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Old Dawg, New Trixx

I thought I’d give this blog (journal?) a try, so please bear with me as I try and navigate this system. Hopefully I’m on the right path to starting a Grow Journal.

Ok so a little about me . I medically retired in 2016 after a severe spinal injury, whether that’s a permanent ”retirement” or not remains to be seen. When Virginia allowed home grows I saw it as a perfect opportunity to take care of several issues at the same time; Pain Management, Sleep Issues and something to keep me busy. Win-Win, hopefully. The only Caveat is I am a Veteran who strictly uses the VA for medical care, so still trying to navigate the drug testing issues with them. Ok enough about my old broke down self. On to the grow !!

I started this “project” with the ASSumption that I could throw some seeds in a pot, shine a light on them and feed them Miracle Grow And I’d have it made ….. I couldn’t have been more wrong ! I had no clue it was this involved and just started throwing a Hodge-Podge of Equipment together as I read more on the subject. I should have come here FIRST but we all live and learn and whether I’m successful or not I’m sure I’ll be adjusting on the fly but having a real fun time learning and growing at the moment. I try to be very detailed when I’m passionate about something so I hope this doesn’t bore ya and I’m doing this right ? Before my untimely demise I was a Master Auto/Diesel Technician for 29.5 years. Most of which was spent with General Motors, worked for a NASCAR team owners dealership for awhile as the Engine and chassis specialist so I’m very meticulous and love learning new things every day! Will add more pictures when I am sure I’m doing this journal right

The Setup
Seeds - 3 Fem Auto Hindu Kush and 3 Fem Auto Critical Purple from Growers Choice.
Grow Tent- 3X3X6 Hydro Plus
Grow Media- Mother Earth Coco Plus Perlite 70/30. Sta-Green flower and vegetable garden soil (Leftover from an earlier project).
Grow Bags- Opulent Systems 5 Gallon X 5
Grow Light- Viparspectra VA1000 LED w/Dimmers Veg and Bloom
Ventilation- Vivosun 4” 190 CFM Inline fan w/speed control and carbon filter, 2- stationary 9” 3spd
Food- Alaskan Fish Fertilizer(5-1-1), UnSulphered Molasses, Organic Worm Castings, Great White Mycorrhizae,
Other “Stuff”- EZ Grow Starter Plugs (for eventual cloning attempts), Vivosun 10x21 seedling heat mat, 15x9 seedling tray w/dome, Vivosun
PH and TDS meters, General Hydro PH control kit, manual timer, trellis netting, 2- Digital Hygrometer and thermometer, Handheld calendar/grow journal, Various measuring tools, syringes, scales, scissors, watering can.
On Order- Air pump/diffuser for making tea, filter bags for teas, Cal Mag. Aloe Vera plants.


9/22- Day 1 Soaked 1 seed of each in water around 20 hours
9/23- Transferred to paper towel in Ziploc and put in dark tent 73.6f 63%RH
9/24- Checked Paper Towel, moisture still good. CP has small tail, HK cracked but no tail 74.5f, 61%RH
9/25- Moisture still good, both seeds have tails CP 1/2”, HK 1/4”. Decided to leave them one more day. 73f, 63%RH
9/26- Made the decision to mix 2 parts coco with 1 part potting soil for both bags (needed to get rid of the extra dirt) . While mixing in a large rubbermaid container in the garage, decided to moisten the mixture to the desired amount with Molasses based on reading an article on natural growing methods and soil prep before the grow. Used 1tsp for one gallon water , also added 1tsp of fish emulsion based on another article . Filled 2 grow bags with the media mixture, used a sharpie end and created a hole 3/4” deep. at this time I didn’t have the Great white. Placed the seeds in the holes and covered lightly. Using a spray bottle I lightly misted the tops of the soil with the above mixture. Placed identifier tags in each. Set my lights to 18” and set the Veg switch to 50%, bloom switch off. 73f, 63%RH. lights on 24/7 Hygrometer probe @ plant level.
9/27- CP popped the dirt and she’s a beauty ! , HK still hiding . Zip tied one fan to the top-left corner of the tent pointing toward the lower opposite corner (To diffuse the air flow). Checked the dirt with 3 knuckles deep and checked the weight of the pot. Lightly sprayed 2” away and around CP . Same for HK but not directly on the seed area. Plan was to make the roots hunt out the moisture 2” from base of plant ‍♂ 77.2f/62%RH placed a cut off water bottle (dome) over HK after lightly spraying the inside of the bottle.
9/28- HK is awake and ready for some love. Seed halves stuck to leaf, used tweezers to spread seed apart and it fell off. (Saw this on a germination video) Leaves look great. Really small compared to CP ! 79.4f/61%RH. Heat concerns me, opened tent during the day. Set house HVAC to Auto mode @ 72 will monitor. Added 2nd Hygrometer/Therm to HK pot, directly on the dirt (no probe with this one). Watered out 2” both plants with plain water
9/29- Both plants look great. Checking morning and night for temp and humidity all good so far. Light mist soil before bed, none on leaves ever. 77.4f/57%RH. Ordered Vivosun 4” exhaust system W/ carbon filter. Bought 2 more 9” stationary fans just in case.
9/30- No water today. All looks good. Still opening during day and closing at bedtime. 77.7f/56%RH. plants growing well. Nice and green. 2nd
set of leaves coming in
10/1- Water morning check only. Started using large plastic syringe to give exact amount of water to each for a more precise measurement. 4tsp each . Very scared of over-watering !! Easy does it ! 77.7f/55%RH. Many offering help with first grow, pleasantly-surprised at the willingness to share knowledge from other growers! Have had a few pushing product , have to watch out for wolf in sheep’s clothing . Wondering if it’s possible to have a successful grow using only “Natural“ on-hand products ? Started research on this. Had a long conversation with an experienced grower from groups about natural grows and advised dozens of references on KNF methods. Will most likely give some of these a try soon. Some great examples given on large-healthy yields.
10/2- Set up exhaust system after ball game. External fan motor with Carbon Filter inside (evacuating tent). Added 1 9” fan to lower vent hole. Need to think about filter for intake ? Car air filter element, cut in circle ? House AC paper only filter ? Watch for glass or other bad stuff in filters !!!!! Set floor fan to medium, exhaust fan to 1/2 throttle. All seems good Even zipped up! Need references on Positive or Negative airflow in tent ??? 76.6f/50%RH. Mixed a new gallon of water, not sure on shelf life ? No sense taking chances. Started compost bin on back porch. Gathered mason jars and gallon pickle jars for possible KNF Methods. 4tsp each 9:26pm . Measured light distance from leaves. Moved to 22”@ 70% Veg switch. Will monitor heat
10/3- 9am check. Plants look amazing ! CP 2 1/4”, HK 1 1/2”. 4 serrated leaves on each plus the two original round ones. Nice green color. 77.7f/56%RH. Turn pots 180, because light is angled due to carbon filter hang. May need to reconfigure but light is hitting good on both.
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Lower fan seems to be gently moving stems for strength. All appears good. 4tsp each. Game Day, Brady Bunch return !!!! 11:32pm 77.5f/51%RH. Ordered calmag, tea bags and air pump for teas and possible future need(cal mag). All good. Very excited ! Forgot to mention, Postive pressure in tent when closed. Opened lower left screened viewing square. Leave zipper open at top 6”. Seems manageable now. Still need further info on this. Have seen references to possible bug deterrent, POS,NEG? New friend mentioned shutting off lights 1-5am. Need to research this more !!!!

As a side note Brady pulled it off. Wasn’t pretty but a W is a W
F356CA8A-CAF0-4012-9096-65E4F61599D0.jpeg

Comments

10/4 - Day 8 out of the dirt.
Was a little warm this morning.
3F7465C9-6F51-49A7-A699-DAD415AEAE5D.jpeg
4tsp each plain water. Vented the exhaust outside to see if that helps with temperature issues.
D9C75805-3760-430E-8511-95CCEFBF85F4.jpeg
Both plants look healthy and appear to be thriving with my untrained eye
A7ECD407-DB79-4AAE-B825-9D37E1FDD547.jpeg280148BA-4617-4D82-A124-2A69DB6C9358.jpeg
Light still @ 22” and 70% Veg only.
Started my LAB culture todayAA3D54F6-0FA1-4C24-84BF-FF83DC685921.jpeg
 
10/6- Not much to report, a little more exciting than watching grass grow lol. Just keep checking the leaves for any signs of problems, measuring growth and making sure they don’t need water.
6C2FDF98-1B7B-4D80-8097-264686FC82C1.jpeg
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I think I have cured my heat issue so far.
6D3EF936-476C-458D-B190-759A976E67D6.jpeg
Will be interesting to see how the additional bloom side of the light will affect it later on.
Started my banana tea today, LAB still fermenting,
Still having fun and trying to learn all I can as I go.
Ordered some more stuff …. I got to stay off Amazon lol.
 
10/12 - The last 3-5 days I have noticed a brown spot starting to show up on one of the leaves, on the CP. At first I though the light was playing tricks on my eyes and I was just constantly checking for problems .
7BA73071-678D-4336-BEA5-AD13320F74FC.jpeg

It eventually turned out to be a brown spot (right in the middle) so I am glad I was watching them closely.
1240075E-D469-4811-AF09-97AE4BFFCD5B.jpeg

On this one I’m not sure what it is so would welcome any advice- more details further down that may explain the issue.

There is also a small brown spot on the end of one of the HK leaves which I am pretty sure this one came from the seed being stuck when it popped out of the dirt.
0C006B50-811E-4D44-8A01-D0A6289661F5.jpeg

Ok I have been so consumed with making sure I don’t over water them that I “think” I have been under watering them. Originally I would just stick my finger down in the dirt and also lift the whole plant to see if it was lightweight. I had nothing to go by as far as having something too compare the weight too so this may be it. I went so far as to order a soil probe meter and no matter what I could do it always said dry. Of course up until that time I was watering literally 4tsp each maybe 2 times a day .
2FB2BFCA-FD8D-4D82-8F16-ECD52C13B58E.jpeg

5 days ago I started experimenting with other plants I had in the house and outside using the digital probe and it would change to normal
822C4751-6ACB-4E6C-8B3A-4A4458704943.jpeg

or wet/wet+ In wayer
307B4EB3-AB79-43DC-905C-788E81A37AD3.jpeg


and it seemed to correspond correctly with the dirt I was trying it in. Since realizing this it appears they have both taken off and started showing some growth with some extra leaves coming in and some separation between the first set of leaves and the second
I know this may not be the most scientific method but after trying it out under several conditions I am pretty sure my girls were really on the dry side. I would then “feel” the dirt it measured normal in and it did feel much wetter than what I had been experiencing. I’m just trying to find a more accurate way of determining if they have enough water

Today I started a new batch of water and added the following:
1Gal water
1/4tsp Great White
1ml of Fish Emulsion (5-1-1)
1/4c Banana Tea
1/2tsp of Aloe Vera Gel
DD04E81A-712E-48A1-B515-2DA496C3509F.jpeg


536A2780-41C0-4D4A-8E5B-2F1131D00AA2.jpeg

Mixed everything up, let it sit for about 2 hours and then checked PH @ 6.2 and watered heavily.
I watched the digital probe and moved it around several times to make sure I was getting a “NOR” reading on both plants.
3F310A36-E085-4DA0-9F76-51ECB36BB1DC.jpeg

This morning it read “dry” so I stuck the probe deeper and it read “NOR” which I’m assuming would be right, the bottom soil in the fabric pot still has water but the top 4-5” is dry ? I then watered again using the new mixture and the probe as a guide.
Hopefully I’m on the right track and trying to use everything I can at my disposal to keep these plants alive
The new growth and extra sets of leaves have me excited !! Watching other growers journals has me thinking these are both on the small side but since I’m not using any extra purchased additives that could be why. I have a soil test kit also I may run some tests on soon to see if anything out fo the ordinary shows up.
My plan is to add some worm castings to the top of the soil before the next water.
Another question I have is does anyone use clay pebbles on the top of these pots to retain moisture ?
We have several houseplants that we use them on and I have seen people using them in various situations for cannabis growing but not sure if they would work for my application.
Thanks for hanging with me on this journey and thanks so much to all those who have offered advice.
 

Attachments

10/15- Been busier than a one armed piano player lately. A lot has been happening on the grow side and grow related stuff !! Got my LAB finished up! I had literally checked it before bed and nothing had happened and then checked it the next morning and it had separated !! Love doing stuff like this !!
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started working on my small indoor worm farm
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There are some really happy Uncle Jim’s red wigglers under there . Already have plans for some raised beds for outside growing next spring and will be moving some out there when it’s ready
Temp 76.8 60%RH.
The changes I made to the watering schedule and amount seem to be helping and I’m noticing some new growth every time I check them. Basically got it down to .75l each plant every 2-3 days depending on soil meter readings.

Hindu Kush
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Critical Purple
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Compost tea setups have arrived so will be dabbling in those real soon. Need to get some more buckets . Thanks for hanging out on this journey.
 
I can’t believe how everything’s starting to take off !! As far as I can tell they are doing very well and healthy. Haven’t watered since the 15th but the differences can be seen just in the 2 days
10/15
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10/17
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72.9f 49%RH

Got some Humboldt's enzyme, DTE 4-4-4 and Fox Farms Big Bloom. Ordered some more worm castings since it’s going to be awhile before I can use my own.
Will be watering again tonight. .75L each still.
 
10/18- This one Critical Purple seems to be wanting to bush right up !
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Side shot
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Hindu Kush
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side view
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Colder weather moving in and seeing changes in the RH. May have to take some measures to combat that soon, I’ve got a secret weapon on standby to add humidity that may or may not be “outside the box”.
On another note worms are thriving and starting to get rehydrated, getting back to what I assume is their normal size.
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Covered the “farm” with netting to keep out any flies or gnats. Seems too be working great.
 
Still hanging in there :headbang: Having a blast with these girls.Been seeing some nice new growth lately!
1L per day, per plant. Cal-Mag only this week
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Have a couple more “experiments” starting up now, hopefully I will be able to explain more on that in another post later.
 
Ok so been a few days since I updated and been busy with the Veterans Administration and also had a few things in the works I was trying out on the grow side of things.
After the above post I talked to a friend about the stunted growth of the HK and he recommended transplanting the it into new-soil, since that was the only grow bag that had a crazy mixture of old soil and new. Having nothing too lose at this point I figured what the heck ?
I’m trying to learn as much as possible so it’ll give me a different experience and I just went for it.
Removed the HK, was very surprised at how small the roots actually were.
ED2CB8B0-326B-48A4-A7FF-8AAAAF7B8FE1.jpeg

Using straight Happy Frog I created a space for the root ball
06617502-42D2-471A-821C-3E807C550984.jpeg

5AB5B4AD-7610-41FD-9150-EC7ABB51518A.jpeg

slapped in some mycorrhiza and
5EFFED7B-ACBB-466A-88C2-5B76D23C6BC1.jpeg

Let’s see what happens this was around 11am Sunday.

I have since started 2 other auto seeds. One is G14 I traded for from a friend and the other is a Russian Lights I acquired from a new local grow shop that I decided to stop in on the way through town the other day. I’m attempting to germinate the G14 exactly like I did the 2 from Growers Choice but the Russian Lights (Demonic Genetics) is going directly in the soil, in a solo cup (another experiment).
61644DB8-F2D8-488D-8BE4-5147589D4784.jpeg

There’s nothing in the front pot yet Since this above photo around lunchtime Sunday I’ve started watering with a handheld garden sprayer. 1L each morning and night, depending on if I am going to be home in the evening I might give both a heavier dose in the morning.
The G14, when it germinates will be grown exclusively with Gold Leaf liquid food. This is something a friend uses and I want to experiment a little. The first attempt at germination turned out kinda strange. 24hrs in the paper towel there was a tail but barely out of the shell
D590608E-22F4-4226-B6FA-A07DF6DC3656.jpeg

looks like it was on the right track ? Next day the tail got smaller ….

30B7DC6C-5B25-44F5-80D6-0F40D26BADF9.jpeg

Talked to my buddy and he said give it another day and if it doesn’t grow a tail start the other seed and I’ll bring you another to replace that one.
I checked it last night and it was completely closed again. No sign of a tail or anything . I was thinking “this is one of those seeds that woke up and decided it wasn’t gonna go to work and went back to bed” lol.
So I started another G14 and we will see how that goes. Anyone ever had that happen ??

Had a late night ball game last night and basically checked the temp and RH, closed the tent and went to bed !!
The Russian Lights from the grow shop popped the soil sometime last night and I’m looking forward to seeing how these strains grow and experimenting with each in different ways. Remember this is my therapy and I’m happy as a pig in the mud just to keep busy !!
BE75FE98-CDBC-4DC4-A7BA-55B22E5DFE81.jpeg


yesterday’s photo op. I did add some clay pellets to the CP pot. I like the look and have a bunch I needed to start using lol. I’ll do the same with the others as they grow a little bigger.
Todays photo update
CP
1DA25F4A-71E9-449A-9CF5-4A279C6F0184.jpeg

I’m really excited for this plant. I see something new every time I check it.
HK has some nice green/new growth coming in since the transplant. Optimistic on this one
F16467BD-0D24-4506-A067-95922C0450F0.jpeg

and the baby Russian Lights in the solo cup
8A242255-8853-470B-891E-AE2FE42F943C.jpeg

Thanks for hangin out with me on this life-changing journey.
The worm farm is doing amazing for those that were curious. Been eating well and growing like “worms”
I’m not sure if this is allowed but I’d like to mention a company I knew nothing about until last week, Kineos Genetics who sent me a free sample of their Rewire strain which they are giving away 100% FREE to disabled veterans.
BB3461FD-CACA-4ED1-B308-7D6392B555D4.jpeg

I learned of them and their Veteran Friendly program, through a FB group post and thought I’d give them a shout, 3 days later I had a 7-pack of their Rewire strain on my doorstep.
Any company that goes out of their way to help my brother and sister veterans, has my attention. These are photos so this will be another experiment for a later date- Stay Tuned :thanks:
I’m already thinking about a grow room, another grow tent and adding more & different light setups
 

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Things still looking great with the grow tent. Hindu Kush is starting to take off
2E012CBA-C836-4F08-BBBA-8EAF0156BF34.jpeg

Critical Purple continues to show new growth every day.
4044ABA0-6B85-4759-8CB8-33AF9FE218A5.jpeg

Russian lights is doing great and removed the dome today.
7017AD6D-F58F-4F82-AD90-8BF2487DF63F.jpeg

G14 went into the soil today also ! Clear dome over it.
Everything looking good and having lots of fun still.
442B8CF5-67E2-4921-85BD-06B0F4B6CFCB.jpeg

77f 51%RH
 
Ok so been a few days since I updated and been busy with the Veterans Administration and also had a few things in the works I was trying out on the grow side of things.
After the above post I talked to a friend about the stunted growth of the HK and he recommended transplanting the it into new-soil, since that was the only grow bag that had a crazy mixture of old soil and new. Having nothing too lose at this point I figured what the heck ?
I’m trying to learn as much as possible so it’ll give me a different experience and I just went for it.
Removed the HK, was very surprised at how small the roots actually were.
View attachment 1382041
Using straight Happy Frog I created a space for the root ball
View attachment 1382042
View attachment 1382043
slapped in some mycorrhiza and
View attachment 1382044
Let’s see what happens this was around 11am Sunday.

I have since started 2 other auto seeds. One is G14 I traded for from a friend and the other is a Russian Lights I acquired from a new local grow shop that I decided to stop in on the way through town the other day. I’m attempting to germinate the G14 exactly like I did the 2 from Growers Choice but the Russian Lights (Demonic Genetics) is going directly in the soil, in a solo cup (another experiment).
View attachment 1382045
There’s nothing in the front pot yet Since this above photo around lunchtime Sunday I’ve started watering with a handheld garden sprayer. 1L each morning and night, depending on if I am going to be home in the evening I might give both a heavier dose in the morning.
The G14, when it germinates will be grown exclusively with Gold Leaf liquid food. This is something a friend uses and I want to experiment a little. The first attempt at germination turned out kinda strange. 24hrs in the paper towel there was a tail but barely out of the shell
View attachment 1382052
looks like it was on the right track ? Next day the tail got smaller ….

View attachment 1382053
Talked to my buddy and he said give it another day and if it doesn’t grow a tail start the other seed and I’ll bring you another to replace that one.
I checked it last night and it was completely closed again. No sign of a tail or anything . I was thinking “this is one of those seeds that woke up and decided it wasn’t gonna go to work and went back to bed” lol.
So I started another G14 and we will see how that goes. Anyone ever had that happen ??

Had a late night ball game last night and basically checked the temp and RH, closed the tent and went to bed !!
The Russian Lights from the grow shop popped the soil sometime last night and I’m looking forward to seeing how these strains grow and experimenting with each in different ways. Remember this is my therapy and I’m happy as a pig in the mud just to keep busy !!
View attachment 1382054

yesterday’s photo op. I did add some clay pellets to the CP pot. I like the look and have a bunch I needed to start using lol. I’ll do the same with the others as they grow a little bigger.
Todays photo update
CP
View attachment 1382058
I’m really excited for this plant. I see something new every time I check it.
HK has some nice green/new growth coming in since the transplant. Optimistic on this one
View attachment 1382059
and the baby Russian Lights in the solo cup
View attachment 1382060
Thanks for hangin out with me on this life-changing journey.
The worm farm is doing amazing for those that were curious. Been eating well and growing like “worms”
I’m not sure if this is allowed but I’d like to mention a company I knew nothing about until last week, Kineos Genetics who sent me a free sample of their Rewire strain which they are giving away 100% FREE to disabled veterans.
View attachment 1382061
I learned of them and their Veteran Friendly program, through a FB group post and thought I’d give them a shout, 3 days later I had a 7-pack of their Rewire strain on my doorstep.
Any company that goes out of their way to help my brother and sister veterans, has my attention. These are photos so this will be another experiment for a later date- Stay Tuned :thanks:
I’m already thinking about a grow room, another grow tent and adding more & different light setups
'Growin' like worms...' lol
 
Pure clay pebs, or pebs topping soil?
Just topping the soil. A friend mentioned I should not use them due to having to add worm castings and 4-4-4 again in the near future, never crossed my mind :baked:. I really like the look of it but may end up removing them again now . I guess I could make my teas and add with the pebbles in place as a tea ?
 
I agree that you could use worm casting tea instead of top dressing the actual castings. IMO a lot of this is an experiment until results are seen. I mix a good amount of actual casts in the soil so I think tea is sufficient, especially in combination with other goodies from time to time. I like the (idea) of the clay in the bottom for drainage and aeration; on the top it seems like it would be better for pest control, ymmv.
 
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Quick update. Not much to report but trying to keep good records .
The CP is really looking good, top & side views
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Wondering about putting my net up now ? If so I’ll need to add a wand to my watering tank.
3ADDD19F-E80B-4CF4-B817-66A9E5B229AA.jpeg

HK coming along ok still
F2DC7C48-5022-4728-AB36-4D49C9061C78.jpeg

AC1634D0-CF62-4F13-AEE2-13106411C724.jpeg
Tent gonna be busy soon , might need a upgrade
:mrgreen:. Everyone needs 2 tents right ?

DEC28A36-AB07-4816-964E-FD727502B0B4.jpeg


Things I’ve been kicking around:
1) putting up the net
2) LST
3) Topping
4) a second tent in a 2x4 configuration.

Been playing around with my light meter and not sure it’s accurate but I’m getting 21,400 lux (1855fc) @ 20” with 65%/65% Veg/Bloom.
Some info I found;
“Clones and seedlings: 5,000–7,000 lux
Vegetative growth: 15,000–50,000 lux
Flowering: 45,000–65,000 lux
Maximum recommended amount of light: 75,000 lux”
I may have too much light for the seedlings and may need to bump the numbers up on the two bigger plants. I’ll be playing around with location to try and optimize this reading for each plant.
temps ranging from 73-77% and RH 46-54%.
Light foliar & surface spray on everything this afternoon.
Don’t think I mentioned it yet but had issues with the vivosun ph meter (most likely user induced errors) , so now have an Apera Instruments AI209-T complete kit.
This will give me a 3rd way to check PH and I’ll feel better about what I’m seeing.
Been gathering as much rainwater as I can and most likely will be modifying one of my downspouts on my back porch soon LOL.
Thanks for hanging with me and all the helpful advice !!
 
It doesn't sound silly BUT if you don't know about it you could study the subject more and maybe give it a go maybe next time. Prior to flower most plants will shoot up (growth spurt) quite a bit, it's known as the 'stretch.' This is the phase where the plant is 'beefing up,' preparing to flower. This is (also) the time when they gain most of their size, so for that particular variety you are doing it's good to know it's stretch characteristics. That will tell you when you should be putting up a net.

All this varies from strain to strain and someone more knowledgeable than myself may fill in the gaps but there are many guides on the subject. Congrats on the new meter and it's good to know you collect rain water!
 
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It doesn't sound silly BUT if you don't know about it you could study the subject more and maybe give it a go maybe next time. Prior to flower most plants will shoot up (growth spurt) quite a bit, it's known as the 'stretch.' This is the phase where the plant is 'beefing up,' preparing to flower. This is (also) the time when they gain most of their size, so for that particular variety you are doing it's good to know it's stretch characteristics. That will tell you when you should be putting up a net.

All this varies from strain to strain and someone more knowledgeable than myself may fill in the gaps but there are many guides on the subject. Congrats on the new meter and it's good to know you collect rain water!
I’ll definitely start looking up that info and figure out where I’m at. Thank you.
 
"Seeds - 3 Fem Auto Hindu Kush and 3 Fem Auto Critical Purple from Growers Choice."
I didn't really know for sure what you are growing when I made the last comment, I should have looked and checked then, I have now. If it were me, knowing what I know now, I wouldn't use a net on those, don't think it's really that much worth the trouble, I more see using net for photos. But I would top at the 3rd or 4th node and train the branches down about a week after. You can get multiple colas if the strain takes to it. If you don't think the strain is good for that then I would advise tying down branches to the rim of the pot (lst) for a low, even canopy and multiple bud sites. Contrary to myriad opinions autos can be topped and you can have phenomenal success with it, but it's all about where you are as a grower, and what you feel ready for. Know this, not every auto will take to topping so there's always a chance your plant could turn out somewhat smaller but even then you can have a fair success. If your ladies take well to it, well, you'll see when it happens and will be happy you did. I would not at all be afraid to top those, (once only at the 3rd or 4th node) but you will know best.
 
**Critical Mass and Big Bud lineage on the GC Critical Purple sounds like it would take well to the topping, (Though they require a long flowering period – as many as 11 weeks – the results are well worth the wait. When harvest time arrives, the bushy plants will have produced numerous buds full of medicinal and recreational possibilities; expect up to 450 grams of fresh flower per square meter indoors).
**the GC HK, 45 - 55 days finish, not sure about it. If the plants look good and strong I'd go for it. Or you could try to do it on some of them and see how you go, see for yourself. Whatever you decide to do all the best!
 

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