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A Newbie's Comedy of Errors

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    A Newbie's Comedy of Errors

    By way of intro: new to the forum … 1st grow … 1st time contributing to a forum … a lot of firsts these days. Retired chemist with an R&D background and a passion for growing things. The better half is a brave survivor with a scrip … perhaps another motivator for me.

    For reasons I won’t get into, I inherited a tent, a fan, and some funky lights I haven’t seen anyone mention. Also inherited some seeds of questionable repute. The rest of the stuff I’m using is listed below.

    So being a “Hell, just go for it Roy!” (Tincup) type of guy, I’m growing 4 plants using what some might consider rather aggressive techniques for a first-timer.

    Been visiting as a guest, and thanks to everyone who has helped me learn a ton. Decided to join to try and pay back a little. I thought how best to contribute and came up with the idea of a newbie’s comedy of errors, and what I’ve learned from them. I’ll highlight where I think I messed up, corrective actions, and how it turned out. We can all learn from our mistakes, and if we can’t laugh at ourselves, right? I’m also hoping I can count on your feedback along the way, and perhaps generate a little discussion, when I inevitably ask for help and advice from you … it seems to be a tradition amongst the members and one of the reasons I joined.

    Currently in Day 3 of flower after a 57 day veg. All the ladies (and gentlemen?) appear to be doing well, despite my best efforts to kill them. Hope to at least recover costs during this 1st grow, and of course some mighty fine bud!

    Some key errors to date:

    1. Failure to adequately pre-plan the grow, particularly given inherited equipment and seeds.

    2. Took a long time to get a handle on light distances.

    3. Took a long time to get a handle on humidity control.

    4. Maybe waited too long between transplants during veg.

    5. Snapped a main trunk on Jack 1 during manifolding.

    6. Excessive defoliation?

    7. Still don’t have a handle on runoff pH … stuck at 5.0 … incoming nute mix at 5.9

    Some key learnings to date:

    1. Hard to kill … don’t be afraid to experiment a bit … and don’t panic!

    2. Try not to over-research or over-analyze … do a little homework for sure, but go for it!

    3. Patience grasshopper … patience.

    4. 3 strains on 2 different timelines in a small tent … not a good idea.

    5. I have so much more to learn!

    Apologies for being long-winded … had some catching up to do. Enjoy the pics and I’ll check back soon.

    Thanks again folks!

    Here's my stuff so far ...

    Jack 1: Jack Herer (purchased, feminized) – manifolded to 8 cola

    Jack 3: Jack Herer (purchased, feminized) – the “straggler”, topped once then LST only

    Afghan: Purple Kush (?) - inherited, sex unknown – manifolded to 8 cola

    Passion: Pink Passion (?) - inherited, sex unknown – manifolded to 16 cola

    Soil: home-made mix of perlite, sphagnum, Promix Organic and the dreaded Miracle Grow

    Reused store pots / 2 gal. plastic pots / 5 gal. hardware store buckets (all in saucers, elevated on racks)/ mickey mouse tomato cage/wire cola support structure

    3’ x 3’ x 6’ tent

    1 LED light: MW HLG-185H-42B – 184.8 W

    2 LED lights: UFO (?) 150 W each

    6” exhaust with carbon scrubber

    10” desk fan + 2 x 6” clip fans

    Mickey mouse home-made heat recovery and humidification system

    Stanley space heater

    AN pH Perfect Micro/Grow/Bloom/Ancient Earth/B52/Big Bud/Bud Candy/Flawless Finish

    pH probe and cal solutions

    Acu-Rite wireless temp./RH

    Carson Pocket Microscope

    Mickey mouse home-made nute mixing system

    Surround yourself with nature, and let it breathe life into your soul.

    Looking nice, mj is a tough plant to kill,lol
    I've tried many different ways to grow, and the best way for me is to keep it as simple as possible,
    I'm glad you joined, bro, I'm sure you've got alot of valuable information to share !!
    Welcome to GWE.
    Cfls for a week or two
    315lec for everything else
    Dug up Ms.topsoil, with perlite added
    36x36x63 inch tent.
    6inch - exaust - intake fans an scrubber
    Smart pots


      Welcome to the show aintdedyet. Love the name and that was a blast to read I'm pretty sure you've covered the same mistakes and achievements we've all had. By the looks of things your on it pretty good plants look great I keep a journal of everything I do to them it helps a ton. Keep learning and always have this site for help. Your grow looks great and good luck I can't wait to see them in flower. Those jack herer are fun to grow I have 1 that 3 weeks from finish and has a great pine odor with super dense nugs


        Your biggest error was discovering GWE too late. Stick around fella, and you'll become a master cannabis cultivator.


          Thanks for warm words of welcome. Three good take-aways so far in your responses:
          1. keep it simple
          2. keep a log
          3. recognize/use this site as a valuable resource

          Thanks again ...
          Surround yourself with nature, and let it breathe life into your soul.


            Welcome, you seem to be doing great. I love how funny you made this post, I got two recommendations for you: first you could water at higher ph in order to rise runoff ph, try 6.2 or even 6.5. And he second and most important, when in doubt remember your key learning number 3 we gonna have so much fun in this journal I’m sure


              Thanks 9:
              You've touched upon what is currently my greatest concern.
              I selected the AN line of nutes in part because of their "pH Perfect Technology" … no need for pH adjustment.
              Been consistently getting runoff pH of 5.0 with an input of 5.8-5.9. Soil was prepared using a goodly portion of sphagnum and have been wondering if that might be part of the cause. Using charcoal-filtered tap water with a pH of about 7.0 to prepare nute mix. Spoke with the nute dealer about adjusting pH up and he advised against it … said it could in fact do more harm than good. He's also the guys who told me he just cuts off any problem leaf tips , and thinks I'm crazy for attempting manifolding on a my 1st grow (although he may be onto something there! ).
              Plants seem to be doing OK, but can't help but wonder if they could be doing better if I ignore his advice and adjust pH up with maybe just tap water and no nutes for the next watering or two.
              Thanks in advance for any advice, particularly to those that may have experienced this with the AN line.

              p.s. ironical (yeah, I made up that word) sidenote: on the day I was welcomed into this forum I was told that in all likelihood I have bladder cancer. Will let you know how that turns out, but in the meantime … I aintdedyet …
              Surround yourself with nature, and let it breathe life into your soul.


              • alltatup
                alltatup commented
                Editing a comment
                SDwy Getting old is not for sissies!! I don't know how you want to go about making FECO, or full extract cannabis oil, but if you can afford to invest in a Source machine by ExtractCraft, you can recycle the alcohol used to make the tincture, ends up being perfect oil and no open fumes to explode! I use Everclear 190 to make tinctures and concentrates, and I'll be glad to share recipes with you. And I don't recall which strains you're growing, but THC is also extremely important for cancer patients. I could PM you some info on "learning how to get high" for those who think they don't or won't like it or who have had bad experiences in the past.

              • SDwy
                SDwy commented
                Editing a comment
                I'm very interested, thanks. I just found the recipe, but we have a gas stove. I will look into the machine you suggested. Holy shit! that's expensive! I saw a video on u-tube where they used the coffee pot burner?

              • LurkingInTheGrass
                LurkingInTheGrass commented
                Editing a comment
                rubbing the magic lamp to summon Rwise

                may also have some info re: medicating cancer

              Welcome, I'm going to have to figure out manifolding and all the trimming I see being done. Great thing about this site, is if you have a question, someone has already been down the road and can help.
              Proving the world just needs more tumble weeds
              A tale of two seeds
              Batter Up Sour Deisel
              Batter up! Amnesia Haze Autoflower
              New Year, New Grow, Jack Herer DWC
              Batter up, Girl Scout Cookies extreme auto (GSCE)


              • 9fingerleafs
                9fingerleafs commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes, and if you google “growweedeasy +any topic” you find the main site article and all the threads related to that topic, many things have been answered already

              Thanks all …
              Tried to follow the manifolding tutorial on this site … except for the part where I snapped Jack 1 right where it hurts, it went pretty well. Had to take Passion to 16 colas vs. 8 in an attempt to slow her (him?) down during veg. That didn't work out too well … it's a strong one!
              Lots to consider … kinda like "if it ain't broke …", but adjusting the MGB ratio is a cool experiment to try ..,
              Surround yourself with nature, and let it breathe life into your soul.


              • LurkingInTheGrass
                LurkingInTheGrass commented
                Editing a comment
                LOL - 'her'

                you want them to all be 'hers' and 'shes', no Lola's

                males sprinkle their pollen, and the ladies lap it up, then they make seeds. to make buds, you want frustrated females, with no male in site

                until, you get to breeding (way down the road, from here)

                welcome to the party, and subbed to your grow

              • alltatup
                alltatup commented
                Editing a comment
                Lo lo lo lo lo la,

                It's a mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world
                Except for Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola

                And they ain't frustrated: they get busy making amazing buds, glistening with trichomes. No frustration there.

              • SDwy
                SDwy commented
                Editing a comment
                I’m growing my 1st manifold plant now & my 1st serious LST plants under a scrog net. I see more buds than I have ever harvested before. I am also flowering in dirt for the last time, my clones are in my 1st DWC setup & I’m using LED’s for the 1st time too. I’m using GH nutes & keeping the most detailed grow journal I’ve ever kept. I’ve learned a TON here, you will too & I suspect we will learn from you too!

              A belated Happy New Year to y'all! Thanks to everyone for their support so far, and to alltatup for the sage advice and link.

              Been an interesting last few days. Day 8 of flower after 57 day veg., a few trials and tribulations, a new faux pas, and an old one come back to haunt me.
              All the ladies (and gents?) were humming along nicely, and the most recent runoff pH has climbed to 5.3 after sitting at 5.0 for what I thought was too long, but I did nothing about. However, things are starting to get a little tight in the tent, and while trying to work my way around the pails, I snapped a cola on Jack 1 beyond repair … doh! Recall I had already snapped her right at the main trunk early on in manifolding. She seemed to recover, although hard to say whether or not her growth was slowed a bit given the 3 toppings she got. Be cool if the remaining (lucky) 7 cola made up for my blunder by increasing yield 1/8th each . For now Jack 1 has earned the nickname "Stumpy" …

              Not my biggest problem. Been patiently waiting for the plants to show their sex … yeah, you know where this is goin'.
              Wasn't worried about Jacks 1 & 3 … bought them as feminized seed, and saw pistils a few days ago. Can't tell with the Afghan yet (what a Newb eh?), but 2 nights ago I saw what I had been dreading for quite some time … Passion turned out be a male! Didn't really need by microscope, a loupe, or my phone to see the little buggers … little sacs visible to the naked eye as something not quite right … bummer! So my newbie mistake of using an inherited mystery seed comes back to haunt me …

              So a couple of newbie questions. Why did it take so long for me to conclude definitively that I had a male? Any other signs I could have looked for? Pretty much used the info on this site to make the determination, can't help but think there's a better way to tell earlier than 60+ days.

              Passion survived a comparatively massive defoliation with the first topping, and I manifolded him into 16 colas in a futile effort to slow his growth, to allow the others to catch up. Another newbie question: is this behavior strain related, plant specific, or perhaps gender related?

              So what to do with Passion? Immediate removal from the tent was a no-brainer, but what then? I thought about misting him and setting him out on the deck, where the wind chill made it felt like a wee bit nipply -22C (-7F). But then I thought about all he had given me, his inner strength and resilience, the cute little way his colas liked to try and hide, the hours I had spent looking for those damn sacs! So I decided to move him into the garage, where he spent his last day at a rather chilly -5C (23F). Please DO NOT LOOK AT PIC 4 if you have a weak constitution or are member of a cannabis plant rights group. I'm sorry … it's what we do to stowaways here in the Great White North!

              Anyhooo … he got a fitting send off … I took the skeleton as a trophy and pinned it to the wall … as a reminder of the dangers of mystery seed, and not a bad 1st try at manifolding. Interesting the way the outer cola seem consistently larger than the inner, despite the intent to uniformly distribute the nutrient flow. Could it be light related? Any thoughts?

              Always look on the bright side right? Space concerns have been eliminated from the tent, runoff pH is on the rise, and visible confirmation that flowering has begun. The 3 remaining ladies (gentleman? …. sure hope not!!) have survived their period of mourning and appear to be doing well …

              And now the ultimate newbie question … it was a male I froze to death …. right?
              Surround yourself with nature, and let it breathe life into your soul.


              • alltatup
                alltatup commented
                Editing a comment
                Putting plants in the dark for 24-26 hours before switching to 12/12 may speed up the transition slightly, but you still gotta go through pre-flower. Sometimes you can tell a male plant cuz they're lankier than female plants (this is true for tarantulas as well), but I always wait to see pollen sacs, and since I'm diligent in keeping my eyes on the plants, I wait for proof. You got the proof.

                And yes, what furley says: Get rid of any trace of the male. You don't want even one bit of pollen to hang around, stick to your clothes, find its way back into the grow room and wreak havoc.

              • 9fingerleafs
                9fingerleafs commented
                Editing a comment
                Hey there. Loved the detailed description, if the plant is not showing preflowers durin late veg there is no real way to determine sex before flowering except for sex dna testing and it’s expensive. Your second set of questions about how the plant grows is almost completely genetic, so the strain mostly and then the pheno expressions that gonna make each plant unique within its genetic possibilities

              • aintdedyet
                aintdedyet commented
                Editing a comment
                thanks all … bulk of the deceased now rotting in local municipal compost facility … carcass pinned to garage wall, w/o sacs.
                too bad it takes so long to tell. On a positive note, Afghan's a lady! Cost recovery may still be possible for this 1st grow. Fingers crossed. Idk about tarantulas … not common around these parts.. Don't know what Ohgr is either.

              poor stumpy, but, she could turn into a beast.

              the root system she developed, to support all those colas, and now it supports one less



                pretty cool … within 48 hours the cola sharing the same stem as stumpy showed significantly greater growth than the other remaining 6. Maybe she'll make up for the loss after all. Amazing the punishment these ladies can take. Also a pic of Afghan's pistils, and one of the ladies overall … 10 days into flower after a 57 day veg.
                Surround yourself with nature, and let it breathe life into your soul.


                • 9fingerleafs
                  9fingerleafs commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Looking good and healthy

                • SDwy
                  SDwy commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Looking good!

                Congrats. It looks like you have three very happy, healthy looking plants on your first grow! Best of luck to you as you guide your plants towards harvest!

                - Another Newbie in the Great White North
                Novice Grower
                Coir - 5 Gal
                AN Micro-Grow-Bloom / Mega Crop / Cal-Mg
                1.5 x 3' Veg tent with 116w wall LED
                1.5 x 3' Flower tent with 116w wall LED, Vivosun exhaust fan and carbon filtre

                Grow 1: White Kush (MCS) Jul 2018 - Dec 2018 (2 plants / 62g) (No GWE thread)
                Grow 2: Royal Medic (RQS) Dec 2018 - Apr 2019 (1 plant / 75g)
                Grow 3: Blue Mystic (Nirvana) Apr 2019 - Oct 2019 (3 plants / 111g + 45g trim)
                Grow 4: Purple Kush (MCS) Feb 2020 - June 2020 (2 plants / 42g, 250 seeds)
                Grow 5: GSC/Durban Poison (MCS) Late Aug 2020 - ???

                Strange Roadkilled LED light:
                COB build in progress: (no post yet)


                • Eigholte
                  Eigholte commented
                  Editing a comment
                  'e told that male Passion plant to take off, eh?

                • LurkingInTheGrass
                  LurkingInTheGrass commented
                  Editing a comment
                  ya, that plant was hoser, pass me a beer, eh

                • alltatup
                  alltatup commented
                  Editing a comment
                  "A hoser"????? A HOSER?????? You Canadians...

                Hi y'all. Apologies for being incommunicado for a month … battling health issues and a snowmageddon you would not believe. Figure I owe an update and I have a couple of questions.
                Now 40 days into flower following a 57 day veg. Since the execution of Passion things have been pretty uneventful (no real leaf issues, no bugs, etc.)… at least I think so, but given this is my first grow who knows? I'm thinking uneventful is a good thing.
                So flowering stretch was a wee bit disappointing, particularly with respect to the two Jack Herer … was expecting 100-200% but saw no more than say 35-50% at most. Any advice on this much appreciated. Recall that I'm using some inherited knock off lights that people seem to make fun of sometimes. The Afghan was stretchier (a word?) and has shown greater growth all along. And I still have never managed to get my runoff pH into the prescribed range … best I have got to date is 5.4, even after adjustment of the AN nute mix to pH 7.0 (which you're not supposed to have to adjust). So I guess my question is: I this simply a strain thing; does more flowering stretch equate to more/bigger buds, and if so how best to promote that stretch?
                I've been pretty brutal in my defoliation efforts all along … two nights ago I stripped pretty much all the remaining fan leaves to get max. light penetration and air circulation. Hope I haven't overdone it, but a lot of what I've read here says that's pretty hard to do. I've also bent over a few colas on the Afghan to keep them away from the lights and see what happens to the exposed buds … duh … they seem to like the light!

                Newbie error: accidentally cut off a couple of buds during recent defol. Got a little complacent after 2 hours and maybe a wee bit hazed … ! On a positive note, had a chance to learn to examine trichomes using my little microscope and phone camera … always look for the positive … right?

                Remember stumpy (Jack 1)? Turns out the cola adjacent to the stump did in fact compensate a bit (circled in pic below). Immediately grew a lot more in size, and appears to stacking up a few more buds. Hurray!

                Had a cola/stump issue on Jack 3 as well that I wanted to ask about. I noticed the growth of one of the stems appeared to be stunted, and changed from a round geometry to a rectangular one at a certain point. Then, instead of the buds stacking up in the usual manner, they formed a dense cluster in a ball atop the stem (circled in pic)… So did I accidentally restrict the stem, pinch it off completely, or otherwise damage it to promote the growth. Got me thinkin' … could a person train a plant to do this … grow a series of spherical clusters on a vertical stem, with each cluster optimized in terms of size and density to promote max. yield (e.g., smallest sphere on top, largest on bottom, of a 3-4 cluster growth, as I've seen on some bonsai tree thingies ..) … or am I maybe a wee bit hazed … ?

                So a wee bit disappointed with bud size so far. Any suggestions on how to make 'em bigger at this point? Currently using 1 mL/L of AN GMB, along with B52, Big Bud, and Bud Candy. Flawless Finish on hand for flush before harvest. Like I said, still don't have a handle on pH, and probably won't this grow, but so far this has not seemed to be source of many of the issues I see described on this forum (fingers crossed!). Still … can't help but wonder what can be at this point to maximize yield. As a 1st time grower I, as I suspect many others, am totally bewildered by the broad range of offerings out there with respect to nutes, lights, media, etc. Kinda reminds me of the gold rush … more people making money from supporting the rush than from the gold itself.

                Apologies for the babble …thanks in advance for any input.
                Surround yourself with nature, and let it breathe life into your soul.


                • alltatup
                  alltatup commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Hi ady, Hope you're feeling better, and that you've got some good cannabis medicine available to you!

                  There could be many reasons why your plants didn't stretch much. It could be genetic, switching to flower too soon, too much defol can stunt growth if not done correctly--or at least that's one of the things I understood from reading Nebula's tutorial on defoliation. Different things can stunt cola and/or bud growth... So you'd have to re-evaluate what you did and when you did it to see if it was you or plants' genetics or what.

                  Training: "grow a series of spherical clusters on a vertical stem": I think that's the basic goal of plant training, no? to turn the christmas tree shape into a "landscape" so to speak, spread out horizontally to maximize use of space and lighting. As for larger buds, that can depend on the strain or it can be due to growing factors. I tend to like a lot of strains described by the breeders as yielding "moderate" harvests, but I am learning that so much of what goes or doesn't go into the vegetation phase determines how the flowering phase is going to go. Nebula says that the secret to a great harvest is in proper prepping of plants during veg. I look for strong vigorous growth, a good amount of roots, proper training, and time. I'm learning as we speak, from mistakes I've made on my current grow. You also have to have a good idea of what the height of the plant will be (frustrating when breeders describe a strain as having both Indica and Sativa phenotypes, so you don't know which you'll get) so you can maximize your use of the flower stretch to continue training and filling the space.

                  I would say that you lollypopped up too high on the plants (been there, done that), and you could have had more bud lower on the cola.

                  I can't remember the details of your grow, but the girl in the back looks so Sativa in appearance compared to the two Jacks.

                  Stay strong, brother!

                atu: apologies for delay in thanking you for your detailed comment. Agreed … a wee bit too much lolly in the lollypopping … maybe went a little nuts on some of the defoliation efforts as well … the price to be paid in reduced yield. Never have nailed down the whole pH thing the entire grow either.

                Been 4 weeks since last post. Now halfway through week 10 of flower, and it looks like some sort of staged harvest might be in order to accommodate the two Jack Herer and one Afghan Kush in the grow. Pistils on the Jacks have pretty much turned, with only a few new ones in the darkest regions. Trichomes maybe 50-60% cloudy. Afghan continues to build bud, lots of white pistils and clear trichomes.

                Just used AN's Flawless Finish on all 3. Magnesium sulfate and magnesium EDTA (chelating agent) supposed to clean out residual nutes. Not sure if it was a waste of coinage, but not comfortable with the nasty dark colour of my runoff associated with nute and humic acid use. Final watering or two before harvest will be water only.

                A few pics attached. Any comments appreciated if you see something that bothers you.

                Jack 3 (topped once, then LST) appears farthest along despite being the youngest plant. I'm basing this on the appearance of the leaves, which I note are starting to turn yellow in a random pattern on the plant compared to Jack1. Is this a valid conclusion, or is this instead a deficiency of some sort? That stunted little knobby stem on Jack 3 looks as though it may provide some mighty fine buds after all.

                Jack 1 (topped 3 times to form 8-cola manifold) shows no leaf discoloration despite identical treatment. When performing the manifolding I tried to follow the tutorial on this site to the letter. I got exactly 8 colas (except I snapped off one by accident!) but can't help but think I may have reduced yield by removing side branches. That plus the stretch was disappointing for both the Jack. Many examples I see posted by other growers are bushier with higher yields despite being manifolded. A final yield comparison between Jacks 1 & 3 will be most interesting!

                Amazed at how different the Afghan is from the Jack Herer … right from the get go up until now when she's still building bud after a comparatively huge stretch.

                And now for a newbie question: please take a look at the close-up of the Afghan bud. Look OK? Call me paranoid, but to me the buds have looked a little sac-like since the beginning. I see pistils and trichomes, but any reassurance most appreciated at this late stage in the game.

                Getting stoked for next grow …
                Surround yourself with nature, and let it breathe life into your soul.


                • alltatup
                  alltatup commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Hi ady, I don't see any sacs on the Afghan; your buds all look fantastic!!!!

                • SDwy
                  SDwy commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The kush looks good to me & yes I think you went a bit too far defoliating but I am betting you will be pleased with your finished product & I’m no expert either. It’s very cool smoking weed you grew yourself! I have not bought any weed since I retired, almost 5 years now! I’m planning on making edibles for my wife this harvest & I’m in week 3 of flower now.

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