Background: I’m a newbie, but kinda not. I was briefly involved with an indoor grow 25 years ago and have helped friends with plant-sitting and trimming, but this is my first real grow on my own. I am a Medical Marijuana Patient and have a permit from the state to legally cultivate cannabis. Missouri allows 6 clones/seedlings (under 14”), 6 in veg, and 6 in flower. I could double or triple those numbers if I sign up to be a caregiver for 1 or 2 more patients. The extra numbers would allow me to keep some moms around and be truly perpetual. Note that Missouri went ‘medical’ last year but does not have any dispensaries open at this time. Permits for large farms were awarded but they can’t operate without first being inspecting and that process was set back significantly by Covid-19. Only a few farms have been approved and only recently began cultivating. I think we’re a long way from have a steady supply of medicine for sale, which was part of my motivation to grow.
I purchased seeds and supplies with a plan to begin early this spring, but then had the opportunity to upgrade my living arrangements. My grow was placed on hold so I could sell one house and move into the other. I moved on 4/20(!) and, after the dust settled, on May 1st, I planted a crop of auto seeds figuring that would be a good way to quickly fill my empty stash and work out any kinks in the garden.
Space/Lights: I’ve got a 4x8’ tent for seedlings/clones, mothers, veg and Autos, plus a 5x5’ for 12/12 flower in an unfinished portion of the basement. Thanks to the generosity of friends I’ve got a swanky Fluence SpydrX Plus to brighten the big tent, and just purchased two Spider Farmer SF-2000s for the 5x5.
Soil: My recipe:
5 gallons coco coir
5 gallons ProMix All Purpose w/Mycoactive
4 gallons perlite (two 8 quart bags)
Lime (1 TBSP per gallon)
Earthworm castings (1 cup per gallon = about half of a 5 gallon bucket)
I mix in a clean 32 gallon trash can. This amount fills it up halfway leaving plenty of room to mix, and will provide enough to fill two 6 gallon Octopots with enough leftover for some Solo cups. I crunched the numbers and it worked out to under $20 per container for the mixture. I hope to re-use a significant amount to keep costs down. I could definitely make it cheaper if I composted and had my own worms for EWC. I still need to investigate using Rice Hulls instead of Perlite for drainage. The hulls served me well when I was an All Grain beer brewer…
Genetics: My first six plants are autoflowers: Afghani, Northern Lights, Blueberry x NL, Trainwreck, Bruce Banner, and Strawberry Cheesecake (Cheese x Chronic x White Widow). I went a little nuts buying seeds during 4/20 sales and won a couple of server auctions here too. I now have a nice collection of regular seeds from AK Bean Brains, Bodhi, Greenpoint, hopefully JOTI (still haven’t received the order 2+ months later – it has been re-shipped), and many others. I scored a ton of autos from Mephisto as well – I ordered 28 and received 55!!! I’ve got PLENTY to keep me busy for a long time!
The plan: Due to plant count limits, I’ll start 6 seeds of a strain and see how many survive to become adult females. I have the option to plant an auto or throw in a clone for each one that doesn’t make it.
So far: I started seeds in Solo cups under a T5 then transplanted them into Octopots two weeks later. I’ll elaborate on the Octopots later… I had half of the SpydrX strips illuminated at first (there’s no dimmer, but you can choose how many of the 8 LED strips you want to plug in). The plants looked a little rough for a week or two after transplant. With the Octopots, you only water from the top the very first time, then all water and nutrients are provided via the reservoir. The goal is to encourage the roots to grow down through the soil, and watering the surface of the soil goes counter to that. As a newb I panicked and ended up watering one more time from the top because they looked so sad, but boy did they explode once the roots hit the nutrient solution!
The plants are two months old today (May 1 - July 1) and three of them are flowering like crazy. I should harvest the Strawberry Cheesecake and Bruce Banner in the next week or two, with the Trainwreck shortly thereafter. The other three are slowly bulking up their buds.
Next: Remember how I had planned to start growing this past spring but couldn’t because I moved? I have a buddy who was just starting out and didn’t have any good genetics. I gave him seeds to grow and in return he has recently provided female clones which will be flowered once I have room. The strain is Joe Fixit (Lemon Catpiss x Bruce Banner) and, since the plant count allows, I just dropped two Mephisto autos: 3 Bears OG x Strawberry Nuggets, and Sour Crack.
Thanks: I need to give a big shout out to all you crazy guys and gals here on OG. I read the site every day and have learned so much. Thank you for sharing your successes and failures, past experiences and future projects. It really has been an invaluable education.
And now for some pictures since that’s what you’re really here for!
Two weeks old, freshly transplanted:
Four weeks old:
Six weeks old:
Eight weeks old (L to R: Trainwreck, Strawberry Cheesecake, Bruce Banner)
Bruce Banner close ups:
Can’t wait to see where things go from here!