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Off-Grid Spring-Fed Hillbilly CBD Greenhouse

Simon Limon

Well-Known Member
I'm new to cannabis cultivation but not at all new to gardening. Began using CBD oil several months ago for chronic PTSD and physical pains, which led me to realize I could perhaps grow this stuff myself and save some $$. An acquaintance gave me two tiny Dutch Hawaiian clones but I figured it would be better to have some backup plants so I bought ten more clones: Critical Mass.

Everything I know about this came from this website and YouTube, plus my experience with genuine tomatoes.

The soil is in 20 gallon fabric pots, a mix of Fox Farm Ko Ko Bop (12 gallons) and local processed dairy compost (6 gallons). Nine of the CM and one DH are in the greenhouse and the other CM and DH are outside, just for the heck of it.

The Ko Ko Bop and all of the nutrients I'm using were suggested by a hydro store.

I'm watering each plant about every 4 days with one gallon of spring water and a light dose of Pure Blend Pro. Every 5 days they get a foliar application of "Green Magic".

The Dutch Hawaiian came with a few spider mites so I've treated every plant with Azamat. If any survived I haven't yet seen them.

I really enjoy fiddling with the plants so I'm doing some training by bending the main stem almost horizontal and pinning it down using 3 and 6 inch garden staples. These staples are very easy to work with, especially on the more tender branches.

I've done a FIM on the DH plants but I'm not really sure about this method -- especially what to do next. I'll include a photo if anyone has suggestions.

As for the other plants which I'm pinning down, I'm also not sure where this is headed, other than trying to keep them short and easy to manage. Should I be pinching off the ends of the main stems or side shoots?

The foliage is becoming quite dense so I suppose it would be good to remove some of the big leaves?

My final concern is the potential size of the harvest. The guy who gave me my first clones just confessed that the yield of his plants is far far greater than his personal use. I didn't do any research on yield until after buying the ten clones so this is looking like a case of "be careful what you wish for"!

I do have a legal permit for these plants.

By the way: the greenhouse is 14 x 20 feet and is made of light cedar board trusses with plywood gussets. It is all glued and stapled together, then covered with 6 mil UV protected plastic. Very light but also quite strong, sheds snow quite well. Cheap!
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Simon Limon

Well-Known Member
I haven't seen any change in the plants when the soil seems to be dry. I assume you are hefting the pot to see if the soil is light? I'm been worried about over-watering but perhaps too cautious?

thanks!


Nice plants so far. One suggestion I would make is on watering. Let your plants tell you how much water they need. I water to runoff, and then let them almost dry out, and only water again when they get light.
 

Blew Hiller

Grow Journal of the Month: June 2019
I haven't seen any change in the plants when the soil seems to be dry. I assume you are hefting the pot to see if the soil is light? I'm been worried about over-watering but perhaps too cautious?
At this stage of growth in those big pots they can go a week between waterings, though you probably want to hit them every 3-4 days. Better to underwater than over...
 

Simon Limon

Well-Known Member
Will a plant curl or droop if seriously dry? And if so, does that set it back or can it recover quickly?


At this stage of growth in those big pots they can go a week between waterings, though you probably want to hit them every 3-4 days. Better to underwater than over...
 

Simon Limon

Well-Known Member
I just stumbled across the Quadlining journal. I immediately realized that this is the type of training I'm trying to reinvent with my plants -- but instead of anything like a quad I've created a long plant with extended side branches. Since I'm doing this in a round pot, however, I have also created a geometry problem for myself. Do I top the main stem to prevent it from getting longer? Can I train some of those side branches to point in the opposite direction?

I'm reminded of a trucker's song: "It will take half an acre to turn this (plant) around".
 

Blew Hiller

Grow Journal of the Month: June 2019
I gave each plant at least two more gallons of water and will wait until morning to see if moisture shows on the outside of the pots.
Wait 2-3 days and then soak each pot thoroughly until runoff...the soil will hold what it can, the plant will take what it needs, and the rest will find its way out. Ignore what you see and get yourself into a rhythm...the wilting may be from overwatering, and you'd be creating more of an issue. Once you get a rhythm, the plants will sync and then flourish. The 2-3 days of watering my decrease (1-2 days) as you get into heavy flowering.
 

Simon Limon

Well-Known Member
Blew, what would you consider an ideal daytime temperature in the greenhouse? I don't have fans and adjust temperature by opening the doors at each end of the greenhouse. At night the temperature is typically in the high 40's to low 50's. On a cloudy day with all doors closed, low 70's. Once the sun is out the heat can spike to the 90's and more quite quickly.
 

Simon Limon

Well-Known Member
I now understand that I've been under-watering, so I'll correct that. But... I've also been adding nutrients to the water, based on my belief that one gallon of water per feeding was sufficient. If I water generously now how do I determine how much nutrient to give?

The nutrient I've used is Pure Blend Pro, suggested by the hydro store.
 

Blew Hiller

Grow Journal of the Month: June 2019
Blew, what would you consider an ideal daytime temperature in the greenhouse? I don't have fans and adjust temperature by opening the doors at each end of the greenhouse. At night the temperature is typically in the high 40's to low 50's. On a cloudy day with all doors closed, low 70's. Once the sun is out the heat can spike to the 90's and more quite quickly.
Those temps are fine....I setup my GH so that it doesn't overheat too bad...it could easily spike to 115F+ if I didn't have it properly ventilated...the low temps are fine as well. My temps are usually 50-90F.
I now understand that I've been under-watering, so I'll correct that. But... I've also been adding nutrients to the water, based on my belief that one gallon of water per feeding was sufficient. If I water generously now how do I determine how much nutrient to give? The nutrient I've used is Pure Blend Pro, suggested by the hydro store.
Soak the shit out of them and then add the nutrient last in a concentrated form about an hour later (so instead of a gallon, cut it to 1/2 so it won't drain out the bottom. )
 

Simon Limon

Well-Known Member
After giving away 4 plants I now have 8 left and all of them are outside. A friend strongly suggested moving the 6 plants in the greenhouse outside as a way to rid them of spider mites. I've previously treated the plants for mites but continue to see some slight damage to one or two.

My attempts at training have been entirely seat-of-the-pants. I'm not sure at this point if I should continue trying to train them or let nature take its course. I've pinched some of the tops -- just as I pinch tomato plants but I'm not sure if this is helpful or not.

I'm also wondering about thinning the lower leaves as the foliage is getting rather dense?
 

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John Wick

Well-Known Member
Morning Simon, first thank you for your service.
Next, awesome green house.
After that, I have PTSD.
And after that, I'd like to pull up a chair and watch your grow.
Finally, here's interesting like about watering weed. Enjoy !


Wick :meatballs:
 

Simon Limon

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the watering link, John, that is very helpful.

I haven't been very diligent in posting updates here but my clones are doing quite well. I've posted specific questions in separate threads as that seems to bring more replies and advice.

It appears that my seat-of-the-pants training is a combination of LST and super-cropping. I'll post photos a bit later today but the foliage of the potted plants just about covers the 20 gallon fabric pots.

I'm using 6 and 3 inch steel garden staples to hold branches level -- these are very quick to apply and adjust. Branches that have begun to extend beyond the rim of the pot are held down with wooden clothes pin attached to the rim.

Each plant is trained with two main stems running in opposite directions. There are many side stems and a lot of foliage. After reviewing some pruning and training tutorials again I'll probably start thinning out some of this foliage.

I have two plants outside in soil, one sativa (Dutch Hawaiian) and one indica (Critical Mass). I've pinched the tops of these just as I would a tomato plant but otherwise let them grow free. They are doing a Jack In The Beanstalk growth spurt, which is quite enjoyable to watch. I am growing legally and have no neighbors so I'll let them reach for the sky if they want.

Based on my reading here at 420 Magazine and reports from the friend who gave me my first clones I am looking at a potential harvest that will far exceed my needs. I think this qualifies my grow as truly "recreational" as well as medicinal, given how much fun I'm having.
 

Simon Limon

Well-Known Member
We get 6 feet of rain in a typical year. The only months that can be considered reliably dry are August and September. This year, for example, we're having many cloudy days in July with frequent showers. Anyone who grows tomatoes here without a grow tunnel of some sort is very likely to lose their crop in the fall because of dampness and blight.

I learned this the hard way, which inspired me to make a greenhouse out of a steel 10'x20' frame for a Costco shelter. That worked so well that I built a similar sized greenhouse with a cedar frame, the same greenhouse now being used for clones instead of tomatoes.

If you have the need for a greenhouse or grow tunnel and a limited budget, converting a Costco shed or similar frame & tarp shelter takes very few tools. You'll basically just attach wood battens to the steel frame with self-tapping screws, then cover the structure with UV protected plastic.

This is our current tomato house below, with plants in 20 gallon fabric bags. I'm guessing you could put 30 plants in this without serious crowding.

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The greenhouse above is open on one side and one end so I consider it to be more of a grow tunnel. This means I don't have to worry about overheating -- and our temperatures can hit the 90's in high summer.

Once the weather turns cool and damp I'll cover the open side and end.

This is the clone house today, with both ends wide open:

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One of the big advantages of a small greenhouse like this is air circulation. With both ends open the slightest breeze passes through the plants.

As I mentioned earlier I'm pinning down the branches with six and three inch garden staples. For the two main stems, which are now stretching outside the rim of the grow bag, I use a kabob skewer set into the soil and soft insulated wire.

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Kabob skewers from the thrift store:

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My task for today is to begin removing some of the excess foliage from these plants.

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