For our first grow, we made the inexperienced decision to grow three different auto strains from ILGM’s Autoflower Supermix at the same time, just because we had them. We didn’t take into consideration that each strain might mature on a slightly different schedule, which happened. We decided that to accommodate the schedules, we’d just by a smaller tent for drying, so that worked out.
Last week we harvested Gorilla Glue and put it in to dry. Evidently, our RH is a little low because it dried fast. Newbie mistake. We also dry trimmed it in the Vivosun 19" bowl trimmer, which hacked it up. Not sure what went wrong. But I had trimmed all of the fan leaves already, so we decided to sift it and sneak a smoke of it before curing, just as an experiment. It was surprisingly smooth. AND POTENT!!! Like, one-hit wonder potent! I’m wondering if light curing of that will end up smokeable. The actual trim is being decarbed for edibles. (I ended up with about a half ounce of decent bud, 1 1/2 ounces of the sifted trim, and two ounces of actual decarb trim.) For a first try, I’d say that was a success.
The second plant, Bruce Banner, was harvested four days ago and we wet trimmed it. Much better. Some nice looking buds. 1 1/2 ounces of dried bud, 1 1/2 ounces of dried trim. The bud is curing now and the trim will be decarbed. I haven’t smoked it yet, but will likely try a “cheater sample” tonight.
Girl Scout Cookie lives on. I’m thinking she has about two more days. She’s a lot more delicate as a plant, but full of buds. I’ll give her 24 hours of darkness and then chop her. Looking forward to seeing the results.
So, from a newbie perspective, this was successful, but I did learn some lessons.
Growing is the easy part. Good soil, good seeds, good environment (tent, lights, humidity, temperature), the right amount of water (we used all distilled), the right pH, balanced nutes, and controlling what you can control. That’s not hard. You just “do” it. (By the way, we had a power outage for four days in week three of our grow, so had to take the plants out and put them in a window, but also had to make sure they were warm, because temperatures were in the 20s, so window in our living room with the fireplace going.)
Knowing when to harvest is harder. Like, what is “milky” and what is “clear”. We watched a LOT of videos. Patience was a virtue for us. We REALLY wanted to get to the smoking part, but left them for extra time to be sure. Based on GG, it paid off.
Knowing what to do after you chop 'em down is harder. Wet trim, dry trim, by hand or mechanically. There are so many conflicting opinions, videos, etc. We learned. And we will continue to learn.
“I want to do this cheap” is not an option. Well, it may be for some, but having the right equipment makes it a lot less labor intensive. I mean, it’s all a bit of a science experiment. We started with a clone that someone gave us, used one of the cheap lights off Amazon, and killed it within a month. Oops! When we dug in with ILGM and other forums, we learned a lot before putting a seed in the ground. (We had our seeds for a month before doing anything with them.) We figure that we have recouped all of our investment in the first grow and still have 27 seeds. So, it all paid off and now all we’ll need is fresh soil, distilled water, and time. Starting our second grow after GSC is in jars.
Speaking of the 27 seeds…we put 3 plants in a 2x4x72 tent. They fit, but it was a little tight with fans and humidity control. We are thinking of growing two of the same strain at a time, just for simplicity.
So, I guess a newbie can be successful. At least we FEEL successful. And, by the way, nothing beats the feeling of seeing that little taproot sprouting from the seed the very first time. It was like a Herald Trumpet sounding out “YOU’RE A FARMER NOW!”
And thanks to all of you experienced folks who lend advice, encouragement, and support to folks like me who didn’t know a cola from a trichome.