PTGC Toppers: Capillary Solo Cup, Coco-Peat Soil
Solo cup challenge accepted.
Medium - living soil:
- Peat (80%) from ProMix HP and coco (fibre and chunk) buffered with homemade calcium citrate
- Gaia Green 'All Purpose,' Big Ass Tomatoes, ActiSol Mother Hen, saturated rabbit bedding, feather/bone meal, basalt, Soil Activator, Gro4 worm castings, home compost, calcium bentonite (citric acid conditioned), leaf mold, and traces of sandy loam. The NPK ratio should be about 3:1:1.5-ish
- The top half of the cup is flled with 50/50 worm casting and Promix HP so to avoid burning the seedlings from the start.
To try a hand at solo:
- 21 solo cups with holes licated mostly mid cup (tried different sizes, patterns, numbers etc. for post mortum root assessment).
- Flipped with thin, non-woven shop towels held with elastics (50/50 polyester and viscose) to contain, air prune the base, and provide respectable surface area for capillary mat wicking.
- Cup bottoms cut out for the top, hopfully maximizing soil availiable to roots.
- Currently resting on silicone dish mats to raise off thr surface. Once the warering demands increase I will rest them on top of polyester felt for my capillary mats (more to follow at that time.
- Saved seees from an auto grow, namly a second generation of bubblegum x GG x Dark Devil. I expect an admix of expressions. Thats cool, I like variety - this grow is for fun and smoke.
- Scarified seeds with citric acid and peroxide bath for 1h+ (hope I didn't cook them!), then soaked for 18h in light peroxide water (sterility) prior to planting yesterday.
In the previous entry I forgot to note that, as they popped, I removed them from a heat mat.
As for current, 5 of the 21 seeds failed to germ, but this is not suprising given the number of immature seeds in the bunch.
The capillary mat is now in place, but presently without a reservoir (to follow as needed).
The entire set up rests in a tray, on top of which is a ribbed dish mat for elevation from the water. In turn, the polyester felt then atop a non-absorptive plastic mesh. I hope that in this way the water will make consistent contact for wicking without oversaturating the media.
So far they seem to be loving life 😉
The girls have been doing some lovely growth since their early topping. As a result I had to space them out, which came as a problem. I had feared the roots would grow beyond the shopcloth, and they did, gripping to the woven barrier above the wicking mat. I correted my laziness (had meant to do thes much earlier in the grow) by ripping each out of the mesh and placing non-woven felt swatches under each cup.
Balls -> 4 of 21 showing pollen sacks thus far.
Gnats - BTI applied by hand water. A fan has been placed at low pitch to to dry soil and obstruct adults.
Light will be off overnight for about 10 hours due to some household factors.
Flower update: 16 girls and 5 boys as far as I can tell.
Gnats: it looks like that the gnat problem has subsided.
- Two treatments with BTI from crushed mosquito dunks.
- Soil permitted to dry to 30% or less with light placed within 18" with full fan blowing cups and under canopy. Lights off 10 hours a day to minimize light burn.
- Added a small pinch of Gaia Green 4-4-4 and Big Ass Tomatoes given biostimulants etc to support plants.
- Added a small amount of Soil Activator, Soil Rescue (expired x1 year but half price, hahaha), and a dribble of kefir to support biology after a hard dry. Precautionary.
The CMH now rests at about 20" with fan on low, oscillating at a distance up through the canopy and towards the light.
Leaf temp about 25.2 C (about 77F), ambient 24C (about 75F)
Some leaf burn noted. Being an outdoor and greenhouse gardener, lamp height and focal leaf burn are not always intuitive notions. Learning.
That said, I love indoor too. I just love growing shit!
While it may be pushing the limits, I topped for a second time yesterday.
Moreover, I found an old humidifier reservoir and found that the opening fits over top the circular outdents on the bottom tray. This seems to press in the felt just so, allowing air to bubble in while also wicking without any pooling of water. Easy Street.
Update for October 9th:
Found two herms in the pack after a two day dry out period. This hard dry cycle was for the purpose of allowing for ammendment without over watering.
So, I took the liberty of a post-mortum root discection:
As far as ammendment, I had 3 tablespoons of Jobs Organic Tomato, which I blended with 1 tbsp of General Purpose 4-4-4 Gaia Green. I blended this as fine as possible, then allowed it to dissolve in tap water with a pinch of citric acid to help convert a bit more mineral elements to more soluable forms. A cap of kefir added for microbials. Root Rescue and Soil Activator was added once I was ready to water.
Watering was graduated, with first a slow pouring of small dollops of solution to wet the soil. After 15 min I returned once the soil had rehydrated, then poured small, but increasing amounts to each cup in sequence.
Oh, I also popped a mosquito dunk in the reservoir for good measure.
As you will see, these ladies are sun bathing in my basement on top of the dryer. My CMH is as close to the ceiling as I can go. I removed the bubble foil panel and opened the reflector wings, mainly for fear of light burn (some signs on leaves).
It has been a considerable period since the last update, so a quick one to follow.
Light burn from CMH - too close for to long, as confirmed by significantly less accumulated damage to the plants I had moved outside in the rain and cold for a week (suspected a herm, but then found otherwise). They also potentially vectored the gnats back in as well...
Given the light damage I'm hesitant to waste mosquito dunks and I will just ride this one out.
That noted, I have opted to cut the cup off the soil, going for a 18oz Solo soil block. Perhaps this will help with managing moisture levels now that I have less heat . This is due to having switched to some basic LED bulbs, specifically one of the Sansi 45 w bulbs on Amazon and two standard 2700k bulbs with the diffusers popped off.
So, it looks like I am either killing them, or they are finishing up due to restricted root space. Significant yellowing on lower foliage. I will need to scope them soon having past the 60 day mark.
I may use a UVB reptile bulb treatment, but I will wait to see if they are hardy enough.
I have been using a Sustee watering stick for gauging watering, with every other day proving about right. Tap water was used with a small amount of VitC to neutralize the chlorine and enough acetic acid (with dissolved eggshells) added to bring water to 6.5pH +/-0.2 or so.
Fungus gnats are gone - powdered soil with cinnamon as repellant/irritant along with better watering practices.
While I found a profound number of herms in this batch, there is one plant that has a nice creamy chem bubblegum smell that I am looking forward to. I'm going to guess about 2-5 g on each.