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Dusted Does Blue Cheese

Dusted

Well-Known Member
I hope you had a great summer like we did here in Alberta, except for the BC forest fire smoke. Since the days are getting shorter and cooler it's time to get the indoor plants started. If I get started by Sept 1 I can get two grows in before it starts getting nice again in the spring and I want to spend my time outside again.

I have finally gotten around to moving my grow room into the basement. Or I guess I should say I have added a second grow room. My small upstairs three pot system will be used as a vegetative room for clones and mother plants. I'm not sure yet if I will use my 600 w hid bulbs or my bank of f40 tubes. I guess if I want to get mothers through the hot summer I will have to go with the fluorescents.

In addition to being cooler than upstairs, the downstairs room is larger. I had five left over pots from my hydroponic system of years ago so I figured I would make a five pots system in the basement. Being cheap I tried to scavenge all the old parts from the 35 yr old hydroponic stuff stored in the garage. Big mistake. They seem to have changed all the drip hose sizes and fixtures as well. I essentially ended up starting from scratch with all new small diameter hoses and fixtures when I came up short of a few original pieces that couldn't mate to the new stuff. I hate admit it (I'm an old guy) but for a change the new stuff is better than the old stuff. The drip hose is more flexible, the fixtures fit nice, and they now make an adjustable drip valve for each line. No more plugged orifaces in the drip elbow. I should have also replaced the return lines with new stuff, but oh no, gotta save $20.

It's a good thing I ordered a king sized water bed liner to contain the system. The first twenty litres of water added to the system leaked out. I tried re-cycling the old one inch plastic squeeze clamps to hold the return water lines, knowing full well they wouldn't seal. Hose clamps fixed that problem after three hours of hunched over with drill and ratchet replacing them all. Hydroponics is a pain to set up, but once it's done it is sweet.

I'm now circulating pH 5.5 water through the system to try and get the pH down. This spring I did a major possession purge involving a dumpster. Almost filled it. My 35+ yr old rock growth media went in the purge, since all eight buckets were heavily contaminated with organic material (roots). I have also had a fungal pathogen (fusarium?) which caused stem rot in plants grown in that media, for years. New rocks are quite alkaline so they take a while to buffer with the phosphoric acid.

This year I decided to try a different seed bank. I appreciate CropKing for their widespread distribution network and product range and great customer service, but thought that some of their genetics may not be as good as available elsewhere. I have done their Purple Kush and White Widow.

This winter I am going to try Barney's Farm "Blue Cheese". I've never done a cheese strain before so I'm looking forward to the grow. I got a Canuck Seeds "Blueberry" freebie, so that is in germination with five of the cheese at the moment, just in case I don't get 100% germination.

Since the room is larger, I needed more light. I got a 1k adjustable mh/hps system, which should fill the space. Still need to light seal the window. It looks like a 18"x36" doormat will fit just about perfectly.

The HPS light doesn't seem to take as nice a picture as the MH, but here you can see the new setup.


 

Dusted

Well-Known Member
True North is having a 50% off sale this weekend so of course I had to spend several hours perusing their catalog. I still have ungerminated seeds in my fridge, but what the hell. Ordered some Atomic Bomb and Eleven Roses (Delicious Seeds).

48 hours into the Blue Cheese germination. After an 18 hr soak the seeds were put on an inclined plate, sandwiched in paper towel, under continuous drip, in the dark of course. I will take a look after four days, at which point they should be ready for planting.

Floor mats work great as basement window coverings. They have rubber backing so they are light impervious. Way less obvious than tin foil, and have some nice patterns.
 

Dusted

Well-Known Member
Day four of germination and six out of six popped. Only three had a root long enough to put into the rocks. Hopefully the other three have enough root tomorrow.

Drained the system for the first time. I knew I should elevate the buckets a bit above the reservoir but didn’t get around to it so I end up with about 15 litres left in the system when the pump dry locks. Put in 40 litres of one third strength nutrients at pH 6.0. The rocks will always neutralize the acid so I will try to keep it at pH 5.5-6.1 by daily addition of phosphoric acid. Got 75% acid from my old workplace so I have to be careful of wild pH swings when adding the acid.

This grow I am going use the hps until the last month of flowering. In the past I have lowered the light to 24 inches above the plants, but this time it’s going to stay on the ceiling. HID lights put out so much IR they heat up the rock growing media if they are too close. This may have contributed to the fungal infection my previous grows had. I have the ballast set at 750 w at the moment. When the plants get leaves I will bump it up to 1k for the grow. Should be plenty of light.
 

Dusted

Well-Known Member
Of the three remaining seeds two had plantable roots today. The third appears frozen after popping. One of the good seeds went into the rocks no problem. The other one broke the root off as soon as I picked it up. Might have gotten infected with fungus. Put the frozen one into the final bucket near the water stream. Maybe it will wake up in the warmth of the light.

Inoculated the rocks with Great White bacteria/fungal spores. First boil some water to remove residual chlorine. Let cool until it’s only just warm. Add powder to water (I used one teaspoon to 500 mL water) and shake to ensure there is enough dissolved oxygen. Let sit for half an hour to activate the spores. Shake well and pour the suspension over the rocks. There isn’t enough organic material in the rocks yet to really support microbial growth, but I wanted to get the bugs onto the new rootlets.

The seedlings don’t seem to green up as quickly under hps compared to mh lighting, but they are plumping up nicely. Too early to see anything in pictures yet, since they are tucked under and beside rocks that are the same colour as the seed cover. A couple have shed their seed covers.
 

Dusted

Well-Known Member
Doesn’t look like the frozen seed is going to make it. Almost lost another one when the seed casing glued onto the seed leaves. Had to use tiny tweezers to crush the casing which did damage both round leaves. The poor seedling looked like it was constipated with a bulge half the way up the stem. That seems to be going down now and it’s putting out leaves vigorously. Oh well, I guess I will be at the legal limit next month. Three Blue Cheese and one Blueberry. The tri-leaves are coming out now. I will have to replace the solution soon, as I’m worried about P levels. I’ve been adding acid daily to keep th pH down. I haven’t measured the temperature of the solution, but it seems cooler than when I had the hid bulb at 24 inches above the plants (duh). System is leak free. Proper materials always work better.

I read that the Mariana (sp?) Islands, an American territory in the Pacific, has voted to legalize Cannabis. Their grow rules seem much more logical than the Canadian legislation. Each person is allowed six mature plants and twelve immature plants. This at least allows for breeding and clone preparation. Maybe in time the rules will evolve to reflect the reality of successful home growing, but in the mean time I’ll keep doing what I do and keep my head down.

How many pictures of week old seedlings do we need? I’ll wait till there is something interesting to show this grow before including pics. I will also have to look into how to adjust the colour of the pics taken under the hps lamp since it is quite obnoxious to my eyes.
 

grower987

Active Member
I read that the Mariana (sp?) Islands, an American territory in the Pacific, has voted to legalize Cannabis. Their grow rules seem much more logical than the Canadian legislation. Each person is allowed six mature plants and twelve immature plants. This at least allows for breeding and clone preparation. Maybe in time the rules will evolve to reflect the reality of successful home growing, but in the mean time I’ll keep doing what I do and keep my head down.
We have a 4 plant (per household) limit also - a real pain. Good plan on the waterbed liner - I haven't seen one of those in ages. I'm really interested in how your hydro system works out. I guess I'll have to get a book to learn the theory. Is the water level the same in all five buckets and the tank? are the emitters on all the time or are they on a timer?
 

Dusted

Well-Known Member
It’s snowing. Only a centimeter on the ground so far but that will grow overnight. I’m glad I don’t have an outdoor grow. It’s just about impossible to do outdoor here unless you go autoflower or have a greenhouse. Photoperiod plants would only be half way done flowering and there will be frost regularly now. I’m also not sure I could deal with insects eating my plants or getting stuck to the flowers. At least I have a sun room in the basement to retreat to now that summer is over.

Hey “grower987”. Nice to see someone actually reads my ramblings. My system is 5 20 litres pails and reservoir joined together with one inch hose. 5 15 litres pails with perforated bottoms then fit into the lower pails to drain into the reservoir. There is a pump in the reservoir attached to a half inch line that travels through the lower pails. Small diameter drip lines are inserted with barbs into the half inch pressure line. Since I don’t run Coco I can run the drip system continuously.

I did change out the nutrition solution today. I notice there is an active biofilm forming on system surfaces after the Great White inoculation. I’ll have to be careful to keep the pH in a tight range so the fungi don’t go crazy. At least my reservoir didn’t turn to pea soup this time with explosive microbial growth.
 

Dusted

Well-Known Member
Still nasty outside today. Snow, high of 3 C. Had to brush snow off the car to go get food and beer. I wouldn't be bitching if it were the end of Oct, but this is nuts.

Plants are doing well. pH is fairly stable in the system. Now that the roots have grown a bit the leaves should take off quickly. The plants don't seem to be doing the "shade avoidance" thing (writhing around horizontally on the rocks) with the hps lamp, like I have seen under mh. I am propping up any that try to lean over with rocks, so that probably helps too. I want to take the light up to full power but am afraid the grow media and nutrient solution will get too warm, until I get more leaves to shelter things. Oh well that will happen quickly enough. Still haven't played with a photo editor to modify the yellow colour yet but here is today.




 

Dusted

Well-Known Member
While checking the pH of the reservoir this morning I noticed warmth emanating from the water. The light had only been on a few hours so I knew I had a problem. I soon realized the reservoir was a little greenhouse. You would think that after all these years I wouldn’t do something as stupid as buy a clear Tupperware storage container with a white top, for a reservoir. So now we have algae starting to grow in the nice warm fluid and who knows what is happening in the root zone. At least the pH is 5.8.

I happened to have old survival blankets, used in grow rooms over the years, stored in a closet, so voila, instant IR shield. Several hours later the reservoir, black pails, black hoses, and the majority of the rocks are insulated from the direct rays of the lamp. Ice bottles into the reservoir. I would measure the water temperature but the last thermometer I bought wasn’t waterproof, so of course I dropped it in the reservoir. The temperature is way down so I got brave and turned up the light full blast. With all the reflective surfaces in the room now it is pretty dazzling.
 

Dusted

Well-Known Member
I took a brief look at your journal. Every grow method has pros and cons. I was a convert to hydroponics once I did a side by with soil. Mind you the soil was pretty shitty, but when the hydroponic plants hit 3 ft and the soil was at 6 inches I went screw this organic shit.

I’m sitting loving my newly re-configured stereo speakers while waiting for pizza. I have two sets of 35 plus year old two way bookshelf speakers that I rebuilt. They now have 45 watt 1 inch metal dome tweeters matched with 45 watt midrange cones (8 inch) with voice coil. This goes with the four 12 inch woofers that I have made reflective boxes for. Two smaller (3 ft x 2 ft x2 ft) single bounce (woofer rear facing) and one large (5 ft x 2 ft x 18 inch) double bounce, with forward facing but back mounted woofers. It took a while to get the sound right. No booming base allowed. The metal tweeters are a touch harsh but I couldn’t find anything that would fit at the right wattage in silk.
 

Dusted

Well-Known Member
The insulation and frozen water bottles seem to be keeping the reservoir temperatures down, even with the hps at 1000 w. I bought a meat thermometer which reads 22 C, but the temp feels cooler than that by touch. I'll have to check the sensitivity of the probe in hot and cold water to see if it is working properly. A slightly musty odour has developed in the reservoir as the algae die and get rotted by the bugs that were added to the system. I will have to change out the nutrient solution sooner this time than I planned.

The young ladies are doing well today but were shocked a bit yesterday by the increased lumens and cooler roots. The reflective surface under the poor things had them confused for a bit as well. I'm slightly concerned about the Blue Cheese seedling that was slower than the others and had the seed leaves glued together. The stem below the slight bulge that formed when trying to shed the seed husk is much smaller in diameter than above that point. Hopefully it's not a fungal infection.

I played with a photo editor today in an effort to correct the colour of the pictures under hps lighting. Not much success. Even the updated hps lamps of today have a very narrow light spectrum as can be seen in the photo editor histogram. There is just not enough other colour present in the pictures to shift to. I'm surprised our plants do as well as they do under these light conditions. This is my first extended use of the hps lamp. I have always been a metal halide guy, after comparing the spectra of the two hid systems, but experimentation is always a good thing.





 

Dusted

Well-Known Member
Things are progressing well. The Blueberry is larger than the various Blue Cheese. They are starting to get a bit top heavy so I have been propping them up with rock mounds. I will have to get the tomato cages installed soon, before the plants get too big to get the cages over them.

I don't want to screw up the light cycle so I'm forced to take pictures at midnight or six
AM, if I want the lights off. I used my macro lens with flash to get some shots last night. Unfortunately I didn't use the right f stop. Oh well I'm still learning. I will probably go with a different lens next time as well.

This is day 15, with the Blueberry first




 

Dusted

Well-Known Member
Day 21

I didn't get to taking pictures last night after the lights went off, but thought I should update today. It will be easier in a week or so when I flip to flowering. and the lights come on at noon. These plants are all growing shorter than previous grows under metal halide or fluorescents. I thought it was supposed to be the other way round. We shall see whether I wait for pre-flowering before the flip. They are usually ready by week four, but if they are still squat I may wait an other week.

Nutrients are up to full vegetative strength (60% of manufacturers recommended concentration). pH is holding nicely at 6.0 but I take it down to 5.5 every day or two. Reservoir temperatures are pretty good if I add the frozen water bottles three or four times a day. It starts at 22 C in the morning and gets to 24 C after 18 hours of the light on. The root system shouldn't be that warm due to evaporative cooling. Microbes are still flourishing since I have a fairly thick biofilm. I will probably give them another shot of Great White when I do the flip. The roots should be thick by then.

Still procrastinating over the tomato cages. I have to figure out how to cut a foot off the bottoms. I'm hoping tin snips will do it. Soon.






 

Dusted

Well-Known Member
Tomato cages installed. Not without a bit of drama of course. First I have to cut a foot off the bottom of the cages. This stuff is thicker than a coat hanger but I thought maybe I can use my biggest pliers with a wire cutting slot. Didn't even dent this stuff. Tried my big assed tin snips, and sure enough they dented it, but there is no way it's going through this thickness. Hack saw. Ok that will work with a huge amount of effort. I've got twenty cuts to make and no vice to secure the pieces. I'm not going to spend the next four hours cursing and sweating, so:

Go have a toke and think about this.

Review inventory of the garage, in my mind, whilst having said toke. Ah Ha. I own an angle grinder. Many pretty sparks later I have chopped down cages ready to install. They pushed through the rocks easily and bottomed out. I then used four zip ties per bucket to hold the cage onto the grow media bucket. The matrons shouldn't tip over this grow like the last one (see last picture). Modern genetics produces such large flowers that I regularly get stem snapping late in flowering, if the buds gets too horizontal. The plants also get so bloody top heavy if they start out off balance they will eventually tip, if not extremely well supported. I have done SOG in my closet grows but prefer single colas if I have the room, as I do in this grow room. Not for sativa though, unless I super-crop. I have had Mexican ditch weed (1980's) hit the ceiling, get snapped in half, and hit the ceiling again. before they stopped stretching.

I also added a couple of non plant pictures, but they come from the grow room so what the heck. I found a wee beastie when I first turned on the light, scurrying around the containment area. I wondered what had happened to it until this week. It appears to be a stalker vs a trapper so I shouldn't have to worry about webs. There is also nothing to eat in the grow area so it should stay in the cracks and crevices around the room edges hunting the various insects which get in through the foundation.



 

Dusted

Well-Known Member
Day 25 since planting. I see some growers don't start the plant age until the first set of serrated leaves show. In that case these plants are at about day 21. I'm not having much success getting good pictures. I tried last night with the flash but most shots ended up blurred due to camera shake. The white walls also really reflect the flash and make the shot bad. I guess I'll have to try again with a tripod. I wonder if a camera led flood panel would work. I may have to check that out.

Most of the rocks are shaded so the reservoir temps should start going down, particularly once the foliage fills in a bit more. The internode space is still a lot tighter than I have seen under mh. These are going to be dense plants it would appear. The Blueberry is still dominating the grow so far, but one of the Blue Cheese is close. It looks like nitrogen deficiency in these shots but they are actually a lovely dark green. Still no sign of the stem rot that plagued me for years with the old grow media. Hope I didn't just jinx myself.







 

Dusted

Well-Known Member
Amazing grow room! :Namaste:
Thanks Ace.

Changed the nutrients again today. I wasn't seeing any deficiencies, but the plants seem to be asking for more N and K so I bumped things up. I didn't take into account the residual water in the system when calculating nutrient dosages before this. My other system has virtually no left over water after draining so I just got in the habit of calculating by the amount of water added. I also bumped up the P since three of the plants are ready to flip. The last Blue Cheese is a bit slow so I will give it a few more days before changing the light cycle. Starting to get that lovely skunk odour in the room now.

I took some shots last night after the lights went off. The pictures are of better quality, but I'm still not that happy with the results. Oh well, practice makes perfect. Blueberry is last pic.




 

aceknight

Active Member
Thanks Ace.

Changed the nutrients again today. I wasn't seeing any deficiencies, but the plants seem to be asking for more N and K so I bumped things up. I didn't take into account the residual water in the system when calculating nutrient dosages before this. My other system has virtually no left over water after draining so I just got in the habit of calculating by the amount of water added. I also bumped up the P since three of the plants are ready to flip. The last Blue Cheese is a bit slow so I will give it a few more days before changing the light cycle. Starting to get that lovely skunk odour in the room now.

I took some shots last night after the lights went off. The pictures are of better quality, but I'm still not that happy with the results. Oh well, practice makes perfect. Blueberry is last pic.




Beautiful! :Namaste:
 

Dusted

Well-Known Member
Yikes, Great White is stinky. I did another innoculation after the nutrient change and the whole house stinks. I think it’s mostly the bran filler/nutrient. It’s not a bad odour, but it is distinctive. It’s amazing how quickly the plants respond to changes in the nutrient solution. You soil guys have to wait for days but I see it in hours. The higher nutrient levels are already becoming obvious. I know this qualifies as watching the grass grow, but I’m not ashamed.

I’m procrastinating. I should be re-hanging my bank of 6 x f40 tubes, and looking at the bubble cloner I bought. If I’m going to flip in the next few days, I’ve got to cut clones and have the other room ready for them.
 
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