NYGC Water: Lemon Kush+Jack Herer Autos in DWC
This is gonna be my 4th grow, but my first grow with autoflowers, and first grow journal, so I'm looking forward to it!
A bit about my setup:
4x4 Vivosun, Migro Aray 3 270w, 2 bubble buckets retrofitted with 1/2" ball valves and internal 'dip' tubes (90deg female couplers) for easy sample taking nutrient changes. Ill be using GH trio + armor si, liquid kool bloom, flora nectar, hydroguard, and for the first time will be trying out Plant Success king crab and orca. Haven't confirmed if the hydroguard will still be necessary using those products.
I'll be running Seedsman Lemon Kush auto and Jack Herer auto seeds I got from a friend. Germinated them 2 days ago (12/28) via light scuff, 2hr water soak, and then transfer to paper towels. Placed seeds into ph buffered rockwool cubes today and turned lights on an 18/6 schedule @ 20% power (12/30).
I've already ran into a little snag. Seems like every time I germinate something comes up...
My Jack Herer bean sprouted like a champion, but the Lemon Kush hadn't broken the surface of the rockwool yet as of this AM. So I did some gentle digging around with a toothpick to find that the seed did indeed sprout, but it still had its seed helmet on. I gingerly pulled it off with a pair of tweezers, but the sprout looks pretty anemic underneath. We'll see how she looks tomorrow AM after a full night of light. If it doesn't make it, I'll probably just roll with the Jack Herer on its own, since these are the only two auto beans that I have.
Looks like she's gonna make it! Still a little sad-looking, but she's definitely perked up over the last 24 hours.
I'm currently bottom-watering the rockwool with just distilled water. Temp/RH is 68f and 35%. I'm keeping the glass jars over them until i can get more distilled water for my humidifier.
A bit about my growing journey cause I'm bored at home with the Omicron: I've been practicing bonsai for about 7 years, and have always had an interest in things that grow. I have 30+ trees in my backyard, which is to say that once I get into something, there's no going back. For years, I've been researching the best ways to grow cannabis, but didn't have the guts to pull the trigger on it until my local laws eased up, and my buddy gave me a gentle push to buy a tent and a light. Since then, I've ran 3 grows on my 2-bucket DWC setup, and each run yields better and better results.
I understand and appreciate the benefits that come along with organic growing, and if I had more space, I'm sure I would be doing organic runs. But for my purposes, DWC has and probably will remain my main method of growing cannabis. It's clean(ish), requires much less day-to-day attention than soil, and gives me massive yields. I can go on a week long trip (maybe not during flower...) and not have to worry. It syncs up with my lifestyle and I couldn't be happier with the process and results.
My previous run was a learning experience for me, as I've always read that DWC needs to be clean, some even saying 'sterile'. I've seen people who swap out their buckets for clean ones every time they change their reservoirs. With this last run, I didn't change my buckets out, ever. I would let my res get close to empty, and top it off with fresh nutes and plenty of hydroguard. The roots never looked anything less than healthy, and the plants seemed very happy. Because of this, I want to push it further with the Plant success orca and king crab, and see if more beneficials/myco is a viable means to maintain a healthy permanent environment for the root system in a hydroponic system, and maybe inch closer to organic-like terps and expressions. Kind of an impossible conclusion to draw without a control, but I'm looking forward to it, regardless!
Has anyone noticed a difference using Plant Success products in a hydroponic setup, and what were the changes/differences you noticed in your grows?
Rockwool cubes went into the buckets today! Noticed a few roots popping out the bottom, and decided today was the day. Jack Herer (left) Lemon Kush (right). I'll cover the tops of the cubes once the stems have established themselves a little more. The nute mix is coming up about a third of the way into the hydroton, and bubbling happily.
Here is how I do my res changes: I fill 2-4 gal buckets of water and bubble for 24 hours to remove chlorine.
I've been (loosely) following the "Expert recirculating" feeding schedule from GH since I started, except I cut everything in half, sans beneficials/sweetners/armorsi. I normally feed both plants the same, even though they're always different genetics. Would love to get better at reading a plant's needs and adjusting my nutes accordingly. I use a small pump to transfer my nutrient mix from my old homebrewing buckets to the bubble buckets. One of the best purchases I've made outside of the essentials!
Below will be my little chart to track my reservoir changes. Everything is listed milliliters per gallon. I use an arsenal of blunt-tipped syringes (my second best purchase) that I got on Amazon for tens of dollars, and it makes feeding SO much easier.
Date: 1/8/22 Reservoir Volume: 4 gal "Growth Phase" on GH Expert Recirc chart: Seedling
Nutrient Dosage per gallon:
ArmorSi (mixed first): 1.5ml
FloraMicro: 1.25ml FloraGro: 1.25ml FloraBloom: 1.25ml
Liquid Koolbloom: None FloraNectar: None
Hydroguard: 2ml King Crab: 1ml Orca: None
pH Down: ~3.25ml
Lemon Kush: 5.8 pH / 260ppm
Jack Herer: 5.7 pH / 290ppm
I was able to grab some distilled water for the humidifier and got it set up. RH in the house is around 23%, so it was very necessary. I need to get an inkbird humidity controller, cause my humidifier will rip through its reservoir, even on low. Tent temp goes from 70-65f, RH goes from 75%-25% (humidifier is only on with the lights as of now)
I still need to do more reading up on training for autos, since I've always manifolded my photos to maximize my space... but I know I won't be able to train autos the same way. I still want to attempt some light LST and see how even of a canopy I can get.
I also have a second, smaller tent coming in the next couple days-- a vivosun 2x2 to act as my veg tent so I can finally get a perpetual grow going. I only have two AC Infinity fans, so my intake fan for the 4x4 will become my exhaust for my 2x2. I also got a roll of black filter fabric that I'll velcro to the bottom vent window of both tents to act as passive intake. It'll give me a good excuse to tidy the growspace a little and show you guys the full setup. Happy growing!
Things are going smooth so far! I got my Orca bottle in the mail on the 1/10, and immediately added 2ml to each res (~4gal each), 'cause I couldn't help myself. I've been seeing a rise in ph over the last two days and have been babying it with ph down and tap water, which runs around 7.3-7.6 where I am. As of today, ph seems to have stopped jumping. No roots popping out of the hydroton yet, but I've been pouring my samples back on top of the rockwool after I check ph and ppm, just to ensure the roots are getting some moisture.
Res Check 1/12
Temp: 69f (nice)
Jack Herer: 6.4 pH, 310ppm
Lemon Kush: 6.0 pH, 315ppm
Also, big news on the grow front-- I got my new 2x2 veg tent set up over the weekend! It was beautiful... everything arrived early, and I had already planned on making a HD run to grab more ducting, power strips... I didn't think I'd be able to set it up with what I had on hand. I had been envisioning it for months, and I was certain I wouldn't be able to swing it without buying more shit. But wouldn't you know it, after smoking a giant green crack (my last run) spliff, and some serious chin-scratching, I made that shit work. It quite the triumphant moment for me, one which I would like to share with you all:
I have 2-4" AC infinity fans w/ carbon filters, both of which were originally utilized on my 4x4. Now that the 2x2 is here, I'm using both fans as filtered exhausts for each tent, with the 2x2 exhaust routed to the bottom port of the 4x4 to act as an 'air intake'. The 4x4 vents out of the window through a *custom* baffled, insulated window port (it looks like hell, but it works!) The 2x2 also has a piece of black filter fabric that's been folded, stapled, and velcro'd to the bottom vent port to act as a passive intake.
Now, do I need all this set up right this second? Of course not. But it certainly makes me feel good about my grow self, and I couldn't resist setting up my other Migro led. My end goal is to start 2 photos in bubble buckets in the 2x2 while 2 others finish up the last couple weeks in flower in the 4x4. And since I'm running autos for this current run, I'll be able to get the pipeline going that much sooner! Happy growing everyone!
In regards to my question to myself in an earlier post about Hydroguard vs. Orca..., I have found that the main active ingredient in Hydroguard (bacillus amyloliquefaciens) is also in the Plant Success Orca... the Hydroguard (by my smooth brain calculations...anything with a ^X makes me question myself.) has 10,000 cfu's/ml of the amyloliquefaciens. The Orca has 250,000 cfu's/ml of amyloliquefaciens, along with 4 other types of bacillus! Fucking crazy. I can't imagine more would do any harm at those variances, so I will probably continue to add Hydroguard here and there just to use up what I have left, but at this point, I'll be using the Plant Success line from now on. (Not a paid advertisement, I'm just stoked.)
Happy Friday everyone!
The ladies are doing quite well! Both are showing healthy roots poppin' out of the net pots, and they're both still on their initial reservoir/nutrient fill from 1/8. I'll probably be emptying the res's in over the weekend and stepping up nute concentration.
Temps have been bouncing between 67-73 during lights on, 63-65 during lights off. RH% is super inconsistent since i'm only able to control it by connecting my (powerful) humidifier to my light timer. I still need that damn inkbird!
Below are daily top shots and ph/ppm's for the week:
JH: 5.9pH 313ppm
LK: 6.0pH 317ppm
Both were showing signs of (what I thought to be) calcium deficiency, as well as (what my buddy thought to be) too much light, so I added 10ml of calmag to each res and raised my light about 6in. They responded very well over the next few days!
JH: 6.1pH 437ppm
LK: 6.1pH 470ppm
JH: 6.3pH 458ppm
LK: 6.2pH 490ppm
JH: 6.0pH 340ppm
LK: 6.0pH 467ppm
Next up will be waiting for the moment that I can top these mommas. I'm only gonna make one cut once they get to about 6 nodes, between the 3rd and 5th node (same as I would with a photo to start a manifold, minus the defoliation) but after that, it will all be tie-downs, and trellis training. Can't wait!
Weekly update! This week has been slightly problematic, but I *think* I got my issues sorted out.
I did my first reservoir change this past Sunday, 1/23. The Lemon Kush was doing well up to this point, however the Jack Herer was looking slightly sickly. Droopy leaves, slight discoloration, almost looked overwatered.
I ended up mixing both reservoirs the same:
Date: 1/23/22 Reservoir Volume: ~4 gal "Growth Phase" on GH Expert Recirc chart: Early Veg
Nutrient Dosage per gallon:
ArmorSi (mixed first): 1ml/gal
FloraMicro: 1.875ml/gal FloraGro: 2.5ml/gal FloraBloom: .625ml /gal
Liquid Koolbloom: None FloraNectar: None CalMag: 2.5ml/gal
Hydroguard: None King Crab: .5ml/gal Orca: .5ml/gal
pH Down: 5ml/gal
Lemon Kush: 6.1 pH / 515ppm
Jack Herer: 5.9 pH / 565ppm
After changing the reservoirs, I noticed both plants were looking worse about 24 hours later. The JH had started to droop even more, and the LK started to show the same signs the JH had been showing the past couple days. I came to the conclusion that I 1) increased my nutrients too quickly, and 2) needed to recalibrate my ph pen. I brought it to work the next day (Im a brewer by trade, we have ph calibration at work), put it in a 7.0ph solution and it read 8.3. Que the facepalm.
I got home, and immediately dumped about 1.5 gal from each res, and topped up with the same volume of tap water (7.7ph 170ppm with recalibrated meter) This brought my ph up and my ppm down, which in theory solved both of my problems. I try not to use ph up unless I absolutely have to.
At this point, the ladies are looking much healthier. Both have perked up, and while I attribute most of their improvement to my ph meter issues, I'm certain that there was no need to up my nutrients, either. Temps are swinging pretty hard from 75-65, (it's about 10f where I am right now), and RH is set to 60% on my inkbird (finally got it!). Light is at 30% about 18" away from the plants.
I've also decided not to do any topping on either plant, and just see how they grow with some tie-downs and a trellis. The LK is growing incredibly short and stocky, and already has secondary growth forming in the crotches of the leaf stems. I really don't know what to expect in terms of how these guys are going to progress, so I'd rather not putz around with topping for this grow.
Happy Growing everyone!
JH 5.9pH 390ppm
LK 5.8pH 400ppm
Roots have grown out quickly, but I am noticing a little brown tint to a couple strands of feeder roots on each plant. I'm guessing this is due to my ph issues, just wanted to take note of it.
Howdy everyone! I missed my weekly update goal this past week, so I'll do my best to catch you up.
Both plants are coming along quite well, but I've been dealing with more issues in the root zones that I wanted to point out below.
On 2/2 I did a res change for both plants, upping them to the 'late flower' dosing rates (everything added at 1/4 strength) on the GH advanced recirculating chart.
JH: 5.8ph, 380ppm
LK: 5.8ph, 355ppm
On 2/5 I noticed the roots of the JH was looking very red. Not brown, smelly or slimey like root rot, just... red. It's almost like the GH micro had stained it. The strange thing was that the roots were still growing and looking healthy, aside from this stain. I got a flashlight in my bucket and saw a red coating on the bottom/sides of the bucket as well as coating the carb stone. It looked like something had literally fallen out of solution, like egg drop soup or a hazy beer that settles out in the glass. I wish I had thought to take a picture of the inside of the bucket, but I was in a bit of a panic at that moment.
The other thing I found odd is that the LK was not showing the same symptoms. No red roots, no coating in the bucket, even though they have both been fed the same. I decided to flush just the JH and hope for the best. My best guess is that I added my micro too quickly after adding armor si and it somehow didn't mix in properly. If someone has a thought on what this might be, I'd love to hear it!
On 2/6, I pulled the JH and put it in an extra bubble bucket filled with 1/2 strength pH'd florakleen. I rinsed out the original reservoir and wiped it out with isopropyl, then replaced the air stone and air lines. The plant sat in the solution for 12 hours, at which point I replaced the res with the same nutrient dosing prior to the flush.
JH: 5.9ph 370ppm
LK: 5.8ph, 360ppm
2/9 I decided to get both plants back on the same track in terms of nutrients. Starting to see growth on the LK suggesting flowering might have begun, and I'm getting a slightly stronger aroma in the tent. Did a res change of 1/4 strength for 'transition' for the GH advanced recirculating chart, and set light to 12/12 .
JH: 6.1ph 370ppm
LK: 5.9ph 390ppm
Reservoir change update!
Moved my nutes along to the "early bloom" stage (GH advanced recirculating system). Everything GH was added at 3/8ths recommended dosage, beneficials and silica are added as normal. I've also started adding the silica to my res 24 hrs before I continue with the rest of the nutrients/beneficials, hoping to avoid my previous issue of flocculating or clumping nutrients in the reservoir.
The Lemon Kush got a little haircut on the bottom, as well as some massive fan leaves up top that were shadowing out the rest of the canopy. The Jack Herer only had the bottom two nodes removed, as it's growing much more lanky and spaced out compared to the lemon.
JH 5.6pH, 440ppm
LK 5.7pH, 430ppm
(Pics below, couldn't edit for some reason)
Also! Queue the ham horn, cause these babies is throwin pistils!
For the record, I don't think I'll be growing autos again unless it's some really killer genetics. The idea that I have no clue when flowering has begun until i see a burst of growth/pistils is unnerving, and I reeeeeally don't like it. Plus, I love my manifolding... Just my two cents!
Welp. I promised myself that I'd keep up with this journal no matter what, and I'm sad to say that life got me in the second half (of the grow). On a personal and positive note, I got promoted to 'lead brewer' at my brewery, but that comes with longer days and less mental space for growing, let alone journaling. However! Just like beer, cannabis sleeps for no man. So with that, I digress!
I'm happy to say that both plants are doing well, all things considered! I made a newbie auto-growing mistake and assumed that they needed a 12/12 light schedule for flowering, which @n.grower recently explained to me is not the case. I slowly transitioned 1 hour a day back to 18/6, and it seems to have sped up growth significantly. (edit: sorry for the low quality images, I'll try to fix them later)
Jack Herer has been showing a lot of different signs of being uncomfortable (clawed leaf tips, droopy growth), but it's been progressing regardless. As of 3/20, there has been some brown splotching on upper leaves that I'm not too certain about. It seems to only be on upper leaves, so I raised my light a few inches in case it's light-related.
3/2 JH Clawing
3/20 JH Upper leaf discoloration
The Lemon Kush has been a champ this whole grow. She is just now starting to show some leaf discoloration, but I feel as though she's been underfed the last few days, so I'm going to move to the 'late flower' stage of the GH feeding schedule.
Also, I screwed myself earlier in the grow when I desperately needed humidity, but didn't have distilled water and instead used tap in my humidifier. I guess our water has a lot of calcium, cause my carbon filter cover sleeve is completely clogged with a fine white dust. I can barely achieve negative pressure, and that's without the intake fan from my veg tent being on. I'm probably gonna have to move the plants out and do some maintenance, but with the scrog net installed, I reeeally don't want to. Guess we'll have to see how stinky it gets 🙃
Happy Growing Everyone!
I wish I was better at reading my plants...
Buds are looking quite tasty, but the foliage is looking worse for wear on both plants. The Jack Herer is giving me all sorts of brown, mottled leaves, which as far as I can tell, is from a nasty calmag deficiency. The Lemon Kush is yellowing pretty hard, as well as some crispy curlies. I think my ph's have been fluctuating a little hard, and now I'm feeling the effects. Overall, I've realized that these plants feed incredibly differently, and I need to learn more about how to identify what a plant is asking for or what it's wanting less of. Only comes with time, I guess!
Happy growing everyone!