offgrid's first grow attempt

offgrid

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it's more of my second attempt. first one was an utter disaster, having proceeded from ignorance rather than a base of research. i have the added complication of being in japan, which makes obtaining many of the optimal materials and resources very difficult, if not impossible. however, with a gram going for 60 bucks, i feel it's time to grow for myself and join the realm of self-sufficiency.

because i'm leaving the country in 6 months, i didn't want to spend a lot of money on new materials; instead, i improvised with what was available. i'm attempting to grow three plants from feminized seeds from the dutch passion seed company. i believe it's a sativa 75% / indica 25% hybrid. the main light is a circular overhead cfl with two bulbs: 32 and 40 watts respectively. i have no idea about the lumens. in addition, i added a second 100 watt cfl in the center between the three pots. i'm growing from potting soil purchased at seiyu (the japanese equivalent of wal-mart) in a pot 10 inches wide at the top and 8 inches deep. the tempature of my apartment averages 51 degrees because there is no central heating in japan; however, in the closet, under the lights, i can keep the tempature at about 71 degrees. i will try to keep the lights as close as possible to the plants once they get out, but my main lamp won't reach much further down. i'll be looking in the second hand shops for additional lamps.

i have some hyponix fertalizer with a picture of a tomato on the front, and it says to use a capful for every 10 liters of water. i'll add just a few drops to the water, which begins a week or two from when they sprout, correct?
i'm a little apprehensive about the possibilities of success, given my abysmal growing conditions and lack of experience. but, this can be viewed as an experiment in any case.

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DLtoker

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Well, looks as if you are off to a good start all things considered. You know though there are different ferts for different times of growth right? When you start feeding in another week or so, you want to use a fert which is high in nitrogen... You say things are tough in Japan, but if this is really going for 60 a gram I would recommend investing a little more into ferts to get your best results. I'm sure Seiyu will have a few different types of ferts all reasonably priced.

I haven't ever grown with soil, but i think you should get some bigger catch pots for the water below... like some sheet rock buckets... especially when you flush. Or I suppose you could just flush outside or in a tub.

With lights, you may also want to get a few more bulbs... but you don't have to rush to do that. If your plants are stretching really bad then definitely go for more... plus you will get denser heavier buds that way.

Anyways best of luck with it and have fun.:farm:
 

offgrid

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noooo! my n00bness has already struck a telling blow! i initially started with three seeds. right away, one of the seeds germinated a nice big taproot. i planted her right away. the other two seeds had a tiny bit of taproot too, so in my haste i threw them into their own pot as well. however, i didn't bury them well enough methinks.

plant #1 is doing well i suppose...she seems to be growing rather slowly. i planted her tuesday afternoon 1/30 when her taproot came out. the others soon followed. she's out, but she doesn't seem to be doing much growing. the other two, however...well, i kinda screwed up. they washed up to the surface after i buried them when i watered the soil...and i saw them. the baby taproot looked like it was darkening under the lights. i buried both of them much deeper this time, but i don't know if they're going to make it.

at the moment, i'm concentrating on the one that sprouted. i got lights on a clip and another 100watt (but it's really 22 watt) FLC in the reddish color, so now there's a cool white and a reddish one shining about an inch or two away from the one girl who has sprouted. if the other two make it, then i'll have to think of some other ghetto way to get them light. but for now, i'll focus on the one who's alive and here.

i literally went to three different towns looking for fertalizers...they're really hard to find. i only managed to find two: one with 6-10-5, and the other with 10-5-8. on tuesday (one week) i'll start with a little bit of the 10-5-8 one...i don't know if i should do it sooner, because she really hasn't grown hardly at all since she sprouted her two little pre-leaves and the first jagged leaves (sorry, i don't know the jargon yet for leaf-type).

so i wonder...will the other two seeds who had a bad start make it? how long does it take for a plant, once it sprouts, to really start growing? i think i have enough light now, and the tempature doesn't go down too far until night time when the lights turn off (i'm on 18/6)..then it's probably down to 11C (51F)...should i keep the lights on 24/7 to keep them warm? there's only about one month left of hard-core winter before it starts warming up. ah geez...i hope the other two seeds are ok, even if they're going to be retarded...(i feel like i'm in high school carrying around my baby egg).

peace
offgrid

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DLtoker

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Well, the seeds should always be buried 1/4 inch below the surface...The beans might have popped up to the surface because the soil was too loose around it... Like I said I'm a hydro guy though...

If you only started a week few days ago or so you're fine... the plants don't gow much at all the first 3 weeks or so becuase they are focusing their energy on making a proper root system...

Don't use ferts yet! They say you need to be at least two weeks in before using them... I think you may want to wait a little bit longer. I'm just finishing up my first grow and the #1 thing I learned was TO LAY OFF THE EDITED FOR LANGUAGE NUTES. I almost killed one plant becuase of over fert and the buds on it right now are not even smokable. Now, I wait untill I see a deficiency and then I treat it by bumbing the nutes.

With your nutes, you should be fine I suppose now... If you wanna do one more thing maybe you could ebay some potash tohelp the buds out durng flowering.

What else.... Your lights... Since the temp drops so much at night, you may want to leave the light on 24/7... My lights are on 24/7 for veg but it is all opinion. Then when you flower it won't be winter there anymore and you will have a wamer environment for them.

The other two seeds are a toss up... just be patient, and what happens happens.
 

offgrid

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ok something seems not-to-be right here. so it's been maybe a week since my one and only lady sprouted, and she hasn't grown all that much. at first i tried applying more lights, but then the tempature got out of control. then i tried more distance, but felt like she wasn't getting *enough* light (damn you HPS light people....making us poor flouros people feel inadequate). then i thought i wasn't watering-enough (which is usually a mistake, but that's what my nihonjin hydroponic friend said).

so yeah, it's been a week and she really hasn't grown all that much. in fact, i noticed that the edges of her little leaves were turning like a bluish-purplish black or something. even the edges of the jagged leaves have a little of this. i checked the symptoms page, but found nothing. is this some kind of mold? did i water too much? should i use ferts now? aaarrggh!

i'd like to have a shining example of a plant, but i don't know what i'm doing wrong! any suggestions? i have two seeds left and still have 6 months, so if i need to get different soil with more drainage, i can just scrap this process and try again i suppose. what do y'all think?

peace
offgrid

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Elephant Man

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Please, do not feed her yet. See those first 2 little round leaves? They are called cotyldons and store all the plants needed nutrients for first few weeks of life, let the plant tell you when it is hungry. Your pots are a little bigger than I usually start seedlings in, but that is ok. Your little seedling right now only has a tap root 2-4" long and can probably survive in that large pot for over a week without water, depending on soil moisture retention and relative humidity. Give her some time to absorb some moisture and dry cycle and then just give her a 1/4 cup or so of water from the surface. Your pot will not have to be drenched until she has more root system.
 

Zarnon

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em said:
They are called cotyldons and store all the plants needed nutrients for first few weeks of life, let the plant tell you when it is hungry.
EM, one clarification. This is applicable to soil but not hydro. I made that mistake the first time I grew and have great documentation of nitrogen deficiency almost to death, then recovery LOL.

But for soil seems right. I am using that advice with my 'test' clone.
 

Elephant Man

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Zarnon said:
EM, one clarification. Just so someone (like I did!) confuse soil with hydro. I made that mistake the first time I grew and have great documentation of nitrogen deficiency almost to death, then recovery LOL.

But for soil seems right. I am using that advice with my 'test' clone.
Agreed...hydro is not my area, but in soil I find the dropping of the cotyldons a great indicator for starting weak feedings. I have to admit, when I germ seeds I use spring water for the traces. ;)
 
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DLtoker

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Are you still running 18/6 lighting? The discoloration could be from the temps dropping so much when the lights are off... as well as slowing growth.
 

Zarnon

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Yeah EM, I kinda think of this as mj myth number a-2047b ('the plant has everything it needs for two weeks').

If you take a truly nute deficient medium (like hydro or soilless) the plant might make it two weeks, but it will be about this big and this yellow at the end. LOL...

This applies to any medium that has no starting nutes.

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theyorker

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Offgrid, I have plants I germinated 17 days ago and believe me, it is slow. I tried giving them nutes at 1/3 strenth after 9 days and they didn't like it all. I have an excellent hydroponics shop and the guy told me the same thing that EM is saying about the seed leaves. All of the growth for that plant is happening below the surface and they are getting enough nutrients from the leaves and soil until you transplant at 14-17 days. Then if you use good soil you still won't need nutes for another 2 - 3 weeks. The hardest part about growing is letting them grow. Until you transplant them just give them lots of light and water every 2-3 days and let the roots grow. Good luck.
 

offgrid

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woohoo everyone thanks for the great advice. so i haven't watered in about three days, and suddenly she's growing like mad. the cotyledons are starting to turn yellow, but the two main leaves are getting bigger, and already i can see the start of the next two leaves forming. this is great, because i'd like the plant to be as short as possible since i don't have many lights. depending on how moist the soil still is tomorrow night, i might wait a few more days before watering (i'll see if the plant looks like it needs water).

as far as the two dead seeds from earlier, one actually made it! it's bursting through the soil right now...still hasn't totally cleared it yet, and ALREADY there are two real leaves forming between the cotyledons. it's fantastic! i was a little worried that i'd only have my one little plant from which to learn and make all my mistakes. now that this second girl is popping up, i know roughly how long she'll need before going on the crazy growth-rampage that my first lady is experiencing.

the slight problem is that she's not quite in the center of the pot...more off to one side. i did this because 1) i didn't think she'd make it and 2) i only had that one big light, and i wanted her to be as close to it as possible once she sprung up. now i'm wondering if it will be detrimental to her health to be unable to spread her roots in one direction. my question is: should i transplant her to a more central location in about a week?

the lights have been on 24/7 in an attempt to mitigate the temperature change between night and day. i don't know where the discoloration came from; i think it was because the lights were too close to the sproutling.

it's going to be a bit strange because the two plants are growing at different rates, but we'll see what happens. i didn't put any special nutrients in the soil when i got it, so i dunno...i'll do the whole wait-and-see approach.

again, thanks for the advice!

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offgrid

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it has been two and a half weeks since homegirl 1 popped her taproot, and slightly less than that for homegirl 2. there were problems with homegirl 2, so she's waaaaaay behind development, as you can see in the pictures.

so far so good. for some reason, the first two real leaves (not the cotyledons) have started wilting on the ends. i don't know why...it could be a lack of humidity. she's growing fairly quickly; i don't know exactly because i've never really done this before. the nodes look like they're right on top of each other, which is good i suppose. i'm a little worried that they're not really MJ seeds, because i got them at a tiny hidden shop that also sold a variety of sex toys. they were also reeeaaally tiny, not like the seeds i'd find in a bag of schwag back in the states.

i've been trying to figure out the optimal way of getting lights to the plants. i backed off having the fluoros so close for a few days, but it seemed to slow growth. i've since put the fluoros back after making sure they weren't too hot. i'm keeping them about an inch away. above them about 6 to 8 inches is the big circle fluoros, but they're far enough away that the light weakens significantly. see pics again for the difference in brightness from the compact ones to the circle ones.

the little one is sooOOooo little. she's the one who almost didn't make it...and i'm wondering if she'll still make it, becasue her first two real leaves aren't very big at all. even if she pulls through, she'll be really far behind.

in the perfect scenario i have in my head, the little one will go outside on the balcony when it warms up to veg more and hopefully grow. homegirl 1 i will try to FIM or do some LST to keep her canopy exactly the size of the light reflector on the big circle light, so she'll be in a bubble of light. by the time she's flowered and harvested (jah-willing), the runt will have grown enough to put into flowering, and i'll move her in from outdoors.

if anyone has any insight as to why the lowest leaves are drying on the ends of homegirl 1, it would be appreciated. this is a pretty god-awful setup, but it's the best i can do for the moment, especially considering this is a one-time shot before moving on.

thanks for your feedback! i swear this forum is like ganja-porn...

peace
offgrid

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THE BROTHER'S GRUNT

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Look at it this way OG. You can do all your learning from this grow and improve as you go along. We have been doing it since we started. Were always trying to make things better for the ladies. Anyway everything is looking good man keep it up. ;) GREEN MOJO for the babies. ;)

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offgrid

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oh man it's slooooow going. so it's been roughly 26 days since i first planted ms. #1, and maybe 23 days since she popped out of the soil. at first i wasn't sure what was going on because it was moving SOOOO SLOOOOWLY. as you can see by the pictures, i've been tweaking the lighting system, trying to find the best way to get lights to my plants. today i bought ANOTHER CFL, so i think she's getting about 4-5k of lumens. all i know is i work in my grow closet, and when i come back out i can't see very well for a few minutes.

i had to let the runt go. she was severely stunted because i think her roots were damaged. so i put her outside to get the late winter/early spring sun...but alas, the night took her from us...

so now i focus all my energy and light on the one that remains. brother grunt, that green mojo you gave me must have done some crazy magic, because all of a sudden she's growing like mad. granted, she's a little twisty because i'm constantly adjusting the lights so they are as close as possible without burning (which is what i think did in the runt...a light fell on her :( ). however, she's starting to really grow now.

the first leaves i pinched off because they were wilting very badly. now the next set of leaves up from the bottom are yellowing and drying out badly too. i think it was because i dared to put a few drops of nutrients into the water...won't be doing that again for awhile. but yeah, she's got 5 nodes and is working on the 6th, but she's still only two inches tall. in the node-pits, other little leaves have sprouted there too, but i don't see how they can get much light...the CFLs don't penetrate very well.

march 8th will be exactly one month...when do i move into flowering? i'm a little concerned about how long it will take to harvest, because i have to move out by late july. do i wait for her to get up to 6 or 8 inches before inducing flowering? i'm a little limited by the lights and a bit impatient.

this whole hair-brained idea started one night when i was complimenting another grower on his fine crop and lamenting the lack of green in my life. he asked me why i didn't grow myself, and i offered a litany of excuses why it couldn't happen. oh, i'm leaving soon, i don't have time, it takes too long, i don't know how, i don't have the special grow lights, etc etc. he said, "are you a woman? ****, i could get this done by tomorrow if i wanted." ouch, that stung. so yeah, i went out the next day and got everything and started...THE VERY NEXT DAY...IN JAPAN. hence, this harvest (jah willing) will be my first, and it will be very very sweet.

ok, thanks for the grow-love everyone! i can't wait to settle in someplace and do this stuff for real like y'all...

peace
offgrid

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THE BROTHER'S GRUNT

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Sup OG. You want to wait until your plant shows pre flowers or alternating nodes which is a sign that your plant is mature and ready for flower. This can take anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks from germination. Lay off them nutes as they can kill babies real easy. ;)
offgrid said:
oh man it's slooooow going. so it's been roughly 26 days since i first planted ms. #1, and maybe 23 days since she popped out of the soil. at first i wasn't sure what was going on because it was moving SOOOO SLOOOOWLY. as you can see by the pictures, i've been tweaking the lighting system, trying to find the best way to get lights to my plants. today i bought ANOTHER CFL, so i think she's getting about 4-5k of lumens. all i know is i work in my grow closet, and when i come back out i can't see very well for a few minutes.

i had to let the runt go. she was severely stunted because i think her roots were damaged. so i put her outside to get the late winter/early spring sun...but alas, the night took her from us...

so now i focus all my energy and light on the one that remains. brother grunt, that green mojo you gave me must have done some crazy magic, because all of a sudden she's growing like mad. granted, she's a little twisty because i'm constantly adjusting the lights so they are as close as possible without burning (which is what i think did in the runt...a light fell on her :( ). however, she's starting to really grow now.

the first leaves i pinched off because they were wilting very badly. now the next set of leaves up from the bottom are yellowing and drying out badly too. i think it was because i dared to put a few drops of nutrients into the water...won't be doing that again for awhile. but yeah, she's got 5 nodes and is working on the 6th, but she's still only two inches tall. in the node-pits, other little leaves have sprouted there too, but i don't see how they can get much light...the CFLs don't penetrate very well.

march 8th will be exactly one month...when do i move into flowering? i'm a little concerned about how long it will take to harvest, because i have to move out by late july. do i wait for her to get up to 6 or 8 inches before inducing flowering? i'm a little limited by the lights and a bit impatient.

this whole hair-brained idea started one night when i was complimenting another grower on his fine crop and lamenting the lack of green in my life. he asked me why i didn't grow myself, and i offered a litany of excuses why it couldn't happen. oh, i'm leaving soon, i don't have time, it takes too long, i don't know how, i don't have the special grow lights, etc etc. he said, "are you a woman? ****, i could get this done by tomorrow if i wanted." ouch, that stung. so yeah, i went out the next day and got everything and started...THE VERY NEXT DAY...IN JAPAN. hence, this harvest (jah willing) will be my first, and it will be very very sweet.

ok, thanks for the grow-love everyone! i can't wait to settle in someplace and do this stuff for real like y'all...

peace
offgrid
 
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theyorker

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Hey Offgrid. I'm around 10 days ahead of you and I know exactly how you feel about it being slow. Your plant looks good. How often do you water them? What kind of nutes did you use?
 

LaserKittensGoPewPew

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Damn...60 bucks a G. That's awesome. My grandparents live in Okinawa and own tons of acres of farmland. I've been dreaming of what it would be like to grow in their gardens/green houses with that tropical climate. I think I might give it a try next time I visit for the summer for 3 months. Keep those things going dude. Good luck!
 

offgrid

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theyorker, thanks for the plant compliment :p so yeah, it took me awhile to find the sweet spot. first there weren't enough lights, and it was too cold, then it was too hot and overwatering, THEN i had problems whenever i tried to add any nutes, and despite 24/7 light period, she wasn't grown. but now, i've got 3 CFLs and a fan blowing constantly, and the light is at 18/6...with all those things together, she's starting to respond. i might even pick up ONE MORE light today so i have 2 blue CFLs and 2 red ones. the problem is mounting them all...but there's nothing that can't be done with a little wire coat hanger :p

laserkittensgopewpew:
haha nice name ^_^ if you're only going to be there for three months, you won't have enough time. the stuff grows totally wild in the mountains of japan (on honshu, at least), and there's an ancient history of the japanese using hemp and its flower. The wandering Zen poet Issa Kobayashi once wrote:

The cannabis around my hut
also has suffered
From summer thinness.
Just when I hear
The sundown bell,
The flower of this weed.


and Basho the Haiku Master wrote:

The cannabis- How wonderful it is!
The summer drawing room.
Trees and stones, just as they are.
Ah, how glorious!
The young leaves, the green leaves,
Glittering in the sunshine!


myself, i just want enough to smoke at home...maybe i can better appreciate japan. trust me, i've been looking at the possibility of buying a house here and dedicating a room to my emerging hobby, especially with the foolish threats of war that the US has been giving IRAN (all war sucks, only poor people suffer while the rich invest in halliburton).

ETA: nutes have generally been bad news for me. the bottom leaves start wilting and drying out. even if i only use a little, it still sucks for the plant. i've done it twice, and each time the bottom leaves start suffering. i only water when the topsoil looks dry, and when i put my finger deeper into the soil it still feels dry. seems to work so far...
 

offgrid

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alrightie then, i threw down a fourth CFL and have been backing off the water. i found out my soil doesn't drain very well...the soil at the bottom is still wet even when the top parts of the soil are dry. i didn't water for three or four days, waiting for it to dry out.

because i have so many CFL's set up around the pot like some crazy ghetto stage, watering is difficult. i got around it by using a turkey baster. that way i can water all the way around the plant without the water going all the way to the bottom and staying there. she's been growing quite a bit and is up to maybe four inches and working on her 7th node. i think by the 8th node i need to put her into flower because i don't really have the time here to wait until she's fully ready. there are no pre-flowers, and no alternating nodes yet, but i'm afraid she'll start stretching when i get to flowering and it's going to make the light situation difficult. she's growing a little quicker now. next week it'll be a month since she broke ground, so i think that's enough time to set her into flower.

i've noticed on the branches there's a reddish tint to it...am i missing something? she seems to be growing fine. i refrain from giving her nutes because it just makes her sick, but i don't know what's up with the red in the branches.

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