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Hyena's Never-Ending Adventures In Growing

Hyena Merica

Creme de la Creme Photos: Nov 2016, Jan, April & July 2017 - Grow Journal of the Month: May 2018
PROJECT 23: HYDROPONIC HOMEMADE HYBRIDS - AMNESIA HAZE X BLUE DREAM Plus WIDOW X BLUE DREAM
By Hyena Merica

CHAPTER 1
WELCOME TO MY WORLD

Hello everybody, my name is Hyena Merica and yes, I am. Let's have some fun together and grow some great cannabis!

If you have read my first journal (Project 21: Dream Grow - A Complete Guide to Hydroponic Growing) then you already know I'm a decent hobby grower and mad scientist, creating beautiful monsters using a fully hydroponic setup in a secret attic laboratory. (Maniacal laughter) I wrote the first journal to give anyone the knowledge and advice they need to grow perfect cannabis, every time, from seed to smoke. If you think that's an ambitious claim you haven't seen my journal. It is a 120-page mini-novel with almost 200 photos...before you spend money on a How-To program, read Project 21. All you need to learn is there for free. You're welcome.

That was a lot of work. This time I will dial back the instructions and keep it more to real-time reporting, sort of a play-by-play reality show about growing killer buds. My attic botanical chamber is hidden and even my wife doesn't know anything about it, remarkable since I have produced nearly four pounds of primo bud over the last 8 months right over her head. I have so much weed in half-gallon Ball jars I could open a small dispensary but like other connoisseurs, I love having a sophisticated stash of years' worth of fine buds...a "bud cellar" if you will. A lifetime dream achieved. Seven different varieties and all completely killer. I get high a lot.

Now for my resume:



This is what I have been able to achieve with my techniques. There are admittedly many different ways to grow top-shelf cannabis and I always believe we can learn more from every project but when you find a way you can achieve these magical results I believe you are wise to simply repeat it.

Sooooo, what next? Well, I'm glad you asked! Perhaps the best outcome of Project 21 was the creation (accidentally but who cares?) of about 150 or so fresh seeds of at least 3 new hybrids! A tiny "banana" must have appeared deep within one giant cola on one of the Blue Dream plants. I never found the tiny pollen emitter but the resulting seeds didn't hurt the overall yield one bit and we ended up with some sweet hybrid beans to try. Let's try them!

First, a brief description of my lab. It is a secret chamber with floor space of about 9 x 12 feet, with a sloping ceiling that's plenty high where it needs to be. The space is partitioned into a nursery where we can hatch and raise seedlings up to 2 feet if necessary, and a main grow room, built around a nifty 9-pot fully automated hydroponic system. The system uses Dutch buckets just under 3 gallons each, which are awesome for growing cannabis because they have a little siphon drain so they can't overflow, and they hold about 3 inches of nutrient solution in the bottom between waterings so if there's a power failure the plant will have up to several days' worth of juice still available. These are important points because my grow lab is stealth and I can't go up there very often plus a water leak or spill would be a catastrophic giveaway resulting in my doom. That's bad.

My lighting is basically 1,000 watts of HID (a 400 and a 600 in air-cooled hoods with the big carbon filter and bigger can fan) and I augment the grow in the blooming phase with a few Mars Hydro 300's which are the original inexpensive ones. They are great lights for plumping up the edge areas and expanding the width of the canopy but they aren't penetrating enough to be a main light no matter how many you have. A 400 watt Metal Halide will go much deeper than a 400 watt LED and is worth the extra heat within reason. Best way is to use both together. Dat what I do.

For a detailed (WAY detailed) description of my entire setup down to the smallest nail, read PROJECT 21. This time around we'll spend our time mostly on the plants.

Having nearly 200 freshly home-grown hybrid seeds, all feminized, is a luxury I never thought I would experience so soon after beginning my endeavors. The happy accident of just the right bit of cross-pollination gave me three new crosses all guaranteed to be female. The monetary value of that alone is significant. I don't buy many seeds but when I do I pay about ten bucks apiece on average. Plus it's a major pain having to have something quasi-legal mailed to another address then get it on some pretense without that person knowing what's up. It is incredibly exciting to think my home-grown crosses could be even more killer than their mothers. It's time to find out!



My nursery hydro bubblers use 4 inch net pots and two 300w LEDs



The primary crop will be Amnesia Haze x Blue Dream. This Haze strain came from Ripper seeds and it produced several fat plants laden with super-sticky, fabulously stony buds, about a half pound. The colas were gigantic and the smooth taste of the fragrant smoke is amazing. It gets you very high. I started a half-dozen or so of the seeds and they all popped fast. They look very healthy and are growing well after about a week.



Probably half of my feminized hybrid seeds are Blue Dream x Blue Dream, meaning the plant basically grew a testicle and mated with itself. I will experiment with this mainly at some future point because I have a suspicion that the genetics of this batch might produce less-than-desirable plants, having been the result of self-fertilization. This act produces unpredictable havoc in the DNA sequence since plant life (and all life, really) needs input from 2 different, unrelated individuals to reliably reproduce. I test-fired a small number of these beans and examination of the seedlings after a week confirmed my hunch...two were dwarfs, two sprouted and showed a cotyledon but never developed leaves or a root system, and only one seems normal. It is possible only the seeds that came from the exact same Blue Dream plant that produced the pollen are bad, and there were several other Blue Dream plants which means some seeds would have two different parents, sort of, but not involving two different strains. We will see what the one decent-looking seedling grows up to be. She comes from a same-sex marriage and I fear she might turn out to be somewhat confused. I will name her Bruce Jenner .

Finally, I had a couple "bonus" plants in my last grow that were identified as White Widow Mix but the seedbank neglected to identify the daddy. A common societal problem but uber-annoying when you are trying to breed a plant. At any rate, the Widow Mix buds were an eleven so when that plant was fertilized by the Blue Dream we made a potentially great cross. I put only two seeds in water since I have already planned for all but two of my containers and have living seedlings to put in them. Because of the space limitations inherent with stealth growing, sprouting too many seedlings is a waste of valuable beans, yet you don't want to end up with too many open grow pots if the needed number of seedlings is not achieved. Starting another group of sprouts at that point would put the second group ten days behind, a gap that would necessitate either too much veg time for one group or not enough for the other. The fact is, you need a little luck at the very beginning to get the right number of babies without wasting valuable seeds.

One word of advice: use feminized seeds! If my seeds were not guaranteed to be 100% female it would be impossible to plan the grow with any certainty. Nothing would be worse than raising a crop more than half way to harvest then finding out you have to kill half your plants...or maybe even more. No parent should ever face that choice. Feminized cannabis seeds are perhaps the greatest scientific achievement since Penicillin. Just use them.



The need to begin this grow by a certain date made it impossible to put off sprouting the seeds despite the fact that it is August and we are in a stretch of 90+-degree days. Because my lab is in an attic the heat is tremendous in summer...spiking to 100+ for much of the 24-hour cycle. I do not have an AC unit for the room because it would be a major tell, so I time my grows to end before the peak heat of summer then wait until now to start the next one and control the heat to the extent I can using major fans.

I have budded out a grow where the last six weeks of flowering took place in over 100 degrees for most of the day and night and the buds were less dense but still decent. The key to that is lots of direct air circulation and a big can fan that sucks air out of the room through a carbon filter then through the lights and out through the roof. In this manner the effective heat at the canopy level may measure 100 but to the plants it feels it more like 90 and they can make it. However, it still was not quite the quantity nor quality of a more temperature-friendly fall or spring bud-out so we avoid that now.

Sprouting is another matter. Even near-100 won't hurt them with the right fans. Despite the blistering temps I was able to get the girls successfully underway. So, in the end I got seven viable plants (well, eight if you count that one plug has two seedlings) plus I kept one of the plants from the last grow alive and will be attempting to re-veg it. Therefore I will have a dreaded open pot but in the grand scheme of things that's no problem. We will easily fill all our growing space with trained and topped branches and produce a hedge of honeylicious colas. I could probably get the same production from six pots or nine because there is only so much space and either way we can fill it. My technique is to top the plants to get six or eight branches total on each and then SCROG them to fill the entire area, weaving them carefully all through the string net until we have a budding branch in every square. Achieving maximum production from a limited space is both an art and a science. It requires knowledge, sound techniques and patience combined with a little motherly love. The end result will be several pounds of primo buddage and a very merry Christmas.

So at this point, twenty short days since we dropped the beans with a tiny splash, we have beautiful young girls ready to go into the grow room any time now. We will end this chapter here.

"Do not give up; the beginning is always the hardest." —Chinese Fortune Cookie

Until next time, my friends.
 

Hyena Merica

Creme de la Creme Photos: Nov 2016, Jan, April & July 2017 - Grow Journal of the Month: May 2018

Hyena Merica

Creme de la Creme Photos: Nov 2016, Jan, April & July 2017 - Grow Journal of the Month: May 2018
Re: Project 23 - Hydroponic Homemade Hybrids - Amnesia Haze x Blue Dream Plus Widow x

CHAPTER 2
FIRST GRADE

I have always felt a special affection for my plants, they are really more like my little green children and I love to nurture them tenderly and watch them grow up to be beautiful, sexy women. Then kill them.

For now, it’s time to bring them out of the nursery and into the grow chamber. The unrelenting heat of one of the hottest months on record (not global warming, just a random event of nature…stop it) has made the first four weeks of life a living hell and only the strong have survived. In temperatures well over 100 degrees F. for much of the stretch, the tiny seedlings struggled mightily to cling to life despite my efforts to keep them cool. Fact is there wasn’t much I could do. Only the installation of an air conditioner would change anything and since I don’t want to give away my secret and experience a divorce I resist that solution.



In the end seven plants made it. One pair share the same bucket so I will have six total pots working for this grow, more than enough to fill the room with any skill at all. Every additional week of vegetative growth allows the creation of many new branches and eventually many more budding sites so if we need to fill more horizontal space we keep vegging and weaving a few weeks longer.

I completed the grueling main chamber cleanup and re-load in about six sweaty hours. Quite a job, from the disposal of the old plant root balls and reconditioning of the grow medium (Hydroton balls in the bottom 1/3 of the bucket, then an 80% perlite/20% vermiculite mix), to the cleaning and flushing of the nutrient reservoir, and finishing with a thorough vacuuming and scrubbing of everything from floor to ceiling. Throw in changing of the carbon filter and patching any small light leaks that have developed as duct tape shrinks and we are ready for transplantation.

Bringing the new girls one by one from the nursery bubbler, I carefully poured new medium around the exposed root mass, gently so as to minimize damage to the myriad of microscopic hairs on them. Care during this operation will avoid he dreaded 7-10 day “transplant shock” period, which in my opinion is mostly the result of inexperienced handling of roots. There is a gentle touch to this and when you master it there is zero transplant shock and the plants go right into full vegetative fury. Time is money so to speak, and this is one place where you can add penalty time. Self-imposed penalties are a no-no.

Finally everything is thoroughly watered in and the kids are all tucked in. I stand back and admire the work and light up a fatty. I know I shouldn’t smoke around the children, especially since I am smoking their mother, but I guess it’s time they realized life is short. Now grow, you little scamps!

Let’s look at our girls and see what we will be working with:



First and mostest are Amnesia Haze x Blue Dream, five plants in all between 4 pots. They look pretty good for having been hatched in hell. It will be interesting to see the similarities and the differences between the child and her parents. Under two months it’s hard to tell a whole lot of difference between cannabis anyway, most plants are just trying to get bigger during that period of life and they all pretty much grow at the same rate. Nice early stoutness and branching. The closer the node spacing the better.



There is one specimen of Widow Mix x Blue Dream. Again, the Mix was top quality and the Blue Dream was, well, dreamy so we could have a nice one. She looks healthy and strong. I will prioritize this plant’s space to give her lots of growing room since there is only one. Can’t wait to see her blossom.



Finally I have the single Blue Dream x Blue Dream (bottom). Who even knows what will happen since this is the only one of five beans that was normal. I will say the plant looks vigorous and has good early structure, very good roots, and nice leaf tips. If it is simply as good as its mothers were we will be quite happy.

The plant that I attempted to re-vegetate did not survive. My guess is there was simply too much damage from the difficult budding weeks in sustained 100+-degree heat. I tried to breathe life back into her every way I knew but she just didn’t make it. It would have been interesting to see the redevelopment of a previously harvested plant but that won’t happen this time around. In the end, just another open pot. Pity.



After a few days everyone has shown zero shock as predicted. Now we are branching nicely and everyone seems happy. At five weeks exactly since the beans splashed I feel we have the basis for a solid grow. The hardest part is over and it’s literally almost automatic from here. The scorching summer temperatures will now steadily give way to the blessed cooler days and nights of fall. Spring and fall are the two times you really want your plants to be growing, it’s so much nicer not to have the constant issue of heat mitigation or augmentation.

Thanksgiving week is the target for harvest…what a fat turkey this will yield when all my buds come in! I am impatient by nature so it seems like forever from now. I always have to remind myself at this stage that the real work is done and now the only challenge is having the patience to let it happen. There’s only one thing to do. I must smoke a lot of weed to make the time pass faster.

“Adopt the pace of nature…her secret is patience.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Until next time, peace. Hyena
 

Hyena Merica

Creme de la Creme Photos: Nov 2016, Jan, April & July 2017 - Grow Journal of the Month: May 2018
Re: Project 23 - Hydroponic Homemade Hybrids - Amnesia Haze x Blue Dream Plus Widow x

CHAPTER 3
GROW BABY GROW

"Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters." -Anonymous

At six weeks from birth the girls are beautifully at home in the main grow chamber and seem to be on track. Looking at them now gives no indication how close they came to death in their first week of existence. I didn’t mention this earlier but this project almost didn’t happen…

When I dropped these beans the first week of August, the temperatures were over 100 degrees F, day and night, and the tiny seedlings really struggled. Half actually died. In fact, after 6 days the handful that still clung to life had literally burned up their first set of leaves and seemed to have no chance so I decided to let them all go and just start over when things got cooler. I turned out the lights, turned off the air stones and shut the chamber.

Three days later I opened the nursery chamber to begin cleaning it out, and to my amazement, even after 3 days without light or water all seven of the little sprouts were still barely alive, their rooting plugs nearly bone dry. I thought, what the hell, this is a great experiment. I turned the bubblers and the lights back on. Gave each plug a drink of water and waited.

Within 48 hours the tiny, abused sprouts began to grow. They literally had no leaves and sprouted tiny new ones. To my utter amazement they are the plants you now see here. The plants have been through hell and there is no doubt they are a little bit behind schedule because of it…technically they lost about a week to ten days of vigorous growth compared to a normal start. But they all look fine now…a testimony to the UNBELIEVABLE resilience of this amazing little weed we call cannabis. I have seen many people give up on sprouts for various reasons but this shows you should never say die, literally, with such a determined and hardy organism.



So now that everyone is at six weeks of age (but really only at the four-week growth mark), it’s time to scrog. The scrog was accomplished in about ten minutes with my handy system of a permanent frame and a bunch of brad nails around the top…just string it quickly and easily, then simply cut it off at harvest time. It’s a great system compared to using any type of permanent screen mesh. Here’s why.

First, during the growth phase cotton twine doesn’t hurt the branches nearly as much as wire mesh, as they gently rub against it from the fan breeze. But the real problem with wire screen-type scrog setups is it’s such a bitch to harvest the finished buds. I like to keep the length of the branches consistent as I cut them (to promote an even drying rate) and a small but important thing like that becomes a lot more difficult with a wire scrog because you damage the product trying to get it out of the mesh (more hassle), or at best you have to cut everything into much shorter pieces (more work) and either way you handle it too much. I know there are lots of metal scrog devices you can buy but trust me, my method is better. Usually when growing cannabis, simple is easy, and easy is good.



You can tell a lot about the health of your babies when you gently weave the branches under and through the scrog net. Strong stems, nice fat leaves and clean green leaf tips all tell me the kids are alright. The initial scrogging is a little painful for a couple of them as I bordered on supercropping with a couple main stems but short of an actual skin break they respond just fine with no apparent degradation anywhere up the stem. I will simply visit them twice a week for awhile and weave, weave, weave as they spread to every open square inch of the growing area.

Some examples of the techniques:



This is where you determine a lot of your finished production. Having the patience to veg the plants a few weeks longer while carefully keeping all the growth under the screen is hard work, physically and emotionally. But each additional week of vegetative growth can add 20% to the eventual number of budding sites. The key is keeping everything low until the whole area is filled. Without scrogging if you add a couple extra weeks of veg the whole canopy gets too high by the time you flower which causes a lot of problems. The key to keeping it low is: no main branch tips can get above the net. In the end the goal is to have long, snakelike horizontal branches producing a lawn of tertiary branches which all grow into colas. I simply keep the main branch tips under and everything works out perfectly.

Now at seven weeks. The outside temps have settled into the mid 70s daytime and 60s at night…perfect growing weather and the grow room stays at 80. As long as your plants are growing well with no telltale discoloration just leave them alone. In hydro, just watch the PH. Nutrient concentrations build up as water is transpired and the reservoir is occasionally topped off, so after several weeks of this most of the added nutes are still in the water (the plants actually use very little). So resist the temptation to keep adding nutes, because it is not the nute levels that will drop but rather the PH as this cycle takes place and so PH may need to be bumped every 4-5 days. If PH drops below 5.5 for a sustained period the main problem you can develop is a deficiency in calcium, which is indicated by dark spots on the leaves (and dark roots but most won’t physically see that). Inability to uptake calcium is bad, it’s critical to a number of processes so watch PH. Just don’t let PH linger below 5.5 and IMHO 6 is ideal.

I always say some version of this but I swear it’s true: if you want twice the growth, use half the nutes. In hydro especially, the recommended concentrations are way higher than necessary for full rate development and vigor in the cannabis plant. Nutes, as I just mentioned, build up in a sneaky way in the reservoir and they are beneficial in tiny amounts but not really any better in larger amounts. The biggest problems in growing are self-imposed and the biggest of those problems is over-fucking with your plants. Leave them alone!



So we tuck the girls in after a good scrogging. Sounds sexy and it kind of is. See you in a couple more weeks.

Peace. Hyena
 

Hyena Merica

Creme de la Creme Photos: Nov 2016, Jan, April & July 2017 - Grow Journal of the Month: May 2018
Re: Project 23 - Hydroponic Homemade Hybrids - Amnesia Haze x Blue Dream Plus Widow x

CHAPTER 4
SECOND BASE

“Be stubborn about your goals, and flexible about your methods.” -Anonymous

I love analogies, and an indoor grow is like baseball.

Getting to first is basically getting your plants up and running, healthy and strong. Second base is reached by the time the plants are ready to begin the flowering process. Third base is budding and home is the chop. We are approaching second base, running strong, and it’s exciting!

Eight weeks in and my girls are well. As previously mentioned these plants were started in sustained 100-degree-plus temps, were given up for dead, then resurrected and lost much time recovering so they’re really at about the normal 5-week mark in my estimation but perfectly healthy. I visit the garden every third day or so and weave a little magic in the scrog net. The main stems are spreading out right on time. I have begun to top some of the lollipops and by the time the edges have been filled, there should be 40 or 50 of them ready to develop into juicy colas.



The back part of the grow becomes too difficult to get to at this juncture so I have to leave it a bit higher, necessitating some supercropping. Both scrogging and supercropping are techniques that work together, the main thing is get the plant mass spread out as evenly as possible and keep it as low as you can for as long as possible. Because of simple grow room space limitations I always end up with a portion of my grow that is irreversibly above the screen too early but that’s okay, I can still shape that into a nice hedge of buds.

Frankly when plants are growing perfectly there isn’t much to say. You just check in occasionally and try not to think about them the rest of the time. That doesn’t reduce my desire to be with them…I would spend quality time in there with every plant every day if it were practical but it simply isn’t. For newer growers a word of advice is appropriate here.

I believe additional touching (okay, fondling) is probably the biggest no-no in hobby growing (except for telling somebody). There are a multitude of bad things that can happen to your plants and almost all of them are going to come from you. If you start with a properly prepared grow room, you start with zero threats. If your grow is properly sealed nothing can crawl, drift or fly in there and become a threat. The only way anything bad comes in…is with you.

I never go in my grow room in clothing or shoes that have recently touched anything outdoors including even just walking on the lawn. Bad insects such as mites utilize the principle of exponential multiplication very well and if you have ever looked at a grassy area in early morning and seen the zillions of little web strands covering almost every square inch of our planet you realize insects are absolutely everywhere. If you simply walk a few steps on your lawn you are likely to have many tiny hitchhikers on you and if you visit the grow room now you bring destruction, even with only the most loving intent.

My primary fear is spider mites. That’s a problem with no easy solution even though there are lots of treatments. Every time I decide to visit the grow room my thoughts always include, “How can I be SURE there are no mites on me?” This isn’t paranoia…spider mites multiply like a Chinese math professor and they can suck the very life out of your plants before you even know what happened. My personal experience includes a couple seriously diminished grows because I simply used soil that included tiny new friends and from the start my grow room was host to problems. There is nothing as maddening as executing all the work it takes to grow cannabis then not receiving a proportionate reward, especially if you brought the problems on yourself.

Since those experiences, I have endeavored to keep insects out of my grow room at all costs. It has paid off. The occasional hassle of taking a shower and donning fresh clothes just to enter the grow area is totally worth it to see a sea of perfect green leaves. If you have never felt the helplessness of seeing ugly holes and spots on your leaves from marauding micro beasts you don’t want to. These are our babies!

Filling in steadily.

Now it is two calendar months since we began, just a couple days shy of nine weeks. Every grow, I seem to let the vegetative stage go a bit longer. This is because I have learned to do more and more with the scrogging/supercropping. I don’t use autoflowering strains, so I can pretty much let my plants go as long as I want before inducing flowering and that can produce a lot of very long branches.

Each grow, I also start feeling like I know everything but then I always learn more. Therefore I have reached a point where I no longer strive for predictability, but rather let each grow develop so some extent in its own unique way. Cannabis plants are all slight variants even from the same mother so every plant has its own personality so to speak. I’ve noticed differences in size, growth rate, node spacing, flowering, and yields from two genetically-identical individuals grown under identical conditions, not once but many times. I find it fascinating and I guess the point is, while I used to schedule and pre-plan my grows, it’s more fun, and more productive, to give them as much time as they need before flipping to 12/12.



The yields can be enormous if you keep weaving for 8, 9, even 10 weeks before the flip. Just keep everything low enough that you don’t have to raise your lights and you’re doing it right. Always remember that once you flip, they keep stretching for 3 more weeks so count on continuing to carefully scrog and weave where necessary right up until you see flowers start to appear. If everything goes perfectly you literally have a hedge of colas, all the same height. I have read varying opinions on whether scrogging and supercropping have a detrimental effect after flowering begins. I keep doing it far into the flowering stage and have not observed any reduction in rate or volume of budding, compared to untouched colas on the same plants. If anything, it allows you to maximize the light strike the whole way which I believe is the truly important thing.

With 75% of my grow net area filled we’re getting close. No rush…visions of December sugarplums dance in my head as look at my girls and smoke some smooth Blue Dream from their mother. Christmas will be very frosty indeed!

“Be not afraid of growing slowly…be afraid only of standing still.” -Anonymous

Until next time, Peace. Hyena
 

Hyena Merica

Creme de la Creme Photos: Nov 2016, Jan, April & July 2017 - Grow Journal of the Month: May 2018
Re: Project 23 - Hydroponic Homemade Hybrids - Amnesia Haze x Blue Dream Plus Widow x

CHAPTER 5
START THE PARTY

All that work. All that care. It finally feels like it is going to pay off the day you flip your lights to 12/12.

Getting a group of girls to the point where everyone is growing properly, every plant has been topped and scrogged into nice green symmetry, and overall health looks good means about 80% of the real work is done. Now if everything just stays on autopilot the fun part begins! Let’s bud!



Now we are at the ten week mark. Growth is explosive. They have pretty much caught up with where they should be. Again, they lost about two weeks’ worth of growth early on which didn’t seem like much at the time but then weeks later they were still quite a bit smaller than other grows have been at the same point.

We just adjust, in growing and in life. To try to make up ground, I tried a slightly different light technique and two weeks ago changed the lights from 18/6 to 24/24. In the ensuing two weeks it seems to me they are growing like, well, weeds. Plant growth isn’t easy to fairly judge because it’s so slow but I really feel like they benefited from the change and started growing better. The main thing is the scrog net is full enough now that we will have a full production area.



Getting great branching.



Everyone is showing nice preflowers. No transvestites!



Sometimes supercropping fails and instead of gently bending 90 degrees a main stem just snaps. With over 90% of the “skin” completely severed, the vascular structure of this limb is probably ruined beyond repair. I’m no surgeon but Gorilla tape often works. Don't laugh! Plants are amazing. Even though the break was essentially an amputation I give it a 50/50 chance of somehow surviving.



It’s time to flip to 12/12. Done. I’m guessing ten weeks will be enough to properly finish, but since these are new hybrids who knows? Nature rolls the dice.

I will do a complete water change at this juncture. I have used the same nutrient solution since they started, adding fresh water periodically, gently supplementing the nutrients, adding some cal/mag and re-balancing the PH. I did it to see if the full reservoir water changes every couple weeks are really necessary. The PPM gradually increases as the weeks go by (a sandy layer of condensed minerals even builds up on the bottom of the reservoir) but I’m not sure how important that really is because even at over 1,500 PPM everybody seems perfectly green and healthy. Opinions in the cannabis knowledge community vary on this subject. Most like a PPM range between 400-1,000 but in the absence of any negative indication from my plants I don’t sweat that it gets higher. I underfeed nutes generally which also stretches the lifespan of the nute solution. I will change the whole thing and we’ll start back at around 400-500.



Today marks 11 weeks. Fresh nute solution and a healthy, clean feel about everything. The girls are looking great…only a week after the flip and already some are flowering! That’s a full week sooner than I ever remember seeing it happen so way cool. Now seeing some difference between strains…



The five Haze/Blue Dream plants are strong and aggressive. Great firm stems which will be up to the task of supporting all the monster colas we will soon see. Don’t yet know how they will pack out, how they will smell, it’s so cool that they’re hybrids and we don’t really know anything except we are very happy with the parents so these kids should be keen. If there was ever a more intriguing genetic one-two punch than Haze and BD I’d like to see it. I am so happy they all look perfect especially since I wagered 71.4% of my total grow on them.



The branch on one Haze/BD that snapped completely off, that I gorilla taped a week ago, is just fine. I’m not kidding, the entire stalk and over 90% of the skin was completely severed. There seems no way the entire branch could have survived without regrowth of the tubes in the tissue which I almost can’t believe. The side where a minute scrap of skin was still intact shows undisturbed growth of the branch directly above, and the opposing branch shows a 50% reduction in vigor but still growing fine. How? Much to learn here and I’m not sure I can fully interpret what I have witnessed without further experimentation. Maybe down the road. No matter how much you feel you have learned from nature you see something new on a regular basis. And resilient Cannabis triumphs again.



The one Widow Mix/Blue Dream is a lighter color and obviously a very different animal. Looks absolutely perfect up and down. Nice branching, great growth and nice spacing between nodes. The leaves have a little different look and structure, maybe a touch fatter and shorter. If there is one plant I ever had high hopes for it’s this one. So far so good.



The Blue Dream/Blue Dream is a little different as I suspected it might be. It’s shorter for one thing, and the rate of growth by linear measurement is about 20% less. It also seems to be a little more sensitive to something than the others because I started getting some foliar discoloration on a number of the fan leaves. I only visit the grow room every 3 days on average because less is more as I have previously discussed. The PH crept down around 5 for a few days and my guess is that produced a negative reaction in the BD/BD. Since everyone shares the same nute pool a general solution imbalance can be ruled out I think. Maybe PPM came into play in this case, it was 1400 when I changed to fresh water and now its 500 fully loaded. Either way, this plant shows a degree of sensitivity to something that the others take in stride. Good news is, in the three days since I changed the nutes I have seen improvement.



So everybody is happy and starting to bloom. How I wish I could spend my life in that room. The fragrance of the cannabis flower is beginning to emerge. In a couple months it will be insane in here.

As I write this I sometimes wonder if I am entertaining, helping or inspiring anybody, or just talking to myself…either way, I committed to doing this live journal and I will see it through. Whomever might happen across this story looking for bud porn will be well rewarded if they stay to the end.

“He who would leap high must take a long run.” -Proverb

It will be a very frosty Christmas.

Peace, Hyena
 

Hyena Merica

Creme de la Creme Photos: Nov 2016, Jan, April & July 2017 - Grow Journal of the Month: May 2018
Re: Project 23 - Hydroponic Homemade Hybrids - Amnesia Haze x Blue Dream Plus Widow x

CHAPTER 6
THE LONG ROAD TO GLORY

“Strive for progress, not perfection.” –Fortune Cookie

At the 12-week mark and things are busting out all over! My girls are popping flowers like there’s no tomorrow. It’s a thrilling sight to see nothing but fuzzy little nuggets from stem to stern. Everybody looks happy and healthy in the wonderful fall temperatures which makes the grow room so easy to regulate. Every leaf on every branch is perfect. I keep the Ph fairly low (5.5 or just a hair higher) and as the plants are transpiring about 2-3 gallons per day it tends to gradually drop even lower as nutes concentrate. My tap water is a PH of over 8 so topping off the reservoir every few days brings it back in range.



Such a beautiful green forest.



The Haze/Blue Dream girls are awesome. Strong, healthy development everywhere. A rubbed bud exudes a nice smell and the five plants, which were very effectively scrogged, now feature many, many budding sites. I keep breaking their bones supercropping literally everywhere, and all those branches just keep growing. I have even double supercropped some branches (where you break it all the way over, then it regains some verticality, then you break it again-below the first break!) and all they do is grow more tissue and begin producing long “racks” of colas.



These horizontal main stems really produce a lot of extra weight if you do it right. There is kind of an art and a feel to accomplish really effective supercropping and it adds a couple weeks to the veg phase but it is the single technique that is totally worth the effort and will more than double what you can do in a given space, compared to regular-shaped plants or those that have been simply topped. I will get two pounds of primo buds dry from this one little 2-square-meter grow. Believe me, supercropping is the key.



The Widow Mix/Blue Dream plant is so pretty…a little lighter green with more Indica-shaped leaves. She has grown wonderfully and been a perfect child, now looking very enthusiastic as I entreat her to flower. She doesn’t give much scent even when a bud is rubbed but her two mothers weren’t stinkers either, however they both delivered a major buzz. Hopefully the daughter will be potent and delicious.



My single Blue Dream/Blue Dream has really become a star. The sketchy fan leaf spots she was starting to get went away when the PH got back in line and now she’s roaring along. And her fragrance! I rubbed a little bud and she just gushes the fruitiest and most delicious cannabis smell I have ever smelled…oh my God I can only dream of finished marijuana with such a smell. Now all the bullshit I had to go through to nurse this one seedling through its first month of life seems so very worth it…I am excited about that intoxicating plant and what she might become.



Blue Dream/Blue Dream exhibiting dense flowers in the first bloom phase, only 14 days after the flip!

The room is so nice to be in, though I tear myself away with minimum time spent out of dedication to my Sacred Grower’s Rule #2: Maintain minimal contact with your plants, and minimal time in your grow room, because everything bad that comes into a properly constructed grow room comes in on you. (Growers Sacred Rule #1, of course, is never tell anyone, except anonymous friends in this forum, of course. Duh.) So I just don’t sit in there like I once did though I wish I could. My perfect forest of unmolested leaves attest to my devotion and sacrifice. A professional-quality grow requires fastidious attention to keeping the environment as pure as possible…sadly, we are the only unclean things in our grow rooms, relatively speaking, if we are doing everything right. I blow them a kiss. Sleep tight.



Now it is the 13-week mark. My little grow has become a deep, dense forest of swelling buds. The word jungle even comes to mind. Entering bloom phase two means the growth nodes everywhere are projecting a splash of flowers, a sea of long, beautiful white hairs popping from every nook and cranny. My attention to detail during the scrog weeks has paid off handsomely…the biomass has spread out evenly and now over two square meters of green is steadily rising and thickening.



What really amazes me is how thick and dense the developing nugs are. Temperature plays a very important role in ideal cannabis development during the budding phase. Now that temps are never over 80 in the grow room (and average more like 72) the girls transpire water at a perfect rate and they have everything they need to grow fast and thick.

I learned the hard way over the summer that temperatures matter. I had a decent grow going until outdoor temps reached the 90s for an extended period, during the last 6 weeks of flowering. I gambled that I could control the grow room environment with strong exhaust fan ventilation alone. I was wrong. What fooled me was the buds looked a little less dense but still good, despite hellish temps hitting 100 for long stretches. So I ended up with half the weight and a lot of good looking, still-potent buds...that had no flavor. Yuck. Fortunately the crop is perfect for making butter, etc., but the pleasure of smoking over a pound of delicious Kush blends was lost forever and that is tragic. Smoking delicious, fragrant, tasty herb is the reason I grow, not to make cookies. In the future I plan to end in June and drop beans again in early September because for now at least, installing air conditioning isn’t an option in my secret laboratory situation.



Beginning to get that smell…ahhhh, that luscious smell of flowering cannabis.



Strong stems, lots of horizontals, the result of massive supercropping. Don’t be afraid to relentlessly supercrop. They love it.

Going away for the weekend but the kids will be alright. I give them a fresh 35 gallons of delicious nutes and an aggressive supercrop where some still-stretching branches are getting a little too tall. Everything looks so good in here I can’t believe it. I close the secret chamber door and bid them adieu.

“Never miss an opportunity to tell your child ‘I love you.’” -My Mom

I love you, girls. Have a nice weekend.

Peace, Hyena.
 

maineiac

New Member
Re: Project 23 - Hydroponic Homemade Hybrids - Amnesia Haze x Blue Dream Plus Widow x

I do so enjoy your literary style as well as you budmaster product. A big inspiration to me, at least! I read your first journal and read like a book (page-turner). This one is released in real time, but still very interesting prose. Thank you.
 

Hyena Merica

Creme de la Creme Photos: Nov 2016, Jan, April & July 2017 - Grow Journal of the Month: May 2018
Re: Project 23 - Hydroponic Homemade Hybrids - Amnesia Haze x Blue Dream Plus Widow x

I do so enjoy your literary style as well as you budmaster product. A big inspiration to me, at least! I read your first journal and read like a book (page-turner). This one is released in real time, but still very interesting prose. Thank you.
Deepest appreciation my friend. Your kind words mean a lot to me. I often wonder who I am reaching and my only goal is to inspire others in a positive way to themselves experience the profound joy of growing killer buds.

I am enjoying doing a real-time journal, but you have given me even more motivation to write about this amazing journey we call growing cannabis.

Best regards! :)

Peace, Hyena
 

Hyena Merica

Creme de la Creme Photos: Nov 2016, Jan, April & July 2017 - Grow Journal of the Month: May 2018
Re: Project 23 - Hydroponic Homemade Hybrids - Amnesia Haze x Blue Dream Plus Widow x

excellent.


i can see this guy winning one of the new journal competitions for writing and photo quality.

keep going :51:
Wow, Vlad, thought for a minute my Mom was writing that...thanks bro. You are too kind.

You know what you're doing. :) Keep it up! Those last bud shots made my lungs water...

Thanks again :Namaste:

Peace, Hyena
 

MagicJim

Creme de la Creme Photos: Sept 2016
Re: Project 23 - Hydroponic Homemade Hybrids - Amnesia Haze x Blue Dream Plus Widow x

Gonna agree with Vlad....sweet words get me every time. Those buds .... I just want to watch them grow.

:51:
 

Hyena Merica

Creme de la Creme Photos: Nov 2016, Jan, April & July 2017 - Grow Journal of the Month: May 2018
Re: Project 23 - Hydroponic Homemade Hybrids - Amnesia Haze x Blue Dream Plus Widow x

Subbing! I read your other journal as well. :goodjob:

I am gobsmacked that your wife still doesn't know. :11: Has she had any suspicions at all? She doesn't hear the fan noises in the attic?
Hi bro, sorry for the delay I was in N. Michigan this weekend...spiritual.

No, she doesn't have a clue, fan's pretty quiet but it's a bit daunting to put up a 16 foot ladder and climb up there and even if she did, the lab is pretty well hidden back there. But it's for her own good. If she knew what she doesn't know, she'd be glad she doesn't know.

I will be putting up another chapter later this week, it's gettin' frosty and I don't mean cold...

Peace, Hyena
 

Hyena Merica

Creme de la Creme Photos: Nov 2016, Jan, April & July 2017 - Grow Journal of the Month: May 2018
Re: Project 23 - Hydroponic Homemade Hybrids - Amnesia Haze x Blue Dream Plus Widow x

CHAPTER 7
STAYING PATIENT

Wow, we’re at 14 weeks now and this is the hardest part, for me. Because I want to move into my grow room and LIVE there.

“It can be as harmful to love too much, as to love too little.” -Wise Asian

So once daily, at least, I resist the urge to climb up there and meddle. But they are in there, plumping at an alarming rate. This whole thing is only seven plants.



When I do pop in to top off the reservoir, adjust PH, and smell awesomely fragrant flowers, I am the happiest person in the world. Today they all look perfect, not a single brown leaf tip anywhere, nothing out of balance, a literal sea of green. I’m not exactly sure why this grow in particular is developing with such beauty and vigor but my hunch is perfect temperatures (between 62-75) day and night. This time of year is optimal for our little green friends.



Haze x Blue Dream popping nicely everywhere. All that supecropping has resulted in an intertwined mass of thickening colas all finishing the stretch right at the right level. My most frequent mistake (a relative term) has been to insufficiently contain the rising hedge during the stretch period. Several times I ended up with the need to supercrop too many branches far later in the flowering phase than I wanted to. When supercropping, I believe the overall development of a branch is briefly slowed as it rebuilds tissue at the break, and during the final 3 weeks that somewhat reduces final size of the buds from the location of the break upward. So, I try to get the hedge to finish at the right height and this time we timed it pretty good.




The Blue Dream x Blue Dream girl is in a word, amazing. This is the most intoxicating blossom I have ever experienced…it isn’t skunky or cheesy, it’s simply sweetness on steroids. It’s like breathing sugar. I’m buzzed right now okay so go easy, I get a little kwazy with the analogies but if you could only smell it…



A close-up of a bud. Mmmm. It is so frosty and chunky already and we’re just getting started.




Our lone Widow Mix x Blue Dream is a bit slower to flower and a little more airy. It seems to be structurally sound but not the most aggressive blossomer quite yet. Nice smell, she seems delightful and my only slight concern is wondering if she will finish with the others. I can always chop in stages and do her last but I’m only going to wait so long with the next generation ready to go into the buckets. Maybe she will finish strong. Every grow, at least one plant does something that will surprise and intrigue me, and especially teach me. I love to learn more about growing and I read many people’s journals voraciously. But in the end we learn the most from our own plants.

They sleep. I dream. A Blue Dream…



Okay, it’s 15 weeks. I feel certain the bulk of my grow will finish nicely by mid-December which is the plan. We are looking super duper. I will let the images speak for themselves…



The Haze x Blue Dream crop is solid. Great swelling colas everywhere with the first few hairs starting to darken. I would never predict for sure when a crop will be finished…I can only say when it IS finished. All sorts of factors are involved, especially in indoor “boutique” growing, that can result in a plant taking longer (even much longer) to fully flower and mature. The seedbank claims about time frame are often a tad optimistic I have found. Not that some people more talented and experienced than myself can’t get those results, but let’s be honest, the average home grower will not typically be equipped to deliver anywhere near the level of overall light and nutrient support that a professional grow op can.



Haze x Blue Dream buds are so pretty.



Blue Dream x Blue Dream continue to be my favorite. She is strong and determined to impress me, frosting up like a freakin’ cake. I want to eat her with a scoop of ice cream she’s so bewitchingly sweet. If this bud turns out to be ultra kind I am leaning towards making her the bulk of the next grow. The Haze x BD is wicked but this BD x BD is something rare, the kind of plant you lay in bed and dream about smoking. I tell myself not to get emotionally involved but I think I am falling in love…



BDxBD in all her still-ripening beauty. She’ll be a woman soon.



The Widow Mix x BD is still noticeably slower to fill in. Her flowering is very sativaesque so far. Not much one can really do about a lagging plant, especially if the lag isn’t the result of a specific deficiency of hypersensitivity. I don’t see any indication of any problem.

Some of the buds seem to have particularly swollen individual flowers which could possibly indicate some seed development (?) and it occupies the same position in the grow where a blue dream plant sprouted one hermie flower which led to the birth of everybody here so it has my attention. But I can only know for sure in a month.

Meanwhile, I have examined the plant as well as you can considering it is part of a dense hedge and I don’t see any telltale pollen nor a male preflower, but I didn’t ever find the culprit last time and we got very pregnant. If it is the case perhaps there is a pinhole light leak somewhere in that area that I have yet to detect. Any rogue light ray like that, even if it’s really, really tiny, will cause almost any plant to grow a tiny set of balls. Even if it’s just one flower it can absolutely pollinate the entire room.



I clipped a small bud from each of the three for sampling in a week. Mmmmmmmm.



I have to place a few support strings to help hold up some of the branches. They’re getting deliciously heavy already.



These ladies are pleasing Daddy greatly. Starting to count the days until they give up their precious bounty. This part of a grow, for me, is the easiest and also, by far, the most enjoyable. I adore the budding phase with all its many colors and scents. It’s an utterly amazing pleasure to see and smell fresh budding exotic varieties of marijuana, a pleasure so few people ever get to experience.

I remember I was in my early 20’s before I ever saw my first mature live pot plant. It was an eight-foot beauty growing in the side yard of a residential property in Las Vegas and because it was one of my buddies growing it I was on the short list of people who got to see and admire it. I walked up to it and its shadow was enough to completely engulf me. Tall and dense. Thick. It was a marijuana tree…I was in awe.

You never forget your first love. I have since grown and come to know many beautiful cannabis plants but the memory of that first giant weed tree will always keep me mindful of the tremendous potential that exists inside every little reefer seed. No matter how humble or how large our plants are, we must always love them and believe they can become even more. They are our children and we owe our children that much. I’m so high. Can you tell?

All is well. Patience. Bye for now.

Peace, Hyena
 

MagicJim

Creme de la Creme Photos: Sept 2016
Re: Project 23 - Hydroponic Homemade Hybrids - Amnesia Haze x Blue Dream Plus Widow x

These ladies are pleasing Daddy greatly. Starting to count the days until they give up their precious bounty. This part of a grow, for me, is the easiest and also, by far, the most enjoyable. I adore the budding phase with all its many colors and scents. It’s an utterly amazing pleasure to see and smell fresh budding exotic varieties of marijuana, a pleasure so few people ever get to experience.

I remember I was in my early 20’s before I ever saw my first mature live pot plant. It was an eight-foot beauty growing in the side yard of a residential property in Las Vegas and because it was one of my buddies growing it I was on the short list of people who got to see and admire it. I walked up to it and its shadow was enough to completely engulf me. Tall and dense. Thick. It was a marijuana tree…I was in awe.

You never forget your first love. I have since grown and come to know many beautiful cannabis plants but the memory of that first giant weed tree will always keep me mindful of the tremendous potential that exists inside every little reefer seed. No matter how humble or how large our plants are, we must always love them and believe they can become even more. They are our children and we owe our children that much. I’m so high. Can you tell?

All is well. Patience. Bye for now.

Peace, Hyena
Amazing how we think alike my friend. Your plants are beautiful. I was curious about the BD x BD and now I know. and yeah, I knew you were high.

:thumb:
 

maineiac

New Member
Re: Project 23 - Hydroponic Homemade Hybrids - Amnesia Haze x Blue Dream Plus Widow x

Beautiful ladies!! :Namaste: I know you have a great deal of knowledge about growing, but these honeys look like a rival for brix growers. I'm envious because I'm only on my second grow, drooling over your girls!! Do so enjoy your grows!!
 
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