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Semi-Guerilla Sinsemilla

Emeraldo

Well-Known Member
welcome to my first grow journal. i am a newbie with a few years' of growing experience but wanted to share, first, the idea of this year's grow -- why i called it "semi-guerilla sinsemilla" and second to post updates on how the grow progresses. am growing Blueberry Headband and Sour Diesel Number 2 from Humboldt Seed Organization, and Dinafem's OG Kush. Ten plants in all. These strains were selected for their outdoor growability. All feminized seeds this time, so no seeds expected (unless i get a hermie, which is not expected). hence "sinsemilla".

the "semi-guerilla" part needs a little explanation. no one will be present most of the time, i will be away for two months at a time. am now germinating and will set seedlings on about 4/20 and will not be back until July and then again in October to harvest. think i am crazy? well, listen to the idea first and then tell me what you think. the grow site is a very private back yard with no neighbors able to view it. but it is a sunny spot with automatic watering with programmable frequency like a lawn or other garden. ample water. climate-wise it is perfect, gets warm in the summer with no rain. 38L north. ideal climate. California, where it is soon to be legal (except for maybe the number of plants).

i've taken ideas from all over, so i cannot claim to have invented this on my own. subcool's laws of organic cannabis inspired me, in particular the super soil recipe, but i use others' ideas as well. this is an outdoor grow using 15-gallon fabric pots to allow for better root aeration and runoff so overwatering will be minimized. 15 gallon pots were selected because they are, i hope, big enough to require no transplanting. my experience in prior grows was that transplanting several times was necessary or at least best for the plant. little roots get bogged down if the pot is too big, too wet, and cannot dry out. that is particularly true for young plants in large ceramic or plastic pots. but like i said, i will not be there. transplanting cannot happen until mid-July, and hopefully with this method transplanting will not be necessary.

my basic soil mix is FF Ocean Forest mixed with ProMix HP and perlite. i've mixed up 15 gallons of this mix for each pot, consisting of 38 quarts FFOF, 12 quarts ProMix HP, and 10 quarts additional perlite. each pot will have two layers of soil, the top layer being 7.5 gallons of that mix, and a small amount maybe one gallon of FF Light Warrior for the seedling to get started. the bottom layer is a variation on super soil. recipe below. the idea is that the seedling needs time to take root without nute burn, and will start off in a cup-like area of Light Warrior seedling mix. but after a few weeks the seedling will be able to use the FFOF nutrients in the top layer of soil. fast forward 6 weeks. after the roots penetrate below the top layer, the lower layer provides a boost for vegetative growth and will provide much that is needed for flowering as well. as mentioned, i will visit the girls once before flowering and can make some soil amendments in mid-July.

here is my soil recipe and the basics of the layering concept. i am going to grow 5 plants in 15-gallon pots, plus, if all 10 seeds germinate there will be 5 more plants in 5-gallon pots. any comments or criticisms are welcome!

raw materials for 105 gallons of soil:
6 bags FFOF (@bag of 1.5 cu ft = 9.6 gal/38.4 quarts) (x6=57.6 gal)
1 bale Pro Mix HP (bag of 2.2 cu ft = 14 gal/56 quarts)
1 bag Light Warrier seeding mix (1 cu ft = 6.5 gal/25 quarts)
2 bags Noble Worm worm castings (30 lb bags, @1 cu ft = 6.5 gal) (x2=13 gal)
7 bags perlite (2 gal/8 quarts per bag) (x7=14 gal)
1 bag dolomite lime
1 bag espoma epsom salt
1 bag rock dust
1 bag blood meal
1 bag fish bone meal
1 bag cottonseed meal
1 bag Calimag for K

Basic Soil Mix: in 6 garbage bags mix 15 gallons of Basic Soil Mix (for a total of 90 gallons) using for each bag:

38 quarts soil (1 bag of FFOF)
10 quarts perlite
12 quarts peat Pro Mix HP

i mix these ingredients in 6 heavy-duty 110 L garbage bags and, when mixed, i leave each 15 gallon batch in the mixing bag. the bag can be repeatedly shaken, rolled, turned over, and gently stirred by hand to loosen or crush clumps. i note i had to take care not to puncture the bag, so the heaviest-duty plastic bags are needed, certainly not one that can tear easily.

Preparing for Top & Bottom Layers: i leave about half of the above Basic Soil Mix in garbage bags 1 thru 5 for use in the top 50% layer for the five 15 gal fabric pots. (The 6th garbage bag will be used later for the 5 gal pots, but the same layering concept and proportions apply to the 5-gal pots.)

For the bottom "hot mix" layer in the 15-gal pots, i take about 7.5 gallons (50%) of Basic Soil Mix out of bags 1 thru 5 and separate off 2.5 gallons from each. Simplest way is just remove 5 gallons of Basic Soil Mix from the original garbage bag (leaving 10 gal in the bag) and place it in another mixing bag. Later take the 2.5 gallons as discussed below (leaving 7.5 in the original garbage bag at that point).

Hot Mix recipe for 15-gal pots: (bottom 50% of soil -- about 6.5 gallons -- layer to be mixed in a new garbage bag and poured right into the bottom of the fabric pot):
5 gallons of Basic Soil Mix
1.5 gallons worm castings (just under 25% of a 6.5 gallon bag)
150 gr horn shavings for slow release N
5 tbs blood meal (1 tbs per gallon of soil) for quick release N & lower pH
5 tbs cottonseed meal for slow release N & lower pH
5 tbs fish bone meal for P (tends to raise pH)
3 tbs dolomite lime as pH buffer and Calmag (raises pH)
3 tbs epsom salt
5 tbs rock dust
5 tbs Calimag (for lack of other potassium specific organic source)

This Hot Mix goes into bottom of 15-gal pot. Pot at this point has 6.5 gallons.

i then take 2.5 gallons of Basic Soil Mix and blend it on top of this lower layer, mixing it up a bit to create an intermediate layer that will buffer the seedlings from the Hot Mix allowing them to get used to it as they penetrate below the top layer. At this point the 15-gal pot has about 9 gallons in it.

i now fill in 5 (of the remaining 7.5) gallons of Basic Soil Mix on top of each of the five fabric pots. i work a half (0.5) gallon of worm castings into the top two inches of this top 50% layer. total in the pot is now 14.5 gallons.

there should be about 2.5 gallons of Basic Soil Mix left over. This can be set aside for the 5-gal pots below, or mixed with Light Warrior seedling mix for the top soil in the 15-gal pots as described below, depending on how full the pot is.

Soil for the 5-gallon fabric pots:
The left over 2.5 gallons from all five mixing bags should amount to 12.5 gallons (2.5 x 5 = 12.5), can be added to the last (6th) 15-gallon bag of Basic Soil Mix for a total of 27.5 gallons remaining to be used for five 5 gallon bags. There should be about 3 gallons of worm castings left. total remainingh material should be about 30 gallons, enough for five or even six 5-gal pots.

Hot Mix for bottom layer of 5-gallon pots (recipe to fill 5 pots):
For each 5-gallon pot, mix a bottom layer of:
2 gallons Basic Soil Mix
a half-gallon of worm castings
50 gr horn shavings
2 tbs fish bone meal (1 tbs per gallon of soil)
2 tbs blood meal
2 tbs cottonseed meal
1 tbs dolomite lime
1 tbs epsom salt
2 tbs rock dust
2 tbs Calmag

At this point, you have a 2.5 gal bottom layer in each 5-gal pot.

i now mix in a 1-gal buffer/intermediate layer of Basic Soil Mix. add the remaining 1 gallon Basic Mix as topsoil, and work a handful of what's left of the worm castings into the top two inches. the 5-gal pot should contain about 4.5 gallons at this point. the remainder can be filled with LW and remaining Basic Mix. mulch on top.

let filled bags sit for 10 days or until ready to set seedlings.

meanwhile germinate 10 seeds. depending on how many germinate, set the "extra" seedlings (beyond the "big 5") into the 5-gal pots.

Aeration Cylinder (for 15-gallon as well as 5-gallon pots): i create a shallow cup or hole in the center of the top soil and fill it in with Light Warrior seeding mix. fill up the remaining half gallon of space in the pot with LW and Basic Mix, spreading it across the top. Then place Rooter with rooted seedling in the center surrounded by LW. Place Rooter inside a screen aeration cylinder filled with LW atop the 15- or 5-gallon pot.

The screen aeration cyliner is a self-made thing. it can be cut from a section of stiff tight-weave plastic mesh designed to wrap around and protect young tree trunks. a 12" x 4" piece can be rolled loosely into a round form open on top and bottom, fastened with a thin garden wire. It will act as a sort of mini-smart pot, a crown on top of the fabric pot, allowing the LW seedling mix to dry out quickly and give the seedling roots air while they develop and reach into the top layer of soil where they will find and enjoy... nutes!

turning the cylinder clockwise so that it cuts about an inch into the topsoil, it should stay put. LW should extend deeper than the bottom of the cylinder, and Rooter should sit on and in the LW and be mostly covered by LW and protected by cylinder. by the time roots penetrate through to nutrient-bearing Basic Soil Mix immediately below, seedlings should be hardy and ready for nutes. Basic Mix should provide nutrients from late April until late June, and NPK Hot Mix in bottom of bag will provide a boost when needed.

cover topsoil around cylinder with mulch to prevent weeds from taking root. to keep the critters away, i built a square corral from horse fencing wire, complete with fencing over the plants, to completely surround the area where the pots will sit. a nearby rainbird sprinkler head will irrigate them twice a week for five minutes.

if this succeeds...

top and supercrop in mid July. amend soil as needed, if at all... prolly some K needed for flowering.

any thoughts? thanks for reading and commenting!

:welcome:
 
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Emeraldo

Well-Known Member
I pre-soaked 10 seeds on April 10. I put an inch or so of drinkable mineral water in three wineglasses and dropped the seeds in. Five OG Kush from Dinafem, and from Humboldt Seeds two Sour Diesel No. 2 and three Blueberry Headband. Thirty-six hours later, all ten seemed to have split or had popped, so on the morning on April 12, I inserted each into a Ready Rooter. I only had 7 cups, so I doubled up on some, putting in two in several cups. By the next day, April 13, some of the sprouts were already visibly pushing up. I placed the whole lot under an LED light in the kitchen for 18/6 of light.

Today they have been in the Ready Rooters for 4 full days. Clockwise from the top-center: two Sour Diesel No. 2 sharing one cup (100% germination rate), then three Blueberry Headband each in their own cup (also 100%), and finally the last two cups plus the center cup are all OG Kush (40% germinated so far and not looking like there will be any more OGK coming up). Good thing I tried five of those, there is some attrition with the Dinafem. I did not buy them direct from the breeder, but from a retailer so you never know.
 

Emeraldo

Well-Known Member
after 5 full days in the Ready Rooters, i gently lifted the tallest one and took a peek this morning at the underside. Wow the taproot was two inches long and hanging there with nowhere to go! time to move into a new home. fortunately i had prepared the aeration cylinders last night, expecting that this might happen sooner than later.

i had a bad experience last year when i put a seedling (it was moving along nicely at that point) into a 5 gallon pot. even without overwatering, the root could not get air. that was an aha moment for me! this year i am trying something totally new with the feminized seeds and the Ready Rooters but also an aeration cylinder. i mentioned it in the OP but did not really explain too much. am posting photos below.

a solo cup (with a drainage hole punched in the bottom) is often recommended. well, even a solo cup lacks aeration compared to the aeration cylinder, which literally breathes air in from all sides. i'll see how it works and keep posting. i'd be grateful for your comments.

the aeration cylinder is made of a perforated mesh that allows airflow. i cut the mesh in a strip and tied in a cylinder form with small wire. i filled them about half full with Light Warrior seedling mix from Fox Farms, sprinkled water over them, pushed a nice big thumb-sized hole for the seedling's dangling root and gently set the Ready Rooter so that it sits in the half filled cylinder. then gently filling in more LW around the sides and up over the top of the rooter. this gives the tap root more room underneath, provides support for the spindly little stem, and the goodies in LW will hopefully stimulate root growth. sprinkled more water on top and set them all in the window to get them accustomed to the sunlight, which they will get full exposure to in about a week.

sadly, two of five Dinafem OG Kush seeds did not germinate, and a third one is like waaay behind the others and probably is not going to catch up in time. So at this point i am resigned to having 2 OGK (40% germination rate), 2 Sour Diesel no. 2 (100%), and 3 Blueberry Headband (100%). That's ok, i really wanted at least five plants and i have seven. we'll see how this experiment finishes later in the year. meanwhile, thanks for watching!
 
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Nicholas Flamel

Nug of the Month: June 2016, Sept 2017 - Creme de la Creme Photos: Mar 2017
Good stuff Emeraldo. Nice strains, should get some quality cannabis. I like those little mesh pots you got there too. Definately subbing up for this one.
 

Emeraldo

Well-Known Member
thanks Nicholas!

this is really getting interesting: within an hour or so after the move into these mesh pots i could see the color of the seedling leaves has changed to darker green. it happened like that fast, maybe 90 minutes later. Oxygen promoting nitrogen uptake! Aeration doing its thing. the rooters were still wet enough, and the seedlings got very little extra water in their new homes, just a sprinkling. they will get very little water for the next few days. Light Warrior is gentle, not hot, so my guess is it must be the additional oxygen they are getting due to the loose soil mix. good stuff! will post new photos soon...
 

Emeraldo

Well-Known Member
today is day 8 since pre-soaking, day 7 since dropping the splitting seeds into rooters, and day 2 since moving the seedlings into the aeration cylinders yesterday. (btw i forgot to mention -- i did not pay any attention to the way the seeds fell off the spoon into the rooters, just let them fall and covered the hole with a bit of peat. i let the seeds fall however they may, i did not touch them or try to set them with the pointy head up or down or sideways.)

so this morning i took a look at the 14-day weather forecast and decided it is time to start the hardening off process. the girls (i know their sex already haha) already had some inside-the-kitchen-window exposure to cloudy-overcast sunlight the past two or three days, so i hope they can take a little direct sun today. it is slightly overcast with some sun peeking through now and then.

i was blowing on them inside these past few days to exercise their stem muscles, but today, outside in the breeze, they will get a regular workout! i hope all of this isn't going to be too much for them, but the temperature high today and for the next week should be about 70 F, lows about 50 tonight but i will bring them in at bedtime.
 

Emeraldo

Well-Known Member
Two and a half months later, I visited the site again. The two Sour Diesels are clearly the tallest, both are over 5 feet tall. The three Blueberry Headband plants are each about 2.5 feet. Only one OG Kush survived the heat wave, and a different kind of plant grew so that it blocked the water sprinkler from reaching the seedling that died. The other Kush is alive but very small also. All in all, this was a a success for me, so far, looking forward to a harvest!

 

Emeraldo

Well-Known Member
Cleaned out the cage/playpen of all weeds and stripped all dead or yellowing leaves and low branches from the lower third of all plants. Some leaves on the larger OG Kush seemed to show a deficiency of some kind, leaves with partial yellowing. If this is a magnesium deficiency, maybe it can be corrected by top dressing with dolomite lime, azomite, and flower-tone. Not sure what to do here, will see if the new growth shows any problem over the next week or so.

Topped all plants but the smallest. The Sour Diesel and BBHeadband genetics have the potential to get 12 feet tall and I would prefer a bushier profile on this gig. They were already over 5 feet tall even before flowering has kicked in. At this location, I expect flowering to start in earnest by the middle of August, almost one month from now. So I hope it is not too late to top.

Flowering nutes? Just the basics. Top-dressed each 15 gallon pot (the one 5 gal got half as much) with the following:
1/2 cup lime
1/2 cup fish bone meal
5 tsp Espoma Flower-Tone
1 tsp azomite
1/4 tsp langbeinite (for K)

Will give them a watering or two with molasses as well. Then it will be bon voyage to the plants as they head into flowering. Again I will not be around to fuss or fiddle with them (or give emotional support or solve problems). What, me worry? These plants are basically growing themselves and not doing too bad at that! Not much I can do if I can't do it now.

The two Blueberry Headband and the two Sour Diesels grew straight up through spaces in the wire horse fencing on the top of the cage. The Blueberry Headbands both went into alternating nodes about halfway up, ready for flowering when the time comes. The Sour Diesels are still in opposite node. One OG Kush has not gotten tall enough to poke through.

The sixth plant, the larger OG Kush (Dinafem) fimmed itself on the wire. Strange !!? Somehow its growing tip was pushing against the wire in a way that slowed it down but did not cut it off entirely. Or maybe the wind did something. Anyway, the two side branches at that node took off and passed up the apical tip. By the time the main growing point got free and pushed on through the hole in the fencing, the two side branches had become the main growing point. But I don't really know any of that. I wasn't here.

Blueberry Headbands with alternating nodes:


The OG Kush that fimmed itself:
 

Emeraldo

Well-Known Member
Here are five of the six plants: clockwise from upper left corner are a tall Diesel No. 2 and next a Blueberry Headband, then a smaller BH that has been topped, supercropped on the main stem, and LST's to hold her down for reasons of sunlight. In the lower right corner, another Diesel No. 2, also topped, cropped and tied. Last but not least, the little OG Kush in the lower left corner of the first photo was not topped or supercropped or anything, just letting her grow as tall as she can get.



This whole setup can be improved from an irrigation perspective. Apart from broad leafed weeds that came up and blocked the sprinkler from reaching the far ends of the playpen, there were lots of fan leaves that were no longer needed and also blocked water. In addition, the wire walls of the cage allowed most of the water spraying out from the sprinkler to shoot right through and out the other side, resulting in less water than needed reaching the soil in the pots. In fact, when I first arrived, the little OG Kush (on the front left above) was scrawny and its growing tip was well below and inside the cage top. Later, having had plenty of water and some nutes for twelve days, she shot up through the cage top and looks to go a long way farther.

So how to improve the irrigation long-term through flowering? I inserted tiles and other flat stuff (a 2x8) behind the plants to act as backstops to catch the spray and let the water flow into the soil. Also, after weeding and pruning to clear the way for water, and setting up those tiles as backstops, have set the water timer to provide not just 5 min twice a week but an additional 3 minutes on another day of the week. The sprinkler head and tiles/backstops are visible in this photo. Fortunately the leaves shade the tiles so they won't get too hot.



The other OG Kush plant - visible on the right side of the photo above - is the one that "fimmed itself" as can be seen in the photos from July 16. That plant responded really well to topping, supercropping, and LST-ing. The little fimmed middle branch in that earlier photo became the main apical growth point after I supercropped and then held down the two larger branches that had taken over the leadership position after that fimming. Now the original sprout is back at the top and has just loved it.

 

Nicholas Flamel

Nug of the Month: June 2016, Sept 2017 - Creme de la Creme Photos: Mar 2017
Thanks for the update. Glad things are still going well for you. How long until flowering starts?
 

Emeraldo

Well-Known Member
Hi Nicholas, thanks for checking in. The indicas are fully preflowered, ready to go. Probably around first or second week of August. The Diesel No. 2 are sativas and am not sure, they don't seem as far along (have not grown sativas before).
 

Emeraldo

Well-Known Member
Hi Nicholas, thanks for checking in. The indicas are fully preflowered, ready to go. Probably around first or second week of August. The Diesel No. 2 are sativas and am not sure, they don't seem as far along (have not grown sativas before).
Oops I totally neglected this thread! Not that I didn't continue the grow. I did. Returned October 10, and just in time for harvest. It was well into the harvest window for both indicas, OG Kush and Blueberry Headband. The Sour Diesel No. 2 was soon ready as well.

While harvesting, I found bud worms, especially in one of the really ripe OG Kush plants. The bud worms were only in the uppermost buds. I probably found about 30 in all, and I guess I got to them on time because they did not destroy my crop, which turned out well.

So a semi-guerilla grow can work. If I had had more access, I probably would have spotted the bud worm earlier.
 

Amadeus Forzin

Moderator
420 Staff
Hope all is well in your world.

Thanks for sharing this grow with us.

Please head over to the 420 Strain Reviews forum and post your smoke report there too.

I’m moving this to Completed Journals now.

Have you started a new grow you would like to share with us?

If so, please feel free to start a new journal here: Journals in Progress

Sending you lots of love and positive energy.

:Namaste:
 
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