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Marijuana Growing Resources

The_BM_Story_Page_55_300x300pxHey there!

As usual, I’ve been super busy (and productive) lately. When I’m not writing my book, collaborating with my team of PhDs and grow experts to find ways to bring marijuana to its true genetic potential, working on a documentary about corruption in Bulgaria, running our Holiday Heroes charity, attending masterminds, festivals, events, and doing all the other things that go into running Advanced Nutrients, I’m kicking back: taking bong rips, reading books, hanging out at the Marijuana Mansion with friends and team members and hosting the occasional party.

Sound exhausting?

It can be. But I love it. And somehow I was lucky enough to be blessed with a lot of energy, passion, and little need for sleep.

Anyhow, I wanted to share some educational cannabis growing resources with you and some cool ways you can connect with Advanced Nutrients and myself on social media and stay tuned into what we’re up to.

Here you go…

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The Marijuana Mansion in Hollywood Hills


Grow Med University – A free resource to help educate growers in our community on the best ways to grow marijuana. It’s for growers like yourself who want to grow big, fat, sweet and stinky, sugar-coated buds with potency levels off the charts—the kind of buds that’ll earn you the respect of your friends and top dollar from your customers.

Big Buds Magazine – A free online magazine to help you grow the best marijuana possible.

The pH Manifesto – This report is full of rock solid—but little known—growing information. It’s not the kind of content you can easily find in most of the hydroponics books or publications. Now, this is technical information. However we’ve spent hundreds of hours translating all the “geek speak” into easy-to-understand, digestible, bite-sized chunks for you.

(And coming soon: The Big Buds Blueprint)


Advanced Nutrients YouTube Channel – The official Advanced Nutrients YouTube Channel.

Advanced Nutrients Facebook Page – The official Facebook page for Advanced Nutrients.

Growers Underground Facebook Page – My personal Facebook page.

Advanced Nutrients Twitter – The official Twitter account for Advanced Nutrients.

Growers Underground Twitter – My personal Twitter account.

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 1.31.54 PMAdvanced Nutrients on Instagram – The official Advanced Nutrients Instagram account.

Marijuana Don on Instagram – My personal Instagram account.

My Story:

What Big Mike Won’t Tell You About Advanced Nutrients – Written by one of our team members, Eljay, this story that involves millions of pot plants, hundreds of millions of dollars, ingenious counter surveillance techniques, a shakedown by a violent biker gang, a plane crash, a crazy and vengeful ex-girlfriend, giant busts, a manhunt by the DEA and U.S. Marshals, a kidnapping, life on the lam under seven different identities, and over 50 firsts in the world of marijuana growing.

(And coming soon, my autobiography: Marijuana Don)


Advanced Nutrients – The Official Website for Advanced Nutrients

I hope you get a lot out of these resources. I trust you will.

Talk soon,
Big Mike

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How I Went From One 500 Sq. Foot Grow Room to Over a Million Marijuana Plants

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 2.39.03 PMHey there, I hope you’re doing great and your crops are kickin’ ass.

In this blog post, I’m going to tell you one of the biggest reasons I’ve been able to grow over a million plants over the years, build my dream business (Advanced Nutrients), and help so many people through our charity work.

Now, I believe the biggest reasons most people don’t live the kind of life they want are…

• They don’t set goals
• If they do set ’em, they don’t believe they can accomplish those goals
• They’re unwilling to work hard and go the extra mile, when needed
• They let the fear of failure, success, embarrassment, and you name it, stop ’em dead in their tracks
• They give up when they experience setbacks and failures instead of seeing them as learning lessons and opportunities to become the stronger, bolder, and wiser person they need to, in order to have the life they want

floydYou’ll notice I put goals at the top of this list.

It baffles me how most people take Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Caitlyn Jenner, or what happened on America’s Got Talent last night more seriously than they do their own future.

To me, that sounds like a great way to remain stuck in a boring life of apathetic mediocrity.

Personally, I like accomplishing stuff. Now, I know a lot of people think that using marijuana turns you into Brad Pitt’s character, Floyd, in True Romance. And I guess if a person’s lazy it can magnify that trait, however there are a lot of fuckin’ go-getters in our community of growers.

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Now, in my experience, the vast majority of highly successful growers set goals. In fact, almost every successful person I know does, regardless of whether they’re a musician, athlete, business owner, grower, or fill in the blank.

Here’s my personal experience with setting goals…

When I was 21 I read Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. The book made a huge impact on me. Among other things, it instilled in me the importance of having a clear-cut vision of the things you want to achieve, writing those things down, and then going after ’em like a freight train. I’ve applied the Hill’s teachings to my life ever since.

The_BM_Story_Page_28_300x300pxHere’s an example…

In 1996 I was flat-broke and on the lam for an 1,800-plant grow in Wisconsin I had nothing to do with. The grow belonged my heroin-addicted, self-mutilating, ex-partner I’ll call Scar—a guy who fucking chopped his own finger off with a Ginsu knife to prove his loyalty to me. Who does that, BTW? Scar lied to the cops and said I was the mastermind behind the grow and a warrant was issued for my arrest. Thanks, Scar! I appreciate the loyalty, buddy!

I’d been on the run ever since the warrant was issued three or four years earlier and was living like a hermit, hiding out in Temecula, California under a fake name. My entire life sat under ten grow lights in the garage. The DEA and U.S. Marshals were one step behind me, leaning on my friends and family, breaking down doors, and making my life hell.

My friend, Marc Emery, convinced me to start over in Canada. If I could just see the crop through to harvest, I told myself, I’d fire up another fake identity, head to Canada, and find a way to build myself back up until I had 100 thousand-watt lights going. That was my goal: 100 lights.

The_BM_Story_Page_29_300x300pxWell, two weeks before harvest a massive wildfire breaks out and not only does my house almost burn down, but it’s on the fucking 5 o’clock news! My house, with it’s garage full of weed and a news crew not thirty feet from it, was on the goddamn news!

Cops wanted me to evacuate but I refused. Fortunately, the fire was finally extinguished and I was able to make it to Canada where I lived under the name Tom Newman.

I was committed to hitting my goal of 100 lights no matter what it took.

Within a few years of hustling my ass off, I worked my way up to 1,496 thousand-watt lights (all going at one time), plus over a hundred lights for mother plants and cuttings, as well as numerous large-scale outdoor grows on the side.

I surpassed my goal 15 times over!

And my crew was two hundred men strong—growers, trimmers, construction workers, electricians, air-conditioning guys, runners…the works.

What started as one 500 square foot grow room the year the Police’s “Every Breath You Take” and Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” were at the top of the pop charts, Trading Places and Scarface were in the movie theaters, and McDonald’s first introduced the McNugget, turned into over a million plants over the next 33 years.

The_BM_Story_Page_31_300x300pxHow’d I do it?

I set specific goals, believed I could accomplish ’em, got busy, and continued bouncing to my feet every time I fell down.

Setting goals has never failed me.

I set goals in all areas of life—whether it’s how many pounds I want to grow next year, what kind of THC levels I’m shooting for, how big a harvest I plan to get from a particular grow room; or the kind of physical shape I wanna be in, the type of people I want in my life, how many growers I want to help, and so on.

Sometimes I surpass my goals, sometimes I fall a tiny bit short, and sometimes I decide I don’t want to achieve a certain goal—that I no longer have passion for. Whenever the latter happens, I almost always learn valuable lessons and stumble onto something better.

Without goals, I never would have been able to grow even 1 or 2% of the weed I have.

I’d never be able to work with so many growers and help them achieve their goals.

Advanced Nutrients wouldn’t be the most #1 cannabis specific nutrient line in the world. We’re in over 100 countries now!

And our charity, Holiday Heroes, would never feed tens of thousands of hungry people each Christmas and Easter.

Goals laid the groundwork and were a driving force behind all this.

The_BM_Story_Page_71_300x300pxSo, my message for today (which is something you may already know, but a reminder is always helpful) is:

1. Set SPECIFIC goals. Write ’em down and review them often
2. Believe in your gut you can accomplish that shit (let’s face it, whatever it is you want to do, I can guarantee people with a lower intelligence and less resources than yourself have probably already accomplished it—so there’s really no excuse not to).
3. Work your ass off to achieve those goals
4. Charge through your fears like a fucking Cheyne Dog Soldier
5. Never relent. When you get kicked down or stumble and fall, get your ass back up and keep moving forward—cliché, I know, but true as a bullet.

If you’d like more information on goal setting and the science of accomplishment, check out the books Think and Grow Rich (you can download here for free) and Psycho-Cybernetics. Those two books have changed a lot of lives, including mine.

Talk soon,
Big Mike

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>>> Read the Story HERE <<<

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7 Ways to Become a Kickass Grower

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 3.14.06 PMHey, I hope you’re doing great.

In this post I’m going to lay out seven ways to become a kickass grower.

Now, I realize some of what I’m about to share with you is much different than your typical “how to grow weed” article. The truth is, we already have plenty of instructional content available in numerous places like our free Grow Med University resource.

This post is more about who you are as a person and the traits you can develop to become an all around kickass grower.

1. Learn the fundamentals first

If you’re just starting out, wait until you have a few grows under your belt before experimenting with some of the more advanced techniques.

I know, I know, you probably have buddies who rave about aeroponics or other technical growing strategies, claiming they’re the only way to go. And a lot of these strategies are great!

However, you need to learn to walk before you can run. Growing shouldn’t be brain surgery. It should be enjoyable. Start with the basics and have fun. Otherwise, you may end up throwing in the towel before you really have a chance to mature as a grower.

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 3.13.30 PM2. Embrace self-doubt and then smack it upside the head.

Maybe you tell yourself that you’ll never have what it takes to grow fat crops of potent bud. Or maybe you tell yourself that since you’ve failed before you’ll fail again. Don’t listen to such nonsense. That’s just your mind trying to keep you safe—trying to paralyze you and lock you into your comfort zone.

Most of the time, self-doubt is actually a good thing. It means you’re forced to expand if you want to reach your goals.

Face the fear, charge through it, and expand the limits of what you’re capable of. Otherwise, it’s hard to get far in this world.

3. Act FAST

Success thrives on speed and momentum. If you want to succeed at anything, including growing, take massive action toward your goals. And massive action starts with a single step. You put one foot in front of the other and move forward like a freight train, determined that nothing will stop you.

4. Make a shitload of mistakes

If you’re not making mistakes, then you aren’t learning and improving.

The most successful growers are the ones who’ve made the most mistakes. I’ve made so many mistakes it would blow your mind. Hell, I even killed my first crop within 24 hours back in 1983. But it was a learning experience and I pulled off the next crop without a problem.

To become a master grower, become a master at making mistakes. Make as many of the damn things as you can. Be willing to make a mess and blow shit up. Then, learn from it, and either improve your strategy or try a new one.

DO NOT let the fear of screwing things up hold you back like it does so many growers.

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 3.13.09 PM5. Educate the hell outta yourself

The best growers are always learning. Always. They learn both in the trenches and from hours of studying.

My advice is to constantly educate yourself by reading blogs like this one, forums, online magazines like Big Buds, and watching videos like the ones in Grow Med University. Learn everything you fucking can.

Mediocre growers think they know everything. Master growers are the ones who keep their minds open and never stop learning.

To educate myself, I’ve:

– Conducted tests on cannabis with universities
– Spent thousands of hours scouring reference libraries
– Devoured every book, paper, report, study, and magazine on plant research I could find
– Personally invested a fortune on research books, and some of them were expensive—one cost me $3,300…that’s for one book!
– Dug up obscure cannabis research papers from Russia done in the 1920’s and 30’s—some as early as 1904—had them translated to English and then dissected every page like a theologian dissects the Bible
– Have run my own R&D for decades—testing and tweaking everything I could to figure out the best ways to take marijuana to its true genetic potential.

And after 32 years of growing, I still study the shit out of marijuana to this day.

You don’t have to be as hardcore with your education as I am. However, you should still learn, learn, and learn some more.

Never stop.

© Copyright, Nigel Salazar, 2015

© Copyright, Nigel Salazar, 2015

6. Be cool to other growers

Our entire community is in this thing together. We’re growers and should have each other’s backs. And the cooler you are to other growers, the cooler they’re going be to you.

If you go on forums, try to be helpful. Don’t give over growers shit just because they know less than you or use different methods. That kind of karma will bite you in the ass.

Instead, lift other growers up—you’ll lift yourself up in the process.

Remember what Wilson Mizner said: “Be nice to people on your way up because you’ll meet them on your way down.”

7. Never relent

Life will try to kick your ass. It’ll beat you down, drag you across the asphalt, and try to pummel you into submission.

It’ll scare the living shit out of you if you let it.

You can either back down and give up, OR you can trudge forward and become better and stronger and reap the rewards.

The choice is yours.

Talk soon,
Big Mike

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>>> Read the Story HERE <<<

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About My OCD, ADD, Dyslexia, and Anxiety—And How I Use These to Kick Ass

obI’m a firm believer of turning obstacles into fuel.

Not only have I dealt with crop failure, busts, manhunts, thieves, outlaw bikers trying to extort me, other nutrient companies trying to blackball me, lawsuits, divorce, poverty, and so many hurdles it would make your head spin, I also have a number of disabilities.

Growing up I suffered a severe case of dyslexia. Digits flip-flopped on me, the last two numbers in a sequence playing hopscotch with each other. And it happened in a millisecond. If you told me to jot down a 3 and a 7, I’d write down 7 and 3. One of my teachers finally figured it out.

It’s still a problem today. I call wrong numbers all the time. After apologizing, I’ll try the call again, but reverse the last two numbers, and the right person will pick up.

Whenever someone reads off a number to me, I tell ’em to go real slow and repeat themselves.

On top of the dyslexia, I was also an unruly little maniac in school.

When I was eleven, one of my teachers told my parents that she couldn’t control me, that I constantly interrupted her during class with a ton of questions about everything, driving her half-mad. And that when I wasn’t grilling with questions, I was spaced out, off in my own world.

But my behavior wasn’t only causing problems at school, it caused problems at home as well.

Thinking that I my behavior may have been responsible for their constant fighting and divorce, Mom and Dad trotted me into the office of a psychologist—by this time, I’d been to many. He told them I was a genius-level IQ but that I also had a serious case of ADD.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 1.06.42 PMHe wrote me a script for Librium, and they pumped me full of it. A benzodiazepine like Xanax or Valium, it’s a heavy drug, especially for a little kid. It was supposed to calm me down and help me focus in school, and it worked. I was finally able to remain still during class and began doing better in school.

However, my parents moved a lot, shuffling me from school to school. Every time we’d move it sent my anxiety into overdrive and my symptoms came back.

Deciding I needed more stimulation, my parents enrolled me in nothing but honors classes, figuring that maybe I just wasn’t being challenged enough.

The kids in those honor classes were such assholes, though. I couldn’t stand them. I felt an outsider looking in. Even though I knew I was smarter than they were, I felt like an alien. I wanted to do cool shit and have fun. I wanted to throw blows and shoot guns.

All these kids wanted to do was homework and they were pompous about it. They lived and died by the letters on their report cards. I didn’t care about school or report cards. So I shut down and pulled C’s, D’s, and F’s, except in classes I liked, like Science, Math, and Gym.

Science: A+
Math: A+
Gym: A+
Everything else: C’s, D’s, and F’s.
Screw it.
Didn’t matter.

In tenth grade my algebra teacher let me do all the work on my own. She said, “For the next two weeks, go through the book and do all the work at your own pace as long as you can get it done by the end of the two weeks.”

I said, “When I finish the work can I just sit in class and read magazines? ‘Cause that’s what I want to do.”

“Yes, if you finish your work you can do that.”

magsThe next morning I showed up to class and handed her two weeks’ worth of work and a stack a magazines. For the next two weeks I sat and read Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, and National Geographic—stuff that interested me—while everybody else worked.

It was awesome.

After about seven years of Librium, countless tests, and a parade of psychologists, my parents decided to take me off the meds.

Now, on top of the ADD and dyslexia I also have a gnarly case of OCD.

During the first thirty or so years of my life, if I walked down a sidewalk and saw a pole, I’d always walk on the outside of the pole, never on the inside. I knew if I walked on the inside bad shit would go down. What? I have no idea. Something deep in my makeup just knew that nothing good could come from walking on the inside of a damn pole. Outside. Always. Better to play it safe than mess with laws of the Universe.

Touching doorknobs and light switches required strict adherence to counting rituals. I’d count: 1-2, 1-2, 1-2, 1-2…1-2, 1-2, 1-2, 1-2. A continual four-part sequence of “1-2.”

I also counted whenever I opened or closed a door. Sometimes it was 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128.

And I didn’t dare step on cracks in the sidewalk. Not a chance in hell I’d do that. That’s testing fate in a way you do not want to test it. Stepping on a crack meant making a deal with the devil. Now, that’s not a conscious thought I had. I just knew if I stepped on one, I’d be fucked. Proper-like.

And walking past cemeteries? That required holding my breath so the ghosts couldn’t get in.

Sometimes the counting rituals come back when I’m under a lot of stress, but not often. I do my best to keep my OCD under control and channel it in a positive direction.

Now, when I was on the run from the feds for eleven years—when there was a cultivation warrant out on me and the DEA and US Marshals were knocking on doors from Illinois to California trying to flush me out—my symptoms got pretty bad. Anxiety came over me like tsunamis and the nightmares were fierce. I just dealt with it the best I could.

Today the dyslexia is something I just work around.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 1.04.38 PMBut the ADD and OCD?

I use those to help me get a ton of shit done.

The ADD enables me to ignore anything that doesn’t interest me, and the OCD enables me to focus on my goals like a hawk eyeing its prey.

Whether it’s discovering new ways to help growers bring marijuana to its true genetic potential, or building my nutrient line, or feeding families in Bulgaria—all things I do with laser-like focus.

I honestly don’t think Advanced Nutrients would be an over $100 million a year company if I wasn’t cursed blessed with these disabilities. I just toss the “dis” part and turn them into ABILITIES.


My point is, use what you’ve got. No matter how big the obstacle, you can overcome it and turn it into fuel to help you do great things.

The obstacles are gifts.

Talk soon,
Big Mike

P.S. If you liked this post, I recommend reading the book The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday. It’s life changing.

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An Open Letter To Our Community—And a Strange Confession

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 12.56.24 PMDamn, I’m in awe right now and have something a bit strange to admit to you (which I’ll get to in a moment).

I just hopped off the G4 I took to the Michigan Cannabis Cup and back with @allisongreen @melissamarie @xxbleedgoldxx @samiiryan @alyshanet, as well as a handful of store owners and their wives, where Advanced Nutrients won 3rd place in Best Product & Best Booth.

If you’d have told me back when I was a scrawny, juvenile delinquent runaway—with glasses damn near bigger than my head—locked away in a detention center…

…or in my early twenties when I lived on food stamps and my every possession was crammed into five garbage bags…

…or in 1983 when I attempted to grow my first crop and killed it within twenty-four hours…


…or when I was the center of a nationwide manhunt for eleven years, living on the lam under seven identities, full of nightmares and crippling anxiety…

…or when I fled to Canada, started Advanced Nutrients and was arrested on marijuana charges, forcing the company into debt…

…or when I was kidnapped and kicked out of Canada, having to start over in a halfway house and report to a parole officer whose #1 mission was to throw me back into the slammer…

… that today…

… Today Advanced Nutrients would be the world’s #1 cannabis nutrients brand, available in over 100 countries, with sales over $105 million a year, and used in more Cannabis Cup winning buds than any other brand in the world…

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 12.56.53 PM

…that able to take private jets with the most beautiful women of our community to a Cannabis Cups…

…I would have told you, “You’re crazy!”

Now, if you’ve read the story Eljay wrote about me, then you know the road hasn’t been an easy one…

That it’s been rocky as hell.

That I’ve failed and kicked my own ass far more times than I’ve succeeded.

That there have been times when my relentless OCD almost got the best of me, and cost me everything.

That our products have been blackballed by hypocritical MAJOR distributors who sent out an opinion letter written by lawyers that warned if you buy from Advanced Nutrients, you could be arrested by the federal government.

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 12.52.27 PM

That I’ve given my LIFE to growing marijuana. And while, if you’ve grown or consumed marijuana, you’ve benefited from something I’ve done, the price I’ve had to pay has been a substantial one.

That’s why I’m in such awe today.

In awe that the company I started is helping so many growers take marijuana to its true genetic potential.

In awe that we’ve been able to bring over 50 firsts to the world of cannabis cultivation.

In awe of the work our charities are doing, changing laws, feeding families, delivering medicine to sick and needy war veterans and children.

In awe of the amazing team we have at Advanced Nutrients…

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 12.57.22 PMThe 23 PhD’s who engineer our precision nutrients to only optimize quality and flavor, but produce clean-burning medical grade marijuana, free of heavy metals.

Our managers, marketers, writers, accountants, customer service reps, grow specialists, admins, sales people, distributors, and countless others who help make sure we deliver only the best possible nutrients, top notch customer service, and joy to our community.

I’m deeply grateful for every single grower who gives their plants Advanced Nutrients.

I’m grateful for how generous and supportive our community has been.

How you’ve made us the #1 cannabis nutrient brand in the world.

How you choose us time and again over other nutrients.

And how fucking amazing the weed you’re pumping out is. Believe me, I smoked quite a bit of it, and what you’re growing is beyond just good, it’s GREAT. Bravo!

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 12.51.49 PMYou deliver magic, giving your friends and customers a tasty, clean, and powerful high.

The high that they deserve.

Now, I’m going to admit something weird to you here…

Sometimes all the success can go to my head. I think that’s natural. I mean, we should be proud of our accomplishments, right?


I know I’m sure proud of mine.

HOWEVER, everyday I have to remind myself of just how lucky I am, so I don’t get too caught up in the ego stuff. That ego can be a sneaky little bitch sometimes, wanting to take credit for every damn thing under the sun.

I’m dude who gets to grow weed, and help a ton of others do the same.

I’m grateful for what I’ve been able to build, and I’m grateful for YOU.

Because without you, there would be no Advanced Nutrients.

YOU deserve the credit.

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 2.46.08 PMI want to say thank you so much for doing what you do.

I’ll keep on doing evolving our nutrients and staying on the cutting edge of the science of marijuana growing, and you keep growing the best damn buds possible.

We’re in this thing together.

Grow strong. Have fun. Kick ass.

Talk soon,
Big Mike

P.S. I’m working hard on my book Marijuana Don right now. It’s a beast of a book. Thirty-two years of growing is hard to cram into just 500 pages. While you’re waiting for it to hit the shelves, be sure to follow me on Instagram for updates.

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Grow Med University Featured on The Discovery Channel

This is so cool…

Grow Med University, our free resource to help educate both beginning and advanced growers on how to grow big, fat, sweet and stinky, high-potency buds, was recently featured on News Watch and the Discovery Channel, making it the first online cannabis education platform to be featured by a major TV network.

Watch this clip from the Discovery Channel show here:

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Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 3.36.43 PMI was so proud when News Watch and the Discovery Channel expressed their interest in the university.

I mean, we’ve worked our tails off to bring this training to the community.


Well, when I started growing back in 1983, the only magazines available to growers were Sensimilla Tips and High Times. With no Internet, gatherings, or grow shops popping up on every corner like there are today, I pretty much had to figure everything out on my own.

Read more about why we started it here.

I know what it’s like to not have a clue where to begin. I understand what a hassle it can be to sift through information, trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

In fact, I would’ve damn near killed to get my hands on the kind of information we’re giving you for free in this one-of-a-kind Cannabis training university.

There are so many myths and half-truths floating around out there that I knew our community needed a site where the truths could be separated from the fiction, and the facts simplified so that anybody can grow high-quality bud.

This step-by-step, easy-to-follow training is so Brain Dead Simple that anyone can follow along and learn exactly how to grow the best damn buds possible.

Whether you’re a grand master grower or just starting out, you’re going to discover a ton of new information that’ll help take your crops to the next level.

Right now, our industry is experiencing rapid growth like never before. According to the Washington Post, by 2020 the Marijuana Industry will be bigger than the NFL.

But let’s face it, growing marijuana can be a risky, pricey, and time-consuming endeavor. Even the smallest mistake can cost an arm and a leg.

I’ve been there.

I know what’s at stake when you’re waiting for a crop to come in. I know about the sleepless nights, about getting your doors kicked in, about thieves, diseases, pests, wrong pH, issues with grow room conditions—including temperature, humidity, CO2 levels, etc.—equipment and timer failure, and all the other variables that can cause a crop to completely bottom out.

However, I also know what it’s like to pull fat crop after fat crop of bud that blows peoples’ minds.

If you want buds that’ll impress the hell out of both your buddies and your customers, then take the first step and check out Grow Med University today. And remember, it’s free.

Check Out Grow Med University Here


See What’s Inside Grow Med University Here

I look forward to seeing you inside.

Talk soon,
Big Mike


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D’oh! Hundreds of Pounds of Weed Drying and The Landlord Wanted to Show The House

dryThis got hairy…

The early nineties.

I was simultaneously running seven or eight indoor grows and six outdoor grows throughout multiple counties and having a blast.

On this particular Tuesday evening, my two grow partners—let’s call them Jim and Scott—and I were drying hundreds of pounds of bud in the four-thousand square foot basement of a home I’d rented under a fake name in Barrington, Illinois. Jim and Scott lived in the house, but I’d been the one who’d rented it and had the relationship with the landlord.

Here’s where things took a turn…

As we stood in the basement hanging plants, the phone rang. It was the landlord. She wanted to show the house to a potential buyer.

“No can do,” I told her, as I eyed the colas dangling from strings, and the boxes stacked against the wall, crammed full of packaged weed from another grow we’d harvested the previous week. “Lease agreement states you can’t show the house while I’m a tenant.”

“I know, but come on, please, Mike. Your lease is ending soon and I really need to sell the place and I think these people will buy if they see the house.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 1.17.32 PM“Fine, this one time. I need a couple days, though.”

“How’s noon, Thursday?” she asked.

“Can you do earlier Thursday, like ten?”

“I can.”

“See you then.”

I hung up and said to Jim and Scott, “Landlord’s showing the house in thirty-six hours. We gotta move the weed.”

“She’s showing the house?” Jim said, “Why the hell’d you agree to that?”

“Cause she’s a nice lady, okay, a widow.”

Panic washed over their faces.

With the clock looming over us like the Devil, I said to Jim, “First thing in the morning, I need you to drive me down to U-Haul.”

“Where we gonna put all the weed?” he asked.

“I’ll figure it out.”

The next morning Jim dropped me off at U-Haul and headed back the house. I rented a large moving truck, returned to the house and backed into the driveway, pulling as close to the garage as I could. Another two inches and I’d have whacked the garage door.

When I walked in the front door, I could see the panic on Scott’s face. “I can’t believe you agreed to this,” he said.

truck“Dude, calm down,” I said. “Everything’s gonna be fine.” At least I hoped it would be.

The entire house stank of weed. We had less than twenty-one hours till the owner would show with her prospective buyers.

That afternoon and evening, the three of us huffed the weed from the basement to the garage, and then into the back of the truck. I hit the basement, the house, the garage, and the truck with ozone sprayers, scanned for debris, rolled the back door of the truck down and slapped a padlock on it. Three hundred pounds of weed sat in the back of the truck, most of it wet, unpackaged, and stinking a like a skunk massacre.

“Where you gonna park it?” Jim asked.

“Leaving it in the driveway,” I said.

“Dude, what are you nuts?”

Even though I knew I was a little nuts, I also knew the driveway was best. “Nope,” I said.

“Yeah, Mike,” Scott said shaking his head, “that’s insane. You gotta park it somewhere else.”

“Don’t stress it,” I said. “It’s not a big deal. It’s a moving truck. People see moving trucks in driveways all the time. If she asks, I’ll just say I went and bought some furniture for the house.”

They both shook their heads and said, “You’re crazy,” at the exact same moment. Grow partners in stereo.

buds“It’s not. Why drive it to a parking lot and let it sit there, looking all out of place and suspicious? Plus, this way, there’s no chance of getting pulled over or having the truck stolen. It’s staying here.”

As Jim swept the garage, scouring for MIA pot leaves, I moved the truck to the center of the driveway so it wasn’t crammed against the house.

At ten the next morning, I walked down the driveway, said hi to the landlord and shook hands with the man and woman, a married couple from Arizona wanting to relocate to Illinois to be closer to family. The owner glanced at the moving truck and asked what it was for. I gave her the furniture story.

They toured the house and went on their way, never suspecting a thing.

As their cars disappeared down the street, Scott looked at me and said, “Un-fucking-believable.”

I laughed and said, “People don’t expect it. They’re not looking for a truck full of weed. You’re looking at things from the inside, but you need to look at things from the outside and see what they see. And what they see is something totally different than what you see. We have an advantage…we get to see things from the inside and the outside. We have two perspectives, they only have one.”

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 1.52.28 PMWe hauled the weed back into the house and hung it to dry.

One more of many close calls resolved.

Grow strong. Have fun. Kick ass.

Talk soon,

Big Mike

P.S. I’m currently working on my autobiography. It’s loaded with stories like this one, over five hundred pages of ’em at the moment. I’ll keep you posted and let you know when it’ll be hitting the shelves. In the meantime, read this post Eljay wrote, it covers a lot of ground—my 32 years as a grower, life on the lam, my (many) failures, my arrest, and how I built Advanced Nutrients:

Read the entire story here.

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How I Harvested So Many Guerrilla Grows Without Getting Caught

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 1.32.05 PMThe other day I was kicking back at my new home in Los Angeles, thinking about old times.

I thought about my mom and dad and my crush on Ruth Prince in the 5th grade. Wavy hair, button nose, and a giggle to die for, that girl sure put a spell on me. I’d sit next to her on the bus hoping to get her attention.

One day the bus driver pulled me aside and said, “She doesn’t like you.”

“How do you know?” I asked.

“I can just tell.”

His words devastated my little 5th grade heart.

Next, I thought about working the carnivals with my father. He owned a film processing business and would set up a booth at the carnivals to rake in leads. To get me to come with him, he’d bribe me with the promise of ice cream, a strategy that worked like charm. He’d also toss me a dollar every few hours, which I’d use to play games and win prizes, like toys and stuffed animals.

Buck in my hand and ice cream dripping down my chin, I was happy to be his wingman.

I remember sitting on the john at the carnival one time, going number two and thumbing through an issue of Field & Stream. I must’ve been about thirteen. Suddenly the stall door flew open and this old guy slithered in and, with a trembling hand, grabbed for my privates. I slapped his paw away, kicked him as hard as I could and then kicked the stall door closed.

carnEnraged and terrified, I yanked my pants up, ran outside, seized a “Walking Tall” stick—a big two-by-four I found laying on the ground—and took to hunting him down. All I could remember of him were his shoes. I ran around the carnival like a rabid vigilante, looking at everyone’s shoes, intent on bashing the guy’s brains in. He’s lucky I never found him.

Next, I thought about my days growing in the Midwest before relocating to Canada and going big time. Back in Illinois in the early nineties I typically ran seven or eight grow houses along with six to eight outdoor grows, each with fifty to three hundred plants.

A lot of growers ask me about how I pulled off all those big outdoor harvests without getting caught.

Here’s how I did it…

Now, each season I grew one sacrificial crop, which I’d pull two or three weeks before its peak to bankroll the harvest season. Even though I lost bud weight and the product was a bit premature, meaning I couldn’t get top dollar for it, I’d turn it around and use the proceeds to rent farmhouses for drying and trimming and pay the workers who’d help harvest the rest of the fields

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 1.33.38 PMFor a night’s work, I paid the crew as follows: $5,000 to $10,000 a night to the head guy, depending the size of the garden, $1,000 to $3,000 to each of the baggers, cutters, and carriers, and $500 to $1000 to my counter-surveillance guys, also known as spotters. I threw another hundred bucks a pound to each of the trimmers. And, keep in mind, this was over twenty years years ago.

Workers typically earned on the low end at first but their pay grade would rise as they proved themselves. So a guy who came into the field to bag or cut, might only earn a grand on the first run or two, but as he became more experienced he could earn three grand a night.

After harvesting the sacrificial field, I’d lay out a sequence of which gardens we’d harvest next. And then, one after the other, we’d yank those suckers in the dead of night.

Now, harvesting was always stressful. Did law enforcement know about the garden? Were they staking it out? Would someone see us entering a field and call the sheriffs? Would we get pulled over driving off with the plants? Would we show up only to find that thieves or cops had swiped the crop?

And things did go south from time to time…

Sometimes I’d lose a crop that had been there just a few days before, but I couldn’t get to it because we were harvesting other sites, and by the time we finally got to it, it’d be gone.

I once lost a 300 pound field because I missed it by a few days. Almost a million dollars worth of weed was sitting there at the beginning of the week and by the end of the week it was gone.

And one time the cops even surrounded us in one of the gardens. You can read that story here.

Now, for each harvest I ran spotters. This upped our chances of success and calmed my nerves a little, since I knew I’d done everything in my power to make sure we’d make off with the booty without getting caught. Still, every time we pulled a field my heart would kick hard at my sternum.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 1.30.56 PMHere’s how we’d harvest…

The crew would meet me in the middle of the night at a location where I’d be waiting in a rental truck—rented under a fake name of course. Up until this point, only two or three of us would’ve seen the patch before or had a clue where it was.

One of the spotters would lead our little convoy in a pick-up truck, I’d follow in the rental truck with my partner, and behind us a four-wheel drive ferried the harvest crew—usually four or five guys. The second spotter would trail behind the four-wheel drive.

Once our convoy pulled onto the strip of road where the entrance to the field sat, the tail-car would hang back and pull alongside the road. The lead car would then drive ahead, make sure no one was coming from his end, and park. This way we secured the entire section of road so I could drive into the bush—usually farmland, like a cornfield—without being seen. These were small country roads that typically didn’t serve much traffic late at night, but the buffer created by the two cars was a necessity just in case someone came by.

Once we were clear, I’d throw on my night vision goggles, shut off the headlights, kill the brake and backup lights with custom switches I’d had installed under the dash, and then cut into the corn field at an oblique angle, so no one could tell our vehicles had gone into the corn. The four-wheel would then cut its lights and follow behind me.

(Note: We were always real careful not to mess up the corn. One time we did though, took out about an acre. Figuring it was worth about five grand to the farmer, I slipped an envelope with ten thousand dollars cash into his mailbox.)

If anything looked suspicious while we were in the field, the lookouts would alert me via walkie talkie. If something were to go do down—like the cops rushing in—we’d abandoned the moving truck and the four-wheel drive would get us out of there quick.

cor3Making our way to the crop, I’d navigate the moving truck through the corn and get us as close to the patch as possible before stopping. The patch was usually in a swamp past the cornfield. You can read about how I found the best spots to plant HERE.

With a near-field radio frequency demodulator, walkie talkie, and scanner tuned in the local police frequency, all attached to my hip, I’d jump out with the crew—all of us wearing disposable gloves—and we’d tote tarps, ropes, and these Japanese knives that could cut through anything, down where the weed was. Miners helmets with lights sat atop our heads, the lights covered with red lenses so we couldn’t be seen off in the distance, but we could still make out what was in front of us as we worked.

I had the entire system down to a science and we were extremely organized. We could harvest a hundred plants in thirty to forty minutes. The cutters, baggers, and carriers, all worked together like machine. The cutters would hack down the plants. The baggers would roll the plants into the blue tarps like burritos and tie the tarps tight with rope. And the carriers, usually with the help of the baggers, would huff the giant blue burritos back to the rental truck, often hefting as many as twenty tarps stuffed with fresh-picked bud, filling half the truck. Each burrito took three the four guys to carry.

Once the truck was full I’d spray a can of ozone back there to neutralize the smell. It wouldn’t even come close to getting rid of all of it, but it helped.

With the two spotters watching the road, the four-wheel drive would exit the field first and confirm the road was secure. Then I’d slip in behind him in the rental truck and one of the spotter trucks would fall in behind me. The other spotter would swoop in, pick up the rest of the workers, and catch up and follow the rest of the caravan.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 1.34.11 PMIf a cop got behind us, the plan was for the vehicle in the rear to either slam his brakes on so the cop would hit him, or do something to get pulled over.

As soon as we’d arrive at the drying location—usually a barn I’d rented—we’d immediately open the tarps and hang the plants from 1/4-inch nylon ropes. Dehumidifiers sucked out moisture and huge fans moved air so the plants wouldn’t get moldy.

Once the plants were dry enough to trim, we’d lay it out on giant screens for the trimmers.

Now, under a fake name, I’d rented a couple of large U-Haul trucks and tossed a bunch of bean bags in back.

My partner would tell the trimmers—all friends of his—to sit by the phone and wait for a call. Using a burner phone, he’d then call and let ‘em know them where he’d pick ‘em up the next day. At 10:00 am sharp he’d arrive at the location and the trimmers would hop into the back of the U-Haul and chill out on the bean bags on the way to the barn.

Once he pulled the truck into a barn, we’d shut the barn door and slide open the roller door on the back of the truck. The trimmers would jump out, plop down onto chairs we had waiting for them lined up in front of work benches, and get busy trimming, without the slightest clue where they were.

He’d then head out to pick up the next crew. I got a kick out of seeing the trucks pull in. We ran two trucks at a time. I’d pick up one group of trimmers from one parking lot while my partner picked up another group from another parking lot. And the entire time new loads of freshly plucked plants were coming in. We’d have six to eight fields worth of weed moving in and out of the farmhouse over the period of a week or two.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 1.31.19 PMOnce the weed was trimmed, we’d toss individual pounds into food saver bags, suck the moisture out with a machine, and then bag them a second and third time.

Now it was time to call my buyers. “Hey, come out and see me,” I’d say. “I have 50 tickets for you.” Tickets meant pounds. I’d meet the buyer, give him the weed and he’d give me the cash.

I’d then pay off any workers who hadn’t already been paid upfront from the sacrificial field money, give my partners their cut, and toss most of my personal profits into a safe deposit box.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you’d like to read more like it, check out this one Eljay wrote about my life as a grower. It’s a wild ride, that’s for sure: You can read it here.

Talk soon,
Big Mike

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