The Casual Organic Grower

Discussion in 'Organic Grow Journals' started by Sublime, Apr 19, 2021.

  1. #1 Sublime, Apr 19, 2021
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
    Hi all, welcome to my Grow Journal. I just want to preface this by saying I'm not out here trying to do the absolute picture-perfect way quite yet. This is something we work towards, and I've only had a few other grows under my belt so I'm rather inexperienced in the grand scheme of things. However, being that I am in that in-between zone of somewhat experienced but still not quite fully there, I think this journal may provide some unique help for those about where I am - trying to keep things simple and working, in the most layman terms possible, coming from someone with no gardening background previously whatsoever. My mistakes will be for all of us to learn from!

    So here's my setup:
    -Picture -240W LED from hipargero: Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more /gp/product/B07HH2FNW9/ (remove the space)
    -Finnhomy Grow Tent (36"x 36"x 72") 600D Mylar Hydroponic Grow Tent with Observation Window and Floor Tray for Indoor Plant Growing Full Range Multiple Sized (not on Amazon as of this posting, only the bigger size)
    -5 Gal & 7 Gal smart pots
    -Standard small fan
    -Small dehumidifier as my tent will get over 70% humidity if left closed at night unchecked

    Soil
    I have two soils going on. One is just straight up fox farms ocean forest. Will just feed it with top amendments over time more than likely or compost teas. The other soil is made specifically for autoflowers and is called Nature's Living Soil. It is a super soil in a bag, and I just followed the Super Soil instructions. I know to be a bit wary of those super soils in a bag, but this had overall good reviews all across the board so I figured I'll take my shot with it. The reason I did not make my own super soil this time around is because it takes a few weeks just to get the soil going and ready, and I wanted to go ahead and get started. Further, it seems to be most beneficial when growing multiple plants, however I will only be growing two plants. You can find Nature's Living Soil on Amazon or their own main website.

    Journal

    Introduction
    So the strains I've decided to start with are Green Crack and Girl Scout Cookies. I wanted one sativa dominant strain and an indica strain. Both of them will be autos. The plan is for a light schedule of 20/4 the whole way through. This is the light schedule I've used in my previous grows. In future grows I am considering knocking it down to 18/6 during Veg and 20/4 for flower. Fully organic!

    Girl Scout Cookies
    Medium (Soil): Fox Farms Ocean Forest 7 Gal Container

    Week 1
    4-9-2021: Germinated this one the old fashioned way. Nothing fancy, just straight into this great medium, Root Riot. It's perfect for starting your seedlings in. You just cut it open a little bit and put the seed in pointy side down and water it and keep it wet and it'll sprout it no time.

    4-11/4-12-2021: Sprouted visibly from the ground. The light distance is currently 24-26in's away (I like to put mine a little bit higher to minimize risk of burn, if your plant is stretching too much, then begin lowering your light).

    Week 2
    4-16-2021: Made some compost tea using Nature's Living Organic Soil compost. Simply follow the instructions on their nature's living soil website on the Instructions page, it'll tell you how to make the tea much better than I could explain it. I used air stones and an air pump for 24 hours and put the mixture in a cheesecloth bag. I watered both mediums with this mix (I am maintaining the environment for the microbes in the SOIL, not to water the plant!)

    4-19-2021: Watered both mediums 6.5 pH'd water (I still like to make sure pH is correct to give peace of mind!). This plant is looking very healthy and growing at a nice and steady rate. Current picture:
    20210420_011236.jpg

    4-22-2021: Did I mention that I accidentally poured a shit ton of kelp meal in my soil mix? And by a shit ton I mean a healthy pour from a 5lb kelp bag? No? Well I did. How? Basically, my kelp meal's box had been compromised but I needed to store it. So I put it in another box/bag and I sharpied in with a green sharpie "Kelp Meal" and assumed I would know the next time I used it. A year later, and now I'm using this thinking it's something else and I poured probably like half a pound to a pound of straight kelp meal in there. At first I did honestly think it was kelp meal and I questioned it the whole way through but the fact it came from the amendment box itself had me convinced I was just wrong. So the soil's all mixed with probably an excessive amount of kelp. I decided not to flush it out and let this play out and see what happens as an experiment. Speaking of, I think the tips of the plants are beginning to burn. May be touching that super hot kelp soil!!

    Week 3
    4-25-2021: Looking fine! No real updates to provide....just looking fine but a picture update!
    4-25-2021.jpg

    4-26-2021: Watering time!

    4-28-2021: Top dressed with 1 TBSP of Malted Barley for each pot before watering. Pictures coming either this update later or next update. Starting to see some signs of burns. Almost assuredly my kelp overload mistake. We'll ride through it though and see what ends up happening!

    4-30-2021: Picture update! This one is looking mostly healthy. Noticing some slight leaf curling upwards. I have been bending it very carefully to train it by hand LST rather than with strings or stakes. I have used strings and twisty ties in my previous grows, but this time I'm gonna try the old fashioned hand approach! Anyways, picture below.

    Week 4
    5-5-2021: Brewing another compost tea. Once again used nature's living soil following the instructions on their website in a 5 gal bucket. Picture of current brew a few hours in.

    Week 5
    5-8-2021: Pistils are here! Also considering defoliating some of the larger fan leaves at this point. They are covering up a lot of the lower areas, but it is an auto so I am a bit hesitant.

    Green Crack
    Medium (Soil): 1 lb Nature's Living Soil & Fox Farms Ocean Forest filled 1/3rd of the 5 Gal container mixed together, then filled the rest only with Fox Farms Ocean Forest. Followed the instructions page of Nature's Living Soil.

    Week 1
    4-14-2021: Germinated this seed and put into Root Riot directly. So far, this one still has not popped. It is getting a bit worrying at this point, but when I check I continue to see root development. Perhaps she's just a slow starter, but at the moment, no sprouting has happened and it has been 4 days, lagging far behind the Girl Scout Cookies.

    4-19-2021: Just barely starting to sprout. This one is a slow grower and I'm quite worried about this one. Took between 4-5 days to sprout. Hopefully it turns around much stronger. Once it makes it through the seedling phase, I'll feel much better. Current picture:
    20210420_011232.jpg

    Week 2
    4-23-2021: Seems it may be beginning to recover potentially. It still feels like a slow grower, but I'm happy to see some continued growth as an indicator the plant is doing fine. I was genuinely getting worried and had planned to replace the seedling entirely if I didn't see enough improvement with another one I'd freshly germinate. Although that would be less than ideal, this soil was supposed to be the better soil mix of the two, so I would have preferred the more healthy one in the better soil mix. However, it's very well my fault and I possibly stunted the growth in the beginning when I planed it in the root riot soil. Something I didn't mention was that I had to flip the seed because I failed to put the seed in pointy-side down so it was growing upside down, then I flipped it once I saw the taproot growing upside down. This very well could have stunted it, and it is now just recovering from that little stunt. On another note, about watering, for those who have issues with overwatering, a word of advice... You're growing organically. What do you think happens in nature? It can go a week or longer without rain sometimes. Your plant will be just fine going a few days without water. It isn't a bad idea to let the soil dry out completely before watering again. I may do some very small waterings and mistings in between, but for the most part I try to let the soil itself dry up first. Misting is always fine, it's hard to overwater by misting, so this is how I tend to prefer keeping moisture in the early seedling stages, a light watering with some misting throughout the day which also helps to keep humidity up.

    4-25-2021: She's really starting to come back. I really had lost hope in her early on, so just goes to show you can't be too quick to judge! let things play out first... patience goes a long way! picture update:
    4-25-2021.jpg

    4-26-2021: Watering time!

    4-28-2021: Top dressed with 1 TBSP of Malted Barley for each pot before watering. Pictures coming either this update later or next update.

    Week 3
    4-30-2021: The promised picture update! Some things to note. This plant is one of the weirdest starts I've had. Maybe she's sick? Maybe it's weird genetics? Leaves are a bit splotchy and you can see in one leaf this bright light green randomly in the dark green leaf. Just seems like a lot of discoloration going on.

    Week 4
    5-8-2021: Been a while since an update on this one. Most of it what I've done with GSC, I've done with this one so didn't want to be too redundant. Picture update, however, it's looking quite healthy I'd say!

    Hope somebody finds some use in my stumbling around to find the best growing way that works for me. I may or may not update the journal also depending how I'm feeling but I'm starting it now :)
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Seriously considering replacing my grow tent with the double sized one. Currently, I can really only grow 2 plants in this tent with the limited space. If I really pushed things to the limit, I may be able to get away with 3-4 but it would be excessively tight spaced and I do not think would make for a good environment for the plants nor make it easy on me. So I'm thinking double the tent size. But the main question is - what do I do with the tent I currently have if I go this route? The obvious answer would be to keep it and use it for a veg/seedling tent, but I'm not sure that I have the space to keep both. What have you done with your previous grow tents? Alternatively, I may just be able to buy a second tent the same size and put it beside this tent. But I think I'd rather have one big tent than two separate small tents. Just thinking aloud!
     
  3. Added some pictures in spoilers for updates on the journal. Got a real slow grower here! Hopefully it'll turn around and be a strong one. I will probably take pics of my setup at some point soon too, but it's nothing fancy so you're not missing out on much there. I don't even use a carbon filter. In fact, what I have done and like to do is I leave the tent open during light hours to encourage air circulation and also to keep the heat and humidity down, as I do not have a proper climate control setup. I hope one day that I will, though! Until then, work with what you got, and this is how I do it. Soon as the light comes off, I close up the tent for the night. If I need it to be hot or humid, I can just close the tent for a while as well. It would get to high 70s/low 80s and 65%+ RH if I left the tent closed, but leaving it open brings it down and keeps it around low 70s and 50% RH, which I much prefer.
     
  4. #4 Sublime, Apr 23, 2021
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
    Gonna try something a little differently. We'll see how this goes.

    Girl Scout Cookies

    Week 1
    4-9-2021: Germinated this one the old fashioned way. Nothing fancy, just straight into this great medium, Root Riot. It's perfect for starting your seedlings in. You just cut it open a little bit and put the seed in pointy side down and water it and keep it wet and it'll sprout it no time.

    4-11/4-12-2021: Sprouted visibly from the ground. The light distance is currently 24-26in's away (I like to put mine a little bit higher to minimize risk of burn, if your plant is stretching too much, then begin lowering your light).
     
  5. #5 Sublime, Apr 23, 2021
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
    Girl Scout Cookies

    Week 2
    4-16-2021: Made some compost tea using Nature's Living Organic Soil compost. Simply follow the instructions on their nature's living soil website on the Instructions page, it'll tell you how to make the tea much better than I could explain it. I used air stones and an air pump for 24 hours and put the mixture in a cheesecloth bag. I watered both mediums with this mix (I am maintaining the environment for the microbes in the SOIL, not to water the plant!)

    4-19-2021: Watered both mediums 6.5 pH'd water (I still like to make sure pH is correct to give peace of mind!). This plant is looking very healthy and growing at a nice and steady rate. Current picture:
    4-22-2021: Did I mention that I accidentally poured a shit ton of kelp meal in my soil mix? And by a shit ton I mean a healthy pour from a 5lb kelp bag? No? Well I did. How? Basically, my kelp meal's box had been compromised but I needed to store it. So I put it in another box/bag and I sharpied in with a green sharpie "Kelp Meal" and assumed I would know the next time I used it. A year later, and now I'm using this thinking it's something else and I poured probably like half a pound to a pound of straight kelp meal in there. At first I did honestly think it was kelp meal and I questioned it the whole way through but the fact it came from the amendment box itself had me convinced I was just wrong. So the soil's all mixed with probably an excessive amount of kelp. I decided not to flush it out and let this play out and see what happens as an experiment. Speaking of, I think the tips of the plants are beginning to burn. May be touching that super hot kelp soil!! Picture update in a few days probably.
     
  6. #6 Sublime, Apr 23, 2021
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
    Green Crack

    Week 1
    4-14-2021: Germinated this seed and put into Root Riot directly. So far, this one still has not popped. It is getting a bit worrying at this point, but when I check I continue to see root development. Perhaps she's just a slow starter, but at the moment, no sprouting has happened and it has been 4 days, lagging far behind the Girl Scout Cookies.

    4-19-2021: Just barely starting to sprout. This one is a slow grower and I'm quite worried about this one. Took between 4-5 days to sprout. Hopefully it turns around much stronger. Once it makes it through the seedling phase, I'll feel much better. Current picture:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. #7 Sublime, Apr 23, 2021
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
    Green Crack

    Week 2

    4-23-2021: Seems it may be beginning to recover potentially. It still feels like a slow grower, but I'm happy to see some continued growth as an indicator the plant is doing fine. I was genuinely getting worried and had planned to replace the seedling entirely if I didn't see enough improvement. Although that would be less than ideal, this soil was supposed to be the better soil mix of the two, so I would have preferred the more healthy one in the better soil mix. However, it's very well my fault and I possibly stunted the growth in the beginning when I planted it in the root riot soil. Something I didn't mention was that I had to flip the seed because I failed to put the seed in pointy-side down so it was growing upside down, then I flipped it once I saw the taproot growing upside down. This very well could have stunted it, and it is now just recovering from that little stunt. On another note, about watering, for those who have issues with overwatering, a word of advice... You're growing organically. What do you think happens in nature? It can go a week or longer without rain sometimes. Your plant will be just fine going a few days without water. It isn't a bad idea to let the soil dry out completely before watering again. I may do some very small waterings and mistings in between, but for the most part I try to let the soil itself dry up first. Misting is always fine, it's hard to overwater by misting, so this is how I tend to prefer keeping moisture in the early seedling stages, a light watering with some misting throughout the day which also helps to keep humidity up.
    4-23-2021.jpg

    4-25-2021: She's really starting to come back. I really had lost hope in her early on, so just goes to show you can't be too quick to judge! let things play out first... patience goes a long way! picture update:
    4-26-2021: Watering time!

    4-28-2021: Top dressed with 1 TBSP of Malted Barley for each pot before watering. Pictures coming either this update later or next update.
     
  8. #8 Sublime, Apr 25, 2021
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
    Girl Scout Cookies

    Week 3
    4-25-2021: Looking fine! No real updates to provide....just looking fine but a picture update!
    4-26-2021: Watering time!

    4-28-2021: Top dressed with 1 TBSP of Malted Barley for each pot before watering. Pictures coming either this update later or next update. Starting to see some signs of burns. Almost assuredly my kelp overload mistake. We'll ride through it though and see what ends up happening!

    4-30-2021: Picture update! This one is looking mostly healthy. Noticing some slight leaf curling upwards. I have been bending it very carefully to train it by hand LST rather than with strings or stakes. I have used strings and twisty ties in my previous grows, but this time I'm gonna try the old fashioned hand approach! Anyways, picture below.
    4-30-2021.jpg
     
  9. #9 Sublime, Apr 28, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2021
    MAJOR update! I did not intend to do this, but I now have a fully legitimate (mostly) setup. I have added a carbon filter (that I truly didn't really need as smell is not a problem for me, but I used it to limit the exhaust since I have a smaller tent and a powerful exhaust fan, this was intentional because I do plan on upgrading my tent at some point possibly. Plus, you never know when a carbon filter may come in handy too).

    For those wondering, I didnt really truly need this. My temperatures never got much above 80 degrees and set by itself around 74 to 75 if I left the tent open during light hours. If I left it closed it did get up to the 80s. But in the grand scheme of things, this will help me regulate temperatures a bit more precisely. I bought AC Infinity equipment, and in retrospect I should have went ahead and bought the one with the smart controller for humidity and temps - was only an extra 50 to do so. Thankfully, I should be able to just buy the smart controller itself for 50 bucks and hook it up that way at any point. It can be a pain having to manually keep an eye and turn up and down the speeds. Just a learning process!

    Picture
    20210428_164446.jpg
     
  10. #10 Sublime, May 1, 2021
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
    Green Crack

    Week 3

    4-30-2021: The promised picture update! Some things to note. This plant is one of the weirdest starts I've had. Maybe she's sick? Maybe it's weird genetics? Leaves are a bit splotchy and you can see in one leaf this bright light green randomly in the dark green leaf. Just seems like a lot of discoloration going on.
    4-30-2021.jpg
     
  11. #11 Sublime, May 2, 2021
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
    Girl Scout Cookies

    Week 4

    5-5-2021: Brewing another compost tea. Once again used nature's living soil following the instructions on their website in a 5 gal bucket. Picture of current brew a few hours in.
    20210506_005054.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  12. #12 Sublime, May 8, 2021
    Last edited: May 11, 2021 at 12:29 AM
    Girl Scout Cookies

    Week 5

    5-8-2021: Pistils are here! Also considering defoliating some of the larger fan leaves at this point. They are covering up a lot of the lower areas, but it is an auto so I am a bit hesitant.
    5-8-2021.jpg
    5-8-2021 2.jpg

    5-10-2021: Gonna try something. Just plucked a giant fan leaf that covered a lot of growth underneath. I thought given how bushy the plant is, it could use some degree of defoliation. I only took one leaf as I'm uncertain how the plant will react, but if it reacts well, I plan to take the other big fan leaves in the way as well. Air circulation has improved dramatically already just from that one leaf being gone. I would have preferred to wait until flowering to do this, but I just had the feeling it needed to be done
     
  13. Green Crack

    Week 4

    5-8-2021: Been a while since an update on this one. Most of it what I've done with GSC, I've done with this one so didn't want to be too redundant. Picture update, however, it's looking quite healthy I'd say!
    5-8-2021.jpg
     

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