420 Magazine Background

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

Emeraldo

Well-Known Member
This grow is now completed. I will try to wrap up what I have learnt from it.
  • 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.
Hey Stunger, long time! or so it seems... :51:

I've read comments about watering on various fora that say let the plants dry out. The reason given is usually air to the roots (let the soil dry out to "knuckle-deep" at least before watering again).

Maybe a bit of "water stress" as you say is good for the strength of the finished weed, too. Reminds me of supercropping.

As you know, supercropping involves partially destroying the plant (crushing stems, bending, breaking) and then letting the plant recover and strengthen, the thinking being that, like in the wild when a plant is partially destroyed or eaten or crushed, it compensates for the injury by strengthening the injured part and increasing trichome production to increase its chances of reproduction. The "threat of destruction" stimulates the plant's efforts to reproduce. The plant comes bouncing back better than ever.

Water stress in the sense you mention is not about air to the roots but more like supercropping, i.e., stress the plant by depriving it of water and it will produce better weed. That is new to me and sounds interesting. I would be concerned that if taken to extremes, water stress might stress the plant so much it could produce a hermie or self-pollination. If you are present at all times and can monitor the level of water stress, it might work, especially in a small pot where the plant can use up all the water more quickly.

In my new 2019 balcony grow, watering is Sundays and Thursdays, about 1 gallon through drip line to each of the six plants. The 15 gal fabric pots do not ever dry out completely, even down to a knuckle. Water stress would be too risky for me since I am hardly there to monitor.

Greetings and hope you are enjoying the latest crop. How is it?
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
Hey Stunger, long time! or so it seems... :51:

I've read comments about watering on various fora that say let the plants dry out. The reason given is usually air to the roots (let the soil dry out to "knuckle-deep" at least before watering again).

Maybe a bit of "water stress" as you say is good for the strength of the finished weed, too. Reminds me of supercropping.

As you know, supercropping involves partially destroying the plant (crushing stems, bending, breaking) and then letting the plant recover and strengthen, the thinking being that, like in the wild when a plant is partially destroyed or eaten or crushed, it compensates for the injury by strengthening the injured part and increasing trichome production to increase its chances of reproduction. The "threat of destruction" stimulates the plant's efforts to reproduce. The plant comes bouncing back better than ever.

Water stress in the sense you mention is not about air to the roots but more like supercropping, i.e., stress the plant by depriving it of water and it will produce better weed. That is new to me and sounds interesting. I would be concerned that if taken to extremes, water stress might stress the plant so much it could produce a hermie or self-pollination. If you are present at all times and can monitor the level of water stress, it might work, especially in a small pot where the plant can use up all the water more quickly.

In my new 2019 balcony grow, watering is Sundays and Thursdays, about 1 gallon through drip line to each of the six plants. The 15 gal fabric pots do not ever dry out completely, even down to a knuckle. Water stress would be too risky for me since I am hardly there to monitor.

Greetings and hope you are enjoying the latest crop. How is it?
Hey Emeraldo, nice to hear from you :hookah:

With my previous grow I regular let the pot dry out to knuckle depth. This time I was doing mostly the same up until when I added a layer of pea straw mulch. After while with the mulch layer, I removed it to add some worm castings as a bit of a top dressing before replacing the mulch, to my surprise there were loads of white root tips coming all the way up to just under the mulch. What I reasoned was, the mulch kept some moisture in the top layer of soil and allowed the roots to reach up to the surface of the soil which allowed them to make use of that layer, previously it seemed to me that with the top layer drying out to knuckle depth between waterings that the roots didn't come up and make much use of that layer, so my feeling now is that the mulch layer helps the plant make use of the whole container of soil, and I will probably continue to have a mulch layer in future grows, and continue using drilled out pots lined with thin breathable landscape fabric. I think with airpot style containers that having a mulch layer to slow down surface evaporation is probably a good thing.

Yes, I can see how you can relate supercropping to the earlier water stressed grow I mentioned. I think this is probably right. I wouldn't deliberately tempt fate and 'go off' leaving the plants potentially running out of water and dying, but next grow I think I will include some 'supervised' water stressing to where the plant is given several periods of drooping/wilting in it's life to trigger the 'supercropping effect', as when I'd previously done that it was a really good 9/10 result.

The other thing with letting the containers dry out to knuckle depth is that I felt because I heavily drilled out my plastic containers to make them into homemade airpots (even in the container bases I drilled lots of reasonable large sized holes), I felt confident that such drilled out pots would ensure pretty good aeration to the roots as there was no chance for any water to sit without draining out. I felt this was evidenced when I transplanted up, as I could see there were many many white root tips and no root wrapping around the outside of the soil mass like you'd normally expect to see from an undrilled container.

As for the smoke quality, actually I never smoke it but use a vaporizer which works great in my experience. I have been sampling it since the plants were flowering, nipping off the odd little popcorn bud when needed, and when I had to remove some caterpillar damage bud I made use of that too. I prefer the WWX a tad more than the Gorgonzola, both give a nice high, the most noticable thing is they are both very 'clear' compared to the somewhat foggy head feeling that I felt with the last lot of commercial bud I bought, which I put down to it being grown organically outdoors, but that's just my hunch. The buzz doesn't rip my head but then I am a regular user so I am probably a little immune to being bowled over like a newbie. I need to evaluate them a little more now, as this week I have only just started trying the final cured stuff. Plus, I shared some out so I will see what the verdict is when they get back to me. Both the WWX and Gorgonzola I probably give would a good solid 7/10 or thereabouts. Personally I would like to grow plants that do give a more head ripping ride or at least have a variety that gives that for those times when there is no pressure to do other things and I can just enjoy a 'transporting' type high. I feel that the late flowering nute lockout presumably took a little bit from the final harvest in quality as well as quantity, at least I assume it did.

I bought a refractometer today as I thought next grow I will try to keep an eye on the Brix levels and see what that approach brings. And you mentioned supercropping which I would also like to try, and given that I am height restricted that seems a good thing to do - would you still top as well as supercrop. I did practice massaging and 'breaking' some branches on the male plant I grew this year in preparation for doing such a grow.
 

stoneotter

Member of the Month: July 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: November 2019
Hey Emeraldo, nice to hear from you :hookah:

With my previous grow I regular let the pot dry out to knuckle depth. This time I was doing mostly the same up until when I added a layer of pea straw mulch. After while with the mulch layer, I removed it to add some worm castings as a bit of a top dressing before replacing the mulch, to my surprise there were loads of white root tips coming all the way up to just under the mulch. What I reasoned was, the mulch kept some moisture in the top layer of soil and allowed the roots to reach up to the surface of the soil which allowed them to make use of that layer, previously it seemed to me that with the top layer drying out to knuckle depth between waterings that the roots didn't come up and make much use of that layer, so my feeling now is that the mulch layer helps the plant make use of the whole container of soil, and I will probably continue to have a mulch layer in future grows, and continue using drilled out pots lined with thin breathable landscape fabric. I think with airpot style containers that having a mulch layer to slow down surface evaporation is probably a good thing.

Yes, I can see how you can relate supercropping to the earlier water stressed grow I mentioned. I think this is probably right. I wouldn't deliberately tempt fate and 'go off' leaving the plants potentially running out of water and dying, but next grow I think I will include some 'supervised' water stressing to where the plant is given several periods of drooping/wilting in it's life to trigger the 'supercropping effect', as when I'd previously done that it was a really good 9/10 result.

The other thing with letting the containers dry out to knuckle depth is that I felt because I heavily drilled out my plastic containers to make them into homemade airpots (even in the container bases I drilled lots of reasonable large sized holes), I felt confident that such drilled out pots would ensure pretty good aeration to the roots as there was no chance for any water to sit without draining out. I felt this was evidenced when I transplanted up, as I could see there were many many white root tips and no root wrapping around the outside of the soil mass like you'd normally expect to see from an undrilled container.

As for the smoke quality, actually I never smoke it but use a vaporizer which works great in my experience. I have been sampling it since the plants were flowering, nipping off the odd little popcorn bud when needed, and when I had to remove some caterpillar damage bud I made use of that too. I prefer the WWX a tad more than the Gorgonzola, both give a nice high, the most noticable thing is they are both very 'clear' compared to the somewhat foggy head feeling that I felt with the last lot of commercial bud I bought, which I put down to it being grown organically outdoors, but that's just my hunch. The buzz doesn't rip my head but then I am a regular user so I am probably a little immune to being bowled over like a newbie. I need to evaluate them a little more now, as this week I have only just started trying the final cured stuff. Plus, I shared some out so I will see what the verdict is when they get back to me. Both the WWX and Gorgonzola I probably give would a good solid 7/10 or thereabouts. Personally I would like to grow plants that do give a more head ripping ride or at least have a variety that gives that for those times when there is no pressure to do other things and I can just enjoy a 'transporting' type high. I feel that the late flowering nute lockout presumably took a little bit from the final harvest in quality as well as quantity, at least I assume it did.

I bought a refractometer today as I thought next grow I will try to keep an eye on the Brix levels and see what that approach brings. And you mentioned supercropping which I would also like to try, and given that I am height restricted that seems a good thing to do - would you still top as well as supercrop. I did practice massaging and 'breaking' some branches on the male plant I grew this year in preparation for doing such a grow.
As far as waterings go, I let them wilt in veg every time when they are young (not seedlings). It seems to promote root growth. I watch twice a day though so they don't get too dry. I've seen folks dry them out for added frost near harvest time. I have to try that one day.
I'm considering a refractometer. Some are cheap and some expensive. Do you know if it matters?
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
As far as waterings go, I let them wilt in veg every time when they are young (not seedlings). It seems to promote root growth. I watch twice a day though so they don't get too dry. I've seen folks dry them out for added frost near harvest time. I have to try that one day.
I'm considering a refractometer. Some are cheap and some expensive. Do you know if it matters?
Re watering, I think the water stressing that I inadvertently gave the plant in a previous grow probably occurred throughout it's life, I can't be sure whether it was late veg or early flowering when it became the most severely wilted and probably getting close to fatal, but the resulting stickiness was extreme and it gave a superb high, the best I have grown (of course it may have just been genetics, it was unknown bag seed).

re refractometers; for what it is worth, a couple of weeks ago I had no idea on the merits on different priced models. Assuming handheld optical models, as opposed to the more expensive digital variety, the main thing is to get a Brix one, as for cannabis purposes we want to measure the Brix sugar levels, they are either 0 - 20% or 0 - 32%. Other refractometers will look just the same but are made for different fluids, honey for example measures something like 50% - 90%, or fluids like brake fluid, salt water etc etc. So just make sure you get a Brix version.

I bought an old second hand Atago Japanese model, it was only $5, it measures 0 - 20% which should be all that is needed, as anyone would be doing extremely well to get a Brix level over 20%. Even brand new Chinese versions at available in NZ for $30 - $40 which I would guess would do the job and be all one would need, a new one will most likely be available as ATC, which refers to it as have automatic temperature compensation, mine doesn't have this but there is a conversation table should I need to compensate for the ambient temperature so I am not bothered. I am just curious to see how the Brix levels are by how the plant is going. Apparently low brix fruit and veges are more likely to go rotten when old but high brix fruit and veges are more likely to just wither than rot. Interesting. Anyway the instrument I got was so cheap it'll be fun to see the plant's growth from a Brix perspective.
 

stoneotter

Member of the Month: July 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: November 2019
Re watering, I think the water stressing that I inadvertently gave the plant in a previous grow probably occurred throughout it's life, I can't be sure whether it was late veg or early flowering when it became the most severely wilted and probably getting close to fatal, but the resulting stickiness was extreme and it gave a superb high, the best I have grown (of course it may have just been genetics, it was unknown bag seed).

re refractometers; for what it is worth, a couple of weeks ago I had no idea on the merits on different priced models. Assuming handheld optical models, as opposed to the more expensive digital variety, the main thing is to get a Brix one, as for cannabis purposes we want to measure the Brix sugar levels, they are either 0 - 20% or 0 - 32%. Other refractometers will look just the same but are made for different fluids, honey for example measures something like 50% - 90%, or fluids like brake fluid, salt water etc etc. So just make sure you get a Brix version.

I bought an old second hand Atago Japanese model, it was only $5, it measures 0 - 20% which should be all that is needed, as anyone would be doing extremely well to get a Brix level over 20%. Even brand new Chinese versions at available in NZ for $30 - $40 which I would guess would do the job and be all one would need, a new one will most likely be available as ATC, which refers to it as have automatic temperature compensation, mine doesn't have this but there is a conversation table should I need to compensate for the ambient temperature so I am not bothered. I am just curious to see how the Brix levels are by how the plant is going. Apparently low brix fruit and veges are more likely to go rotten when old but high brix fruit and veges are more likely to just wither than rot. Interesting. Anyway the instrument I got was so cheap it'll be fun to see the plant's growth from a Brix perspective.
Good growing Stunger. Good ideas.
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
Just to add a followup...

Re Soil pH:
I borrowed a friend's metal prong style pH soil tester, of which I have no idea as to how roughly accurate it is or not. On that device the filtered water I use measured approx 6.9. I measured the containers from this last grow which I will re use with some amendments for my next grow. The pH for all containers measured approx 6.9 - 7.0. I measured the pH of the remainder of my 'super soil' which was used in the bottom quarter/third in the just completed grows. This leftover supersoil has been sitting in the compost tumbler that I used to mix it up and 'cook' it in. There are worms living in it from the worm castings I had included in the original recipe, over the last couple of months I have been giving them the odd coffee grounds and vegetable/fruit peelings as I will probably buy a worm farm setup and transfer them to that so I can harvest the castings and the 'worm wee' which I feel is rather good as a tea. The pH for this old standing super soil was approx 6.2 - 6.4.

I was a little surprised at the roughly 6.9 pH of the container soil, I had been thinking that the soil had got too low in pH and had caused a nutrient lockout of sorts, but 6.9 is not too bad is it? Would that have been likely to have caused a nute lockout (given of course if these pH readings are correct)?

The plants had been looking (in my opinion) very good, lush strong etc in appearance (there are pics posted further back in the journal of their appearance). I have played this over in my mind quite often as I have pondered which caused the plant's growth to turn rather 'stunted'. I am wondering if my actions of adding a topdressing stuffed up a perfectly happy grow. But I am not sure whether the pH level of 6.9 is the problem or was adding a couple of top dressings that consisted on worm castings, paramagnetic rock dust, guano phosphate over doing it and causing the plants to stunt back, I am suspecting this might be the case. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Many thanks

I also decarbed some of the cured harvest of both varieties using my Ardent machine I can't help feeling that the decarb that the Ardent unit provides seems to add something to the vaping result (I can't speak for other decarbing methods as using the oven seems to have the potential of leaving a lot of THCA potentially unconverted to THC). It's early days, but a friend who did the same also felt there was an increase to the resulting high. Anyway, just relating that for what it's worth.
 

stoneotter

Member of the Month: July 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: November 2019
Just to add a followup...

Re Soil pH:
I borrowed a friend's metal prong style pH soil tester, of which I have no idea as to how roughly accurate it is or not. On that device the filtered water I use measured approx 6.9. I measured the containers from this last grow which I will re use with some amendments for my next grow. The pH for all containers measured approx 6.9 - 7.0. I measured the pH of the remainder of my 'super soil' which was used in the bottom quarter/third in the just completed grows. This leftover supersoil has been sitting in the compost tumbler that I used to mix it up and 'cook' it in. There are worms living in it from the worm castings I had included in the original recipe, over the last couple of months I have been giving them the odd coffee grounds and vegetable/fruit peelings as I will probably buy a worm farm setup and transfer them to that so I can harvest the castings and the 'worm wee' which I feel is rather good as a tea. The pH for this old standing super soil was approx 6.2 - 6.4.

I was a little surprised at the roughly 6.9 pH of the container soil, I had been thinking that the soil had got too low in pH and had caused a nutrient lockout of sorts, but 6.9 is not too bad is it? Would that have been likely to have caused a nute lockout (given of course if these pH readings are correct)?

The plants had been looking (in my opinion) very good, lush strong etc in appearance (there are pics posted further back in the journal of their appearance). I have played this over in my mind quite often as I have pondered which caused the plant's growth to turn rather 'stunted'. I am wondering if my actions of adding a topdressing stuffed up a perfectly happy grow. But I am not sure whether the pH level of 6.9 is the problem or was adding a couple of top dressings that consisted on worm castings, paramagnetic rock dust, guano phosphate over doing it and causing the plants to stunt back, I am suspecting this might be the case. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Many thanks

I also decarbed some of the cured harvest of both varieties using my Ardent machine I can't help feeling that the decarb that the Ardent unit provides seems to add something to the vaping result (I can't speak for other decarbing methods as using the oven seems to have the potential of leaving a lot of THCA potentially unconverted to THC). It's early days, but a friend who did the same also felt there was an increase to the resulting high. Anyway, just relating that for what it's worth.
If there's no other change in the grow then you might be right. The logic seems there.
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
If there's no other change in the grow then you might be right. The logic seems there.
I was assuming the pH had dropped a bit too acidic and I was getting some sort of nute lockup from being at the bottom of the range. So I was surprised to find the level was 6.9 - 7. There are many different opinions of where the ideal range is, however I accept at 6.9 - 7 it is obviously close to the upper desirable limit or perhaps exceeds it in some people's opinion. I presume at this current level that the addition of garden lime/dolomite lime would not be needed? I presume I'd be better trying to lower the pH a little whereas the lime would be of more use if I needed to raise the pH? Any thoughts are very welcome.
:hookah:
 

stoneotter

Member of the Month: July 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: November 2019
I was assuming the pH had dropped a bit too acidic and I was getting some sort of nute lockup from being at the bottom of the range. So I was surprised to find the level was 6.9 - 7. There are many different opinions of where the ideal range is, however I accept at 6.9 - 7 it is obviously close to the upper desirable limit or perhaps exceeds it in some people's opinion. I presume at this current level that the addition of garden lime/dolomite lime would not be needed? I presume I'd be better trying to lower the pH a little whereas the lime would be of more use if I needed to raise the pH? Any thoughts are very welcome.
:hookah:
The author of the book where I'm learning about soil says as a rule of thumb Indica dominant plants like a soil with a PH above 6.5 and sativas like below 6.5 PH. To what extent I have no idea. The soil I made using his recipe looks to settle at 6.8 at a month cooking. I don't know any further info, It's all kind of new to me.
 
Top Bottom