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Growing to Learn: Kushpa and His White Widow Autos and Gold Leaf:
For newbie growers, it would be fun and adventurous to try and grow different strains at once. Heck, they tend to be experimental and even try different types of seeds in one go. But, what they forget is that different strains have different needs. Different types (auto-flowering and photoperiod) require different light schedules too.
Photoperiod seeds are those that are sensitive to light. They would only flower if the grower switched their light schedule to 12/12. Meanwhile, autoflowering seeds need no such thing. They do whatever they need to flower and can survive with a single light schedule all throughout the grow.
An adventurous newbie grower named Kushpa would try to brave the odds of doing both in this grow journal. He is prepared to grow White Widow Autos, which blesses whoever smokes it with a burst of euphoria and energy. He also plans to grow a photoperiod plant, the Gold Leaf, which is famous for its high yield and flavorful taste.
Will he succeed with his little experiment?
Much like cooking, it is better to prepare things ahead of time before cooking. So, Kushpa prepared ahead of his journey for the following:
- 5 x White Widow Autos
- 1 x Gold Leaf
- 2′ x 4′ x 6′
- Jiffy Pellets
- Jiffy Pots
- Germination Tray
- 2 x 42-watts 2.7K CFLs
- Box Fan
- 130-watts LED
- 4-inch duct fan
- Small Fan
- Chicken Wires
- MarsHydro 140-watts
- Horse Manure
- N-Rich MiracleGro Nutrients
- MG generic (24-8-16)
- Schultz Bloom Plus (10-54-10)
- Store-bought Topsoil
- Miracle-Gro All Purpose Soil
- Diatomaceous Earth
- Triazicide Insect Killer
A young and excited grower named Kushpa sets on a new adventure with five White Widow Autos and one Gold Leaf seeds. In the germination chamber of a 2’ x 4’ x 6’ tent, he has them set in a tray after their 24-hour soak. He has two 42-watt 2.7K CFLs that are helping him provide heat for his little seedlings.
In a couple of weeks, some of them would have to live outdoors. The size of the tent that he has cannot accommodate more than six plants. He still has some Gold Leaf plants in the vegetation chamber of the tent that would be staying there for a long time.
It did not take the White Widow Autos to break through the surface. The Gold Leaf lags a little but is still working her way out.
Roots form wonderfully when they have a good space to grow. And since the White Widow Autos’ roots are starting to increase, Kushpa thought this is the perfect time to re-home them into bigger pots. The White Widows are going into 5-inch Jiffy pots, while the Golden Leaf is going to be an experimental piece and would be in a big bucket instead.
Starting with the White Widows, all five are supposed to be in pots filled with a 50/50 mix of store bought topsoil and Miracle-Gro. That is until one fell out of the peat pellet and fell on the ground. He tried to revive her by placing her in a Jiffy pot like the others, but it looks like she’s not going to make it.
Looks like he is going to have a change of plans. Instead of four plants going outdoors, only three would go out and one would be left indoors. Also, the indoor White Widow is covered in half topsoil and perlite mix, and Miracle-Gro. This one still has her shell which he is still afraid to flick off.
Meanwhile, the Gold Leaf would be an experimental plant. Unlike the White Widows, she is going to live in a big bucket and with preserved topsoil from Kushpa’s river bottom corn field. He has it covered indoors for a month or so already in hopes of driving creepy critters away.
For the light, he has a full 130-watt LED on the Gold Leaf to boost her height before going outdoors. The indoor White Widow is joining her because he wants to prep him before joining the indoor gang of plants.
His Gold Leaf, although not as big as the others, is catching up quite nicely. She is already growing her second set of leaves.
Like the Gold Leaf, his Indoor White Widow is working on her second set of leaves.
Thank God that all his plants are thriving even after the scare that he had this weekend. His air conditioner knocked out and the temperature rose to 104°F. A big box fan blowing directly on the lights would not work and only got the temperature down to 90°F at most.
The air-conditioner is still out, and the temperature is still out of whack. Two more 4-inch duct fans, another small fan and all the lights are already off except for the 130-watt LED, and he only managed to get the temperature down to 89°F.
With all the CFLs off, Kushpa had no choice but to place them all under the LED.
Four days of heatwave and the repairman finally fixed the air-conditioner.
Some creepy crawlies possibly found their way to the plants while they were living in the darkness. As a precaution, this explorer decided to use some diatomaceous earth (DE) on the plants.
Also, with only the 130-watt LED working, his biggest White Widow started leaning towards the light. By the looks of it, only a stake would save her. With a wire wrapped around a stick, Kushpa tried his best to pull the plant on the opposite direction.
Quite a miracle but the leaning White Widow (indoor) is the biggest and healthiest of the bunch. Only she and the Gold Leaf are doing great. While the rest? Nada.
Both plants have stayed under LED lights longer than the rest. Could that be the reason why?
Looking at their leaves, the outdoor plants look like they were burnt. His emergency move of transferring them all under the LED caused others some serious burning.
Knowing that he cannot lose anything more, he took risks and planted one outdoors. In a 2’ x 2’ x 2’ hole that he dug two months ago, he placed one of the White Widows and filled it with some topsoil topped with half a bucket of horse manure. Of course, it needs some protection after setting it out into the wild. Out of an empty root beer bottle, he made a mini-greenhouse dome for the plant with some ventilation slits.
12 days in and the indoor White Widow still sets the bar high for the others. Surprisingly, the little incident that she had with the light is her little miracle. The LST (low stress training) that he gave her did her well and made her grow more leaves than ever.
Closing in on the indoor White Widow is the Gold Leaf. She’s not as fast when it comes to growing her leaves. Being a photoperiod plant and not an auto one, she really is bound to be a little slower than the rest.
Kushpa also started a new White Widow, which he hopes could catch up with the indoor White Widow and the Gold Leaf. Unlike the others, this one went straight into a 5-gallon bucket in the tent. Looks like he is moving towards this new one being an indoor plant.
Meanwhile, the three outdoor White Widows really lagged. It might be the Jiffy Pots that they are in that are slowing them down, aside from the light burn that they experienced.
He also figured that no further damage can happen to the plants, so he set them outside, too. Only two have protective domes this time, the other one is unprotected.
He had changed his lights from a 130-watt Led to Mars Hydro 140-watts LED. Right after, his indoor White Widow got burned a little and her leaves started curling.
Kushpa’s going to be gone for at least three days. He figured it’s best to start them on some vegging nutrients now and gave all plants ½ dose of N-rich Miracle-Gro Nutrients.
Before going, he gave the last unprotected plant a lid like the rest to protect her from the rain.
Three days after their first feeding, all plants are bursting with growth. Especially his main White Widow, the one with LST, who is booming with healthy leaves and grew at least two inches in height.
His Gold Leaf again, is not as big as his main White Widow but is getting there. She has been shooting more nodes than ever.
The last one of the indoor plants is the newest White Widow. She just popped out of her seed and is already poking out of her soil.
Moving on to Kushpa’s outdoor plants. All these Widows seem to be adapting well to their new environment. They already outgrew their burn leaves and started growing true leaves this time around.
Deer are appearing a few yards away from his White Widow so, putting on a dome on his last plant was a good call. Aside from protecting the girls, those domes also lessen the heat for them with the slits.
Add the fact that the plants are planted directly in the soil. The earth keeps the soil cooler than when the plants are in tents, where the soil adapts the temperature of the buckets.
On the other hand, since the LST worked great on his main White Widow, he decided to do the same thing on his new one too.
If all goes well, it would be as big as the main White Widow. She has the strongest stalk of all with a lot of nodes growing at the first bend.
The makeshift domes are out, and chicken wires are in for the outdoor ladies. New names are also coming with the changes around here.
Uh-oh, some mites have found their way to one of the plants.
The DE did not stop them, but Kushpa thought a douse of insecticide would. He chose one with “gamma-cyhalothrin” which mimics the properties of pyrethrin produced by chrysanthemums.
Some accidents come through as a blessing, like the LST on his main White Widow. Although it looks like a tangled mess, he already has at least half a dozen bud spots on it.
Three days short for their 1st month and the ladies are blooming.
Kushpa’s main White Widow continues to make him proud. Especially now that she is halfway done filling up her growing space.
He also started topping his 2-week White Widow Auto, something that veteran growers would frown on. Although, he was not really trying to top it. He accidentally pinched too hard while FIMming and topped it instead.
Only a day after his accidental topping of the White Widow, two little bumps started to appear. Judging by the way it looks, this would be his new main colas.
Another vacation for Kushpa, so the girls are on their own for the next four days. Before he went, he shared some shots of how the ladies are doing:
At four and a half weeks old, his main White Widow is still the main star of his show. It already has a lot of bud sites on her just waiting for buds to rise.
His other indoor White Widow is already 2 and a half weeks old. She looks as promising as her older sister is. As a matter of fact, the area where Kushpa accidentally topped her is still shooting some nodes.
The youngest, back- up White Widow is one slow grower. He can barely see it, but he swears it’s there.
Four days later, the girls are still alive. Even better than they ever were.
The main White Widow is taking up the shape of her bucket. She has more bud sites than before and is looking ready to grow some serious buds.
Surprising as it is for him, his accidental topping brought wonders for his three-week old White Widow. It has grown so much and is catching up to his main White Widow. Of course, it would be better if she grew bigger than the other one, so he started training the area with the accidental topping too.
Lastly, the youngest Widow is now out and about. She is at least two inches off the ground and already has a set of leaves with her.
Seeing how healthy his indoor plants are, Kushpa can’t help but pity his outdoor ones. Take his Gold Leaf for example. He has it set outdoors because he almost killed it by forcing it to intake so much nitrogen at once.
Babs and Betsy do not look swell as well. Babs already have very dry leaves on her but her new growths are fine.
Betsy, on the other hand, is also drying up but not as bad as Babs. Some of her leaves are drying and a little bit yellowish but better looking.
Belinda, the bucketed wonder is the healthiest of the three. No intense drying, no nutrient burns, no discoloration on her.
Kushpa’s indoor White Widows are still his pride and joy. The oldest White Widow is still filling up her growing space nicely. Plus, she has a lot of bud sites still on the rise.
The middle White Widow’s LST also worked well for her. More branches are still growing, so Kushpa is certain her space will be filled up as well.
Learning along the way, two wonderful accidents happened to Kushpa. One, being the older White Widow leaning heavily towards the light that he had to LST her. The other is he FIM-ed too hard that he ended up topping the plant instead.
Both accidents brought him abundant plants. This time, he decided to do both (LST and topping) on the new White Widow intentionally.
Kushpa is still at lost with growing autos. He believes that the girls have only begun flowering and are pretty much on their own from this point. Nonetheless, all his indoor plants are still thriving.
Here’s the Week 7 White Widow:
And Week 3:
Meanwhile, the outdoor ones are not doing so hot. Two suddenly disappeared with no traces. The cages are gone because he removed them when he took his second vacation. Considering that his chosen place is invaded by deer, that could be his answer.
He still has his half-dead Gold Leaf though. Its dried-up leaves are already gone. With healthy new leaves, no one would ever suspect that something happened to his Gold Leaf before.
7 and a half weeks in. Kushpa’s biggest White Widow looks like she is nearing her harvest date. Her trichomes are already amber and milky too.
Seems like Kushpa has not learned from his mistakes yet. Once again, he gave one of his plants nitrogen burn by overfeeding. His initial plan of one to two doses turned into three and his oldest White Widow is burnt to crisp.
He is still quite lucky because only one of his colas is affected and the rest looks like they are going to survive.
His younger White Widow is bigger than the first one, even though it is older. The LST method may have contributed to how these girls grew, the older girl was trained down longer than the other.
Last but not the least, his baby, the youngest White Widow is bushing up as well.
One last for the outdoor grow. Out of the three White Widows he set out into the wild, only one had survived. Which is not bad for Kushpa because it grew a heavy top and needed a stake to support it. Even though she has no branches, he considers himself lucky to have a cola.
Judging by the looks of it, he figured it still has a couple of weeks to go. He’s not taking any chances with this one, considering all its siblings are already gone.
Harvest is right around the corner. Kushpa started flushing his ladies which he will continue to do for a week or two until he decides to chop them down. He is traumatized by what happened to his plants during the grow that this time, he wants to be sure.
However, before he even got to move on, he realized another mistake that he made for this grow. He has grown the plants at different times that they have different heights. Some are too close to the light; the others are way down. Now, those that are too tall are having a bad case of light burns.
Week 11 and he is about ready to harvest. The trichomes are amber and clear but he wants to be certain this time.
Like what was said, Kushpa is a young and excited grower. He got too hyped up and ended up cutting earlier than expected. But guess what? He ended up with half pound, that’s about 8 oz in total wet weight. That’s from the indoor grow.
The outdoor White Widow produced at least one branch of buds after harvest:
Kushpa’s Mistakes as Opportunities to Grow
Starting a new hobby usually presents an ocean of opportunities for anyone. It can be an opportunity to make mistake, succeed or even fail. But the best part is, there is always an opportunity to learn.
Like Kushpa for his White Widow Autos and Gold Leaf journey. He made a lot of mistakes but learned, and in the end, succeeded. Newbie growers may learn from the following mistakes that he made:
- Growing different types of seeds need different light schedules.
- Different strains have very different needs.
- Stick with one growing schedule. Yes, having backup plants is great to stick with your plan. However, when you intend to harvest all of them at the same time and grow them in the same space, it might present some problems.
- Research on what nutrients work best with your grow.
- Outdoor plants always need protection.
No matter how painful and problematic this journey seem for him, what matters most is that he learned. He tried to be better and had some yield to prove his dedication.
What about you? What important learnings did you get from your most recent grow?