Clueless Newbie - Growth, LST, and transplant question

I have done research, but I am new to this and feel I don’t know what I am doing.
I am growing a mostly Sativa hybrid. It is grown in high quality organic compost medium with 30% perlite. It is grown outdoor and indoor mix, due to starting late in season. When sun goes down it is under a 1000W led light. Plants get 18 hrs light and 6 hrs dark. I started lst on week 4 and gave them nitrogen toxicity which I fixed with flushing. Today plants are 5 weeks, PH is at 6.7, BUT I feel they are growing slow based on everything I have read online. Maybe I started lst too soon? There was 3 nodes when I started. The picture posted is 6 days apart: 1st photo, Aug 28th / 2nd photo, today. When should I transplant them? I have 7 gallon air pots. Would that be too large? I have plenty of grow space.
I am looking for any tips or helpful advice for a newbie.

Also - the white powder on leaves is Diatomaceous Earth. I have neem oil coming. Grasshoppers are terrible here.


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What size pot is

Your LST looks fine, but you might want to change what you’re using. Foam covered wire is great. You don’t want something thin that might cut your plant. 7g is a good final pot size, but you’ve probably got a little longer in the pots. You want a good rootball before you transplant. Watch your water. They look wet and they won’t dry out quickly in those plastic pots.


1 gallon terra cotta pot is what they are in now

I bought a moisture tester. Says the moisture is at 4. Is that too wet? Thanks for the advice on lst. I used what I had, but I don’t want to hurt the plants. Will pipe cleaners be ok?


Not for nothing, but you may have a confused plant, indoors/outdoors, Sprayed regularly ect. Might be best to pick a road here unless you live in an area that skips all the crappy seasons.

Big enough to transplant, the fabric pot would allow the plants to access more air. If you opt to transplant give her a few days to get acclimated to her new home before you top and start training.

Training=slowing down the growth

Your plant is in veg and can be trained all you want. Top top top…

train as much or as little as you want. A best practice would be the 5th node is a good Indicator to get started top/training.

looks like you’re doing something with ties :man_shrugging: But can’t see it well enough to determine what’s happening. As mentioned above you may want to grab some plant wire/tie :+1:

I’d transplant. Wait a few (5-7) days, then start topping and training. Off to the races.


Ah, I see they’re terra cotta now. Better than plastic, but still not as good as airpots or fabric pots. I love my fabric pots. Pipe cleaners work as long as they’re good and fluffy.

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Never used a moisture meter so I can’t help you there. How often and how much do you water?

Very informative. Thank you. This is my first grow, so I could use the help.

I live in N. Florida, it stays pretty hot here until December. I bought a light tester (not sure if it helps) but outdoors is at 2000 lumens and it’s around the same indoors.

I used bread twist tires and plain garden wire to lst. I tried to edit my post, but I have 7 gallon fabric pots, not air pots.

I was nervous to try topping, since it’s my first time.
Question, I have 2 fem Autoflowers (whitewidow and Cindy 99) they were started 2 weeks ago. I read you should not top autos, but would it be ok to top?


I don’t measure my water :grimacing:. I would say I give them a solo cup almost a quarter full every 3 days. No more nutes since I gave them nitrogen toxicity recently.

You live in Florida take advantage of the sun. As long as they’re (autos) getting 12 hours of sun they’ll be fine

Most would suggest not topping autos

Camps are split on this. Some say nothing more stressful than LST for autos. Some say train them however you want as long as you get it done before they start flowering. I plan to test it out on my next “big” auto run.


You have gotten some solid information so far. I just wanted to add one thing. When you do your transplant to a bigger pot, do it at lights out. This gives your plant a little down time to acclimate. I tend to agree with @ArmoredGoat- you are making your grow more complicated by going in/out doors. This can be done correctly, but its usually not done a lot. It does stress your plant doing this. You might have temperature/humidity swings that stress the plant. Autos have a mind of their own, and they just do what their genetically programmed to do. It can go super quick or somewhat slow. Its your plant, but I’d say LST instead of topping.


@Brobdab I tied down using strips of an old t shirt and tied the ends to big safety pins on the cloth bag.

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Hemp rope works well for training. Also, when it comes to autos, I would just lst instead of topping. It is said that they can be topped depending on your skills as a grower and what other stressers they encounter. The greater the stress they get, the worse they do. If you are set on trying something besides lst, you should try fimming instead. It’s less stressful and creates more colas.

I have never heard of FIMming. What would be the process?

I plan to post photos as I go. I have 6 plants total. 3 bag seeds, 1 passion fruit, 1 auto whitewidow, and 1 auto Cindy99.

I may try a couple different training methods with the bagseeds to see what works best for me.

I Fim (f__k i missed) and LST mine (autos) @nicky has a video on fimming i watched about 12 times LOL before i did mine. There are some videos on You tube also.

Here is my auto i did Bubble gum. I also have a OG Kush i fimmed


@Brobdab welcome to the forums and thus the community.

You have gotten a fair amount of input here from a couple different sources which is nice to see but I’m going to start from square one with you and go through everything I can see and any questions you have going forward, I assume your looking for help from experienced growers and thus is why you posted the thread in the first place.

Let’s start with your light, what light exactly is it? As it’s not actually 1000w, unfortunately you and most others fell for amazon Chinese sales tactics and they gotcha! So what light exactly is it? This way we can find out how good or not your lighting is.

Seems like you have done a little reading glad to see.
That being said it’s time to transplant your plant into the 7 gallon pot, again 30% perlite and try to go into something rich like fox farms ocean forest.
Ideally you do this before you start plant training, and you transplant once the leafs reach the outer edge of the pot. Get rid of the clay pots done use them ever again lol give them to a lady friend with a flower in them or something. You want fabric pots or air pots going forward. If you need to start in something small a plastic pot with good drainage holes on the bottom or a solo cup with holes poked in the bottom.

As @ArmoredGoat stated give it some time to recover and you notice it growing before conducting more plant training like lst, topping or FIM’ing.

If your in Florida and you can have the plant outside as long as it stays above 55f then that’s good but we need to know your lighting specs before we ca recommend one way or another which is better.
It’s a photo period plant not an autoflower if I’m flowing correctly, could you clarify that?

Ensure your plants going through a nice dry and wet cycle, this helps the roots stretch and grow big which in turn makes the plant grow better.
Learn to water by weight of the pot, if it’s super heavy it’s got wage,

You can use alot of things for plant ties, the key is that it’s stretchy and has give to it. Otherwise it eats into the plant, I bought plant ties was well worth it.

As far as the autoflowers and your question goes
“I read you should not top autos, but would it be okay to top”.

Can you top autos? Yes
Should you top your autos? No
Can you top autos with good results? Yes
Is it best to top autos? No

So I’ll give you a bit of an explanation here but I think it helps to know that I am an auto specific grower, who has alot of free time at work, who also is a research nerd. So I’ve spent well over a thousand hours reading researching plus years of experience growing autos.
This is what I have learned and I practice myself.

Medium has alot to do with how you should grow.
If you choose to grow in soil your plants will grow slower and thus be smaller. Your water system will also play a bit of a roll here, be you in an autopot or not.
The second big variable is how much time are you wanting to spend in the garden with your plants? Are you retired and this is half your day type thing or what’s your story and scedule like?

In soil you can just stick to LST and have good results, you can also just FIM and have good results, or you can do both and still do good. The key is LST in autos is not the same as in photos, you don’t bend the whole plant over instead you pull the branches outward to open it up for future bud sites to get lots of light.

In coco or hydro your plants will grow alot faster and thus you can top but again I don’t recommend it as FIM’ing is a better option, you can even SCOG autos in coco/hydro.

Personally I don’t have the time to LST so I FIM my autos and then that’s it, done.


Hi, Nicky. Thank you.
I felt I could read online all day but, but the best advice would come from experienced growers.

My light is a Bloomspect upgraded 1000W led light, actual power 185W.

The soil I am using is Harvest Organics - organic potting soil. I’m not sure if I can find fox farms (live in small rural town), but I will look. I plan on transplanting Tuesday after the holiday. I have 7g fabric pots. Thanks for the advice on other pots to use. Never thought of using a solo cup.

I lost my job last month due to covid. I needed a hobby to keep my spirits up. I have 24/7 time to be with my plants other than “house wife” type work lol.

The 3 bagseeds are photo period. I have a digital scale. Would that work on weighing the pots to figure out when I should water? Is there a recommended amount of water to give?

I don’t have tons of money to invest into this, but I want to give it my best shot. I plan on doing more research on FIMming and training techniques.

I truly appreciate everyone’s help. More than helpful :purple_heart:

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Also, any advice on using nutes? I used a tomato fert on 4 week old plants diluted to 1/4 strength and I gave them nitrogen toxicity. Dark green leaves, claw, etc…flushes was ok with very minor nite burn on leaves.

Maybe the organic fert I am using has enough nutes?

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