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Off-Grid Spring-Fed Hillbilly CBD Greenhouse

John Wick

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.
Hey man, excellent. I just use 18 GA. electric fence wire to hold them down during training, plus you can cut any length and it's cheaper. Use the extra money for seeds. I re-use most of it because after a grow ijust hang them over a cardboard box so they don't get all tangled up. I do use a set of dike's and put a "fish hook" barb on both ends that go into the ground so that they don't push up.
You're looking good.

Simon Limon

Well-Known Member
Our weather appears to have finally shifted into a much more summer-like mode. For the past couple of weeks we've had on and off rain, lots of clouds and temperatures from the 40's F at night to 60s and low 70s. This hasn't seemed to discourage my clones, however, and they are now overflowing the twenty gallon pots.

Because I'm reasonably confident that this grow will supply our needs I'm playing around a bit with the training. Starting out I did LST on five Critical Mass clones in pots and only pinched the tops on the CM that is planted outside in soil.

About ten days ago I decided to stop training two of the potted CM -- I want to compare how well the yield is from these plants with the ongoing LST group (3 plants) and the outside clones (2 plants).

Another factor to compare is the time involved in training. The trained plants are overgrowing the sides of their pots and there are so many shoots and fan leaves that have to be tended to. In the future, assuming I grow again, I'd like to have only enough plants for our personal medical needs. I still can't get over the fact that I'm licensed to grow 15 plants.

The clone house a couple of hours ago.


The first two plants on the left have been excused from further training. I call them the "Free Rangers". They are just slightly taller than the in-training plants but are clearly going to tower over them pretty soon.

The LST plants are perhaps 8-10 inches tall and more or less the shape of an oblong, about 3 feet long.

I became quite excited when I found long thin tendrils appearing at the nodes and mistakenly thought it was a sign of flowering. I understand now that flowering is more likely to occur in August at this latitude.

I'm watering about every 4 days, a measured 3 gallons of spring water followed a day later by a gallon of nutrient water. I really don't know if I could increase their nutrients but given that they look healthy and continue to grow vigorously I'm not going to worry about it. Again, I'd like to find how to do this even more efficiently next time, simply but also productively.


Simon Limon

Well-Known Member
I'm amazed at the difference in growth between the two plants in soil outside and the plants in the greenhouse. The outsiders are far more "leggy" and seem to have much less total foliage.

The big question I have with the two "Free Range" clones is should I continue to pinch the tops or just let them go (presumably upward)?

I have the greenhouse wide open at both ends after the interior temperature reached 100F. There's often a nice breeze moving through the greenhouse when it is open.

Simon Limon

Well-Known Member
I gave all of the plants a foliar spray of Green Magic, 8ml/gal. I'm quite impressed by their rate of growth but also worried because I don't know if I should continue to pinch the tops on the two inside and two outside plants that aren't being trained. I'd rather have bushes than trees, at least on those inside the greenhouse.

The difference in growth between the outside plants and insider plants is quite dramatic. Here is a Critical Mass that has only been pinched.


Here's a CM that is now being allowed to continue without more LST -- and a CM to the left that is still in training.


The plant in the left corner is Dutch Hawaiian that has some LST but not as strict as the Critical Mass clones.

So... do I continue to pinch tops and if so, how do I know when to stop?

Simon Limon

Well-Known Member
As our weather improves the temperature in the grow house runs about 75-85 F with both ends wide open. This is when I think of it as more of a grow tunnel.

We also have 18 tomato plants in 20 gallon fabric pots in a separate grow tunnel/house. Over the years we've had no serious disease or insect problems in either house. I presume this is because we don't make much effort to close them up tight. We don't try very hard to extend the season, prevent freezing, or to start plants inside a house very early in spring. Too much effort and risk, especially when you understand how fast a "late" transplant can catch up with or even beat the growth of a plant suffering from early bird stress.

Nonetheless, I often visit the clones in the evening, to tuck them in and close up the doors after reading their bedtime story (Jack In The Beanstalk is their favorite, though I find it unrealistic).

Now that all of the plants inside the house have grown beyond the rim of their pots I've had to get creative in order to continue LST. I found some very heavy copper wire in a fallen down shed in the woods, very old stuff with crumbling insulation. I straighten it out and cut it into about 2 foot lengths. These are stiff enough to poke deep into the soil but flexible enough that I can easily bend the upper end over a clone stem. Very easy to work with and to adjust as the plant grows.



I sometimes bend the top to form an extended right angle instead of a hook, so it can hold down two close stems at a time.


There aren't many journals here that describe grows very similar to mine. A journal I read today describes a grow in California, outside in pots like mine, but with temperatures above 100F. He is watering twice a day, 4 gallons at a time.

This made me worry. I have been watering about every 4-5 days, 3 gallons of spring water and then 1 gallon of h2o+ (water with nutes) the following day. I am very nervous about over-watering but today I gave them 4 gallons and tomorrow they'll get 1 gallon with nutes.

The outside plants (Critical Mass in front and Dutch Hawaiian) are very different in size and growth from their inside cousins. This makes my first grow even more interesting because I have no idea what I'm going to get from any of these plants.


My biggest suspense is the bloom. I actually have very little idea of what it will look like or even where on the plants the buds will appear. I've looked at countless plant/bud photos here but can't really relate them with any confidence to my own plants.

For example, in the photo above, the Dutch Hawaiian (rear) has maybe 8 distinct stems and tops. Does this mean it will have no more than 8 buds? Compare that to this photo of 3 Critical Mass with LST in the grow tunnel:

Larry - Curly - Moe


Simon Limon

Well-Known Member
In just a few days there's been quite a growth spurt in both the inside and outside clones. I'm feeling somewhat overwhelmed when I look at how many stems have to be adjusted in order to continue the horizontal growth pattern with LST. The plants are beginning to overlap each other, though in a pinch I can always try to rearrange them, even if it does mean pulling up a lot of wire anchors that are outside the pots.

Two days ago I found a few yellowing and weakened leaves in the lowermost part of most of the plants. I removed those and small completely shaded fan leaves. Thinning a bit will obviously help with air circulation but it is the overall density and sprawl of the growth that is making training such a challenge.

Here's Larry, Curly and Moe again, taken just an hour ago:


The plants are also drinking quite a bit more, which isn't surprising given their growth. I ran out of the hydro store nute so I've switched them to a fish/kelp mix that we use on our berries and vegetables. I'll throw in the occasional foliar feeding of Magic Green but at this point I'm wondering if I shouldn't just let them finish without additional bloom nutes once they flower? I'm basing this idea on the assumption that the potential yield is already looking like a lot more than we need. These special nutes aren't cheap!

I'm going to need my heavy duty garden loppers to harvest these plants.


It must be at least 90º in the clone house right now but I've got to get down there and do some urgent LST.


One Of These Days

Well-Known Member
You will have plenty of med to practice all these different techniques like the topical oil that @SweetSue has a pictorial run on her signature, I made the stuff and almost got to turn our spare bedroom into a grow room. Lol wife swears by the stuff. It's when you guys get the opportunity to grow like you do and try different things and most important part is you guys are sharing information that helps alot people.

Simon Limon

Well-Known Member
I got into this because an elderly friend of my wife, a very traditional conservative farmwife, gave us some of her homemade cannabis oil. Turns out that quite a number of old folks around here are using cannabis, often as a topical but also under the tongue, as I do. I use tiny doses throughout the day and it really helps me cope with chronic pain.

I'm now making our oil using Sue's InstaPot technique.

I originally thought I could save money on medical marijuana by growing my own cannabis. By now, however, I have invested hundreds of dollars in clones, fabric pots, Fox Farm soil, perlite, spider spray, and misc nutes. I'm not complaining because as a gardener I find the growing and training to be very interesting, even entertaining. If I end up with a big pile of buds when it is over that will be the frosting on the cake.

I do wish, however, that we could share what we grow legally. Perhaps that won't be too long in coming. After finding that so many people we know are quietly using CBC cannabis I sense that a friend-of-friend-of-friend network is developing, one that crosses the legal line in some ways (such as sharing)... but with great caution and restraint.

One Of These Days

Well-Known Member
I bet just sittin in that chair in your grow tunnel watching really nothing just soaking in the beauty of what's happening is very meditative in itself. I'm not that lucky yet as I'm still still on that other side of the line down here in texas. Although something about your plants even just looking at your pics I get a sensation inside a little happiness if you will, that I don't get when I look at other grows on here. It must be the spring water you have :bong:. What form do you use under your tongue? I've made some green dragon that I've read about people doing that and woohoo does that burn I put some in some coffee last winter but that's not for me, it too is in my wife's arsenal and found that mixing it with cherry 7up helps with the taste. I'm really interested in using high cbd based plants for these kinds of dosing.

Simon Limon

Well-Known Member
I do find the clone house to be a very restful place. When I first became interested in doing my own grow I designed a simple automatic watering system. A neighbor uses such a system to irrigate his greenhouse tomatoes and loves the "hands off" convenience.

After buying the necessary parts at the hydro store I asked the guy who helped me if he uses such a system. He said that he prefers to hand water his plants so he can talk to them every day. He got quite emotional while describing this and I had to resist teasing him.

The parts I bought for the watering system are still in the bag. I hand water my plants and visit them at least 3 or 4 times a day, can't resist inspecting each one carefully and adjusting their training wires. I joke that I tell them a bedtime story every evening but I'm willing to do that if they appear to need more encouragement.

About the oil: In an InstaPot I cooked 20 grams of finely ground CBD bud in a mix of coconut/MCT/olive oil. This was cooked for 110 minutes at about 110ºC, then strained.

I have severe tendinitis and arthritis so when the pain is bad I take several drops under my tongue every 2-3 hours. I don't drive when medicated like this but I'm not really stoned, just much more comfortable and prone to smiling! :)

irie lion

Nug of the Month: May 2019 - Member of the Month: June 2019
Hey Simon, i'm a bit late to the party but i'm all caught up and loving your setup. Your plants are in great health and growing at a great pace! You're doing one hell of a great job.
I love your DIY greenhouse and i plan on putting one together just like that within the next month, i'll be in touch soon with some questions! :nomo::high-five:
Glad i stumbled on your grow journal and i'm looking forward to following it till harvest. Happy growing!

Simon Limon

Well-Known Member
I love your DIY greenhouse and i plan on putting one together just like that within the next month, i'll be in touch soon with some questions! :nomo::high-five:
I was in CostCo yesterday and noticed that they have the 10' x 20' canopy garage for $230. This is a good price, especially if you want a quick project. You won't need the canopy but out here in hillbilly country you can't have too many tarps, so I use the canopy parts to cover firewood, etc.

Once you set up the frame it is simply a matter of attaching strips of wood to the vertical posts. I've used 2"x 3"x6 feet or even 1"x2". Attach these to the steel poles with self tapping screws. You will then stretch greenhouse UV plastic (I use 6 mil) over the frame. Once that is in place, use more wood strips, even 4 foot pieces of lath, and tack it down over the UV cover. You can use a heavy duty stapler, or short roofing nails or screws.

If you want this to be a grow tunnel don't close in the ends.

If it is to be a greenhouse you'll frame in the ends and fill the gaps with more plastic (or used windows and patio doors).

If you don't have a commercial greenhouse supply company nearby, look for UV plastic at farmtek.com.

Simon Limon

Well-Known Member
The rate of growth of my plants makes me wonder how anyone could keep up with LST and Super Cropping if they had a grow of serious size. I'm training 6 plants, often twice a day. Push has now come to shove and I'm stepping up LST to the next level. Here are some of my tools:


Yesterday I bought a box of 1/2" steel nuts and a box of jumbo paperclips. Using the paperclips as improvised "S-hooks" I hung 1-2 nuts on stems that need to be more horizontal. I started this on my Dutch Hawaiian inside the clone house.

I was a bit shocked when I finished to find that I'd used at least 30 of the nuts and most of the paper clips -- on one plant.

So... on to Amazon to order 100 S-hooks. I'll cruise the local recycler store for more nuts or improvised weights but in the meantime I'm using spare wrenches, steel pegs and tent anchors for the larger stems. Hillbillies always have large quantities of old rusty metal stuff laying around so I may have to dig into my reserve junk piles if these plants don't slow down soon.


Simon Limon

Well-Known Member
Now that’s heavy duty/hardcore/balls to the wall.
I keep thinking that if I relax the LST that the plants will shoot up and go wild. (Keep in mind that this is my first grow and I didn't expect to get so wrapped up in it.) My wife says I need to back off on reading Jack In The Beanstalk to my girls at bedtime. That, or get a ladder?

But seriously... I've been unable to do important chores lately because of serious pain in my left shoulder. I reduce my frustration and distract the pain by micro-managing the clones. They seem to respond well so my next challenge is to talk them into blooming. The suspense is killing me!


Well-Known Member
I’m not picking fun of you, I just support your heavy duty LST equipment. For real. Look away and these plants go wild. :yummy::11: Lots of maintaining required. Or not, depending on your needs/wants. These are weeds after all, they need little attention. Unless you have pest issues like me.
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