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Class 207: Grow At-Home with SmokeeeJ and Drogado del Gato, Pt. 3


From the Grow Journal of @drogado_del_gato

December 7, 2020

My first results are certified, and from my germination in rock wool, the kids are Ace of Spades created by Subcool but bred by @smokeeej and Blood Diamond by @swampdonkeyseeds. I transferred these over from the germination tray to the bottom rack and tray of my veg shelf. Everything except 3rd Dimension by Subcool, was breaking through but I held off with a transfer to give it and pineapple chunk more time, while others just kept leaping for light. Still I held off, and I can’t advocate trusting your gut enough! These babies have gotten their first few cycles of light and dark. As I get more comfortable with my lights, I am able to assess the seedlings’ needs better. That said, Let’s get into our plants since we germinated and examine growth over time as well as the challenges of raising the plants. 

Starting out, I dropped the Barrina LED lights to right over the dome/tray, and I got a strong response. Again, a tray with a dome will take care of itself because seedlings like higher humidity of 65%-75%, so continue to monitor your dome with seedlings. As they grow, we will open the vents because veg plants like having the humidity lowered gradually with airflow being increased. We always want to watch our temperatures in any space we use, keeping them around 62-78 degrees depending on the stage of the plants since soil below 60 degrees stops absorbing nutrients. I can’t stress about keeping a journal for tracking of feeding, or light schedules, environment notes, and notes for later research to implement improvements based upon your findings.I try to record results and follow up on anything of interest within 3-5 days before an issue becomes serious. 

December 13, 2020

Checking in a week or so later where we left off, it has been an interesting time caring for these seedlings.You might notice that we have a couple that fell and are twisting in the last article. As the weather gets colder and heaters are started up, be prepared to deal with the unexpected. A cold snap laid these babes out initially, and watching how they reached told me what I needed to know. Both fell then angled toward the center for heat and also the fresh air from vents. To help, I moved them closer together, and from the outside closer to my vents. The result a day or so later, they’re standing back up and growing. I continued to monitor, and added an additional heating pad to my seedling veg tray to maintain a minimum heat at all times without using the timer. The Pineapple Chunk has been in the struggle but fighting for life. I keep the humidity up for this baby, and hope that she’ll pull through!

December 17, 2020

As I continue, I do a final check on my 3rd Dimension seeds along with my remaining Pineapple Chunk seed. No sprouts on any of the 3rd Dimension and the Pineapple Chunk I left simply stopped. I cleaned my trays, dechlorinated more water, adjusted water ph to 5, and soaked more rock wool. I then began germinating three new strains: Johnny Appleweed, Nightfire OG, and Big Mac #4. Hopefully we’ll have some other options while I continue on my current seedlings. We saw them get some stretch and lay down after a cold night in our last check-in. We are learning that before we buy anything else; we can fix this by using a process called hardening, we strengthen the plants so we are ready to transfer. I wait to harden my seedlings before I transfer my plants, but let’s break down hardening for the novice gardener who is concerned for their newborn seeds.

Hardening is a common gardening technique, where exposing seedlings of any sort to normal environment conditions to toughen the plant corrects any issue we have after germination. We want our seedlings to enter a warm well lit area in the day/light cycle, with cooler temperatures in the dark cycle. My last check saw us lower and add more of our Barinna LED’s, while we put a Vivosun heating pad under the tray to activate with our light timer to simulate daytime conditions. We then opened our vents on our trays while lowering the humidity gradually of the outside ambient room to 40-50% before bringing them out of their tray completely. I am also using a spray bottle to mist them with adjusted 5 ph water with an Alga Pacific root booster. The result is a straightening, thickening, and greening of hues for our plant stalks and leaves. After a few days of hardening, we are ready to transfer the rock wool into soil. I prepped the pots by filling 1/3 full with Mother Earth Soil, and soaking the soil with some of my remaining 5 ph adjusted water with 1.5ml Alga Pacific root booster per gallon. 

We are still caring for these plants going into soil like we would if it were just rock wool!!! I label my pots and get them ready. Wearing gloves, we move our rock wool cubes over to the pots and begin to cover the remaining space with soil. We want to come up maybe a 1/2” up the stem, and soak the new soil. I move them to an uncovered tray to settle in with a heating pad underneath. My Ace of Spades and Blood Diamond are now ready to start rooting fully while standing back up stronger. The Pineapple Chunk is still struggling but I haven’t given up on her. I clean my trays and domes with hydrogen peroxide because tonight we transfer my next batch of germinated seeds over. These three new strains: Johnny Appleweed, Nightfire OG, and Big Mac #4 will be decided. Stay tuned in, or grow with us, download The Cannabis Cactus App and click the Connect Tab for full tutorials, gear, and frequent updates. You can also follow @smokeeej and access this information at Smokeeeej.com

December 23, 2020

Overall the message in the beginning is don’t give up, I can’t find more words beyond that. You’ll fail, things will go wrong, and people will give you every kind of opinion. My advice is to not give up, Choose a path and walk it, and with that; my veg area has been warm and humid. Ace of Spades and Blood Diamond are going strong. Rooting like crazy and gaining strength by the day! The leaves are coming in, and growth is happening at about an inch per day. Each plant drinks about a quart per day with lights an inch or so, above to stay comfortable. I’m just about to start feeding now, but adjusting water pH to 6-6.8 with some root booster. I’m getting mixed results with seedlings, it’s a day to day change. Johnny Appleweed was weak, Big Mac #4 never popped, and Nightfire OG has had ups and downs. Don’t get frustrated, keep the faith. These are bag seeds for so it’s just practice for now.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! 2020 Burn in Hell!!! WWWOOOOOOO 2021?!?! Am I Right… Oh Jeez

January 5, 2021

We went to Sea of Green in Tempe today, to figure out our flower areas. We get Smokeeej setup with a Gorilla 5×5 tent with a height extension. Plants are wonderful and gaining strength by the day! A few things to note, a clip fan was added to my veg area to get some air moving. I began feeding Fox Farms Grow Big, running 1 tsp of nutrients between two gallons of water after balancing pH to 6-6.8. Plants are eating about a quart per day and enjoy a spritz of pH 5.5-6 sprayer water once in a while. For the Ace of Spades and Blood Diamond plants, I spread everything out over a few trays, and keep the Nightfire OG with the Germ area as it has not progressed in weeks.. Leaves on the other plants are getting big now and they’ve outgrown a single tray so they are spread out for necessary light. The plants love the space along with the fan along with the addition of a radio. These kids enjoy fresh air, nutrients, and classic rock for their music choice!

January 16, 2021

I had a dip in color in some spots on my plants when they were affected by the cold, which when looking back I had used RO water to feed my plants for a couple days in a row when I installed a hose fixture in the shower. The RO water I’m told will remove certain nutrients in its filtering. I did not panic, but instinctively I began a flush immediately with some spring water from the store, and watered it until I had it running from the bottom. I did this a few times over the course of two days with distilled water, misting from my spray bottle throughout and my plants had become green again. The page was absent from the order of the other and looking back I am very happy with the plants now. We will see their sex soon, and decide what is kept and taken to flower. I have my 5 x 5 tent from Sea of Green ordered and a light as well, both of which we explore soon. I have expanded my feeding, and set a schedule based on what SmokeeeJ is doing with his grow so we might eventually compare yields.

I am dechlorinating my water a day ahead of time, leaving it out for 24 hours works great, and I make sure I am adjusting the pH for my plants to a 6-6.8. My feeding schedule is alternating between organic and synthetic using a liter bottle at a time of my feed mixture. I am using the pH adjusted water with the following on an alternating day schedule; 1 tsp, Alga Pacific Kelp Root Booster, and 1 tsp. Kelp Nitrogen fertilizer mixed in 2 gallons of water every other day. The remaining days are supplemented with Fox Farms Grow Big using 1 tsp per gallon, in the pH adjusted water. Every day gets the Sea of Green live culture supplement at 1 tsp per gallon, and I have been using a silica additive as a foliar spray and occasional additive at 1 tsp.per two gallons, General Hydroponics Armor Si, in my foliar spray bottle of 1.5ml to a bottle adjusting the pH of the water as well. The plants have seen amazing growth, and have heartied greatly since starting regular feedings with this nutrient regimen. We will be using some Dynomyco as I move my plants to 3 gallon fabric pots then showing their root gains when I transfer to 5 gallon pots when we go to flower.  

Continuing, I have started a water bucket to dechlorinate so I can start my next round of germination with the Fuerte seeds from West Coast Greenthumbs (@wcgt_) next. I’ll be balancing ph and soaking my rockwool. Many thanks to @seaofgreenaz for my flower light, tent, fan, and nutrients. The expert guidance from their knowledgeable staff will become a regular part of the resources available here and on The Cannabis Cactus App. I will be setting up my flower light soon and my tent from @gorillagrowtent soon. We will pick up in a few weeks to set up flowers, and finish our veg by taking clones from the plants that are a success. We have our cure after that, and we will be seeing a wrap on this first installment of growing at home. We’re going to check back with SmokeeeJ to see where his clones and plants have gone since we first checked in and cover some new subjects.




Adrian Ryan was born in New Mexico and attended school since elementary in Arizona, his time growing up split between the two states. He hopes to work towards recreational cannabis, enjoys reading, writing, film, music, and also writing music.

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