Shameful grow

Surfer Joe

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I was looking on the Mandala website and the photos of plants they used to illustrate the nutrient deficiencies looked like all my plants!
My plants seemed to get progressively worse during mid-flower and by the end, they show all of the leaf defects that indicate serious nutrient deficiencies- dried, broken, curled, twisted, discolored, necrotic leaves all over the plants.

The only thing that should cause such severe, widespread condition is nute lockout, I think, and I discovered that the water runoff from my pots were around pH 5.9, while the nute/water I'd been using all during the grow was 6.3-6.5.
Something wasn't right, so I flushed them and started feeding them plain water. But they are into their 9th week of flower and they all have cloudy trichs, some even have a few amber. But there's not much more I can do at this late stage.

Is it worth letting them go longer or harvest them based on their trichs? I wouldn't like them turning all amber.
 

Rosebud

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If you are showing amber, and you don' t want them all amber, then yes, take them. If they aren't the size you want, you might feed with some bloom food and take them in another week or so.. They probably just ran out of food and are hungry? your thoughts?
 

Surfer Joe

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Thanks. If the soil is too low a pH, how can I manage to feed them if they can't uptake nutes? Even after flushing, the soil pH is still in the 5.8-5.9 range.
 

Rosebud

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I really need to learn about PH. I grow organic so I don't know or do anything about ph. Someone else will pop in that knows.
 

Surfer Joe

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I watered with plain water at pH 6.5 and then collected the runoff coming out of the bottom of the pots and used the pH meter. There are 8 pots and their pH ranged from 5.7 to 6.2, with most being 5.8-5.9.
Wouldn't this would imply that the soil has to be even lower than that to bring down the pH that much?
 

Hushpuppy

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What you are saying is correct. however, depending on what was in the water that was at 6.5 you could have very low pH (lower than the 5.8-6.0) or it could be around that number in the soil. What kind of nutrients and soil are you using? Do you have any dolomite lime in your soil?

The problem that you are experiencing certainly sounds like it is a pH issue. However, you said that it does fine until you get about halfway into flower and then it begins to crash. If it was just yellowing off early, I would say that you aren't giving enough nitrogen going into flower to carry the plants to the end. But I suspect that you hare using synthetic nutrients and you are having a toxic chemical build up that is either pulling the pH down or creating a chemical lockout of some of the more important nutrients. It is minor at first because the toxicity builds slowly over time and usage of the chems by the plants. It reaches critical stage about halfway into flower and begins to lock up nutes and causes the variety of deficiencies that start showing.

If this is the case, you can do a couple things. You could change your nutrient line to something that causes less buildup (pretty much just go organic) or you can do a flush at the end of the 3rd week of flowering to wash out all of the unused and discarded chemicals that get left behind from the nutrients. A simple flush off each container with 3x the volume of water as the container will hold, drain all of that to waste, allow the soil to dry out for a ffew days then start over feeding with Bloom nute regimen.

Another thing that will help with soil grows for maintaining pH is to add dolomite lime to your soil at the beginning and again after the flush. This lime will buffer the pH to a reasonable level and will supply the plant with a good source of magnesium and calcium. A word of warning though, don't use hydrated lime or any lime that has more calcium than magnesium. Using the hydrated lime, which has higher calcium will cause the same problem that you are having now as it will be too much calcium that will build up to toxic levels and lock out other important stuff.

Iff I were you, I would flush them now and then give them several days of just straight water then harvest them. That's my humble opinion, as I am no expert, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night :)
 

Surfer Joe

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Lol...Thanks.
I already did what you suggested. I flushed them last weekend and have only been giving them plain tap water (which is about pH 7.4 here) and the trichs look like they will be ready in a week to 10 days.
I also bought a bag of dolomite lime for the next grow.

I have been using only the canna terra nute line and following their feeding guide for normal feed. This includes terra vega and terra flower, cannazym, ryzotonic, cannaboost, and pk13/14 for only a week during flower. I used canna terra pro soil and I was alternating feeding and watering.
I germinated them in cups and then planted the seedlings directly into their 11L pots. At first, they could go 5 days before drying out enough to get more, so they were being fed about every 10 days. In early and mid-flower, I needed to do it every 4 days (water or feed), and in the last month, I was down to 3 days between feed/water as the soil was drying out much faster with the bigger plants.
My feed/watering amounts were around 2.2L per pot each time.

I plan to do re-potting at the end of veg, and adding dolomite lime to the soil next grow and flushing them during mid-flower, but I am open to suggestions as to which soil and nutes might be better, or advice about the feed/water schedule.
Maybe I underfed them? Maybe there was toxic nute buildup in the soil? Maybe the large pot size for the whole grow contributed to the problem?

My last grow was in a hydro bubble bucket and I used canna aqua nutes and the plant was exceptionally lush and healthy and had a huge healthy rootball. I spent hours each day tending that one bucket and fighting its wild pH swings during the week, but what I think made it work out was that I was changing the whole bucket every week and starting fresh and I had a massive airstone in the bucket that kept the roots almost swimming in air.
But I don't have the time to do a bubble bucket grow or the space to set up a less labor-intensive dwc system so I need to keep growing in soil for now. I was also looking at what coco is and whether it might be a better way to go.
 

Hushpuppy

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I am not sure but I think the Canna line that you were using is/was all organic. If that is the case then its not too likely that you had toxic buildup that needed flushing. That would only have been the case if the nutes were synthetic. It may be that you underfed them, or that the microbe herd just didn't develop to do the work needed (although the cannazyme is supposed to help with nutrient chelation). There are lots off little things that can throw off the delicate balance of organic soils. It seems like, when the balance is right, the soil stays perfect and the plants grow great, but if something happens to get that balance off (and you don't know it) then the whole thing slides out of proper function.

I love growing in coco coir. I used to grow exclusively in coco/hydro and loved it. My plants were lush and green from start to finish. But recently, I switched to using the coco in a soilless container setup. I found that I enjoyed the results of the soilless as much, and my plants did quite well once I got used to the differences of soilless versus hydro.

The one thing I liked about both hydro and soilless is that I know precisely what nutrients and elements are in my soil(I don't do my gardening while stoned :) ) I found that since I am controlling everything that goes in the soil, I will know what is causing the problem if something goes wrong. The only thing that I don't like about soilless is that I have to water my plants manually because I have to monitor the medium moisture. I also found that it is very important to fflush my soilless plants once at about halfway through to clean out the chemical buildup that comes with using synthetic nutrients.

The only other thing that is special with synthetic nutrient grows in coco is that I have to add a cal/mag additive to offset some of the chemical balance issue that occurs with coco holding on to the nutrients too well. I used Espoma lime this last time rather than a liquid cal/mag additive. It worked quite well in those containers where I didn't add too much. I found that 3-4Tbsp per gallon off coco seemed to be about right for my plants. I also use Advanced Nutrients' Jungle Juice 3part and love the results.
 

Surfer Joe

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Thanks. I'm surprised because I thought that the canna soils and their terra nutes were normal synthetic nutes. But I really have no idea.
I keep thinking that maybe I underfed them trying to compensate for my first grow in soil where I overdid it. They were only getting fed every 10 days at the start, and every 8 days later on, and the feed was just 2L of nute water. I did let the soils get quite dry, but they only looked a bit wilted one time.

I'm just starting to look into coco. I think of it like growing in rock wool- some material that is inert and just holds the roots so they can feed on whatever you put in.
The coco doesn't use the microbe buildup that happens in real soil and its pH is set by the pH of the liquids fed the plant, not the coco. Since the coco doesn't add to the nutrition, it should not need re-potting as it grows, or is it still done for moisture control?
Is this correct?
It sounds interesting, but what are its downsides?
 

Hushpuppy

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I just went and read up on the Canna and it does appear to be synthetic as opposed to organic. That being the case leads me to believe that it is toxicity rather than hunger. Hunger usually shows as single deficiencies. When a plant shows a wide variety of symptoms as if all of the nutrients are locked out, then they are usually all locked out by a pH or toxic issue rather than just under-feeding.

Coco is not at all like rockwool, or clay pebbles, even though they are both soilless mediums. Coco coir more naturally acts like soil in the way it holds the plants' roots, and in the way it holds moisture and nutrients. It drains better than standard soil and rockwool but has a cation issue which causes it to hold nutrient too well initially. This issue can cause the pH to ffall and suck up most off the calcium and/or magnesium. This can be remedied by using a calmag additive in small amounts throughout the whole grow.

The other con with coco is that it dries out quicker than standard soil and rockwool, but it drains and breathes really well so that it is harder to overwater your plants as long as you have good drainage in your containers.
 

Surfer Joe

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Thanks, Hushpuppy, that was very informative.
I am thinking that I will try another soil grow next and try to improve my skills, and also so I don't have to buy another entire line of nutes since I still have a good amount left of the soil nutes.
 

moxie

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Ill take 40% amber any day ,,,,,,harvest them girls already , because at week 10 by now and under the conditions you described its too late to try and recover , and next time try not and wait so long to ask these good farmers for help
 
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Surfer Joe

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Well, I've started to harvest the plants. Another kick in the butt is that one of the satori had bud rot. The main fat cola had a section that was dead and when I looked inside it had white mold at the center. I cut away the bad parts and will see how it goes. I have another three satori that I am letting go a few more days. They are at day 66 today and I only took the first one because of the mold.
So this grow I learned a lot and had a lot of problems- plants too crowded and shooting up too tall, having to supercrop, getting a hermie, serious leaf defects and now mold because of the high humidity this fall.
I am looking forward to trying the satori to see if it's as good as people say. I had 5 varieties in the tent- northern light, euphoria, fruitilicious, wappa and satori. I want to see which I like best before deciding on the next grow and I can go planning how to improve my approach and make fewer mistakes,
Next time, I will only grow 4 in the tent and do some lst to get a wider plant that yields more, re-pot during the grow, feed and water more frequently and control the humidity better
 

Hushpuppy

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We would all love to have back all of the bud that has been lost to mold. :doh: There is no telling how much bud has been lost to mold just in the growers we have here on the forum. It happens. One key is lots of air movement during flower. Make them dance :)
 

Surfer Joe

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Well, I was pleased to find that these plants are fairly hardy and forgiving of idiots.
The plants all gave a very good quality high, even with their severe leaf issues and nutrient problems. If a vegetable looked that bad on harvest, I would expect it to taste bad and might even throw it out. But all of the plants give us a good high, with nice indica effects from the northern lights and the wappa and a strong sativa effect from the satori and the euphoria.
I wonder how much the potency is reduced by poor nutrition or deficiencies?
If this stuff was any stronger, it would be illegal.;)
 

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