This will be a walk through of my growing methods from seed to harvest
I’m tuned to watching brother
Step 1 - Seeds
I bought the KO Heavy hitters mix pack a couple/few months ago, it is time to try some seeds. I’m going to start with Gorilla Glue
First I soak the seeds in tap water for 24 hours
Then prepare the solo cups, I cut 3 big “slots” in the bottom side of cup for drainage
Fill the cups with potting soil, I prefer Fox Farms Happy Frog throughout the grow. If you want to be super vigilant, pour the soil into a bucket or something and go through it and pull out all the large lumber and mini-logs and wood chips that could trap and slow down your sprout.
I water the soil with 3-4 oz of water until there is a little runoff. I let them drain for a few minutes then move to a dry tray. Poke a 1/2 inch hole in the middle of the soil and place seed in hole, pointy side down if possible (I use tweezers for this). Then lightly cover the seed by pushing over some soil to cover the hole. Here’s where you can use your mister to spray a couple spurts over the seed to help the pushed over soil to settle in a bit. I water before I put the seed in the soil because if you water after the seed is placed, the water can cause the seed to go deeper or move around too much.
Put cups under light a couple/few feet so it does not dry out the soil, no fans, no air movement.
I’ll be using a 125 watt CFL for this stage of the grow, on all the time 24/7 to keep temps up and stable. RH is 27, temperature 75F.
This is the important part here - now leave them alone. No more water, no spraying, no covering, just check that your temps are ok (72-80) and wait. My seeds always sprout 4 to 5 days later (good viable seeds anyway).
I planted all 5 of the Gorilla Glue, 4/5 sprouted 5 days later. The 1 that didn’t sprout, I dug up to see what happened to it, it got stuck under a mini-log in the soil and was wrapping the root around it. So all the seeds were good, any problems were user error. It may have come up eventually, but I don’t wait for stragglers so ditched it and moving on with the 4 sprouts.
That last pic was taken the day after they sprouted and right after the first watering, again with 3-4 oz of water (PH’d to 6.5 as all my waterings will be). Then allowed to drain for a few minutes then moved to a dry tray, don’t want them sitting in the excess water as it will absorb it and get too wet.
Mosquito bits applied as there is a fungus gnat explosion outside and of course a few got in.
Don’t water until the cup feels almost empty. Over watering is your enemy, the top of the soil should be dry and the cup should feel light. With watering, if it’s not dry, don’t apply (anyone know Remo). Never water moist soil. Over watering is your enemy, did we hear that before?
When you see sprouts, lower your light to the appropriate distance for your light. With the 125 watt CFL, 6-10 inches works great, you’ll need to be much further away for more powerful lights such as LEDs and HIDs. Also time to turn on the fan and get a little breeze going between the light and the tops of your sprouts. I use a 6 inch fan on lowest setting. Enough air to see the sprouts vibrating a bit, not blown over. The heat from the light and the air movement will dry up your soil a bit quicker now, along with sprout sipping the water as well.
4 days later, the cups are dry and light and need watering again, same process, 3-4 oz of water til a little runoff, let drain, move to dry tray. The sprouts are 5 days out of the ground here.
Then the sprouts left alone til they need more water. Light, air, water, stable temps, all they need at this point.
You’ll notice the smallest sprout there is a trifoliate or something, 3 leaves/branches per node. I get a couple of those a year and I really don’t like them, as they always seem to grow slower (having to pump out 3 sets of everything instead of 2) and yield less. I doubt it will be around much longer, I’ll give it to a friend to grow out or something. The other 3 are fine and growing at a nice rate.
Why Happy Frog over Ocean Forest? I have used both soils for many years. I like both, I prefer Happy Frog, because it’s not as hot as Ocean Forest, which allows me to start using nutes of my choice much sooner. I like using my nutes sooner because my plants grow faster and bigger with Happy Frog+my nutes rather than Ocean Forest with no added nutes. Both are great and I used to love the convenience of Ocean Forest for veg, just add water and you’re good to go for a month, longer if you got small slow growing plants. With Happy Frog, I will be starting the nutes soon.
I always add extra perlite to the soil after the solo cup stage. Like a 8 or 10 quart bag of perlite added to the 2 cu ft bag of Happy Frog.
I also add myco during transplants. If you read about what myco does for plants, seems stupid not to use it. We’ll get into how to apply it later when the time comes for the first transplant.
Ok, now time to smoke a bowl. Let’s pick a nice nug from recent harvest, been drying/curing for about 3 weeks. This is Cherry Ice Cream, my #1 clone stock. A cross of Cherry Do Si Do and Ice Queen.
Zoom up on this
This stuff is so sticky even when dry that the buds won’t fall out of the jar held upside down, most sticky buds I’ve grown in 28 years of indoor growing.
Along with starting the ILGM Gorilla Glue seeds, I am also doing clones of the Cherry Ice Cream. Some of the leaves are left quite large compared to what most of you cloners are used to. I’ve found with the aero bucket cloner, I don’t have to remove as much as I used to with other methods. I also don’t have to use a dome, or mist, or do much of anything once setup.
Kind of like my seed starting method. Set it up and let it do the work for you without daily chores like misting. It’s not that I’m lazy, far from it, it’s that I’m very busy, work 50 hours a week and seek out efficiency in everything I do, which is similar to my profession.
I plan on growing at least one of these clones, the rest will be given to friends to grow out.
I will cover cloning in detail later in this journal, when it’s time to take clones from the Gorilla Glue girls when they are about to go into flowering. I will clone each one and keep the best for future clones, if I decide any of them are worth keeping.
So what else do I got going on? Let’s take a look at the flower tent. Here we have 3 clones of Cherry Ice Cream that are just starting to flower under an air-cooled 600 watt HPS, yes this will an old school no LED grow. Maybe my last grow with HPS/MH as I see LED lights in my near future.
This is how I like my flowering tent to look at the beginning of flowering, full, wall to wall.
Later in this journal, we’ll go through the steps to get the plants to this point through topping and getting ready for a screen.
Set to follow.
Definitely be watching
That nugget got some glitter!
4 Gorilla Glue sprouts still going at this point, 3 growing very quickly, with the trifoliate falling behind, that one will be culled, won’t make transplant.
Joining the Gorilla Glue are 2 clones of the Cherry (bottom 2 plants), one of which will continue on, the other one will find a home somewhere else.
Here they are at 11 days above ground. RH 27 75F
Just started the big light today, 400 watt Metal Halide and 18/6 veg schedule. Temps staying 75-77 even with the AC Infinity on lowest setting, nice and quiet.
A look at the veg tent, it exhausts into the atiic.
Dimmable 600 watt ballast
cool tube air-cooled hood
6" AC infinity S6 & 6" ducting
I start the veg cycle with 400 watts and use a 400 watt MH bulb, not dimming a larger wattage MH bulb on 18/6. Light is about 20 inches above plant tops.
So the plan will be 3 Gorilla Glues and 1 Cherry in flowering in a SCROG type grow. 4 big girls in a 3x3. They will be big because they need to wait 9-10 weeks for the flowering tent be free. Doing perpetual grows can test your logistics management, and timing clones and seed plants so they end up a similar size.
And I know what you LED guys are thinking, 400 watts just to light some small plants, what a waste of electricity. I get it. I plan on replacing this light setup with maybe a HLG 260 in 4k, dim it down for seeds and clones and turn up as they grow. Should handle all veg needs. If anyone has any better suggestions for a veg light for 3x3 tent, please post about it. @dbrn32
You could probably veg a 3x3 with 135 kit or even hlg-100. But 260 kit dimmed would work too, then you can always flower in that space if need be.
I got 2 HLG 260xl in my 4x4 great lights thus far, that cherry ice cream got me mesmerized how’d you come upon those?