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JASPL's First Grow — Durban Poison - Big Bud - Kalashnikova — Outdoor 2012

JASPL

Member
JASPL's First Grow — Durban Poison, Big Bud, Kalashnikova — Outdoor 2012

MyGrow— A little history
I started smoking at an early age back in the mid 70's. Most of the weed around at that time was "Acapulco Gold," "Panama Red," "Thai Stick," or "Columbian." Who knows what it really was. Seriously, the days of smoking choice buds with known genetics hadn't arrived — at least to my neck of the woods. I'd rarely seen a bag without seeds and a few stems. It was a routine part of getting a new stash to pour it out on the inside of an album cover and using a playing card to sift out the seeds (which promptly went into a 35mm film canister). Hash was a rare luxury. Much later on I learned that nobody really smokes the leaves. Go figure.

Anyway, I made it out of college, married and raised two girls who are now away at school. I never really gave up smoking entirely, but you reach an age and circumstance in life where risk comes to mind and you begin taking less chances and playing your cards a bit closer to the vest.

With the economy being what it is I've recently taken the opportunity to begin growing a great deal of our food. Along the way I decided to try my hand at cannabis. I still need to take a little risk, right? This is my first grow in about 35 years. It seems strange saying I haven't done something in that long. Time sure has a way of flying by.

Back in late-November I decided on three strains and I secured the following 10-packs of feminized seeds:
- Durban Poison from Dutch Passion — DP is a sativa/indica blend but mostly sativa of medium height suitable for indoor or out, taste described as sweet licorice or sweet aniseed (I'm thinking Sambvca?), planted in April and ready in mid-September.
- Big Bud from Sensei Seeds — BB is an indica/sativa blend of medium height usually grown indoors but many sources say outdoors ok too. A big producer with sweet fruity flavor requires an 8-14 week flowing period. Yields are supposed to be great.
- Kalashnikova from Greenhouse Seeds — Kalashnikova is an indica with short 7 week flowering time, fruit-spice flavor, and hard hitting body high.

From what I could gather, these strains were OK for a new grower, suitable for an outside grow, offered a mix of indica and sativa, and otherwise sounded interesting to me. Time will tell.

I've spent about a year reading the forums of various grow sites (420 is the best!), as well as books by Jorge Cervantes and S.T. Oner, and watching YouTube videos trying to gather as much information as possible to improve my chances of success. I like to think I researched everything and have it all figured out but I know that's not true. Much of what I do will be trial and error, but I figure the journey will be fun.

My Grow - Germination
I began trying to germinate my seeds in late-March. With a last frost date in my area of mid-May, I realize I started too early but the weather was real nice and I suppose I was a bit anxious. This worked out OK for me because my first attempt was a complete bust. Prior to now I always used Jiffy peat pellets with great success in my vegetable garden. I activated a dozen pellets with water, added four seeds from each variety, placed the pellets in a humidity dome and set them on a germination warming mat on a shelf. I waited four weeks for these seeds to break the surface and nothing happened. The post mortem on the seeds showed they opened and started showing a tap root but never progressed past that stage. I'm guessing perhaps they were a bit too warm?

By now I'm a bit worried. Ya'll know what these seeds cost and not counting the freebies I just blew nearly half my load. It's nearing the end of April and I don't have anything started. I figured no need to panic - let's regroup and go to plan B. I make a visit to the local hydro shop to check out the rockwool cubes. The guy there assures me that rockwool will make any seed pop. I put down my cash and set out to prove him right.

I added two tablespoons of concentrate lemon juice per gallon of warm water, let the cubes absorb all they want, set the seeds in the predrilled holes, placed them back in the humidity dome and set them on the warming pad. THREE DAYS later eight of those babies broke ground. I was stoked. Finally, I was on my way to my first grow.

Germination Lessons Learned: *Patronize your local grow shop — they have the knowledge and experience to set you straight and give you a little confidence boost. *Rockwool is da bomb! - no more Jiffy pucks for me. *Warming mat plus T5 lights (on a bottom shelf) probably make seeds a little too warm — next time have handy a small digital thermometer.

My Grow — Seedlings
I waited till the seedlings grew the first set of true leaves and I started to see roots growing from the bottom of the rockwool cubes before transplanting. I had a package of 12 oz. Solo cups that I would use as a preliminary container. While at the hydro shop the week prior I settled on a bag of Fox Farm Ocean Forest. I filled the cups about 1/3rd the way full, dropped the rockwool cube and seedling into the cup, and then carefully filled the remaining space with the soil mix. This resulted in the stem of the seedlings being buried right up to the first leaves. I'd read where the stem would develop roots when buried similar to a tomato and thought I would give it a try. It worked just fine. I removed the heating mat at this time.

For lights I had a 4', 4-bulb HydroFarm T5 fixture and bulbs. I hung it using two small sections of chain and "S" hooks so I could adjust the height as the seedlings grew. Following advice from this forum I withheld any fertilizer for the first two weeks. I watered them with plain tap water as needed, always allowing the surface to dry between watering. I kept the light within 4" of the top growth.

Seedlings Lessons Learned: *Be careful with using cups without drainage holes. Lurking beneath that crusty surface is too much water ready to suffocate your roots. Poke a couple of holes if you need to use the cups. *Also consider using the larger 4x4 or 6x6 rockwool cubes.

MyGrow — Vegetative Stage (Indoors)
After about the third week of growth (I'm guestimating times) the seedlings reached a height of about eight inches from the top of the cup. They were very bushy and not at all leggy, which I attribute to keeping the light so close. I went back to the local hydro shop and purchased enough one gallon pots and Ocean Forest to transplant the seedlings. In addition, since I was still a couple of weeks away from being safely able to move outside, I purchased two more HydroFarm fixtures to hang from the sides of my shelf. I should also note I was keeping my HydroFarm lights on 24-hours per day.

I transplanted the seedlings to the one gallon pots using the same burial technique I used before — sinking them up to the first set of leaves. I noted the seedlings had a very nice foundation of strong, white roots. I also gave my first feeding using Fox Farm Grow Big and Big Bloom. I mixed one teaspoon of each into one gallon of tap water and watered the eight one gallon containers with three gallons of mix. Also at this time I placed a 16" oscillating pedestal fan near the end of my shelf set on low speed. I did this to start training the stems to grow stronger.

By the fourth week I started seeing what I suspected was a magnesium deficiency. I added ½ teaspoon Epsom salt, ½ teaspoon of pulverized lime, and one teaspoon of sulfur free molasses (all per gallon) to my every week feeding schedule. I also misted with a ½ teaspoon of Epsom salt in a one quart spray bottle. Sadly, the condition I suspected to be a magnesium deficiency in two of my plants progressively worsened until about 60% of the leaf surface appeared burnt. pH tested out at 6.5 so this wasn't a problem. Despite trying to flush these plants with plain water I never solved the problem with them and ultimately lost the battle at the end of the sixth week. My best guess is I overfed them. New growers don't overdo anything, right? I took a couple of pictures with my phone but they are truly unsuitable for publishing. I need to buy a camera. Down to six plants and it's time to make plans for moving outdoors.

Vegetative (Indoor) Lessons Learned: *Light is a good thing but don't let them get too close or you will get crispy leaves. *That fan made stems into trunks — having grown many pepper plants which are similar in structure and stature at this stage I'm very impressed with the effect. *Less is more when it comes to ferts. Feed according to how your plants look and not according to some schedule you found online. *Don't feel it necessary to react to every leaf blemish or droopy stem. Much like raising children, these plants seem remarkable resilient despite our best efforts to over diagnose and over medicate. Keep It Simple Stupid!

MyGrow — Moving Day!
Late last fall I built three new raised beds in my garden. They are outlined with 2x8 boards and are 48' long. The first bed contains a new planting of blackberries, the second red raspberries. The third would be the spot of my first marijuana grow. Each bed received a layer of semi-composted horse manure from a reputable local stable known for the excellent care they provide their horses. Yes, there are quality issues when it comes to most manures. Expecting good results with manure from some old nag fed mostly grass and little grain is not going to produce quality manure. On top of this manure I placed a mix of local topsoil mixed with leaf compost. This was covered with black plastic and allowed to set over the winter. This spring I gently turned over the beds with a fork and topped them off with a compost mixture I make out of maple leaves, grass clippings, and chicken manure. The worms just love my compost piles!

It is the day before Mother's day and after acclimating my plants to the outdoors for a few days it is now time to move to the garden. I set out the plants in the bed where I want them. It has been my intention to control plant height by gently and gradually bending the stalks over and tying them to stakes in the ground. Spacing will be about every six to eight feet so I have plenty of room. I dig holes about twice as deep and twice as wide as my one gallon pots, and once again bury the plants right up to the first set of leaves, same as before. I carefully backfill around the plants while building a small ridge around them to help contain water. I never use pesticides in my garden so I take the opportunity now to release 1,500 lady bugs in a nearby garlic patch. All the plants are watered in with tap water. Soil pH is 6.8. I'd like to see that a little lower but I will resist the urge to micromanage to the smallest detail and continue to monitor.

Moving Day Lessons Learned: *Pay a little bit closer attention to the path of the sun during the growing season. The fence next to my bed blocks direct sun from about 4:00 on. This should improve a bit over the next few weeks. They have direct sun from about 0900 till then so no big deal but in another month that will be at least three hours of direct sun lost per day. Perhaps during the heat of summer this might be a good respite from the late-day heat?

MyGrow — Vegetative (Outdoors)
My plants have been outdoors for two weeks. I stopped and bought a small digital camera today so I can finally introduce all of you to the ladies.

2012-05-22_LineOfLadies.JPG

2012-05-22_DurbanPoison_1.JPG
2012-05-22_BigBud_1.JPG


I've ended up with three Durban Poison, two Big Bud and one Kalashnikova. Of course, I wrote the names with a sharpie on each pot and failed to transfer the names with the transplant. I'm going to assume the three plants that are 4-6" taller than the others are the Durban's given their sativa tendencies (height and leaf shape) and the one shorter one is the Kalashnikova's. Perhaps this will become clearer as they grow. It doesn't matter - so long as they are all healthy I will love them all the same!

I have continued using the Fox Farm nutrients along with the molasses about every 8 to 10 days. pH is stable and rain has been consistent enough so they haven't required any watering. That fence is six feet high so the tallest plants are right around the 28-30" mark with nothing shorter than 24". We are about one month from the summer solstice so I don't expect to see overt sexual traits till after then. My goal is to continue to support vegetative growth. I'm a big believer in shallow cultivating between plants once a week. Overall I'm happy with my progress thus far.

I will update this log every two to three weeks or sooner if something changes. I welcome your comments, suggestions and questions.

Hope this wasn't too long of an introduction but I enjoyed writing for you.

JASPL :peace:
 

Icemud

Member of the Month: July 2012, July 2014 - Nug of the Month: July 2012
Re: JASPL's First Grow — Durban Poison, Big Bud, Kalashnikova — Outdoor 2012

Very nice grow you have going on Jaspl! and excellent job starting off your journal and including details, lessons learned and techniques! Glad to have you here at 420 Mag! Here is a suggestion for you to check out for your med plants and veggies, look into compost tea! Your plant's will love you for it! :) awesome job so far!
 

Giovanni831

Member
Re: JASPL's First Grow — Durban Poison, Big Bud, Kalashnikova — Outdoor 2012

Those things look like decent size for being out there two weeks. Might consider a little epson salt for the light colored new growth. Honestly didn't read what other nutes you had going on beside the FF. All in all, looking good brother.
 

ConqueringLOJ

Plant of the Month: Aug 2011
Re: JASPL's First Grow — Durban Poison, Big Bud, Kalashnikova — Outdoor 2012

Looking great so far! I'm subscribed?

Good luck with the grow!!
 

JASPL

Member
Re: JASPL's First Grow — Durban Poison, Big Bud, Kalashnikova — Outdoor 2012

MyGrow - New Update

Week 6 since germination
Nearly week 3 outdoors

Good News - Overall the plants have been reasonably easy to manage. I've continued using the Fox Farm Grow Big, Fox Farm Big Bloom, Molasses and 1/2 tsp Epsom Salt and 1/2 tsp. pelletized lime per weekly feeding. I have also supplemented this with a few handfuls of my homemade compost that is a mixture of grass clippings, maple leaves and chicken manure. The Durban Poison plants have been growing ~ 6" per week and the Big Bud a bit less. The Kalashnikova doesn't seem to grow much but remains quite bushy and healthy in appearance.

One of the big dangers for us outdoor growers are bugs. My biggest issue has been potato leafhoppers. Luckily, they seem to just be using my plants for a resting area. I don't see any damage and they aren't even laying eggs. Here is a link if you are interested in seeing them. Potato Leafhoppers | University of Kentucky Entomology Not being a big fan of insecticides I will let them be and continue to monitor.

Now for the pics!

This is my nicest Durban Poison. Those stakes are 6 feet high out of the ground.

DurbanPoison_Biggest_2012-06-07.JPG


This is the best Big Bud plant.

BigBud_Nice_2012-06-07.JPG


This is the little Kalashnikova - short and stout!

Kalashnikova_2012-06-07.JPG



Now for the BAD news

I went away for a long weekend. While I was away the garden was pounded several times with severe thunderstorms. Two of my plants, one DP and one BB were bent over laying on the ground. I have since staked all the plants and wrapped some sisel cord around them. They are well supported now but some damage was done.

This DP is looking real unhappy but I'm hoping will rally and repair itself.

DurbanPoison_Feeling_Weak_2012-06-07.JPG


This BB doesn't look like its going to make it. I've secured it with a stake, watered the heck out of it, and gave it a small snack. Time will tell but the main stem where it comes out of the ground looks quite damaged. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

BigBud_Storm_Damage_2012-06-07.JPG


New Problem - This week I've been having a tough time getting my pH up. You'll notice that though the plants are growing well and don't show too many blemishes and what-not, they don't have that nice deep green that I would expect. I have a pretty good pH meter and prior to this week its been right around 6.2 to 6.4. On Monday I checked one plant and it was 5.7 to 5.8. I upped the lime from 1/2 tsp to 2 tsp per gallon of fert water. Each plants gets about 1/2 gallon. Tonight I check all the plants and two of them are measuring an even 5.0. I added one cup of pelletized lime around the base of those plants, scratched it in, and watered. I will check them again this weekend.

Lessons Learned:

1) These plants lack the root structure to support themselves with high winds. Corn plants have "brace roots" above ground to help them stand up, but even plants on the edge of a field will fall over in high winds. STAKE THE PLANTS ONCE THEY GET A FEW FEET HIGH - ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE IN AN OPEN AREA WITH NO WIND BREAK. A couple of t-posts and a few pieces of string are all you need. Don't lose a good plant like I did.

2) Check EACH plant pH every week. Remember pH is measured on a logarithmic scale. The difference between 6.2 and 6.4 is much less than the difference between 5.2 and 5.4. I really let the pH get away (5.0 !!!) from me and am now forced to play catch-up. The danger with catch-up is the chance to overshoot my target. Is this should happen during a critical time of bud development the yield could be hurt. I need to remember this isn't like growing tomatoes. If I loose ten plants out of 100 its no big deal. But when we factor in seed costs, time, care and effort the loss of one plant out a half dozen HURTS! We outdoor growers really only get one chance per year to make this right so pay attention!

Thats all for now. I hope you've enjoyed the update. I welcome your comments and suggestions.

JASPL:peace:
 

NLnovice

New Member
Re: JASPL's First Grow — Durban Poison, Big Bud, Kalashnikova — Outdoor 2012

Those plants are huge...
I hope you don't have nosy neighbors. Looks like those plants
are going to grow taller than your fence. Sorry to see the damage
on those two plants.... at least you won't let that happen again.
A few questions for you....

How are you checking your PH? (Soil, runoff?)
Have you considered using your compost to make an aerated tea?
Thought about using organics instead of Fox Farm?

Great job so far and good luck for the rest of the grow.
 

JASPL

Member
Re: JASPL's First Grow — Durban Poison, Big Bud, Kalashnikova — Outdoor 2012

NL:

I check my pH using a direct soil probe made by Kelway called "Soil pHD." I purchased it a couple of years ago via Amazon. I have access to a testing lab and the meter has been verified to be spot on. Just 24 hours after scratching in the cup of pelletized lime I can see an improvement in green color. Could me my hopeful imagination but I will check pH again this evening at the 48-hour mark.

I've read about compost teas but haven't found any clear evidence that they are an improvement over mixing it in dry with a good watering to follow.

When I purchased the Fox Farm I only bought the one quart bottles. Consequently, I'm nearing the end of my supply of Grow Big and will need to purchase something else. I'm open to suggestions. I've always been more a fan of dry fertilizers and have extensively used many of the organics made by Espoma on the remainder of my fruits and vegetables.

Thanks.


JASPL:peace:
 

Alaskan1

Member of the Month: Sept 2012 - Nug of the Month: Apr 2013
Re: JASPL's First Grow — Durban Poison, Big Bud, Kalashnikova — Outdoor 2012

Silica !!!!!! Will strengthen your plants and they will be able to withstand the wind and bugs a lot better
 

JASPL

Member
Re: JASPL's First Grow — Durban Poison, Big Bud, Kalashnikova — Outdoor 2012

Thanks for all the comments everyone.

Alaskan1 - please tell me more about Silica.

7 weeks post germination
4 weeks outdoors

Fox Farm Grow Big (2 tsp), Fox Farm Big Bloom (2 tsp), Molasses (2 tsp), and Pelletized Lime continue. Received 2 1/2 inches of rain mid-week. pH trending back up to 6.0-6.2

I ended up losing those two plants that suffered storm damage last week. Really stinks when you only have six in the ground.

New pics from this morning:

From the left is Durban Poison (she's a big girl!), followed by a pair of Big Bud and then the diminutive Kalashnikova. In the foreground are new red raspberries and black berries.

2012-06-15_Garden_001.JPG


I've been thinking about the best way to keep these plants protected from more wind damage vs making sure I'm not blocking too much sun from hitting the interior. I don't want to truss them up too tight. Right now most of them have four metal t-posts and twine wrapped around them. I can see some of the branches eventually getting too heavy (hopefully!) and requiring some sort of support. I'm open to ideas.

This Durban Poison is staying pretty well open. She has a nice thick trunk, too.
2012-06-15_Garden_002.JPG


2012-06-15_Garden_003.JPG


This Big Bud seems a bit too tight. Perhaps I will move those stakes out and let the branches fall down a bit.
2012-06-15_Garden_004.JPG


The Kalishnikov is really a neat little plant. Probably only 3.5 to 4' high but wow, is it bushy. I'm looking forward to getting some great shots of her when she starts to bud.
2012-06-15_Garden_006.JPG


That's all for now. Hope everyone is doing well.

Regards,

JASPL:peace:
 

NLnovice

New Member
Re: JASPL's First Grow — Durban Poison, Big Bud, Kalashnikova — Outdoor 2012

May I come over and sit in your yard and drool?
Plants look super healthy and deep deep green.
As for Silica, I have read a lot about Dyna-Gro Pro-Tekt.
A brief description...
Silicon is an element that is often overlooked in plant nutrition. Pro-TeKt provides supplemental potassium and silicon in an easy to use liquid concentrate. Benefits of silicon include greater tolerance of environmental stresses and mineral toxicity or deficiency. Silicon deposited in cell walls forms a Pro-TeKtive barrier, defending your plants from water loss due to high temperatures. The increased strength of cell walls also results in drastic improvement of stem and branch strength. Since, silicon is rapidly bound in leaf tissue and deposited in a non-translocatable form within 24 hours of uptake, a continuous source of soluble silicon throughout the plant's life is very important.

Keep up the good work
 

gittergreen

Plant of the Month: Jan 2013
Re: JASPL's First Grow — Durban Poison, Big Bud, Kalashnikova — Outdoor 2012

Looks great JA! Your going to need a 14 foot ladder by harvest or you might be able to climb it lol. wow! subbed!
 

Icemud

Member of the Month: July 2012, July 2014 - Nug of the Month: July 2012
Re: JASPL's First Grow — Durban Poison, Big Bud, Kalashnikova — Outdoor 2012

Wow those are going to be king kong sized plants!!! very healthy looking so far. Advanced Nutrients makes a product called Silica Blast as well for adding silicon to the soil. I got a sample bottle of it and have used it and my plants seem pretty sturdy... we will see though..

Ive seen a lot of people say good things about the Protect silica
 

Alaskan1

Member of the Month: Sept 2012 - Nug of the Month: Apr 2013
Re: JASPL's First Grow — Durban Poison, Big Bud, Kalashnikova — Outdoor 2012

i am using DM Silica and I'm liking it so far in my hydro systems
I might also add that Silica help fend off pesky critters since the cell wallls are so much stronger and harder to break through
 

JASPL

Member
Re: JASPL's First Grow — Durban Poison, Big Bud, Kalashnikova — Outdoor 2012

Thanks for the comments everyone. A little encouragement goes a long way.

This is week 9 post germination (week of April 23rd).
This is week 6 being outdoors (Mother's Day).

Update: All the plants continue to grow vigorously with no significant problems to report.

I failed to note during my last update that I've started adding 1 cup of dried blood (Espoma) to each feeding. For those not familiar, dried blood is 15-0-0 and is a great source of readily available nitrogen. My plants were lacking that deep green color I wanted and this addition seems to have help color and growth. I just pour one cup of it around the drip line of the plant and scratch it in a little.

In addition to the dried blood, I've continued to use Fox Farm Grow Big and Big Bloom, Epsom Salts, Pelletized Lime, and Molasses as previously described.

2012-06-30_Garden_001.JPG


I'm stretching the feedings out to about every 10 days. Honestly, the size of the plants is beginning to become a concern. That Durban Poison is 7.5 feet tall! The Big Bud and the Kalashnikova on the right are starting to crowd each other and I'm concerned the shading is going to effect yield. This morning I transplanted four of the "Mammoth Sunflower" plants in order to provide more space but I think I will need to consider moving these plants further apart.

Durban Poison:

2012-06-30_Garden_002.JPG


This Big Bud (2nd from right) has developed a heavy main branch that is crowding the Kalashnikova.

2012-06-30_Garden_003.JPG


Question #1: Does anyone have experience moving plants this size? We are having a family visitors on a few occasions this summer and I suspect there will be some activity around the garden. I've been kicking around the idea of transplanting to large containers - I'm thinking cut down trash cans. This will solve my spacing issue and allow me to move the ladies to behind the barn when company is coming. Anyone with experience doing this please advise.

Question #2: Are these preflowers?

2012-06-30_Garden_004.JPG


2012-06-30_Garden_005.JPG



Lesson Learned: I remarked early on that I started these plants too soon. At the time my comment was directed toward avoiding frost damage when moving them outside. What I've come to realize is planting photo-period types outside in mid-May makes for a very long growing season. The size of these plants, family visitors, black helicopters (Ha Ha, joking!) takes what I had hoped would be a simple grow into a what will end up being as six month project. So what will I do next time? Plant later in the season? Autoflower? Move indoors? I do know I won't be repeating this project.

Thanks everyone. Enjoy the update. Questions and comments are welcome.

JASPL:peace:
 

Filo420

New Member
Re: JASPL's First Grow — Durban Poison, Big Bud, Kalashnikova — Outdoor 2012

OMG! Those plants are huge! You'll need
a CherryPicker and chainsaw to harvest
bro.. :thumb:

+rep for your beasty plants!
 

NLnovice

New Member
Re: JASPL's First Grow — Durban Poison, Big Bud, Kalashnikova — Outdoor 2012

Hi JASPL,
I have said it before and I will say it again, those are such amazing plants. Incredible size and color.

You mentioned your concern about family visitors, in my opinion moving those monsters could not be an easy task as well as I believe could be harmful to them. Here is my crazy and possibly stupid idea... Wrap some burlap around each plant and explain to your visitors that you were having problems with gypsy moth/caterpillars. I see many small trees and bushes in my area with burlap for that exact reason. It would be easy and quick to set-up and you could use some of the stakes you already have. If this is too wacky of an idea I hope at least you got a good laugh!

I can not wait to see the size of the buds on these plants. Keep up the great work.
 
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