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Insom's First Grows! Blue Mystic Auto, Soil, Custom Bucket Setup With LEDs


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I've been meaning to start this, and now seems as good a time as any - I'm four weeks into my first grow ever, and just kicking off my second! Both plants are feminized Blue Mystic autoflowers from Nirvana seeds. We'll call our girls Lapis and Peridot - Lapis because she too is a blue mystic, and Peridot because who better to be her roommate?

I'm going to get all up into the details here, because I know I enjoy reading journals where people do that. So!

I've never grown anything before. I'm following guides and forum posts and improvising. This just seemed like it might be fun, and could end up saving me some money in the long run. I picked an autoflowering strain for the quicker turnaround and the simplicity of not having to manage the growth phases; once I have a few successful grows under my belt I'll try photoperiods out. It's turning out to be incredibly satisfying, which is why I just built a new grow space today that can support more plants at once.

Being a total novice, I'm open to (and grateful for) any advice or suggestions from those who know what they're doing, so don't be shy about jumping into the thread.

The old setup
5 gallon space-bucket arrangement, with one 4" computer fan in the side for air intake. Inside lined with reflective film, drainage holes and pan at the bottom. Lighting is a UFO-style 150w LED, full spectrum grow light attached to the top of the bucket. It has built in fans, which I reversed so they serve as exhaust from the bucket. Temperature inside generally stayed in the 70s, humidity between 20 - 60%. This little setup has actually worked great, and I'll definitely use it again if/when I get around to buying another LED. The only reason I'm not using it now is because I was having too much fun with my one plant and craved another, and the bucket is just big enough for one pot, so an upgrade was in order. Bucket 2.0!

The new setup
Two 20-gallon totes (~$6 at home depot), one upside down on top of the other. Outside's blacked out with contact paper, inside's lined with reflective film. Opening it means removing the top tote, which is where all the interesting stuff is:

- Attached to the center of the top, with a hole for ventilation and the power cord/switch, is the same UFO LED from the bucket. Again, the fan provides outward airflow. This is much higher placement than in the bucket, which should be good as I think Lapis was starting to bleach a little in there. This is plugged into a timer in a power strip.

- This time there are two computer fans for air intake, one on each of the short sides of the tote, both wired to a 12v adaptor, which is also plugged into the timer. I connected some flexible dryer ducting to act as a light trap on each fan, so the bucket sort of looks like a robot with springy silver arms. Bonus of this - I can peek through the tubing, past the fan, and get a good look at the plants and the temp/humidity meter, without taking off the top.

In the bottom tote there's a damp towel, both to catch runoff and for humidity; on top of that is a little shelf and that's where the pots sit. I can fit 2 3-gallon pots comfortably and could squeeze in some smaller ones or solo cups around them if I wanted. I set up some supports so in theory, I could move the shelf up and get the plants closer to the light.

Female Blue Mystic Autoflower, Nirvana seeds
Sprouted 1/7/2017, 4 weeks old now, currently flowering. 20/4 since seed.

Growing in a 3 gallon fabric pot in Fox Farms Ocean Forest. I've been managing her shape with some basic LST and it's worked out well - she's short but bushy with a good canopy of flower sites. Had a brief nute burn scare from accidentally overfeeding once with Grow Big; caught the problem quickly, flushed, and saw her quickly recover, aside from the few discolored leaves you'll still notice in the most recent pictures. Sticking to pH'd water for the most part, may try more diluted nutes once a week and see how she takes to it. I have a strong suspicion having more distance from the light in her new space is going to be good for her too.

Aside from the nutrient issue, this has been a really easy grow so far, and I'm super pleased with how she's looking. Non-burned leaves are a good rich green. Has a slight pleasant smell but nothing you can detect from outside the bucket, which is a plus.

Rooming with her is her new baby sister -

Female Blue Mystic Autoflower, Nirvana seeds
Started germination 2/12/2017

Handling this one the same way I germinated Lapis - between some wet paper towels, under a plate. This time with the advantage of being inside the balmy climates of the bucket! Lapis sprouted within a day or two; Peridot has been in the fridge a few weeks longer, we'll see if she keeps pace. Once she sprouts, she'll also be growing in a 3-gallon bucket (partially walled off at first, bottomless solo-cup style), but I've put an inch or so of perlite in the bottom and the soil is a mix of roughly 30% perlite to 70% FFOF.


A rough timeline of Lapis over the past few weeks, plus the new setup and Peridot.



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Lapis: 36 days from seed | Peridot: germinating

A few photo updates from today. Lapis is taking very well to the new space - moving the light further away was definitely the right call. No activity from Peridot yet. Next adjustment I want to make to the bucket? Handles. Lifting that top part is much more awkward than it was on the 5-gallon bucket.

I painted these toy cats to look like our cats, and now they're keeping Peridot company. :1:



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Lapis is 41 days old - and her sister Peridot has just been planted nextdoor!

Everyone send the baby good vibes. :Namaste:

Have noticed her shape change somewhat in the past week or so - she seems a little larger and less dense/bushy, with more branches stretching outward. Not sure if this is a response to her new larger growing space, or to recent feedings with Grow Big, or if it's just part of the natural growing process. She looks really healthy, as far as I can tell. Copious budding happening on multiple colas - LST has definitely been showing returns. As always, if anyone sees anything of concern or that I could improve, please let me know!



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Anyone out there?

Change is slow right now, though I've noticed the overall shape of Lapis morphing - leaves are getting thinner, branches are stretching out. She's still bushy at the core but has some very long branches, which I'm still managing with some gentle LST. Flowering continues, with tons of trichomes all over the place. :) Gave her her first dose of Tiger Bloom today - took a chance and went with a low-normal dose instead of a quarter-strength as she was showing some hints of deficiency (a few discolorations here and there). Fingers crossed!

Peridot, meanwhile, is still just chillin' in her pot. No ground broken yet, but any day now.



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So, first, some sad news. Peridot, the second Blue Mystic Auto, didn't make it. This is entirely my fault; I haven't really been myself for the past few weeks and I was pretty clumsy with that seedling. She never really had a fair shot. Pour one out for her. Taking her place on the left side of the bucket, while I get my head straightened out, is the last seed I have of this strain. We'll call her Amethyst.

If finances allow for it this month, I'm thinking of picking up another UFO LED and starting up the original 5-gallon bucket again, with one of my remaining 10 Nirvana ~mystery seeds~. (I don't want to grow any of those in the same space as my feminized girls, just in case.)

Lapis is flowering happily away, 53 days from seed, and she's put on some significant height. That main cola is super dense and bushy, with lots of nice bud sites all around. I'm going to try to be more deliberate with LST on Amethyst, since my first rough effort has worked out so well with Lapis. Still not too much odor, but what there is is subtle and pleasant.



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Will update with new pics later, but exciting news - Amethyst has sprouted and is looking great! Healthy little seedling with her first set of leaves growing in. Lapis, meanwhile, is 61 days from seed and just about ready to harvest, judging by the trichomes. Mostly cloudy, some amber, some clear. Going to give her another week or two, I think. I'm mostly growing as a treatment for insomnia - does that sound like the right time to harvest for sleepy effects? (The strain is indica-dominant already.)


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Well, the end is nigh! Lapis is just coming up on 10 weeks and it's about time to harvest. This strain seems to average out around this age, and the trichomes are looking about where I want them. She's been getting water only for the past week; planning to chop this weekend. Super excited, hope I do it right! I've also given in to temptation and bought enough supplies to run my original, smaller bucket at the same time...so once Lapis is harvested, I'm going to keep going with Amethyst in the big bucket and start one of my mystery seeds in the other one. I'm just having way too much fun with my new hobby.

Anyway, here are the girls! Next pics will probably be of harvest time...if anyone has any pointers or advice going in, about cutting/drying/curing/etc, please share them before this weekend!


RH was down in the 20s because winter, so I got the girls a little humidifier (the blue thing). Working out nicely so far.

Really living up to the 'blue' in 'blue mystic' here. Sorry for mediocre photo quality, but these flowers!

Amethyst and her little plastic guardians.


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Anyone out there? This post is well overdue, but...harvested Lapis two weekends ago! She was definitely ready - probably could have come down a few days earlier but I wanted a clear schedule to focus on the harvest. Wet weight was about 2 oz of bud and .5 oz of trim; the bud has dried down to ~.8 oz. My partner and I used the trim to make our first batch of cannabutter and baked it into some seriously tasty (and relaxing) blondies. Mmm. After two weeks curing, we've started sampling the bud. It smells fucking amazing and has a clean, fruity taste, with a mellow and happy chill high. The buds aren't very dense - lots of loose little flowers in the jar - but they smoke up very nicely. Overall I'm really happy with my first grow, and I'd definitely recommend this strain for beginners. Very easy and pretty quick too.

Back in the buckets, I have had no luck at all with the Nirvana freebies - still trying to germinate a couple, but if they continue to not do anything I'll probably buy some new ones. Want to try a photoperiod next, not sure what strain yet.

In the 5-gallon bucket, my remaining Blue Mystic Auto - Amethyst - is doing awesome. She's growing in super dense and bushy just like Lapis did, and this time I didn't make the mistake of over-feeding, so no days lost to burn and recovery. Yay! LST is going well - if anything it's hard to keep up with all the growth. I've defoliated just a little and am experimenting with ponytailing part-time to help the lower nodes get more light. Been adjusting all the ties regularly, and watering every few days. Feeding schedule right now alternates between pH'd h2o and a mix with Fox Farms Grow Big and Big Bloom; so far so good.

I'll try and get some new pictures up soon, if anyone's following this...
Hope all is well in your world.

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Sending you lots of love and positive energy.

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