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In The Lab

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Doc Bud

Well-Known Member
Hello fellow growers, medical users and Cannabis aficionados!

I thought I would start a journal of a slightly different format. It's going to be an informational journal, where I'll demonstrate what I do, from seedling to harvest, step by step.

I won't be posting as often, as plants take time to grow, so in between posts I'll be happy to answer questions about my methods. I'll also dish out unsolicited advice, tell fish stories and generally have a curmudgeon-like negative opinion about most topics....so take it all with a grain of salt!

So, the first thing I do is mix up soil. This is very boring. It involves putting soil in a cement mixer, adding amendments, and turning the damn thing on for about 10 minutes. After that, the soil goes into rubber garbage cans, seen in the photo's below. I let it "cook" there for about a month before using the soil.

So, here we have the cooked soil placed in 1 gallon pots.


Here's my method for starting with clones:

1.)place soil in the pot, compress by hand and make a little "pooch" in the soil large enough to accommodate the cutting.



2.) put a liberal coating of Root Zone inoculate in the hole, especially on the bottom. You can also dust the actual roots of the cutting if you wish, but I find I waste product this way. It just works better to put it in the soil.


This product that I'm using is designed specifically for High Brix growing. It contains all the right mycorrhiza, some pre-digested rock powders and a few other doodads that really make healthy roots and colonize the soil to prepare for a hyperactive soil biology.

3.)Here's a gallon of water, mixed with one ounce of "Transplant," which is made by adding one ounce of "Transplant" to one gallon of water. This is a concentrated organic nutrient broth, with everything in the right ratio. It is designed to be used specifically with the Root Zone product and basically contains about 2 weeks worth of nutrition for the soil.



4.)Carefully fill in around the cutting and gently pack it in place.


5.)The final step is to water each cutting with 1 pint of transplant water, made in step 3.

The plants are now ready to go under the T5 lights and will live there for 1 to 4 weeks, depending on space in the garden.

A word about "hardening off" clones and cuttings:

In the past, I would transition cuttings from the clone dome to pots by venting the dome, taking the lid off a bit, etc. The idea was to get the cuttings ready to leave their warm, moist little clone dome and prepare to live in the big bad world of the garden.

Well, since going High Brix some very nice things have developed!

Daily spraying with "Stress" makes for very healthy cuttings, faster rooting, and zero need for hardening off. They literally go from the under the unvented dome one day, to the T5 the next...and they take off!

Here's what a healthy, High Brix clone looks like 10 days after being cut from the parent plant



So, I did this today. It took about 20 minutes.

Next installment: watering technique for vegetative growth.
 

gittergreen

Plant of the Month: Jan 2013
Re: "In the Lab" with Doc Bud

WAHOOOO! I am stoked about this journal! Thank you @420. Subscribed!
 

gittergreen

Plant of the Month: Jan 2013
Re: "In the Lab" with Doc Bud

Well, this stuff is pretty simple and easy to do. I thought I'd just chronicle it, step by step. I hope people find it helpful, and not just boring.
Not boring at all Doc! I think it's cool to see exactly how you do things. All these little things add up to big success.
You are helping many newbies get a great start to cannabis growing for many years to come! And I'm sure I will learn better techniques as well.
 

Doc Bud

Well-Known Member
Re: "In the Lab" with Doc Bud

Not boring at all Doc! I think it's cool to see exactly how you do things. All these little things add up to big success.
You are helping many newbies get a great start to cannabis growing for many years to come! And I'm sure I will learn better techniques as well.
This is the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Over time, we'll have a system designed to grow just this plant....and then be strain specific, all while achieving even higher brix.

Think fine wine and fine cigars all wrapped up together. A delight for all the senses, healthy and it brings people together!
 

gittergreen

Plant of the Month: Jan 2013
Re: "In the Lab" with Doc Bud

I notice you leave a lot of leaves on your clones and do not trim the tips like most (me) I have tried it that way on a few and they were the one's that didn't make it. I have read in a couple of grow bibles that trimming the tips let's the plant concentrate on growing roots and not so much keeping the leaves up. I know you can't tell me why my clones failed that were not trimmed without all the details but what are your thoughts on this? To trim or not to trim that is my question!:3:
 

Doc Bud

Well-Known Member
Re: "In the Lab" with Doc Bud

I notice you leave a lot of leaves on your clones and do not trim the tips like most (me) I have tried it that way on a few and they were the one's that didn't make it. I have read in a couple of grow bibles that trimming the tips let's the plant concentrate on growing roots and not so much keeping the leaves up. I know you can't tell me why my clones failed that were not trimmed without all the details but what are your thoughts on this? To trim or not to trim that is my question!:3:
Taking clones:

I'm into teen moms....I don't keep mother plants, I take cuttings from plants when I prune them. Sometimes it's just a topping, other times it's topping and taking the lower 2 or 3 branches.

I look for woody, stiff stemmed cuttings, not soft ones. The High Brix creates very strong stems, so this isn't really an issue, but the more woody and stiff, the better....so to speak.

I cut them from the plant, place them into a cup of water with GH rooting formula and then further trim them up before sticking them into the Rapid Rooters.

I trim all fan leaves except the top most fan leaf, which I usually trim off about halfway. This leaves the young, new growth at the apical meristem, and one hacked up fan leaf, which I pinch off in a day or two. The leaves you're seeing on these clones grew while they were rooting!

This never happened before I went High Brix. I think it's 100% due to the health of the cuttings when they're taken, and the spraying with "Stress," which has plant growth regulators (natural) and a broad spectrum of trace minerals.

I put them under the dome, and pour the water the clones were soaking in into the tray. I ignore it after that...except for spraying. I don't bother looking for roots. After a couple days the plant starts growing and when it really starts pumping out leaves, I know I'll find nice, white roots sticking out of the cubes.

If I have room for them under the T5....I'll transplant. If I don't have a place for them, I nip off the roots and put 'em back under the dome.
 

CoryDavid88

New Member
Re: "In the Lab" with Doc Bud

Great start. I'll take a seat and watch to envy!
 

Doc Bud

Well-Known Member
Re: "In the Lab" with Doc Bud

Watering Technique for Vegetative Growth

Vegetative growth is all about preparing the plant to bloom. Isn't that what it's all about, the bloom? Who cares how nice they look in veg....we want the finished product, period.

Having said that, the single most important thing to achieve prior to blooming is a robust, very large root system. I want a gallon sized rootball, nearly rootbound, when I transplant and bloom. Here's how I do it:

We'll assume the reader is using proper soil, good water, and is in a proper environment.

Back in my Hempy days, I learned very fast that it takes a week or so for the roots to grow about 10 inches down to the bottom of the pot. The plants really took off once those roots hit the moist reservoir at the bottom of the pot.

It's the same deal with soil. Most of the moisture is in the "perched water table" at the bottom of the pot.

1.)Soak the medium at the first transplanting of fresh, rooted clones into soil. Water very light again a few days later, just to moisten the top of the medium. Do not soak it again.

2.)Do not water again until the plants look like they're starting to droop. Give them a good watering at this point.

3.)Again, wait until they're starting to droop for lack of water (probably now a good 8-10 days after transplant) and this time place the pots in a tub of water and really soak the roots. As they drain, tilt the pots this way and that to try to pour off as much of the perched water table as possible.

4.)Again wait till they droop and this time give them a good feeding, making sure to add beneficials being careful to soak them.

By letting them dry out we're forcing the roots to really work at finding moisture and they'll quickly fill the pots, which is what we want. The growth you see up top will be far less spectacular, but there will be one important gain that experienced growers will appreciate:

The plants will be smaller with tighter internodes. This is because all the energy has been put into the roots, not the foliage.

At this point, the leaves will really take off, but the plant will be root bound pretty bad, so if you're trying to do a 2 plants SCOG or grow montrous trees, a second veg transplant will be needed. I like to prune up these small plants, take cuttings and put them into bloom pretty fast.

One of the worst problems you can have is a great big mass of green leaves with a substandard root system. Plants like that simply can't keep up with the demands of flowering their roots aren't up to the task.

On the other hand, having great roots and not so much foliage (you'll still have lovely leaves, just not as many) means the plant isn't wasting energy just trying to feed what's already there, or desperately trying to grow roots....it has all kinds of spare energy to concentrate on blooming!

Instead of doubling in size, my plants quadruple in size sometimes. The leaf to calyx ratio is better.....fewer leaves, more buds.

And best of all, there are so many roots that it makes it very hard to overwater and drown the roots.

Roots! That's the most important thing to accomplish for a vigorous bloom. These simple techniques aren't the ONLY way; they may not even be the best way....but they certainly work consistently.

Next up: watering techinique in bloom.
 

gittergreen

Plant of the Month: Jan 2013
Re: "In the Lab" with Doc Bud

Doc, That's almost exactly how I watered mine in veg and bloom for that matter but I noticed some of them now in bloom are still on the heavy side after 7 days they are not quite as big either. The only thing I can think of is when I was transplanting them I was in a major
hurry and forgot to add the mycorizae to the root ball on some of them.(probably why they are a smidge smaller huh?) Should I treat them differently than the others and let them go a couple more days before water?

I know you will cover this in your next post I just get hungry for knowledge lol When I get a new magazine or grow book I tend to read the whole thing in one sitting lol. So that being said pay no attention to my over zealous habits.:)
 

Doc Bud

Well-Known Member
Re: "In the Lab" with Doc Bud

Doc, That's almost exactly how I watered mine in veg and bloom for that matter but I noticed some of them now in bloom are still on the heavy side after 7 days they are not quite as big either. The only thing I can think of is when I was transplanting them I was in a major
hurry and forgot to add the mycorizae to the root ball on some of them.(probably why they are a smidge smaller huh?) Should I treat them differently than the others and let them go a couple more days before water?

I know you will cover this in your next post I just get hungry for knowledge lol When I get a new magazine or grow book I tend to read the whole thing in one sitting lol. So that being said pay no attention to my over zealous habits.:)
You can add the mycorizae right now if you sink a tube down near the roots and pour the stuff into the tube. You'll probably be OK as long as you had alot on the roots the first time....you'll just be slow for a week or two and a bit smaller overall.

Bloom Watering Technique

Now that we've got a root system, healthy, shiney leaves and have transplanted into 7 gallon pots we have a challenge. On the one hand, root development is going to go through the roof, and on the other hand, foliage is going to increase too. This can be very demanding on the plants.

I'll cover transplanting with a pictoral post, which is important, but for now we'll just talk about watering technique.

You don't want to overwater! At this stage, drowning roots is the worst thing you can do. You want roots filling those pots right to the bottom. This would be easy if we just watered like we did in veg.....

On the other hand, you also want to grow leaves and flowers.....What to do?

For the first 4 weeks, water just enough to keep the medium moist, not wet. I often use just a single gallon of water. This keeps the microbes alive and well----they go dormant when it's dry.

After about 4 weeks of this, the roots are circling the bottom of the container and you can afford to give them a good soaking, whcih is a great idea at this point.

From weeks 5 to finish, I alternate between deep soakings and gallon top-offs. The last 2 or 3 weeks, I only top off with a gallon, just enough to keep the medium slightly moist.

A medium that drains and breathes really well is a huge help, as it insures oxygen to the root zone. On the other hand, a medium that dry's and drains well is harder to keep a microbial population alive in.....so we have a trade off.

The watering technique is designed to help navigate these challenges and produce healthy, large blooms.
 

gittergreen

Plant of the Month: Jan 2013
Re: "In the Lab" with Doc Bud

Your not using any lava rocks as a soil compaction preventative anymore are you? The minerals help keep this from becoming a problem right?
 

Doc Bud

Well-Known Member
Re: "In the Lab" with Doc Bud

Your not using any lava rocks as a soil compaction preventative anymore are you? The minerals help keep this from becoming a problem right?
Promix HP is designed to drain, so no need to include any rocks. I might include them if I was using a version of Promix without the extra perlite.

Also, as you pointed out, the minerals we're adding also help with the structure of the soil. It's amazing what happens to muddy clay soil when you just add minerals to it.
 

gittergreen

Plant of the Month: Jan 2013
Re: "In the Lab" with Doc Bud

Dah! I see the perlite now.:thumb:
 

Icemud

Member of the Month: July 2012, July 2014 - Nug of the Month: July 2012
Re: "In the Lab" with Doc Bud

Very nice start to your instructional journal Doc!!! Always a pleasure reading what you have to say :) I'm subbed for sure
 

Doc Bud

Well-Known Member
Re: "In the Lab" with Doc Bud

I will be watching and learning soil! I also have a friend new to growing and he has decided to grow in soil so I'll have him followw this journal as well. Thanks for doing this doc
He's going to have a hard time following unless he gets my kit. Everything I'm using and writing about on this journal has to do with my High Brix Kit.
 
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