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Casual seed grow -- environment impact on quality...?

Humanrob

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@Humanrob
Have you considered taking a branch off your plant that you want to pollinate and treating it like a clone to keep it alive, then reversing it. Collect the pollen from the clone and dust the original how you want.
I have read about people doing that, and it does sound like a good option, but not this run. This is my first time trying CS, and I want to see it work in its simplest form before I start to add more steps to the process. To take clones, I would need to set up a tray, heat pad, separate light, etc. Just not what I'm into on this run. Also, my timing is already a bit off since I didn't start the pollen donor earlier than the others, I expect I'll be keeping these girls alive past when one would for flower harvesting in order to give the seeds time to mature. I'm hoping to wrap this grow up in 90 days and have time to do another seed run before spring. So many seeds to make, only one space to do it in...
 

Humanrob

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Just for some perspective on the limitations of this grow, here are some pictures of the setup. Sadly the adjacent window faces east into an alcove and does not get any direct sunlight, that would have been a bonus, but in our little house there aren't many spaces for an experiment like this. The girls are growing like house plants out on a table in the corner of a room (the other leaves you can see in one picture are from a coffee tree...), with 12 hours of 450 watts (a 600 @75%) of light. It is what it is, hopefully nothing about the setup will prevent them from making viable seeds.

09.16.20setup.jpg09.16.20sprouts.jpg
 

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So many seeds to make, only one space to do it in...
Keep the clone thing in mind in the future, It will save you some bud in the long run. Timing on autos is tricky as you know, my first time reversing an auto I just sprayed a couple branches and let it pollinate itself. She made about 5000 seeds, which I harvested and threw the rest of the plant away. Now I just put the branch I want to reverse in the aeroponic cloner and start spraying until I see sacs. I keep them going in my cloner until the pollen starts to drops and I collect it. Then the next time I grow that strain again or one I will want to cross it with I will pull out the pollen. That way I’m not trying to race the clock with autos. Photos are so much easier to feminize.

I use a 2x2x4ft tent as a breeding and seedling tent. I have one Autocob inside which is more than enough light and keeps the tent nice and warm the way babies like it. I have my cloner in there all the time which leaves room for three 3 gallon fabric pots or I can get as many as 10 one gallon fabric pots inside, depending on my needs.


hopefully nothing about the setup will prevent them from making viable seeds.
My only concern with your open area is how do you eliminate all light during your dark period? While most autos are not photosensitive for bloom, I have seen some strange effects when stray light got into a grow.
 

Humanrob

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Keep the clone thing in mind in the future, It will save you some bud in the long run. Timing on autos is tricky as you know, my first time reversing an auto I just sprayed a couple branches and let it pollinate itself. She made about 5000 seeds, which I harvested and threw the rest of the plant away. Now I just put the branch I want to reverse in the aeroponic cloner and start spraying until I see sacs. I keep them going in my cloner until the pollen starts to drops and I collect it. Then the next time I grow that strain again or one I will want to cross it with I will pull out the pollen. That way I’m not trying to race the clock with autos. Photos are so much easier to feminize.

I use a 2x2x4ft tent as a breeding and seedling tent. I have one Autocob inside which is more than enough light and keeps the tent nice and warm the way babies like it. I have my cloner in there all the time which leaves room for three 3 gallon fabric pots or I can get as many as 10 one gallon fabric pots inside, depending on my needs.
Sorry, I somehow missed this reply.

Down the road I might be able to use a small tent for pollen collection, at the moment it's not an option. I've never tried to feminize a photo or an auto (although I have pollinated photos the traditional way), so I just want to go through the process once, and then see if it's worth it. In my big picture, I'm currently doing one outdoor per year and running six plants, so I don't need a lot of seeds. The truth is, if Mephisto were a real company that had a catalogue of seeds that were consistently available, I wouldn't be doing any of this.

My only concern with your open area is how do you eliminate all light during your dark period? While most autos are not photosensitive for bloom, I have seen some strange effects when stray light got into a grow.
That's interesting. What kind of "strange effects"?

The room they are in has very consistent daily light patterns, so from that perspective, that's the best I can do. Since they can be grown under 24/0 lighting (although I've heard that's not optimal, still, that it can be done says something), I have to imagine that they don't "need" a complete dark black out period. I've also grown outdoors -- photos and autos -- on a property where they were partially under a street light, and never had absolute darkness, and they were fine year after year. My experience has been that as long as the light variations throughout the day are pattern consistent, the plants seem to adapt to it.

But like I've said, this is my first time growing autos indoors, so I'm relying heavily on what I've read, and I've read that autos can be completely unaffected by random light changes. Of course we know not everything we read is true. I've seen pictures of people growing them next to a window in their homes in rooms where the lights go on and off throughout the day. It never really made sense to me. I can imagine that a 100% ruderalis strain could be light insensitive (so to speak), but since all the "autos" we grow are indica/sativa/ruderalis hybrids, I do wonder. That's a lot of genetic influences. Which is another reason I don't have that much invested in this experiment.

I suppose if one (or more) of the girls I intend to be a recipient hermies, that would mess everything up. To a degree. I chose strains with overlapping genetic heritage, so hopefully any combination of them will be... at least interesting.

I ended out going on a late night stoned seed buying spree a few days ago, so if this fails, I'll be fine, like, for a couple of years. I would love to reproduce and save some of these Mephisto strains though, no telling if they'll ever be available again.
 
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HemiSync

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The truth is, if Mephisto were a real company that had a catalogue of seeds that were consistently available, I wouldn't be doing any of this.
I think Mephisto is a real company, but also a small seed company that from everything I heard have some stellar genetics.

I make seed because I can. I will never be able to use all the seed I have created for myself, so besides trading my seeds with other amateur pollen chuckers for their genetics, I like giving them away to my friends, and a couple cancer groups I know of that love donations of autoflowers or feminized photos for their members. I also have a silly pipe dream when I retire in two years I want to travel across all 48 states with bags of seeds and every place I think a seed will grow, drop a few.

That's interesting. What kind of "strange effects"?
You may have something with keeping things consistent and will be interested in how your experiment turns out. I’ve seen a few weird things but only have pics of one. I had an autoflower that was outdoors on the front porch for the majorit of its life. It had maybe a couple weeks left when the weather started getting cold. So to finish her off I threw her into a spare tent with a couple autocobs and thought nothing of it. The timer, which I had not even considered, was set for 16 hours of light and she had been outside it was down to 13 hours when brought indoors. She actually started to reveg, and restretch making new buds. I eventually had to harvest her because the older bud was getting a lot of amber. So depending on the strain light fluctuations may have an effect. Had I not seen this for myself, I would have never believed it possible of an auto.
E252020F-82E4-4D4A-B295-1235F9C271E5.jpeg
 

Humanrob

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I think Mephisto is a real company, but also a small seed company that from everything I heard have some stellar genetics.
Yeah, that's just me being frustrated. What makes it so frustrating is that they do have such stellar genetics, but apparently they don't have a business model in place that can keep up with even a fraction of the demand for their product. In another life I was a business consultant, I saw this all the time, I suppose I should get over it.

I make seed because I can. I will never be able to use all the seed I have created for myself, so besides trading my seeds with other amateur pollen chuckers for their genetics, I like giving them away to my friends, and a couple cancer groups I know of that love donations of autoflowers or feminized photos for their members.
The idea of having extra is what keeps me going on this grow. I also enjoy giving them away when the chance arises, and it will be even better knowing they are feminized.

You may have something with keeping things consistent and will be interested in how your experiment turns out. I’ve seen a few weird things but only have pics of one. I had an autoflower that was outdoors on the front porch for the majorit of its life. It had maybe a couple weeks left when the weather started getting cold. So to finish her off I threw her into a spare tent with a couple autocobs and thought nothing of it. The timer, which I had not even considered, was set for 16 hours of light and she had been outside it was down to 13 hours when brought indoors. She actually started to reveg, and restretch making new buds. I eventually had to harvest her because the older bud was getting a lot of amber. So depending on the strain light fluctuations may have an effect. Had I not seen this for myself, I would have never believed it possible of an auto.
Thanks for sharing that, I would imagine that no plant is totally impervious to environmental changes.

So far this experiment is going... slowly. They are about 2-3 weeks old, and look half that age. With them being out in the open I have too much access to them, I check in on them throughout the day. It's probably just the pandemic talking, but perhaps the plants are maturing so slowly because I've been staring at them so much... it's the "observer effect" and I'm stunting them with too much quantum interaction... yeah, that's got to be it. LOL
:pass:
 

Humanrob

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Well, as far as my initial concerns went, the environment is definitely impacting the grow, if it impacts the transfer of genetic code, that remains to be seen. Since they are growing in slow motion, I'm going to have to watch them carefully to figure out when to start spraying. At this rate, it could be a couple of weeks. It's kind of disconcerting how pathetic this grow is, but I need to keep reminding myself of the set up. This is what happens when things are far from optimal.

I switched over from the MH bulb (@450w) that I was using for warmth to COBs (@340w, 4k + 3k), which I'm more familiar and comfortable with. Temps went down from (+/-) 77º to 74º, but they are responding well to the COBs.

Two of these seeds were amongst the first Mephisto seeds I ever bought -- the Walter White that already died, and the Sour Stomper that is so far growing mutated. I anticipate I'll trash that one, no sense in pollinating a mutant, and then I'll be down to just Double Grape and Grapey Walter (which share Grape Crinkle lineage).

The "if I ever do this again" list of lessons is growing, most importantly so far; I won't wait until I only have one seed left, and I'll pop a pair of the same strain, feminize one and 'cross' them. Even better would be to pop three... This is a few degrees too random.

Grapey Walter, 23 days since it popped
11.22.20gw.jpg


Double Grape, 14 days since popped
11.22.20dg.jpg


Sad mutated Sour Stomper, 12 days since it popped
11.22.20ss.jpg
 
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Humanrob

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I've done indoor grows for the last 5 years, but I broke down that setup and wasn't going to grow this winter. I think I may have mentioned before, my indoor grows were labor intensive because the detached garage I use is difficult (and expensive) to climate control. I was a bit relieved to let that go. I was able to do that because the bug netting I started using which saved my outdoor crops from worms. That was a real game changer, that combined with only running autos outside, and I have a productive and reliable system going making the indoor grows unnecessary.

That said, I guess I'm just not totally ready to go the whole winter without some plants growing.

You’ll do it again. It gets addicting and each time gets a little easier.
It will be interesting to see if I can get away with doing it without a tent. I'm not sure why, but doing it this way really appeals to me. If a tent becomes necessary, I can't use any of the tents I own, they're too big for the house. I'd have to get a little 2x3x5 or smaller. Or build something. But we'll see how this goes first.
 

Humanrob

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As time goes on, I'm starting to wonder how this slowed down grow is going to impact the window of time when I should be spraying. When I first started growing autos, I was told not to transplant them because autos have a set-in-stone number of days for their lifespan, and any shock will just burn up some of those growth days. I learned that's not strictly true, cold temps can slow them down and their clock seems to slow down with them, so their overall lifespan is not absolutely set (although I found the impact of cold weather and their ultimate recovery varied between strains).

I have had autos with very rough starts eventually become normal sized plants, but that was only after their environmental conditions changed, in that case, it was that summer weather finally arrived and strong sun and warm days revitalized them. I'm not sure what will happen if these plants live their whole lives under constraining conditions. I guess that's all part of this experiment.

I am wondering how my window for spraying CS will be impacted by this slow motion growth and maturation. And, if the window seems unclear, would it be better to use STS? My plan is to spray only a lower branch on this plant, but I'm starting to wonder how many weeks out I'll be before it has lower branches... This plant pictured below is three weeks old, and then as a comparison, the second picture from a previous grow at three weeks. For scale, this Double Grape in the first picture is in a 2 gallon pot, the ones in the other picture are filling out 3 gallon pots.

11.25.20_dg.jpg

random_3wk_pic.jpg


Edit: as a side note, in looking at the second picture I took that right after topping them, so they had just completed their fourth node.
 
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