First time grower, have some questions

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elusiveshame

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Hey everyone!

So my dealer gave me a handful of seeds and I planted them in the first week of September in a "community" pot (8" diameter). There were 9 seeds and I got 5 good plants growing out of them (2 of them were incredibly tiny, and 1 of them just didn't want to survive), which is still more than I have room for in my tent. I don't know the strains (likely bag seeds my dealer acquired), but they seem to have indica leaves. Once they developed their first true leaves, I put them into their own small clay pots, and now that they've grown larger than those pots, I moved them into 5 gallon fabric pots as their final spot.

Since I have a handful of plants to experiment with, I wanted to top 2 plants, possibly LST one of them, LST a non-topped plant, and then let 1 grow naturally (I don't have room for all 5 in my tent, so one of them is being given to a friend).

Earlier this week, I decided to top 2 of the plants. Both were roughly the same size, each having their first true leaves, a set of 3 leaves, a set of 5 leaves, and a set of 7 leaves. The first plant I topped, and I know I missed. I cut too low. The second plant seems to have been done properly as it's growing 2 new stalks from the cut.

The first plant is bushing out fine, but the too low of a cut has a single growth of a new main stem coming out, and it's already being shaded by the growth by the cut. The plant looks healthy, but I suspect a very low yield from it now. No biggie - you can't always with learn without making mistakes.

The second plant is doing very well.

I was debating on doing some LST today, but I think I'm going to avoid it this grow. I have a trellis net that I'm going to use, so there's at least something to help spread the canopy. If it's highly recommended I do LST, please let me know.

So, my babies are now a month old from planting, and I'm trying to be prepared for the next stage of the grow. This brings me to my questions:

1.) When should I start trimming the plants? Now? Should only the bottom fan leaves be removed? The 4 nodes are just coming in now, so I'm not sure if it's too soon to start trimming, or if I should wait another week or 2.

2.) When should I be able to tell the gender? The true leaves popped out about 3 weeks ago. I'm assuming fairly soon, yeah?

3.) How to flip into flower mode? Right now I'm running 18/6 with the lights and I know I have to change to a 12/12 cycle. Do I just do this when I think the plants are at a proper height (I know to expect 2x the height growth during flower), or will the plants tell me when?

4.) Can you pollinate a single flower on a plant?

4a.) Can you pollinate an auto flower?

In regards to question 4 - I'd like to eventually be 100% self sufficient in harvesting not only flower, but seeds as well. I know with my current plants, it's likely that I'm not going to get some top quality stuff, but I figure it's a learning process, so why not start with what I have? Can I harvest the pollen sacks from a male plant, then pollinate a single bud to get seeds? I don't want to pollinate an entire plant, so I'm looking for best options. I don't have the room, or setup for clones (kids in the house, so I have very limited space on where I can grow, and we're heading into the super cold season now, so outside grow isn't happening for a few months). Would it be better to just get some of the weed spray off amazon (marketed for weed, but it's just a mix of colloidal silver in a spray bottle) and spray a branch of a feminized plant instead of mucking around with an unknown strain male?

5.) I've ready auto's should be on a 18/6 or 20/4 or 24/0 light schedule. Is this from veg state onward, or can the germination/sapling stage use 12/12 just fine? I ask because I'd like to ideally start cycling plants in and out of the tent as one group is finishing up, and I have photoperiods in there now, but when I get ready to harvest them (likely mid January I think), I'd like to have some auto's already hitting the veg phase ready to go.

Thanks!
 
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elusiveshame

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need pictures of your plants and set up, as some questions are basically going to get opinions for answers, as a few methods work fine..
usually a couple months to see sex of plant..

Here's the current tent setup (it's a vivosun 4x2x5' tent).

Top plant was transplanted about 1.5 weeks after the other 3.

The 2 on the right were topped (top was was topped too low, bottom seems to have been a good spot)

The bottom left plant isn't topped.

Ignore the other 2 pots :P (just some carrots and non-devils lettuce)
Tent 10 8 2022
 
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elusiveshame

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Well, since nobody seems to want to answer my questions, I guess I'll just use this thread as a grow journal and if folks want to chime in, feel free :P

This is my setup: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B093BL79VG?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details (with the addition of fans and a humidifier + hygrometer triggered outlet)

I initially had the light setting set to the first setting (20% power), but ended up upping to 60-80% currently.

I planted a handful of seeds back on September 10th. First pic:
9 17 22a


Photo taken on 9/17/2022. The seeds are in the top grey pots. 5 seeds planted in each (one of them was a dud from the start as I'm 99% sure it was popped/flattened, but said "screw it"). Soil is whatever potting soil my local shop had (I forget the name, but it seems similar to fox farm/miracle grow/etc from what I can tell). Bottom cloth pot has radishes, other cloth pot has carrots, and the 2 in bowls are apple trees.

On the 19th, I transplanted the 5 best seedlings to their own individual smaller pots (photo taken on 9/24/2022):
9 24 22


I noticed some stretching, so I placed an art stool in the tent to lift up some of the plants.

They started growing fairly quick at this point, so I transplanted the best 3 into 5 gallon cloth bags and kept 2 in the clay planters. I did this late on the 29th of September. Here's a picture from the 30th:
9 30 22a


I probably should've waited to transplant them, but hey, first timer here. Also, I noticed some lights leaking out of the windows, hence the mess of duct tape (it's since been removed and I've taped out the outside of the tent, as well as have curtains to drape over it when the time comes to flip to flower). Radishes are 4 days from harvest here, which will give me another cloth pot to use. I also repurposed one of the grey potters for lettuce, because why not?

Picture from October 1st (just 1 day later):
10 1 22b


Nothing changed here. Just keeping on keeping on.

Progress pic from 10/4:
10 4 22


I topped the 2 right plants. The top right plant I topped too low (first time grower, thus first time topping). As soon as I made the snip, I knew I went too low. It's started to recover, but I'll touch on that a little later. The bottom right plant I snipped at a good spot. The others have been left alone. Nothing else was done, though I did harvest the radishes later on in the day (and boy were they delicious). I did notice the yellowing on the fan leaf of the top right plant. This leaf kind of confused me - it was showing 6 fingers. Turns out, the 7th finger was just incredibly tiny and also yellow. I was a little concerned about this, so I started keeping a close eye on it.

Progress Pic on 10/5:
10 5 22

Some growth, nothing crazy. 4th plant moved to a cloth pot and watered. The yellow leaf has grown, but still yellowing. Otherwise nothing else was done.

Progress pics from 10/6:
10 6 22a


That pesky yellow finger is still yellowing, but still growing. The really tiny yellow finger starts to make an obvious appearance. We'll call this plant "Nemo" from now on. I started using nutrients today: Fox Farm Big Bloom and Grow Big, at 1/3rd recommended dosage. I'm not sure what the nutrient contents are in the soil at this point, so I don't want to overload it with things. I'm already insecure about my watering schedule (feels like I watered too much in the beginning, but now I'm going every 3-4 days, depending on weight of the pot + finger knuckle deep test). This picture was taken right after watering. I probably could've watered them more since cloth pots seem to run off quicker, especially if you water one side more than the other, but I'm afraid of over-watering still.

The top left plant didn't get any nutrients as I had just transplanted it and watered it the day before.

I was also kind of skeptical with using nutrients. I understood that soil would need to replenish nutrients, but I figured that would be done with compost and fertilizers rather than these liquid solutions. I also removed the 5th plant from the tent and is now resting on my kitchen table. A friend is supposed to take it off my hands, so I'm hoping that it survives long enough.

Here's 3 more pictures from 10/6:
10 6 22b

10 6 22c
10 6 22d

I saw a noticeable difference throughout the day (unsure if the pictures really capture that).

The 2 topped plants:
- The one I topped too low (top right) started regrowing a single stem, but very small and very slow.
- The one I topped at a good spot (bottom right) has now sprouted 2 new stems

Progress pic from 10/9 (2 of them):
10 9 22a

10 9 22b


I had to move the bottom left plant away from the fan as one of the fan leaves was starting to go into the fan. Since the lettuce is a slow grower / doing "okay", I swapped positions with it. Unfortunately, due to the negative pressure the air system creates, the fan leaves get bent by the tent walls.

Plants are doing well. I watered (without nutrients) as the pots felt very light and very dry to the touch.

Progress pics from 10/10/2022 (3 of them, morning, noon, and night):
10 10 22a

10 10 22b

10 10 22c


Lots of growth over the last few days, and the plants appear to be looking healthy.

The topped plants:
- The top right (topped too short) has a tiny stem growing from the cut. It's completely shadowed by the leaves growing from the node there. This one has really bushed out. The yellowing still has only affected only those 2 bottom fingers, so I'm not too worried about it at the moment.

- The bottom right (topped in a good spot) has 2 solid stems growing from the cut now, and looks great.

Next watering is going to either be Wednesday or Thursday, depending on the soil dryness. This feeding will also be with nutrients. I'm debating between using the same amount as last time (1/3rd of the dose), or upping it to 2/3rds. The top left plant will be getting nutrients for the first time this week.

I'm also going to start doing some pruning before watering. There's a handful of leaves that are going toward the main stalks that I want to cut away, plus I'm going to start trimming off the bottom single and 3 finger leaves.

I also ordered some garden wire and folder clips to start doing low stress training. I figure the topped plants have had enough time to recover by now, so LST won't stress them out too much, and I've come to the realization that if I want to keep the growth in check, I'll have to LST, even with the plan of going screen of green.

Currently the plants are ranging between 7.75" in height to 8.25" in height. When they hit another 4-5 inches, I'll set up the net and start fishing the bud sites through it, and when they hit a height of 16-18", I'm going to flip to flowering. My intention is to flip by November 1st, but we'll see what the plants dictate around that time.

Other potential concerns:
Since it's nearing winter time here, the humidity is going to drop + I use a pellet stove, so my humidity can drop to 20% in the basement (where my tent is), and even though I have a humidifier going into the tent - I hope that's enough to help. I have another small humidifier down here as well (my office is actually down here, which is why I have so many pictures), but it's 1000+sq wide open space, so it's tough to raise the humidity of the whole basement.

I'm also considering taking the lettuce out, but I'll give it a few more weeks, or until it's shadowed by the weed.

No genders have shown yet - I'm hoping this week, maybe next week for that answer. I think I see some signs of a female or 2, but I'm not 100% sure.

Since these are bag seeds, do I get to name the strains? :P

Anyway, let me know what ya'll think, and if you have any tips/suggestions/notice things that I should be doing, please feel free to tell me!
 
GNick55

GNick55

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No worries!

Why do you hate nets / trellises?
ah without going on a rant haha
they just get in the way..
i support the branches/buds from above..
think of a net/trellis above your head (mines made of chain that is easily removed) and i use floral wire to tie branches to chain..
never in the way and i can do everything i need to easily..
 
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elusiveshame

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ah without going on a rant haha
they just get in the way..
i support the branches/buds from above..
think of a net/trellis above your head (mines made of chain that is easily removed) and i use floral wire to tie branches to chain..
never in the way and i can do everything i need to easily..
Oh now that's clever!
 
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elusiveshame

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i’m getting older and i need everything easy and simple.
I'm seeing you have some clever ideas. Just watched your hash making videos - good stuff. I'm going to read through your thread and see what I can pick up.
 
GNick55

GNick55

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I'm seeing you have some clever ideas. Just watched your hash making videos - good stuff. I'm going to read through your thread and see what I can pick up.
haha, you’ll need a week!
well awesome brother!
see my golf balls beneath plants?
good for airflow underneath bags, and can spin bags around easily..
anything just ask away i’ll answer when i can..
 
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elusiveshame

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haha, you’ll need a week!
well awesome brother!
see my golf balls beneath plants?
good for airflow underneath bags, and can spin bags around easily..
anything just ask away i’ll answer when i can..
I spend a lot of time outside smoking weed, so it'll keep me busy! :P

Oh, I forgot to mention another one of my tent features! I have a habit of continually going into my tent, which, once, maybe thrice a day is okay, but 4 times an hour daily probably isn't the best, so I set up a webcam inside of it:
IMG 4656


I had a laptop mount on my workbench for when I receive orders, but turns out my phone is significantly easier to use to track those, so I moved that over near my tent and set my old laptop right outside of it. I snagged a cheap USB webcam off Amazon, fished it through the same port as the exhaust fan, and then set up some remote software to view the camera. Now I can view it from anywhere :P
 
GNick55

GNick55

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I spend a lot of time outside smoking weed, so it'll keep me busy! :P

Oh, I forgot to mention another one of my tent features! I have a habit of continually going into my tent, which, once, maybe thrice a day is okay, but 4 times an hour daily probably isn't the best, so I set up a webcam inside of it:
View attachment 1291246

I had a laptop mount on my workbench for when I receive orders, but turns out my phone is significantly easier to use to track those, so I moved that over near my tent and set my old laptop right outside of it. I snagged a cheap USB webcam off Amazon, fished it through the same port as the exhaust fan, and then set up some remote software to view the camera. Now I can view it from anywhere :P
nice you start getting buds don’t be touchy feely with them as you can easily damage the heads, so from flowering to smoking be careful handling your buds..
 
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elusiveshame

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nice you start getting buds don’t be touchy feely with them as you can easily damage the heads, so from flowering to smoking be careful handling your buds..
You got it. Thanks for that! I do tend to have a habit of feeling the leaves (fan leaves) to check for potential bugs and feel if there's anything off with them; plus parting them for gender checking. I'll be sure to avoid handling them once their sex has been confirmed and pre-flowering has begun.
 
RootsRuler

RootsRuler

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I spend a lot of time outside smoking weed, so it'll keep me busy! :P

Oh, I forgot to mention another one of my tent features! I have a habit of continually going into my tent, which, once, maybe thrice a day is okay, but 4 times an hour daily probably isn't the best, so I set up a webcam inside of it:
View attachment 1291246

I had a laptop mount on my workbench for when I receive orders, but turns out my phone is significantly easier to use to track those, so I moved that over near my tent and set my old laptop right outside of it. I snagged a cheap USB webcam off Amazon, fished it through the same port as the exhaust fan, and then set up some remote software to view the camera. Now I can view it from anywhere :P
Which cam did you use? I'm still planning on getting one for my 5 x 5.
 
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elusiveshame

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Which cam did you use? I'm still planning on getting one for my 5 x 5.

This fella right here (ordered a 2nd one so I can plug it into my Xbox and stream rockband lol)

It comes with that janky stand, but it helps secure it. I use the stand and a zip tie (just tight enough to keep it secured, but loose enough to snip if I want to move it), and then adjust with the base (and you can unscrew to a certain point without it rotating on its own)

I use OBS to make the cam full screen on the laptop, then VNC to remote to it from my phone (iPhone, but I imagine it’s available for android as well).

Hope that helps!
 
Buzzy12

Buzzy12

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Hey, let me see if I can provide some helpful information.

1) A general rule of thumb that I like to follow for defoliating is, if the flower site is not keeping up with at least the halfway point of the plant, get rid of it. It's not getting sufficient light down there and wasting energy for your valuable flower sites up top. That's something I learned from Kyle Kushman and have stuck with it as a general rule of thumb. From the looks of it, I would wait for those plants to grow a bit more before defoliating anything. The main purpose of defoliation is to get better light to the lower flower sites and help the plant breathe better. If you're not achieving both of those goals then the leaves stay IMO.

2) Some strains will show their gender earlier than others and some you will have to wait until Flower to be 100% sure. You have to know where to look for the pistils and pollen sacs starting to form. Do some research on that if you're not sure. My 12 plant phenohunt I currently have going on right now did not show sex until a few days after the lights were flipped to 12/12.

3) When to flip the lights is totally up to you. Typically it's a good idea to wait if the plants aren't that healthy, but if your plants are healthy, as soon as they get to your desired height, flip the lights to 12/12. A general rule of thumb for tent grows is a 4-6 week Veg cycle.

4) It is possible to pollinate a single flower. Pollen collected in a bag can be applied to an individual flower for seed production. As far as I know, pollinating Autoflowers isn't much different from Photoperiod plants, it's just the timing that's different.

5) My only experience growing Autoflowers is outside, but I believe 18/6 for inside growing would be ideal. They need their rest. I think 12/12 would be too much rest for the autos and they wouldn't reach their full potential. Something I learned about recently from @Observationist is a 4 on/2 off light schedule, 6 on/2 off is another one that's becoming a thing now. I think one of those two cycles would probably be best for Autoflowers, but I've never tried it out or have seen anybody do that yet.

Hopefully that's somewhat helpful. I'm not able to view all of your pictures, only some are coming through on the site. Pictures are worth a thousand words. People will definitely be able to help you out better if you need it if you provide good pictures. Have fun growing and never stop learning!
 
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elusiveshame

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Hey, let me see if I can provide some helpful information.

1) A general rule of thumb that I like to follow for defoliating is, if the flower site is not keeping up with at least the halfway point of the plant, get rid of it. It's not getting sufficient light down there and wasting energy for your valuable flower sites up top. That's something I learned from Kyle Kushman and have stuck with it as a general rule of thumb. From the looks of it, I would wait for those plants to grow a bit more before defoliating anything. The main purpose of defoliation is to get better light to the lower flower sites and help the plant breathe better. If you're not achieving both of those goals then the leaves stay IMO.

I just watched a 30 minute video of him trimming and going over everything yesterday! After watching his video, I pretty much came to the same conclusion as you - to wait a bit more.

2) Some strains will show their gender earlier than others and some you will have to wait until Flower to be 100% sure. You have to know where to look for the pistils and pollen sacs starting to form. Do some research on that if you're not sure. My 12 plant phenohunt I currently have going on right now did not show sex until a few days after the lights were flipped to 12/12.

I'm not sure why I thought they would appear sooner, but that's good to know, thanks!

3) When to flip the lights is totally up to you. Typically it's a good idea to wait if the plants aren't that healthy, but if your plants are healthy, as soon as they get to your desired height, flip the lights to 12/12. A general rule of thumb for tent grows is a 4-6 week Veg cycle.

That's what I thought but I wasn't 100% sure. I'm not sure when the veg cycle starts (I've read a lot of conflicting answers), but the plants will be 6-7 weeks old at the end of October, so I was thinking of flipping then, but maybe I'll wait until the first week of November, depending on plant height.

4) It is possible to pollinate a single flower. Pollen collected in a bag can be applied to an individual flower for seed production. As far as I know, pollinating Autoflowers isn't much different from Photoperiod plants, it's just the timing that's different.

Okay cool! I wasn't sure about the autoflower. Since I'm growing bag/unknown strain seeds, if I do decide to seed an autoflower, I'll likely use colloidal silver and get seeds that way, so it'll maintain the characteristics of that plant.

5) My only experience growing Autoflowers is outside, but I believe 18/6 for inside growing would be ideal. They need their rest. I think 12/12 would be too much rest for the autos and they wouldn't reach their full potential. Something I learned about recently from @Observationist is a 4 on/2 off light schedule, 6 on/2 off is another one that's becoming a thing now. I think one of those two cycles would probably be best for Autoflowers, but I've never tried it out or have seen anybody do that yet.
I don't think I have the ability to do a timer setup for the 4/2 or 6/2 schedule. I was more wondering if it was possible to grow an auto in the 12/12 cycle so I could have one going toward chop n crop time of the current plants. Maybe when I'm down to the last 2 weeks of these photoperiods, I can start germinating and getting the autos to the sapling stage and then place them in the tent. I guess that's a future me problem to work out, though :P

Thank you for all of you responses!

I'm not sure why the pics aren't loading up as I uploaded them to the site (the web cam pics are from my cellphone, so it might look like there's more than 1 picture in each photo, but the blackness is just the "white space" on my phone)
 
RootsRuler

RootsRuler

693
143

This fella right here (ordered a 2nd one so I can plug it into my Xbox and stream rockband lol)

It comes with that janky stand, but it helps secure it. I use the stand and a zip tie (just tight enough to keep it secured, but loose enough to snip if I want to move it), and then adjust with the base (and you can unscrew to a certain point without it rotating on its own)

I use OBS to make the cam full screen on the laptop, then VNC to remote to it from my phone (iPhone, but I imagine it’s available for android as well).

Hope that helps!
Interesting! This is the camera I've been eyeing.


I like that all I have to do is plug it into a power source and link it up to my phone. That I can rotate the camera around the tent is another plus.

I'm going to mount an extension cord head to one of the corner bars so that I can have a secure mounting for the camera.
 
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