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Chef’s First Photoperiod Grow Journal


Grow Journal of the Month: April 2020 - Nug of the Month: May 2021
Hello 420magazine!

I just want to start by giving a shout out to all of the fantastic growers here that I’ve learned so much from. Without the great outdoor Sativa-sized tree of knowledge that is 420magazine, this grow and this journal would never have been possible. Thank you all. This journal is the culmination of the years I’ve spent reading journals, how tos, and the FAQs. I feel like I’ve got myself a decent little setup that I will be more than happy to fine tuning for the follow few years before I upgrade.

My Budget

Light $88 (+140) Tent $45

Exhaust $17 Carbon filter $35

Fan $20 Medium $46

Equipment $50 nutrients $68

Total: $509

Everything I need to do this right

The Plan

This is a journal for my first real grow.

  • I have a small stash of seed. 10 random bag seed + 30 selfed nirvanas Short Rider auto but I wanted SERIOUS genetic potential.
  • I now have the time to grow out some serious photoperiod genetics
  • I didn’t want to use bag seed because of age, they’re over 3 years old and I didn’t want to deal with vigor and weird stretching.
  • So I researched, researched, researched breeders that ship to me
  • I found Greenpoint in Colorado. The genetics looked stellar, consistent and they were having a sale; so I made an order. They sent me triple what I ordered.
  • Given the amount of seeds I’ve got to play with, I’m going to do a full Sensi crop before I get into making more seed.
  • I wanted to get 4 females so I figured I would start with 8 seeds.
  • I wanted to give each lady a decent 5 gallons worth of room for the roots
  • I found a decent bag of organic potting soil and I combined it with ~30% perlite.
  • I’ve read a lot of really great training techniques and seen some amazing results so I wanted to give a few of them a try, to be included; Supercropping, lst, topping, defolation, and bud backbuilding.
  • 2.66”x2.66”x5.25” iPower tent 7.11sqft 37.33cuft
  • maxsisun m480 LED - 203 actual wattage. Blue and red switches. May invest in another the same for flowering
  • Will have to buy charcoal filtered exhaust for flower but for now intake/exhaust are passive. I ended up doing this
  • Would love to get 7oz. Probably a crazy goal, but that would be .97g/watt.
  • Seeds placed in water 01/01/19, chop will happen by the end of May
  • I ended up flipping on 02/14
  • Started in solo cups then moved to 2L containers for sexing, then on to 5 gal fabric pots

The Strain

Greenpoint’s regular Cookies n Chem; an Indica dominant hybrid.

Genetic Makeup

Girl Scout Cookies – 25%

Starfighter – 25%

Chem 4 – 25%

Chem D – 22%

Affy – 03%

Flowering length : 60-70 days

Recommended indoor or outdoor

Finishing height: short-medium

The pictures I’ve seen of this strain look sticky and crystalline; like so:
That’s one of the colas on Big Girl

The Nutrients and medium

  • Final pots for the most vigorous females will be 12” diameter 10” tall fabric
  • 2 cubic feet of Black Gold organic potting soil
  • 16 quarts of perlite, rinsed thoroughly
  • Blue Planet Nutrients elite 3-part series
  • General Hydroponics pH up and down
  • Dyna-Gro neem oil for integrated pest management
  • May get calmag from Blue Planet if it seems necessary for flower. I’ve heard LEDs up calcium requirements
  • My water is a consistent 100-150 ppm and 6.3-6.8 pH
  • I started with 1/2 strength nutes for the 2 feedings in week 3, then moved to full strength for week 4, full strength from then on according to ppm
The Progress

  • On 12/30 I put 8 seeds in water to soak for up to 24 hours.
  • After 12 hours all 8 had cracked and showed fractions of a mm of taproot showing.
  • I planted in styrofoam cups with the flat side of the seeds just barely poking out of the soil.
  • After 3 days all except two had open cotyledons, #1 dried up I think and 7 grew up from the soil but waited an extra day to shed its shell.
  • 2/4 was day 35 days into veg, and I plan to go another 4 weeks if necessary.Final pot size will be 5 gal fabric potsbut for now 6 of the plants are in 2 quart containers and one gal has already been transplanted

  • For veg intake/exhaust were passive but I got an inline exhaust and carbon filter for the flip to flower.
  • My temps stay between 75-85 during lights on and drop to about 65-70 during lights off. The RH depends on how recently they’ve been watered, but typically the range is between 20-40 if it’s been a while and 60-70 if they’ve been recently watered. I water them after a day or two of the container being light and dry. They seem healthiest and most vigorous when they are in their dry cycle so I leave them dry until I see first signs of droopiness
Here are some pics of the veg stage, I’ll update a few more times for the stretch and mid flower before we get to present day.

And here’s my feeding chart, I followed the ppm at full strength except I used the ratio of grow:micro:bloom that’s on the bottle (they were different)


Well-Known Member
I originally picked out that same MAXISUN 480W but was told I likely wouldn't be satisfied with it. Most people told me to get a MARS Pro Epistar II 80. Also I was originally moving into a 24x24x60 tent but now I am planning to go with a 24x48x60 so I am not sure the MARS will cover that area.

@ChefDGreen What do you think of that MAXISUN?


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Grow Journal of the Month: April 2020 - Nug of the Month: May 2021
I originally picked out that same MAXISUN 480W but was told I likely wouldn't be satisfied with it. Most people told me to get a MARS Pro Epistar II 80. Also I was originally moving into a 24x24x60 tent but now I am planning to go with a 24x48x60 so I am not sure the MARS will cover that area.

@ChefDGreen What do you think of that MAXISUN?
Thank you for the question.
Honestly, I like what I’ve seen. For 90 bucks, it’s a solid little light for a novice who wants to get their feet wet. You could easily pull a few ounces with it. I recently upgraded to a 240w CoB panel by hipargero

You can get two nice little bushes under it.
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Grow Journal of the Month: April 2020 - Nug of the Month: May 2021


Grow Journal of the Month: April 2020 - Nug of the Month: May 2021
So, next update. I’m gonna try to get to present day as fast as I can .

I want to back track a bit to January 22nd.
I originally planned out how I wanted to train each plant.
I had labeled each one numbers 1-8 (1 died after germination)
-2 I wanted to leave alone and let grow naturally
-3 was going to be a manifold - topped at the third; first and second node growth removed.
-4 topped and all branches tied down
-5 topped and grown naturally
-6 i wasn’t sure, it was still a little small. I figured I’d let it go naturally
-7 naturally
-8 LST only

What ended up happening,
None of them were left to grow naturally. As soon as i bent one plant, I realized I couldn’t let any of them grow naturally. The difference in light exposure would result it slowed growth in the bent ones. In hindsight I suppose I could have put boxes under the bent plants..
So, top left we have number 2. I bent the main stem over and left it to grow. Right of 2, we have 6. 6 was bent and topped. Right of 6, that’s number 3, the manifold. Down from 3 is 4. 4 was the biggest, fastest grower and could take the heavy feeding without burn. The plan was to top and lst, but it turned out to be a 4 top fim, one of which I broke off later on accident. Down right from 4 is 5; bent and topped. Left of 5 is 8; the biggest fastest grower after 4. Unfortunately 8 got pulled too hard during a bending session, and I topped her down 3 nodes from 9. Ended up with 6 mains. Left of 8 is 7. 7 was bent and left to grow.

Around early February I started to get very worried (sadly). I thought I had relatives coming in late May (they needed to cancel later). So being worried as I was about how much time I had to harvest and dry, I decided to flip earlier than my original March 5th date. I was just preparing Incase the girls went as long as 12 weeks. The breeders suggestion is 60-70 days (8.5-10 weeks) and breeders have been known to shorten their flower times on paper.
Apart from that I could tell things were getting rootbound in the 2.5L containers and I was anxious to see who was who. On February 2 I decided that because of her branchiness and the shape of her primordia I would up pot #4 into a 5 gallon fabric pot. It was kind of a risk.

Here’s the pic 2 days before the flip, from above.
Clockwise from top right: 2, 4, 5, 6, 3, 8 and 7

I’m going to end this update here. I think after the next one I’ll be up to date. Hopefully someone reads this :laugh:


Grow Journal of the Month: April 2020 - Nug of the Month: May 2021
Alright here we go, next update.

Of those 7 plants, only 3,4 and 8 were females.
After a week in flower the males were pretty clear and I culled them all. Days 8-9 is when the pistils began to show on 3 and 8. 4’s pistils came out on day 2-3 of flower. Here they are week two of flower

Girl 8, she had whorled phyllotaxy. The branch that is top left has 3 leaves per node instead of 2 and they come out 120 degrees from each other instead of 180.

Measured canopy of girl 8, ~20”x ~9”

Measured canopy of girl 4, ~24”x~17”

Girl 4, ~8” from the soil

Here come the buds :thumb:

At this point in the grow my feeding schedule is basically feed every other watering at 700-800ppm & 6.3pH. It’s pretty clear how fast they’re growing, girl 4 is starting to dry out after 2.5-3 days; the fastest this grow.

Here we are, week three with a family photo. All three girls are coming into full bud production mode.

Early frost coming on strong. These plants were sugary even up to their fan leaves at harvest, yum!:drool:

The buds are starting to stack up on the nodes really well this week

So week four, and all three girls are really just spitting out glands everywhere. It really felt like the gland counts would double from one day to the next. Here’s a pic of one of the tops on girl 8, so much frostier than the week prior.

I think this is where I’ll stop for now, one more post for the grow I think, then I can show the harvest and do a smoke report for Cookies n Chem.


Grow Journal of the Month: April 2020 - Nug of the Month: May 2021
What happened?? Where'd all the pretty girls go?? :lot-o-toke:
I did this journal very poorly. I tried to just do the journal after the grow was complete, and nobody wants to read that. For that reason (and cause my personal life is very busy) I’ve been lazy in doing the next update and smoke report. I’ll probably finish up tomorrow though.
I’ve got plenty more pics of the beautiful ladies to post up:3:.

Thanks for stopping by @Mj76


Grow Journal of the Month: April 2020 - Nug of the Month: May 2021
Okay so let’s finish her off now eh? Everybody really looks good, nobody is bothered by the strength of the light or anything.

Everything is generally coming along great still. Especially girl 1, she’s completely dry every 2-3 days at this point. I continued feeding 1200-1300 ppm at 6.3pH every other then every 3rd watering later into flower.

Here’s big girl 1 at week 8. She’s not really fading much, but her trichomes are all cloudy and a little amber at this point.

Here’s the pissed off girl number 2, she was unhappy and then one watering she just looked like crap the next day. It was week 8 so I decided to chop her.

Here she is with no fan leaves when I was cutting her down. I dried her low and slow in the fridge.
She weighed about 24 grams when she was ready to go in a jar. The smell was sweet and gasy. The smoke was very smooth.

Here’s the last picture I have of girl 3. I defoliated her around week 5-6 and I think it stunted her a bit. She turned out really small with only 12g total

Here’s the big girl #1 right before I chopped her down. she’s totally flopped over from the weight of the buds.

Here’s the big girl all trimmed up. Ready for the wash, and the fridge. I feel like this picture kind of doesn’t do justice to the size.

Two weeks later and here we are, ready for the jars. Check out those big nugs up top. Some of the biggest I’ve ever seen in real life.

There’s how frosty she is... just sugary as can be.

My favorite nugget. :3:

Well there it is, my first photoperiod grow. I did it everyone! My first harvest over 1oz!
The big girl ended up just under 4oz. I think in total I got just about 120g of dried/cured flower.
The jars of big girl #1 smell like gasoline, lemon cleaner, and burnt rubber. The smoke is extremely narcotic. Couch locking body stone, and a heavy, sleepy head buzz. I almost always fall asleep a few hours after a good bowl.

Thank you to anyone who reads this.
And thank you to :420: for teaching me everything that got me my yield this cycle.


Grow Journal of the Month: April 2020 - Nug of the Month: May 2021
Hey Chef. What is this? Your second grow? You did really well. Doesn't it feel amazing to smoke your own dank? :yummy:
This was my third grow, but I’d call it my first serious grow. Thank you very much for the kind words! It actually is quite incredible. It’s given me a lot of insight into other bud that I see. I feel like I can now get a sense of things like if the grower chopped too early, if they dried too quickly, if the temps during flower were too high etc.. it’s like when you only buy your flower you forget that it was once a living organism that someone had cared for. Once you start to grow, you never forget that fact.

Thanks for checking out the grow @Mj76 . I probably won’t do another journal til after the run I’ve got going now, just cause I’m documenting it mostly on the comparative grow
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