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Low Input Southern African Window Weed Start Up: Coco Grow

Carmen Ray

Well-Known Member
Hi folks. Thank you for the warm welcome and great advice so far.

I am in Cape Town, growing on in indoor balcony that gets plenty of daylight yet no direct sunlight. It made sense for me to begin my first grow / grows with low inputs. My first two plants were seedlings and fortunately both turned out to be female plants. They were started in December by a friend, in his hydro system, and he gifted them to me. One a Swazi land race plant, and the other an exodus cheese.

There are notes on other threads about how I over-watered the coco medium and subsequently developed a bug problem, which I am treating with caution whilst they are in ICU. Both plants have been in shock and their pistils browned and desiccated, but I do see new white pistils in the flowers, so I am ever hopeful that they will recover and produce reasonable bud.

My choice to grow indigenous plants is a financial one. It makes sense to me to experiment without over capitalizing to begin with. I have taken seeds from my dry herb and sprouted them in two different ways. I prefer the latter. The first is to drop a pip in a polystyrene cup of water and leave in a dark cupboard until it sinks to the bottom and the tap root is about a cm long, then remove and place in a split sponge on the top of the same cup, to grow a shoot. The second is the paper towel in baggie method. I prefer that, as there is less handling and therefor less room for human error.

One of the places I buy stuff from, ie. medium and pots, sells great biodegradable cups, so as soon as there is a leaf on the sprout, I move it into the coco in one of these biodegradable cups and that means I can put the whole cup into an intermediate pot of coco. I have four babies now in different stages of growth, two local "skunk", a swaz and all hope pinned on my smallest, which is aMaphondo, the "Transkei" land race, from the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

The skunk is Indica and a fast grower. The Swaz I think is Sativa, and whilst it is a big plant and fast grower, it is not as fast as the Skunk. I have had my heart set on growing the Transkei land race, which is a Sativa, and honestly, the best I have had (I like a good kush and the girl scout cookies are super nice too though). It is a cerebral high with a body calming, perfect for PTSD for instance. It is mellow and allows me to be creative and happy, whilst calming the nervous system. Great for energy for a "zen" type approach to active gardening, writing, making art, cooking etc.

A few weeks ago I was gifted a vile of Transkei seed, and I have sprouted my first. I potted today and now I cross fingers that she turns out to be a girl.
 

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MrSauga

Photo of the Month: Sept 2018, Nov 2019 - Member of the Month: Feb, Dec 2019
Subbed up and following along!
Next thing you'll need to learn is how to use the gallery for pics.
Read this tutorial when you have time:

Good luck with the grow Carmen!
 

Strainyourbrain

Well-Known Member
Just a suggestion for your new plants as we are moving into winter and light is going to be a problem for your seedling and vegging plant. Try to rig up an extra light source for them only as 13 hours of daylight is not enough for them. This must not affect your flowering plants so you will have to separate them.
Vegging plants need a lot more light time to deceive them into thinking it is summer. 18 hours is the standard for most folk. 18 hours light 6 hours dark for vegging. 12/12 for flowering
 

Carmen Ray

Well-Known Member
Subbed up and following along!
Next thing you'll need to learn is how to use the gallery for pics.
Read this tutorial when you have time:

Good luck with the grow Carmen!
Oh good lol :) Thank you. New site navigation is a learning curve. I have posted some pics in a gallery somewhere, so I hop they are in the right place... I will figure it out as I go :48:
 

Carmen Ray

Well-Known Member
Today I tested my Ph and it is too high. It is about 7 and I need to drop it by 1.5. Off to find out how to do this. I bought new feed and I treated the flowering plants' soil surface with diatomaceous earth because I still see a lot of activity from the adult bugs. I checked with the garden shop, and the product he sold me, is a fungus not another kind of bascillus. So my treatment has been a bascillus targeting fungus gnats, and the broad spectrum one is a fungus that will kill them if they are root aphids. I have been advised to treat twice a week to begin and then taper off to a maintenance dose. I pruned off the tatty leaves and by afternoon I could see some new white pistils on the exodus cheese. I have been advised that when temps drop to 13 degrees C and below, the roots have difficulty taking in nutes. Nights are that low now, so hopefully if I feed at first light, it will help. I can see that the seedlings are growing slower than in summer. I put a couple of Silver Haze seeds into paper towel and baggies this morning to add another exotic to the mix .... hold thumbs
 

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MrSauga

Photo of the Month: Sept 2018, Nov 2019 - Member of the Month: Feb, Dec 2019
Hey @Carmen Ray
the Epsom salts and Bicarbonate... how much are you using of that? And what is it used for?
Too much salt intake on those plants and you'll be asking for problems. 1tsp of Bicarbonate contains around 1200mg of salt.
Do you have an EC pen(PPM/EC)?
This will help you when you mix your nutes.
 

Carmen Ray

Well-Known Member
Hey @Carmen Ray
the Epsom salts and Bicarbonate... how much are you using of that? And what is it used for?
Too much salt intake on those plants and you'll be asking for problems. 1tsp of Bicarbonate contains around 1200mg of salt.
Do you have an EC pen(PPM/EC)?
This will help you when you mix your nutes.
Hi Mr S. I have not used bicarbonate or epson salts yet. I have them in stock should I need to. I was told that epson salts will improve bud quality and that bicarb will raise Ph but as I say, I have not yet used them. My Ph is too high and I have done some research and I see that if I add 15 drops of lemon juice to a gallon or water / 4 litres, that will reduce the Ph to about where I need it to be. I have not tried that yet, so if there are better suggestions I will happily take advice. I do not have any testing or measuring equipment as I am not in a position to invest a lot of money on my grows at this point. I bought a cheap tester yesterday fro R30, that has a dropper to suck up a certain amount of drainage water, add 3 drops of testing liquid and shake, then compare with a colour chart. The nutrients I bought yesterday are unopened. The last watering that the plants had just contained the bascillus and fungus to control the pests, so the next watering will have to correct the Ph before I feed again. The coco is not drying out very fast now that winter is here, so I am weary of over watering. I also have to bear in mind that I have to dose for bugs on Thurs, so I can't go overboard with another watering before then.
Regarding the feed, I have been using a fish based food called Seagrow. The new bottles have instructions on how to mix and balance the three bottles at the different growth stages. It is a huge learning curve for me, never having done that before.
 

Carmen Ray

Well-Known Member
Just a suggestion for your new plants as we are moving into winter and light is going to be a problem for your seedling and vegging plant. Try to rig up an extra light source for them only as 13 hours of daylight is not enough for them. This must not affect your flowering plants so you will have to separate them.
Vegging plants need a lot more light time to deceive them into thinking it is summer. 18 hours is the standard for most folk. 18 hours light 6 hours dark for vegging. 12/12 for flowering
Hi Strain, I am not in a position to invest in equipment and increase electricity consumption and space is a problem as I am sharing a flat in an apartment block. I selected the indigenous strains for this reason. Perhaps I was too hasty in trying to grow exotic seed at this time. I will watch them to see how they go and I am hoping that they will cope with natural conditions and if they don't, at least I can always get more seed to sprout. Lighting and temperature control may become an option at a later stage, but I want to see how successful I can be on the cheap.
 

Carmen Ray

Well-Known Member
Okidoki then.
Your plants will probably just go into flower to soon then. You may end up with a whole lot of small flowering plants
I don't mind that actually because these strains can get taller than the roof of a house. My Swaz is boob height and in flower. There is plenty on her and it's for personal consumption, so I don't mind stunted growth. It will be interesting for me to see how the plants go on the window sill until Spring. I have a feeling it will be a cold, wet winter this season... wonder how Eishkom will behave
 

Strainyourbrain

Well-Known Member
Ja. the ideal time for landrace sativa's for us as far as starting them is around late September, early October.
On your veranda you could have a problem with bigger pots as the do get very tall unless you try quadlining on them. Check out the #Quadsquad tag in my signature to learn more if you're interested
 

Carmen Ray

Well-Known Member
Ja. the ideal time for landrace sativa's for us as far as starting them is around late September, early October.
On your veranda you could have a problem with bigger pots as the do get very tall unless you try quadlining on them. Check out the #Quadsquad tag in my signature to learn more if you're interested
That's great, thank you. I have wondered about the perfect time for us. I actually think I did skim through your quadlining. I made a mental note and will search for it when the time comes. I feel a bit overloaded with new data atm and am busy filing away in the brain lol
 

Strainyourbrain

Well-Known Member
The quadlining advantage is for places where your height is restricted but you need more lateral space for plants as they become more bushy. From what I have seen one can get some pretty good yields as well.
 

Carmen Ray

Well-Known Member
The quadlining advantage is for places where your height is restricted but you need more lateral space for plants as they become more bushy. From what I have seen one can get some pretty good yields as well.
It looks like the way to go for sure. I did some bending in these plants that I have, and I messed up a few times by over doing it. I have found that rubber tape is a miracle tool for fixing all kinds of stuff. I bound my overbent arms with rubber tape and that turned out to be a success. I love this. I have been a home gardener all my life but living in a flat for a decade was killer. Having this balcony is a blessing. I can't really fit more than 3 adult plants in there because we hang our laundry there too. There is nowhere else to plant, so it is going to be fun :)
 

Lerugged

Plant of the Month: May 2019 - Photo of the Month: June 2019
Hi folks. Thank you for the warm welcome and great advice so far.

I am in Cape Town, growing on in indoor balcony that gets plenty of daylight yet no direct sunlight. It made sense for me to begin my first grow / grows with low inputs. My first two plants were seedlings and fortunately both turned out to be female plants. They were started in December by a friend, in his hydro system, and he gifted them to me. One a Swazi land race plant, and the other an exodus cheese.

There are notes on other threads about how I over-watered the coco medium and subsequently developed a bug problem, which I am treating with caution whilst they are in ICU. Both plants have been in shock and their pistils browned and desiccated, but I do see new white pistils in the flowers, so I am ever hopeful that they will recover and produce reasonable bud.

My choice to grow indigenous plants is a financial one. It makes sense to me to experiment without over capitalizing to begin with. I have taken seeds from my dry herb and sprouted them in two different ways. I prefer the latter. The first is to drop a pip in a polystyrene cup of water and leave in a dark cupboard until it sinks to the bottom and the tap root is about a cm long, then remove and place in a split sponge on the top of the same cup, to grow a shoot. The second is the paper towel in baggie method. I prefer that, as there is less handling and therefor less room for human error.

One of the places I buy stuff from, ie. medium and pots, sells great biodegradable cups, so as soon as there is a leaf on the sprout, I move it into the coco in one of these biodegradable cups and that means I can put the whole cup into an intermediate pot of coco. I have four babies now in different stages of growth, two local "skunk", a swaz and all hope pinned on my smallest, which is aMaphondo, the "Transkei" land race, from the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

The skunk is Indica and a fast grower. The Swaz I think is Sativa, and whilst it is a big plant and fast grower, it is not as fast as the Skunk. I have had my heart set on growing the Transkei land race, which is a Sativa, and honestly, the best I have had (I like a good kush and the girl scout cookies are super nice too though). It is a cerebral high with a body calming, perfect for PTSD for instance. It is mellow and allows me to be creative and happy, whilst calming the nervous system. Great for energy for a "zen" type approach to active gardening, writing, making art, cooking etc.

A few weeks ago I was gifted a vile of Transkei seed, and I have sprouted my first. I potted today and now I cross fingers that she turns out to be a girl.
Cool grow.
Looks like you are not too far from where I am. Good luck with your grow. And hi I'm lerugged, also in cape town and also into landraces although I think maybe for different reasons. Cool vibes
 

Carmen Ray

Well-Known Member
Cool grow.
Looks like you are not too far from where I am. Good luck with your grow. And hi I'm lerugged, also in cape town and also into landraces although I think maybe for different reasons. Cool vibes
Nice to meet you :) I am still figuring my way around the site. Do you have a link to blogs and grow journals of your indig plants?
 

Lerugged

Plant of the Month: May 2019 - Photo of the Month: June 2019
It looks like the way to go for sure. I did some bending in these plants that I have, and I messed up a few times by over doing it. I have found that rubber tape is a miracle tool for fixing all kinds of stuff. I bound my overbent arms with rubber tape and that turned out to be a success. I love this. I have been a home gardener all my life but living in a flat for a decade was killer. Having this balcony is a blessing. I can't really fit more than 3 adult plants in there because we hang our laundry there too. There is nowhere else to plant, so it is going to be fun :)
So so many places To plant in cape town. If are short for space drop some pips in one of the mountains or forest areas (with sun) end part of Newlands forest has been a good spot For when I've been restricted growing. Now I have a sun deck yippee. Does your balcony look over a road beginning with a b? Might have seen them on the balcony . :) or someone doing the same. Have a read week
 
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