So riddle me this, what do we really know about the auto’s root system. My theory is its directly related to flower trigger. I have seen this over the years, time and time again. Trauma or no room result if a faster flowering, smaller structured plant. The question though, is that always the case with the plant. I have also seen the same situation reversed where a multi pot has taken longer to trigger than an individual plant. So is the root system intelligent enough to realize it’s in a multi pot when they have no more room to grow to trigger flower. The only variable in this equation is that most of my plants are bred and grown under 18/6 and the ones that were longer are under 24/0 light. I think that may have something to do with it as well, but well see. The experiment is still in progress.
For my main theory though, i will be using the F1 children of a recent cross to show how i feel the root system is the switch for flower. I have two plants here that are from the same generation, the only difference is the container that they are grown in. The first stage of the test was to see when “sexing” began. I had both plants in the same container for control up until the point of sex. Once I identified 2 female plants, i was able to begin the second stage of the test. Both plants sexed within one day of the other, at this stage the plants had enough time to form roots that were not root bound but filling the container that they were in. So, to me i see this as a stage where the plant triggers the hormone to begin the fertile cycle. They were not root bound, no circling of the root system, I was able to ID this with a special method to the planting pot.
Below you will see how i was able to ID the root system at the time of sex. Once the plant decided to show its reproductive system i checked the status of the roots. I locate Sex at the earliest stage that i can, i use a 10x loop to watch the nodes. Once i see the organ, male or female, i note the state of the root system.
First pic is of the earliest stage of sex, shot with Nikon macro setup, pics that follow are of the root system check i did.
So we can see here that the roots have gathered at the bottom of the container, and this is when, i feel the sex of the plant is triggered, male or female. At this stage i transplanted a sister plant from the same genetic line. I wanted to see 2 things, if the late transplant at sex would stunt the plant, and 2 see if the plant would indeed grow larger than its sister before actual flower was triggered. The next pics prove that theory, one is in a smaller control cup and the other was transplanted into a larger container to see if the plant would indeed grow larger before we saw the beginning of flower. Both of the following plants are the exact same age as far as days go.
Here is the sister same day age but transplanted at sex ( before root circling ) into a larger container.
Looking at what i am seeing in the current run, i still believe the sex and flower triggers are directly related to the root system and its stage. If its bound up, i feel sex and flower come a littler sooner than later and if they have the room to grow. They get a little more time to veg out and become something a little more.
Fellow growers, I come here today to bring you a little info on a well know fertilizer line that has been around for some time. I have been asked in the past to do this as I have had success time after time with the product and it yields great results, not only in ganja but in the veggie world too.
I’ll start by saying that I have zero affiliation with the company, and have just been a consumer of the product for years now, going on 6 or 7 actually. I’ll talk about the trio that I have used and as far as the other products in the line I can’t speak to them at all but I can lead you on the path of success with the standard trio.
So, let’s get started shall we. I’ll bring down the basics as well as the ins and outs of using this stuff, all the way down to the way that I mix it in with the water that I use. The reason that I am making this is that I have seen a lot of growers use it and burn the plants or the don’t get the results that they way, I’m here to change that or at least provide the best info that I can about his potent yet successful fertilizers.
So let’s get into the meat and potatoes of this whole thing.
First the soil, this, I think is rather important to the success to the product. We need something with little to not base ferts at all. If we have things that are already in the soil we would have to revise how we feed them. Most know that if the soil already has ferts in it they are most likely time or slow release. This can cause serious over feeding issues and the end result that we don’t want, burnt plants.
Any of our favorite soils can be used for this application, anything that is light and airy will work great. I use black gold brand and it has a base of 0.05-0.00-0.00. So there is basically nothing in that soil that could amplify the ferts that we add to it as they grow. There are many more on the market that suit the needs and everyone has their faves. This is just used to give you an idea of a good base to start with as we are talking about chemical based fertilizers here.
For about the first two weeks there is really no need to feed the little ones, I have yet to see one that has needed anything at that point. Sure there is the one off plant that may need something but unless you actually see a def, don’t feed the plants at all. I know that we all want to push them and get bumper yields but the first goal you should have is making sure the plants get what they need and not force feed them.
Second nodes formed:
In this stage you can start your feeding, you can see here that there are some color variations to the little ones. They have used what they could from the base soil as well as what minerals that are in the water. So in prep for the grow big this is what I do, I have a 5 gallon res that I keep all my water in throughout the grow. So I fill that up to the 4 gal mark and base all my mixing upon 4 gallon, so all that is needed here is simple math. The product calls for 2 teaspoons per gallon of water. So in theory for 4 gallons would need 8 teaspoons of liquid grow big, and for the above stage that is a wee bit much. So I cut it into 1/4 strength per gallon. Typical is 2 teaspoons for the 4 gal of water to start with. That is all that is needed here for this stage. Water with this every other watering as to not overdue it. This is where the plants need to be watched. If they look like they need more then step it up just a bit as it does not need much to get them back in the swing.
Preflower stage: usually hits about three weeks or a week and a half after they show sex.
Here we can see that things are starting to ramp up a good bit. Preflowers are showing and they are starting to get some size to them. This stage I usually go for 1/2 strength. This means in 4 gal tub there are 4 teaspoons of fert in the water mix. This is when I start an aggressive feed schedule. I will water every watering with this strength for about a week or so depending on how fast I start to see the plants develop. This is why it is so important to watch the plants and give them what they need more so than try to push them to hard. All you are going to do is hurt the end result cause if you burn them, you are stressing them and that in turn hurts yield.
Beginning of stretch and bud sites forming: Enter Tiger Bloom
This is the stage that I start to change things over, you can see here that the plants are starting to stretch and set their buds into the next phase of life. Now here is the key, the plants are sturdy now, and can take a bit of ferts. We still need to make sure that we do not overdo it, but we need to make sure they are still getting what they need. In this stage of life Nitrogen is no longer a need as much as phosphorus is. So this is where we switch things over. 4 gallon base, 1 teaspoon of Grow Big, 3 teaspoons of Tiger bloom. Water with this ever other water, I may do a back to back feed at start followed by clean water on the next one and then alternate. This will make things really come alive. You should see color like this in the leaf, nice dark healthy growth. Keep this schedule until you see flower set in. Should only need to add the grow big once in the above phase, if you need to replenish the res of feed water you can leave out the teaspoon of grow big as the plant is still getting some N from the tiger bloom.
This is where it gets fun, and can be dangerous, we all want big fat buds and high yields. Again and I know I have said it about 10 times in this article but watch the plants. If you are seeing burnt tips, stop what you are doing flush a few runs and then, fert back with a lower dose. Here we want to have 4-6 teaspoons of tiger bloom to the 4 gallons of water. This will give them more than what they need yet push them right along. Use this the same as above ever other water should be dandy as you are keeping the fert to water ratio low and slow. If you see salt build up, which looks like a white film around the holes in the bottom of the pot. Flush her a few good times with clean water and remember you are not going to hurt yield, if she starts yellowing on the lower leaf that is OK. You are in flower now and she will start to come to an end. I usually take this feed schedule until I start seeing pistils browning and receding. This is getting close to time to finish. So backing off and flushing is not a bad idea when you start to see that.
When to trigger a flush with FF:
So now that I have been over the above we want to make sure that we get the salts out as well as make sure she starts to pull from her fans. When to start that? Usually around the time I mentioned above, when the pistils start to recede and die off. Then it’s time to get rid of the ferts altogether. Flush with clean balanced pH’ed water. You are not going to hurt yield at all here. The plant has enough stored in the fans that it will do what it needs. Again this is all based on watching the plant and making sure it’s time to do what is needed. Once the pistils start dying and you don’t see any more coming in its time to let her finish off until you see all the pistils gone from the grow.
Here is what I look for when it’s time to flush the FF out.
As they progress into the final stage this is what you will see. They dying fans are a good thing and honestly it shows you that the ferts are gone and she is pulling her last bit from her leaf.
So this is a huge read and I know it, but I wanted to give an idea what it’s like to run the FF gear and have great results. It’s easy to do if you just watch the plants and let them respond to the gear cause this stuff will grow the shit out of some pot, and it is honestly why I never use another brand. I don’t get a chemical taste the odors are amazing and they get what they need. Key is a proper flush at the end and it will make you smile as they grow.
Now the other part of the trio that I didn’t mention was the big bloom, reason is that stuff is good for the entire grow. Add it in moderation and it can be used in every feeding as it is more of a stimulant to the macros as well as the roots. So it’s rare to burn with it and it does really well with the plants. Key is always moderation, and if you always keep that in the back of your mind it will produce great results for you.
From the years that I have been growing, there is one thing that I read a lot about and that is the need or want to keep something that one has grown and keep it around for years to come. However, most people want to make sure that they still have a decent crop and not lose the whole room to an open pollination. Don't get me wrong pot that has been pollinated can still be smoked but the seed production is where the plant focuses the energy at that point and the flowers are not as potent as they could have potentially been. This will teach you the best way to keep something you want and not have to have two or three rooms to isolate everything from each other. So let’s just dive right into this and see where we get.
I have taken both approaches to this because of space and needs. Open pollination is a great way to really break out the gene pool and raise your chances of getting a male and female that are close in traits. It gives you a high number of seeds and it also keeps the stock around for the ability to back cross for a trait that you want. You have to have room to do this, a place where you can crack 25-30 seeds and see what you have. This is also where yield has to go out the window so to speak. Most breeders have the ability to do both but if you are, for lack of a better term, underground or doing this without a commercial place to do so you'll have to keep your plants small to fit the needs of your space. However, it will allow you to see what you have.
I typically get 4 or 6 inch square pots, germ to them and let them ride in there. This will do two things for you, it makes the plants fast as they don't have the true root room that they need for larger growth, and lets you select what you want to keep around. I have done this and found 4 or 5 females that are either identical to the males I select or have close to the same traits that I am looking for. The other plants especially the males get culled and the few females that I do keep around that don't get pollinated get moved to another area for a few days and then back together once the pollen has had time to naturally cross to the females. Another note is to keep some of the pollen that you used from the selected male so you can use it again down the road to bring those traits in stronger, this is key to stabilize a bloodline.
Now that I have seed from my star girls I will take some from each lot of seed that was produced and germ enough to get 3 females to actually grow out in a regular size container. This still takes a lot of room but it can be done. Just remember you have to adjust to the space that you have. So if I want three females from each previous mom I will germ 5 or 6 from each said lot of seed. I usually can get 3 gals this way from each but will take 2 if I get that bad of a ratio. if I only get one, I will pass on that side of the line till next go around. If my previous male was enough for me to like what he showed I will use his pollen again on the new lot that I saved from the previous grow. this will start to lock in his traits more and give the new generation another step towards a stable cross.
I could go deeper down this rabbit hole and all my theories on open pollination but we are here for the simple side of things. Below are the steps to isolation.
Here is where the fun begins, now that I am letting the 9 or so females get to their size I don’t want to pass and miss out on something that would be exactly what I want for the line. The whole reason that they are in the larger pots is to see what they can do and to bring that into the mix. This is where I will isolate select on them that way I can get the seed I want and take them to the next step in the process.
isolation pollination....kind of catchy eh??
So this is the easiest way that I have been able to do this, others may have a better take but for me this works 99.9 % of the time.
What you will need,
Black garbage bag
q-tip or small paint brush
Ziploc sandwich bag
Here is what to do with all of that.
Locate the branch that you want to add pollen to, I usually take a lower branch as they are the easiest to isolate and you can let them ride on the plant root stock and harvest the rest of the plant at the end. Get your Ziploc and cut a V in the center of the bag. Feed the branch through that v, remove the larger fans around this branch as its going to be the seed bearing bud any way. Once you get the bud in the bag wrap the bread tie around the stem and right above the v cut so you seal it off. Then seal the Ziploc.
Fill your spray bottle with water, tap water is fine and I have never had any issues with using tap water to do this. Make sure that your Ziploc is sealed and spray your entire plant down. Top to bottom making sure that you get a good amount of coverage to protect the rest of the plant from pollen. then take the black garbage bag and cover the entire plant except the branch that has the baggie on it. I usually spray the garbage bag as well just to make sure any stray pollen gets zapped.
This is what it looks like prepped
Once you have done that it’s time to get on to the fun part, take the pollen that you have harvested and bring it close to where you are going to work. Open the Ziploc, then take your q-tip and dip and swirl it in the pollen that you collected and slide it in the Ziploc and touch the white hairs on the bud. the reason that I use q tips is because the pollen sticks well to the cotton and the hairs grab a hold of the cotton really well. Makes a nice bond between the two for a successful pollination. Once you have done this step close the Ziploc back up and spray everything down again and wait about 10 -15 min. then I remove the black garbage bag and stick that bitch back in the room. To this day I rarely if at all find a stray seed in the rest of my bud.
after 24 hours it’s time to remove the Ziploc, so I spray down everything and then bag the plant. Open the Ziploc and spray inside the Ziploc to make sure that I kill any leftover pollen. remove the bread tie and then the bag spray again and then remove the garbage bag. This has given me 100% success rate on crossing in isolation form to bring out the next generation.
These are just the steps that I use and like I said there may be another way to do this but with a small scale and wanting to create your own crosses or just making seed stock for the future this will work for you. Take your time and be patient as you can also pollinate a whole plant this way too..
Once this has been done you will see the hairs die if it was successful, and one thing to keep in mind they will need at least 3 solid weeks to ripen. I let mine go 4.5 to 5 weeks to make sure that they are healthy good seed stock. They are on a lower bud and can be left behind while harvesting the rest of the plant. The seed pods will start to split when they are ready most of the time if they go 4 weeks it’s not hard to get the seed out as they will begin to open on their own. be patient as the reward is worth the wait.