is one of yours.
Four of the seven grows you've shared in Grow Diaries are of Dinafem genetics. Why did you choose our ladies?
That's simple: you've always been a seed bank that I've greatly admired from my very beginnings. I've read your blog posts and watched your videos, and I follow all the subjects that you publish on your website. So it was really no surprise that I chose Dinafem Seeds when I started sharing my grow diaries.
And we really do thank you for that! If you had to choose between the stars of your grow diaries (Moby Dick, Remo Chemo, Cheese, or Purps #1), which one would be your favourite and why?
Without a shadow of a doubt, I'd go for Remo Chemo. I love her intense flavour… the taste of this strain is simply unbelievable. Besides, her buds are super dense and resinous. In my opinion, this genetic means guaranteed success.
Did you come across any issues whilst growing these strains? Anything in particular that you'd like to mention to help other growers prevent damage in their grows?
To tell you the truth, I didn't find any problems worth mentioning. Maybe some stretching that caught me by surprise, and also that one of the plants didn't withstand the nutrients as well as the other; but this was something that I was able to correct easily. This is a really sturdy strain from start to finish, that produces very dense buds with an unforgettable flavour. I wouldn't hesitate for a second to grow her again.
Which are the products you can't do without when you're growing cannabis?
Outdoors I grow organically, so I don't need a lot of things. Indoors, a rich soil, some fertilisers, a pH/Eh tester, and that's it. I often use CANNA's Terra range. I've always managed to grow stunning plants with this.
Which lights do you use indoors and how far from the plants do you place them?
At the beginning I used to use 400W lamps: an MH lamp for the vegetative phase and an HPS lamp from the second week of stretching. I used to place them around 40 cm away from the top part of the plants. Now I always use a 400W MH lamp for the growth phase, and a Hellion 600/700W DE-HPS lamp for the flowering phase, placed about 40-60 cm away from the plants because the reflector allows for it.
When do you trim your plants and at which internode do you cut them?
I usually wait for at least two or three months after the first transplant, and then I start trimming from the third or fourth internode. I also do LST (Low Stress Training).
For those thinking about taking up cannabis cultivation, I'd advise them to take the plunge because they're definitely not going to regret it.
Are you planning to return to the online platform GrowDiaries? We miss your grows!
Yes, I'm really looking forward to going back and I'll do so as soon as I can. I really enjoy sharing my grows. Besides, having my grow diaries allows me to relive past moments as well as to talk to people who are as passionate about cannabis as me. Sharing growing experiences is great. Unfortunately, I've been lacking the time lately. I'm still growing my beloved plants, but I don't have the time to compile the data, let alone to post it on social media. I don't want to share just for the sake of sharing, and upload diaries that aren't well-structured. But watch this space because I'll be back soon!
We're glad to hear it! You're surely motivating many people to start self-cultivating. Why would you recommend growing cannabis to people that have never done it before?
Because it's an experience well worth it. You can easily obtain good results with little knowledge, and the joy of being able to smoke the fruit of your labour, knowing fully well that you've been taking good care of those flowers, is totally priceless. I'd only tell them one thing: take the plunge, because you're definitely not going to regret it.
We totally agree, of course. Is there anything else you'd like to add?
If I may, I'd like to thank Mark Dinafem for having always been so kind to me; for having followed my grows closely; and for always writing such positive comments. He brings the social media to life like a true master. And I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank you, Jásminka, for this lovely interview. I've seen you before in the Dinafem videos, and I've read most of your posts. I highly value your work and I've thoroughly enjoyed answering your questions. I hope we'll be able to meet in person some day. At Spannabis, perhaps?
Let's hope so! Let's hope that we'll be able to return to normal, that cannabis fairs can resume again, and that we can have the pleasure of meeting in person at one of them. Until then, thank you so much for your time!