Applying what I learned from my first grow with my Fero LED’s!
7/14/2012: I just finished the last of the bud from my first ever grow … how sweet it was! I hoped it would last until my next harvest, but I was quite generous to friends and to myself of course. I am 4 weeks into my second grow with my Fero 360 lights, and the first time I have used them from the start of veg and the plants are looking great!. My first grow can be viewed HERE btw. I was initially leary about LED`s and I am not a expert on grow lighting, but I have done a ton of research, and luckily have very smart friends who are in related industries. I am convinced that LED lights are the next generation of grow lights. Yes, my humble opinion, but I am basing it on energy savings, lower heat and similar results to HID lights (most comparisons have shown to been similar or better). Conversely, I have a close friend who is also replicating my current grow (and my last one ), same strains, using florescent and so far my yield was double his, and my plants resembled bushes compared to his stretched looking sparse plants. I don`t really want to compare LED and HID lights though because I have never used HID before. I can only report that the LED at least produces twice the amount compared to florescents and are ideal in situations where heat is an issue, use much less energy, and are the perfect closet solution. On a large scale, I`m not sure, but I`ll put my money on these LED`s.
Last time, I reported every week until I harvested and included alot of pics showing the weekly progression of my adventure. That was a lot of work! This time I will do periodic reports instead, but I want to try high-light the things I learned the first time. My first grow led me through quite a new experience and with the guidance of the kind people here on GG2C and post commenters, I learned SO much and picked up a couple methods to increase yield per plant. Last time I had 5 plants, but lost one to it’s masculinity! This time I am only growing 2 plants, but I want to see if I can match or beat the amount of bud I got from the previous four. How do I plan to do this you might ask? Two lines of reasoning. 1.) I will have double light per plant, and 2.) during my first grow, I learned about (and tried) topping the plant and super-cropping the branches. The topping worked out great … my super-cropping attempt was pretty weak but I feel much more prepared for it this time. I plan to top and super-crop the hell out these two girls!
This time I chose to try two different strains. White Widow and Romulan. I chose White Widow because it is renowned to being one of the finest overall strains out there. The Romulan was strongly recommended due to it`s skunky taste and high potency … and that works just fine with me! Just to throw myself a curve ball, I chose coco as my medium instead of soil. I thought I was pretty smart because I did a ton of research, but I now realize that although coco is perhaps a superior medium over soil on some levels, it`s downside is that it seems to be much higher maintenance. I made 2 mistakes right from the start. I`ll tell you what I did and what I would do next time.
WHAT I DID: I changed from 2 gal pots to 5 gal – good move. I filled my pots with coco, and a couple days before I planted my sprouts, I pre-soaked the coco with straight water to let it settle and be ready for the sprouts. I planted the sprouts directly into the big pots a couple days later… why mess around with transplanting several times.
WHAT I WOULD DO NEXT TIME: I would first mix the coco 50/50 with perlite … post-research seems everyone mixes their coco with this … Doh! Instead of pre-soaking the mixture with water, I would pre-soak it with water mixed with weak mixture of nutrients (including cal/mag). As I understand, coco is a completely nutrient free medium (unlike soil). I`d still plant the sprouts right into the big pots.
Last time I nearly drowned my little sprouts because I was so anxious to feed them … this time I did the opposite and under-watered resulting in very slow growth for the first 2 weeks (see pics below) … this puzzled me. I finally turned on the water and BOOM …they exploded!
My White Widow and Romulan after 2 weeks. They look so sad like my first grow in the early stages! I am hoping my third shot at dealing with sprouts will be the charm!
After 4 weeks and some better watering habits. I started giving them a half liter 2 weeks ago and now they each get one liter. I alternate my waterings with water with cal/mag and nutrients with cal/mag and occasionally just use straight water. The White Widow definately is a thicker bush with a more aggressive undergrowth. Both plants have been topped once. You can see that the Romulan has strange looking red stems … like rhubarb! The light is about 40 cms from the tallest plant, the White Widow.
7/24/2012: Due to excessive heat and humidity (75+%!!!), I have had to place an air conditioning unit (which also dehumidifies) in my room. Lucky I am somewhat setup for that as my hot water heater is in the same room and has an overflow drain, so my spare portable A/C came in handy. My White Widow’s upper leaves are curling up like a bowl and are actually sweating drops beneath … never seen this before! I think the unit I installed will correct this … and a change in weather.
Anyways, a few days ago I decided it was time to top my plants more aggressively. My White Widow had some lower colas that were pushing up higher than the previously topped tops … my Romulan on the other hand, is showing much slower growth, especially in the lower colas. I have been doing a lot of fan leaf bending and tucking to expose the lower colas to the light and it seems to be working, but it’s nodes and branches seem like a mini version of her sister. I took six tops from my White Widow including re-topping the two initially topped tops, and I also re-topped my Romulan’s two initially topped tops, but left the lower colas alone to develop more. Since the topping the White Widow in particular has become very thirsty! I am now giving her 2 liters every 2-3 days … that is double what I was giving her a couple weeks ago! The Romulan is now getting about 1.5 liters every couple days.
Here are the girls today … White Widow and Romulan. The lights are now about 30 cm from the White Widow and they are seeming to love it.
So what to do with my tops … ? My last grow I struggled in understanding how to choose a clone. Now I understand that if it has a growing TOP it is a potential clone. So I went down to my local plant nursery and bought some rooting powder and a tray of peat pellets and …
OMG! What if they all grow .. I can’t handle another 8 plants! LOL I do have some eager friends who are happy to adopt a few … I may find an outdoor spot to plant a couple too, but will certainly keep a couple to veg until my current two go into flowering.
7/31/2012: Well, they all grew … and fast! Within 7 days, the 6 White Widow’s had serious roots shooting from the peat pellets, in a couple cases over an inch long. The Romulan’s were much more conservative but I wasn’t surprised as the plant they came from is abit of a runt. In any case, I now have 8 extra transplanted clones and can now add cloning to my list of successful experiences . I didn’t expect this to happen … it was an experiment … but I cannot handle this many plants, so I have reached out to find adoptive parents. So far I have found a home for 2 and maybe 3 more in a week or so. I will end up with 3 at least, and I’m not compaining at all. However, I now have to find a second area in my place to keep my 3 clones under 18 hours of light (flourescents) after I place my 2 current plants under 12 hours of light in the next few weeks. Not ideal, but I’ll have to use a closet in my bedroom I guess. The great thing is that when I am harvesting my current plants, my clones should be ready for flowering. A good cycle I might want to continue. Here are the 6 that still remain in one gallon pots.
I also decided to do some super cropping this weekend. I tried to squeeze/bend the taller tops 2 nodes down above the thrid to expose the 2 new potential sprouting tops. Here they are (White Widow, Romulan) after the supercrop. The Romulan shows it much better.
8/09/2012: These plants are resilient little buggers! Within a day or so, the tops had bent at a 45 degree angle back to the light. I spent time daily to re-bend them and tuck fan leaves to keeps the lower potential tops exposed to the light. Although the Romulan is a few inches shorter, both have become intense round little bushes. They are such different plants! Here they are abit more than a week later.
So many tops especially on the White Widow! Both are round little bushes! So far so good!
8/18/2012: I started the 12/12 flowering stage today! I am a bit excited and hesitant at the same time. I really wanted to veg these babies into more mature plants to get a mega yield, but I am forced into doing it. The reason is :
I had 8 clones to start with and quickly gave 2 away to a friend. Another friend wants the other 3 but can only take them later so I’ll be raising them for now with some small 2 foot flourescents in my bedroom closet! I know the flowering of my 2 big plants will be at least 8 weeks and I fear if i don’t start now, the clones will be monsters in 2 months. My buddy has been growing 2 white widows with his 6 flourescents and the are about 40 inches tall … they really stretch with the lesser lighting. In any case, I am very happy I will have a new set of plants entering flowering as I am harvesting my current ones!
Here are my current bushes. The romulan (right) is certainly a stouter plant. The white widow is 20 inches tall by 20 inches wide … the romulan is 16 x 16. Two perfectly round little bushes. The white widow has more tops than I can count but many are small little tops still developing so I don’t really know what to expect from bud on them. Little romulan has fewer tops and a much thicker canopy leaving little light to get below. I don’t know what I will end up with, but it has started so I will soon find out!
My LED light is currently about 25 cm from my white widow and there seems to be no ill effects. I have used cal/mag in every watering and have alternated food with straight water. I am using an organic food that is used for both veg and flowering at different concentrations. My last grow I did 2 plants with organic food and 2 with synthetic and I found the buds from the organic plants were much more tastier.
9/15/2012: Well it has been 4 weeks of 12/12 and all looks great! My White Widow is having some brown leaf-tip issues and some of the edges too, but the buds are looking great so far. I am not sure if it is a defiency of something or too much food. I have tried using straight water doing a semi-flush the last two waterings, so we will see if that helps. Don’t think it is a huge issue though. The Romulan looks lush and green but as it has been from the start, the development of the buds is slower. I don’t think I’ll grow multiple strains together again. Anyway here they are … sorry I have a crappy camera.
Thats all for now. I’ll report on the harvest soon!