PTGC Benders: Wedding Cake by ILGM
I have switched to only running auto flowering strains these days so I will be using LST to help balance out the canopy for this grow challenge. I dropped the seeds in distilled water and left them covered in the dark at 80 degrees F for 24 hours at that point I had visible tails on all, but 1 seed so I then started them in a 50/50 blend of coarse perlite and vermiculite which was moistened with nutrients set at 0.8 EC and PH’s to 6.4. The vermiculite will bring it up to or just above neutral.
Nothing super going on here, has a couple of the beans "eject" themselves from the perlite/vermiculite, but i think that was on my decision to go as shallow as i would using other media and with this stuff being so light I will have to make sure to set them slightly deeper next run. But after replanting the escapees everything seems to be going well.
The main area under the lights is a 4x8 foot space I use a flood table to control the run off collection and keep things dry. I have other project plants in the room and the room is HVAC'd to control temp and humidit. 10 foot ceilings help too.
Just keeping them hydrated right now... letting the cups dry down at least half between feedings which right now means only giving them nutrients every other day at most. About 60 ml at this point every other day gives me around 10 to 20 ml of run off. Run off is showing EC of 0.8 to 0.9 and the run off PH is between 7.0 and 7.5. So far so good, but so were the last run at this point. It was only after transplanting that I started running into weird growth issues last time which I "concluded" was due to over watering the media causing uptake issues. Hoping this time will be better.
Hey everyone sorry for it being a while since I’ve updated everything. I will get some picture and details up of how things have progressed. Short story the plants went fine then after transplanting into the 4 gallon air pot containers things turned south quickly. At first I thought I was dealing with toxicity caused by the Vermiculite keeping the mediums PH to high and only after a lot and I mean a lot of experimentation did I realize it wasn’t the PH at all causing the issue, but rather simply the medium was way to wet for the amount of root mass. So by then things were looking fairly sad for everyone involved. I ended up loosing or rather culling a few plants and in the end saved some. By removing medium from the tops of the pots and exposing some roots to air which allowed them to survive and recover…. Yes even autos will recover, but of course in the end way less harvest with all that down time. Anyway I am already experimenting with another batch of medium that is only 30 percent vermiculite and 70 percent perlite. Also this time I will only up pot to a 3 gallon pot and let them grow into the medium with out a lot of nutrient solution. Work in progress .
Just some pics from my table of Franken-plants. All different stages, different mediums, the stable ingredient is the nutrient mix, 1.3 EC ph if 6.3 for everyone relatively low on P compared to what most hydro guys I see running. Biggest observation for anyone wanting to work with Vermiculite as the medium is that while it does have a huge buffering capacity and will constantly bring the nutrient solution you use up to what we all have considered ideal 5.5 to 6.5 I "believe" and I'm currently theorizing that the ph isn't as big of a factor as odd the root zone overall health, temp, oxygen availability, porosity etc...
Here is the menagerie as it sits today. Toward the back in the 4 gallon air pots are the surviving Wedding Cakes . Toward the front I have started some do is dos in a pat based media and have some other trials going on. Have a couple photo period Gold Finger seeds in another trial of perlite/vermiculite this time it's 30 percent vermiculite and 70 percent perlite. And once again I'm almost at the transplant stage. So what will happen this time. We will see after Sunday as that's when I will up pot those girls. It is interesting watching the wedding cake doing their own Bonsai kind of thing with the exposed root system underneath. Nothing is set in stone and who knows how things will turn out in the end, but I think the vermiculite and perlite has promise. I just need to get it right from start to finish. I was ver happy to see that the autos from ILGM were able to recover once I began treating the real cause of the issue.
So here is a little comparison of the experiments that survived the two larger girls had a substantial amount of the media removed from the upper root system when I discovered that the “route cause” haha of the issue was the lack of oxygen in the root zone and not the PH of the nutrients. The two smaller girls were simply left to dry out which did allow them to recover , but not really well. The larger girls are now tilting from the root system being up and out of the media. Just waiting for the weight of the colas to topple them over completely lol.
These are the two Wedding Cake that I simply stopped fertigating until the media dried down on its own. They are alive, but obviously they look as though they've had a rough life. I will before this is all said and done do a dry weight comparison, but just from sight guessing the larger plants will be double the harvest of the sad sacks.