Critical + 2.0 Dinafem
July 13 2019
I have made a few changes to my grow setup since my last grow. My last grow was my first grow and I was very pleased with the results. I’m hoping these changes will make a better overall product and help me dial in some level of automation in order to liberate myself from hand watering.
I have raised my 28”x28”x60” mars hydro tent about 12” off the ground. I am growing in a basement in eastern Ontario, Canada. Temperatures outside this time of year are 85-90 but with the central air conditioning on the room temperature in which my tent is in, is about 68f. I’m using an HLG 135w Kit with 3000k spectrum from seed to harvest. Air extraction is provided by an AC Infinty 4” programable fan with temp/Rh sensor that vents directly outside via an unused/unfinished bathroom vent/duct I’m using #5 airpot as a final home for this Critical + 2.0 from Dinafem in a 60/40 mix of Canna Coco pre buffered coco and perlite. This will be the first photoperiod strain I grow as my last was an auto. I plan on using @dr-coco methods and schedules as best as I can. Including his modified mainline. My biggest concern at this point is ph swing in my res as it’s very small. I’ll be using a black 5 gallon bucket with a 400gph submersible pump to get the solution 5’ up into the tent vent hole. I also have an air stone. I figure if I fertigate about 1L 3xper day it should last about 3 days. But the ph swing will be the big concern here. Although on my last grow I was using store bought gallon jugs of distilled water and I would premix my solution every morning in flower and never had ph swing issues. Same when I was mixing a gallon for my seedling which would last about 3 days.
I reluctantly poked a 1/2” home in the corner of the floor of my tent to drain waste water into a translucent 5 gallon graded bucket
I took the seed out of the refrigerator last week on Friday. Soaked it for about 12 hrs on Saturday then in a paper towel until tuesday then placed in jiffy pellet. I planted the jiffy pellet in coco/perlite yesterday and started small low EC fertigation today
temps and Rh are both low to mid 70’s
First seedling fertigation was at EC 250
Cool setup! I’ve been considering raising my tent up like that to make collection of runoff easier.
I’m actually growing a Critical strain right now for the Auto Flower Challenge (BCN Critical XXL).
Why does the tubing from the submersible pump need to climb up five feet to the vent hole? Could you run that line up through the same hole created for the drain line?
I transplanted her into the airpot Saturday eve. First automatic fertigation was Saturday night.
I have my pump running for 1 minute which give me between 950-1000ml of solution. I’m on 3x fertigation every 24hrs. At lights on, 7 hours later and 7 hours after that.
I have been checking ph in my Rez. 3-4 daily so far it been holding 6.2ph my input solution is 1200 ec and my run off I collected was at 1310 ec.
Sitting pretty, I’m impressed. This grow I’m really going focus on VPD and try to dial it in. Humidity is hard to battle here. It was 45c including humidex over the weekend. My lights off Rh is high. I’m contemplating buying a $200 Danby 30 pint dehumidifier from Home Depot to control it.
Ive read that CO2 can help with environmental controls. Running CO2 can allow you to have higher tent temps and higher Rh value specially with LED lights. But I’m getting ahead of myself, learn the basics and trust the process. This is only my second grow.
I have 2 plants outside too. They’re in a soil blend a quickly put together a few weeks ago. Some sea compost and promix HP, perlite and dolomitic lime. I give them nutrients once per week. They’re doing great. I’ve also been giving my backyard a facelift and I included a 5’x7’ area in the corner of my yard where I will build a cattle panel greenhouse next year. I have outlined it with 4x4 wood and filled with rocks. The greenhouse frame will sit on top of the 4x4 frame.
July 30th 2019 (day 20)
she was topped at day 16 I’m sure I could have topped earlier but I didn’t have time. I’m in no rush either. I grew her to 6 true nodes of serrated leaves and topped under 4th node leaving some stem above 3rd and removing 1st n 2nd growth tips but leaving the leafs in place. I’m planing on waiting 5-6 days until each growth from the topped node has their own 3 nodes. Super crop or LST to achieve a “T” shaped plant. Top each after 3rd node or under 4th and remove growth tips from 2nd node. I believe this is how @dr-coco does it
When should I flip to 12/12? As in, should I wait until all my training is done? Or save some for the stretch? Is it safe to top after the flip within the first 2 weeks? Regardless I’m flipping within the next 2 weeks, at the latest in 15 days. Vertical space is limited. I guess I’ll just try to read the plant, I need at least 4 nodes each Before I top those.
August 07 2019 (day 28)
all the training is done I’m flipping over tomorrow to 12/12. She has been topped 3 times and a tried to super crop but just could not get the stem to pop. It was thicker then 1/4 inch. Also the internodes are fairly tight. Do to achieve the T shape I bent and secured with garden ties.
She recovered quickly from topping #2,3 and the LST.
Day 43 (day 4 of flower)
I have been on 12/12 for 2 weeks and it took about 10 days to see pistils and the smallest hair.
My grow tent is in the furnace room, in a basement in eastern Ontario, Canada. That particular room is not controlled by the Hvac/central air. In the winter it’s very dry and in the summer it’s very humid. But that room is always cold. Heat is easy to manipulate but humidity is more difficult. When the lights go out the humidity rises to the mid 60’s Rh I have a small 750ml dehumidifier in the tent and a Eva-dry renewable dehumidifier beads. The dehumidifier is useless as it is supposed to collect 750ml of water in 24hrs. It doesn’t. Besides I fertigate with about 5x that amount creating a lot of humidity in my small 28”x28”x63” tent. My last grow was an autoflower and the lights were off for 4 hours per day from start to finish. I had the same humidity issue but it only lasted 4 hrs per day. Now I’m growing a photoperiod and the dark period is 3x longer. On my last grow I lost 95% of my top cola to bud rot and it was a mould resistant strain. No signs of WPM. I still had an amazing harvest but I can only feel I was lucky. This critical + 2.0 is also mould resistant but I won’t be rolling the dice with humidity. The autoflower had both a shorter flower period and dark period compared to this photo. So I went to bestbuy and bought a 30 pint dehumidifier. It’s overkill I know...for now. I plan on expanding to a 5x5 tent within a few years. For now I have it running in room beside the tent so at least the air being drawn into the tent is lower Rh. It’s working well. It also fits in the tent if I move some stuff around (including the plant) but in an emergency, it would fit. It also has a drain all I need is a hose so it won’t shut off automatically when the reservoir is full.
I put a trellis net up and put my 8 mains through tucking leaves on a daily basis. Only removing the bottom fan leafs that were touching the coco. They’re huge.
Sept 01 2019 (day 53/25 days since flip)
There have been some changes... the tent was getting too small both vertically and horizontally. My options are limited. Start cutting or get a bigger tent. So I got a bigger tent. I got a Vivosun 3x3x6 tent. That’s as big as I can go in my current space. I should of just bought this tent from the beginning. The smaller mars hydro is a great tent. possibly a better quality tent, in my limited anecdotal experience it has less pinholes, better seams. But it does have more surface area then the last tent and therefore more odds of pinholes. It does come with reflective type aluminum foil tape. But I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not! The rest is very similar to the mars hydro tent. Just based on size and method of growing, I should of bought a 3x3. Now the light looks too small. HLG preaches 3x3 for veg and 2.5x2.5 for flower. I’m sure it will be fine.
I got some Honeywell ”cut-to-size”carbon pre-filter. I doubled it up and stuck some sticky Velcro to match the passive air vent Velcro, added staples through it to hold it all together.
I also have the dehumidifier blowing dehumidified air into the tent trying to stay in range on my VPD chart.
I gave my automated fertigation system it’s first real test. I went camping for 3 days. Everything looked good when I returned. I had to raise the lights 3” I had already raised them a bit in anticipation. This plant is a beast.
Sept 13 2019 (day 65 of life/38 since flip)
this plant just won’t stop!
I had not hand watered or checked run off in a while.... at least a month. My plant was doing great. Although I had gotten lazy. the plant was progressing beautifully, no concerns. So I checked the runoff EC It was at 2200. I panicked! I immediately hand watered about a gallon. EC came down but not enough, so I turned on my fertigation pump and opened the valves a bit more to create enough water flow to flood my airpot but not overflow it with 1200 EC solution. I then continued taking samples of the run off until it was about 1400-1425. That required an extra 2 gallons. I knew I was going to see some burnt tips soon, the next day just the very very tip on most leaves were bleach white. She prayed happy leaves the whole time, grew like a champ the whole time and is packing on visual flower size every day. I’m really focusing on VPD this grow and keeping my RH lower due the fear of bud rot or WPM since my plant is so bushy. I keep my tent between 45% -50% Rh and 77-81f. This plant can handle lots. I got about a month to go I figure. Switching to the first week of late bloom nutrients solution from @dr-coco ‘s schedule on Sunday eve. This plant is pushing more trichomes earlier then the last. Despite my attempts at manifolding and using a trellis net to level the canopy I definitely have a dominant bud or apical meristem and from its top to the top of the airpot it just under 40”.
Sept 16th 2019 (day 68/41 days since flip/day 31 of flower)
Dinafem claims this cultivar has a flowering time of 45-55 days. Sounds fast. Assuming your grow is flawless and perhaps have faster Pheno then maybe 45 days. I’m clearly no expert but I planned my nutrient schedule for 8 weeks including the “flush” week as the last week. Compared to my last grow, although it was an auto, I believe the buds are about right for this time in the schedule.
Im using the fertigation schedule from this site for 5x daily on a 12/12. My lights turn on at 17:30 and I’m noticing the run off is high. During the lights off period I believe my coco is getting to dry driving up the EC. it’s about 77-78 with lights off and 45 RH. I added a 6th fertigation. The lights turn on at 17:30 with fertigation #1 #2 at 21:00 #3 at 00:30 #4 at 04:00 normally #5 would be at 0930 but I advanced it to 08:30 and added #6 at 13:00 and it starts over with lights on at 17:30. I guess I could have increased the length of the original 5 fertigation events but I’m not sure it will solve the issue with thees temps and humidity. My VPD is about 1.23 kPa and the plant is loving it. So I thought this would be the least shocking to the plant.
Sept 22 2019 (day 74 of life/47 days since flip/ 37 days of flower)
EC of run off still jumps too high. I noticed if I open the ball valve to increase flow it splashes out of the airpot. so I added 15 sec to every fertigation event.
the first of the run off us high but by the end the run off is between 250-300EC higher then input solution. The plant doesn’t seem to mind. She’s putting on weight and some stems are listing.
the main cola is about 16” long and this plant still has about 2-3 weeks to go
Oct 06 2019 (day 88 of life/61 since flip/51 of flower)
the outside temperature has cooled a bit and has lowered my grow room by 2-3 deg F. This has helped me tremendously I was hitting highs of 82 room temp/79-80 leaf temp with lights on and 79 room temp lights off. It’s also dry at 45rh This was raising the EC in my coco via evaporation, specifically during the weeks of late bloom where I hit the 1300 ec inflow nutrient solution. My run off was hitting 2200 ec with 5x fertigation of 1 min each. Too hot and too dry for 50% coco and 50% perlite. I wonder if next time I try 60/40 coco to perlite, might help slow down evaporation. I believe my ec was rising due to evaporation. I was getting burnt tips and eventually noticed foxtails. I know foxtailing can be genetic but I believe it was stress induced due to high ec. I was flushing with half strength solution daily and eventually decided to fertigate 8x daily, every 3 hrs with longer periods of 1:30 up to 1:45 when are lights on. I’m now in the ripen week and my inflow is between 850-900 ec. Gradually bringing it down as I feel I’m getting close to flush. She definitely appreciates the lower ec or should I say she prefers the not so high ec of 2200 as my run off is now within acceptable range
Looks like foxtailing
Looks like once the ec was balanced again she picked back up and started pushing out more frost and the buds started to fill instead of foxtailing but I could be wrong and it could just be timing as the plant matured and ripens
Oct 26 2019 (day 108 of life/ day 71 flower)
I wrote a post about 10 days ago but somehow deleted it before posting it.
After 71 days of flower I felt she was ready for harvest I would of robbed myself of some substantial yield had I harvested at the 45-55 day mark advertised by the breeder. Although it was not a perfect grow there was zero bud rot or WPM. this would be the 4th plant I grow and the fourth harvest ( 2 autos/ one inside, my first plant ever and one outside) and (2 photos/ one outdoors and this plant, this journal is about) this was my first grow to experience zero bud rot.
After about 6 days of drying the smaller buds were coming off the stem and so busted out the trim scissors. I slowly worked my way through the pile.
I use wide mouth 1L mason jars with lids I modified by adding a temp/hygrometer in the lid. I put 1oz per jar and I was able to fill 12. I Got a shoe rack from Ikea and placed them laying on their side in order to see the lids. Similar to a wine rack.
@dr-coco this concludes my second journal here.
I have already popped a seed for my third grow and will start a journal soon.
Thanks again for all the help and support. This community is fantastic