PTGC Benders: Foster Twin Sisters
I adopted some sickly looking clones that rooted after 1 week and were then left to "recover" *cough* for 2 additional weeks.
First things were to set up the environment. The twins sudden appearance caught me off guard and they were wilting quick. The Coco was prebuffered and that was it!
Starting EC was astronomically high and the coir adjustments begin.
First I flushed the peet from the 100% Coco coir (with a two inches of clay ball on the bottom) with root boost and base nutes.
After the photo the lights were raised to 24" from the canopy and The Girls were given a week on Base Nutes Only @ pH 6.3
During the first week The Girls were feed 1.5ml/Liter of base A&B and 0.5ml/Liter CalMag @ E.C 1100 microsiemens.
The girls started to green up and fatten up nicely. Even though the twins are showing a little stress due to the beginning of nute burn, training the branches begins and wire ties are used to stretch the branches to the outside of the 12" pot
If the early drooping wasn't enough of a hint that the EC was being raised too quickly. The nute burn is now obvious and I fear that if I don't flush, more of the plant will starve.
I flushed with pH'd water and began feeding at a 1/3 of the original feed strength. Until signs of overfeeding fade.
During the last week The Girls have been feed on 0.5ml/Liter of each A&B and 0.5ml/Liter CalMag.
The nute burn has stopped progressing and the twins had a haircut to clean up their lose ends.
Now the nute burn is gone there is what looks like a Calcium deficiency. When I look close there's little white dots on the leaves, other places the leaves are a little deformed and still not as green as I'd like them. When I look close there's little white dots other place.
Calcium deficiency or not, the training continues with the runt of the pair barely reaching the side of the pot.
During the last week The Girls are still recovering from the nute lockout and RO flush. The deficiencies are looking as if they are slowly subsiding with the white scares clearing up around the leaf deformations.
The Twins still have some more healing to do, but it's good to see them color back up after the flush and I have started to increase the nutrients (favorable CalMag)
The Girls once showed signs of heat stress at temperatures as low as 76F due to their deficiencies. Now, they are slightly more tolerant to heat up to 80F without any upcurling.
...And so the training continues:
The bigger of the two has been tied to the outside of the pot for the past two weeks and the aspiring branches are now as tall as the main. The main is now being directed around the pot.
Also, you might of noticed the pink pots in the background. The next generation has been submerged for 24hrs and put straight in 100% Coco. I'm not sure if I will do another journal or just cameo them in this journal.
Week Five - Rumble in the Jungle (Part One - Fight for Light)
I'm happy to report that the twins are out of critical care and are officially in their Vegetation Phase with an intake EC of over 1,000 microsiemens. They are hungry, hungry girls and I am still waiting for the runoff EC to stabilize.
Runoff is still too low and to correct this I will gradually be increasing intake EC. I will be doing this by first mixing two days' worth of nutes, half with my late half-week EC target and half as a two-day increase target.
Mixing with this high variation of EC makes it possible to refill the feed bottle when it's half empty, thus achieving three separate doses with two mixtures.
I fed the girls on chemical nutrients for their recovery and now have switched to organic. Being organic I'm aiming for a final Veg EC of 1,600-2,000microsiemens.
As requested, here is an exhibition of my version of LST using varying sizes weights (1.5,3,5,15 grams), self topping bending techniques, and SCOG.
I simplify my LST into phases and grow to the size of the container or essentially its given grow space.
I am using a 12" pot, so I started stretching the lowest branches horizontally, directing them to the side of the pot. Pinching and rolling will only get me so far. The plant typically recovers within the day and bounces back up, that's where the weights come in. As you can see in the first week when I adopted the girls.
When the lower branches reach the pot I typically band the leaves, or not depending on how much foliage is already there. I found that banding these leaves for a week or two would give me additional bud sites in the immediate area. The twins are growing one new bud site every week from every stalk, so when I left the leaves banded for almost two weeks they grow three to four sites in the one top.
After they grow out a bit..
And now to part ways, a race around the perimeter..
With a leading hand of an adjustable tie..
That is essentially the lattice of my SCOG. I did the same with my main. Grow to the radius of the pot before being pinned down for two weeks, directing the three heads left, right, and vertical.
The fight for light has become intense this last week. Raising the intake EC from 650 to 1140 the girls are drinking it all up and have become a great bio filter lol. The runoff EC was extremely low as a result of the flush in week two. The girls were given mother strength nutes (Mother's Milk) EC 650-800 and were lapping it up five times a day. They were eating faster than I could feed (with coir taking its share), runoff EC is typically Half of the Intake EC.
Today the twins were given a special feed to help celebrate the sprouting of their sisters. 3/4 strength A and B, full strength CalMag and full strength Ryzotonic @EC 1140micros. All mixed together and distributed over four feedings every 4.5 hours. This will give me a good starting base for the week ahead, where the girls will prepare to go vertical.
Please share your opinions:
Option A - Continue with my current feed schedule. As I'm halfway to my highest intended intake EC of the entire grow.
Option B - Alternative feeding with Full strength feed (1,600micros) and, CalMag and Ryzotonic.
Option C - What's would you do?
The scars remain. Deficiencies causing holes and deformations on the leaves; A hollow reminder of Week three.
The last pic shows my girl's scars and a teaser for next week's episode, Part Two - Fight for Food.
Shout out to @baby-lamb leading us Benders, hope your garden is given you peace.
Growers love Growmies, hope you can see what is causing the NPK deficiencies in the above picture. More to follow in next week's episode.
Teaser for next episode, Part B Rumble in the Jungle - Fight for food..
The Fight for Light continues
The twins are doing good, considering they are plagued with mites and their future is unclear. On a happy note, the runt is preparing an attempt to catch up with her twin and has started producing her first 7 fingered leaves.. FUN
I am bending the aspiring branches while they are still a nice fresh green color and try to stick with only bending as far back as three sets of fan leaves from bud site. I squeeze the branches and slowly bend the brance over by bending it back and forth until it loses it's structural integrity and falls the direction I want it to travel to grow towards an open space in the canopy.
I squeeze and twist the more stubborn brances and as you can see in the first photo, sometimes I go too far. Not too worried because even after shreading the stalk, it bounced back up three days later. That's why I enjoy using the weights, it stops me from totally abusing the plant everyday in order to make it lay out flat.
During the last week I clipped the tallest stalk to make room for a more even canopy and was thinking about doing the same with the big girl because things are getting a bit crowded. I settled with making it into a single cola clone when I accidentally topped it with the back of the box cutter blade...
Fate takes over..
Week Six - Fight for Food
Over the last week I have steadily been increasing the intake EC and I'm happy that I have reached my vegetation target EC of 2,150micros.
The girls are infested with spider mites. The little chlorophyll sucking vampires are making it hard for the twins to photosynthesis enough food. The runoff EC is still a tiny 760Micros.
Because of these girls unknown future I've decided to experiment with high EC levels and plan to continue raising the EC. Being organic nutes I am aiming for a eventual 3,000Micros
I introduced ladybirds into the grow space a week ago and at first things were looking good. They voracious predators went to work at destroying the mite eggs and it was a thrill to see them walking backwards gobbling up the microscopic meal.
The ladybirds feasted for the first three days and then seemed to set up individual territories at the base of the most affected parts of the plants, The ladybirds are mating although I am still waiting for them to lay eggs.
I am still doing some bending to try and best SOG..
If anyone has a proven fix for spider mites please leave a reply
Fight for Food continues
My runoff EC is still under 800Micros with an intake EC of 2,250Micros.
The twins got treated for their mites, two days ago and things are looking good so far. Hundreds of dead mites were in the runoff water, obviously trying to escape the genocide.
A few friendly were in killed in collateral damage. I removed as many ladybirds before drenching the plants. I am still evacuating the space when I see beatles on the roof.
I'm going to give it a second dose tomorrow because the spray has a three day contact killer and I'm still finding reproductive adult mites. When the mites know I'm in the space they don't tend to move and the few still around are hard to find. Although I'm still squishing any I see dead or alive.
The struggle for these girls to get enough food is real. I am still slowly increasing the Intake EC, with a target of over 3,000 Micro Siemens. I have no immediate plans to add CO2, so I'll stop juicing them up when I see ill effects. The GDP you can see in the back is now around three weeks old and keeping up with her schedule and will soon be on 2,000Micros Intake EC.
I've noticed the twins are drinking a lot less water since the intake went past 2,000micros and it seems harder to maintain a null VPD. I'm not too stressed about the high temps and low humidity.
The leaves feel nice and full of water with lovely stretch marks, but I'll be keeping an eye on it this weekend. If the leaves start to get dry and start to feel like paper, I'll work on raising the humidity and that will inturn drop my temps.
Part of the reason of why my temps are now topping the high 80s is because I have just cranked my 480W light to 100% in my 5'x5'. [UPDATED]
I've dimmed the light back to 80%. The girls are still too small to cope with a simultaneous rise of both temps and EC. I've decided to keep the temps low, (76-80) and it's dipping to around 70 at night but has been cooler in the beginning when the girls couldn't transpire enough (shown with the purple stems here and there).
I was scheduled to reapply the mite spray tonight, although the leaves are really greasy and Mites are still appearing in the drain tray. I've now decided that I'll give it an extra day to give me a greater treatment period because the bottle says to treat plants no more than twice...
Cross your fingers for me tomorrow because, first I'll be watering to get her nice and plump. I've cracked three limbs by accident while training just before feed time. She's a lot more limber after a drink.
Then I'll defoliate only the purple fan leaves and maybe some sacrificial stalks can go too. I think without the foliage they will be easier to treat the remaining mite population and hopefully exposing the underside of the leaves. I'm still undecided what I want the foster twins to look like.
These mites were in the space for weeks undetected! The ladybirds arrival seemed to trigger them into battle mode because little webbed compounds of spider mites popped up the same night. After the first release of the ladybugs and the initial feasting sessions the lady bugs seemed content sitting in the most humid spots and mating, perhaps prepared to farm the less than ideal meal.
It was actually pretty exciting to see the ladybirds go to work and I distinctively remember hovering over the big girl training her, when a leaf that was trapped upside down flipped back up the right way and a ladybird pounced on the shiny eggs contrast on the dark green side of the leaf.
Ladybirds were fun to have for a brief time but honestly from what I saw, you would probably need equal numbers of bug to mite to truly be capable of killing off the mites completly. Yeah they can eat 300-900 eggs an hour... great, They would eat for one hour, then rest for one hour and I don't know if numbers alone could do it. Ladybirds breed one time a year and like to hibernate, in contrast to mites that are laying 20-50 eggs a day, around 300 eggs per mite lifetime... Each! Yeah they took off fast and oh boy exponential population boom.
I hope I am attentive enough tomorrow to drench all effected areas. Because I would love to be able to continue training the Foster Girls, so that they can be turned into surrogate mothers.
I want to concentrate more on training.
“Think only tree. Make perfect picture... Nothing exist whole world. Only tree. You got it?”
"How do I know if my picture is the right one?”
“If come from inside you, always the right one.”
... I'm picturing a hedge row.
Week Seven - Full Vegetation Mode
EC is holding steady (2,250Micros) until the twins are a little healthier and are coping with the heat above 85F. The twins are back to drinking 2Liters per day across 4x500ml feeds. Now the girls are drinking like "normal" I can turn the light back up and hopefully I see the humidity go up too. Target Daytime Temp & RH = 80F & 80%
These young girls have been out of there clone dome for seven whole weeks now and the twins grew up so fast. They have been plagued with mites and their growth has been maybe 70% of what they were truly capable of.
I watered, then de foliaged maybe around 40 fan leaves.
And done a quick SOG to lay out any unruly branches
During the next week I intend on draping links of both Aluminium and steal over the branches to help spread the bud sites apart.
Each plant has around 20-30 bud sites and is ready to flip to flower. However, with the GDP in the same tent I have decided to vege for many more weeks so the GDP can catch up.
The GDP is now three weeks above ground and will be getting their own journal...
I hope your garden is giving you peace ✌️
EC In & Out = 2,250 & 1,300
Daytime Temp & RH = 80-87F & 80-60%
Just when I think I'm out I get pulled back in. I have found adolescent mites on some of the lower leaves. I hope they were dead, but it was stressful seeing both mites and eggs after I thought they were gone. I am applying Neem oil to the girls and I am regularly inspecting and plucking any leaves with mites onboard.
The twins have been moved to the back of the grow space to make room for the GDP upfront. To finish on a happy note, all the girls growing in the tent now all have seven finger leaves
EC In & Out = 2,000 & TBA
pH In 6.0
Week Nine - Welcome back to the Jungle
During the last week I have been rotating the girls towards the best light, trying to get good symmetry.
And I'm happy to say that my vision of a hedge is really coming along..
I defoliated the taller of the two mid grow and it has really stretched out. I hope the branches will strengthen up when I flip to bloom nutes.
But for now I'll continue to weight train the lovely ladies to best prepare them with growing thick bud.
They are well and truly overdue for a trim to start the lollipop process because right now they look like a thick 70's bush.. cute little shrubs.
I also backed off with the nutes because I was so sure they could handle EC 3,000.. I guess it's just too warm I don't know. I'll try again sometime with a cooler inlet temp.
The twins are feeding 4 times a day now on 600ml. Additional to the feed schedule, I flood fed the twins on 1 Liter of root boost. The availability of fresh water seemed to pump the humidity in the grow space.
I've begun dropping the daytime humidity now that the other plants in the grow space are repotted and in their veg stage.
Let me know what you think.. also what veg time do you run?
My twins are showing pistils..
Week 10 - What a Blast!
The Shorter of the twins is now caught up to it's bigger sister, it may not look it but she has thicker brances and more stable bud sites.
The taller of the two is still needing a trim, which she will get before my new weekly update. You can see the growth that is on the extreme right in the shadow of the canopy.
I hope the canopy resembles my picture of a hedge by next week.