In this grow journal, Bryan tells the story of the nine different strains he grew using two growing mediums. He started with ten, half in soil while the rest in hydro. Another twist of this journey is that all plants would cohabit a single growing area. Read on to see how it worked out.
Bryan’s Nine Strain Wonders in Different Growing Mediums:
Bryan and His Nine Strains
Often mistaken for AK-47, the similarities between these two strains end with both having up to 20% THC. However, these are not the sample plants. AK-48 itself leans more towards the Indica and is well capable of delivering a calming body buzz after inducing a clear-headed cerebral high. Among its most popular use is as a way to find comfort from the debilitating effects of anxiety, depression, and chronic pain.
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A mixture of dominant strains like Northern Lights, Ortega, and Afghani SA ended up with another legendary strain, the Black Destroyer. This high yielding plant is flexible as well, as it can thrive both indoors and outdoors.
The buds have a strong and pungent aroma, yet the taste is surprisingly sweet with a hint of menthol. Still, do not let the pleasant taste fool. Like the AK-58, it boasts of 20 to 22% of THC. Despite the name, it relieves one of anxiety, stress, and pain.
Those looking to relieve stress may find relief in Red Dragon. A quick smoke of this strain produces upbeat and uplifting giggles. For growers, it would only take seven to nine weeks of flowering before harvesting sweet, flowery and a hint of a honey taste of buds.
Indica-dominant Pineapple Chunk combines the properties of Cheese and Skunk #1. The characteristics of both strains are evident in the skunky, earthy, and cheesy, with sweet pineapple taste. Nonetheless, it still has a small dose of CBD and high THC content.
A hybrid of White Widow and another unknown North American indica strain is a favorite of ScrOG growers because it only grows as a bushy and stout plant. Nonetheless, it gives a strong and heady high that is perfect for medicinal use as well.
Clusters of buds that has a lavender and maroon hues grow out of the sativa-dominant strain, Royal Thai. It amazes the smokers with fantastic taste when cured properly and the chocolate with coffee kind of taste. All these results in a clear, powerful, uplifting, and cerebral high.
Cherry Bombs mild to moderate effects make it perfect for people who want to have a quick day time smoke. It sends smokers a strong sativa buzz that gets them active and mentally alert instantly, but as the effects wear on, it slips to a more focused state that allows for normal activities.
Sour Diesel or “Sour D”, invites people with a pungent, diesel-like aroma. This delivers an energizing, yet dreamy cerebral effects that people with stress, pain, and depression prefers this one over a lot of strains.
One of the most famous indica plants out there, Super Skunk traces to another legendary strain: Skunk #1 cross with Afghani genetics. This mix produces extremely pungent, sweet buds that surprises with a sweet taste. It induces a body relaxing effect that releases stress and body pains.
- RDWC system with plastic
- Clear plastic cups
- Red solo cups
- Pipe cleaners
- Makeshift domes
- (2) Cob 1800-watts LED lights
- Seedling soil
- Fox Farm Happy Frog Soil
Ten seeds of different strains buried in seedling soils are resting in individual clear solo cups that are then inside red cups. This way, Bryan can check on the roots without disturbing the roots. The clear solo cups also have holes for better drainage. Red cups, however, does not have these holes. Instead, the grower fills it with about an inch of water, gives the seedlings a chance to absorb the amount that it needs, and pours it out after an hour.
Once assembled, the grower submerges them into a bigger pot filled with soil as well.
The strains are:
- Black Destroyer
- Red Dragon
- Pineapple Chunk
- White Rhino
- Royal Thai
- Cherry Bomb
- Sour Diesel
- Super Skunk
Half of them would grow in soil and the other half are going to be in Recirculating Deep Water Culture (RDWC) hydroponics systems.
Two-cup method that Bryan tried with the seedlings did not seem to work. The soil inside the cups became compacted and seemed to crush the seedlings. He had to loosen the soil manually and hopefully, give them a chance to sprout.
72 hours buried in the seedling soil worked. Now, two Pineapple Chunks sprouted first today. However, as the day goes by, more and more seedlings began to show. At the end of the night, there are a total of five little sprouts in the growing area.
Again, Bryan added water into the red cups before putting the clear cups inside. Although this time, humidity domes made out of food containers are placed over them.
This morning presented the grower with this journey’s first problem. He found most of the sprouts are overstretching, with some even falling to a “U” shape. Now, pipe cleaners support the stems, and humidity domes let the seedlings breathe for a while.
Four of the seedlings ended up needing the pipe cleaners after all. Bryan decided to remove all humidity domes which appear to be better for the plants.
Yesterday, all ten sprouts drank water the same way they used to before. However, there is some visible root action happening this time.
Two more seedlings needed pipe cleaner support. Although that is a bummer, Bryan looked at the bright side instead and saw roots growing on the Pineapple Chunks six days after sprouting.
Humidity domes might be the culprit responsible for the overstretching of the plants. They appear to have diffused the lights from two 1,800-watts COB LED lights too much.
The Pineapple Chunk is in her final resting place: a 7-gallon fabric pot. The process is a little bit tedious. First, Bryan placed the clear cup directly into Fox Farm Happy Frog Soil.
Then he watered the soil with a gallon of water mixed with 1/2 tsp of rooting powder to keep the shape, removed the cup again, popped the plant out of the container and placed it in the cup-shaped hole. The form is a perfect fit, and the roots remain undisturbed.
Same processes happened to transplant the Sour Diesel and Red Dragon into their separate 7-gallon smart pots.
All five plants that would grow in soil are now set to go. Meanwhile, Bryan transplanted a Pineapple Chunk into the RDWC with a chiller. The process is also intricate like transplanting into soil.
First, the seedling soil is soaked until it wears off the root.
Then the plant is placed in a 3-1/2 inch net pots.
Once the root settled at the bottom of the net pot, the growers pour clay pellet and leave an only 1/2 inch of space at the top. A foam collar steadies the stem in place.
A lot of things are happening today. Another seedling rests in the hydroponics system, three more to go. Then, two of the first plants in soil got topped, and two out of the five seeds Bryan allegedly planted two days ago already sprouted.
Bryan sets up two more plants into the RDWC system. The seeds that ended up in the hydroponics system are the “slow growers,” while the ones that sprouted first are in the soil. Nonetheless, they would all stay under the same lights, and in the same tent.
Here are the soil plants:
Cherry Bomb and Pineapple Chunk
Now that Bryan placed all plants where they should be, he can do more things for the plants. First off, the five plants in soil are finally topped. As for those in the hydroponics system, the plants now have a right amount of roots growing out of them. Their grower also made some adjustments in the tent like recirculating the pump tubing and air tubing.
The RDWC system comes with a cooling bucket that can hold two liters of water and a gallon’s worth of frozen bottle. However, as Bryan woke up this morning, the water pump in the bucket stopped working. The water inside became too hot to touch which scared him, thinking it had affected the plants.
Luckily, the plants are doing fine and are seemingly unaffected by the event. The relieved grower iced everything back to the normal temperature, brought another pump, and placed that pump on a timer. It is now working on a timer that goes on for 15 minutes, then turns off for two hours, and the cycle repeats.
ScrOG net is already set in place. Bryan decided to go double layers for this round’s grow.
The second layer of the ScrOG net is up. Now, the real adventures begin. Bryan is more than excited to start training these ladies. First, he ensured that all the timers coordinate properly. Lights would run on 20/4, the chiller’s recirculating pump would work for 1-1/2 hours daily as soon as the new ice jugs are placed. Then, they are also set to run for 15 minutes every 5 hours.
Removing the recirculating hose out of the reservoir and hoisting it into 5-gallon buckets where it empties itself. Refilling it is just as easy, growers only need to pour directly into the chiller.
Most of the plants are starting to pass through the ScrOG net. While it is indeed good news, Bryan finds it more difficult to water them. He now uses four feet of 1/2-inch PVC pipe through a 1/2-inch Uniseal. The watering device holds about a gallon of water.
Bryan stripped off all plants of their lower branches to give way for some air. Then, six gallons of water are added to the RDWC. Once done, all timers adjusted to 18/6.
These plants are already five and a half weeks old. They grew accustomed to bending, tying and twisting to train them under the ScrOG net. With the rate that they brow, Bryan believes they are ready for the big switch next week.
The growth rate of the plants is much more than what Bryan can handle. These little monsters grew three inches overnight and their grower thinks they need to switch to 12/12 today.
With the words “If it wasn’t destined to make it to the top, it no longer exists,” in mind, Bryan trimmed about 20% of the total plants. As the process goes, he noticed the flowers are finally appearing since the big switch.
Two weeks into flowering and so far, all plants are turning out female.
Words were spoken out too soon yesterday. The White Rhino showed some ball sacs and had to be removed from the tent before it spread some seeds. Another male plant grew some balls in the RDWC system and was discarded.
The grower is sure that one of the plants in the hydroponics is sativa and is a male. However, things turned out for the better as the sativa showed up as a female and quickly grew past the lights. So far, only two out of eight seeds from this grow turned out as males.
A landrace indica suddenly decided to show some ball sacs in the area. Bryan is still adamant about throwing it out, and instead, he decided to make a “biodome”. Four pieces 4-feet poles from an old tent would serve as the posts for the project, and a thick cellophane coat cover is the roof of the biodome. With the edges taped, all pollens are secured inside Bryan’s contraption until he decides what should be done with the plant.
Biodome does the job well. Now, male and female plants can live harmonically inside a single grow space without the fear of cross pollination.
The RDWC plants are down to three, one of those only has a single bud on it. AK-48 is the newest victim. From the beginning, it is the sickliest plant of the batch and tonight; it finally bit the dust due to some lack of light.
Bryan decided to leave the Super Skunk and Pineapple Chunk alone in the hydroponics system. He thinks these two are enough to fill the whole tent up.
Pineapple Chunk peaks with luscious trichomes. The buds climb up the stems and get fat as they do so.
Plants in the soil are not doing too hot as well. Three of them burned because of the high temperature inside the grow room. It is only a matter of time before they are out of the tent, too.
Now, it’s spider mite infestation that is becoming the problem. All remaining plants sprayed with Spinosad, but some only have a slim chance of survival.
Hydroponics’ Pineapple Chunk seems unaffected. It is still standing tall and proud at 85 days from seed.
Cherry Bomb does not have the same big buds, but at least she has some to work with.
In the afternoon, Bryan took an early cut of the Pineapple Chunk.
Both the Super Skunk and Pineapple Chunk in hydro are harvested. The soil plants, Cherry Bomb and Sour Diesel still need a few days to mature, and fatten their buds.
Three days later, the Cherry Bomb finally comes down with quite victorious buds.
Practice Makes Perfect
Bryan has years of growing experience to back him up with this round’s grow. Still, no one can foresee what events would unfold as they go. Like what happened here, two different growing mediums served as catalysts for unusual circumstances that occurred.
This grow a confusing one. It is not a complete failure because the grow harvested buds from at least four plants. In the same way, this growth is not a success because what started as a ten-plant grow ended with only four. Nevertheless, it is an achievement altogether. Bryan can certainly chalk it up to experience, and bring the lessons for future grows. Here are some of the memorable ones:
- Be a wise experimenter. This is all part of an experiment. Starting with the germination method, to using two growing mediums in a single growing environment. Bryan can make most of the things work for him.
- Innovation takes one to places. Most of the time, growers are afraid of putting males and females in one space for fear of cross-pollination. Nonetheless, Bryan took the risk with an innovative device. He kept the pollens at bay.