Northern Lights Auto Grow Journal

This is my 3rd grow. I’ve been keeping detailed private journals on my first 2 grows, but I figured I’d learn a lot more if this time around I posted my pics, problems and postulations (gotta love alliteration) ;-).

I am growing a single plant (thus the handle ‘HobbyGardener’)

Strain Info:

  • Northern Lights Auto-flowering

  • Typical height: 80-120 cm

  • Manufacturer claims 8 weeks seed to harvest, but my first grow of the same variety is looking more like 11 weeks from germination to harvesting

Grow Info:

  • Outdoor grow
  • Container garden
  • Good Southern exposure with only partial obstruction
  • Starting soil for seedling is Pro Mix Ultimate: Organic Seed Starting Mix (Mild level of time release nutrients) with the goal of switching over to a 3+ gallon container using a commercial soil/peat moss mix blended with 50% home made organic compost (good nitrogen content with excellent water retention, and supplemented with Gaia Green slow release organic 2-8-4 fertilizer with micro nutrients.

Ker-sploosh!! My seed jumped into the pool at noon today. Off to soak in a jar of tap water left in a warm dark cupboard for a few (hours before I begin to start obsessivley checking for signs of germination…)


My Autos from ILGM popped in the cup in 24 hours exactly, just started 11, 9 white widows and 2 Bluberry for an out door grow here in uostate N.Y. Good Luck to you , I’m only a day ahead of you so I"ll be watchin your posts as well !!


I’m growing an auto NL from ilgm too. You said this is third grow. How long did they take. On day 85 from seed and trying to stay patient lol. Just don’t know what to expect.

Hi @Jheezy,

My NLA are actually from a different breeder. I hadn’t discovered this wonderful community yet back when I made my first purchase, so I’ll likely be dealing with slightly different genetics then you. That said, my first grow germinated back on April 18th, and I’m now 9 and 1/2 weeks in and it looks like I’m still 1 to 2 weeks from harvest.

Many seed companies make some bold claims about their autos going from seed to harvest in 8 weeks (or less) but everything I’m reading (and I’m reading a lot) would indicate that 10-11 weeks from germination to harvest is a more realistic timeline. I think the only way to get such quick seed to harvest turn around times is to force flowering very early, which I imagine would dramatically impact your yield.

My second grow is about 4 weeks in and looking good, but I’ll be curious to see how long they ultimately take to reach harvest.

Re your plants being on day 85, that would put you around the 11-12 week mark so you should be close. What sort of pistil coloration are you seeing? How are your trichomes looking? These are the best indicators of how far along you are and how far your plants still have to go. Pistil color percentage is a decent indicator, but as I’m coming to appreciate, trichomes tell a much more accurate story. :slight_smile:

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Hey @hobbygardener.
just read a good post on trichs, what are you using to look at them?

White straight pistils Got a loupe comin tomorrow. First time and didn’t really do anything right. :neutral_face: Got an ak47 auto grow planned and will follow a plan this time. Been worried about buds but they seem to be fattening up recently. But not fat like some I’ve seen on forums. Oh well guess I’m glad I didn’t kill it.

Glad you didn’t kill it either, ps. those Fat Buds are all photoshopped LOL!!!

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Hi @FyshhTrap,

Right now I’m using 6 x magnification and a somewhat rundown pair of eyeballs. Not the best of combinations…
I’m also using the digital magnification feature on my phone’s camera which is ‘OK’ (better than above).

But better by far would be a 30-60 x magnification jeweler’s loupe that you can get off of Amazon or Ebay for $5-10. Everything I’m reading indicates the Trichome coloration gives you the best indication of potency and quality of high, so you can know when to harvest.

Hi @Jheezy,

At the risk of sounding philosophical, I believe that the first time for anything is usually all about making mistakes - mistakes are a part of your process, they are the paving stones on your path towards mastery.

So far it sounds to me like you are knocking your first grow out of the park - after all, the real measure of success of a first grow is that you actually grew something that you could harvest :wink: and it sounds like you are just about there!

Re readiness, it is sounding like you are still a few weeks out. Some varieties of auto take over 11 weeks. I was just reading someone’s grow journal where their auto took 13+ weeks to be ready for harvest. That said, some varieties do not display marked pistil color changes when they are ready for harvest, so you’ll be putting that loupe to good use when it comes in the mail!

Please keep us posted on how it’s progressing :slight_smile:

Well I wasn’t that bad lol. A bit lazy maybe. Mainly I skimped on soil. She looks kinda good though. Better than what costs $20 a gram for around here


Good to know about PS. I guess I won’t feel bad if I don’t get 3 ounces of one auto. Lol.

Nicely done Jheezy! Your plants look great!

I think about all the mistakes I’ve been making and I have a good laugh :slight_smile: at my own expense.

The good news though is that my plants have survived my ineptness, and I’m just a few weeks out from having a celebratory smoke. :wink:

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@ hobbygardener
yyeah I’m thinking a jewelers loop would be a better idea than carrying my camera although I DO carry it a lot when I’m fishing, its fairly small Cannon-DS10 Powershot, so when I check my plants (out door grow) I can return home and check the pics on the computer enlarged from the macro setting, Dam I love this site, so many ideas.

@FyshhTrap I feel the same way. It’s great to be able to learn from and with other growers! Plus, I really enjoy being able to share my little successes and failures. Growing seems in many ways to be a solitary pursuit, so it’s really nice to be able to come here and connect with other like minded folks :slight_smile:


Got loupe. Lol what a tiny piece of crap. Will pull out plant in a bit and get a better look. But looks clear as of now Yeah just read too many forums with very complicated regimens of additives Shoot I’d say use a good soil(not that I did) and water. Maybe a little bloom nute. Good light. Good to go

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Does cam work like that? Loupe hard to use and x60 part is so tiny. Can see with x30 and may try to put in front of phone lens and take a pic then zoom in a bit. Tried using my bigger dslr with extension tube but didn’t work. May try with cool pix

Torn between coco coir for next grow but I do like soil much better. I’ll probably use a fox farm soil and get into a light dynagrow schedule. Maybe. Seems like soil and less additives would work great. Maybe get some worm casings bloodmeal etc. big hassle diagnosing nute damage. Had a reddish rash looking spot on a couple leaves narrowed it down to like four different possibilities. Usually leave in cabinet but pulled it out. Getting a little sticky and a little stinky. Oh well. Patience patience patience. Headed outside to transplant some squash and beets.

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Yes , my Cannon DS 10 powershot Digital, has auto focus or Macro/ auto, then zoom in and shoot, I use it for fishing and out door photography, its also waterproof to 33ft. It takes some pretty cool under water photos!! So, right after I shoot some pics I plug it into my computer then go to files, it shows my camera, I click on that and that’s about it. Or I can use Google Drive and Cloud drive to down load and store my files weather it be from my phone or camera, from there I can access them from my phone or computer and send them anywhere. If my plants ever start (just put them in soil yesterday) that’s proly what I"ll be doing.

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KInda like my fishing forums!!

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