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

Stunger

Well-Known Member
Those are nice trichomes, Stunger! Great job on the manifolding or whatever you did. Gorgonzola looks like a good producer, at least to guage from the trichomes. Will you let them go until all cloudy & amber? Do you think the pruning has directed the plants to noticeably put more energy into bud development?

As for the stealth grow strategy, sounds like Gorgonzola could give off great gusts of "gorgonzola" smell that the next up or next down balcony dweller would get a whiff of? I had that happen once with neighbors, and ever since then I pick strains that don't have a pungeant smell, but even those strains put out a strong aroma at the very end of flowering. At least, my thinking is, "fruitier" strains that smell like mango, pineapple, strawberry, won't attract much attention... I hope.
Thanks Emeraldo, I originally trained them with a single toping in Light Addict's flux style, probably ideally the 2 flux arms should have been topped as well but weren't (at least for the longer limbed WWX), as the training got away from me. I am already getting sign of faint amber tinting as well as still some clear, mostly cloudy at the moment. Ideally I am aiming for somewhere in the ballpark of 10/70/20% of clear/cloudy/amber, which the Gorgonzola is getting close to, maybe it will get the chop at the end of the week. I am trying to check each day to ensure it doesn't get away from me after all the work and effort of getting this far!

Altho the Gorgonzola is Cheese named and derived I am not familiar with the range of aromas & terpenes that different strains produce. There is a fruitiness amongst it's smell and other things. And yes, ideally a low smell strain would be the best, but beggars can't be choosers as they say, and I was grateful just to be gifted a viable seed. From the remedial pruning I have done to remove caterpillar damage I have already got about a dozen seeds from a couple of removed buds taken from the cola that I pollinated. So that's great, I can fish another day! But I am expecting probably at least a 100 seeds when I cut it down and go thru the rest of the pollinated cola. Next time I will consider isolating a cola and spraying it with Colloidal Silver in an attempt to try making some feminized seeds.

re your question on whether the pruning has directed more energy to bud development, I really can't say, the Gorgonzola has grown into more compact plant with a bit thicker colas, whereas the same training was done to the WWX and she has more rangy longer branches with more sparse buds, altho she starting flowering 2 week after the Gorgonzola and seems to have put on a little weight recently.

Trichome pics taken today seem to show a tiny increase in amber 'tinting'.
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
White Widow XTRM start of week 10 flowering

 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
Gorgonzola, start of week 12 flowering






 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
Awesome grow, love those trichomes.

What is the difference between "micro-topping" and just plain old topping?
I topped at the 3rd node and stripped away all 1st & 2nd node growth. Micro topping (assuming I got it right from Light Addict's tutorial) is letting the growth shoot that is growing away from the third node, to get to about a 2 or 3 cm long (about an inch or thereabouts) and then simply waggling it back and forth, and after a few waggles it just comes away and your plant is topped. I'd always read that topping is better done at the 3rd node when the plant has grown to having 5 or 6 nodes. So I was surprised to read that Light Addict in his Fluxing threads topped much earlier, still at the 3rd node but before the plant had grown out as much as conventional topping. He feels that the plant wastes less energy with micro topping than it does when it is allowed more growth only to be cut off. Plus the wound healing of the micro topping heals much faster and quicker.

I did conventional topping last time. This time with micro topping I wasn't aware of the plants growth being knocked back due to me topping sooner. And the actually micro topping process of waggling the shoot back and forth until it comes away I feel is easier to do than waiting later and needing to use scissiors or clippers, where I then often have a little bit of anxiety that I have cut at the wrong place. But I am sure there is not too much difference in either approach. See pic for how small the one of my micro topped tip looks like.
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
Is waggling better than snip-snipping? I mean, if you waggle just a bit too hard it might do something unexpected.

And how do you remove the in-between nodes? Waggle-waggle?
haha. I found the waggling back and forth a few times seemed to nicely cause the shoot to come away. I have had no problems each time I have done that (only 4 times times so far, so I am only speaking with extremely modest experience). When the shoot is allowed to grow further then I think you need to use scissors or a blade to top a bigger part of the plant. Last year when topping conventionally I missed the proper topping point with the scissors and instead FIM'ed the plant, no bid deal either way but to me the 'waggling' the shoot back and forth to top when it is smaller seems easier to me and the resulting wound seems to heal better.
 

Emeraldo

Well-Known Member
That's good to know, I never heard of that before. I guess the plant breaks off at the right point for fluxing?

I've always used fine tipped scissors, sterilized of course. I peel back the newest leaves and cut the tiny growing point off down to the top of the stem underneath. It leaves four growing points: two on the node that was topped and, if I cut it precisely enough, there are two more at the incipient nodes yet to form completely.

Imo, that is everything I would hope to get from a perfect fim. I guess folks like the fim cuz there's always something unexpected happening.

What about removing the nodes in-between? How do you do that?
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
That's good to know, I never heard of that before. I guess the plant breaks off at the right point for fluxing?

I've always used fine tipped scissors, sterilized of course. I peel back the newest leaves and cut the tiny growing point off down to the top of the stem underneath. It leaves four growing points: two on the node that was topped and, if I cut it precisely enough, there are two more at the incipient nodes yet to form completely.

Imo, that is everything I would hope to get from a perfect fim. I guess folks like the fim cuz there's always something unexpected happening.

What about removing the nodes in-between? How do you do that?
Yes when micro topping with the growth shoot still small the topping just came away at exactly the right place and healed beautifully (at least on the plants I did it to). And with Fluxing needing only 2 'arms', I didn't want the FIM effect altho I think Light addict used that in training out a Flux with 4 arms instead of 2. The first 2 nodes from memory I snipped off with scissors (no waggling there).
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
Today trichome check

 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
Hi Emeraldo, Actually there are some fresh pistils still coming out on the buds atho these are not many. On pistils alone I am happy with them and if I was treating them as my primary 'chopping' indicator then I would have chopped about now or before now. But with this grow I am choosing to go with the trichomes as the primary indicator, and for that I want to wait until there are just a few more amber. I envisage that I will chop anywhere in the next 2 - 5 days. I am mostly wanting to chop when the trichomes are showing a similar appearance to my first grow as that was a really outstanding result, and that's not just my own bias as several other people thought too that is was quite special. Of course, there are no guarantees with this grow this time, the strains are completely different, maybe this strain is more optimal to do at a different time, if I had a whole garden of plants then I'd be mixing it up and trialling different trichome chop times etc to test out more comprehensively which level of trichome does it the most for me. But as this is a 'beggars can't be choosers' grow I just have to pick a point and hope for the best :51:
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
re level of development on trichomes; I understood that much of the 'old time' thinking on trichome levels was that maximum THC was seen to be at the cloudy/amber stage, and that was in those times (my youth) when most people only knew of THC, which was generally seen back then as the most important thing. But these days we aware there are several hundred different cannabinoids. I read of a more recent study somewhere that said on testing, that maximum THC levels were found at peak clear trichome levels, which seemed to go against what many or some people felt was too early a level to chop, so maybe there is more at play here than just THC for the 'optimal peak enhancement level' maybe it's also down to the level of development or the combination of some or all of those other non-THC cannabinoids that have developed and are present. Who really knows? But the important thing is to have a grow so we can test it out for ourselves. With my grow last year, I had to chop it earlier than I'd hoped, and while it was good and I hankered for more when it was gone, I feel the little bit 'testing' of the caterpillar pruned damage that I've done this grow (which has been at a corresponding later stage of development to last year's) suggests that this crop is an improvement (which I know I can't attribute to the trichomes, it could be the strain or anything). Currently I am mostly focusing on the Gorgonzola as that is so close to the harvest point. The White Widow XTRM is still showing quite lot of white pistils as it started flowering close to 2 weeks later than the Gorgonzola even tho they have both been balcony buddies their whole lives, so once the Gorgonzola has gone the way of the cheese platter I'll focus on the Widow.
 

Emeraldo

Well-Known Member
re level of development on trichomes; I understood that much of the 'old time' thinking on trichome levels was that maximum THC was seen to be at the cloudy/amber stage, and that was in those times (my youth) when most people only knew of THC, which was generally seen back then as the most important thing. But these days we aware there are several hundred different cannabinoids. I read of a more recent study somewhere that said on testing, that maximum THC levels were found at peak clear trichome levels, which seemed to go against what many or some people felt was too early a level to chop, so maybe there is more at play here than just THC for the 'optimal peak enhancement level' maybe it's also down to the level of development or the combination of some or all of those other non-THC cannabinoids that have developed and are present. Who really knows? But the important thing is to have a grow so we can test it out for ourselves. With my grow last year, I had to chop it earlier than I'd hoped, and while it was good and I hankered for more when it was gone, I feel the little bit 'testing' of the caterpillar pruned damage that I've done this grow (which has been at a corresponding later stage of development to last year's) suggests that this crop is an improvement (which I know I can't attribute to the trichomes, it could be the strain or anything). Currently I am mostly focusing on the Gorgonzola as that is so close to the harvest point. The White Widow XTRM is still showing quite lot of white pistils as it started flowering close to 2 weeks later than the Gorgonzola even tho they have both been balcony buddies their whole lives, so once the Gorgonzola has gone the way of the cheese platter I'll focus on the Widow.
Thanks Stunger for your reply. You summarized the conventional wisdom regarding when to chop: when fresh pistils wane and trichomes are mostly cloudy, maybe some amber, the thinking being that "amber" is going to give a more sedative and less energizing effect. I am not sure what it is you are looking for in your present grow, but it is probably going to turn out very nicely and maybe with a balanced effect between head and body.

If it was my grow, and if I wanted to see what the various stages of trichome development mean in terms of psychoactive effect, I would harvest parts of the plant at different stages. That's the only way to know what the difference between less and more amber will be. Or are you thinking of actually having a lab test your bud?

Are you using a digital microscope to look at the trichomes? Relying on the pictures only?
 
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Stunger

Well-Known Member
Thanks Stunger for your reply. You summarized the conventional wisdom regarding when to chop: when fresh pistils wane and trichomes are mostly cloudy, maybe some amber, the thinking being that "amber" is going to give a more sedative and less energizing effect. I am not sure what it is you are looking for in your present grow, but it is probably going to turn out very nicely and maybe with a balanced effect between head and body.

If it was my grow, and if I wanted to see what the various stages of trichome development mean in terms of psychoactive effect, I would harvest parts of the plant at different stages. That's the only way to know what the difference between less and more amber will be. Or are you thinking of actually having a lab test your bud?

Are you using a digital microscope to look at the trichomes? Relying on the pictures only?
In New Zealand we don't have easy access to choices of seeds, altho there's hope that will change when the government has the cannabis referendum next year as the polls all suggest 70-80% of people are for it.

I think people in NZ are mostly using bag seed. It isn't like Canada and certain States where folk get an easy open choice to buy or grow and experiment with different strains etc. I feel all I can hope for is that I get a nice strong clean high that lasts for a good amount of time (and the best memory picture I have to compare to is the trichome development of my first grow). So it is pretty crude what I aiming for. The folks in here who have these marvelous gardens and unbelievable seed collections (it makes me smile and drool just imagining then in front of me, wow!), they are on a completely different level with their knowledge and experience. Here in NZ, there is no lab testing options open to us, it is all very furtive. I save male pollen in the fridge and use it to pollinate a cola or two to give seeds for future grows, as here in NZ it can be pretty unreliable getting seeds in and then theres the concern of any attention that doing so brings.

Your point of using a single plant and to harvest at different times is a good one. I 'sort of' did that last year, or more correctly I was forced to because the plant developed some sort of dying stem condition (I thought perhaps Fusarium Wilt), a stem would die off, then the next, over a 3 week period, but I struggled to distinguish much difference to the buds when everything was cured. But you are right I could that this time, but I have to be reasonably discrete in drying the bud and the smell that is given off is pretty pungent, so I'd prefer not to dry in a lengthy drawn out way, and besides the yield will be quite modest (I'll be sharing some of it) so I'm just putting all my eggs in one basket and just taking a punt that my timing turns out OK.
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
Trichomes still seem mostly cloudy on the main buds with amber tinting appearing mostly just on the more 'poking out' sugar leaves, but getting very close to the chopping point.



 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
Hi Emeraldo, I forgot to respond to your question re digital microscope; I do have a microscope (not a digital one) but I haven't been using that as too much hassle setting it up and putting it away each day. Instead I just enlarge camera photos which altho they aren't great they seem sufficient to make a judgement on the state of the trichomes.
 
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