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

Emeraldo

Active Member
Well yes it is a possibility, I don't have a pH meter, after reading up on them it appeared only quality meters like Bluelab gave dependable accurate results. The $10 meter's were said to give unreliable measurements. Besides, the super soil approach was said to not need concern over the pH, and as mine still has worms living in it, not many as I don't feed it, it has simply been mixed in my compost tumbler about 10 months ago and remains in it for when I next need some, I thought if the worms are happy then probably that is a good sign for the pH. So I decide not to shell out for an expensive pH meter. My feeling is that it is nute related, with the light yellowing leaves a possible sign of Nitrogen deficiency, I can imagine so, as the plants were transplanted up to their final pot on December 9th, then for 3 months of the plant appeared very healthy and only after that did the yellowing occur, so I think they ran out of something, I guess Nitrogen.
I shelled out $100 for a Hanna Instruments meter, which is accurate. I also got a Chinese $10 model from amazon a few years back that works ok.

You are right that in organic growing pH should be a secondary issue because pH is usually regulated by the mix you use. If you have added sufficient lime, say a cup of dolomitic lime (which absent other influences will keep the soil pH around 7, pulling it up or down) in each pot, soil pH becomes easier. So for example if your added N (which tends to lower pH) and your added P (which tends to raise it) net out to a soil pH of 5.5 or 6, lime will pull it up to 6.5 or so. I then pH the water accordingly (if soil pH was 6, I would pH the water to 6.8 - 7 to compensate). So after mixing soil all I use the pH meter for is the water. I do think a meter is needed to find out generally where it is so I can adjust from there to reach the ideal of between 6 and 7.

The reason I mentioned pH in connection with your WWX was this: If soil and/or water pH is too high or too low, the plant will not be able to absorb your key nutrients and micronutrients. They call it nutrient blocking. The N is present in the soil but the plant cannot use it. Hence my comment on the pale leaf color. Just an idea.
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
I shelled out $100 for a Hanna Instruments meter, which is accurate. I also got a Chinese $10 model from amazon a few years back that works ok.

You are right that in organic growing pH should be a secondary issue because pH is usually regulated by the mix you use. If you have added sufficient lime, say a cup of dolomitic lime (which absent other influences will keep the soil pH around 7, pulling it up or down) in each pot, soil pH becomes easier. So for example if your added N (which tends to lower pH) and your added P (which tends to raise it) net out to a soil pH of 5.5 or 6, lime will pull it up to 6.5 or so. I then pH the water accordingly (if soil pH was 6, I would pH the water to 6.8 - 7 to compensate). So after mixing soil all I use the pH meter for is the water. I do think a meter is needed to find out generally where it is so I can adjust from there to reach the ideal of between 6 and 7.

The reason I mentioned pH in connection with your WWX was this: If soil and/or water pH is too high or too low, the plant will not be able to absorb your key nutrients and micronutrients. They call it nutrient blocking. The N is present in the soil but the plant cannot use it. Hence my comment on the pale leaf color. Just an idea.
Lime could be the smoking gun. I didn't add lime to my super soil mix for two reasons;
1) my mixture contained bio-char and neem meal, both of which were in addition to other amendments, both of which I understood to give a 'liming' effect. So my feeling was perhaps I don't need it, perhaps adding it will cause the pH to then become overly elevated.
2) Also, in reading up on organic super soil, and living soils, I read a couple of posts by people who seemed very knowledgable on general organic gardening who suggested that long term the soil was damaged from the lime (I forget the exact reasons). One article mentioned a saying that went something like this, "Adding lime makes rich farmers but their sons poor", the logic being by the time the sons inherit the farm the soil production has gone into reverse because of the lime. I was/am thinking of reusing my super soil, others seem to speak well of doing that, so I had been a little apprehensive on whether adding lime was a good thing. I understand Subcool is against re use of super soil, he prefers to make a fresh batch each time, in which case there is no concern then about long term usage. Also I am not running a farm that I am cropping on for generations so I can see that I could well be being completely over cautious in refraining from adding lime. Yes perhaps initially the plants were going well, looking very healthy and then after about 3 months so sort of pH nutrient lockout occurred. If nothing else I will strongly consider adding lime for my next grow, but I will also look into it further to try and understand what is the most likely smoking gun, did they just run out of Nitrogen or were they locked out.
 

Emeraldo

Active Member
...One article mentioned a saying that went something like this, "Adding lime makes rich farmers but their sons poor", the logic being by the time the sons inherit the farm the soil production has gone into reverse because of the lime. I was/am thinking of reusing my super soil, others seem to speak well of doing that, so I had been a little apprehensive on whether adding lime was a good thing.
My own experience with lime over the past years has been that it is a very good component of organic growing for cannabis because of its effect as a pH regulator. Other crops like alfalfa also need it. I've re-used my supersoil, but I must say the second or third time around I tend to add less nutrients because of the residual that is there from the last grow. I don't want to overdo it. Lime also has micronutrients, magnesium etc, and I've never heard or experienced anything negative about using lime. No doubt there are things I do not know.

I will say one other thing, and that is that in organic growing it is pretty hard I think to overdo it on organic nutrients used in moderation because the plant just takes what it needs. This is not chemical nutrients that some new to growing overdo it with, thinking it will make the plant grow faster but just produced lockout or burn. Having said that, it is also true that, eventually during a grow, and especially with soil that was used last year, the pH of that soil can become more acidic naturally. All the more reason to add lime to your once-used mix, to maintain pH at a tolerable level.

All I do is add lime + nutes and get the soil pH right at the start of the grow, then add pH'd water to adjust during the grow. For example, if I can get the soil pH to about 6 for vegging my special strain of sativa, I can then raise pH slightly during flower by adding flowering nutrients strong in Phosphorous which raises soil pH as the P is absorbed into the soil. Dr. Earth Flower Girl is good stuff, if you can get it. Another example: if I have soil pH 5.6 and imo that is too low, I can compensate by using water with pH 7 for a result closer to 6.3.

Cheers
 
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Still Vegging Bro

Well-Known Member
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.
Impressive read coming from a Noobasoarus...
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
My own experience with lime over the past years has been that it is a very good component of organic growing for cannabis because of its effect as a pH regulator. Other crops like alfalfa also need it. I've re-used my supersoil, but I must say the second or third time around I tend to add less nutrients because of the residual that is there from the last grow. I don't want to overdo it. Lime also has micronutrients, magnesium etc, and I've never heard or experienced anything negative about using lime. No doubt there are things I do not know.

I will say one other thing, and that is that in organic growing it is pretty hard I think to overdo it on organic nutrients used in moderation because the plant just takes what it needs. This is not chemical nutrients that some new to growing overdo it with, thinking it will make the plant grow faster but just produced lockout or burn. Having said that, it is also true that, eventually during a grow, and especially with soil that was used last year, the pH of that soil can become more acidic naturally. All the more reason to add lime to your once-used mix, to maintain pH at a tolerable level.

All I do is add lime + nutes and get the soil pH right at the start of the grow, then add pH'd water to adjust during the grow. For example, if I can get the soil pH to about 6 for vegging my special strain of sativa, I can then raise pH slightly during flower by adding flowering nutrients strong in Phosphorous which raises soil pH as the P is absorbed into the soil. Dr. Earth Flower Girl is good stuff, if you can get it. Another example: if I have soil pH 5.6 and imo that is too low, I can compensate by using water with pH 7 for a result closer to 6.3.

Cheers
Thanks very much Emeraldo for your thoughts around lime. I now feel like I definitely need to be adding that in the future, and very possibly this is the main reason behind the leaf lightening/yellowing experienced this grow, especially the WWX. It would be a great relief to work out what the key issue is before growing again, and not to mention the sheer happiness of seeing the plants continue to flourish thru to harvest instead of slowing down with a potential pH nute lockout, as I am sure I would have got plumper buds if the slowdown hadn't occurred, so yield must be negatively affected. Would you roughly be adding 1 cup to soil of a 15 gallon pot?

As far as early indicator testing on the buds goes, I have vaped a few scraps of buds off both plants, either mostly room dried or placed still wet in the bowl of the SSV wand and using the first few inhales to speed dry it. I have found the result to be very nice, a clear penetrating nice to ride sort of high, the high longer lasting than the remains of some commercially bought bud that I had been resorting to. Even a top bud that died from caterpillar damage close to a month ago surprised me for it's high from being taken at that earlier stage. All the buds are reasonable sticky, not dense, probably more described as airy, the WWX more so, but in saying that, possibly from the more or less constant dry breeze/wind on the balcony, they feel very rigid, like they've had a few layers of hairspray levelled at them. The other aspect I notice with both plants is that the high is very clear. Is it that from the organic soil nature of the growing medium, I don't know. My feeling is that often the commercial stuff I've bought has left me with a fuzzy/foggy/heavy head, type of punished for indulging feeling. I have been reasonably enthusiastic about testing this, I think probably I've even been a bit excessive, but yet I still haven't had that same after effect, which is really pleasing and something maybe great about an organic grow. I am really interested now in the possibility that the absence of lime could be the main issue that I can learn from in this grow, and result in an improved grow and yield next time!
 

Emeraldo

Active Member
Thanks very much Emeraldo for your thoughts around lime. I now feel like I definitely need to be adding that in the future, and very possibly this is the main reason behind the leaf lightening/yellowing experienced this grow, especially the WWX. It would be a great relief to work out what the key issue is before growing again, and not to mention the sheer happiness of seeing the plants continue to flourish thru to harvest instead of slowing down with a potential pH nute lockout, as I am sure I would have got plumper buds if the slowdown hadn't occurred, so yield must be negatively affected. Would you roughly be adding 1 cup to soil of a 15 gallon pot?

As far as early indicator testing on the buds goes, I have vaped a few scraps of buds off both plants, either mostly room dried or placed still wet in the bowl of the SSV wand and using the first few inhales to speed dry it. I have found the result to be very nice, a clear penetrating nice to ride sort of high, the high longer lasting than the remains of some commercially bought bud that I had been resorting to. Even a top bud that died from caterpillar damage close to a month ago surprised me for it's high from being taken at that earlier stage. All the buds are reasonable sticky, not dense, probably more described as airy, the WWX more so, but in saying that, possibly from the more or less constant dry breeze/wind on the balcony, they feel very rigid, like they've had a few layers of hairspray levelled at them. The other aspect I notice with both plants is that the high is very clear. Is it that from the organic soil nature of the growing medium, I don't know. My feeling is that often the commercial stuff I've bought has left me with a fuzzy/foggy/heavy head, type of punished for indulging feeling. I have been reasonably enthusiastic about testing this, I think probably I've even been a bit excessive, but yet I still haven't had that same after effect, which is really pleasing and something maybe great about an organic grow. I am really interested now in the possibility that the absence of lime could be the main issue that I can learn from in this grow, and result in an improved grow and yield next time!
Oh yeah, I like lime. I'm limey! :green_heart:
And to your question: yes, 1 cup garden lime (preferably dolomitic lime but other is better than none) to 15 gal soil. You can even go to 1.5 cups if you think the soil is acidic, too low. I think you will be glad, you'll be surprized how beautiful they get with the right pH.
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
I am wondering now whether I should run off and get some Dolomite Lime to top dress the Widow, or even both, seems too late now, the plants are hardly drinking anymore.

Trichomes have not changed a lot, weather still sunny ahead, cooling in the nights now, tips of the bud going a bit purpley on the Widow. With the run of good weather I might as well let them run while they're still mostly cloudy/clear.

Here's 3 pics taken today of the Gorgonzola, and 3 of the White Widow XTRM.





 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
Just interesting never really looked into how its done..
There was no real expertise to my making seeds, just a matter of choosing one of the minor colas to sacrifice and dusting it with some shaken out pollen over it from a mate's unwanted male plant, I tried to do so without dousing the whole plant which worked well with the rest of the plant staying sinsemilla. I did it last year around flowering week 4 and got over 200 good looking seeds for future growing, as well as this year's :) I have saved some pollen in the fridge just in case I get a female in the future and I want some good pollen to try crossing her with. It not be as viable over time but no loss to try, chances are some of it would be good for a year or maybe longer if kept chilled and dry.
 

Still Vegging Bro

Well-Known Member
There was no real expertise to my making seeds, just a matter of choosing one of the minor colas to sacrifice and dusting it with some shaken out pollen over it from a mate's unwanted male plant, I tried to do so without dousing the whole plant which worked well with the rest of the plant staying sinsemilla. I did it last year around flowering week 4 and got over 200 good looking seeds for future growing, as well as this year's :) I have saved some pollen in the fridge just in case I get a female in the future and I want some good pollen to try crossing her with. It not be as viable over time but no loss to try, chances are some of it would be good for a year or maybe longer if kept chilled and dry.
Very interesting would love to see what those seeds produce.
 

Still Vegging Bro

Well-Known Member
And another additional reason that I didn't add lime, was the fact worms were comfortably living in my soil mix so I persuaded myself that if worms are happy in the soil it must surely be also good for growing in. This is just my own subjective logic without any real knowledge or experience to arrive at that reasoning.
I agree.
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
Very interesting would love to see what those seeds produce.
This years White Widow XTRM is from a seed produced from last year's grow. Early pre-harvest testing is showing it to be very nice. Altho, the plant developed a nute deficiency or nute lock out about a month ago. It seems the smoking gun could be that I neglected including any dolomite lime in the super soil mix I put together. I feel the buds otherwise would have plumped out a lot more than they're showing.
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
Today I noticed the colas that I selectively pollinated were showing some browning calyx, so I manually removed the ones starting to split and looking ready to burst. They were pollinated on the 1st March, so that's over 6 weeks ago, they should be fully mature now (last year's I only gave them 4 weeks and they germinated fine). So far I have got 5 WWX seeds and 30 Gorgonzola/WWX. I will probably cut off the seeded colas in the next few days, dry the bud and harvest the seeds rather than risk them popping out and losing them. I am guessing I will get a couple a hundred or so. The trichomes are still mostly cloudy, some clear, and a tiny few amber, I prefer them to develop a little more towards amber, but probably now/soon will be a good time to secure the seed harvest and allow the unseeded colas to mature little longer while the weather's good. :yummy:
 

Emeraldo

Active Member
I am wondering now whether I should run off and get some Dolomite Lime to top dress the Widow, or even both, seems too late now, the plants are hardly drinking anymore.
It wouldn't help them at this stage, besides they turned out fine. I like my plants to have fresh green color all the way through harvest, but yours are looking really nice trichome-wise... And that's what counts! Cheers
 
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