Openmind’s Chronicle: Northern Lights Auto Experience:
Grow journals account vital parts of growers’ life. It records the methodologies, strategies and even failures of cultivating marijuana whichever strain at one point in their journey. Chronicling experiences through these journals also connect growers with each other.
In this grow journal, Openmind records the ordeals he faced and survived with the help of other growers from the I Love Growing Marijuana (ILGM) society.
Openmind and the Northern Lights Auto
In the same way that the actual Northern Lights baffles and amazes people at the same time, the Northern Lights in the marijuana world does the same. No one can pinpoint the exact origi of this strain. Some say it was from Washington, while others claim it is from Holland. Even its accurate lineage is a mystery but the closest people came is that it is from Afghani and Thai landrace strains.
Nonetheless, one thing every grower can agree on is this pure indica strain a great investment. It is a fairly easy grow that stays bushy, yet amounts to at least three to six ounces per square feet. Northern Lights is also rookie growers’ favorite because it flowers in only seven to nine weeks.
If that time is up, smokers then enjoy their pungently sweet with a tinge of spice and earthy flavor. The resinous appearance of its buds is contrary to what they would feel. Perfect for night time, 15 to 20 minutes after hitting they are lulled to sleep. This allows the muscles to relax and later on relieves pain and sleeplessness.
To make things easier, Openmind chose auto seeds. This means he only have to take note of external factors like temperature, feedings, waterings, etc. Because this type of seeds does not need the lights to dictate their growth stage.
- Fox Farm Happy Frog Soil
- Fox Farm Ocean Forest Soil
- Fox Farm Tiger Bloom
- LED lights
- CFL lights
- 6" CFM fan
- 4" CFM fan
- Air Purifier
In a room full of herbs, a lone Northern Lights Auto plant shall arise. Openmind has it now soaking in a cup full of water.
As of now, no tap root can still be seen on the seed and it has been more than 24 hours. Nonetheless, it swelled up a little bit so then so he buried it in Fox Farm Happy Frog Soil and watered it with a little bit of water it was soaked in.
There is a possibility that the Northern Lights Auto seed is dead. Openmind mists it two to three times a day since burying it in soil. However, two days later no sprout can be seen. Is it too early to pronounce it dead?
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Openmind dug through the soil before deciding whether to throw the seedling or not. Luckily, the little one is trapped at least an inch under the ground.
It’s now on sitting on a chair under an LED and CFL light.
Now that the huge chunk of burden is off her, she is now able to stretch and stand taller.
Even though she is now stretching, the outer shell is still holding on to the seedling. After careful and manual operation with tweezers, it is now off. Openmind is hoping that this will help her unravel and show off her capability.
“That soil looks pretty saturated FYI,” Myfriendis410 commented. “You want almost NO moisture in the soil.”
The cup has drain holes in both sides and bottom so they might be little and not draining well. Thus, it is a probable cause as to why the soil looks saturated.
When the first seed was on the brink of dying, he started another one. Dropped her in a tiny hole then covered it with some dirt and kept it moist all the way. Popped out yesterday and grew at least an inch overnight.
ILGM Volunteer Bob31 suggested adding more soil to support the stalk. Also, according to him, Openmind must keep the cap on to retain moisture because they want a really high RH for the first while as they only get moisture through the leaves.
Following the advice given to him, Openmind made some changes in for the seedlings:
- Made some spacious containers that has enough space for them to grow while keeping moisture.
- Added some dirt to the second seedling.
- Lowered the lights (15”) above the plant.
- Misted the leaves with pH 7.0 water for the first seedling and pH 6.5 for the other.
Both girls are fighting their way through. They have developed their first set of leaves.
First girl is about two weeks old and the second one is on its 10th day. In a week or so, Openmind would transplant them into bigger pots. As of now, they are still working on developing their leaves.
Moved into their final 3-gallon pots, the bottom half is Fox Farm Ocean Forest and the top half is filled with Fox Farms Happy Frog. Openmind tells that the grow room is actually a “caveman’s garden” so he will be growing along with other herbs.
Younger one is having a rough time. First of all, she is droopy, second reason is she has a lot of yellow spots. pH reading of the soil shows it is at 7.0.
But the other one is doing fine.
Spots have been around for a couple of weeks now but the situation got worse. The leaves are now dry and the spotting even got worse. Openmind is wondering whether trimming is the best option to direct the energy where it is supposed to be.
A box elder bug has made its way into the grow room. No clarification yet has been made whether or not it would be harmful for the plants.
The youngest girl turned a month old yesterday and is well past her spotting. Openmind also decided it was about time to start shaping these ladies. The plan is to keep the plants’ height this way as if it had been under a scrog (Screen of Green) without actually using a screen.
Zip ties would guide the growth of the main stem around the plant to keep its height at this ideal level. Thus, the name “circle of green”or COG.
Box elder bug got some of his leaves. Openmind luckily caught him and another one, although hopefully those two are the only ones.
Good thing there is a tidbit of good news. Bud sites are already forming. It would not be long until they actually start flowering.
COGging is coming along nicely and the stem is going exactly where Openmind wants them to be.
Flowering also officially begins today as more bud sites form atop each plant.
Northern Lights Autos’ aroma was too much for a small grow room. Giving in to peer pressure and wanting to keep things legal, Openmind went ahead and purchased a grow tent. It is the perfect size for two plants, an air purifier and two LED lights.
The air purifier works wonders and does a great job with eliminating the smell of the plants. It also helps in increasing humidity inside the tent. Meanwhile, the LED lights does a great job in maintaining the heat level in the 70°F levels.
Older Northern Lights Auto is almost 10 weeks old and 17 days in flowering. Finally, white pistils are now appearing and can be seen from afar.
Every day, each plant gets 750 mL bottle of water filtered with Brita Filter and pH’d to 6.3 to 6.8. Then, they get Fox Farms Tiger Blood every other day.
Surprisingly, the white hairs are already turning amber and they are barely three weeks into flowering.
Myfriendis410 assured him, “That’s perfectly normal and you have a LONG time to go yet so don’t worry.”
The air purifier is now bringing in some problems. Humidity soared and Openmind is having a trouble dehumidifying the tent. When the air purifier is on, it doubles the usual humidity level to at least 85%. If he lowers it down to 60%, the smell becomes a problem again.
With an external fan blowing directly on the tent, this appears to have solved the problem.
As early as the amber hairs started to appear, it is taking quite long for its trichomes counterpart to do so. For the irked grower, he thinks there is no progress happening into his grow. What he does not consider is no matter how slow a progress is, it is still progress.
The Northern Lights are taking out every ounce of patience he has. One plant’s buds are still a mix of fresh white pistils and some with trichome hairs sticking out.
Meanwhile, the younger plant looks better with darker amber hairs and no amber trichomes yet.
Openmind really is itching to harvest now. However, other growers have talked him out of doing it as early as now. “I still am seeing a fair amount of clear trichomes,” MattyBear said. “I think you will be happier if you wait to harvest.”
Three days have already passed and no amber trichomes still.
Plant #1 is hanging on there and the trichomes on its buds are a mix of milky and clear with no ambers still. Nonetheless, it is healthy with the perfect shade of green on most of its fan leaves.
Meanwhile, Plant #2’s buds and trichomes look milkier and heavier than the first one. However, looking at its leaves, it appears to be unhealthy and probably would not last another week.
Younger plant still lived to witness more days ahead of her. It has been a little over two weeks since the last update and it appears some of her buds have been hanging to dry for a few days already. All the while still growing more from the branches that haven’t been cut yet.
Openmind only chopped plant #1 a week ago. He is pretty impressed with how things worked out so far.
Here is the first and final look at his total harvest:
For a first grow, Openmind did a pretty good job with a few resources. While he was not prepared financially, he was open to trying out new things and adjusting to the needs of the Northern Lights Auto. Thus, in the end, he had a bountiful harvest. What he does not know is that it is only the beginning of new adventures for him.
The first time always ignites life-long passions of perpetually growing cannabis plants. It of course, has a lot of advantages:
- Quality. Growers who intend to sell their yield can have high-value produce if they know what is going in to their buds. If it is for personal use, they are sure of what they are going to smoke. Since they may choose brands and ingredients that they trust to go into their plants.
- Budget-friendly. There are a lot of products that are cheaper than industrial grade product but work well for all strains. Others only need a small amount, so even though they are pricy, they save a lot of money in the long run. Some equipment (lights, tents, etc.) are also multi-purpose. Plus, if growers are working on a budget, they may choose what fits.
- Unlimited Supply. Ah, the beauty of growing is that growers almost never run out. Especially if they know how to manage time frames for the plants and equipment, they can have perpetual grows and never run out. This way, whether they sell or use it for themselves, buds are always within arm’s reach.