Stretch, do I want to encourage?

Gold Leaf auto flower
2x2x5 tent
Hlg 135 light
28 days from sprout
18/6
First grow. Light started at about 12 inches from plant. I just moved to be about 12 inches again just now. I read every bit closer without heat gives plant that much more light. So I’m not sure if it’s too close or if I should move to 12//12 or if it’s all good as is.

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Decided to move to 20” above plant. Any feedback is appreciated. At 28 days on an AF is it too late to impact stretch?

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I would stay at 20” she’s super compact and could use a little stretch. She’s going to start flowering sometime soon so she will stretch then. 12” is pretty close for any vegetative growth. I don’t have that light but with my Mars Hydro ts1000 (150watt) I veg at 18” and flower around 12”. Hope that helps.

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@Jake3 All feedback helps. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. Not crying over spilled milk , but feel I missed an opportunity for a monster. This plant had 4 cotyledons and seems to grow like two plants in one

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Is that weed or a head of lettuce :rofl:

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The thickness of the stem is nuts

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It may be genetics of the auto flowers. I have two girl scout extreme autos. one is 24" tall. I’m guessing it has 3-4 oz of bud on it. and the other is 8" tall looked a lot like yours. it is all bud maybe going to give 1 oz. I thought the same thing as you. Is my light to close keeping it short? should i raise it up to make plant stretch? it looks healthy so i’m guessing you got a short compact bushy one. your next seed may go 3’ tall. on my first grow so i could be wrong.

Looks like the HLG curse, my girls was doing the same thing till I back the lights off to 30"

12" way too close. I would probably be running 24" at 60% power right now on 18 hour schedule.

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I have some GDP autos at Day 30 that are actually more bushy than yours.

Here’s the other one though. . . Even side y side since day oneimage

Why 60% power? Can I gain back some stretch?

You dont want the plant to be using max light in the beginning… reserve that for buds! Light influences plant shape, the closer the lamp the more intense it is. When a plant is small it does not require full penetrating power, it needs the proper spectrum delivered at the right amplitude to promote proper plant structure.
The effect of proximity is akin to a light full blast. The effect of turning a light down is similar to moving a light farther away. Since your plant does not require penetration yet, the light can be reduced. Since your plant can benefit from less compactness it should be asked to reach for the light… therefore move it away. The combination of light intensity and less penetration is what you need.
The spin off from this is increased longevity of your fixture and power supply… less heat creation… reduced HVAC and electrical costs.

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Your light density is such that you can hit recommend dli at full power on a 12 hour schedule. When you veg on 18 hour schedule the time factor is a third more, so same dli can be attained with a third less light. And your light is more efficient at lower power, so 60% is roughly the same.

You won’t necessarily gain anything back, but you won’t be wasting energy. They may start to stretch a little with less intensity though.

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@Cannabian @dbrn32 thanks for this good info. Besides just trial and error, is there a good resource that breaks down distance and power needs through the stages of plant growth ?

Not specific to your light, that im aware of.

One rudimentary way to adjust is to place your hand near the plants tops and if you can feel the radiation on the back of your hand just barely… thats about right. However, if your plants are young thats probably a bit too close.

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Thoughts on removing some of the larger leaves to allow the lower branches to get more light and not be obstructed by the jig leave#?

I have the same question and concern.