PTGC Toppers: White Widow, Alaskan Purple, Church CBD
This is my second grow challenge and second grow journal. I'll be growing: one White Widow, one The Church CBD & two Alaskan Purple.
I'll be topping once, down to three nodes after they have grown to six nodes. I'll do LST training after that.
I just won a Mars Hydro TSL 2000 in the Spring Auto Flower Challenge, which is 300 watts. I'll be using that and two 95 watt HLG quantum boards. I'm really excited to use the new light. It was awesome to win a new freaking light just for growing something I grow anyways! I enjoy the community here and seeing the progress of other growers. I'm really looking forward to this next challenge.
I grow in a 4x4 tent. I use 5 gal fabric pots. I have an auto-water system. Growing in 50/50 coco perlite, using General Hydroponics Flora Trio, Armor Si, Kool Bloom, Rapid Start, Nectar of the Gods Yucca Extract. I'll add hydrogen peroxide to the reservoir.
I started my seeds last night. I usually just put them right into a Jiffy Pellet. This time, I let them soak for an hour in a water/probiotic mix. Then I put the seeds in wet paper towels, in plastic baggies on a seedling mat. When they pop, I will transfer them to Jiffy Pellets (soaked in Ph'd water with a tiny bit of Cal Mag).
Because this is a new seed method, I'm a little stressed about it. I thought it would be nice to make sure the seeds pop and I can't do that when they go directly into the Jiffy Pellets.
I've grown all three strains before. The Church CBD was really spindly and out of control the other time I grew her. I'm interested to see what she does this time. The other two plants were okay but had low yields. I bet all three plants do better than they did previously, since I know a lot more now. It took me years of making huge mistakes and growing based on bad advice to get to this point. I still have a lot of room for improvement but for me, that's what makes growing fun. I love the challenge.
All four seeds have sprouted a really nice tap root! I put them in pre-soaked Jiffy Pellets. The water was ph'd down to 5.7 with just a drop of CalMag, EC only 244.
I like this method of sprouting seeds I think it will be my new go-to. It was quick and easy and now I know they've all sprouted. I don't have to wait and wonder if any seeds have failed.
They're in a humidity dome on top of the seedling mat, under a CFL light. I'll take the dome off and add a fan when one breaks through the surface.
I checked on plants this morning and nothing. This afternoon the White widow has popped up. One of the Alaskan Purple is just peaking through as well. These are the fasted sprouts I’ve ever had.
I wonder if it’s due to the paper towel method? Maybe they were able to get more heat from the seedling mat and sprout faster than if put right into Jiffy Pellets?
The light I won from the SAFC arrived this morning!!!! I'm still kind of in shock I actually won, since I haven't won anything since the third grade and that prize was a Halloween cake covered with black licorice. Who ruins a cake with black licorice?
I posted basically the same post over in my SAFC journal too. I've been needing a new light so this came just in time!
I took down my two quantum boards, since I need those for the veg tent (I'll post an update on my the seedlings later). For now, I'm hanging the TSL 2000 in my flower tent. I'll probably flower these girls under the TSL2000 with my two small quantum boards. I have a (dying) KIND LED but IMO, it isn't as advanced as the quantum boards or the TSL 2000. I'll keep it around for backup.
I enlisted help from the Hubs to hang my new TSL. It was pretty easy since it's lightweight. I've heard people set the drivers outside the tent, so that's what I did. Glad the heat from those things won't be inside with the girls. The driver cords plug in each end of the light and they had just enough length to reach both sides.
Here's a shot of the drivers. I have them propped up on two buckets and a plastic storage container because I'm a pro. I even lined the plastic storage container with a sheet of tile I had in my garage.
I had to take a selfie with the light since it was autographed by MJ Coco (I'm a weed geek). I also got this signed CFC poster. It's in a place of honor in my garage, along side my grow tents.
I'm thrilled I won! It's going to be fun watching these girls thrive under this light. Thanks Dr. Coco!! It will be great to see who wins in this challenge. It's nice to have a supportive community to grow with. The prizes are a nice bonus but I think the main value here is the solid grow advice and the positivity of other growers (well, that plus no chance of black licorice!!).
The seedlings are doing well. I think they technically entered early veg yesterday. I haven’t yet switched nute formula. I’ll do that tonight. EC is around 750. I think I’ll get it to 900 in the next couple of days, hold there & see how they do. Plants are under the HLG quantum board (95watt).
Last grow at this time, my plants were far behind where these are. Definitely due to how I sprouted the seeds. So glad I changed it up.
All four plants seem to be growing rapidly. They all showed signs of CalMag deficiency, with wavy leaves. I replaced two fertigation events with CalMag-only water. The CBD looks a tad deficient from that. I bet she'll recover quickly. I use pre-buffered coco but I know they'd do better if I buffered the pre-buffered. I'll probably do that next grow, at least for the seedling stage.
Roots were coming out the bottom of the seedling pots, so I potted-up yesterday. I use disposable, plastic one-gallon pots for this stage. I'll eventually get one-gallon fabric pots, when these run out.
I increased the EC to 1100 and switched over to mid-veg nutes. The humidity has been low (about 50-55%) the entire grow. I hate running a humidifier, so I wanted to see how they'd do without one. They seem to be okay. If you can tell, I'm trying to design my grows around my particular level of laziness.
I added a second 95-watt quantum board, after I potted-up. I've veged under only one QB, in my previous grows. I'm hoping this will cause faster, stronger growth.
Humidity went down to 38% yesterday. My husband does this thing when I tell him things are off in the grow tent: he'll pretend to be the plants and say "help me, mommy, I'm dying." He's a twisted SOB, but he's right. I couldn't make my plants suffer, so I gave in and put the humidifier in the tent. Humidity is up to 70% this morning.
I'm impressed with these pants. They're growing fast and they look pretty healthy. I've always had struggles by this point in the game. Usually slow seeds or slow growth in early veg. Fingers crossed things continue to go smoothly.
btw, the wood in the pic is a 1x4x8 cedar board I cut in half and propped up on the tent posts of my 2x4 tent. The boards keep the tent from caving in from the fan suction.
The girls quickly outgrew their one gallon pots. I should have potted up two days ago but I didn’t have time. They’re growing so fast, I’m worried they’re going to be very large by the time we all switch to flower.
Today they got their final 5 gallon pots. Roots were coming out the bottom of the grow bag. They’re roots all looked strong and healthy.
I didn’t have enough 50/50 coco/perlite grow medium. So I used half 50/50, half 70/30. So it should be about 60% coco, 40% perlite. Maybe I’ll only water once a day, rather than twice. I’ll see how they do with that.
They’re in the 4x4 tent, under the Mars TSL 2000, hooked up to the auto water system. I’ll wait two days then do the topping. They look pretty nice in their new home.
I switched to late veg nutes. Inflow EC around 1150-1200 (runoff has been a bit lower). Humidity around 60%. I’m varying inflow PH.
Last Sunday, I topped my plants. I cut them down to the third node. They were so pretty beforehand, so it was tough to look at them afterwards.
Monday, I started the LST. I tied down the six stems. I will continue to move the tie-downs, periodically, as the plants grow.
I’m going to try and not be too fussy with the LST, so they have the least amount of stress possible.
They’ve filled out nicely are looking happy.
I haven’t landed on a watering routine, with the 60/40 coco-perlite blend. Once a day might be okay. I tried twice a day the plants showed signs of overwatering, with slight drooping of leaves.
I’m keeping inflow EC a bit low for once a day watering, around 950-1050. Humidity is between 70-80% without a humidifier. I’m varying PH up and down in the 5.7-6.3 range. Things are going well!
Runoff EC took a turn and lowered to 100-200 points below inflow EC. I think that means the girls were really hungry and I wasn't providing enough food. @Deek80421 gave me a heads up that watering once a day in coco is risky (I appreciate the feedback, btw). I changed it up and gave them two fertigations yesterday and they looked happy after the second event. I gave them more time in-between fertigations, so the medium had more dry time. I think more dry time is the key with this coco/perlite mix I have.
Besides the low EC, the plants were showing some signs of stress. The leaves were looking a bit wrinkly (for lack of a better term):
One of the Alaskan Purple seems to be stunted as well. Both Alaskan Purple are in the back. The right plant hasn't grown much this past week. She also has a fan leaf with deficiency signs:
Although the outflow EC was doing alright for a while with only one watering a day, the plants obviously needed more fresh nutrients. I was giving them low inflow EC to compensate for any EC rise the one watering would cause and that compounded the problem. Lesson learned. The nice thing about veg is there is time to correct issues like this. 👍 😎
A side note: I live in the Pacific Northwest and we've had the worst air quality in the world for the past several days due to fires. I read that CO2 levels are eight times higher than normal. Since my plants are in the garage, they get unfiltered air and are possibly benefitting from the CO2? Something should benefit from this crappy air (it's like breathing stew)!
Increased inflow EC to 1150-1200. Late veg nutes. RH around 75-80%. Temp 75-80F. PH 5.7-6.4. Twice a day fertigation.
I'm flipping to 12/12 today. I probably could have flipped a little sooner but I was making sure the stunted Alaskan Purple was okay. She's started growing again so it's time.
This will be the shortest veg time in my entire five-plus years of growing. Veg has always been a frustrating time for me, filled with nutrient deficiencies and unexplainable slow-growth issues. A short veg time has always been my dream because it reduces the amount of water, nutes, electricity and effort that I have to give each crop.
Here's where they're at today:
Stems are fattening up:
I'm discontinuing the Rapid Start supplement for the rest of the grow. The roots are peaking out the sides of the fabric pots, and that's good enough. The runoff EC is still pretty low. I bumped up inflow EC to 1300 and outflow is only at 800. I'm wondering if the Rapid Start has made the root mass so huge that the plants are insatiably hungry.
Still giving late veg nutes because that's what's in my reservoir. Fertigating twice a day. Ph usually landing on 6.1. Temps 75-80 F. Rh 75-80%.
See you on the flip side!
It's been six days since the flip. No pistils yet. The day I flipped, I cut off the first growth tips on all the stems. This is right after the cuts:
They've filled out the tent well this past week. I propped the runt plant up to be even with the canopy and moved her to the left side of the tent for better spacing. The plants haven't stretched like they did under my former light setup (with a blurple-ish main light). I added my two HLG 95-watt quantum boards to the Mars TSL2000 (hung them high and lowered them slowly to avoid light stress). I guess the white LED keeps them short and stalky? It's nice to have minimal stretch. My plants used to get unruly during the flip.
I've been moving the LST tie-downs as the branches grow taller, about every five-six days. I did that today and I did some super cropping of the small side shoots that are getting taller than the main stems. I also cut off the lowest growth tips again on all branches, to try and keep the energy going upwards. Thinking about it, this was probably too much stress in one day. I'll be more mindful of that as I go.
My reservoir gets a slimy build up at the bottom of the barrel (I think from the yucca extract I use). I added this fountain pump and took out the air stones. Hopefully the stirring action will keep the slime down and aerate at the same time. I've got it set to go off for about 45 min, nine times a day (two of those are right before fertigation events).
Humidity is kind of high...78-80%. I'll use a dehumidifier intermittently. They're on flip nutes, inflow EC around 1250. PH between 5.7-6.1 this past week. Temps in my garage are getting colder, 68-72F.
The too-low runoff EC issue is slowly resolving. It is now only about 75 below inflow EC. I went conservative on nutes early in the grow and I think that was a bad call with the continuous use of the Rapid Start supplement.
Each plant has had some signs of deficiency. The CBD plant has some holes in her leaves:
Her fan leaves are huge but if I look close, I see some deficiency signs:
Next grow I’ll stick with full strength nutes on Dr. Coco’s feeding chart.
Plants are doing well even with this issue. I took another pic today...I’m so happy with how they’re doing:
If I get the nutes dialed in right, next grow should be incredible!