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 Sour Diesel Auto: Low-Budget/Stealth - 1st FEMINIZED Seed Grow

Discussion in 'New Growers Grow Journals' started by Tracer Productions, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. Tracer Productions

    Tracer Productions Auto Warrior

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    If you were following my previous (aborted) grow journal, you'll know my first Lowryder #2 plant was a male & both of my other 2 seeds ended up dead after attempting to feminize them with ripening bananas, so I'm stoked to be trying out some feminized seeds of a strain I actually like. I'm still a total noob who hasn't seen a grow through to completion so I figured this belongs here in the New Growers section. When I say "low-budget grow" I mean total bargain basement shoestring budget. Like, $5 here & $7 there. I'm sure I could increase yield by adding fancy expensive lights or whatever, but I'm broke & stealth is a big factor. Hence the title. Also: I tend to get wordy so I apologize in advance for that.

    [​IMG]

    STRAIN: Sour Diesel Auto feminized
    MEDIUM: Soil (Black Gold Organic)
    LIGHTS: Sunlight + LED & CFL
    FERTILIZER: Tetramin fish food @ Week 5
    LOCATION: Zone 7a - Indoor

    WEEK 1

    I obtained some Sour Diesel Auto seeds from eBay with my birthday money. The lineage is Sour Diesel + Haze 2.0 Auto, which should produce a cerebral Sativa-dominant effect. It's said to be super-easy to grow & has great yields.

    Germinated seed in cup of warm (bottled) water for 12 hours. Then transferred to the paper towel setup for an additional 12 hours before the taproot started to grow out! Didn't even need to re-wet the towels once. These seeds were oddly shaped & took forever to sink in warm water so I was skeptical, but they're definitely viable.

    After soaking my soil cup in a water tray for 5 hours, I planted the seed in Black Gold Organic soil in an 18-oz Hefty cup. I sprayed the topsoil gently with a spray bottle & placed the cup under a warm incandescent light to get some warmth going. Now the wait begins!

    ...that didn't take long. Only 24 hours below the surface before a full set of cotyledons & tiny first leaves popped up. These Sour D seeds are kicking the Lowryders' asses in terms of development time! I'm starting with a 14/10 lighting cycle until we reach the "first set of true leaves" stage, when I'll move to 18/6. Morning & afternoon = South-facing window & evening = LEDs. Still using those "weak" 20 watt gooseneck LEDs that everyone on Reddit said were worthless but somehow burned my last plant lol. Definitely not worthless if you're only growing one plant in a small container.

    (I plan to have a few CFLs set up by flowering time to supplement the LEDs so I can keep the plant mostly out of the window for stealth reasons. Soft whites are cheaper than daylight CFLs anyway so I'll just pick up a bunch of those for flowering & use the window + LEDs for vegetative growth). Yay for being a tightwad!

    [​IMG]
    Day 1!

    Was a little concerned about my soil, as it had grown a fine layer of white spiderweb-like mold on the very top after sitting in my closet for a couple weeks. But it doesn't seem to have caused any problems. I popped some in the oven while my Dad was out of town to hopefully kill any nasty fungi. I'm sensitive to mold/mildew so don't want it sitting in my room even if it's not bad for the plant.

    I asked my mom to pick me up a 42-watt CFL 2700k bulb & she ended up getting me a heat lamp instead! Major fail, haha. Guess she thought I wanted to keep my plants warm. :rofl:





     
  2. Rollin_along

    Rollin_along Walter Greenthumbs

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    I will tag along , I love cheap grows.

    Sent from my comfy chair.
     
  3. Need4Weed

    Need4Weed Smoke Cannabis Live with Friends on AFN General Staff

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    Me too and good luck! :greenthumb:
     
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  4. Tracer Productions

    Tracer Productions Auto Warrior

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    WEEK 2

    This week has been a huge roller coaster of emotions!

    So I miscalculated when I said my window got 7 hours of sunlight per day. That appears to be a Winter/Early Spring phenomenon, because I now am not getting ANY direct rays where my plants sit. Even on a sunny day. Who knew the Earth's position changed with the seasons?! (j/k...kinda). Super bummed. Of course I broke the clamps on my Woods clamp light before ever getting to use it, so it now sits on the floor as a tripod :p

    I'm taking steps to increase humidity during this early stage of growth, unlike last time. In addition to twice weekly waterings, I'm misting the leaves with a spray bottle 3 times per week & putting a Ziploc bag over the plant for 5 hours after each spray to keep moisture in better. (Why 5 hours? Because OCD). This will only go on until the first true set of leaves is big, then I'll stop the Ziplocking. I know "humidity domes" can lead to fungi so I'm being very vigilant but I wanted to do something to boost humidity & prevent heat/light stress in the seedling stage. Lord knows we don't need any more males or hermies.

    I finally ordered my 2 CFL bulbs, 2-way splitter & extender base for my clamp lamp. That'll add 84 watts to my grow space in addition to the 20-watt LEDs (which are surprisingly effective on their own). I went with the Soft White 2700k ones. Eventually I'll try to add more lumens to my space but for now I'm broke as a joke. Luckily, growing a single plant in a Solo cup doesn't require much dinero. I've still got 6 seeds that can be planted...one by one...since I'm a lightweight smoker there's no rush!

    Here she is at the beginning of Week 2:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Week 2

    So the elephant in the room is her size. The Lowryder was way bigger by this age, but he was also male & getting more total light each day. Thinking it's time to bump up the lighting cycle to 20/2 or 20/4 to help her catch up. (I've been doin 14/10 in an attempt to avoid the same butch/taco effect I got last time with the Lowryder but it's time to step on the gas). Once flowering begins I'll pull it back to 18/6.

    My first CFL came in today & it's YUGE! Glad I grabbed an extender 'cause there's no way two of these would fit inside one reflector. Really hate that I broke my clamp because it's hard to balance this lamp with the big bulbs in it. I've got it shoved in my bottom drawer right now so getting to my clothes is kinda tricky.

    Here's a pixelated pic of my setup:

    [​IMG]
    42 watt Soft White CFL + 20 watt LEDs

    Here's where things took a turn for the worse. I had a major under-watering incident AGAIN after installing the new CFL. I didn't realize that more light = increased need for water, and how quickly things can go downhill. She started acting strange as soon as the new bulb was added, even though I knew she was hurting for more light. This was the result:

    [​IMG]
    :(

    Luckily, she perked up after putting the cup in a water tray for a few hours to rehydrate. This has been a challenging grow so far to say the least. Things were much easier when I had the sun to rely on for light! If this plant pulls through and produces ANYTHING at this point, I'll be a proud pappy. Gonna do some rearranging when the other CFL arrives. I don't know why they don't make gooseneck CFL grow lights that are easy to maneuver like these LEDs. That would be ideal. Not a fan of these awkward clamp reflectors.

    I added more soil to the cup this week along with some (clean) hair for nitrogen. It's supposed to be a good fertilizer so what the hey. I'll probably feed her a small amount of ferts next week if she's still size challenged. I'm thinking diluted urine since it's a good nitrogen source that's FREE & abundant. :)

    Summary: She's definitely small for her age. Stunted, even. I just added a second CFL today so hopefully that will help. I'm gonna see it through to the end regardless. Sexing & flowering will begin soon so hopefully she'll shoot up in size, but if not I'll just have a dwarf & name it DOPEY. :mrgreen:

    Here's some final pics at the end of Week 2:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Rollin_along

    Rollin_along Walter Greenthumbs

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    Looks like she bounced back ok. Try to get that light over the top if you can. A couple of bits of wood would make a frame or a large box?
    Sent from my comfy chair.
     
  6. Tracer Productions

    Tracer Productions Auto Warrior

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    THANKS! I moved the bulbs (now 2 of them in one reflector) up to the 2nd drawer of my dresser, so they're firmly above the plant. But the wood frame is a good idea. She still seems to be growing wide but not tall. Very strange. Maybe I'm just not used to female plant structure since my last was a male but pretty sure it should be taller by now. We shall see! :thumbsup:
     
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  7. Rollin_along

    Rollin_along Walter Greenthumbs

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    Adjusting your light height will adjust height of plant. Too short raise light and she will stretch to it, too stretched then lower the light to keep her shorter.
    Sent from my comfy chair.
     
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  8. Tracer Productions

    Tracer Productions Auto Warrior

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    WEEK 3

    My new fan is here along with the pipe cleaners & 2nd CFL. Woot. I just learned that "wind burn" is a thing, which is good because I tend to use fans to strengthen the stems & often blast it on high. Oopsie. But this stem is in need of strengthening & thickening, so screw it. The plant is growing wide & top heavy but is vertically challenged so the fan is staying on '3' most of the time.

    [​IMG]
    Early Week 3


    [​IMG]
    Early Week 3; Side View

    Anyhoo, she's definitely digging the additional light hours & lumens now that she's adjusted to the CFLs. At least her top leaves are. Those bottom leaves are as good as dead. I was considering doing some light LST but am now just focusing on the plant's survival. This has been a lot harder than anticipated. Between the stunted size, the drooping & the bizarre leaning away from the lights, I've worried myself sick. LST will have to wait until next time when I'm feeling more confident. But that's okay--this particular strain seems to have no trouble getting light to the nodes & inner bits.

    Still doing a 20/4 light cycle & watering thoroughly twice weekly--once from the bottom & once from the top with foliar misting 3x weekly. On Thursday, I added a weak 12:1 solution of urine to my water to hopefully give her some much-needed motivation to grow upwards. Urine is supposedly a great source of many nutrients including calcium, magnesium, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium & auxin among about 20 others. I take a ton of meds & supplements so hopefully my kidneys & liver are doing their job of filtering the baddies out, lol. (For anyone grossed out by this, please note that urine is a much more sanitary fertilizer than some things that are used...namely chicken/cow/bat poo or "worm castings" which are essentially worm crap. Not to mention blood & bone meal). She got a thorough watering along with the pee so we'll see how she reacts!

    Approx 8 hours after urine fertilizer:

    [​IMG]
    Lookin' good!

    I'm gonna encourage upward growth as much as possible by sticking to this 20/4 light cycle & not doing anything to induce flowering until closer to Week 5 since she's so short. Then I'll pull back to 18/6 & add my phosphorus/potassium-containing ferts. The "growth explosion" should be coming soon. There are already major leaf growths coming out of her nodes as well as some pistils. Would love to see her gain a few inches at least. Most people want their plants to be short & wide but this is crazy! (Although it has helped moving the lights up a notch in the dresser drawers, so thanks for that advice).

    There's a definite smell when you rub or mist the leaves now. I accidentally punctured one & could smell the damage I inflicted from where I was sitting. She's way more pungent than the Lowryder was at this stage, which is encouraging. I plucked the very bottom two leaves off since they're shriveled anyway. Am considering defoliation but still not sure if, when or how heavily to do it.

    One unexpected downside to having these CFLs blazing in my room is that they seem to be making my Seasonal Depression worse. (I have reverse SAD which happens in the Spring). The light is a sickly yellowish color & it's not jiving with my brain chemistry at all. Apparently the light boxes used to treat SAD use blue "daylight" colored bulbs that filter out the yellow. Fuck me. I'm exhausted, having nightmares like never before & feel feverish, apparently because these bare bulbs can cause sunburn thanks to the UV-B rays if you sit too close for too long (which I've been doing while tending my plant). Also been having more migraines lately that are harder to treat & just feel miserably depressed. Bleh. Having them on 20 hours per day is a bit much too. This is a problem I never anticipated. A grow tent would solve these probs, but this is a LOW-BUDGET grow & I'm poor. Can't wait til I have my own patio or sunroom. #OneDay

    On a positive note, my plant is looking better than she has in weeks. I've been checking out some of "Stunted's" nano-grows & am now more certain than ever that I can make it work in this 18-oz cup despite what nay-sayers are telling me on other forums. (For those who haven't seen his inspiring work, here's a photo of a typical Stunted grow on the left):

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Stunted's work vs. my 18-oz. grow at Week 3's end.
     
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  9. Tracer Productions

    Tracer Productions Auto Warrior

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    WEEK 4

    This week marks the official last week of veg. I'll be continuing this hellish 20/4 light cycle for the last time before switching to 18/6 permanently next week. Wasn't planning on doing any feedings but had to do some "emergency" supplementing due to a sudden nitrogen issue. I also added back the LEDs for side lighting after seeing the first white pistils forming at the top of the plant. Just using them 4 hours a day for now.

    Can't overstate how much I hate these CFL bulbs. I had no such problems with the LEDs but they're far too weak to sustain the plant. I slept 14 hours yesterday & that's been the norm since I've been doing 20/4 with these bulbs. I hope my plant likes them because they're poison to me! I could never imagine using these to light my house.

    Here's a pic of my ghetto grow op. I added some white cardboard & aluminum foil to maximize light going into flower. Gotta be better than letting the light escape into a dark closet with no reflectivity, right? I know other reflective materials are better but this is what I'm working with:

    [​IMG]
    Better than nothing(?)

    Anyway, I tried a ponytail thing on my plant to see if I could get some more light to the lower bud sites for a few days. Here's the comparison from May 2 to May 5. Notice the size increase in the middle branch that had been completely shaded before:

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Business on the top...party on the sides?

    Props to whoever came up with this. It's definitely safer than topping for slower growing autos and has a similar effect, bringing the canopy height up to a more even level & giving the lower side branches a chance to reach their potential. Probably should've done it a lot earlier but I only got the pipe cleaners recently. .

    In other news, the bottom fans are turning a bit yellow with a purplish stem. This has happened over the course of a day. Kinda surprised how fast it crept up. I noticed this happening with other Solo cup grows though so it seems to be pretty common. Since it's on the lowest leaves I'm thinking it might be nitrogen-related. I made some grass clipping tea that I applied as a foliar spray & will be using to water a few times in a 1:1 solution with plain water. It's supposed to be rich in nitrogen & potassium. We shall see if it slows down this yellowing problem. So far it's looking like it's perked the plant up overnight though. I clipped off the bottom fans as they were just getting in the way & were pretty much dead & crispy.

    [​IMG]
    Grass clipping tea

    Despite all the problems, I'm fucking stoked to see those pistils forming. I've never had a plant make it to flower before. Every grow has either been aborted or turned out male in the past so this is a first. And she STINKS! I really just want to see how things develop so I can learn more about the growing process firsthand. If I get a few buds, great. If not, I've learned enough from this experience to get some next time around for sure. Here's some final pics at the end of Week 4:

    [​IMG]
    Top view; before grass clipping tea fertilizer was applied

    [​IMG]
    After grass clipping tea. FLOWER POWER!
     
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  10. Rollin_along

    Rollin_along Walter Greenthumbs

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    I think you might just pull this off.

    Sent from my comfy chair.
     

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