Outdoor Balcony Grow, AMS White Widow Xtrm & Gorgonzola, Supersoil, Fluxing, 2019

Greetings All, For this grow journal, my 2 plants are White Widow Xtrm & Gorgonzola from Amsterdam Marijuana Seeds, using an outdoor balcony grow space that gets good breeze and direct afternoon sunshine from about 1pm. I am using homemade Supersoil and drilled holes in the pots to promote 'air pruning'. I am constrained by having to keep a low profile so I have chosen to take a 'Fluxing' approach to training the plants.

Wanting to give back. I am writing this as the 420Magazine site has been a wonderful source of information and I wanted to give back with a journal of my current grow so that anyone who has to make similar considerations can check out what I have done and hopefully gain from the mistakes and challenges and learnings that this experience has given to me.

Thanks so much for everyone who has posted and shared their experience and knowledge. Before I go any further I want to acknowledge and give my heart felt thanks to everyone who has contributed their experience to the public domain so that others can benefit from this wonderful plant. When it came to growing without going too high, I was impressed by Nug Bucket's Mainlining and Nebula Haze's Manifolding methods. I then came across Light Addict's Fluxing and was blown away by the outstanding cola heavy low height results he was getting. I also want to acknowledge the experience shared by Subcool on Supersoil, also others like Clackamus Coot, thank you so much for sharing! And also there are so many others whose name's I have momentarily misplaced. I bow before you for the help that your postings and knowledge shared has given me, you are awesome!

Grow experience. This is the third grow that I have done in this location. The first several years ago was from a random bag seed that I germinated quite late in the outdoor year, in early December (first month of the NZ summer), I planted it in potting mix and gave it no additional nutes, at the time I didn't know anything about growing and figured that in the wild the plant would just cope with whatever the soil happened to be. Of course in the wild the plant would be able to send it's roots out long to find the nutrients it needs. Anyway, one thing I did do was check the internet and harvested it when it was about 70/30 cloudy/amber. The balcony area has stone paving which, whether good or bad, radiates heat back at the plant during the day. Anyway the resulting harvest while only modest, maybe 1.5 oz, but it was incredibly sticky and gave a wicked clean high.

The second grow was last year. I was gifted a White Widow Xtrm seed that I attempted to low stress train. This time I used organic potting mix and Canna Organic veg and bloom with PK30/40 nutes. This plant I don't think received enough nitrogen and I think also that allowing the pot to sit in a water tray also didn't help. Towards the end of flowering, branch by branch slowly died, from the internet I diagnosed Fusariam Wilt, a fungal problem that probably comes about thru the plant having a stressful environment. So on harvesting I couldn't let the plant run to the trichome stage that I wanted, about 70/30 cloudy/amber. That yield was about 2 oz. I also used pollen from a male White Widow Xtrm that the donator of my seed grew out of his AMS's feminized seeds, I pollinated 2 colas to have seeds for future grows.

Next, I will detail the super soil recipe I made up, as I couldn't source exactly the same ingredients here in NZ that were listed in other recipes like Subcool's.

My current grow is at the end of flowering stage, just 2 or 3 weeks at the most left, then after drying and curing I can post a report on the resulting bud quality. I will also upload and post some photos of my current grow shortly and give comment on the key stages and challenges I came across.

Also too, I have some questions along the way for 'the panel' on what improvement I could have made. Obviously I am very happy and grateful for anyone to chime in with their observations/comments, all much appreciated.
Welcome to 420,Stunger-
Good luck with your current and next grow...
I'll be following along to see how things go!
Before making the super soil I purchased a compost tumbler to mix it in, which had a capacity of 190l (about 50 US gallons). Altho the recipe sheet is in the picture, the picture is not expandable so I'll type it out here for anyone who is interested.

Super Soil base
100 litres (about 26 gallons) Gro Organic potting mix
5 liters (just over 1 gallon) Chookchar (Bio-char + composted chicken manure)
15 liters (nearly 4 gallons) Worm castings
5 liters coarse Pumice
5 liters Perlite
10 liters Tui Organic Compost

plus dry amendments
2 cups Neem granules
2 cups Yates Thrive organic blood and bone with seaweed
2 cups Sheep manure pellets
2 cups Fish Meal
2 cups Guano Phosphate
2 cups EF Nature's Garden Fertilizer

plus dissolved amendments in about 7 liters chlorine free water
2 tbl Magic Botanic Liquid (Humic and Fulvic acids)
2 tbl Molasses (Sulphur free)
2 tbl Epsom salts
2 tbl EF Fish Plus

This made roughly 140 liters total (about 36 gallons), which I allowed to 'cook' for 3 months before using it.

In making this up I simply tried to 'chuck together' enough ingredients to approximate some of the super soil recipes on the web. After this grow is finished I intend to review the mixture in regard as to whether to adjust it in some way for the next grow. So anyone with adjustment ideas please chime in, I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on how it could be improved. I think Subcool's recipe had lime/dolomite lime added. I held back on adding any because from what I understood the Neem granules and Chookchar that I added tend to having a 'liming effect' and raise pH levels. So I am still unsure on whether I should include some dolomite lime in the next mix or not.

As I was following a super soil approach to the grow, I didn't give any Veg or Bloom nutes, just water. However,
once flowering started (perhaps once ever couple of weeks) I occasionally added sulphur free molasses to the watering (about a teaspoon per liter). And I also top dressed on 2 occasions with some worm castings, fish meal, guano phosphate, and covered with a pea straw mulch, which seemed to do a wonderful job in keeping moisture in the soil on the top of the container that otherwise would dry out. In fact, I feel where advice states to only give water when pushing one's finger into the soil to the second joint is felt to be dry, that this is perhaps not good advice. I understand the need not to over water, that makes sense. However, before adding the pea straw mulch layer the top inch or so of soil seemed wasted as it repeatably would dry out completely between waterings. However, once the pea straw mulch layer was added I noticed that the top of the soil now stayed moist, and after a short while I noticed the top layer of soil which previously appeared barren was now full of lots of little white root tips, which surely indicates that the plant is able to make use of all of the soil in the container. I didn't water any more than I had been, but the mulch layer now kept the top layer of the soil moist and was full of root points.
One of things I read about that really impressed me was the concept of 'air pruning', using special air pots or fabric pots. The increase of the resulting root mass is very compelling for a more productive yield. I used normal plastic pots, but drilled holes in them, extra in the base too, and to contain the soil as well as probably help slow moisture loss I roughly cut out shapes from landscape fabric, just a thin weed type barrier fabric that I used to shape around the pot and then used a standard stapler to staple it into a 'pot' shape that I used as a pot liner. So far from what I have seen, the 'air pot/air pruning' approach produces heaps of white root points instead of roots that circle endlessly around the inside of the pot, a pic of that for anyone who is interested follows.

Now on to the 2 girls in question.

Germination My approach was to initially use a something abrasive, I used a fine nail file, to lightly scour the surface of the seeds, then next I soaked the seeds for 12 - 24 hours. Ideally somewhere warm, I had them in water in a small dark glass jar that sat nicely on my stereo unit that I measured at approx 27/28C. Next I simply put them between a moistened paper towel and placed in a darkened container that I put back on the stereo unit. I checked each day in case I needed to add a few drops of water to the keep the it from drying out. They seemed to then sprout with no problems within a day or two. Once germinated they are ready to drop into a very shallow hole, perhaps just 5mm (about a quarter of an inch), just enough to cover up so the seed doesn't dry in the light. The seeds for this grow I planted them in pots outside as soon as they germinated, if I was starting them earlier then maybe I would begin in pots indoors for a period first. As I intended to take Light Addict's fluxing approach I was concerned with getting too much stretching happening early on if I started indoors and then making the subsequent training a bit more challenging if the topped node was too far above the pot. Besides, starting them in pots outside seemed to not be a problem, altho initially growth is slow then the plants begin to pick up the pace when the weather warms.

The White Widow Xtrm was germinated on 21st October 2018. It was the offspring from an AMS seed I grew out last year that was kindly given to me, while one that the giver grew out turned out to be a male, unless it was misidentified hermie? But anyway I made use of some of it's pollen to pollinate 2 colas my female plant around week 4/5, which from memory produced 204 seeds. So this current grow is the offspring of those 2 White Widow Xtrm parents. In it's early growth it had a sort of 'crepey' look to it's leaves but after a few nodes had developed, it leaves reverted to normal looking growth. The AMS breeder notes suggested it's 60% indica and 40% sativa.

Like the previous year's Widow, the AMS Gorgonzola was kindly given to me too, this was germinated on 1st November 2018. I searched for any reviews of Gorgonzola but found nothing, so hopefully this can be of interest for anyone who considering that strain. The AMS breeder notes suggest it is 40% indica and 60% sativa. However as these 2 plants developed I felt that perhaps the White Widow was showing a greater Sativa appearance than the Gorgonzola because it's leaves being more slim than the Gorgonzola, however the Gorgonzola leaves seemed a little darker green which is maybe more of a sativa feature?
I used Light Addict's micro topping approach which I felt worked well, this is where he will top when the shoot is still very small, where by simple 'waggling' it back and forth causes it to 'fall off'. Previously I had waited until it grew 5 nodes them topped to 3 nodes. I feel the 'micro topping' approach saves time and wasted growth of the plant and allows a really well healed plant at the topping site.

Here is a pic of how small the topped shoot is
The Gorgonzola being repotted, super soil 1/3 approx, plant sunk low to allow flux arms to be trained easier to the pot rim, all lower growth stripped.

In Light Addict's fluxing, he recommends removing the down&up shoots and leaving only the pairs that grow outwards. I did first followed him and did this but then realized that as he's doing indoor grows he can veg the plant as long as he likes and be particular about which growth pairs to allow to grow out. My feeling was that growing outside and with flowering trigger time fast approaching that maybe cutting off the down/up growth was going to limit my eventual yield. Maybe/maybe not, maybe if removed the remaining colas would grow bigger and make up for it, I don't know, but I capitulated and changed to leave on the up/down growth, but still to train it to growth out when they got long enough.
This is where the plan to follow Light Addict's Fluxing method became a little unravelled. After going away for a week, the plants stretched a lot and I decided to let them grow out as the training had got away from me. I was concerned I may break the branches that had got more 'woody' and fixed in their shape if I tried to overly force them out. I wasn't brave enough to try supercropping but next grow I would like to investigate that.

I noticed on 22nd January the first pistil on the Gorgonzola. So being outdoor grown with no 12/12 light change to count from, I am calling this the first week of flowering for the Gorgonzola.
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