Ashley and the Unknown Strains: First Growing Adventure:
Growing marijuana mirrors life in many ways. First, one must work hard to sow the best fruits. Second, mental and financial preparation is vital for survival. Lastly, it is full of surprises.
Ashley decided to see what nurturing cannabis has in store for her for the first time. To make things easier, she opted to start a grow journal in ILGM. Experienced growers lent her a hand to achieve a successful harvest. However, growing seven bag seeds is a load of hard work. Not to mention, the suspense of not knowing what strain is at hand.
With that, it is difficult to acknowledge the needs of the plants right away. Different strains have different seeds. That is why growers need to equip themselves with alertness and if possible, be ready to acquire lots of equipment and nutrients along the way.
Nonetheless, in life and marijuana cultivation, the most important thing one has to do is enjoy.
Uncertainty with Bag Seeds
As what Forrest Gump famously said, “Life is like a box of chocolate, you’ll never know what you’ll get until you open it.” The case is the same with growing bag seeds. Growers do not know what marijuana strain they produced until the latter part of the journey.
Nonetheless, bag seeds deserve the same treatment as regular seeds. They might even need more since it is difficult to know what their needs are.
Ashley started out with six sprouts of unknown strains. Today, she has four: one did not make it and the other one, while alive is nearly close to dying. It is still impossible to determine if pH is part of the problem. Aside from the fact that these sprouts are still small, the pH kit and pH control kit that she ordered has not arrived in the mail yet.
Paranorman suggests lowering the humidity and keeping it in the range of 40% to 60%. Also, she is concerned that this may be a case of overwatering. Although, Ashley is confident that is not the problem. Before watering again, she makes it a point to dig down to at least an inch. If it is dry, that is the time plants uptake water, and if it is moist, they are left alone instead.
Here is where the magic happens. A room in the basement serves as the grow room for the marijuana plants. Torn up old box springs make up the walls. Although, those are entirely bare as of the moment as Ashley has not decided yet what reflective material would work best.
Final decision for the walls is to use reflective vapor barriers instead of foil. As soon as everything is settled, she brought the new light given to her which confused everyone. It is bright yellow in color which growers associate with High Pressure Sodium lamps (HPS). They are afraid it is too strong for small plants. Ashley opted to purchase a 400-watt metal halide (MH) instead.
This would be the last set-up until the new lights arrive.
The pH tester kit that Ashley ordered arrived first before the 400-watts MH. At least now, the pH level of the distilled water is balanced from 5.4 to 6.4.
Everything is working out well. The stems grow to be thick and strong, with no evident discoloration.
400-watts MH lamp arrived and is already installed above the plants.
Once settled, Ashley would try to top at least one plant. Although, she is still confused if four nodes are enough for topping.
Instead of a single plant, she decided to top them all. Ashley also listened to experienced growers and cut from the fourth node.
Intervals between updates got longer over the past month. Although, marijuana plants are still alive today. Ashley continued to nurture them, and now they have completely taken over the plant with bushy leaves.
Expect them to grow bigger soon as two of the big plants begin to show signals of flowering. Uncertain but hopeful that what she sees from afar are white pistils.
Two new light kits, a 600-watt and a 1000-watt dimmable electronic MH/HPS grow kits, would give life to the plants. Ashley also renovates the room for the ladies. Plants in the flowering phase need a different space from those in vegetation. That’s why his primary goal for the renovation is to make the room bigger to fit all plants.
Renovating the grow room may be taking a long time. Nevertheless, the plants are well into the second week of flowering. Somewhere along the way, this rookie grower planted three more plants. Four out of seven plants turned out to be females after all. These ladies are producing strings of buds streaming from the stems.
Meanwhile, the male plants stay outside on Ashley’s deck until she figures out what to do with those. Although, Donaldj advises against doing so. Instead he suggests to “kill them off as it is incredibly easy to accidentally pollinate.” So, Ashley listened and threw them out immediately.
Another month has passed, and they are almost ready for harvest. If not for the sudden rustic spots and discolorations appeared on the leaves, then everything goes on fine.
She had to switch to Fox Farm Tiger Blooms nutrients a while back because his first choice of nutrients gave the plants nitrogen burn. However, the leaves found its way back to its greener colors and recovered.
Ashley finally did what everyone is waiting for: harvest the marijuana plants. It seems like no buds have been by the burns and are as big and juicy as can be.
Two weeks since the buds were hung to dry, they are now in mason jars awaiting to begin curing.
The Beauty of Bag Seed Uncertainty
Other people find it difficult to see the beauty of bag seed uncertainty. Fear and doubt overpower them, and they give up on trying. Ashley is one of the few brave ones who dared to try.
While she was not able to determine the name of the strains, she did these instead:
1. Know what are the things that she would need for future grow. Not only was she able to buy them immediately, Ashley discovered the equipment that would work for her and the growing area.
2. Adjust the growing space. Since it was only the first attempt at growing, she was able to adjust things in the room that could use some improvement. Like dividing it into two to separate growth phases, and add some reflective barriers that maximized the lightings.
3. She managed to get a high yield. With some perseverance and hard work, Ashley has a lot of buds to smoke and share in the end.