NYGC Water: Hempy Auto Simplicity - 3 Bears OG Auto
Something new, times 2.
Hempy buckets and autoflowers, both look simple on their face and thats the theme. I will still have a coco run finishing up in my main tent and want to keep things simple and not juggle multiple daily fertigations on top of different nutrient solutions. Its also balls cold outside and I don't want to wash and buffer coco right now. Seed are certainly not going in the water at midnight Jan 1, I've got to push back as long as I can so my new plants don't outgrow the 2x2 I'm getting before the 3x3 is available. Not sure if I'm allowed to pop seeds after Jan 15 as long as I have my journal going so to be safe I'll plan on doing them that day, I do love being eligible for free stuff! 3 autos in a 2x2 for 4-5 weeks could get messy, time will tell. If I am allowed to pop later I will plus if I do closer to flip day I'll be finishing roughly the same time as the photo growers. Northwest corner of a brand new crescent moon is my preferred start time so I'd like to do February 4. Didn't follow that superstition this current run and it was a shitshow for the first 4 weeks. If I drop Jan 3 my tent will rip at the seams before I can move.
Seeds - Still possibly unknown. Sent Christmas toy drive money to Gasreaper and was supposed to get some seeds as a thank you but it's been crickets on that front. My backup is in the mail from Multiverse Beans: 3 Bears OG Auto Fems by Mephisto. The 3 Bears was selected exactly to fit my timeline and space, rando seeds are unlikely to fit as well but could be really cool.
Media - Pure perlite hempys in 2 gallon buckets, seeds in rockwool cubes after paper towel start.
Tents - AC Infinity 2'x2'x4' and 3'x3'x6'
Lights - Viparspectra XS1000 to start and a Photontek SQ300w Pro that I won on Youtube from Dr Coco in the 3x3
Ventilation - 4" AC Infinity inline in the 2x2, 8" AC Infinity in the 3x3. Intake filter on the 3x3
Nutrition - Lotus cal/mag, grow, bloom and boost, Cyco silica, H&G Root Excelurator, Gonzo Farms Zemynas Elixir benes
My toy drive beans came in the mail from Gasreaper 2 days ago and now I have a decision. Switch to the Scarlet Sunset, stick with the 3 Bears, run one of each or even throw in the freebie I got with the 3 bears while I'm at it?
I'm not a fan of mixing strains, different maturation times/fertilizer needs/growth speed/height etc but I might do it here. This whole run is a big ball of unknown to me so might as well add in more change, but I also wanted to keep things simple till my current run is done.
The only thing in favor of running all 3 is by coincidence they all have expected finish times of 60-70 days and expected heights ranging from 26-36" on the low end to 30-38" on the high. Still doesn't account for EC needs or growth rate issues...but maybe, change can be good sometimes.
Still in a holding pattern to pop the NYGC seeds. My plan is still to drop these autos in the first part of Feb to finish around the same time as the photo people. I've had a few kinks with getting my second tent setup operational as well, not sure if I'll even be able to hit that date.
This grow seems cursed and it hasn't even started. 2x2 tent came damaged, was replaced, replacement smelled way too much to let stay inside the house so it's in the garage and nearly offgassed enough to use. Localy all the perlite is either the super tiny size in tiny bags or 4cu ft Mother Earth#4 that is the size of ping pong balls.
I broke down and Amazoned a $55 bag of Mother Earth #3 perlite. The bag arrived somehow intact yet everything inside had been pulverized, maybe 1/10th of the contents was still larger than a grain of sand, so it's headed back to Amazon. If the replacement isn't workable I'll flip a coin between trying the #4 I can get locally and just giving up till the autoflower challenge since I'm going to run autos.
Perlite, buckets, tent, seeds. All intact, all in the same place, same time, yay! Sunny day tomorrow, last chance to rinse perlite outside before a storm comes. Seeds get wet Thursday just as I'm getting close to chop my current run so I'll get my big tent back about a week sooner than I guessed.
I'm changing my mind on strain. It will only be the Gas Reaper Scarlet Sunset so I'll try to edit the title if that's possible. Found enough grow journals about 3 Bears to see words like "obnoxious","offensive" and "loud" becoming a theme and I don't use a carbon filter so those will end up in Spring Auto Challenge and go outside.
February 4 2022, 12 Noon MST
2x Gas Reaper Scarlet Sunset
Right after getting these wet I learned of a big drama fest going on with the Gas Reaper owner. Internet shitstorms aren't my business so I'm not getting involved. I also don't see how throwing these seeds out helps anyone, guy still has my money right?
Both seeds germinated. Cracked at hour 30, good size tails at 48, into the rockwool at 56.
Hempy buckets still need drilled and the rez measured but things are chugging along very smooth thus far.
Week 2 starts at noon today. Everything is going well aside from one seedling being 2.5 times as big as the other, the slow guy had a twisted radicle and took its time coming out of the cube.
Dome and mat are doing a great job keeping things stable right around 80F and between 73-77rh.
Really love how the rw cubes perform when they are prepped and treated right. Last time I tried them 20 years ago I had squeezed my wet cubes and not rinsed the ph down right and had a poor opinion of them but the fault was all mine.
Noon Friday the 18th is the start of week 3.
The seedlings went into the perlite buckets last Saturday and have a thin layer of hydroton to keep the algae at bay, once I can do normal feedings Ill cover the cube too. Both are healthy but one is still half size and 2 nodes vs 3. The larger one seems to have found the rez yesterday as there was a noticeable boost on the timelapse video. But until I'm sure they continue to get their cube and column underneath wetted about every 3-4 hours with a few oz of nute solution currently at 740ec 5.8. I've no idea how often this should really be done, 100% perlite isn't common enough for hempys to find much guidance, most people mix some sort of water holding media in with the perlite or use coco instead.
I still plan to top them if I can get enough nodes in time, I'm giving myself a cutoff of 21 days for that. Normally I super crop like crazy but I think I'll just do LST clips for these autos. Everyone seems dead afraid of any cutting or even supercropping autos, for some good reasons,
but I don't plan to heed those warnings much.
Week 4, day 22 started at noon Friday, February 25
Moved into the 3x3 Monday night after my last run dry was finished and the tent got cleaned. So they got a shock of no more cozy domes, some more airflow and a new spectrum on Tuesday. They are under the Photontek SQ300w now. The larger one got topped Wednesday and seemed unfazed about it in the time lapse, today though its really droopy.
Lights and nutes have been on a constant slow increase since the cubes went in buckets 2 weeks ago but are being paused here for a few days to see how things settle out. Right now its 880ec 5.8 full change of the 28oz rez once per day and the light is ~400umol. Over the last 2 days runoff has been 70-80ec higher and 6.8ph. I think the ph rise is from the perlite. Day/night environment is around 77-80f / 57-65% rh and 67-70f / 52-60% depending on where in the tent its measured. Right now the small one has 4 nodes and barely any side branch activity and the larger one which was topped from 5 to 3 has strong growth happening on the sides at both node 2 and 3 since it was topped.
Some weird stuff. Both the plants have skinny, woody lower stems up to the cotyledons and then the upper stem is 2-3 times the diameter so it looks like its balancing on a toothpick. The small plant which did not get topped has 2, 4th nodes.
Friday March 4th is the start of week 5.
Got pistils on the little 5" plant Wednesday and on the larger one today so I turned on the flower day counter. Since going to 3x per day rez flushing and continuing to increase the EC the plants are happy again. Rez outflow continues to be 6.8ph every 8 hours while going in at 5.5 and I don't have a good reason why so it seems like my only solution is to create 9 gallons of hydro waste a week if I want it to finish healthy. Nutes are currently at 1200ec in and coming out +40 every time and I'm transitioning to the first week of the flower schedule for my nutes, seemed like the thing to do with pre flowers showing up but not really loving the guessing part of autos.
Larger one that got topped is still stretching out but not a lot, just enough to get the tops and side branches below it into LST clips. The little one is stacking up at its mutant twin tops and its side branches are going nowhere.
Week 6 starts today, Friday Mar 11 at Noon. 36th day from seed.
Plants are healthy and nutes are in a very good place, the magical land where the rez is dropping and both EC and PH are barely moving. PH is no longer drifting up from 5.5 to 6.5 in the space of 8 hours, as the EC increased my PH rise slowed and then stopped. They're eating like a garbage disposal. Right now I'm putting in at 1400EC 5.7 3x per day, outflow is +0 to +20 and Ph is 5.8 after 8 hours and they are each drinking from 8 to 14oz in that time depending on plant and time of day. Now that I'm not fighting off the PH rise I'm going to dial back to 2x per day refills to see how it reacts in the time lapse and numbers and with luck get to 1x. The hempys are performing very well now but if I can't reduce the amount of runoff to less than I had with coco it won't be something I can stick with. Last week was on transition formula, now its just on the bloom.
First pistils showed last Wednesday, first pom poms came in this Tuesday, by yesterday both plants had them at every location. Still stretching but I'm crossing my fingers each time I pull something down that it points back up. Training had been straight cautious LST till yesterday when I supercropped a pair of lower branches to see how they recover vs their opposite side. Keeping both plants at the same height but one is far wider than the other.
Lights are ~600ppfd at the top on a 16.5/7.5 schedule. The side light at 50% power hits the close plant at 500 and the far at 300, they get swapped and rotated mid day. Dunno how much its helping the lower growth get to the top but its not killing anything.
Week 7 starts noon today, Friday March 18.
Took a chance on some last minute supercropping to get everything level and got lucky, everything turned up and 2 days later the stretch stopped, it only lasted about 13 days from the first pistils. The pom poms are really getting big and before things start stacking up I have 2 flat little table plants 9 and 7.75 inches tall respectively.
Lights are up to ~700 and the feed has come down to a more reasonable 1240ec 5.8. In and out EC and Ph remain in harmony and the plants are drinking about 28-36oz per day each. Days are roughly 76f - 52%rh and nights 68f - 47%rh.
3rd time posting this and it goes nowhere, getting tired of writing this over and over.
Week 8, Friday March 25th
EC needs dropping, flowers blooming.
Week 9 starts at noon Friday April 1st
So after 8 weeks I have one plant that is clearly heading to the finish line first and using up some shock absorber leaves on the way and just generally looking rough. Her EC needs have been dropping like a stone and the ph isn't staying stable at all. Maybe this happens with hempy buckets all the time but since its such a laid back style nobody ever checks and if they do, they don't mention it. That plant actually has some impressive size to the buds for an 8" tall plant but they have zero smell, nothing and even the sugar leaves are already yellowing in a way I don't like. My smaller and slower plant however looks great with frosty but small flowers and smells possibly better than any plant I've ever grown, my house smells like pure grape bubble gum just from this one bitty little thing. She is not showing any of the same issues with Ph swings though EC needs are dropping at roughly the same rate and the leaves look a ton better with only token crispy tips but at a guess it needs 2-3 weeks more than the larger plant which I think might to be done anywhere in the next 10 to 20 days. Its hard to tell though as these autos have surprised me with rapid change in every phase. At a minimum they will take a week longer than advertised and more likely about 3-4 when averaged between them. Listed average time was 8.5 weeks, my guess right now is 10 for one and 12.5 for the other. Still though thats fast, under 3 months even for the slow one.
The extended time is almost certainly going to put an end to my hopes of doing anything for SAFC.
Almost forgot something really important, early in the week I plucked a nanner off the bad plant so she did fight back about the topping and scropping at least a bit.