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Northern Lights Autos: FoNz's Fabulous First Grow

FoNz

Well-Known Member
Hello everyone,

First off I'm very excited to contribute here but also to learn from growers with experience in growing these intriguing plants!

What brought me here was to have an outlet for sharing my grow setup and progress. This journal will follow my first Cannabis grow from it's current progress (a little over 1 week since the sprouted seeds hit soil in solo cups, 2/10/19) through to flower and finally harvest.

So let's dig in, shall we?

First some info on my grow, I am growing in 5 gallon air pots in a 25 square foot (~167 cubic foot) grow tent with a frame recently rebuilt out of PVC tubing. I grow using 2 LED veg/bloom panels that were tested for wavelength accuracy using a borrowed spectrometer (I have borrowed numerous tools I do not normally have access to to do some early testing for the tent setup). Inside the tent is a small humidifier, a thermostat/hygrometer, an open passive intake, several fans for a consistent breeze and air flow, a carbon filter hooked to two 100-CFM inline booster fans mounted high and exiting the tent. The tent was tested for negative pressure and passed. The outflow was measured at around 80 CFM with a digital anemometer, putting air cycles at just over 2 minutes for a complete exchange. I am using a mycelial CO2 bag for supplemental air enrichment and general hydroponics Flora series nutrients for media enrichment as needed.

Now that the boring technical stuff is over with, let's talk about the fun stuff.
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This little gal is a sprout from some feminized Northern Lights auto-flower seeds sourced from a reputable breeder and friend. The picture was taken on the 13th about 6-days ago, pre-transplant and about 80 hours from when the germinated seed was planted. As you can see the sprout was already putting on it's second set of true leaves at this point, which when compared to previous plant species I have grown is pretty impressive!

The seeds were germinated using distilled water and the soak-to-paper-towel method. Though there was 100% germination out of 7 seeds, two showed early signs of stress and were planted J-rooted. To this day the two weakest seeds have not died but have not fully developed their first pair of leaves, they will likely die but if not I will decide what to do with them later. The plan was 5 adult plants and that's where I am heading right now, so I remain unphased.

Shortly after that picture was taken (after the soil had some more time to dry, cut the bottoms of the cups off carefully), I transplanted from the solo cups into the final medium and pot size. They are now in 5-gallon air pots filled with Detroit Nutrient Company's all-in-one water only soil.
2/19/2019

Here the girls are today, showing minimal-to-no sign of transplant shock (though I felt like I was less than careful enough while transplanting) with one possible exception. Nearby are neighbor basil plants that are borrowing some space until they have their own happy little window-sill.

All except one of them are growing in near identical form and speed, can you spot the poster child from the first photo?

So far they have only received water and that will continue to be the plan until probably the second week where I will be introducing a half-strength nutrient solution based on General Hydroponics' simple drain-to-waste. The soil is incredibly rich so any amendments via solution will be minimal and as needed based on observations of the plants.

Happy plants with healthy coloration and vigorous growth is more than what I had expected considering this is my first grow!

The temperature is 73°F -76°F with a RH of 50-60%. I have been using a 24-hour light cycle and plan to continue to do so for the entirety of vegetation, depending on how true to auto-flower (photo-period independence) the strain grows I may continue that cycle through to flower as well. If the strain shows any photo-period dependence in early flower, then the lighting schedule will be changed to 16/8.
Mutant or some kind of stress? Shared leaflets on sprout.

This gal is the exception mentioned earlier, I find it very curious. The lighting makes it a bit difficult to tell but it appears the second set of true leaves grew fused on this sprout.

While I find this neat, it also appears that in the process of whatever happened to cause the two leaves to fuse (in this case sharing leaflets) has caused the plant to not have an apical meristem. This could be detrimental to it's long term growth or it could be that the meristem is for some reason still invisible to the naked eye (though I also viewed it at 60x magnification and it seemed to not have one).

I will give it a few more days, given that it is so early in growth still. If the meristem does not come back I will low-stress train the top of the plant to the side so that it's lateral branches can grow out.

I searched for hours trying to find a young plant exhibiting the same phenomena but was unable to find a match, maybe some of the experienced growers here might know?

Anyways, that is all for my first entry into this grow journal and hopefully enough detail is provided here to get everyone caught up to my progress up to today. Happy growing everyone!
 

West Hippie

Well-Known Member
It may take a little hunting or ask the question in the search engine above . You’ll find some one that started when you did or they’ll find you . I’m in hydro about 11 days in flower .
Your setup and ready to go ! Here’s a soil Grower will get him on you use @ for bringing some ones attention.@InTheShed @stoneotter
 

FoNz

Well-Known Member
Thanks @West Hippie
I hadn't thought to use the term fused until I wrote this entry and after searching with that term I came across this post by @herby40 which seems to describe the same instance.

I hesitate to top so early (not to mention with an auto) but if the early LST doesn't show a boost in the lateral growth sites in a timely manner I will probably have to.
 

West Hippie

Well-Known Member
Thanks @West Hippie
I hadn't thought to use the term fused until I wrote this entry and after searching with that term I came across this post by @herby40 which seems to describe the same instance.

I hesitate to top so early (not to mention with an auto) but if the early LST doesn't show a boost in the lateral growth sites in a timely manner I will probably have to.
I never top or lst or defoliation till I got to 420 I just let them grow . I’ve grown 5 different autos . I forgot super crop, I did on my last grow . Now do them all thanks to these growers at 420 . I see I missed on @InTheShed so he’ll see it now!
 

FoNz

Well-Known Member
I never top or lst or defoliation till I got to 420 I just let them grow...
I will be using LST methods for the grow, but I wasn't planning on starting this early.

With regard to the plant in question, if a shoot has no meristematic tissue then it's growth would cease entirely. That is why I am going to try LST earlier than planned on said plant to attempt to promote growth in the lateral buds which look like they are growing normally.

Though without an apical meristem, the plant might not inhibit the lateral stems from growing at all. This would be due to a lack of auxin (the hormone that promotes apical dominance and prevents lateral buds from growing) which is produced by plants at the terminal (top-most) buds. That hormonal interaction is also why topping or fimming creates bushier plants.
 

stoneotter

Member of the Month: July 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: November 2019
Hi FoNz, I think it would be a mistake to top now unless you're going for the sake of science. Top after 5 or 6 nodes unless you have an agenda in mind.
As for the odd growth? Lots of things happen to these babies. I don't know why most times but feel free to check out this and add to it when it shows itself well enough. Show Us Your Oddities: The Cool, Unexplained And Unusual!
 

InTheShed

Member of the Year: 2018 - Member of the Month: Jan 2018, Nov 2018, Jan 2020 - Grow Journal of the Month: Aug 2018 - Plant of the Month: Oct 2018
Thanks for the shout @West Hippie!

I don't find anything to be gained by starting LST very young. Check out the LST tutorial in my sig for the way I do it. My last auto produced 6 ounces dry and I let the plant get tall enough so, when bent, it would clear the side of the pot. I found that starting smaller than that kept the growth too close to the soil leaving no room to get under it for airflow and thinning.

 

stoneotter

Member of the Month: July 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: November 2019
Thanks for the shout @West Hippie!

I don't find anything to be gained by starting LST very young. Check out the LST tutorial in my sig for the way I do it. My last auto produced 6 ounces dry and I let the plant get tall enough so, when bent, it would clear the side of the pot. I found that starting smaller than that kept the growth too close to the soil leaving no room to get under it for airflow and thinning.

That's a bigun.
 

FoNz

Well-Known Member
Hi FoNz, I think it would be a mistake to top now unless you're going for the sake of science.
Seems to be a misunderstanding, the plant is deformed so that there will be no more nodes from that point. I didn't think I was making that hard to understand.

Also topping would be a last ditch effort to get the plant to grow, the LST is to promote lateral dominance. The plant pictured last will not grow more leaves from the main shoot, there is no 'growth site' (term is meristem).
As for the odd growth? Lots of things happen to these babies. I don't know why most times but feel free to check out this and add to it when it shows itself well enough. Show Us Your Oddities: The Cool, Unexplained And Unusual!
Thanks, I'll definitely add it to that post considering I've had a nigh impossible time finding pictures of the same occurrence.
 
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stoneotter

Member of the Month: July 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: November 2019
Seems to be a misunderstanding, the plant is deformed so that there will be no more nodes from that point. I didn't think I was making that hard to understand.
Hehe, sorry missed the obvious. On second look I see what you're saying. It's defying natural logic it seems right now. New one to me. I'm going to guess it will grow out of it somehow. Just a guess, yours is as good as mine.
 

FoNz

Well-Known Member
...It's defying natural logic it seems right now. New one to me. I'm going to guess it will grow out of it somehow. Just a guess, yours is as good as mine.
I agree, it's the first time I've seen any plant do this but Cannabis' genetic variability is one reason I was so interested in growing it.

Theoretically without the meristem producing auxin the lateral buds will grow anyways. If it is a heritable trait then you could theoretically replicate and stabilize it and you'd have plants that would grow from the first lateral buds instead of the main shoot. In other words a very bushy plant with 2 'main shoots' instead of one.

As long as the lateral growth happens without error this could end up being a boon, I'm hoping so. :yummy:
 

West Hippie

Well-Known Member
I had one of these in my auto lemon haze, it grew two main tops . It was when I just fed, watered and check the ph . It had stunted growth had the strongest lemon taste out of the rest of the grow.
 

InTheShed

Member of the Year: 2018 - Member of the Month: Jan 2018, Nov 2018, Jan 2020 - Grow Journal of the Month: Aug 2018 - Plant of the Month: Oct 2018

stoneotter

Member of the Month: July 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: November 2019
I agree, it's the first time I've seen any plant do this but Cannabis' genetic variability is one reason I was so interested in growing it.

Theoretically without the meristem producing auxin the lateral buds will grow anyways. If it is a heritable trait then you could theoretically replicate and stabilize it and you'd have plants that would grow from the first lateral buds instead of the main shoot. In other words a very bushy plant with 2 'main shoots' instead of one.

As long as the lateral growth happens without error this could end up being a boon, I'm hoping so. :yummy:
The strawberry cough I'm growing now got knocked over when it was very young causing it to change into a plant witha main stalk with three sets of nodes where there normally would be two. She turned into a monster and is taking over the tent! What doesn't kill them seems to make them stronger.
 

FoNz

Well-Known Member
I'm actually pretty amazed at the virility of these plants. Only a few hours after exposing them to the light and the terminal buds are noticeably larger, greener (didn't change lighting for photo, sorry), and you can already see the leaflets if you look closely.

Looks like it'll grow out with two main stems from the first node. Pepper plants would take days to see development like this, these grow so fast. In the blown up portion you can even see the meristem in the very center of the two growing leaves.

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After letting those sides grow out so that they can get their own light without aid I'll probably release the plant from it's tie down. Tomorrow I might have someone get some proper macro-lens photos of the changes between now and then.
So a self-topping auto, without the stress!
In theory, exactly this.
 

FoNz

Well-Known Member
So after a brief morning check it does look like the plant that lacks the apical meristem is still producing auxin at the terminal end, which is preventing the lateral buds from growing as fast.

When I get home I'll be able to judge it more certainly with a caliper measurement of the leaf size in the lateral locations. While waiting a longer time will raise certainty it will also cut the time the plant has to bounce back before flower. Especially with such a fast growing auto flower.
 

InTheShed

Member of the Year: 2018 - Member of the Month: Jan 2018, Nov 2018, Jan 2020 - Grow Journal of the Month: Aug 2018 - Plant of the Month: Oct 2018

FoNz

Well-Known Member
Well, I've got a few photo updates. I wasn't sure if it would be worth posting photos today, after all how much can plants grow over such a short period?

Well the answer is in the photos! While this rate of growth might not be too surprising to experienced cannabis growers, it still beats out anything I've grown before (except maybe my hydroponic peppers but those were ridiculous, I'm talking pounds of fruit and jurassic park leaves!).

Enough talking, more photos!
happy babies!

I prefer to let the soil dry out between watering and water just before or just as the plant begins to lose turgidity, they were watered last night with a now 1/4 strength pH balanced nutrient solution. Using the nutrient solution at this point is not only for the plants. There will be a bonus question at the end of this post regarding the nutrient solution and I will like-bomb the first person to get it right!

After mixing the nutrient solution, I dilute it before subsequent watering and re-balance it's pH. This seems to keep plants healthy and happy without burn due to accumulation of salts while the root system is still in early development and has worked with other plant species. As I do not have other plants to act as a control I can't confirm that it's working here for sure, but they are damn healthy.

Anyone following the thread thus far might wonder what happened to the deformed plant. Late last night, I realized that the plant's top leaves were continuing to readjust (very fast too!) which kept covering the lateral nodes. I made an executive decision and did not top it. Instead I very carefully removed one two leaflets. Expecting stress, I figured it might take a couple days to see the lateral growth sights develop further. I was wrong!
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I've decided to name her Runty, because as of right now due to the mutation/deformation she has been growing slower. I have a feeling once those lateral sites take off she'll be just fine, especially since - unlike the other plants - Runty is still healthy but does not have vigorous growth above soil. This likely means that the root mass on this 'small plant' is developing more than the other plants to store and use all the otherwise unused sugars.

If cannabis behaves like other plants, a large root mass can yield great late-growth boosts. Here's to hoping! If Runty stays small and cute, I won't hold it against her. The wonderful diversity of cannabis is one thing that makes it so intriguing.

Finally, some closer pictures of two of the others. It shows the internodal lengthening that is occurring better than the top down shots. For reference, the first plant pictured has grown about 50% between the first and second nodes (or the first internode) since yesterday.
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:tommy: Now the bonus question :tommy:

The nutrient solution has been enriched with N2 and organic nitrogen containing compounds that plants can't use for this first watering, what would I hope to gain by doing this?
 
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