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First grow: Poorly clones, monstercropping, and general amateurishness

Discussion in 'First Time Marijuana Growers' started by howando, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. #1 howando, Jan 1, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2013
    I do have a question about a clone I took, but first I'm going to describe my grow because compared to most, it's pretty amateurish!

    On a whim I bought some seeds, a Nordle, a Pepperjack Haze, and an Auto Speed Haze, all fem. I decided to germinate the Nordle and see what happened.

    My grow room is an old hot water tank closet, from which the tank has been removed. I wired up 4 light pendants on some flex, and they hang from a shelf with 23W CFLs, three red one blue. The blue one has an ionizer built in, I bought it years ago for my room, and the smell problem has has been pretty minor. These may be related, or not. At first they were bare, but then I cut the side off a cardboard packing box, cut some slits in it from two sides, painted it white, and hung my lights through it to act as a kind of reflector. I planted the germinated seed up and it's in a 7 litre pot of multi-purpose compost I found in the garage, about 6 handfuls of that to one of vermiculite.

    It had been growing pretty well. I tried to FIM it and got three main colas and half a fan leaf from it. Once it started getting pretty bushy, I did a little LST to open up the plant a bit and pull some of the larger leaves out of the way of the growth. It was about 30 days of 24/0 when I took some cuttings. I took 4, two shorter ones about 1.5-2 inches, and two longer ones about 3 inches. I used some rooting gel and potted them up in a plastic egg box using the same soil mix. After about 2 weeks, one of each was doing OK and the other two were looking pretty sad. I investigated them a bit and two had rooted and two had not, so I transplanted the ones with roots into larger containers (one in another large pot, one into a cut down 4 pint milk bottle). I propped them up off the floor to give them some better light since the mummy plant was quite a lot bigger. The other two I treated like new cuttings. I cut the bottom of the stem, places in water, dipped in gel, and replanted in the egg box. I also trimmed of the end half of most of the leaves to reduce the strain on maintaining them.

    At 50 days total I switched to 12/12. The two good clones were settling in, and the dodgy ones were looking like they were hanging in there at least. I took the small ones out, put the eggbox tray in a ziplock bag and placed them on a windowsill (the bag was open, it's a makeshift humidity tent for the poor darlings). They did very little, but they didn't die, and after about 2 weeks I found that they had actually grown a couple of stubby little roots. I thought, maybe because they're in such small containers, they aren't going to do much more right now. So I got some 250ml plastic drinking cups and potted them up in those. I thought that if they survived (it would be a miracle!) that I would use these for a my second grow, if I could just keep them alive.

    Around this time I had read a few interesting things. One was monstercropping. I had a healthy plant that was nearly 3 weeks in to flowering, so I took a cutting from it. The other thing I had read was that planting longer pieces of stem into a medium can be beneficial because roots may form all down the length of it. (I think this has been shown to work with tomatoes, and the author had some anecdotal evidence that this was also true for cannabis) So I chose a shoot from near the bottom which was pretty spindly but healthy, about 7 inches or so long, showing a flower developing on the tip. I trimmed it, soaked it, dipped it, and planted about half of it which included 3 or 4 nodes from which I had trimmed the leaves. I planted this one in a 2 litre coke bottle I had cut the top off. I put all the newly transplanted babies under a CFL lamp and kept an eye on them.

    The main grow is doing pretty well 31 days into flower. My lighting setup collapsed yesterday which scorched a couple of leaves, but no serious damage. It's budding up quite nicely, lots of frosty leaves around the buds =D I'm using some half strength Tomato feed as nutrients, again just found in the garage. It's interesting to see the difference in development between the bud sites up close to the lights, and the sites lower down. Some of the really small out of the way shoots with under developed flowers I have trimmed off. The two clones are very stretchy having been 6-8 inches from the lights, but they are both flowering too and it will be interesting to see what happens with them as well.

    I've been looking in to more lighting for my second grow, possibly a proper reflector with a 125W CFL plus what I have as supplements. I've seen light fittings which plug directly into the socket and some people use an extension cord as a big lamp but I can't seem to buy them in the UK, only from Hong Kong on eBay. It'd be much cheaper that way, but probably a lot hotter with 6-8 low watt bulbs. A few days ago I bought some of these 'survival blankets' on Amazon as a cheap Mylar alternative, and they do reflect pretty damn well. Much better than the few days I tried tin foil back when I started. Other newbies I can confirm this much: metal foil RUBBISH, survival/space blankets PRETTY GOOD (on first appearances). As well as putting one around the wall in the closet, hanging one up behind the door totally solved the obvious light leakage out of my closet in about 20 seconds. Cheap and effective for that if nothing else!

    Considering how many 1st grows I see posted where people are doing soil-less in their new tent with 600W HPS, or specially built little cabinets with smart extraction solutions, I hope you are all now smacking your own head on my behalf, or laughing your asses off ;)

    The little rescued cuttings are starting to look much healthier and actually showing signs on new growth in their little cups. The most recent cutting was looking very sorry for itself, and just above the soil there was about a centimetre of stem which had gone brown and thin. Above and below it looked fine, but I decided to investigate this further before it became totally unsalvageable. No root development at all under the soil. The brown part of the stem seemed as good as dead, so I cut above it, soaked, dipped, and planted the remains with my finger crossed. I also trimmed and replanted the base of the stem, since there was an old node site to poke above the soil and plenty of stem to go below. Yet another "it'll be interesting to see what happens" move from me there.

    If anyone with any experience has actually got this far (!), would this dead-bit in the stem thing likely be because of an air bubble in there from the cloning process? Or is it possibly something else? I don't think I damaged the stem, but the only other things I can think of that might be obvious is that this small part may have had rooting gel on it but then not been in the soil. Or maybe it, you know, just one of those things.
  2. #2 Noam Chongsky, Jan 10, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2013
    I appolagise on behalf of GC for your reply being so belated.

    Sounds like your really giving it a good go mate.

    Its fantastic to hear your doing so well with what sounds like (not too be harsh) an incredibly crummy setup.

    Firstly - a cheap alternative to mylar - go to B&Q (thats right i'm from England)

    Its about 8 quid for ten metres of silver reflective bubble wrap (cheap insulation)

    Get some silver tape while your there and a decent staple gun.

    Put tape on the bubble wrap - wherever you intend to staple - this prevents tearing (bubble wrap is pretty weak)

    Get yourself on ebay - i like hydrosupermarket or marks-e-buy.

    CFL Grow Light Reflector Dutch Barn Hammertone | eBay

    If you want your clones to take better then look at buying an electric heated propagator and use the same technique you have been. I see so many people having trouble with these bubbling spraying fancy NASA like cloners.

    Electric Heated Plant and Seed Propagator | eBay

    Electric propagator with a daylight CFL hung above it - works 99%.

    Hope this helps
  3. Hey,thanks for your comments, I am quite happy to admit that my setup is extremely crummy!

    As for the mylar alternative, the emergency blankets I bought from Amazon for £4.50 inc. P&P has given me about 10m x 1.5m of reflective sheeting which is looking very good :)

    As an update, my main plant is looking very good considering. It's nearly 6 weeks into flowering and is looking very frosty, the buds are fattening up and I'll be relatively happy if I get up to about half an ounce from it. The two clones I put in to flower and are also budding, but are of couple of weeks behind because of the environment. They're getting covered in trichomes as well though, so a couple of small buds off those will not be unwelcome :)

    The two small clones from the windowsill have rooted very happily and growing great. One seems to have 6 or 7 growing tips coming up as if I had FIMed it, but I haven't so I presume it's because of the extended period of stress and stunted growth has just made it go all out. I'm going to LST it a bit and then once I harvest my current plants I'll set up a scrog net and try that.

    I've not spent more than £40 on my current kit (such that it is) and I'm not quite prepared to spend another £40+ yet. I know a reflector and better light will improve things a lot, and a hydro system would also be a big step up, and I don't have any proper ventilation sorted, but I want to see this grow all the way through before I decide to put any more money in. The eBay sellers look good though, I'll bear them in mind if I decide to upgrade.
  4. #4 Noam Chongsky, Jan 10, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2013
    Forget hydro for a while - it is expensive and its easy to go wrong.

    Stick with a soiless mix - IMO

    A soiless mix is a medium that contains no feeds or compostable material - They are "inert"

    This means you have more control

    With hydro - If your PH is out by a tiny little bit your crop can be seriously compromised - with soil/soiless mix - the margin for error is generally much larger - this is why i always recommend a soiless mix for beginners.

    The Amount of money you spend on your lighting is going to be THE deciding factor as too how much bud you can produce in a set amount of time - it also dictates quality to a lesser extent.

    have you ever seen plants (in person) flowering under a HPS?

    When compared with domestic CFLs - the difference is like chalk and cheese.

    Once you've tried it - youl never consider using anything else (except as a supplement)

    People will tell you that HID (high intensity discharge) lighting is less efficient than CFLs and LEDs - because they produce lots of heat - and for most places in the world - this is a good point. Aircon is expensive to run.

    But this doesn't apply so much to England - where on average - 15% of a persons total annual income can go on HEATING their home.

    Grow room heat is a very welcome by product of a grow - when the air is properly carbon filtered.

    You need to folk out £60 for a HID light IMO - this is the one thing you should be considering. I've produced nearly a pound with a 600w HPS lamp on two plants - nothing fancy - just plants +soil + lamp and patience.

    for a small + not too well ventilated space i would recommend a 250 like this one:


    If you can ventilate the space adequately and filter the air then consider the 600w


    Once you have a HID - you'l be laughing mate - Its the best piece of advice i can give ya bro.
  5. Check mine out - [ame=]LGS.AVI - YouTube[/ame]
  6. Soilless is an interesting idea, and I accept it as an alternative route to jumping in to a hydro setup. In my case especially, much less likely to cause a mess. But compared to soil, it means buying specially various chemicals to feed it, which must be mixed, maybe pH adjusted (more bottles of stuff). In that respect it's essentially a hydro grow as far as I can see. Compared to that, I have have half a bag of compost in the garage which I didn't pay for and barely have to worry about once it's in the pot. Once I've finished that off with my second grow, maybe I'll consider soilless instead of trying to construct a bubbler.

    I do dispute about the hid lighting though. I don't doubt that I would see a huge improvement in my quality and yield, but it's all the other stuff that puts me off. For a start you say £60 but the kit you link to is £70 + delivery. Then there is the more than double increase in power use from the light which would be about another £15 a month. Proper ventilation would also become a problem that I would have to deal with and it's not one that I can do very easily with the particular closet.

    Now if I could scrape together a couple of hundred quid, I would just throw a square metre of grow tent up in the loft, toss a HID lamp in there and BAM. Maybe veg in the closet and flower in the loft in that case, but it's moot anyway.

    You've got a nice grow space! If I had that, I would buy a hid system and it would be worth it! My space is 0.8m x 0.7m closet directly and immediately at the top of the stairs in my rented house. In a week or so I should be able to harvest a crop, then I'll get in there and rework my space for a second grow with my current materials. I'll probably include one extra bulb and a scrog frame. When I see how much potential that has, maybe I'll be ready to grow the next ones under a couple of hundred watts instead of with under a hundred, and I'll be motivated to overcome the other issues.

    Tomorrow maybe I'll get a picture up to show how it's actually going.
  7. #7 Noam Chongsky, Jan 10, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2013
    Yes - it can get very pricey but it will pay for itself many times over -

    With that in mind - consider these feeds - They work well by themselves on a coco+perlite medium - for future grows obviously -

    3 bottles of 4 litres (3 part formula)

    3 bottles of 1 litre (3 part formula)

    2 bottles of 1 litre (2 part formula)

    The grow micro bloom feeds are the best IMO - a three part formular can be adjusted to meet almost any need - i dont use any extra additives - just this -

    If you use Reversed osmosis/filtered+purified/distilled water with the grow micro bloom feeds - you dont need to check the PH - because the feeds are available to the plant within a large PH range (something like 8.5 to 4.9)

    Canna feeds are good but simple and you have a lot less control - saying that many people will have grown a lot of the weed you and I have smoked over the years; using this exact feed (canna coco A+B) - cheap and cheerful.

    The HID's will improve it a lot - but only if you can actually cater for them - you're right in saying that.

    It wouldn't be worth you buying a HPS now unless you can afford a decent medium and feeds.

    The shop that sells all that gear has a 600w kit going for £67 which comes with a venture ballast - but i would recommend the corona ballast because it comes with a 25 year warranty.

    I have a 900w CFL setup (three 300 watt plug and grow CFLs) and it is comparable to a 600 HPS in terms of its production.

    Its a 60x60x90cm tent!
  8. I'l post a video of it tomorrow - on this thread.
  9. Here are some pictures of what I have managed to grow. Not too bad, considering it all started on a whim.

    She smells quite nice, kind of like tangy chives. She's 42 days into flowering, and the quoted time is 8-10 weeks. From the look of it, I think that in another week it is going to be hard for me not to cut and run.

    Attached Files:

  10. Looking good man.

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