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Some personal tips and advice.

Stilletto

Active Member
Hello friends,

I figured I would put together a list of tips that I have acquired over the years to hopefully help some new growers or possibly help some others that have not been as lucky as I to have a very knowledgeable mentor who passed his experience on to me.
I have not put these in any particular order, just random thoughts.
Feel free to ask questions or debate my techniques, I am not all knowing and am always wanting to learn more so if you disagree with me then tell me why and maybe we can all learn new things together.
All of my experience is with soil-less mediums, usually "Sunshine mix 4". I am not part of the "organic" crowd, as a matter of fact I think it is a PITA, I won't start a long discussion about it, unless someone wants to, lets just say that organics is a hobby... most people would not be able to tell the difference in the finished product anyway so why do it the hard way. That is just part of my opinion and once again I do not want to get into which is better, I just personally do not choose to go the organic route. A lot of what I am presenting here only applies to soi-lless growing.
-Nutrients are a personal preference, I have used or seen used many types and most are good. I try to use nutrients that don't creep the pH levels. By that I mean that the pH does not move much and stops moving within 12 hours. — take some of your nutrient solution and pH it every 6 hours for 36 hours and see when it stabilizes. Recently I tried a new type and found that it dropped to 5.5 after 2 hours (started at 6.3) then after 12 hours it was 4.8 and after 24 hours it was below 4.0, it nearly killed the crop and some plants were lost. Know your nutrient.
-Additives are great IF you know why you are using them. I use a few that I like but you need to learn about what they are for, don't just add stuff because it says it will increase size or taste... find out what is in it and why it works, I have seen many posts from people who are using two or more additives that do the same things. Once again there are many good additives out there but you have to look past the hype and know your additives.
-Know your strain. I see lots of people that are running 3 stains at a time and changing strains at every new cycle. How can you ever maximize your potential when you do this? First of all, most plants have different needs and stress levels. What is good for one plant is not always right for another. This is especially important for those who run 3 or 4 different strains and giving them the same regiment. Now keep in mind that with experience and knowledge a veteran can do this successfully but once again you must really know your strains and nutrients.
-I will take this opportunity to offer some advice to those who care to use it; Don't waste your time! Be smart about your set-up, if you are using a couple of cfl's and some dirt from the flower bed outside then you are wasting your time... grow a cactus. If a person has 1 nice plant with 3 oz. of bud OR 1 weak plant with a half an oz. of bud they still take the same time to grow... same time to care for... same risk.... same charge if you are busted, the difference is the 3 oz. were more worth it! Spend money early... the "I'll buy better equipment after harvest" theory never works. It is wasting time. Borrow or take out cash on the credit cards and then pay that back... because you will have a far better harvest than you would have, it is like free equipment!
-Only grow enough for yourself and be generous LOL! It is easy to be greedy and want to grow more but IMO... Fools grow for profit. I like to pretend that bud is legal too, but it is not! It is not what happens when they kick in the door.... it is how it looks in court. I would easily be able to look at a judge or jury and say that 10 plants were my "personal" but try and argue that 50 plants were not grown for profit. All the shit that you and I use to justify it and quell our fears means nothing in a court of law. Sometimes appearances are everything, I am not "afraid" that I will get busted but I am prepared if I do.
- Cleanliness is a must! I use a vacuum daily. Buy a little shop vac or use the house one, I do floors, corners, around the pots etc. Overall cleanliness is important. Buy black and white poly, build a cube with 2x2 wood and wrap it in the poly. Simple and effective. Having an air tight room means you have full control over intake and exhaust, it also leads to a cleaner environment.
-Light. HID is the key, if you don't use it... refer to my "don't waste your time" segment above.
Get an air cooled shade and vent it out, add an intake or filter then enjoy the benefits. A few dollars go a long way and remember... you only have to buy it once!
-Bulbs. Always replace your bulbs. A one year old fluorescent is junk. A HID with over a year of use is junk. They burn up the spectrum and you are left with lumens but poor spectrum. Just because a bulb still gives off light doesn't mean it will grow a plant.
-Electrical. Don't be an idiot! If there is even a small fire and the Fire dept is called.... Your screwed! Be safe.
-H2O2, peroxide. Great stuff. Often it is not understood fully. It should be pre added to water about 24 ours in advance. Yes, I know they say wait just 1 hour but that's not using it to its full ability. It is added to sterilize the water and medium... but as well to add O2, oxygen to the soil-less medium. If used after 1 hour it has not had a chance to bond molecularly with the H2O. You will notice that after 24 hours the inside of the container is covered with little bubbles, that is when it is working the hardest.... Therefore as the medium is saturated the bubbles are expanding in the medium creating air pockets that could not be created if the medium had settled 24 hours later. Get it?.... I can't imagine that anyone could understand that! LOL I use H2O2 in every watering religiously. FYI... H2O2 is liquid O3(ozone) Buy the 35 percent stuff and I use 1 mil per gallon 24 hours in advance.
-Watering. Saturate the medium thoroughly. A 3 gallon pot of medium when dry will hold approximately 3 quarters of a gallon of water. I give each plant about 1 and a half gallons of water or more. Then I use my shop vac to remove the runoff from the catch trays. Try to give them half of the water then wait 15 minutes and give them the other half, this allows the medium to absorb more liquid. Allow the medium to dry out; I wait about 6-7 days, almost to the point of being overdry. Don't let them wilt... but close to it. Why... well it will cause the roots to "search" for food and water, strengthening the root system and the plant above. If your medium is always moist the roots will not "exercise", as well they will get less O2 and also risk root rot. -Never allow your plants to sit in the tray water, this water is filled with all the crap that you just washed out of the soil. On the flipside... if you only water enough to wet the top half of the medium and always give them "many light waterings" you will build up a "wall" or "dam" of minerals and salts at the bottom part of the pot and this will not allow the roots to utilize this bottom third of the pot. It can lead to an unseen pocket of heavy ferts that can harm the plant. Flush 'em out fully, in a soil-less medium you want to wash out all the old crap every time and leave new nutes and water for the plants to drink.
-When transplanting a small plant to a large pot just water the area around the plant for the first 2 waterings. Try not to saturate the soil or it takes forever to dry out and the root area dries out but the pot is still holding a lot of water.
-Flushing. I can't understand why some people do not use a flushing solution. Flushing with plain water is useless. Why... think of it like this, when you have salt and mineral build up in your coffee pot and you rinse it, it does not go away. It will never go away unless you use a product like CLR(calcium, lime and rust remover) and presto, all of the build up is gone. Flushing solutions work the same way, they break down and release the build up from the roots and medium. If you just use water the plant can and will continue to feed off of the build up and never fully flush, it also means that you have to flush for a longer period of time. In a soil-less medium with salt based fertilizer flushing is most important. I use A.N. Final Phase for the main flush and then a Flavor Flush placebo food until harvest. This placebo food allows the plant to think it is still getting nutrients and it will continue to "fill out" as it is being flushed. You want to avoid instantly starving the plant as it will be stressed and stop all growing and resort to surviving.
-Topping. Topping or FIMing does not increase yield and in my opinion are a waste of time except for possibly SCROG grows. I have done some side by side and generally the topped plants get two colas that are half as big as the single cola. I also find that it creates a canopy that cuts off light from the bottom of the plant thus producing little yield below the canopy. Also you can not put as many plants under each light not to mention the fact that it adds two weeks to the grow cycle.... wasting time IMO.
Now I will finish off with some quick random points:
-Let tap water sit for at least 24 hours to allow the chlorine and other chemicals in city water to off gas, also the fact that the roots can be shocked (as you would be) when drenched with really cold water.
-Try to avoid the temptation of touching the buds. If at all possible the buds should never come in contact with your hands, you can leave germs which can develop into mold, as well you will damage the trichomes.
-Hand trim your buds. Trimming machines knock all the crystals off. Also... bag drying will knock off a lot of crystals, hang drying/jar curing is the key.
-When jar curing never blow into the jar!!! The mouth is a bacteria factory, it also leaves a lot of humidity which is exactly what you don't want. Use something to fan the jar, this will remove the stale air around the buds... it is much more effective than just leaving the jar open for a few minutes.

I guess I could go on forever, LOL, but I think this is enough to entice some good discussion. Once again I am not saying that I know everything, there are some really knowledgeable people on this board, I am just passing along some advice that has helped me to be successful in this hobby.

Stay cool,

Jonny Stilletto
 

fasts102376

On Vacation
hello still:3: i'm in soil when it;s time to flush can i use florakleen without starving my plants? i've allways use reg tap water when i do my flushing..

whats a good or better way to flush? thanks
 

Akornpatch

New Member
Spend money early... the "I'll buy better equipment after harvest" theory never works. It is wasting time. Borrow or take out cash on the credit cards and then pay that back... because you will have a far better harvest than you would have, it is like free equipment!
Best piece of advice in the whole post!


-Only grow enough for yourself and be generous LOL! It is easy to be greedy and want to grow more but IMO... Fools grow for profit. I like to pretend that bud is legal too, but it is not! It is not what happens when they kick in the door.... it is how it looks in court. I would easily be able to look at a judge or jury and say that 10 plants were my "personal" but try and argue that 50 plants were not grown for profit. All the shit that you and I use to justify it and quell our fears means nothing in a court of law. Sometimes appearances are everything, I am not "afraid" that I will get busted but I am prepared if I do.
But you asked before why people grow lots of different strains and not get to know your strain to maximize potential. What's it gonna be? doesn't maximize also show greed? Hmmm....


-Try to avoid the temptation of touching the buds. If at all possible the buds should never come in contact with your hands, you can leave germs which can develop into mold, as well you will damage the trichomes.
Germs WILL NOT develop into mold. Mold and germs are 2 totally different things.

Great post JS! Keep 'em coming!
Akorn:51:
 

Stilletto

Active Member
Thanx for the responses guys.
Fast102376- florakleen will work fine, some others are clearex and Hydrofusion Sugar Peak Grande Filnale, or clearing concentrate.

Akornpatch,
But you asked before why people grow lots of different strains and not get to know your strain to maximize potential. What's it gonna be? doesn't maximize also show greed? Hmmm....
If I am growing 8 plants I want to maximize those 8 plants to their fullest potential, that makes me proud of what I have grown... sort of about perfectionism; Greedy would be growing for monitary profit and growing for sale not personal. Don't get me wrong, I always have enough for my closest friends, but I could grow 50 plants and deal it out but that is being greedy... grow what you need.
I know about germs, mould, bacteria, fungus etc.... I was just trying to make a point without getting into it... but you are correct and I appreciate you pointing that out for others.

Please feel free to comment on anything else.

Jonny
 

Lilstinky420

New Member
My 2 neighbors, the only ones ive told, have both tried to buy buds from me. I could never get myself to accept the money they tried to hand, it just seems wrong after you grow one and you realize it's just a damn plant. Plus sharing is caring.
 

Bagzgroove

New Member
My 2 neighbors, the only ones ive told, have both tried to buy buds from me. I could never get myself to accept the money they tried to hand, it just seems wrong after you grow one and you realize it's just a damn plant. Plus sharing is caring.

I feel the same way. . I had the same issue with my last harvest. . . ended up giving it away. . . even tho they were insisting they pay. . . but its better to have those probs I suppose, then getting ripped off finding some shady dealer. . .lol:laugh2:
 

CharlieBlayze

New Member
-Know your strain. I see lots of people that are running 3 stains at a time and changing strains at every new cycle. How can you ever maximize your potential when you do this? First of all, most plants have different needs and stress levels. What is good for one plant is not always right for another. This is especially important for those who run 3 or 4 different strains and giving them the same regiment. Now keep in mind that with experience and knowledge a veteran can do this successfully but once again you must really know your strains and nutrients.

Sometimes growers just like variety, I know some growers who do not want to change their recipe in any way whatsoever and don't like to adjust, so they grow these variety of strains(when trying out a new one) and favor the one that grew the best, then the next harvest will be a sea of green full of the strain that did well injunction with the grower's "recipe".

Most of the growers that do this, I find, are commercial growers(completely in it for the money) who want consistency with various grow operations they have.
 

Akornpatch

New Member
Akornpatch,
I know about germs, mould, bacteria, fungus etc.... I was just trying to make a point without getting into it... but you are correct and I appreciate you pointing that out for others.

I understand what you said the fiirst time about the greed of it all. Just pushing your buttons a little.:smoke2: :3:

Keep in mind that there are lots of newbs here so clarity is key! We are an educational site after all.:3:
 

Frog

New Member
Temp drop, temp drop

No better tweak than a good 15 to 20 degree temp drop/decrease in your dark cycle.
Even a small temp drop 5-10 degrees is better than None.
Makes the best even Better.

Most of the growers that do this, I find, are commercial growers(completely in it for the money) who want consistency with various grow operations they have.
Breeders are also resistant to change.
and not *all* commercial growers are in it for the Money.
(what!?! there's money is this, I gota' stop smokin' and sharin' sooo much)
 

CharlieBlayze

New Member
I mean commercial growers who don't care about legalization, etc and just focus on the money.

The consistency in their grows does make sense though, as they would buy the same supplies, fertilizer, etc for all their grows, the more you buy of the same product, you probably get a good deal.
 
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