Underwhelmed [sigh]

“Comparison is the thief of joy,” it is said. After comparing our first two tries at autos to others’ efforts (especially on GrowDiaries), we are a little joyless at the harvest of one and the prospects of the other. Where did we go wrong? We hope you can help.

Specs:
Two plants: Grapefruit and Strawberry Pie, both by 420 FastBuds
Fox Farms soil, nutes in 7-gallon fabric pots
2x3 custom tent
One light: Parfactworks RA1000; on 18/6
Vivosun 4" extractor fan
LST, defoliation to let more light and air into lower branches, especially on the Strawberry Pie (on the right)

Where things are now:
Grapefruit was harvested last week - 10 weeks to the day from germination. When cured, we doubt she’ll reach one ounce. Smells great, but we were expecting much more.

Strawberry Pie is almost at 11 weeks and getting close, but she too is a little light, in our opinion. We see these magnificent, colorful colas in other photos around the web and keep waiting for her to pack on more but she’s not. Her calyxes reveal about 20% amber trichs on the very top, and hardly any on her lower buds. I think they’re all cloudy, though, at this point.

Close and frosty:

We don’t think we’ll get much more than a zip out of her, either.

So what happened? Did the LST and defo stress them out? Do we need to up our light game? The current light says it’s 1000W, but a closer reading shows it’s only a 134W pull from the wall. Should we get another of the same light for the next run? Or is that overkill (they don’t come with dimmers).

We watered deeply about twice a week, one of them a feeding. Even went easy on the nutes with the Strawberry, as was suggested by FastBuds.

Help!

And thanks to all who answer!

Have you thought about switching to feminized photoperiod seeds?

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As a matter of fact, we just purchased the ILGM Super Mix pack, which we can’t wait to pop. But here’s the issue with that: our custom tent may not be large enough for more than one, since I understand they can get pretty big (if we don’t LST, we’ll probably have to modify our custom tent to add another foot in height).

We were hoping to put them outside in time for the spring weather hitting SoCal right now, but then we realized our neighbor’s light comes on at night sometimes and this might mess with the desired blackout hours once they hit flower.

Maybe we move our autos outside for the next run and just try to do one or two photos in the tent. Do you think we would need more/better light?

Thanks for responding, KC!

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If you grew two plants from seed to the harvest - that’s a fantastic accomplishment to be proud of - congratulations! It can only get better from here!

I will tag a few growers who might have some advice on the next grow and your questions @MattyBear @Covertgrower @Not2SureYet and the lighting expert @dbrn32

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Are you following the feed schedule?

Thanks, Mom! I know a few of those fine folks have weighed in on previous posts, and their input is always welcome!

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Yes, we used the standard FF trio and followed the schedule. The Strawberry pheno was always kind of weak - a day later in popping, and not as vigorous as the Grapefruit.

I’m thinking it’s lighting. We wrapped our tent frame with Panda Film and I wonder if it’s reflective enough. Do you think lining it with mylar would increase reflection (especially in the lower areas) with the light I have? What do you think of my idea to double my light and purchase another one of the same? Or should I get one with a dimmer to be more customizable?

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Look at how hard they were praying they definitely wanted more light I’d recommend a hlg rspec to get more out of flower

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That’s a sign of them wanting more light? I thought that just meant that they were healthy!

Nope it means they’re reaching for the light and by pointing up they try to maximize it by reflecting in on itself

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Huh! Very cool. Thanks for the tip, GS!

You can politely ask you neighbors to redirect the light off your property; legally, they can’t aim a light onto your property. But flies, honey, all that. Or grow autos outdoor, as you mentioned.

You can grow many small plants in a 2x3. I have 9 plants in a 2’x2’, but I’m not suggesting that anyone else go that route.

Your light does sound a little anemic. I have a 135w HLG flowering that 2’x2’ space. They make an HLG 100 (90 actually) R-spec, which might be a good addition to the light you already own.

Wow, that sounds like quite the sea of green, Keystone.

Thanks for the suggestion about the HLG light. It looks good, but it’s non-dimmable and I’m afraid if we got it it might be overkill if paired with the existing.

I wouldn’t worry about that, but if it was a problem could you dim the light you already have?

This is just my 02. If that was my light. I would only do 1 plant next time with it. Don’t buy into the large coverage it says it can do. It may be able to cover it as a light. But you would grow a much better plant if you did just one and tried to keep it in a 2x2 area. I have done great with a viparspectra 450 light. 200 actual watts. @KeystoneCops has a good point too. You could do a photo, flip it early. Then train it and get some great buds from it in the 4 oz range. I can recommend a few small autos if you want to do an auto. I do way more autos than photos my self. They just seem to like me. He also mentioned the 135 light. I have 3 of those and love them. They are great for one plant. And can handle medium sized plants well.
Before you push they buy button for a new light. I would make sure to ask about it in here first. Odds are. Some one can point you to a good light for a not so expensive price. I wouldn’t recommend any thing other than the new QBs or Cobbs. Or similar to that quality. They may cost more. But the advantages should pay for them selves the first grow. Most are adjustable now. So you cab get away with only using a little electricity for veg. I only veg with 55w. I had 6 viparspectra lights and replaced all with QBs. I could have saved a lot if I would have asked more questions before I started buying so many. That is only a suggestion. I am not trying to tell you what to do :grin:
The best thing about this site is you will never have any trouble finding help at any time of day. :grin:
And congrats on your harvest. it may seem lite to you. But I barely got 1/4 oz from my very first grow :unamused: So you are way a head of me :slight_smile:

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light is most propably the culprint…

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Hello and good morning!

I do think a better light would help you be more productive, but I also agree that a change in your approach would provide better results as well. My last grow was in a 36"x20" tent with 168 watt light i built myself. 2 different photo strains in 3 gallon fabric pots of coco. I’m not necessarily suggesting you should do what I do, but I’m going to attach picture to show how my nearly identical tent looked in comparison.

I think switching to photo strains will work out better for you. You should be able to keep them in veg until the plants are shaped and grown to utilize all of your square footage. That alone should have positive impact on your harvest totals. If you are willing to make an upgrade to your light, I think that would help in size and quality of your buds as well. There is not a lot of great options for 2x3 space, as it’s not very common. There are a few though, or I would be more than happy to help you assemble a custom light.

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As others above had said, your light was the issue. Not enough for two of them.

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Hey @gg58 , like others have said for a first grow anything harvested is a win.
Putting the light issue aside for a moment I feel what should be understood as well is that Autoflower cannabis does not always do well with topping and training. Looking at how its tied down and shaped I have to say its impressive for a first time grow. Had those been photo period plants this issue would not be on the table. But Autos don’t usually do well with this kind of treatment. They run on a set timing according to their genetics and topping takes away the main cola. If the timing on that particular plant is such that it flowers later then you win. But if it starts flowering around 3 weeks like a lot of them do then you lose. Having the light too close will also stunt them permanently. Even if you back it off after a while an autoflower will not recover. It will stay small. I purposefully do this to a plant or two during a grow cycle to grow new strains to test. So you do need more good lighting so you can have strong enough light at a safe distance. If you decide to grow more autos inside I suggest not trying to manipulate them and just let them grow naturally. If you go with photo period, (which I have done because autos are too unpredictable), then you can train them all you want.

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Hi @Spiney_norman. Good to see another Missouri homegrown front porch picker on here. Me and the guys play bluegrass/gospel primarily but we love some hard driving bluegrass too. I play guitar and some mandolin. Drop by my poverty mountain grow if you have the time. I’m starting my second grow ever.
I’d welcome you and your knowledge.
Be blessed. :pray::v: :cowboy_hat_face:

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