Defoliating - The Goldielocks Zone

Discussion in 'Advanced Growing Techniques' started by CommanderInReef, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. #1 CommanderInReef, Oct 1, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2010
    First of all, hello to everyone taking the time to read what is honestly my first "real" post here. I've been lurking here for some time, reading some great posts, and truly... spying on Rumpleforeskin, LumperDawgz, oldskoolgrower, and many others that I'm developing a lot of respect for. ;O)

    Here is some history--

    Current Grow: ISBD Grow (Inky, Stinky, Blinky and Dot [The Runt])
    [2nd Grow, 1st Time as Clones, 1st Time Full Organic]

    Nutes Used Throughout Grow: BioBizz(BB) Bio-Grow, BB Bio-Bloom, BB TopMax, ThriveAlive Green

    Feed Schedule: BioBizz Feed schedule for All-Mix modified to as 4/12 plan and tailored slightly to what/when I feel the plant needs more. Overall think that plant could be fed stronger. Always fed with a pH of 6.8, unfiltered hard water.

    Enviroment: 400W MH Veg, 400W HPS Flower, 75 Average [Day], 70 Average [Night], RH 69 Average, Top Fed Can Watering, Been battling fungus gnats [brought in with a bag of soil] consistently with BTi.s [Mosquito dunks in bubbled water], diatomaceious earth dustings, sticky cards, and a vacuum [most effective].

    Soil: BioBizz Light-Mix [First Potting]
    BioBizz All-Mix [All Other Pottings]

    Plant Strain: Unknown [I/S or S/I ...but def. a hybrid]

    Introduced Name:
    Sagely Citrus
    - Smell: Sage, mango, sourish, citrus, spice-ish, pine-y, NOT at all classic skunky
    - Effects: More of a heady high than a body high, social, productive, creative, chatty, libido boosting, sinus/congestion reliever

    Current Week: Wk11 [Total - 4 Veg/7Flower]
    Plan to flower for 12 weeks like last time

    Plant Family Tree:
    Gracie [Current Mother - Cloned from Gertrude]
    Inky, Stinky, Blink & Dot [Cloned from Gertrude]
    Gertrude [Cloned from Lacie - currently flowering after 2+mo veg and topping]
    Lacie [Original Seed - 1st Grow]

    - Observe flowering results of Gertrude [Mother plant that was vegged for 2-2.5 months & topped]
    - Observe flowering results of clone put directly into flowering
    - Grow new bag seed and test the bud to see it's overall characteristics [effects, taste, smell]
    - Pollinate new bag seed male [that was really skunky and fast growing] with a clone of current plant
    - Observe differences of those plants grown in 4.5 gal square plastic posts vs. those grown in 5 gal SmartPots
    - Observe results of new organic fertilizer
    - Observe effects of clearing bottom growth, really low bud sites, and some really low branches that were never going to get tall enough to reach light

    OK, I'm gonna toss something out here. Like I said, I'm experimenting a lot with this (my second time, first organic) grow, and decided to (upon really juicing up the amount I was feeding them for the last 5 weeks) defoliate a pretty good amount in attempts to see some better light penetration on what I was viewing as some lacking lower bud sites.

    The Problem I Saw:
    I saw a lot of good growth at the tops of my colas, but really slow lacking growth on my lower bud sites

    My Worry:
    Did I go overboard? I have to admit...I really kinda personally feel I went a little overboard and didn't stick to my "less is more" and "when in doubt, wait it out/leave it alone" philosophy.

    What I'm looking for out of this post:
    - Finding out what you think of what I did. Whether you think it was good or bad. Give me the truth, but be respectful.
    - Suggestions of other experiments
    - Suggestions of how to go about my grow better, and improve
    - Any other wisdom you may have

    What I'm NOT looking for out of this post:
    - An argument about defoliation (I'm neither for it or against it at this point). I just want to hear your thoughts...not argue.
    - Someone telling me that a before picture would have been helpful (I have realized my stupidity already...both in not taking a before picture and in the possibility that I went overboard)
    - Someone pointing out how anal retentive I am and already know I am (as observed by this post) Heh. ;)

    On to the pictures!

    Attached Files:

  2. A few more pictures:

    Attached Files:

  3. The new bag seeds flowers:

    Attached Files:

  4. What you are looking for in this post?????Sounds like you want every one to tell you what you did was OK or good?...Tell you what you want to hear?Or tell you the truth?
  5. #5 CommanderInReef, Oct 1, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2010
    This grow is a lot about experimenting and learning. I want the truth. "I CAN handle the truth". I'm human, I make mistakes, I learn from mistakes. So, if I did something horribly bad...please tell me. I just saw my canopy as WAY WAY thick, that 25-30% of bud sites were getting badly umbrella'd. As in, to the point where they were just all bunching/crinkled up against each other. Next time I'll learn to be more scientific in my approach, and also learn not to trim/prune way late at night when I'm over tired. ;)

    So yes...I guess I'm indirectly asking "How stupid am I?" if you will. I know trimming is normal, but I just thought I maybe got carried away to the point where I "defoliated" compared to trimmed, hence geared the thread kinda more toward what I had already done...being "defoliating." But please, don't let that limit the discussion.

    I'm a cold hard truth, and get to the facts kinda guy. So don't be afraid to say what yo have to say...just be respectful.
  6. I've modified my "What I'm looking for out of this post:" notes, so I don't sound so wishy-washy. Once again, need to start practicing the "don't do shit late at night when over tired" idea. :rolleyes:
  7. If that plant was just defoliated then you did so too late. Actually, you removed important hormones contained in the fan leaves which might have the opposite effect.
    Defoliation is best done early and frequently. After the 2nd week of flowering defoliation should end.
  8. #8 CommanderInReef, Oct 3, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2010
    Good to know. Thank you.

    Something I have noticed after doing this, is that my lower bud sites seem to really be taking off, and top growth has slowed and/or started filling out (very slowly) rather than adding to vertical growth. Could also just be the newly introduced higher amount of ferts, bu I find it odd that that would somehow promote more rapid lower bud growth.

  9. wrong defoliating should be started when the plant is young but as long as you dont pull too many at one time you will be fine and also make sure you always have a little more than half of your fan leaves for best results... see my post in the other defoliating for harvest thread;)

  10. This sounds about right to me, but I do know that a lot of people go further into flowering with good results, some people even going so far as to remove all fan leaves all the way up to the end. I think that for the sake of moderation, one should slow defoliation way down during flower so as not to over-stress the plant.

    So if this is the first time in the plants' lives that they have been trimmed up, this was probably a mistake and you would have done better just leaving them alone.

    Mistake or not, though, that's a pretty nice garden you got there... I'm jealous:D
  11. Thats perfect! I usually keep the top bud and the 8 branches that follow. Everything else is taking out branches and all ;) The plant will concentrate it's energy on the buds that are there.
  12. #12 2lsc, Oct 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2010
    After the second week of flowering the plant stops making new large fan leaves, so stripping them off at that point will decrease the leaf mass of the plant. Over the long haul this will reduce harvest weight.

    Stripping off larger fan leaves at the end of flowering will create a stress effect that can increase trichome production, or force a plant to produce male sexual parts. This practice is not in question.

    My post is right. Please don't try to act all cool dude.

    By removing large fan leaves during vegetative phase the plant has an opportunity to replace that lost leaf mass to offset any loss in absorption capability. By developing lower bud sites that would otherwise be removed the plant can now utilize the same amount of energy with a higher number of smaller leaves on a greater number of branches. Rather than removing a bud site, you remove a fan leaf, it makes good sense if you think about it.

    Once the plant is in flower set phase the plant will not be able to replace the lost leaf mass. As a result it won't trap as much energy from the provided lighting. In addition, specialized cells within the leaves that produce hormones will be lost as well, further impacting flower growth.

    So, defoliation really has no place in a grow room between the 2nd and the 8th weeks of flowering. Everything else is A-ok in my book.
  13. Sorry dude wasn't trying to be cool at all:eek: but fan leaves grow throughout the plants life I mean thats why after harvest a trim is needed, and if you really think about it you grow allot more leaves when flowering is induced...well at least until the 5th week but downshift put it how I ment to say it with the touch up trims.

    Im sorry for saying your wrong but your not right... That is just the opinion your entitled too, like i said before just look at what i posted in the other thread, if done properly they should be bigger and denser...

    and as long as there are green leaves photosynthesis will take place:cool:
  14. #14 CommanderInReef, Oct 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2010
    My thought was, the leaves I removed were simply blocking light other lower leaves and hidden bud sites were not catching. I'm thinking that when you have a lot of leaves, you have a select few that receive good direct light, and a multitude of other leaves receiving only weak residual light.

    So, here is a thought/idea to discuss that I had:

    Would removing leaves catching weak residual light, benefit the plant in focusing more energy on bud production, by reducing transpiration rates of the plant? I'm kinda thinking of this in terms of "Many leaves doing tiny amounts of work in terms of the energy they're putting into the plant, while exhausting good amounts of plant energy both in their preservation and in their transpiration needs" vs. "Select leaves tailored to being capable of working heavily (due to all being provided ample light energy to put into the plant) while exhausting a lot less (due to lowered numbers) energy towards their preservation and transpiration"?

    Side question in relation to this: Do buds and their tiny leaves also act the same as standard fan leaves in terms of energy exchange/swapping?
  15. im too high to answer your first idea right now lol but your to second question that is a yes:smoke:
  16. I know this guy, seriously, he's border line retarded and doesn't work. He grows one plant under an old ass mh light.. and he works that plant like rainman. With these tiny finger nail scissors, he prunes it... no leaf is bigger than a quarter, but they're all fully formed.. like midget fan leafs... with just crazy tiny branching. He trains it down around his pot and when it buds, it's just one huge mass of bud about 2-3 feet in diameter about 12 inches thick...


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