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Outdoor Organic Balcony Stealth Quadlining: White Widow/Gorgonzola

Stunger

Well-Known Member
This season in NZ, I have started off 4 plants, 2 x White Widow & 2 x White Widow/Gorgonzola. The breeding line of the seeds originally came from AMS, over the last two seasons I did some selective pollination that produced the seeds (regular) that I am using for this season's grow.

For the containers and soil I am reusing last year's organic soil that I have re amended and when doing so was surprised and happy to find a population of worms living in all the containers, even though during the 'off season' they had been minimally watered. The original soil was my own organic super soil recipe that was cobbled together based on reading recipes of other growers and using the availability of what ingredients I could find locally or substitute for. This year I also included some gypsum, dolomite, ground/crushed mussel and oyster shells. The containers I am using have been drilled out in an attempt to create home made air pots and lined with a light porous landscape fabric to prevent the soil being washed out the drilled holes. I was very happy with the root development last season when using this approach. After last season's grow, I started a worm farm, so after several months it is now generating plenty of 'worm wee' for watering the garden!

Also since last season, I have read about High Brix gardening which I find extremely interesting. My soil mix re-used and re-amended from last season may have more Nitrogen than desired for a High Brix approach, but I am hoping the long time it has had to 'cook' may have used up at least some of any excess. I did buy a second hand refractometer cheaply which I will have a go at testing out Brix percentages during the grow to see if I can gain any experience and makes improvements with consideration for the High Brix approach.

This season when picking seeds to germinate I deciding to do so based on the existence of a 'volcano divot'. Something I read said that using this criteria would help to pick female seeds. Now I have read far more opinions disputing this, of which I am in that camp too, as surely if it worked it would be used by everyone. But it seemed like there was nothing to lose in trying this approach when it came to selecting which seeds to germinate. So far, altho I can see preflower structures when I zoom into the area of nodes coming off the stem, I am not 100% sure on what gender I am looking at. So I will post some pics of this too, and welcome any insights from others on what gender they are suggesting. Two appear to me as female, based on similar preflower structures I have observed on previous grows, but the other two I am not sure about as they still appear quite 'pointy', time will soon tell, but until then I am of course hoping I'll get some girls!

The plants are 2 months old at present and as far as I can tell, they are looking good.

Here are 2 pics of the seeds I used, closeup as I am trying to show the 'volcano divot'. Of course by other's eyes who have experience in this I may have not picked good volcano divots, but here you can see what I saw and choose. The first pic with 3 seeds is the White Widow seeds from which I picked 2 from to germinate (sorry I failed to take a pic of which 2). The second pic is of the White Widow crossed with Gorgonzola.



Here are each of the 4 plants at about 8 weeks. 3 plants have been Quadlined (micro topped above the 3rd node) and 1 plant I am letting grow out with the plan to secret it as a stealth grow within a space in my hedge, if it gets too tall I plan on supercropping it.

Plant 1-WW Quadlined - 8 weeks

Plant 2-WW Quadlined - 8 weeks (after topping a snail or slug chewed off the growth shoots of the 3rd node, but luckily it eventually grew back.

Plant 3-WW/G Quadlined - 8 weeks

Plant 4-WW/G no topping - 8 weeks
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
Because these plants are effectively from regular seeds, I want to try and determine what gender they are, sooner preferably than later. Any males and I will probably just cull them to reduce my grow and time (Fluxing and Quadlining require a reasonably frequent amount of training). Plus, I still have White Widow pollen saved from 2 previous seasons of grows and still have a few hundred seeds saved, so I am not inclined to bother growing out any confirmed males on this grow.

However, as long as I get some girls it is my intention to selectively attempt to feminize some colas with daily spraying of Colloidal Silver once flowering has begun. I have read a couple of journals where this has been done quite successfully and the growers have been rewarded with plenty of feminized seeds for future grows. So it seems no real loss to have a go at trying attempting that myself on this grow - if all goes to plan :goodluck:.
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
I have taken 2 close up pics of areas around the nodes of each plant to try and determine the preflower gender. Because these structures are small and hard to capture, and I feel, that sometimes when taken from a different angle what you previously had thought to be male is now perhaps female?!? It seems to me from previously grows, that there can be a bit of variation of the preflower structures. Of my 4 plants, my guesses on their gender are as follows
1-WW - ?
2-WW - possibly female
3-WWG - ?
4-WWG - possibly female

Plants 1-WW and 3-WWG I am not sure about, as they seem to still exhibit a degree of 'pointyness' and they don't seem to be on a stems like I have seen before with confirmed males. Of course, unless it is 100% clear that they are males then I don't want to cull them in case I make a mistake, and at the same time I am viewing them thru 'hoping-for-female' tinted glasses!

All thoughts or guesses are very welcome!

What gender are these?

1-WW



2-WW


3-WWG


4-WWG

 

Emeraldo

Well-Known Member
Methinks it too early to tell (which is of course the only "safe" comment to make). I have read about the differences at an early stage between male and female flowers, and the upshot is: a male flower at that stage looks like the ball in some of your photos, but so can the female calyx. The male "ball" at this very early stage, however, will often sit atop a fat little stem of its own. That little stem under the male flower distinguishes it from the female calyx (which has no little stem of its own separating it from the node). I see the little male "stem" potentially forming in your plants 1-WW and 3-WWG.
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
Methinks it too early to tell (which is of course the only "safe" comment to make). I have read about the differences at an early stage between male and female flowers, and the upshot is: a male flower at that stage looks like the ball in some of your photos, but so can the female calyx. The male "ball" at this very early stage, however, will often sit atop a fat little stem of its own. That little stem under the male flower distinguishes it from the female calyx (which has no little stem of its own separating it from the node). I see the little male "stem" potentially forming in your plants 1-WW and 3-WWG.
Your suspicion is probably right. It does look like the beginnings of a stem in 1-WW and 3-WWG. I guess best to watch as to how it develops.

Also instead of culling it once I am certain it is a male I could instead try out an amendment of uncertain quality. I was told a story recently, that happened in Asia where a bag of dried prawns or shrimp was being carried thru a bamboo grove when it spilled, they were mostly left where they fell, however the bamboo that grew at that spot the following year was really grew amazingly prolific and special. I have not been able to find crustacea meal for gardening, but may be able to get dried prawn or shrimp from an Asian shop here and test out a dose on any male, if it continues to grow happily like now then I know I can use it as an amendment.
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
Yes, if I try feeding crustacean meal to a confirmed male plant it would be purely using it as a lab rat. As there should be no difference because of it's gender of how it responds to such an amendment. I say this in case such packets of dried shrimps/prawns contain some unlisted additives/flavor enhancement chemicals like MSG, that may have an unwelcome effect on the soil. The person who told me that story saw it first hand and was amazed by the subsequent effect it had on the bamboo which was used from cooking.
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
I'll will certainly post on it if I try that. All plants appear if great health so any introduced amendment that didn't work well should show a change for the negative, at least if a male is used as a lab rat it would be no loss, altho possibly the soil would need the 10 months until next season's grow to recover.

It's a shame if those plants indeed turn out to be males, because as luck would have it they are in my 2 biggest containers (50 liter/12 gallons), whereas the suspected females are in the smaller 30 liter/7 gallon size.
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
Plants are continuing to look well. These are about 10 weeks since germination. Still uncertain as to the gender as they are from regular seeds and the gender structures haven't yet formed balls or pistils. I would cull any male if I was 100% certain and pop in an auto to take it's place in the pot, but as I am not certain I will let them develop longer and hopefully it becomes favorably apparent before too long as to whose a boy and whose a girl!



 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
They probably get direct sun (if it's out) from about 1:30pm onwards to about 7pm. Not ideal but they seem to be doing well. And it sure helps if the weather gives lots of sunny days.
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
We have been getting some nice long sunny days and the plants seem to be enjoying that. Summer starts next week.

Last season's grow I carried out fairly significant pruning to train the plants in a Fluxing manner, I feel this season's plants are close to 6 weeks ahead of last season's. Because I am Quadlining, there is of course double the number of 'arms', (double the displayable growth). The only pruning this time has been from one single topping, and the reasonably gentle LST necessary to 'tuck' and guide the arms and their side growth to keep them horizontal, whereas last season I pruned off over/under shoots and removed leaves to open bud sites, perhaps that slowed them down a bit. So this time I am letting them keep their solar panels, for the time being anyhow. :hookah:
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
I was getting some snails or slugs eating holes in the plants leaves, the signs were the dried slime trails, it seemed most nights, not a lot to worry the plant but it was starting to annoy me. I sprinkled a few slug/snail baits around the tiles that the pots are sitting on. The next day there was a number of dead slugs still on the tiles and no more signs of leaves being freshly eaten - so that worked a treat.

:meatballs:
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
Today I did my first foliar feeding. Altho the plants to my eye are looking great, it is this vegetation period up until the 2nd or 3rd week of flowering that is most ideal for foliar feeding. I have read great things about how beneficial it can be for overall plant growth, health, pest resistance, higher Brix levels and improved yields. What is there not to like in that?! So with my plants now just over 10 weeks since germination I thought I'd better crack on with it.

I am including my foliar mix as a note as refer back to should it all go pear shaped, but hopefully not. In 1 liter of dechlorinated water I added 1ml of seaweed kelp concentrate and 2ml of fish hydroslate, as well as about quarter a cup of 'worm wee'. I also added a couple of drops of organic chemical free dishwashing liquid to help the resulting spray form more of a film of the leaves instead of otherwise 'beading up'. With the addition of worm wee I allowed some of the worm wee sludge to dribble into the sprayer which was a mistake as the little specs of grit from the sludge clogged up the sprayer intake and I had to keep taking it apart and cleaning out the intake. So next time I'll skip the inclusion of worm wee or at least ensure it is only liquid.
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
I took a fan leaf off the right hand plant (1-WW) in the above pic in the previous post to squeeze out some juice and see what the refractometer says. I gave the girls their very first foliar feed yesterday and waiting until mid afternoon today to test a leaf. I am not looking at the moment to do this a lot as I'd prefer to let the plants keep their leaves for now unless they're blocking lots of light from bud sites. However, it is my intention to do weekly or twice weekly foliar feeds depending on how they go, so it will be interesting to check out how the Brix levels go with more foliar feeds.
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
Of my 4 plants, 3 are Quadlined and on the balcony and one (4-WWG) is growing tall on the lawn. My feeling is that the leaves of the one growing tall on the lawn are a little pale. Without lugging it upstairs to the balcony to compare side by side it seems pale to me. The 3 Quadlined plants appear to me as being quite lush and of good color. All four share the same soil. I took pH levels, albeit with a cheap pH tester, and the levels were somewhere roughly in the 5.8 to 6.2 range. As the soil is reused super soil from last season and the base soil was peat based which I understand eventually breaks down to be more acidic. Anyway, this afternoon I sprinkled a handful of seafood based fertilizer that I have which it a lime type mix, (it is roughly equal parts, dolomite, ground oyster shell, ground green lip mussel shell, humates, with some pine bark and other stuff). The directions are to apply a modest handful once a month in growing season so hopefully it will be fine and I might do again in a month too. Four pics from the last 10 days, do they seem a bit pale, or more so than the Quadlined plants?



 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
I decided to do another foliar feed today, I didn't include worm wee this time. In 1 liter of dechlorinated water I added 2ml of seaweed kelp concentrate and 2ml of fish hydroslate. I also added 3 drops of organic chemical free dishwashing liquid to act as a surfactant. After about 3 hours I took a Brix reading from 1-WW of about 13%. Unfortunately my camera doesn't capture the refractometer image with full contrast between the white and blue so it is a little washed out. However, I am encouraged with the reading as it has increased from 4 days ago when I did the first foliar feed and then got a Brix reading of about 10%. The 3 quadlined plants continue to look good to my eye, altho these are early days.

 

Emeraldo

Well-Known Member
Of my 4 plants, 3 are Quadlined and on the balcony and one (4-WWG) is growing tall on the lawn. My feeling is that the leaves of the one growing tall on the lawn are a little pale. ...a handful of seafood based fertilizer ...(it is roughly equal parts, dolomite, ground oyster shell, ground green lip mussel shell, humates, with some pine bark and other stuff). ... Four pics from the last 10 days, do they seem a bit pale, or more so than the Quadlined plants?
Yes it seems to have a different shade of green, but that could be lots of things, like the particular plant itself, or maybe the amount of soil it has in that pot. For one that would grow tall, I'd make sure it has a lot of soil like 15 gal or more. Did the lime/shell mix help so far? If the color doesn't improve or if you think it is a problem and getting worse, I would consider up-potting into an even larger pot with the right soil.
 

Stunger

Well-Known Member
Yes it seems to have a different shade of green, but that could be lots of things, like the particular plant itself, or maybe the amount of soil it has in that pot. For one that would grow tall, I'd make sure it has a lot of soil like 15 gal or more. Did the lime/shell mix help so far? If the color doesn't improve or if you think it is a problem and getting worse, I would consider up-potting into an even larger pot with the right soil.
I can't really explain the paler shade of green of 4-WWG compared to the 3 quadlined plants (1-WW, 2-WW, 3-WWG), one which (3-WWG) is a sibling of it! Last season I had given the plant I was growing in that particular pot to a mate whose crop had failed. After the grow he returned the container and said he had lightly given some amendments of his own, altho that would have been nearly a year ago and since then I had re-amended with the same amendments I applied to the other 3 pots and let all them 'cook/settle' for several months before using them. It's a mystery at the moment. The addition of the lime/oyster/mussel shell hasn't made any difference so far that I can see, the plant appears no worse or better. I put a layer of homemade organic compost as mulch on it yesterday, and we had a useful fall of rain yesterday evening that would have soaked it and helped the lime mix sink down into the soil a bit. Yes, you right if it appears to start looking worse I'll have to do something, perhaps re potting, altho I am hoping very soon I will know what it's gender is, as if any boys I will take them out and use the vacant pots to kick off a Gorilla Glue Auto as I have never grown an Auto before so would be good to try it.
 
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