Bobbyb’s Adventures with Strawberry Kush and White Widow:
Problems make a grow journey exciting. Overwhelming as they seem, once solved, they provide growers a sense of accomplishment. However, as they arise, cultivators may find themselves growing rather frustrated, especially to those who are only starting their adventures.
Lucky for those growing in today’s era, a lot of forums are easily accessible online. In these forums, growers may gather all the information prior to growing. They also have the privilege of starting grow journals where they may exchange experiences and help those in need. Fortunately, Bobbyb started his in I Love Growing Marijuana Forums where growers are more than willing to help.
Strawberry Kush and White Widow
Imitating the sweet and pleasant taste of the fruit, Strawberry Kush is a strain favored by those with sweet tooth. A cross between the sweet Strawberry Cough and pungent OG Kush, it creates buds with medium-range THC. Smokers find themselves uplifted and relaxed without suffering from over fatigue.
As for the White Widows, these can be considered as legends in the growing industry. Circulating since the 1990s, it has won the renowned Cannabis Cup in 1995. Who would not love this resin-laden bud that hits with a powerful euphoria and sparks creative energy.
- 2 x 2 x 5 Grow Space
- (2) 2700k CFL
- Mars Hydro 300-watts LED
- Mars Hydro 400-watts LED
- Epsom Salts
- Regular potting soil
- Fox Farm Bat Guano 0-5-0
- Fox Farm Grow Big
- Fox Farm Big Bloom
- Worm castings
- Tomato Tone 3-4-6
- Blood meal
- Neem oil
- Diatomaceous earth
Germination and Flowering Period
Even before the seeds arrive, Bobbyb made it a point to pre-mix the soil for the seedlings.
- Equal parts regular potting soil and perlite
- 1/3 cup of Fox Farm Bat Guano 0-5-0
- 1/3 cup Worm Castings
- 1/3 cup Tomato Tone 3-4-6
- 1/3 cup Blood Meal
Then, a repurposed old cabinet would be serving as the vegetation chamber for the plants. Basically, everything is just waiting for the Strawberry Kush and White Widow that are now soaking in distilled water.
Within hours, both seeds cracked and are buried in the soil right after.
Even though the Strawberry Kush sprouted, Bobbyb is still suspicious that it has been cooked since the temperature in the tent ran up 90°F. The White Widow still has not popped up and his suspicions intensified. As a precaution, two more White Widows were soaked in distilled water.
24 hours later, those two were planted in the soil as well even if they have not sprouted yet.
Apparently, Bobbyb abolished all plants and seeds during the past 10 days. With the light burns and other factors, he now has the second batch ready:
In front are two ILGM’s White Widows while the two at the back are ILGM’s Strawberry Kush. Nothing extra special and the lights are on 24/7 until he gets a timer.
One of each strain did not make it but Bobbyb’s okay with it since the tent is small for four plants any way. Another Strawberry Kush was planted instead to make up for it. The remaining White Widow, on the other hand, has completely taken off. It only gets watered with two table spoons of filtered tap water.
The last Strawberry Kush planted is now catching up with the other two. As a matter of fact, once Bobbyb spotted a little green leaf appearing on it, he switched the schedule to 18/6.
Meanwhile, the lone White Widow is visibly ahead of the other two. This one is the first to be transplanted into a bigger pot as soon as roots started appearing at the bottom of her first pot.
Only four days later, both Strawberry Kush plants followed suit and were transplanted into bigger pots. Running out of pots, he made one with a tea jug. Everything is extra slow and extra hard for Bobbyb since he just came out of an operation.
Some discoloration appeared on one of the Strawberry Kush sprouts and had Bobbyb worried. The middle part of the new growths appears to be more yellow than usual. There are two possible reasons:
- The temperature dropped from 83°F to 62°F. Donaldj, a Global Moderator for ILGM, thinks it is a defense mechanism by the plant to bring out its natural colors.
- New growths are naturally lighter than the rest of the plants.
Roots are coming out of the bottom of the White Widow’s pot. This is what Bobbyb has been waiting for before transplanting this little one into a bigger pot.
The two Strawberry Kush plants need a few more days before they can be moved into bigger pots.
All ladies are now in their final pots. Even though Bobbyb ran out of big pots, a milk jug saved his day. The SCReen of Green (SCRoG) net has also been set in place for the ladies.
Plant on the right is the White Widow. She has also been topped today.
As for the Strawberry Kush plants, their differences surface everyday even if they come from the same strain. One is dominantly indica, looking at the shape of the leaves which are slightly wider and elongated leaves.
The other plant has narrower and longer leaves, a Sativa-dominant plant’s attribute.
Fox Farm Trio nutrients have arrived at Bobbyb’s doorstep. Since the White Widow is older than the rest and seems to be up for it, she received her first dose of nutrients today.
- 1/4 tsp. Fox Farm Grow Big (1/2 gallon of water)
- 1/4 tsp. Fox Farm Big Bloom (1/2 gallon of water)
A few hours later, she is glowing and is perkier than before. Here is what she looks like right before feeding:
Then, here is the White Widow a few hours after:
Today is the Strawberry Kush plants’ turn to be topped.
After high stress training (HST) the White Widow by topping. The result were new branches on where the topping occurred. This time, Bobbyb decided to super crop her to see where it would take them. It is the process of intentionally hurting the plants in order to keep or improve the shape they are in. If done correctly, growers may be able to direct the light where they need to be and in turn, maximize the potential yield of the plants.
Seemingly, the White Widow encountered some cal-mag (calcium-magnesium) issues thus, the discoloration of the leaves. Gratefully, it has recovered and is now back to having those majestic green leaves.
On the other hand, Bobbyb fed the sativa-dominant Strawberry Kush once again.
- 1/2 tsp. Grow Big
- 1 tsp. Big Bloom
The indica-dominant one just goes on about its day.
Turns out, Bobbyb wanted to do something different with the dominantly sativa Strawberry Kush. This time, with another HST called “mainlining” or “manifolding”. It involves defoliating the lower branches of the plants at an early stage. Then, bending some of the branches and securing it in place, so that all future colas are stemming out form one main node.
To see the difference in their yield later on, he decided to leave the other Strawberry Kush plant alone.
Some bugs attacked the plants while he was not looking, good thing diatomaceous earth (DE) was really on the way. Neem oil was also sprayed to take care of spider mites, since they are not affected by DE.
Spraying Neem oil while the lights are on is not a good idea. In Bobbyb’s case, it definitely cooked the leaves of his plants. The roots are coming out of the bottom, those started browning as well and rotting. Some of the leaves have already began twisting.
In an attempt to salvage what is left, Bobbyb repotted all plants and made a fresh batch of soil for them.
Re-potting the plants into new soil did not solve the problem. More discoloration and brown spots appeared on the leaves of the White Widow.
It is also slowly showing on one of the fan leaves of the indica-dominant Strawberry Kush.
In a desperate attempt, Bobbyb sprayed neem oil once again, before lights out this time.
The conditions worsened for the ladies. Still, Bobbyb gave them:
- 5 mL Grow Big
- 10 mL Big Bloom
- 1 tbsp. Gypsum
As for the pH, it was 6.2 before the feeding and a little lower than six thereafter.
Bobbyb thought of stopping everything until the problem is resolved. Good thing the plants are steadily growing despite the brown spots that are getting worse.
Indica-dominant Strawberry Kush
Still not wanting to disrupt the White Widow and Strawberry Kush, Bobbyb did not do anything to them except tuck some branches under the screen.
For the sativa-dominant Strawberry Kush, she is up for one more high-stress training. After mainlining, next comes super cropping.
A thorough and periodic observation shows that the pH level of the soil is incredibly low. The highest it got was 6.0. That is probably why the plants suffered magnesium deficiency. A good flushing is in order.
With a gallon of water pH’d to 6.8 or 7, Bobbyb flushed the plants and somehow ended up with 6.2 which is better than what is has been.
The mainlined Strawberry Kush were showing signs of rustic spots as well. As a precaution, Bobbyb flushed it as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, the others were topped on most of their bud sites.
After all that has happened, the three plants finally reached the point where they are ready to flower. From today, they would be going under 36 hours of darkness to prepare.
Bobbyb is a little impatient with this grow. He switched a little early than expected. Under some CFLs, the girls would be on a 12-12 routine from now on.
One Mars Hydro 300-watts and one Mars Hydro 400-watts replaced the CFLs in the tent.
Learning from his past mistakes, all steps are now carefully calculated. Yesterday, Bobbyb gave them water mixed with little bit of Epsom salt.
Two weeks in flowering and the three plants have completely filled up the scrog net. Not to mention, all plants are engulfed with a lot of buds.
Here are some up close shots of the Strawberry Kush buds:
Still taking careful steps with the plants, Bobbyb only gave water and a little cal-mag to the plants today.
A closer inspection of the plants shows a lot of discoloration on the leaves. Some turned a pale color of yellow, a sign of nitrogen deficiency. They were fed 1/2 strength or 3/4 strength of Big Bloom and Tiger Bloom, and the pH was still in check. Bobbyb is also considering the plants have also consumed the blood meal in the soil.
However, Garrigan also considers sudden drop in temperatures as culprit.
The White Widow seems to be having the hardest time of the three plants. Canopy is a pale greenish yellow, the middle part of the plant is also yellowing. It seems to be dying.
- Temperature: 61°F to 83°F
After a lot of consideration, Bobbyb finally decided to trim the lower branches. It will help improve not only the temperature, but the air circulation as well. One big bag full of leaves from the White Widow alone.
Once done, the Strawberry Kush plants and White Widow were all given pH’d water. That was when Bobby was once again panicked by some browning of the edges on the Strawberry Kush.
Even with the browning of the edges, the Strawberry Kush was fed ½ strength of feeds. Fortunately, the browning it did not spread.
Now that harvest is getting near, here are some bonus trichome pictures from Bobbyb’s Strawberry Kush plants:
These ladies are already filling the tent with their smell. Mainlined Strawberry Kush smells like a fresh fruit tree. The other one is very skunk once rubbed.
Chopping begins today. One Strawberry Kush comes down.
Wanting to see the difference, the others would follow next week.
Strawberry Kush number two is harvested today.
White Widow plants are known to naturally have leafy plants. This one is simply exceptional, either the buds are so juicy that they look like leaves as well or the leaves have completely infested the buds.
And then there was none. The White Widow was also chopped down today.
Resourcefulness as a Key
In growing, it pays to know your grow. Not only the basic things about the strains in the grow space, but what problems they might encounter to either prevent or know how to solve those. Of course, in identifying problems, having a keen eye is a must. Problems spotted as early as possible often result in high quality yield.
Fortunately, even if Bobbyb was not prepared in the financial aspect, he was able to have a fairly good grow. With resourcefulness, he was able to crawl his way through the Strawberry Kush and White Widow grow expedition by using things readily available in the house. If not for that, then the whole expedition would have been terminated even before it began.
Even if this is one of his early grows, he was able to see and identify problems as soon as they appear. This gave him the capability to prevent what is about to come, or at least prepare for it. Still, he was able to survive those problems even by spending as little as possible.
Bobbyb is a living statement that money does not make the growing industry go around. Resourcefulness does. For the first few grows, it is okay to have the most basic equipment there is. As a reward, invest in better ones as you grow as a marijuana connoisseur.