Hello Everyone, I’m Mike. Quick situation summary; retired in 2017 (33yrs military), so I’m relatively young. Bought a house in SW FL and moved here last Dec (2020). My terrier, Wellington is my housemate and as far as gardening goes, he’s a digger. Unfortunately, my gardening skills would likely be internationally classified as ‘assistant digger’.
This particular hobby was suggested by my son. He seemed to think it was going to pair well with leatherworking, woodworking, chainmail weaving and making in general. So, after 33+ years of living under a zero-tolerance policy (didn’t say I didn’t inhale here and there… didn’t say I did), I readily jumped at his suggestion.
After all, it’s Florida and I had intended to screw around with greenhouse growing or whatever it turned out to be. Apparently, THIS is where I’m beginning. Not to appear completely one dimensional – I’m also growing a fig tree and a desert rose. Although neither requires the level of effort I’m putting into the girls in the spare bedroom.
I bought a starter pack of seeds from ILGM and began planting in January of this year. Right now, I currently have 8 plants comprised of 5 different seed strains. In particular I’m going to describe where I’m at with my Jan 16th Girl Scout Cookie (GSC) sprout and my Feb 10th Gorilla Glue (GOA) sprout followed by the best-guess work, foibles, possibly and probably mis-steps and likely more questions than answers.
Disclaimer: I intended to keep copious daily growing notes. I even started that way. Intended…
Currently the GSC is 120 days old and the GOA is 95 days old.
Environment: Both plants are potted in 5 gal. Vivosun planters using Fox Farms Happy Frog potting soil and are being grown indoors. Temp is always between 68-78 but steadier in the 72-74 range. Humidity is normal house humidity and never ranges to extremes in either direction. Despite their age difference both plants have been subjected to the same feeding and routine. I’ll talk about lighting later in the post.
Water/Feeding: I thought since I was using Fox Farms all I’d have to do was water the plants. I suppose I’ll never know because while reading forum posts and trying to learn as much as I can through the interlie, something got put in my head “Fox Farms is only good nutritionally for 6 weeks!!” Don’t know if that’s true or not because I panicked. Seriously, my plants were doing great and I didn’t wanna F things up by starving them! I ended up going with a product called MYCO+ It’s marketed as Super-Premium Root Inoculant with a 3-0-3 concentrate and some other super good shit supposed to make things all good. Man, that just sounds… good. Whatever. Marketing. I bought into it and crossed my fingers. I used the product as directed and both plants continued to flourish.
Things were good at the GSC 90 day and GOA 65 day marks and the mad geniuses at AMAZON matrixes, predictabilities, algorithms and thisguylbuyanthing department – those F’s have an awesome handle on suggesting what I may or may not need but will probably buy anyway for my new hobby. So, I got me some “Grow Big”, some “Big Bloom” and why not… some “Tiger Bloom.” The only one I’ve used is the Big Bloom. It’s a lame, beginner reason, but it’s because it’s labeled as good for all stages of growth and I water my other 6 plants the same way I water these two. *Note: I discontinued using the MYCO+ when I began using the Big Bloom. Not a botanist and don’t know anything about adding different types of food at the same time except a lot of people think it’s a bad thing to do.
These 8 plants are my first go at this and honestly, I didn’t think I’d get as excited as I am about this. Regardless, I was expecting mistakes (still am) and can live with mistakes I’m sure I’ll learn from. But here they are at the current 120- and 95-day marks and they seem to be thriving and doing their thing.
The GSC (on the left) is 36” and the GOA is 39” tall. I topped each of them once and don’t even know why. Probably because so many people say it’s a good idea. I still don’t know enough about why. I don’t have height restrictions for growth so was it necessary?
GSC 05/15 (120 days)
GOA 05/15 (95 days)
As shown in the pictures, those are “Grow Light with Stand, Slaouwo LED Grow Lights for Indoor Plants, Smart Red and Blue Spectrum Grow Lamp Stand with Timer for Seedling, Auto ON/Off, Adjustable Tripod Stand & Gooseneck” as sold through Amazon.
LED Grow Light
Red and blue spectrum with spectral wavelengths 380-800nm.
120-degree beam angle
Don’t know whether I need them or not. I also use one of those Milwaukee brand shop floodlights that really throws the white light and a secondary small floodlight also providing white light.
All of the seeds I bought from ILGM are autos, so I went with a 24 hr full light schedule for all my plants. It was just one less thing I had to think about. Yeah ‘timers’, blah blah blah… and then I’m not home for a power outage and Darkness Falls. Haha. Seriously, one less thing for me to think about.
Particular to these plants:
Based on the photos and the ages (120 and 95 days) are these ready for harvesting? My gut tells me ‘so close, so close…’. I have a jeweler’s loupe being delivered on Monday. Today is Saturday. Not sure I’d personally notice any thc level adjustments between a cut now or in a few days, if in fact it’s ready to be cut now… or yesterday? Yeah… all of that translates to a question.
GSC leaves are green in real life but shade dark purple when photographed with my phone. Is that my phone or a chemical imbalance being exposed by the photography?
Some GCS leaves have recently died (3 days? I have a guest right now, things are getting jumbled, ffs!) Is that saying “cut me, Mick?”
I have a $20 soil tester, probably one of those Rated #1 (for our wallets) that Amazon figured I’d need. It’s a three in one with an analog scale that’s difficult to read with much accuracy on the pH scale. I’m wondering if a digital tester would be a good thing or overkill. I suppose if I altered the products I use and really got into making pH adjustments based on media, maybe I’d need it then, but now? Not sure.
Light and lighting. Big BIG difference between full sun and trying to make light indoors. That’s a scale on my three-in-one meter that really shows the difference between outdoor and indoor lumens. When YOU grow indoors how much light do you use and how do you quantify it? How much white vs. red and blue? What does it all mean, Basil?
Rick Sanchez says to his grandson, “Because I’m a scientist, Morty, not a magician. One invents things the other wears bad eye-liner." Right now, my botany science level is resembling creepy eye-liner level. But, I’ll keep reading and learning. I’m really looking forward to learning from everyone here.