PTGC Architects: Coco Time and Mainline
For this challenge I will be using Copy Cat Genetixx. The Strains I have chosen are Truffle Pie and Blue Gotti. I will be growing four of each strain in air pots. Four will be under the Medic Grow Ez-8 @80% power and the other four will be under the Medic Grow Fold 8 @100% power. The lights draw 721 watts and 735 watts. I have added those together and listed total wattage since one light will "spill" into the other lighting area.
I have, and am still putting together a homemade watering system using the parts recommended here on cocoforcannabis.com. So far it is looking pretty sweet and I will be glad to get it all dialed in and ready to go.
Using General Hydroponics nutrients of course!!!
It will be my first time growing in coco coir using high frequency fertigation and it will also be the first time I have mainlined a plant. I am super excited and so ready to participate in this challenge. I hope you all are as excited as I am. I have also never participated in a solo cup challenge before. This challenge will be epic!!! 🤩 😎 😍 🤩
Here are some pics of the un-built systems parts. 🤣 🤣 I know, the pics are not very exciting but it is all I got at the moment. 😎
Not pictured is an 800 GPH vivosun pump, I am hoping will be strong enough to pump enough water to 8 plants, halfway around the room. 🤣
Alright, so I have dropped seed and they are super wet. I have put them into some jiffy pellets after a long soak. It has been 48 hrs and nothing has appeared yet. I will continue to be patient and wait for the first signs of life. 😀 😀 😀 😀
I am just harvesting the plants in the flower room and will start to build the watering system tomorrow. I have had weeks to think about it and have drawn out some plans. Although, I think I may modify the plans slightly. I can't wait to take pics and show what I have put together. Special thanks to @SmotPoker and Dr. Coco for helping me get set up. 😎 😀
Some of the pictures captured a couple other cups with soaking seeds. Those would be @J9aceae seeds. She is going to be working out of a different tent and this is her first grow challenge. Super excited for it. Been wanting her to learn to grow for a while. 😍 😎 😍 😎 😍 😎
So, out of all the seeds, nothing has risen above the surface yet. It will be day 4 this evening, today.
I tried a different method of starting seeds this run by skipping the paper towels and just soaked them. Then put them into jiffy pellets. Not good so far.
I plan on gently pulling peat away from surface to see if the seeds are too deep or if they have even opened. Not sure if I have enough seeds and enough veg time to start another batch and still be able to flip October 1st, if these don't work out. 😥
I was really excited for this challenge. The good news is that I will still get to see all of you guys' and gals' grow and learn from you all. 😀
Here are some pics
Me too. I am trying to relax, but damn. I have never experienced long germ times like this. I moved some dirt away and exposed some of the helmets. I didn't dig too deep to check the seeds because if there are some roots I do not want to disturb them. It is day 5 and nothing is above the dirt yet. Maybe by tonight or tomorrow morning there will be signs of life. Fingers crossed. 🌻 🌻 🌻
Yeah bro I noticed 7days with My seeds no 24 hour soak first BUT I only placed in wet tissues in a plastic bag method, abit opposite to what you did but we but we both missed each others other stage out,I'm pretty sure they'll show something soon brother, 😎✌️I know I was bummed out abit too after 3 or 4 days but when ya see tap OMG sighs of relief will be coming for you soon Grower's luv 😎👊
I will be continuing this journal thank goodness. It has been a week since I soaked the seeds and some are just coming up. Which is good news but I am afraid that once a slow starter, it will almost always be a slow grower. Some of the seedlings were growing upside down, even though there was a light above them strong enough to have directed their growth.
I did drop more beans, to make sure I will have enough plants to fill my room. I went ahead and dropped more Truffle Pie and all the Blue Gotti, as well as the rest of my Runtz Muffin, Holy Grail Kush, Cafe Racer, Nikki and Swami's Taangie, and Northern Lights x Perfect Circle seeds. Pretty much clearing me out of seeds almost.
I will not be skipping the paper towel step during germination ever again and will never tell any one to skip the paper towel step, ever. 🤣 🤣 🤣 I have been scarred. It is a necessity for the highest germination rates possible in my experience and with my setup.
Another mistake I have made to be completely transparent, is that I have not set up a solid seedling station or even a consistent method for germinating seeds. I have started seeds differently each time over the past year.
My seedling strategy should have been settled and ritualized after the second grow IMO. So that is my new goal, 'Ritualize Your Seed Starting Methods And Strategies'. It will keep you from falling down right out of the gate. (A topic for my next video 🤣 😀 😎 ) So to remedy this I have gotten trays, domes, heating mat and everything I need except a light. So I am thinking about getting the Migro Light for a seedling veg light, I hope it will complete my set up for next challenge. What do you guys think? Would that make a solid seedling light or is it too much?
I appreciate the feedback and growers love. 😀 😎 😀
FYI, sprouts orient by gravity until the cotyledons start to open, then the phototropism begins to dominate. If you germinate in paper towels on a flat surface, you will get curved or curled radicles as they try to figure out which way is up. Two solutions are to put your germinating surface on a slant once the seeds crack or to put in a rooting pellet as soon as the radicle appears.
Did you scuff and soak the seeds before putting them in the pellets? Taking a week to germinate suggests to me that they took that long to complete imbibation (getting water to soak in to the embryo), which can happen if the waterproof outer seed coat is still intact.
Truth to that bro so like I've tried 3 maybe 4 different ways to germination and yes the best method or fastest,seed to soil just to slow for me , I will stick to in future off the top of my head 12 hour soak then wet tissue and wait I know many do 24 hour soak but yeh worked best in my situation was just in a wardrobe b4 I got my veg tent and led veg light was just using 1 those ugly blurple lights lol,and that migro sounds intriguing
I never soak more than 3 hours. You don’t want to drown the seeds once the water starts them going! Just have to soak long enough to get them to absorb enough water to sink. Which means gently scuffing the outer waterproof coating first by shaking in a little tube of rolled up fine sandpaper for a 10 count or so. Dr. Coco’s directions are great. I’ve had good success with sowing direct to rapid rooters but only by scuffing and soaking 3 hrs first!
Oh, I did scuff one seeds. It magically appeared after having not been able to find it. On the last seed. LOL I either can't find it or totally forget to use it. 😀
I had always heard, read and practiced a 24hr soak or less. I did not know that too long of a soak, even under 24hrs could be too much. Interesting. 😯
I've been happy with my procedure and I'm 11 for 11 this last year.
I get everything warming on the seedling mat a few hours before starting. The mat is set to 83F normally but did 86F this run because the room was too warm to turn on the mat at 83. Shot glasses with 3% H2O2 and the glass tupperware with moist paper towels sealed up are all on the mat. Tape the sensor to the mat with masking tape or gaffers tape so its in full contact.
Seeds get 1 hour soak in the straight H202, finger stirred a few times to make sure all sides get disinfected then into the wet paper towel and I pour a bit of the h202 on the towel that is covering the seed, lid sealed up and then under an opaque cover on the heat mat. Some seeds I remember to scuff and some I don't but it hasn't seemed a deal breaker when I don't.
I move my seeds to a rockwool cube or dirt as soon as I have a crack, 15-20 hours later usually. I figure it wont waste any energy growing the wrong way if I don't let a tail come out, I won't injure the radicle and also I want it on its side and not tail down. Now when the tail comes out it will go the direction it needs and bind up in the media right from the start and by being on its side instead of pushing the seed straight up and jamming the helmet on tighter it forms an n shape in the stem that emerges first before pulling up the top of the seed and removing the seed case as it does so. Looks like a pole vaulter.
Poof, seedlings. 🥀
So I got seedlings. (the wife @j9acea too) 🤣 After a slow start, they are starting to come up.
I think other than my beginning germinations methods being off, there seems to be a lot of seedling popping up but some are super stretchy. It is hard to believe they were not getting enough light where I had them. I had to prop them up and I will move them closer to the light. I have a solid plan going forward to address my seedling germination issue. It includes a PAR meter.
I have to take inventory of exactly how many of each there are but I know we have a bunch that are up. They are super stretchy though.
I have also been buffering the heck out of some Coco Coir. 😆 Using Roots Organics and Miracle grow perlite. Double buffering with a 24 hr soak at 8ml of Calimagic per gallon. Do not want a cal mag deficiency at all.
I have also just about finished the auto water and self drain to waste system. I just have to finish the rest of the drain to waste part. Then I can calibrate the water flow and check for leaks. Ready to get things rolling. 😀
Thanks @berkshirebud I really hope you are right. I Could use a large one. 🤩 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣
Alright, So in a couple more days these ladies will be going into their final containers. There was still some stretching going on but I got that taken care of and for the most part they are looking better. I have been buffering a lot of coco in order to have enough to fill all of these pots. I have never done this before so I am not sure how much Coco Coir I will need. So far, I have done 4 - 5 gallon buckets and one 7 gal bucket. I haven't mixed in the pearlite yet.
I have finished my drain to waste bucket. I have to run power cord and hose. I plan on doing a test run of the whole system tomorrow and fix any issues that may come up. I wasn't able to run the drain hoses from the 4x4 area to the drain bucket in the 6x6. the soft plastic hoses were too saggy running that much distance. So I plan on draining the 4x4 runoff manually until I get another pump.
Anyways this is a short update and by Monday, coming up, I should have these ladies in bigger pots. I will definitely be updating the journal again as soon as that happens because this seedling phase has been a bit of a struggle and I would like to get these seedling into shape and get them moving.
Phew!!! It was a long holiday weekend full of fun and hard work. I got the auto water set up all done and am just loving it. It is more monitoring and buffering, but I love it. I do not think I can say exactly how much different and wonderful coco coir is and how happy I am.
It is funny how one little thing in life can take us through a door and down a road we never imagined. It all started with looking at LED light PAR maps on Coco For Cannabis.
My parents used to grow and so did their friends. They always used HPS and MH lights. I wanted to try something more efficient, but I was worried about what the LED light could produce as far as flower size and weight. So I began my research and my search for a light here.
Now here I am, swimming in Coco. 🤣 😎 Thanks for all the kind words you guys. I'm a little behind but I am here and the plants are growing and I can't believe the rate at which they are. It is pretty amazing.
I busted my back double buffering coco for 24 hr periods each. I wanted to make sure there was not going to be a Ca issue with the media. It appears that the buffering did the trick. I ended up with about a 7 gal bucket of extra buffered Coco coir. Used three and half 10lb. dry blocks.
The wife and I worked together on the coco so it wasn't too taxing. other than that there were no leaks in the water lines and the 800GPH pump works like a charm. delivering water almost immediately when the timer comes on.
I have it set for 55 sec. I am fertigating three times a day. Waterings are 8hrs a part but it should have been 7. The Ph down is being given at 3.25 ml per gal. It puts the reservoir PH at about 5.9 My starting EC out of the tap is 225-250 . My overall EC after mixing nutes is about 1334. The run off is almost an exact match so far. It has only been a 2-3 days or so since it has been up and running.
Other than that I have been present for the first few fertigations to adjust the water valves to adjust flow of water to each pot. After about a day and a half or 2, I got it where it is good. (I think) 🤣 I don't really know but it is a new experience and tons of fun.
Thank you @Tropa Grower Love. Much preparation and questioning of various CCFC members went into this. 🤣
I would love to help you learn. I learned from the CCFC members and Dr MJ Cocos Book. I have extra irrigation hose, a couple air pots and stuff I can hook you up with when you are ready to switch to coco. 😀 I am about to post another update. Photos are two days apart. It grows way faster in coco. 😎
Grower love @happycultivator
Thank you @Hytymz63 🤩 😎 Much appreciated 😀 😀 😀
Quick update. Steady as they grow. No issues have come up yet. Things look like they are going as planned. Hoping to keep this pace going through out the plants life cycle. Dr. Mj Coocos book is awesome. You should see my wifes plants, @j9acea her two Blue Gotti's are going to town!!! I hope she will update her journal soon. 😀 😀
I am absolutely loving the airpots. Compared to cloth pots, there really is no comparison in my opinion. I want to grow all my house plants in these things too. It is Really easy to transplant out of, you can check on root health by lifting the pot up and checking the bottom growth and you can rinse the sleeves off and put them in the dishwasher. 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 They are amazing. 🤩 🤩 🤩 I believe it is ,Code CCFC gets you free shipping
First topping went down today. It is a pretty awesome feeling. I hope I can pull off a full mainline by October first. I got off to a slow start but I think I can make it. Other than that not much else has occurred. I will probably make the switch from beneficial bacteria to H2O2 very soon. I have also ordered a more powerful airstone pump to increase oxygenation. I feel the ones I am using at the moment (2 stones @7.8L pump) my be just on the borderline of being acceptable for the size of reservoir. The reservoir is a little on the warmer side. It needs to be corrected. At the moment I am using frozen 1 gallon water jugs and 2 liter bottles to cool it down. I will think of a more permanent solution shortly.
I have not run the drain hose to waste yet but I have split the hose and have it being divided between two 5 gal carboys. My wife is savoring the run off. 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣
Here are the topping pics.
Yes I do. I am using the run off to feed the plants I have in soil. 🤣 The wife uses some diluted runoff to water the houseplants. Some goes outside and some goes down the drain. I am not sure If I am getting too much run off. The Wife pointed out that the plants were showing signs of being thirsty. So we Increased fertigation amounts but not the frequency of events. Getting about 3.5-4 gallons of runoff a day with 10 plants with 3 waterings.
Alright, so the wife pointed out that the plants were starting to show signs of underwatering. We checked the EC and PH and readings were good and in range, so we increased the amount of water we give them per event. Her plants are blowing up big time. Mine are doing well but I have leaves that are thick, dark, strong and wrinkly like romaine lettuce. 🤣 The Devils lettuce! I wish it would stop. 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣
I just started hand watering once a week. I Had forgotten to do that. The plants look good, I am just nit picking the texture of some of the leaves. I completed the second topping today and am really feeling the crunch to finish this mainline and flip Oct.1st. I would really like them to get huge, or at least get much bigger. I have always had problems in stretch phase during flower so I have never really seen it happen to the extent people have described. I am hoping for major stretch. 🤣 🤣 🤣
I took pics of the PH and EC reading from the reservoir. when reading the EC it was hard to get a good reading with all the bubbles and water moving around. The reading would fluctuate so I tried to time the picture to capture the highest reading.
I am adding about 15 gallons every 2-3 days and that keeps the reservoir pretty darn full. Not sure If I mentioned it but I switched to H2O2 instead of beneficial bacteria. The bacteria wasn't working with my setup. The H2o2 is working wonders. It is stronger that what is recommended. so I am not sure about dosing. I have just continued to use the amounts on the General hydroponics feed chart.
I surprised my wife with an upgrade to her reservoir and that lucky butt gets to flower her plants with the Fold 6 by Medic grow in her 4x4. So jealous!! I think she gets the room next time and I get the tents. 🤣 🤣
Other than that, I do not think much else has happened. Just been maintaining the reservoir and trying to figure out fertigation events. Too much water is better than too little right? Grower Love!
Here are the pics!
They are looking great. Don’t stress about finishing the mainline in time for Oct 1st. Your plants are right on schedule and the final topping is usually just a few days after the 2nd. But even if they were running a bit behind, you can actually do the final topping a few days after the flip if you need to.
In my experience, mainline trained plants really stretch a lot. I once you finish the training and give them their head they explode!
Oh, and don’t forget to remove the growing tips from the lower nodes! At this point, all you should have are the 4 main growing tips with nothing but leaves below. That will force all the extension into those 4 (soon to be 8) branches. You can usually just pinch off the lower growth tips.
Hey Ron! I was using almost the same equiptment when I first started, except mine was a pH 60 instead of a pH20 (I think the only difference is it reads to the x.xX decimal place and the pH20 reads to the x.X decimal place.) And the exact same blue EC meter. I submerged my EC meter at some point and didn't notice till the went on the fritz and I went to change the battery's and it was full of fertigation solution and ruined. It was at that point that I decided to get the PC60 so I could have a backup pH meter and also replace my broken cheapo EC meter.
Your plants look amazing, I'm a little surprised you haven't had any struggles balancing the halo's. When I ran 4 I found 1 plant that wasn't getting as much and over time the air pot actually got quite a bit lighter than the other 3 and that's how I noticed.
I almost want to switch to pressure regulated heads but that would require a whole pump change and those types of pumps are alot more expensive.
Thank you, that is nice of you to say. It has taken me a while to get it dialled in. It required me to be present for several days for each fertigation period, so I could observe each plant an its runoff.
I am using an 800 gph pump and the water comes out almost instantly when the pump kicks on. I could probably back off the watering a little. It is likely getting a bit too much water. Seems like enough pressure is getting through that it has not clogged yet.
Last cut was made today. Still hoping to flip in a week. 😍 😍 I think I am on track. So excited. 🤩 🤣 🤣 😎 😎
I have to do more training now. I also have not cleaned up the ladies yet but I will do that tomorrow or Monday. Still not sure if I should take the bigger lower leaves off yet.
I did super crop and bend the tops of the plants two days ago. They bounced back really fast. Super surprised how quick it is compared to soil. I split some of the tops when bending but repaired and tied them with grafting tape.
That is all. Everything is still the same otherwise. Here are the pics!!
So it has been four days since doing the last topping and I am trying to training them out but there is so much leaf. I ended up removing the larger leaves, I could not tuck, that were blocking the tops. I cleaned them up a little bit underneath and trimmed some "suckers" off the branches also. I will likely do one more really good "clean up" on the plants before the 1st.
So I keep bending them down gently a couple times a day. It is much harder training these than my last ones. So much leaf and veg and it grows back fast! It is nuts. 😜 Steady as she grows!! Just waiting to empty the reservoir and wash it on flip day!!! Here are some updated pictures.
Cleaned reservoir and all the air stones. It looks so good now. Had a lot of aerobic bacteria growing on the stones. It did not affect any of the plants that I could tell.
Flipped to flower Oct 1st. Can't wait to see how these ladies turn out. Everything was still working well, like the pumps, halos and the stones. Good to know the limits of the system or at least how far I can take it.
Other than that, I switched to the transition nutes using General Hydroponics and am ready to see the pistils pop out. Going to be watching for males and nanners very closely for the next three weeks.
I will be adding some pics shortly of their first day of transition very soon. Here is a pic of one of the airstones.
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