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

Stunger

Well-Known Member
From today the weather ahead is 2 more days of sunshine then apparently 2 days of pouring rain. I decided to chop off the 3 colas I pollinated on the 1st March (2 from the Gorgonzola and 1 from the WWX), they've now had a good 6 weeks with some seeded calyx starting to brown and split. I am drying the bud from those colas in brown paper bags for a few days before I go thru it by hand to retrieve the seeds. Including last year's seed harvest I presume I'll then end up with several hundred seeds, plenty enough for future grows but all regular pf course, but next grow I think I will try selective spraying with colloidal silver in an attempt to create some feminized seeds myself.

I get the feeling these plants could go another week. I am considering whether to chop before this coming rain or treat it as nature's pre-harvest bud washing and go thru that and hopefully get a couple of sunny days the other side to dry themselves before the chop.

Some bud closeup pics today, I notice the Gorgonzola's trichome length appears longer than the White Widow XTRM, the WWX's trichomes appear more short and stubby. It appears the Gorgonzola has greater 'frosting' than the WWX maybe from it having longer sticky trichomes? The interesting thing is that in early bud testing of both plants it is the WWX that seems a little stronger and is the preferred winner... so far.







 

Emeraldo

Well-Known Member
From today the weather ahead is 2 more days of sunshine then apparently 2 days of pouring rain. I decided to chop off the 3 colas I pollinated on the 1st March (2 from the Gorgonzola and 1 from the WWX), they've now had a good 6 weeks with some seeded calyx starting to brown and split. I am drying the bud from those colas in brown paper bags for a few days before I go thru it by hand to retrieve the seeds. Including last year's seed harvest I presume I'll then end up with several hundred seeds, plenty enough for future grows but all regular pf course, but next grow I think I will try selective spraying with colloidal silver in an attempt to create some feminized seeds myself.

I get the feeling these plants could go another week. I am considering whether to chop before this coming rain or treat it as nature's pre-harvest bud washing and go thru that and hopefully get a couple of sunny days the other side to dry themselves before the chop.

Some bud closeup pics today, I notice the Gorgonzola's trichome length appears longer than the White Widow XTRM, the WWX's trichomes appear more short and stubby. It appears the Gorgonzola has greater 'frosting' than the WWX maybe from it having longer sticky trichomes? The interesting thing is that in early bud testing of both plants it is the WWX that seems a little stronger and is the preferred winner... so far.
Beautiful pix. I'd try and keep them out of the rain, if they were mine. I'd be worried about them not drying fast enough to prevent mold. Trichomes are an interesting thing, how they vary in shape. Maybe the Gorgonzola needs to go a bit longer than the WWX?
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
Beautiful pix. I'd try and keep them out of the rain, if they were mine. I'd be worried about them not drying fast enough to prevent mold. Trichomes are an interesting thing, how they vary in shape. Maybe the Gorgonzola needs to go a bit longer than the WWX?
Thanks Emeraldo, I really like seeing the trichomes in the pics, I need a tripod and for the plant to not move to be able to get a sharper shot. I have noticed how some have a purple centre wicking up the middle of the trichome stalk, no idea what that is except the nights have been getting cooler and I read somewhere that cooling temperatures can bring about purple color changes.

This morning on opening the curtains I could see that the WWX is drying off so I will chop it at first available (stealthy) opportunity I get, hopefully either today or tomorrow before the rain. I think it's time has come. The Gorgonzola I think I'll probably chop as well. And next time I'll include lime in my soil mixture and hopefully that then enables the plants to continue into advanced flowering looking green and developing further their potential. I am going to borrow a friend's pH meter to test out what the current pH of the soil is, altho his is a cheap one, so may be hard to evaluate whatever the result is, but it will at least seem confirming of a nute lockup if it's found to be to acidic.
 

Emeraldo

Well-Known Member
Thanks Emeraldo, I really like seeing the trichomes in the pics, I need a tripod and for the plant to not move to be able to get a sharper shot. I have noticed how some have a purple centre wicking up the middle of the trichome stalk, no idea what that is except the nights have been getting cooler and I read somewhere that cooling temperatures can bring about purple color changes.

This morning on opening the curtains I could see that the WWX is drying off so I will chop it at first available (stealthy) opportunity I get, hopefully either today or tomorrow before the rain. I think it's time has come. The Gorgonzola I think I'll probably chop as well. And next time I'll include lime in my soil mixture and hopefully that then enables the plants to continue into advanced flowering looking green and developing further their potential. I am going to borrow a friend's pH meter to test out what the current pH of the soil is, altho his is a cheap one, so may be hard to evaluate whatever the result is, but it will at least seem confirming of a nute lockup if it's found to be to acidic.
Good plan. Test the soil and your standard source of water. Put a few spoons of soil in a jar and fill with just enough water to cover, let it sit for a few hours, then pour off some and test it.

Here's my method for water pH. I buy pretty cheap drinking water in packs of 6 x 1.5 L at the supermarket, it is good for drinking and has consistent ph of 7 (or so). I then can add say 10 drops of vinegar and test, add another 5 drops and test, and so on until you get it right.

If your soil test out low, say at 5.5, go for water at 7 or 7.5 to raise the growing environment to an ideal 6.5. You should also pay attention to what your seed breeder says the plant needs, e.g., Greenhouse Seeds Arjan's Hazes actually are said to like soil at 5.7, so that is another factor to consider.

Glad your grow turned out so well. Enjoy
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
I saw my chance between family distracted and otherwise occupied, to furtively chop both plants down, and store them for drying in paper bags. I could have done with more paper bags to spread the drying load, but used a cardboard box to help. We've had a long dry run of sunny days lately so hopefully they will be ok to move into jars in about a weeks time The paper bag method worked good last year and is more stealthy than hanging the buds on a indoor drying rack and risk someone walking in on them. The wet weight was about 450g, but that included stalks as I had no time to trim them, so I guess that will be close to 100g when all dry and the pieces of stalk have been clipped off. I'll skip trying to use any for a 'cob cure', it sounds very interesting but I'll leave it until I have more to play with. By the time I share some around I'll pretty much be on rations until this time next year when I hopefully will have had a better grow and have some excess left over to experiment with things like cob curing, tinctures, salves, edibles etc.
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
Good plan. Test the soil and your standard source of water. Put a few spoons of soil in a jar and fill with just enough water to cover, let it sit for a few hours, then pour off some and test it.

Here's my method for water pH. I buy pretty cheap drinking water in packs of 6 x 1.5 L at the supermarket, it is good for drinking and has consistent ph of 7 (or so). I then can add say 10 drops of vinegar and test, add another 5 drops and test, and so on until you get it right.

If your soil test out low, say at 5.5, go for water at 7 or 7.5 to raise the growing environment to an ideal 6.5. You should also pay attention to what your seed breeder says the plant needs, e.g., Greenhouse Seeds Arjan's Hazes actually are said to like soil at 5.7, so that is another factor to consider.

Glad your grow turned out so well. Enjoy
Thanks Emeraldo. I will take note of your pH testing/adjusting approach and consider all the other useful points that have been generously made. Next time I'd like to have improved yields and really need to look into what 'mistakes' I have made this time that I can change and improve on. I think a dependable pH meter would help ascertain when any future nute lockout situations occur. Cheers
 

Emeraldo

Well-Known Member
Thanks Emeraldo. I will take note of your pH testing/adjusting approach and consider all the other useful points that have been generously made. Next time I'd like to have improved yields and really need to look into what 'mistakes' I have made this time that I can change and improve on. I think a dependable pH meter would help ascertain when any future nute lockout situations occur. Cheers
Another good way to test soil pH: after you've got what you think are the right proportions of soil, organic nutrients (NPK + micronutrients) and lime, fill a pot and irrigate the soil only until it runs out the bottom. Let it dry out a bit and irrigate again. This time collect the runoff and test it. Then you know what the starting point is. I shoot for 6.5 usually,right in the middle between 6 and 7. If soil pH is too low, add more lime to pull it up (takes a few weeks to have the effect). If too high, add some peat moss to the mix, it is usually around 4.5 and will pull it down. Fine tuning is done with your water each time you water the plants, and can be used to raise pH slightly in flower.
 
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Stunger

Well-Known Member
Another good way to test soil pH: after you've got what you think are the right proportions of soil, organic nutrients (NPK + micronutrients) and lime, fill a pot and irrigate the soil only until it runs out the bottom. Let it dry out a bit and irrigate again. This time collect the runoff and test it. Then you know what the starting point is. I shoot for 6.5 usually,right in the middle between 6 and 7. If soil pH is too low, add more lime to pull it up (takes a few weeks to have the effect). If too high, add some peat moss to the mix, it is usually around 4.5 and will pull it down. Fine tuning is done with your water each time you water the plants, and can be used to raise pH slightly in flower.
Cheers for that Emeraldo. I really need to get on top of pH levels for my next grow, and being outdoors I wont be able to germinate next until Spring time (early/mid September), it is unfortunate having to wait until then.
My plants this year for most of the grow, at least to my eye, seemed to look really healthy, but somewhere in the second half of flowering that changed, quite quickly. The addition of lime I feel will very possibly avoid such problems but I definitely need to be prepared to respond quickly if it does happen. I had erroneously thought that when doing a 'living organic' soil grow that one didn't need to be bothered about pH level, that the soil would right itself, so I was a bit surprised my plants were most likely suffering from a pH nute lockout, I'd like to understand what caused my grow to go against the usual 'no need to worry about pH' theme.
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
I was a little concerned that I had the buds drying in just 2 brown paper bags, I didn't want them to risk getting mold if they stay overly wet for too long in the bags. I initially chopped the stemmed bud into medium small pieces to help them dry but not too fast. To assist the drying last night I spread them out on a couple of racks overnight to 'dry off' a little before putting them back in the bags this morning. I may even decide to snip off each individual bud from the stem to help them dry better in the bags. I have been getting a bit of flak on the home front because of the pungent smell coming from the room where the buds are drying. I imagine those with a grow tent can do the 'pre curing jar' dry in the tent and thereby all the smell is nicely contained.
 

Emeraldo

Well-Known Member
Cheers for that Emeraldo. I really need to get on top of pH levels for my next grow, and being outdoors I wont be able to germinate next until Spring time (early/mid September), it is unfortunate having to wait until then.
My plants this year for most of the grow, at least to my eye, seemed to look really healthy, but somewhere in the second half of flowering that changed, quite quickly. The addition of lime I feel will very possibly avoid such problems but I definitely need to be prepared to respond quickly if it does happen. I had erroneously thought that when doing a 'living organic' soil grow that one didn't need to be bothered about pH level, that the soil would right itself, so I was a bit surprised my plants were most likely suffering from a pH nute lockout, I'd like to understand what caused my grow to go against the usual 'no need to worry about pH' theme.
We outdoor growers wait all winter for the sun. For germination time. The only upside is we can use the time to read up on stuff, get grow gear, plan, etc. I think you have it basically right about organic growing and pH. Once you get the soil pH set, there isn't much more to do. It won't change that rapidly, although it will decline over time.

My own experience is that lime is your best friend here. I don't think you can overdose with lime in the 1 to 2 cups per 15 gallons. It is a great pH regulator, always coming back up to 7. They say it will also bring the pH down to 7 if it got too high, but I have never actually seen that.

One other thing: It's not like pH, once set will always stay there, it will become more acidic over the course of the grow, hence the need to compensate at some point. I do that with around the start of flowering with P rich top or bottom dressing. After that, it's just the water, as said above. But it is important to look at that pH chart on many websites showing the precise pH points between 5.7 and 7 that different nutrients are optimally absorbed. N is at a different point than Mg, P at a different point than Boron. Given those different optimal absorption points, it is actually better for your plant to vary the water pH, sometimes at 6, sometimes closer to 7, sometimes inbetween. This practice is so that the plant has a better chance to grab all of the nutrients.

The upshot here is that always giving the same water pH (I know this to be true only for outdoor organic grows in soil) is not the best for the plant.
 

Emeraldo

Well-Known Member
I was a little concerned that I had the buds drying in just 2 brown paper bags, I didn't want them to risk getting mold if they stay overly wet for too long in the bags. I initially chopped the stemmed bud into medium small pieces to help them dry but not too fast. To assist the drying last night I spread them out on a couple of racks overnight to 'dry off' a little before putting them back in the bags this morning. I may even decide to snip off each individual bud from the stem to help them dry better in the bags. I have been getting a bit of flak on the home front because of the pungent smell coming from the room where the buds are drying. I imagine those with a grow tent can do the 'pre curing jar' dry in the tent and thereby all the smell is nicely contained.
Do you use a fan to circulate the air? I find that helps a lot, dries more evenly. Prevents mold.
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
We outdoor growers wait all winter for the sun. For germination time. The only upside is we can use the time to read up on stuff, get grow gear, plan, etc. I think you have it basically right about organic growing and pH. Once you get the soil pH set, there isn't much more to do. It won't change that rapidly, although it will decline over time.

My own experience is that lime is your best friend here. I don't think you can overdose with lime in the 1 to 2 cups per 15 gallons. It is a great pH regulator, always coming back up to 7. They say it will also bring the pH down to 7 if it got too high, but I have never actually seen that.

One other thing: It's not like pH, once set will always stay there, it will become more acidic over the course of the grow, hence the need to compensate at some point. I do that with around the start of flowering with P rich top or bottom dressing. After that, it's just the water, as said above. But it is important to look at that pH chart on many websites showing the precise pH points between 5.7 and 7 that different nutrients are optimally absorbed. N is at a different point than Mg, P at a different point than Boron. Given those different optimal absorption points, it is actually better for your plant to vary the water pH, sometimes at 6, sometimes closer to 7, sometimes inbetween. This practice is so that the plant has a better chance to grab all of the nutrients.

The upshot here is that always giving the same water pH (I know this to be true only for outdoor organic grows in soil) is not the best for the plant.
This grow and the previous I never considered pH. I told myself that as my supersoil mix still has worms seemingly happy in it 9 months or so after I mixed it, it must mean it's ok and there was no need to bother about pH. However, I never considered that the soil with the plant growing in it can cause the acidity to drop. Up until the point when the observed change occurred I had marveled on how good the plants were looking, and were patting myself on the back over supersoil mix I'd put together. But you raise some very important points, and I will look into those growing aspects while waiting for Spring time again so hopefully I can remedy this result and create a more successful grow next time.

No, I haven't used a fan to help with drying, but the room is fairly large and there is a small amount of air flow to assist. I would most prefer to try the paper bags in the fridge to allow a 'cool dry' but there is no way I'll be allowed to do that! I'll go check them now and give them a bit of move around and burping of the bags.
 

Emeraldo

Well-Known Member
I don't think you can overdose with lime in the 1 to 2 cups per 15 gallons. It is a great pH regulator, always coming back up to 7.
Well, I didn't mean "back up to 7". Lime will put back up toward 7, but how close it gets to 7 depends on what else acidic is in the soil. Therein lies the art, getting the soil to 6.0. With some peat moss in the soil, plus lime, you can test it and adjust until it's where you want it. Lime is the best thing we have for an optimal pH, in my opinion.
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
For some stupid reason I thought it would be fun to harvest some seeds from the single cola stem I pollinated on my still drying White Widow XTRM. I only meant to look for a few. It started off feeling like a bit of a treasure hunt but after a while it sucked but by then you have so much resin sticking to your fingers that everything sticks, that you might as well finish them. In the end I got about 250 seeds, many were starting to burst from the calyx so were about as mature as you can get, this plant grew from a similarly selectively pollinated cola of her mother last year, that one was only pollinated 4 weeks before harvest and I got just over 200 seeds. Currently, I still have the 2 colas I pollinated on the Gorgonzola to harvest of seeds that will be a Gorgonzola/WWX cross, but I'll do that another time. These are all regular seeds of course but next time I'd like to try to use colloidal silver to make some feminized seeds.

 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
I harvested approx 180 seeds from the 2 pollinated stems of the Gorgonzola. I got nearly 250 seeds off the White Widow Xtrm which surprised me a little as I only pollinated 1 stem and the WWX colas grew quite sparse and didn't appear to suggest that I'd get many seeds from it, whereas the Gorgonzola's buds at least looked a little fuller in size but yet didn't produce quite as many. The quantities of seeded bud of both plants when wet weighed approx 13g (nearly 1/2 oz).
The seeds are regular but next time I can try producing some feminized seeds, but at least now I grow something.

 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
Thanks Emeraldo! I firmly believe in the maxim that, giving a man a fish he gets to eat for a day, but give him some fishing tackle and he can catch and eat fish for a lifetime. By using some WWX pollen to selectively pollinate 3 colas now gives me the security of knowing I can grow again in future years regardless of whether of not I'm able to successfully get any Seed Bank seeds without them getting stopped by border customs. Of course they're all regular seeds, but now with last years harvested seeds I have over 600, which is plenty! Next time I will try my hand at making some feminized seeds.
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
Due to being restricted in having to be very stealthy. I had to do a very quick chop n harvest of my 2 plants and I was unable to spend any time doing a final trim of the buds. I dried them in brown paper bags which I think worked well (I did the same last year), altho this time due to having 2 plants instead of 1 and no additional bags, the bags were kind of full. Over the first couple of nights I laid the buds out on racks to facilitate the drying process and put them back in the bags in the morning. I was concerned about any mold developing, which would have been gutting but thankfully that didn't happen. I had the bud drying for about 11 days before putting in jars to cure which was a day or two longer than I wanted but I was unable to stealthily get away to do so earlier. I don't currently have a hygrometer to measure humidity but I feel they are pretty close to ideal without being overly dry, I will have to pick up a hygrometer for next time.

When burping the jars today I weighed them. The White Widow XTRM came in about 100g, and the Gorgonzola about 85g (around 6.5 oz in total). I don't know how much further they'll drop but I'm not imagining too much as they seem pretty close to the ideal level now, which if that is the case then I have ended up getting a little more yield than I had estimated towards the end of the grow after a caterpillar attack and a suspected nute lockout knocked them back a bit. We live and learn (hopefully)!
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
This grow is now completed. I will try to wrap up what I have learnt from it.

I need to make a correction on the net yields I previously posted. I did the above weighing in a bit of a rush while combining testing in the vaporizer. This led to me over calculating the yield as I failed to correctly deduct the full weight of the glass jars. Anyway, the total was a little over 4oz. A useable quantity but less than desired as it doesn't leave much for experimenting with the Ardent Decarboxylator I purchased, nor enough to try out the Cob method that Sweet Sue has posted much on her experiments, which I would like to try on a future grow.

Anyway, a few points on what I have learnt from this grow and what I will consider for next time.

  • I was encouraged with drilling holes in my plastic containers to create home made air pots. My feeling from the limited use is that this is very beneficial. The one pot that had bigger larger holes grew the biggest plant. I don't know if in that single case the air holes was the reason, it may have just been genetics, but it encouraged me upon harvest to drilled more and bigger holes in the other pots for next time. The health of the roots appeared very encouraging.
  • Watering; because I was trying for a fully organic grow, I feel I was overly mindful in keeping the soil watered to keep the soil biology alive, and because my containers had been converted to airpots I felt that there was no risk of excess water as they were very free draining. However, never did the plants wilt from needing watering. The general view seems to be to let the plants have some water stress during the grow. I now feel I should have allowed this to occur, as on a previous grow from the unintentional circumstances of a late outdoor grow combined with a too small container and periods of my absence that resulted in the plant going thru multiple 'wiltings' (one of which I was very surprised that it was able to recover), that particular plant produced amazing quantities of sticky resin and a fantastic intense high that I felt was from the watering stress the plant suffered, of course it may have been from genetics, but it is my gut feeling that it was from the watering drought periods it received. Anyway, next grow I'll attempt to go back to this approach.
  • This grow was supersoil based, and I didn't use any lime ingredients like most super soil recipes. At first, as can be seen from the earlier pictures the plants appeared (to me) to be looking very healthy and thriving. But by half way thru flowering this changed and appeared to go into a pH related nute lock out. So next grow I will be adding some lime and gypsum to the mix, which will hopefully solve the stunting of growth that occurred this time.
  • I have since been reading about High Brix growing which I have found very interesting, and are keen to try this approach next time, as when the Brix levels are high it seems the plants thrive and even pests and bugs will tend to stay away. Docbud has written extensively on this.
  • This grow was outdoors and suffered a caterpillar invasion which I was slow to realize and slow to treat. Using the BT bacteria treatment worked very well (detailed above somewhere) and next time I will look at preventively spraying as others suggest every week to 10 days, as this treatment doesn't effect the buds or the plants, it just causes the eradication of the caterpillars. However, it may be that if sufficiently high brix levels are attained that perhaps this wont be necessary.
  • I plan on re using the containers and there organic soil for my next grows. I will look at re amending with high brix ingredients, which from what I gather at the moment is less about adding lots of nitrogen amendments and more about good rock dust for minerals. Crustacean meal/fertilizer also sounds extremely beneficial as amongst other things I gather it provokes the plant to grow stronger immunity to insect attacks. However, so far I can't find any Crustacean amendment/chitosan available in NZ.
Anyway, I think that is mostly it. If I think of anything else I'll add it later. Many thanks to those who contributed really useful great help and suggestions to this journal. I hope others can benefit the learnings and mistakes I made over this grow. And my appreciation to the 420magazine website for bringing together this great community of posters and all the wonderful experiences and contributions to growing this wonderful plant!

To the 420 moderator, many thanks, this journal can now be moved to the completed journals.
:Namaste::thanks::hookah:
 
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