NYGC PBreeding: Soil grow
I am a new grower and have been growing for close to 1 year now. I have an environmental background, and like to think I have a scientific perspective. So far, I have gone through a coco grow and a soil grow so far with some good success. However, I have had many challenges along the way. I consider myself to be a very new grower and I find that the cannabis plant is an amazing teacher. The main thing for me is to keep learning.
This grow will be indoors under the quantum board LED lights. Blumat irrigation and 15 gallon cloth pots. This is the second cycle in this pot and the medium is a mix of coco, pearlite, and promix. I have been adding gia green soil amendments as well as watering in with a home made fish hydrolysate.
So far during this cycle, I have added a mix of veg and bloom to dress, as well as added seeds as cover crops (barley, dakin, alfalfa etc.) You will see that I also added some cling wrap around the edges of the cloth pots as my area is extremely dry (15-20%humidity) and thrown a few apples in there just for fun. Below are a few pictures of the pot being amended and of the current growth.
I am very much looking forward to growing with the Predicative Breeding genetics and am grateful to be a part of this years grow challenge.
Big shout out to Dr. MJ, Kyle, and the Shane from the Cheap Homegrow Podcast. You guys are awesome!
Super pumped, the seeds came just I time and I'll be starting the challenge as per the regular schedule.
Breeders choice is Cherry Cake!
Ok so looks like my seeds were a bit chilly and haven't been developing nearly as fast as other peoples seeds. I have placed them on a seed heating mat and done some prep in the 2x4 veg tent.
The cover crop is comming along nicely but I'm thinking that its getting a bit tall. Wondering what other people do for their cover crops: chop them and use as mulch, just use smaller plants etc...
Here are some pics. Sorry about the sideways pics, I am still trying to figure it out.
Ok so seedlings are comming along nicely. Heat mat seems to be speeding things up! 100% success, only doing 2 because of plant count restrictions.
I have decided to incorporate a bit of native soil in my grow after reading about in @saskgrower grow journal. It was a cold day (-40) and ended up collecting with a pick axe. The first collection was from a peaty sphagnum moss covered area. There were some different vegetation like sedges, leatherleaf, willow, and small bog cranberry.
I have done this before in bonsai plantings and have been surprised to see active mushrooms growing out of the medium. The bonsai that are treated like this seem to benefit greatly from the biology in these plantings once everything has time to balance out.
The second collection was in a mature spruce stand and had some labrador tea, knights plume moss, and lingonberry.
To prep the bed, I chopped and dropped the cover crop then shredded and mixed the moss and topsoil. After laying the mixture down, I placed a ring of banana peels around the edge of the pot.
As a bit of an experiment, I added a bag of chicken of the woods mushroom (colonized grain spawn). The grow room isn't sealed up yet but I'm hoping that I can get it to fruit in the pot and hopefully it will add some carbon dioxide to the environment.
You can see in the pictures that the cherry cake has taken a slight lead in vigor and has an attractive pinkish red stem. Fingers crossed on getting a purple pheno!
both plants had pretty flimsy roots and I'm hoping that I didn't do any damage when repotting. I"m writing this on the day after and there are no signs of wilt or distress so hopefully they take nicely. Temperatures are a bit low so I'm getting an oil heater for the room to give it a boost.
Anyhow, here is the final setting. I am excited to see how the new cover will grow and evolve.
Anyhow this has been a fun project and thanks for your input and for following along.
Ok so got the heat up to about 77 and the girls seem to be responding verry well. You will notice that both cherry cake and NERC have fairly deeply toothed leaves with the rock candy being a bit more jagged. A bit of warping on the NERC's leaves and some slight spotting or yellowing. Hoping that it's nothing but I will always be a bit nervous about nutrient or watering problems.
Breeder's Cherry Cake:
Getting some strong growth and these girls are definately loving the environment and the soil they are in. Finding g thatbth NERC has some leaf warping so not sure exactly what is causing it. I was surprised to find 5-6 thrips on them this morning. Gave them all a squish! I'm not totally sure if they were in the soil but i have some beneficial nematodes and mites on the way for fungus gnats and they should take care of the thrips.
So the growth is comming along nicely and there arent any big signs of nutrient peoblems. Happy with the grow so far. Added some preditor mites and nematodes yesterday to try help kill off the thrips and fungus gnats.
Breeders Cherry Cake:
Finding that the cherry cake has a bit of a sweeter bright smell and the NERC has more of a dark kinda dank smell to it. The other big difference is that the leaves on the cherry cake are wider and the leaf serrations are a bit different.
Decided to take a bottom branch on each of the plants and graft them to my mother plant. Grafting is a good thing for me to keep the genetics in clonable form without going up in plant count. If these take, there will be 5 strains on this mother.
Ok so quick update, did some minor training to the plants and they are still growing very well. Just trying to get them to keep them from crowding each other out and fill the 2x4 space. Simple stakes and and open loop of crappy grafting tape seem to do the trick. I haven't done any topping yet and I'm thinking I may stick to the bending in order to keep on the valentines day flip date. I have done a few runs so far and always veged for way too long. Looking forward to seeing what is possible with the normal veg times.
The mother plant that I have been keeping has certainly seen better days but is springing back after a repot with coco and dry amendments. The other big improvement is that I added some cling wrap and blumat irrigation. This has stabalised the root zone bigtime. Like I said earlier, the root zone had too much aeration and a few dry spells sent it into a downward spiral. The next mother will be kept in a smaller pot and will get regular root pruning as per the bonsai method.
Successful OG kush graft point:
The OG kush graft I have shown here was taken from a budding plant so I guess you could call it a monster crop graft? The gnarly reveg leaves are still visible. If I would have taken better care of the plant, it would have bee producing much more growth but I am happy to just have it stay alive to be cloned later.
I have found that the grafts are pretty easy to do but you will find that the grafted area seems to loose its dominance (something to do with auxin hormones or perhaps just reduced vascularity?) So you will need to cut back on the rest of the plant if you want the grafted area to take a dominant position.
One more thing I meant to add to was my attempts at air layering. Basically just put a jiffy plug around a stalk after scratching its surface and adding rooting hormone. Wrap it in plastic and hope for roots. Haven't taken it apart to check rooting success yet though. Just thinking that it would be nice to have a rooted plant before its removed from the mother. More for plant count again but definately a bit if fun to play with regardless.
Ok so just a quick one today.
I cut a few leaves to allow more light to branches that would grow to the outside of the pot. Adjusted the tie downs on NERC but didnt have time to do it with the cherry cake. Growth is still going very well although the thrips are still persistent after the nematodes and predatory mites. I will be giving a few foliar sprays during dark in a few days when I will have some time. Hoping to keep them wet for a while to kill off some of the adults. The grafts are taking well, I have opened the bags a bit to allow some of the humidity out. Since I did that, the tips started to grow towards the light. I have had problems with taking the bags off too soon and also had problems just leaving them on too long and getting mold. I think this is a happy medium and its looking like 2/2 success on this one. Good grafting tape seems to really make a difference too.
Happy to see the peat is alive with different kinds of flora. There is some labrador tea starting to push buds, and bog cranberry has actually started to flower. The larger plants you can see from the above picture is just a few cover crop plants leftover.
Anyhow that's all for now!
My apologies, it's been a while since my last update.
I had a big issue with my blumat irrigation drying out and that caused the valve to stay open flooding the tent. What made the situation much worse was that the pH of the water had creeped back up to the 8.5 range. Needless to say the girls have been suffering and there has been some yellowing leaves and potassium and magnesium deficiency showing itself as a result. Pretty bummed about the whole thing!
Gave a bit of fish hydrolysate soil drench and foliar feed. I didnt really make it with a recipe so just threw a bunch if stuff (fish, kelp, oatmeal, forest duff, molasses, sugar, and yogurt) in the bucket and crossed my fingers. The fish was originally made as a bonsai fertilizer.
The thrips are still around in high enough numbers that I worry about flip to flower. Fungus gnats are reduced un number but not to the point where they are not noticable. Overall it's been pretty rough.
I checked the air layers and one actually started to root but dried out and the roots died. @smokingcrow this is basically what you mentioned happened to you. I'm thinking that once the roots form, the moisture is sucked out of the air layer media and the roots just die off. The other didnt dry out but also didn't root. I have some spray heads comming for a diy aerocloner and I'm thinking of rigging up a system that will use the aeroclone method for air layering. The other option us just to use more dirt and keep a closer eye on it.
Finally some good news: the grafts have taken and they are looking pretty healthy.
Anyhow I hope you guys are all doing better than me this round. Happy growing!
I was a bit bummed out in the mast post but things are starting to get better. I am finding that the NERC is showing more mag defficiency then the C. Cake. The leaves are a lot thinner and I'm thinking that the finer leaves may have something to do with it. I have been watering with lower pH water to try get the root zone back to range and have been sogging the soil a bit more than normal.
The thrips problem seems to have died down a lot and I am thinking that the mites just needed some time to work.
Checked the grain spawn and that was a big flop. Looked into it and it seems like layering it with straw or sawdust is the way to go.
Overall there was a lot of growth in the tent and I'm feeling good about flip now. .
Check out the colours on the crimson amaranth. It just started to really pop with the lower pH water.
Also found some round-leaved sundew in the peat moss I have been using. It's a carnivorous plant! Probably dont have the right conditions for it to survive the tent but really cool to see.
Anyhow that's it for now. Happy growing.