1st time grower, probably doing most things wrong, could really use some advice…
Southern Hemisphere, so it’s summer here (think August 1st in San Diego for equivalent climate). Don’t own or have access to grow lights, but do have a massive 30’-wide floor-to-ceiling window with good ambient light all day and strong direct sunlight afternoons. So I guess this is called a “Window Grow” but they are very big windows so it’s almost the same light as an outdoor grow. Southern California like climate so longer summer season than most places.
YES, I DO UNDERSTAND IT’S WAY TOO LATE IN THE SEASON TO BE STARTING A NATURAL LIGHT GROW. But… well, shit, this is when my circumstances allow me to start and I don’t want to wait almost a year. (Planting season here is October, our spring). So I’m starting now, knowing it’s suboptimal in many ways. Good news is our summers are long here and there’s plenty of good light left. I hope.
My first assumption is that due to planting mid-season, my plants will flower and mature relatively small in size, so I’m compensating by planting far more plants than I would normally need for personal consumption. 15 seedlings now planted on the assumption some will die and others will be harvested long before reaching full growth size. Yeah, I know, not the right way to do this. But it was either that or wait a year…
Growing in Coco Coir, feeding with Ph’ed RO water and “Top Crop” designed-for-coco nutrient system.
Strains and rationale for planting them: I chose ALL feminized photoperiods, figuring that my natural light situation would not allow autoflowers to grow to adequate size before they went into flower on their own.
(3) Quick Critical Plus: Advertised as the “fastest feminized seed in the catalog”, I figured that since I am trying to start a natural light grown when the season is already half over, something that grows fast makes logical sense. I normally favor Sativas over Indicas, but happy to compromise for the sake of having a few “short growing schedule” plants.
(3) Moby Dick, but 1 already died as a seedling: Seemed a good balance of Sativa-dominance (user preference) but still relatively short 60-70 day advertised flowering period
(3) Purple Afgan Kush: Girlfriend liked the picture, short flower period, very popular locally per seed store clerk (local seed source).
(3) Silver Haze #9: Seemed a good near-pure-Sativa choice with relatively short 65-75d flower period
(2) Y Griega: Another Sativa-dominant choice reported to grow very quickly but with longer 80-90d flower period
1 Royal Haze, 1 Freddy’s Best: High quality Sativas with semi-modest 70-84 day flower periods.
Tried taking the clear plastic cover off too early (after 1 week) and suffered some leaf burn as a result of inadequate humidity. Put it back on and not really sure when to take it back off.
After 2 full weeks of growing I have way less progress than all the pics I see on YouTube vids 2 weeks into a grow, but those guys are experts growing under top shelf lighting systems 18 or 24 hrs a day of light, and I’m just relying on natural light, so maybe this is normal?
The seedlings seem too tall and weak to support themselves without falling over, hence the toothpick-like stakes I added to some plants. Not sure what to do to get them strong enough to stand on their own.
I originally planted 12 seeds total, figuring even after things go wrong there should be enough yield to supply two active consumers for a full year which is how long until NEXT year’s harvest after we start the next grow at the correct time of year. But then 1 suffered infant death, and I decided to plant 4 more to replace it. So the 4 pots you see with no visible plant were just planted yesterday. The rest were planted on Jan 14 and 15 (15 days ago). Still seem pretty darned small to me…
I am aware that the green stuff is algae and that’s not good, but I don’t know what to do about it.
For the first 8 days I fed the plants RO water only. My Ph meter had not yet arrived so it was all 6.9 to 7.0 RO water. Since the Ph meter arrived this past week I’ve been Ph’ing the nut solution to 5.9 per advice of one of the YouTube vids I watched about growing in coco coir.
After the first 8 days or R0 water only, I started adding 0.5ml/L CalMag, 0.75ml/L Top Crop “Top Roots”, and 0.75 ml/L Top Crop “Top Coco A & B”. Then after day 12 I added 1ml/L of Top Crop “Green Explosion", which is a veg accelerator that sounded like a good idea given my natural light and limited timetable due to starting late.
I’m watering once a day (always including nuts now per advice on YouTube) until I see visible runoff coming out the drain holes. This was more YouTube wisdom. Most things I read say it’s impossible to over-water in Coco Coir, but the green algae makes me wonder.
When I first saw the algae starting to form after about 7 days I figured the problem was too much humidity from keeping the plastic dome over the seedling pots, so I removed it. That led to wilting and burnt leaf edges, and some of that damage is still visible in the photos. So I opened the little vent twist things on the top and put the lids back on. Hygrometer says 85%+ most of the time, so that’s probably why the algae. But taking the lid off was a disaster before. I don’t know what to do – can’t very well take it half way off…
Any and all advice welcome and deeply appreciated. I’m obviously trying to do something a bit misguided to start with here planting for natural light when the season is already half-over. But finished product is not easy to find for sale in my area and waiting another year for the crop just wasn’t going to fly. If I can get a TOTAL of 500g from all 15 plants I’ll be more than happy.
The plan is to transplant into 20L (5 gal) pots (they are inverted under the seedling planters in the photo), but frankly I don’t know when. The videos I’ve watched all say to transplant after about 2 weeks after planting the seeds. That’s right now! But these plants don’t seem anywhere close to ready to be transplanted compared to what I see in the videos being transplanted. So my assumption is I should wait until the plants are much bigger than they are now.
My biggest fear is how these tiny little stems which seem longer than they should be are going to support the weight of bigger leaves. I guess they get thicker with time. Fingers crossed…