Spring Planting Plan 2021 Review Requested

Spring Planting 2021 Plans

There is a bit of a story below. If you don’t have time for all that, just skip down to PLANS:

BACKGROUND:

I’ve been fortunate in being brought up in a gardening family. My paternal grandfather had me working the soil when I was two years old. So I’ve always planted and grown a lot, both indoors and outdoors. I fully realize that Cannabis is a unique plant and some previous experience in other plant types may not translate to understanding those miraculous weeds.

In the early 80’s I grew inside a closet lined with aluminum foil with a Kmart grow lamp. The results were never impressive. Back then, I don’t think we even paid much attention to male or female.

We moved to Colorado, a wonderful grow area, earlier in 2020, barely making it to our new home before the C-19 started causing real problems. I bought a bag of “kush” pot soon after arrival. There were 21 seeds in that bag. Two of the seeds were split – down to 19. I germinated all of them in the larger plastic Dixie cups. I went a day too long on checking them (warm and in the dark) after they sprouted and several of them had super long stringy shoots with the two little pre-leaves at the very end of those long strands. Even propping up with toothpicks, I lost 4 more – Down to 15.

Those 15 did very well. But 7 of them were male, so I was down to 8 female plants. All of those did well, even though the only things I did for them were to water every 3 days. No fertilizers, no PH checks, no PPM checks, nothing. I netted 5 ounces of good smoke, although it was obviously several different species (some very Sativa, some much more Indicia).

After researching Cannabis growing for several hundred hours, the vast majority of it here on the ILGM forum, I’ve come up with the following plan. I would GREATLY appreciate it if you would take the time to review my plan and offer suggestions or corrections. I’m here for your knowledge, which I do appreciate.

GROW AREA:

I’ll be growing outside. Last year our home saw 312 days of sun. Since our home is at 9,000’ on the side of a 14,000’ mountain, the temperatures remain very constant from May to October. We only saw 2 days over 80 degrees, and nighttime temperatures stayed in the 50’s or above. We are in the second driest state, Colorado, and the humidity is always very low. I consider that a plus, although I know I have to slow down the drying and curing after harvest.

I would guess that as much as 80% of the population on this mountain grows pot. Everyone does, and that’s not an exaggeration.

PLANS:

After reading tons of good advice here, this is my plan. Please let me know cautions or changes I need to make.

PLANT TYPE – White Widow Feminized from ILGM. I considered auto’s but with the sun we get, I don’t think that would help anything. I will be starting with the maximum legal limit of 12 plants.

CONTAINER – 7 gallon fabric bags with handles. It can get really windy on the side of the mountain, so I love being able to move my girls into a protected area if that happens.

SOIL – I’ll be using 3 types in the seven gallon fabric pots I intend to use. Gravel on the bottom of the bag to help water flow. On top of the gravel I will add about 4 inches of lovely cured soil containing a fair amount of compost. On top of that FFOF EXCEPT where the transplant will go. In the center of the pot, down to about 7 inches, I’ll leave an area of “plain dirt” so the FFOF doesn’t burn my babies. That will be checked for PH, too.

GERMINATION – no fertilizers or amendments until after they reach 3-5 inches. I use the plastic Dixie cups. I cut the bottom out of one, and then cut the rest of that one in half. I put those halves inside another Dixie cup with a hole in the bottom. When it comes time to transplant I pull out the inside cup, with the dirt and the plant, place it into position in the bag, and remove those two halves. There is no chance of disturbing the dirt or the plant so as to avoid any shock.

TRANSPLANT – I will begin germination on March 15. It is still too cold out, especially at night, to leave them outside. I have a large window area with about 8 hours of sun. That’s where they will grow after sprouting. If the outside temperature remains at 55+ during the day, I will carry them outside for the sun. Once the nights are above 50 degrees then I’ll leave them out all the time. I’ve been advised that Mother’s Day is the date for being outside until harvest.

FERTILIZATION – I’ll be using the FF trio. I will follow their guidelines, although I will start out slowly because I know the FFOF itself already has a lot of “food”. I can catch any nitro burn pretty quick if I’m starting slow.

WATER – outside tank with no chlorine or any other added chemicals. I will check and correct PH, although I know I need for it to vary in the 6.3-6.8 range so all the different nutrients have a chance for uptake.

BUGS!!! – I’ m not too concerned about molds since the plants get plenty of wind but I am concerned about bugs, specifically APHIDS. I took my girls in at the beginning of the freeze season, although I took them out when it got sunny. Very near harvest I spotted Aphids. I cleaned the buds with a 10% solution of hydrogen peroxide, then rinsed in water. But I would have probably let my girls go another two weeks to thicken the buds if I hadn’t seen those little bastards. This is the MOST confusing part of the grow for me. I’ll be ordering Captain Jack’s Dead Bug since that is what is so often recommended here. But I am a little paranoid about bugs. Any other help is appreciated.

HARVEST – I have an entire room to hang the plants in and I know the cure is very important. I am following those guidelines listed here. It is very likely that I will need to use a HUMIDIFIER, rather than a DEHUMIDIFIER, for the drying process. As I said, it’s really dry here.

PURCHASE LIST – All prices include shipping if shipping is charged.

GERMINATION CUPS – 24 plastic = $0, already have
SEEDS – ILGM 20 White Widow Feminized = $119.00
PLANTERS – 12 7 gallon fabric bags with handles = $22.28
SOIL – 6 Bags FFOF 1.5 CF (40 pounds each) X $26.00 = $156.00
OTHER SOIL – Old soil ripened compost for bottom, very well stirred and PH tested = $0
PH / TDS / TEMP tester – Wiztech - $36.99
HYDROMETER - $11.99
FERTILIZER – NOT HYDRO FF Trio (Grow Big, Big Bloom, Tiger Bloom) Quart Sizes = $42.48
WATER – PH tested natural spring water = $0
LIGHT – FREE FREE FREE.
BUGS – Captain Jack’s Dead Bug – 16 ounce concentrate makes 8 gallons = $23.41
GLASS JARS – I have 36 right now, each to hold an ounce. That’s a 3 ounce per plant average.
RH – 6.2 Packets – already have 40.

TOTAL = $412.15
I wanted to stay at $400, but that’s close enough.
Cost $34.35 per plant assuming all goes well.

3 Likes

Welcome to the community @moxking you have really done some homework lol you have some of the most awesome growers here to help with anything at anytime

This was so informational!!! I am also in CO and planning a Memorial Day grow outside with the ILGM outdoor mix. Just going to intersperse them in the flower and vegetable beds. I know what you mean about humidity!

Thank you for your response. In ground is out here unless I wanted to dig the holes and fill them with dirt. Sand is our predominant feature here.

Thank you. I look forward to listening and learning.

1 Like

A few thoughts:

Seeds: Think about buying a variety of cultivars, not just White Widow. You never know what cultivar is going to perform best, year to year. If it were me, I’d also think about trying to breed a climatized line over many seasons, but that’s perhaps a bit much to tackle in your first year.

Germination: Tall humidity domes are inexpensive ($7 + $1.50 for a tray) and worth the money. I always start in there with a heat mat ($20). You’re in the high desert, right. I think you’re gonna want one. I’d also look into a light. I have an HLG 65 V2 for germination/vegetative growth, but even a fluorescent fixture would be great. Many outdoor growers will get a big head start on the season by growing under a 20/4 light cycle for a month or two indoors before transplanting the plants outside. That’s the trick to get monster harvests, but it also frees you up to put the plants out on the weather’s timetable, instead of rushing because your seedlings are getting lanky or unhealthy.

Containers/Soil: If you go really big, there’s no need to migrate from organic soil over to synthetic nutrients midway through the grow. Consider a 20gal or even larger. And if you’re so inclined, you can reuse the soil later by simply reamending it. Speaking of amending, Adding garden gypsum to your Ocean Forest will help buffer the acidity people have been experiencing. Personally, I’d make it hotter with blood meal, rock phosphorus, bone meal, green sand, and lots of microbes.

Water: Don’t worry about pH at all. Don’t worry about varying it. Soil will buffer the pH. Your time is limited, and better spent elsewhere. Save money on those pH/TDS meters for now.

Insects/pests: Spending your time inspecting and removing pests by hand is good. Learning to leave beneficial insects is good. Companion planting is good. Applying BT (selectively) is good. Spray pesticides… I would never. Not on something I intend to smoke. Those formulas might be approved for food crops, but they are absolutely not meant for smoked flowers. Depending on what regulatory approval they have, they can even add in things that aren’t on the label, so you really never know what you’re getting. Anyway, if you avoid using broad pesticides, you can benefit from beneficial insects, like I mentioned before. Outdoors, you have to accept a certain amount of pests; it’s just about keeping their populations under control.

Hope this all helps!

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You are putting all of your eggs in one basket, so to speak.

I suggest growing a few autoflowering plants this summer to go along with the rest. It seems to me that Colorado had a very early freeze and snow this year and my guess is lots of outdoor growers lost their plants before harvest. Autoflowers will be done in three months, the photoperiod, not until October. You won’t get nearly as much pot off the autoflowers, but if your photoperiod make it through to harvest 12 plants would keep you busy for months just trimming.

5 Likes

Excellent point.

I truly thank you for your time and suggestions. The whole PH and TDS isn’t something I looked forward to doing. Ill take your advice on that suggestion for sure. Ill re-read your opinions several times before I make any final decisions.

First question - what are you looking out of this grow? Any amounts, limitations etc? Are you looking to use this yourself for any particular reason (medicinal) or for others? Is this on a certain budget?

First off I agree with others I would mix up your phenos. Do you have the option to run inside and out?

I’ve thought about how much easier the autos seem to be. I’ve switched several times. Maybe ill try a mix of types, as you suggest. Plus an equal number of fees and autos.

They pay $150 per pound for trimming around here, but if my measly 5 ounces were an all day project I can see that I simply don’t need THAT MUCH pot.

Thank you for your excellent suggestions.

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I would be growing for my and my wife’s medicinal use. We’ve used White Widow and it does the job well.

Other than germination inside and waiting for acceptable weather I wouldn’t grow inside. I can take the plants inside for inclement weather. Budget at around $400.

Extra ounces will be used as barter, which is very common here on the mountain.