420 Magazine Background

Ready to quit growing due to low quality & smell

SauronBlue

Well-Known Member
I've been growing on and off for about 5 of the last 10 years. I've mostly done soil, but I've been switching to coco lately, to try to get out of my rut. I started with 600w MH/HPS combo for veg/flower in a tent. Back then, I had little invested, and my environment was really hot, rh wasn't something I checked. Back then, my buds would turn brown as soon as I dried them. They would dry in a week at most, as all I had was a closet to hang them, no rh control. The bud was absolute crap, but I was working too much to give the grow much attention.
Fast forward to 2 years ago, I decided to take it seriously and learn to grow quality, or just give it up. I inversted in 2 HLG550R full-spectrum LEDs (about $1000 each) to be sure that concern #1- light level, was handled. I've been using GreenLeaf Nutrients 1-part fert as my main food, but I try other lines on a few plants here and there as a comparison, but so far nothing has shown me a big difference, I might try AN next, idk. I've added an 8k a/c, a beast of a dehu, CO2 cycles from 800-1400 about every 2 hours (lowering the a/c setting to increase temps and allow more CO2 to enter stomata also saves enegry and somehow keeps CO2 from dissipating as fast, and raising the rh to further open stomata keeps the dehu from cooking the room, so I like the synergy). I'm using ProMix HP CC with 30# of castings mixed thru the media. I've added terpine boosters- started with Terpenez, now trying signal by TPS. I add recharge for microbial help, but not every week, only at clone to 1g pot, 1g pot to 5g pot, and veg to bloom (and sometimes halfway thru bloom).
Everything LOOKS great now, wonderful veg growth; fat, dense buds, covered in crystals, green foliage until the flush (1-2 weeks with only terp booster and blackstrap molasses- I add a bit of molasses to every watering, to feed the microbes), the buds are sticky and leave just a bit of intoxicating smell on your fingers, but that is the main problem.
My room is full of plants, and it never smells. I do have a can filter with a fan going 24/7, but I should still smell something, and before I added that, there was just as little smell. If I stick my nose to the plant, I can smell it, but not strong at all. I've tried drying in a cabinet I made out of a huge storage tote, then built wooden racks with window screen to hold the buds and an rh controller hooked up to 4 pc fans to vent moist air to outside. When it's staying at about 60% without the fans turning on, I'd switch to 5 gal buckets with lids and boveda packs. recently, I hung up a small harvest in a closet of the grow room with no door, but I covered the top half with a curtain to keep light away, but allow air to circulate. 8 days hanging and then to the boveda bucket. All of my bud, when drying, when curing, whatever, has almost no smell, and what there is is just hay. Always. I've tried different strains, and I really love how this cheeselicious forms nice tight buds with white/popcorn yellow pistils, while purple diesel daze is a bigger, but fluffier bud. No matter what I do, I'm left with no smell and a quality that only my mom and her friends seem to prefer, but I want something to knock my head back, not relax with old ladies.
I'm growing with permission/ licensing from the state, but it's a constant stress if my landlord will find out and get pissed. If I can't get the quality I want, it's just not worth the stress and utility bills, but I love MJ and love growing it, so I'd rather make it work than give up.
What am I doing wrong? Why does everyone else seem to get this so easily, while I struggle so much? I know others who are putting WAY less time and money into this, and seems to have way better results, meanwhile I'm scouring the web, watching hours and hours of weedtube vids, anything to get my skills up. Please help!!

PS. note on the pics: You can see the difference in the cheese vs purple, as the cheese are tighter buds and the diesel is puffier. The brown water in the pic with the can fan is because I just watered with molasses in the water. I clean up the water before lights out every day, I just didn't feel like taking a new pic for that. I changed some pic around to put the foxtailing cheese at the end. I think it's because I increased the co2 level and the heat/humidity after about 4 weeks of the 10 weeks I plan on for this grow, and I think the girl is getting so much more out of it that she went into foxtailing with the boost.

PPS. I'm planning to dry in the flower room closet, using a hanging rack. I'll keep the humidity in the room to 60% for the time that the buds are drying(then heat and humidity up to get the co2 boost), then I ordered turkey bags to use with boveda, all inside 5 gal buckets for the cure. But if I hardly smell anything before the chop, how much can my cure possibly bring back, even if I do it perfectly?
 

Attachments

  • IMG_2239.JPG
    IMG_2239.JPG
    1.1 MB · Views: 102
  • IMG_2244.JPG
    IMG_2244.JPG
    1,019.7 KB · Views: 111
  • IMG_2246.JPG
    IMG_2246.JPG
    999.7 KB · Views: 93
  • IMG_2250.JPG
    IMG_2250.JPG
    842.7 KB · Views: 83
  • IMG_2251.JPG
    IMG_2251.JPG
    607.6 KB · Views: 83
  • IMG_2253.JPG
    IMG_2253.JPG
    1.1 MB · Views: 82
  • IMG_2255.JPG
    IMG_2255.JPG
    878.8 KB · Views: 83
  • IMG_2243.JPG
    IMG_2243.JPG
    1,006.8 KB · Views: 97

Stormblessed

Well-Known Member
I just had my first harvest and I was worried that was happening to me also, but as it cures longer it is definitely getting a lot better, still a lot of room for improvement but I think my impatience is gonna b the biggest issue for me, I will b along for the ride to get some info hopefully :Rasta:
 

SauronBlue

Well-Known Member
A bit more info:
When I grew the brown bud, back when I started, it was way too hot, and I think I over-watered a lot. The leaves would all turn brown long before harvest, and even the sugar leaves would turn brown and crispy. I'd have to chop it at times to keep the brown from spreading to the buds, regardless of whether I thought the trichs were cloudy or amber. That bud would quickly turn brown when dried, and I know it dried too quickly, but I just didn't have any space to do it right, and could care less, since I was busy making good money and working a lot. I eventually just put everything in storage, because it was just wasting time and electricity, growing harsh buds that had no potency, and just got tossed out or used for experiments. I liked seeing it grow, making tinctures or bubble hash, experimenting with it, but not enough to keep up with it if I couldn't smoke it.
When I came back to it, I had some initial success, but old issues came back. Weird deficiency signs, brown leaves early in flower, etc., and have worked hard, and spent more than I expected to get things to where they are. The leaves stay green all thru the grow, no need to chop to avoid crazy drying out; the plants are manageable size, no issues with training or defoliating; bud density/hardness is good; buds are pretty frosty, but I don't expect too much frost on my current ones during the heat of late summer, until I drop the co2, temp and rh for the last 2-3 weeks(a week or 2 from now); gotten my gnats under control with sand, nematodes, and some chemical additive I used for a bit in veg. All in all, with the many different things I've added or changed, I really like how my bud grows now, the only problem is the persistent lack of smell. I water at the full dose of whatever the nutes suggest, add molasses, recharge and terp booster, plus the co2 to supercharge the growth, and usually go 10-11 weeks to let them really finish up. Even when chopping down or trimming, there isn't a crazy amount of smell. I've necer been worried about the smell, and the can fan was as much to circulate any heavy co2 that might fall to the floor as in anticipation of more smell as things kept looking better. If they smelled great at chop, I'd think it was due to my cure, but they never even seem to GET much of a smell in the first place.
As far as the smoke, I must admit that it has improved quite a bit. Where it once turned brown and was too harsh to bother with, it now seems pretty much normal in appearance, and goes down pretty smooth, leaving white ash. The only thing is, the buds don't smell, or they smell like grass or hay just a bit, and there's no kick to it. Some good stuff, you feel it from that first puff that you're gonna get blasted, I can't explain, but I think most true smokers know what I'm talking about. kind of a spiciness that you can taste and smack your lips. This bud I grow is just plain, it's like bud-lite. You smoke a bowl or 2, you're gonna know it's weed in there, but ur not blasted. Not like the dispensary stuff or the street stuff. Like how back in the day, we had reggie, or regs, then there was hydro. My stuff is the regs. That's why my mom's friends love it, but I want to love it and invite MY friends over to enjoy it, without having to spend way too much at a dispensary for what still is only sometimes REALLY good.
So, basically, I've tried just about everythiung that I think could make a notable difference, and I'm still not where I need to be to keep pursuing this hobby that I love. It's just not worth it to have to invest so much time and money, on top of risking the wrath of my old, conservative landlord, to grow bud that I don't enjoy smoking. Please help me hang on to the hobby I love, and help me get the potency where it needs to be


Edit: Added some pics of my dried buds.
1st is a comparison of dispensary buds in the jars, my buds are way bigger up top, and street bud on the side. It all looks the same, other than I could've done a better trim on my bud, but they look, feel, density, sponginess, all in the same ballpark. No more light, airy buds that I had when it was too hot in my grow.
Then there's a pic of some bud in buckets. I split a bucket into 1/4s using cardboard to separate strains in there. The other bucket is where I put whatever I buy, to keep that fresh. basically the smae conditions, so I don't think my storage methods can be the cause, as the bought bud all has a good punch to it, and is generally all I smoke
 

Attachments

  • IMG_2261[1].JPG
    IMG_2261[1].JPG
    941.1 KB · Views: 96
  • IMG_2262[1].JPG
    IMG_2262[1].JPG
    702.2 KB · Views: 94
Last edited:

The Celt

Well-Known Member
I can think of 2 possibilities for lack of smell, although I may be wrong on both accounts :19:

First off, during growing, I find I become ”smell blind”, so used to the smell of flowering bud, I don’t smell it until I get my nose right in the bud :)

Secondly, what time of day do you harvest?

With those temps, harvesting after lights ON may be part of the issue. Harvesting during lights on with higher temps can drive off the terpenes.
 

SauronBlue

Well-Known Member
I can think of 2 possibilities for lack of smell, although I may be wrong on both accounts :19:

First off, during growing, I find I become ”smell blind”, so used to the smell of flowering bud, I don’t smell it until I get my nose right in the bud :)

Secondly, what time of day do you harvest?

With those temps, harvesting after lights ON may be part of the issue. Harvesting during lights on with higher temps can drive off the terpenes.

Thanks for the input!

I have this in a room that is closed all day, so I don't think I'm getting too used to the smell of them, but I have always suspected a bit, since my landlord keeps air fresheners in the hallway, and I'm not sure if they did that before I moved in - if anything It'd likely be from smoking, not growing lol. Others have tried my bud and agreed with my assessment of the final product, and have come into the room on a visit and commented on the look or something, but never the smell.

As far as time of day, I usually either take the plant out at the very start or before the day cycle, as my day is at night, and I want to get started chopping right away, so I'm not going till sunup. I have left plants out of the room for a day or 2 before chopping if I got lazy or had too much to do, but I find the leaves get limp and are hard to trim, so I try to only have them out that day. I usually don't harvest them after hours of sun, and my temps are usually 75-77f and 65%rh, I only started boosting the temp and humidity as I learn about how VPD effects co2 intake, so this is only for the middle of flower, kinda like a late summer heat wave, which the co2 helps them deal with. This is the first time I've done this, and the temps will have been back to my normal for at least 2 weeks before chop, to allow the plants to harden more and frost over with trichs.
 
Last edited:

The Celt

Well-Known Member
OK, so not likely either of those 2 things, that only really leaves the dry/cure or the genetics themselves.

Drying too quick (or over drying) , even when using Bodevas for the cure can ruin the aroma and leave them smelling like hay/grass.

A longer/slower dry will often enhance the terpenes. A number of members are using the ”Low & Slow” fridge cure method and saying good things about it. Forget who I saw using this method, maybe @ChefDGreen or he might know who is?

Myself, as I don’t have a spare fridge to use and try this method, have my grow room converted into a drying room until I finish my outdoor harvest. I keep this room at 60% rh and 65+/- degrees when drying. This allows for a slow dry in which I really don’t need to worry about how long the bud sits there as 58-62% rh is also the best range for curing and storing bud. I have actually left bud/trim, I intend to use for hash or oil, cure right in the drying racks.
 

ChefDGreen

Grow Journal of the Month: April 2020 - Nug of the Month: May 2021
Buy paper sandwhich bags, wet trim your flowers, weigh 30 grams per bag. Leave the bags 14 days in your fridge then put the buds into jars and air them out once a day for s couple weeks. That’s pretty much how I do it and my flowers always stink and knock you down.
 

SauronBlue

Well-Known Member
OK, so not likely either of those 2 things, that only really leaves the dry/cure or the genetics themselves.

Drying too quick (or over drying) , even when using Bodevas for the cure can ruin the aroma and leave them smelling like hay/grass.

I've tried a few different strains over the years, most from a big name seedbank overseas, but I did start my return to growing after a while with bagseed bc that's all that sprouted after I'd tried about 100 seeds. I'm back to the seedbank, and I really like how the buds look now, but do I need to keep trying different ones over and over to find quality? Is it very rare to find something nice?

My last dry was with these same 2 genetics I'm flowering now, but just a couple plants. They've dried hung in the room at about 75f and 65%, in a shady closet for about 8 days before 2-3 weeks in boveda buckets. I ordered turkey bags to further reduce the air, and make the boveda more efficient, but they haven't come yet. The buds have a kinda perfumey smell when ground up, but not a danky weed smell, and what is there is still fairly light. If it sits out for 20 min after grinding, that smell is gone. When you smoke it, there's a light hi, but it fades quickly, and the smoke is more smooth than anything- no flavors like sour or melon or the cheese that I'd expect from cheeselicious, just smooth but flavorless

Do your buds go into the dry or into the cure smelling, or only after curing? From what I read, they should smell all during flower, stink to high heaven when trimming, stink up the whole place during dry, and still smell themselves, develop new and deeper smells during the cure, changing to sweeter as they age. Mine start off with no smell to begin with, before, during and after chopping/trimming, drying, curing. The whole process is marked by bland flavors and smells, regardless of the look of the bud. If it looked like crap, I'd think bad genetics, but everything is great but the smell/taste and effect. Kinda important things tho LOL



Buy paper sandwhich bags, wet trim your flowers, weigh 30 grams per bag. Leave the bags 14 days in your fridge then put the buds into jars and air them out once a day for s couple weeks. That’s pretty much how I do it and my flowers always stink and knock you down.

Sounds interesting. I've tried water curing, I love experimenting with cannabis. I'm sure I can put 30g aside to try this my next chop, but my fridge can be crazy at times. It likes to randomly freeze everything once in a while
 

SeniorMoments

Well-Known Member
Buy paper sandwhich bags, wet trim your flowers, weigh 30 grams per bag. Leave the bags 14 days in your fridge then put the buds into jars and air them out once a day for s couple weeks. That’s pretty much how I do it and my flowers always stink and knock you down.
I totally agree with this drying method ( although I use bigger paper bags ). 7 to 10 days in bags in fridge till RH is under 70%. Then I put them in open jars , in fridge , till RH is around 65%.
Then I start cure in same jars , w/ the lid tight and Bovida pack 62% , in a dark closet and burp twice a day until 62%.
Once a day or every other day for about 3 weeks.
62% is the sweet spot.
 

SauronBlue

Well-Known Member
Do your buds go into the dry or into the cure smelling, or only after curing? From what I read, they should smell all during flower, stink to high heaven when trimming, stink up the whole place during dry, and still smell themselves, develop new and deeper smells during the cure, changing to sweeter as they age. Mine start off with no smell to begin with, before, during and after chopping/trimming, drying, curing. The whole process is marked by bland flavors and smells, regardless of the look of the bud. If it looked like crap, I'd think bad genetics, but everything is great but the smell/taste and effect. Kinda important things tho LOL

This is the first question I have for anyone who's recommending a dry/cure method, because I feel like my problem is starting before that. Now if you say that your buds are like mine until the cure, well, now we're talking, but I don't want to skip over that point
 

ChefDGreen

Grow Journal of the Month: April 2020 - Nug of the Month: May 2021
So, I think your problem is starting with your nutrients. You said something about watering in molasses but you’re running synthetics and (basically) promix or coco. You need to get your understanding of synthetic methods sorted. I would guess that you’re also not watering to run off every time. Which, with synthetic bottles or powders, (and coco) is absolutely vital. Your plants look like their root zones are built up with unused salts IMHO. Now there’s a lot of debate about whether the nutrients build up in the plant material... but i will say that over fed plants will not produce the same levels of secondary essential oils (terpenes). You need to be fully saturating each pot with around 10-20% run off while watering in slowly on every fertigation. Also a reset during week 6 of flower is a good idea usually, especially for longer running strains. By reset I mean, run 3x pot size of water through the medium to flush things out and allow for proper uptake of nutrients again. You don’t need to see deficiencies or lockouts to benefit from a soil reset.

That said, you sound like you understand the principles of drying and curing.. so you should be doing fine with that. As long as your temps are staying down because high temps will flash off all of your volatile terpenes.
 

The Celt

Well-Known Member
Although this is my first year trying anything aside from LOS grows, and I didn’t see it mentioned, but feed your plants right up until harvest. Flushing them and starving them for the last few days does nothing to remove salts from the plant but does limit their potential.

Not sure what you are looking for in smells and effects, but here are some of the well known strains that I have grown that have had good smell and effect from my grows:

THC Bomb - it’s been awhile since I have grown this one but I always enjoyed it, potent and a peppery hit when smoking

Cluster Bomb - nice hybrid with a lemon/pine smell and average potency. Being a hybrid, harvest conditions often affect the type of buzz, early being more sativa leaning and late harvest more Indica like.

Blue Dream (one of my favourites and a good daytime med) produces 3 distinct phenos -
#1 - sweet smelling - with small very tight calyx
#2 - more sour smell with larger but tight calyx - looks loose but really isn’t except for lower bud
#3 - sweet & sour - somewhere in between

All 3 phenos have a Sativa leaning buzz

That’s just a few that although not overly pungent when growing, at harvest have awesome smells and cure into great smoke
 

Justin Goody

New Member
Although this is my first year trying anything aside from LOS grows, and I didn’t see it mentioned, but feed your plants right up until harvest. Flushing them and starving them for the last few days does nothing to remove salts from the plant but does limit their potential.

Not sure what you are looking for in smells and effects, but here are some of the well known strains that I have grown that have had good smell and effect from my grows:

THC Bomb - it’s been awhile since I have grown this one but I always enjoyed it, potent and a peppery hit when smoking

Cluster Bomb - nice hybrid with a lemon/pine smell and average potency. Being a hybrid, harvest conditions often affect the type of buzz, early being more sativa leaning and late harvest more Indica like.

Blue Dream (one of my favourites and a good daytime med) produces 3 distinct phenos -
#1 - sweet smelling - with small very tight calyx
#2 - more sour smell with larger but tight calyx - looks loose but really isn’t except for lower bud
#3 - sweet & sour - somewhere in between

All 3 phenos have a Sativa leaning buzz

That’s just a few that although not overly pungent when growing, at harvest have awesome smells and cure into great smoke
ChemDawg and Gorilla Glue are both strains that have pungent aroma before and after harvest. Sticky, smelly, potent.

The loss of taste here is likely happening in drying/curing. 75 is a bit high for the room temp drying at 55-60 RH, that's where smell dies if left for a day too long. I've also had a problem when I pulled them down too early to go into jars, and the smell dies when the humidity shoots back up and isn't observed/burped several times a day. It's a touchy few days to get it just right, but worth it.

Genetics and lighting are very important, but I've taken cheap ass bagseeds and made them awesome just through feeding and a proper dry/cure.
If the leaves are crisping up and the bud turning brown during drying, I'd look at salt/overfeeding, but also look at mold. Definitely water to run off to keep those salts at a minimum.

Keep it simple, and do what other successful people do in their grows, and you'll also see success.
 

SauronBlue

Well-Known Member
So, I think your problem is starting with your nutrients. You said something about watering in molasses but you’re running synthetics and (basically) promix or coco. You need to get your understanding of synthetic methods sorted. I would guess that you’re also not watering to run off every time. Which, with synthetic bottles or powders, (and coco) is absolutely vital. Your plants look like their root zones are built up with unused salts IMHO. Now there’s a lot of debate about whether the nutrients build up in the plant material... but i will say that over fed plants will not produce the same levels of secondary essential oils (terpenes). You need to be fully saturating each pot with around 10-20% run off while watering in slowly on every fertigation. Also a reset during week 6 of flower is a good idea usually, especially for longer running strains. By reset I mean, run 3x pot size of water through the medium to flush things out and allow for proper uptake of nutrients again. You don’t need to see deficiencies or lockouts to benefit from a soil reset.

That said, you sound like you understand the principles of drying and curing.. so you should be doing fine with that. As long as your temps are staying down because high temps will flash off all of your volatile terpenes.


Okay, now some good exchange!

1st, if I can start at the end, Do you think having the heat high during high co2 infusion is a bad thing? I just started with co2, but what I keep hearing is that you MUST raise temp and rh to get the most of it, as both of those factors will cause the plant stomata on the leaves to open wider, allowing more co2 to enter the plant, and the co2 allows the plant to operate at these conitions. Apparently, if you're not using these environmental conditions, you are wasting your co2, and I can say that I've been running co2 the whole grow, and after 5 or 6 weeks of normal temps, I bumped it up, and see foxtailing, now at about week 7, so it seems to have caused a growth spurt. Those who raise the temps say that dropping them in the last couple weeks allows the buds to pack on density and trichs that the heat chases away, but now on top of much bigger buds for the added growth rate. I'm just trying to find what I'm missing in an ocean of opinions on what works and what doesn't.

As far as the nutes, are you saying the actual nutes, or the way I'm administering them? I can verify that I'm not watering to runoff, but I do give plain water with just molasses and terp booster every 3rd feeding. I only give a bit of molasses to feed the microbes that recharge puts in the root zone, not as a fertilizer. I usually water slowly just to get the soil moist, then move on to another plant. I'll come back and add more water until I feel it's almost full, then move on again. I'll come back and add a bit more to any that are not dripping runoff, but all I look for is a bit, not 20% of the soil mass or added water. Is this really necessary, and could it cause the problem I'm having? Even with every 3rd watering being a mini-flush? It's always a hassle removing water, and I'm always worried about any leaks that will bring attention, but if it is necessary to get the results I want, I can water more deeply
 

ChefDGreen

Grow Journal of the Month: April 2020 - Nug of the Month: May 2021
What I’m saying is that there are no microbes. If you’re using bottled nutrients they’re already water soluble, no microbes needed for nutrient availability.

And yes, every time you add nutrient water you need to fully saturate the pot and make sure you’re getting 20% run off. I think I’m referring to the way you’re administering your nutes. Your plants don’t look like the ratios or quantities are off.. just that the soil is building up.
 

ChefDGreen

Grow Journal of the Month: April 2020 - Nug of the Month: May 2021

SauronBlue

Well-Known Member
What I’m saying is that there are no microbes. If you’re using bottled nutrients they’re already water soluble, no microbes needed for nutrient availability.

And yes, every time you add nutrient water you need to fully saturate the pot and make sure you’re getting 20% run off. I think I’m referring to the way you’re administering your nutes. Your plants don’t look like the ratios or quantities are off.. just that the soil is building up.

So, you're saying that having a runoff of 5%, instead of 20%, even with a plain water every 3rd watering would cause the smells not coming thru in my plants? Can you make a link between the difference in runoff and my issue, or is this just somewhere that my process differs from yours? Is minor salt buildup known to kill terpines?

I add the microbes because they make the plant uptake the nutrients more efficiently, and any ph/deficiency issues disappear. I added them to see if they helped, and they did, so I keep them. They are the one thing that I've added, besides co2, that I've seen clear evidence to convince me to keep using it.

The loss of taste here is likely happening in drying/curing.

Definitely water to run off to keep those salts at a minimum.

Keep it simple, and do what other successful people do in their grows, and you'll also see success.

Again, did you account for the fact that I never started off with a smell, so there is really no "loss" here, just an absence? Loss would imply that it smelled during the grow, then it went away at the dry/cure. My bud never has had a strong smell, none that I've grown over 5 or 6 years of growing, and all the methods and strains I've tried. Always a faint grass or potpourri smell

I water to runoff, just not 20%

It's almost impossible to copy what people do, in my experience, because everyone does something different, and everyone swears that their way is the best way, and maybe is for them. The issue, is that unless you are going to copy every aspect of their grow, from nutes, to media, to strain, and live in the same are to mimic the smae environmental conditions, then what work for someone else may not work for me. Small differences, like LED vs HID lighting, or if you filetr you water with carbon/ro whatever, can make your needs totally different. And how do you keep it simple when you need to factor in so many variables to get the environment just right? I wish I could keep it simple, and not spend thousands of dollars on equipment to try to get the exact temps and ph that I'm being recommended. It's just impossible advice to follow
 
Top Bottom