Clueless Newbie - Growth, LST, and transplant question

First sorry to hear about your job, I’m on the verge of loosing mine I think and I’m a covid screener… Government is running out of money =p so we all feel the pain.

I can appreciate living in a small rural area, that’s how I grew up, my suggestion would to be go to fox farms website and look at how the ocean forest is made ingredient wise. This will help you soil shop in your local community, basically you want the richest soil possible if your not going to go coco/perlite mix (I suggest this but you started in soil this round and are already in 1 gallons so be it)

Unfortunately the bad Chinese scammed you like everyone else who starts out and sold you a 185w light claiming 1000w =(
The light is junk to be blunt, if you can return it do.
You need to deal with the more honest Chinese for lights lol, I recommend kingbright lights but they take 3 weeks to ship since they come directly from China although spider farmer is a similar (not as good and not as cheap But still good) manufacturer that keeps stock in the US and can deliver much faster.
Do you have a tent? Generally you need a 2x2 space for one plant, 3x3 for two, 4x4 for four etc.
Choose a space and then choose a light as you will need one eventually.

Ignore the scale. Learning when to water cannabis takes experience. Start by lifting the pot full of dry soil, then lift it full of wet soaking soil, when you check your plant put your finger in the soil until the second knuckle if it’s dry dry then water, if you feel Mosture then wait.
Lift every day and you will learn the feel, that’s the best method ignore soil readers.

Ignore giving half of this or a quarter of that.
You need a PH meter and a tds meter, use your tds Meter and the feed chart that is recommended by that nutrients company.
I strongly suggest buying Jack’s nutrients part A along with sourcing (or ordering from Jack’s) calcium nitrate (read as part B) and magnesium sulfate (read as part C, also know as Epson salts with no scents added)
It’s a 3 step process and its cheap, dry nutrients from Jack’s or someone like Chemgro are soooooooo much cheaper than any bottle nutrient and they even produce amazing results that top growers use. LIKE ME lol.

The way to know if you need to feed nutrients, as over feeding is a common mistake beginner’s make, is to water your plant in its fabric pot and read the run off.
So PH your water going in and read the tds of it, then read the tds of it going out. Take that tds on the runoff subtract it off what’s coming in then finally relate it to your feed chart.
While Keeping in mind the ranges cannabis needs generally base on its stage of life.

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Thanks. I feel for you as well. The unknown can be stressful.

I have a notebook writing everything down now. I am keeping better track of things.

I found a recipe for fox farms ocean forest. I’m hoping I can find most ingredients at Lowe’s tomorrow. Then I will prepare to transplant.

I can return the light. I done some research and now know what to look for, but unfortunately they tend to be on the more expensive side.

I do not have a tent. When plants are not outside all day due to bad weather, etc… they are inside a 8X10 shed. They walls are unpainted, unfinished aluminum. It has a window with a box fan for ventilation and 2 small fans blowing on low inside.

Due to the size I will probably need multiple lights. Also, thanks for the tips on getting better checking my moisture levels. I have been doing that terribly wrong. I would never let it dry out all the way and then really wet the soil, to really get an idea on how heavy the fully wet soil feels.

I have been pricing out ph meters, tds meters, and Jacks nutes on Amazon. When it comes in I’ll update with levels.

Also, today my largest bagseeds has preflowers. At least I know it’s a girl. Very lucky.
Question, since it is preflowering, can I still top after I wait 5-7 days after transplanting? I want to keep the plant in veg longer. It is still quite small due to beginner error.

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Hopefully this looks better than the other pic I posted. The quality looks much better on my phone, not sure why :woman_shrugging:t2:

Yes lights are the most expensive part but they last along time and pay themselves back in a couple crops.
Going cheap costs you so much headache, failure, and more money in the end.

Your plants flowering because it’s gotten 12hr of darkness, it need to be on a 18/6 light on/off rotation. So not top anymore, you may be able to switch it back into veg let me tag @Stonedrus as I know he’s well versed in re vegging a plant so maybe he can shed some light on the step by step process you need to follow to be successful in your re veg attempt.

Im not sure if I mentioned that aphera and blue labs are the only two companies you can really trust PH meter wise the rest on Amazon are junk unfortunately that adds to the cost a bit but you will find they are great tools to have.
Even if you don’t grow down the road.

If your handy and have a sodding tool along with wire strippers you can make your own lights and save a fair bit of money, buy the light strips, boards, drivers, heatsink and connect them.
There is a DIY lighting thread over in lighting go check that out if you want to go that route (it’s the best but I just buy prebuilt)

Just an update…I got them in new soil, a better light, and fabric pots. I didn’t have enough soil to transplant the other 2. I will get that tomorrow. I transplanted 4 plants into 7 gallon air pots 2 days ago. I think they love their new home.

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What light did you buy because i got a feeling you cheaper out again and are going to spend more money nickel and dimming this lol, your pots look good though!
We went with organic soil yea?