Welcome to my first perpetual journal and my first perpetual grow. “First perpetual” sounds odd to me but when you’re just starting out, what else can you say I wonder!
This first foray into a perpetual grow is an experiment with timing as I don’t have 2 seperate grow spaces yet. I’ll get back to the plan for that in a minute, but for starters;
Why do I grow:
I’ve been a friend and lover of cannabis since my very early years.
A few years ago the progression of a genetic condition I hadn’t known that I had, precipitated a fairly severe physical disability. During a dark moment somewhere in the first 6 to 8 months I decided to smoke a joint and found, to the surprise of nobody here I’m sure, that not only did my mood improve instantly but many of the physical symptoms did so a well. And so it began.
I grow to manage this condition (which includes chronic and acute pain, severe fatigue, BP regulation problems, emotional regulation problems, musculoskeletal problems, Gastro problems, neurological problems and other etceteras.) and things are well managed now, with cannabis and diet for the most part (and a few vitamins, mineral and mitochondrial supplementation the mix too.)
Growing is absolutely an equally important part of the therapeutic aspects of cannabis whether you grow purely recreationally or also for specific medicinal needs like I do. I know that nearly every grower here would absolutely agree with me about that and many medical cannabis doctors do so as well. Dr Dustin Sulak recommends it. Before I became ill, I always used to joke that my alter ego would live in the bush and grow pot until I was an old woman, so here she is! And while I never envisaged the physical restrictions I have now, I couldn’t be happier about this aspect of my life. Growing and using cannabis to manage my health situation has been life changing physically and life–saving on the psycho-emotional level. The community of growers, friends, mentors and meanderers here has had an absolutely fundamental role in all of that.
Since being here on 420Mag I have learnt to make all the medicinal oils I can possibly need. I grow both CBD and THC dominant varieties and I make custom blends for my particular needs and the needs of my partner, who uses CBD to manage anxiety and depression and tiny amounts of THC alongside it at times. So this journal will include oil making and edible making at times alongside the growing.
I get lots of support to grow, physically from friends and helpers and emotionally from my partner who is not a recreational user of cannabis but has never had a problem with my use of it. I am very blessed and very grateful
On with the practicalities!
Currently a 3x3 Gorilla Tent
Over the next 6-12months, I expect to build 2 seperate indoor spaces for veg and flower.
From about December onwards the grow will move outside until Late March 2021.
Meanwhile, the tent was completely emptied last week and thoroughly cleaned with combinations of vinegar and bi-carb and then sprayed with a clove concoction. It’s beautifully clean and ready to go.
The tent lives in the room where I spend most of my time, including to sleep, so it is easy to climate control manually, for the most part. It’s been OK in past grows but not exactly plain sailing in terms of not needing to tweak it so I’m trying some new adaptations again this time and we shall see.
This is my 3rd run inside.
My main challenge in the past has been keeping things warm enough during early veg and at night and last year I tried venting out the bottom, to draw warmer air in from up high and to also let the heat from the light help warm the space. That was kind of successful, but of course I had to change it once things were in late veg and into flower because lights get hotter, plants get bigger and things get warmer!
This year I have the Cloudline T4 on top of the tent again and will install a carbon filter above the light down the track - so that part is pretty standard.
For the intake, I have ductIng run from up high to behind the circulation fan in an attempt to get the warmest air in the room into the tent, while still venting out the top of the tent, like so;
Every longtime successful indoor grower says it, often many times over: environment is the silver bullet when growing inside (outside too to an extent but we can’t control that!). Many improvements I’ve seen in my indoor work have been because of improvement in the environment, including keeping it fairly stable. Slowly but surely I’m getting there. Lights-on is currently 77º-79ºF and 65%. Overnight it stayed nice and warm at 70º with humidity a bit highter than ideal in the 70% zone - I’m working on that . The trick is to keeping it stable.
Medium and plant food:
Organic soil, usually some kind of ‘living soil’. Currently and to start-off this grow I am using the undeniably superb High Brix kit developed by Doc Bud, which I absolutely adore and using it has enhanced my knowledge of living soils immeasurably and introduced me so some of the most stellar folks I know around here to whom I now feel quite bonded. These plants will be in second run kit soil. I am almost out if Tea, but Doc has given me a few helpful suggestions for substitution so I expect things will go just fine (I’ll cover that when the time comes that I need it).
For a myriad of practical reasons, including the fact that shipping grow stuff like that across the globe now seems just a bit silly to me as well as unsustainable and totally in tension w my commitment to local food and produce security etc. I decided this back in January, during the apocalypse here. It just isn’t really a practical or responsible thing for me to do. To that end, I had planned to go back to mixing my own soil mixes seeing as I have access to more physical help now. Then there was a global shutdown and doing that kind of stuff as a group project also became impractical.
Thankfully, I then discovered a soil builder here who is based fairly close to me and makes water-only mixes ready to go . He also has heaps of other great living-soil products and teas and some drenches for later runs in the soil. This will be what I transition into for now and then slowly add in own-made home-made things over time, as life allows.
I am also incredibly blessed to have rain water, which is only fitting for a garden of Eden. It’s our only water source here.
Early Miss (Crop KIng, prize from 3 years ago) - auto. This one is because I want some more variety as soon as possible and it’s the fastest one I have - which could turn out to be not tru of course (I remember Dutchman’s first Early Miss Auto turned out to be a photoperiod!). I grew it once before outside, at kind of the wrong part of the season and it succumbed to rot during a very wet and humid early summer. Before it did it had the most wonderful terpene profile that included kiwi fruit and papaya so I’m keen to see what happens with it. CK list it as a cross of White Widow and Big Bud (and ruderalis for the AF traits). They say it is indica-dominant at 60% indica, 30% sativa, and 10% ruderalis and should be done in 7weeks. If that turns out true, it should be some quick fun.
Northern Lights (@SeedsMan, recent prize) - auto. I‘ve had some NL plants that didnt make it and have just been wanting to sample it as it’s such an infamous variety. I’ve of course smoked stuff here that was sold as NL and maybe it was, maybe it wasnt. In any case, this auto version from Seedsman gets a pretty good rap from all folks who grow it so I’m keen to give it a run. Seedsman list it as mostly indica with up to 23% THC and finishing in 55-60 days from seed.
Dark Devil (Sweet Seeds, also recent prize from Seedsman) - auto. This one almost needs no introduction around here these days but everyone is new at sometime so it’s always worth it . DDA is a fairly balanced (40%-55%-5% Indica-sativa-ruderalis) auto-flowerIng hybrid that can run anywhere from 60 to 100 days seed to harvest. This is my last original Sweet Seeds seed for now, I had 3, gifted one and lost the other as a vegling to the smoke in mid summer. Fingers crossed for this one! (I have many seeds left from a friends breeding project though, so never fear!). I’ve been toking on DDA all the while building this introduction, so, it’s chatty!
Sour Bubba (@katsubluebird, purchased from Neptune seedbank) - photoperiod. The star forward! I have been chomping at the bit for this one since I bought it late last year. SB is a cross of katsu’s Pre ‘98 cut of Bubba Kush and an equally refined cut of East Coast Sour Diesel. Katsu says that unlike his other Bubba crosses where the Bubba usually dominates, this one nearly always comes out slightly ECSD leaning. I have never knowingly had a Diesel and certainly never grown one and this one sounded like an exceptional cross to me and Katsu’s photos of it spoke to me loudly. I am fully stoked to have it heading up the pack. A few other members have them going now too and everyone’s have looked wonderful.
All seeds are feminised. They were soaked for about 12-15 hours before being planted into peat pucks and placed straight into their pots. They were all happily sinking in the water before planting and Sour Bubba had already cracked a bit.
On the bench:
This run, I will also try to fit in along the way a Panama (Ace Seeds, prize choice from 2 years ago, I been waiting for this one!!) and a CBD variety, which will be either MMG’s Candida, which I’m already a big fan of, or Ace’s CBD#1 which i am yet to try - it’s new. More on those when it happens in a few months. Depending on what happens, there is also a Nepal Jam x Kali China (Ace) in the wings for much later, but it very much depends.
Graytail is already familiar with my liking for having scale drawings with to-scale movable pieces from when he first helped me with my light design. I like having physical pieces that represent something clearly to me, to move around and help visualise things. I always keep old cardboard lids or large pieces etc. for these purposes and I built myself this ‘grow planner’. It’s really rough, I have a physical disability so be kind! I cutout coloured strips representing the different plants I want to grow and roughly what their timelines might look like - which I know can vary but I will learn a lot about that over time - and then played around with how it might work, based on what I learned last year about fitting things in.
Week 1-4 I will run lights at 16/8 (they’re already running in fact).
At week 4-5 I will switch to 11/13 lights for the duration.
The planner gives about 1cm to each month, it’s very loose and I have estimated time windows on the coloured cards for veg and flower. Autos and maybes below the line, photos above.
The Sour Bubba will have a small pot to start and go into a 7gal when ready. The CBD plant will start and finish in a 6gal. Panama will be my attempt to keep a small one. I’ll start it in a tiny pot and slowly up can as far as 3gal - that will be the first one in the new soil and I plan to dilute that soil a bit for it because it‘s a pure sativa and likely doesn’t need much at all. That will be a learning curve in more than one department.
All plans subject to change! That’s why we have ‘em right?
To finish the intro, I’ll also say that I am, loosely speaking, a moon gardener - and a moon Gardner too . I aim to plant during the new moon, ideally when the moon is in a fertile sign. Here is an excerpt from my moon gardening wall-chart, covering the 1st and 2nd qtr moon phases
We discussed this in the DDA thread recently and Cannabis could fall into either category, being a flowering annual, an oil seed producing plant and also an herb and a leafy green (to some extent). So planting later and closer towards the full moon might be just as good - according to the lore. But for me, I like the rhythm of planting sometime in the first week of the new moon, then hopefully within 10 days you have a little seedling, which then has some cosmic support from the waning moon for 2 weeks to get some roots going, and so the cycle between root growth and foliage growth begins. I always doubly mark out the moon planting wall calendar to make the best canna planting windows most obvious, so I can see at a glance if one is approaching.
Working with moon cycles isn’t limited to planting either. If I want new growth, I prune during the new moon.
If we are pruning in the garden here to reduce something or keep it small, we do it on the waning moon and weeding the garden or removing plants is best done in last few days leading up to the dark moon.
I’m not a zealot about it by any stretch, but I do believe it makes a difference (and ther is some modern science to support some of it). At the very least I like working to that rhythm and that’s what counts the most. Happy Gardner, happy plants.
Last but not at all least, Light!
It‘s the sun when outdoors obviously, but indoors I have my DIY samsung LED build. Its 5 x QBs (128 diodes each) at 3500k and 6 x LED strips (72 diodes each) at 3000K, each powered by a seperate driver. I run just the QBs for veg and then add the strips once needed. Here it is below, above the newly planted seeds, waiting for them to show.
A clean slate, a fresh start and lots of potential!
I have decided that as the critters of the forest here are like my socially-distanced pets, lol!, I will import the ‘critter of the week’ tradition from my outdoor grows to the perpetual. The tent is 4 steps away from the door to outside where the forest is twenty steps away - I’m always outside.
During the winter months it might not be quite weekly, depending on critter activity (including this critter!) but, this week as we get started, the ones who have been making themselves seen and heard are these They are absolutely tiny! And don’t seem to mind at all when I lie down next to them in the grass and put my camera all up in their face - I swear one even jumped up to me the other day!
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It literally measures about 1/2 an inch, that’s the knuckle of a shoot from some grass just above its head and some out-of-focus chicken-wire fencing in the background.
Well, that’s about the start of things !
Thanks for joining and for any amount of that introduction you read or didn’t read. However you come, I will be honoured to have you here and ask only that we act within the scope of the community guidelines and treat each other and the forum that houses us with love and respect regardless of any differences we may have or discover.
We are all friends of cannabis. Welcome to my virtual garden