Emmie's 2015 Humbolt, Serious, Barney's Grow Log

Discussion in 'Grow Log' started by emilya, Sep 7, 2015.

  1. emilya

    emilya Future Dispensary Owner

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    Three different seed companies... Three distinctly different tastes... Humboldt's Green Crack, Serious Seeds AK-47 and Barney's Tangerine Dream. This will be my fall, winter, spring grow this year. I have decided to start a bit early this year and gain an extra month on the cool side of things, as I see an early and rapid onset of winter beginning here in the midwestern USA. Traditionally I have begun my grows by planting the first seeds in late October, usually on the last full moon of that month, but this year for several reasons, it is time to start already.
    One of my big considerations this year is the cost of electricity. As everyone knows, thanks to Obama, electricity rates are rapidly rising all over the nation. My rates just went up 11% last week. That is very significant, and a quick calculation says that this is going to cost me about $80 more every month. Yow!!! As a response to this outrageous rate hike (while oil prices are going down) I have to adjust the way I do things, not just for myself, but because with my experiments, I may be able to teach others to use less energy and reduce their expenses too.

    So, everything I do regarding lighting this round is going to be new and innovative, at least for me. I will not be running 18/6 and I will not be running 12/12. I will be using a trick in veg and a more natural light timing in flower. All reports are that the plants love this modified lighting, and actually dislike the 12/12 and 18/6 that I have used faithfully all these years, while making my local power company rich. I plan on using 50% of the energy that I have previously used.

    How you say? It turns out that you can fool plants in veg into thinking it is still veg, just by turning the light on for an extra hour. The method is called 12-1, and it works like this. 12 hours on, 5.5 hours off. 1 hour on, 5.5 hours off. Our vegging plants like the dark period and gets lots of things done during that time, and it turns out, according to all reports, that plants actually grow faster using this time period.
    In flower we have all been led to believe that 12/12 is the optimum, and I was one of those who did experiments with other systems, 10/14 and various others, determining that 12/12 was indeed superior. Well, it turns out that in nature, the plants see 12/12 for about a week. From then on and before that, it is something else. According to reports, the plants like the something else, and I will like what it means on my power bill. This time I will be running a varying schedule starting off the first 2 weeks at 11 on, 13 off. Week 3-4 I will change to 10.5 on, 13.5 off, losing 1/2 hour each 2 week period. 5-6 : 10/14, 7-8 : 9.5/14.5, and finally 9 weeks and beyond, 9/15. It is the theory that the plants love this, and that I will do just fine using 50-60% less electricity during the grow.

    This system will make it impossible to do like I did last year, and have a staggered rotating perpetual grow, but that was too much work anyway, and it really didn't result in any better production for me once we got into the mess of keeping so many plants going at a time. This time I plan on working with 9 plants in flower, in 5 gallon containers.

    This will also be my first organic grow, and I am assembling the needed components now, as I get ready to start my first mother plants. I will be using Subsonics Super Soil system and will not be using nutrients of any kind throughout the grow, relying on my good locally produced compost and super soil in the bottoms of each of my containers, to provide the needed nutrients and stability. I will be using less light in veg, not needing the plants to grow as rapidly while I wait for the flower tent to do its thing, and I will be using a combination of big lights in the flower room to give maximum light during the shortened light periods.

    It is going to be a good experiment, to see if one can get away from all of these commercial companies with their numerous and expensive nutrient and soil mixes, and just rely on good common sense gardening and good soil. I plan on spending my money at the onset, spending what I need to assemble the soil, all while reducing costs of energy. I believe that this can be done to produce a vastly superior product than I have been producing previously, having bought into all the claims made by the commercial guys.

    More will come soon as I start assembling the soil and actually plant some seeds. It will start off slow, but I hope to turn this into a very amazing grow by the end, and hopefully one that we will all enjoy watching as it develops. As always, I will document my ideas, my successes and my failures, and we will all learn together.

    Time will tell, and I am glad to have you along for the journey. Be well everyone, and I hope that your garden is always as happy of a place as mine.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2015
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  2. growdemon

    growdemon Registered+

    cool, ive thought about doing a 6,6,6,6 before which would make for an interesting experiment.... it might just shock the crap out of the plants and turn them all wacky.
    one of these days... lol..

    you have some nice seeds there & a plan...... sounds like a winner...

    one thing I found funny the other day. actually. is some 420 recipe "brand name" soil showed up at my local garden center on the west coast.... kinda funny... I flipped the package over it said. especially developed and engineered for flowers.. lol. ok did more research, its made by eb stone.. very interesting, as I use eb stone fertilizers and occasional soils.. I may just give it a try

  3. emilya

    emilya Future Dispensary Owner

    I don't trust any of the nute or soil producers at this point... not with my buds anyway. I know I can do much better, now that I know exactly what the plants need and now that I find the materials easy to acquire. At first I thought it was going to be hard to find the components for Subsonic's Supersoil, but when I found out that the major city next to me has a citywide composting center, and that I could get everything else I needed, in whatever quantities I needed it in at Amazon, this got very doable. I am going to find a good organic soil mix at the hardware store that is not associated with any nutrient line, and I am going to mix that 50/50 with my local compost to make my base soil instead of spending $30 on a bag of Ocean Forest or any other designer soil. This grow is all about how to achieve superiority, WITHOUT buying into the commercial hype, and also without breaking the bank. Growing weed should not be so cost prohibitive that only a few of us can afford to do it right... it has to be easier than that! I am out to prove this with this grow.
    Here is my wish list at Amazon. These ingredients in these quantities, should make about 100 lbs of super soil mix.
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  4. growdemon

    growdemon Registered+

    yea I agree with ya.... growing weed should be free.. :)
    30 bucks for 1 bag of Oforest. good lord.. here 1 bag is 14-15 bucks. for the 2 cu feet. the 420 by ebstone was listed at around 10-12.00$ for 1.5 cu ft.

    A composter is actually next on my list... I get enough scraps from my vegetable garden, that it just makes sense.. currently I use it to feed my fruit trees.
  5. emilya

    emilya Future Dispensary Owner

    Here it is... the official start of the new season in Emmie's Garden!
    1 Green Crack feminized
    1 Tangerine Dream feminized
    4 AK-47 regular


    This will turn into 3 GC, 3 TD, 3 female AK, and 1 loving couple of AK, going off together by themselves to make more seeds. The plan is to produce a mother plant for each strain and then take clones of each that will go to flower at the same time.
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  6. DirtyBlueGene

    DirtyBlueGene Registered+

    I'm looking forward to this one, Em. :doublethumbs:
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  7. redtails

    redtails Registered+

    Sounds fun. I have a tangerine dream waiting for future, would be nice to see how it grows before I pop it.

    Also eager to see how reducing the light will impact the plants. The dwindling hours might even mature the buds quicker... We shall see, but I'm all for less money in the electric bill!

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  8. Shovelhandle

    Shovelhandle Registered+

    There has been people running the 12-1 light routine for years now. It is reported to be successful at many things. It is used for veg only. If you add he one our of light during the mid darkness period plants will continue to veg. Plants may show preflowers and actually swelling of the calyxes but not go into full bloom. It will not stretch the plants much so they will be shorter than longer light periods. It will not result in shorter or longer bloom time or time to maturity. It should usually provided equal or close to equal growth in spite of less energy used. It has not been shown to contribute to hermies in stable strains. There is a lot of info on the 12-1 lighting thread at ICMag.
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  9. lakesidestink

    lakesidestink Registered+

  10. emilya

    emilya Future Dispensary Owner

    Today I investigated the Kansas City Composting Center and talked with the scientist on site. I am very pleased with what I learned and just how active this compost is... it is going to make a very good base soil when mixed 50/50 with a good quality organic soil and will make an extremely good base for the Subsonic Super Soil mix. I got 250 lbs for $20.

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  11. emilya

    emilya Future Dispensary Owner

    I have referred in several places here to SubSonic Super Soil... and I need to correct this mistake. Thank you Shovelhandle for very graciously pointing out my mistake in another thread, the correction is much appreciated. I am referring to SubCool's Super Soil, referenced way back when in High Times magazine:
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  12. emilya

    emilya Future Dispensary Owner

    One week after planting, it is time for a germination report. Five out of six seeds germinated and are now enjoying life on both sides of the soil, but unfortunately the Humbolt Green Crack has not shown herself. I only had 3 of these seeds, so I waited this full week before deciding to invest in a second seed. Today was the day however, and I have started two more seeds, one is another Green Crack, and the second, another Humbolt product, TrainWreck!

    The Serious Seeds AK-47 was definitely the fastest to germinate and all 4 of the regular seeds appear to be thriving and for now are the tallest plants of the bunch. Barney's Tangerine Dream did not surface until 3 full days after the AK-47, but she does appear to be strong and happy on her 3rd day above soil.

    Please note that I do nothing fancy to start my seeds. There are no humidity domes and no paper towels on plates in my tent. All I did was to make a hole 1/2 inch down in a basic soil with no amendments, and I placed the seed pointy end up in the hole and covered it up. I keep them fairly wet until I see a seedling break the surface, and then I fall back to proper watering techniques, waiting for the seedling to use up the water provided.

    So, here we go again, trying once again to get the Green Crack to go (watch the first seed sprout now that I have done this) and adding Trainwreck to the plan. This is going to get interesting!

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  13. Emilya I have my chair and bowl ready for this journey! I love your logs. I think it's so kool your going to try the 12-1 lighting for veg. When I read that I found it soo interesting! I can't wait to see how it works. Maybe it's something to think about in the future for myself! But Not till I'm confident in my garden. Cuz that's my biggest problem is paying the electric! I woulda started my second grow already but I'm gunna wait for it to cool down. So we can shut the ac for the fall/winter into the spring. And That idea for a natural light for flowering stage. I think it's crazy you came up with that idea cuz I was thinking this isn't how Mother Nature works either! I was actually thinking on my next grow to cut a half hour a week the last few weeks. But ur method sounds on point! Cuz ur 100% right in real world it's only 12/12 for a few days! When out door plants start flowering the days are still longer as a matter of fact! Then they get shorter and shorter. And where I live in October or November when harvest comes the days are mad short! And that super soil sounds amazing I have to try sum day!
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  14. Sorry I posted before I was finished! Lol I didn't feel like editing! But u have to let me know how the green crack and tangerine dream comes out! I'm really considering them! They sound amazing! I wana know how the breeders are too if the seeds are stable and worth the money ya know.... Cuz I'm trying diff breeders to see which are best! Good luck! And I'll be posted up here with you.... To see how ur lighting and soil turns out! I can't wait
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  15. emilya

    emilya Future Dispensary Owner

    (Day 1 of veg)
    Alright, we are now officially off to the races, 9 days into the process I now have 7/8 seeds germinated and showing above ground. Note that no special method, trick or technique was used to germinate these seeds. They were simply planted, pointy end up, about 1/2 inch down in the soil, covered up and watered to saturation. About 3-4 days later, the seeds pop, just like they do in nature. Easy, simple and little room for error, and I get about a 95% success rate. This time it was 87.5% success, and considering that all of these seeds have been stored in my fridge for at least 6 months, definitely acceptable.

    So, these seeds were started in a plain, unamended organic soil mix from the hardware store. When the plants have reached my criteria for transplanting, they will be moved into solo cups filled with my base soil for this run, the same organic soil, mixed 50/50 with pure compost from the Kansas City Composting Center. After they grow out of the solo cup stage, they will get an even hotter mix under them, when from then on, when up-potted to 1 gallon, eventually 3 gallon, and finally to 5 or 7 gallon (havent decided yet) they will get SubCool's super soil under them, with base soil to fill in the gaps.
    This should take care of all nutrient needs, all through the grow, and I plan on giving them nothing but water for the entire duration.

    The one seed that didn't pop was a green crack from Humbolt, but the second one planted was just fine... it happens. As a result I have 4 regular AK-47's to sex out, and hopefully will be able to do some pollinating to give me more AK-47 seeds than I know what to do with. I have one Greeen Crack female, one Tangerine Dream female and one TrainWreck female. Now I have four strains working instead of three, so the plan is to have 3 of each to go into flower. This first round will be topped at node 4 to accelerate the side and bottom growth, and clones will be taken asap. The clones of these seedlings will be what eventually goes to flower, planned right now for mid November. The organics might actually speed this process up more than I am used to with my previous grows, so I am going to remain flexible about the current flowering time plan.

    Now we wait... they are tall enough to transplant, but not wide enough, and at the moment it looks like about a 3 day wet/dry cycle on the strongest and earliest of the bunch, so we have a while to wait on that criteria too, since they can not drain their little starter cups yet in 24 hours. Soon I will have a bunch of nice little starter root balls, just perfect for a quick takeoff in a hot solo cup in about a week or so.

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  16. The Widow White

    The Widow White Registered+

    Well...you know I'm along for the ride. I'm anxious to see how this goes for sure. The idea of lessening the lighting is super interesting. Luckily, here in the SE US, we have some of the cheapest electrical rates in the country. It's only because of this and the fact that hubs could adjust things around for maximum efficiency, that my electrical bill has remained as low as it has. But I'm a serious cheapskate and hate paying a large power bill anyway. Thank you Emmie for taking your time to document this whole deal. It's a lot of work just keeping that going. Do know that we appreciate it. Now...grow us some super bud! LOL TWW
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  17. emilya

    emilya Future Dispensary Owner

    (Veg, Day 4)

    Well dear readers, it appears that the Humbolt TrainWreck is going to be just that... a train wreck. She is in trouble folks, and I have tried to do all I can, but an old seed is an old seed, and there is not much to be done when she can't get out of the seed husk and get light to the critical parts. We will of course give her a few more days to show a will to live (she is standing upright after all) but I am losing hope by the hour on this one.

    Other than that, everyone is growing fine and trying to out do each other. It occurred to me when I watered this morning that this was probably a good instructional moment, so I am going to pose a question to you dear reader...

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    When would YOU transplant to solo cups?

    I submit that 80% of newbies would have already done so, with these largest plants anyway. The two biggest ones are already working on their 3rd node and are about as wide and definitely as tall as the little starter containers they are in. I watered to saturation this morning with there being about a 3 day wet/dry cycle at this point.

    I would estimate that these largest plants are still a good week away from transplant, maybe more, as they are not budging until they get to a 24 hour wet/dry cycle. Why do I do this? What possible benefit do we gain from not just immediately putting them in a large container?
    A quick look at the leaves, and especially the cotyledons shows us no signs of distress other than a distinct downward claw to the cotyledons. The upper reaching of the new growth, a measure of transpiration pressures in the xylem, appears to be normal, and color appears to be good. These plants are getting everything they need right now, and maybe just a little bit too much of it. There is no burning however, and the choice of this base-base organic soil seems to have been a good one.
    Because of these good signs, I am not inclined to move my plants just yet, just because I can, or because I might imagine that the soil might be giving out. I want to look at the larger needs of these plants and what would be best for them right now.

    Do you notice how fast they are growing? There is a reason for this.

    If I put my plants right now, into solo cups... what would their number one task be from that moment on? It would be to send the roots deep. It is what weeds do; they seek the deepest water. This activity is their number 1 prime directive, and they can not help themselves. So when this is going on, sending all of its energy down to the massive feeder roots down to the bottom, all of the plant's energy and concentration on this task, what happens at the top? It slows down.... or stops growing.

    This is not happening here. The top is growing at a remarkable rate because the main roots have done all that they can do in this small starter container, they hit bottom on day 3 and have headed up and away from the bottom. This action sends a message that slows down the main root activity and starts a new activity in the roots... and the smaller roots start developing quickly, chasing the water table all throughout the container, and in a properly watered system, where the water table is allowed to fall due to the activity of the plants, these small roots develop laterally all throughout the container. My plants are right now developing the fine roots that it takes to draw the vital nutrients out of the soil, right now, in the beginning, when it is most important. It is not just Nitrogen that is getting pulled out of this rich soil, this plant is building its stores of micronutrients and trace minerals too, and because it is being allowed to sit in these small containers, it is building a fine network of roots, fine roots that specialize in sucking in all the nutrients these plants can use.

    By the time these containers get to a 24 wet/dry cycle in these containers, they will be very well developed plants on top, with a very complex root system already developed. When they finally get dropped into a solo cup of base soil, with super soil at the bottom, they will have a robust enough root system to already start taking advantage of the richer environment, and they will continue to leap forward with development. There is a reason that my plants grow at about a 3x rate compared to what new growers typically achieve... that reason can be summed up with one word, patience.

    At each stage of transplant, I am equally reluctant to move my plants out of the small containers they are in and will not do it until the roots show me that they are needing more space, by sucking up that water in a 24 hour period. Everything I do is for the roots. If I have happy roots, I have happy plants. If I can manage to create magnificent roots, I will have amazing plants.

    Do not transplant just because you can. Have a reason for everything you do in the grow room. You have the ability to move 1000 times faster than your plant, but that doesn't mean that you should. Patience above all else. (Thanks Rusty :) )
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  18. thank you for this post Em. I love a learning experience! I am actually deciding right now what to start my plants in. I was going to use small little plant starter cups. About the size of the kiddi Dixie cups . I got them from my hydroshop. I like there's a big enough hole at the bottom to see root development and of coarse for water drainage. (I really like your nursery style 1-2 inch plant starters) (and you can fit a few seedlings in there too!)
    Anyways as far as your question on transplanting, if I was to use my small starter cups.... I would wait to transplant until the plants were a little more developed. What I mean by more developed is bigger plants above the soil line, and a stronger root system below the soil line; before transferring them into bigger solo cups. (Like double or triple the size of my starter cups)
    My plan is to start them in these starter cups. Then when they dry out in a 24 hour period and the plants/roots are more developed transplant them into the size of a container like a red party cup. Then into a 1 gallon. Then 3g and so on....
    But Em I really do like your nursery style plant starters they look simple and perfect size! And thank you for stressing how important a good root system is. I can't wait for my next grow so I can focus on what's important. Well I still have time to be 100% sure about what I'm starting my ladies in. Cuz as we speak I'm planning and putting together my new grow room and as soon as the heat drops, the ac gets pushed out the window ducting gets put in place and let the germination begin!
    Anyways I'm glad to see your ladies are doing good. Sorry about the first green crack and the train wreck. But I'm glad the others are doing good! Those ak-47 are doing great they are soaring for that light!!!
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
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  19. shelton abbey

    shelton abbey Registered+

    definitly pulling up a chair for this one em,,im already after learning a lot just since this grow log has started,,very very interesting ,lovin it :thumbsup:
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  20. EvilCartman

    EvilCartman Registered+

    Good luck with that lil' Trainwreck.
    I had an issue like that with a whole flat of beans, very tough membrane at the tip, binding the leafs.
    I ended up having to slice the tip with a razor, otherwise they wouldn't open.
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