First time VA grower

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VAgrower58

VAgrower58

14
3
Hey everyone, VA recently went legal and I am attempting my first outdoor grow. Obviously I'm an amateur so I'll lay out what I have so far and see what yall think.

Seeds came from Massachusetts from a friend, but we do not know the specific strain or sex. We believe they are sativas. They were germinated back in May and have been in veg since early June.

Grow conditions: I am from Virginia Beach, so we get a range of temps and humidities throughout the grow season. Most days are between 80-90 degrees with 50-60% humidity, but can fluctuate up to the low 100s and humidity can get up to 80-85%. I take the plants out and move them with the sun and keep them in a greenhouse overnight and during bad weather. The plants are all in 7 gallon fabric pots with Fox Farm Ocean Forest soil. I have a cheap soil pH meter and have been testing my water with litmus paper. I have been using earthworm castings for nutrients and have only done one application since veg began. I have applied a neem oil solution once when I noticed a small spider mite markings on a couple leaves.

Questions:
I have done minor pruning to remove lower leaves but no topping or anything else. The plants are about 18-20" in height and have about 5-7 nodes, should I top them or would I benefit from letting them go naturally? (Going for highest yield)
I have not been applying nutes other than worm castings, but the plants show no signs of deficiencies and I am seeing good vertical growth daily. Would I benefit from any other nutrient applications or is it a "if its not broke dont fix it" kind of deal?
Are there any nuances I should monitor that an amateur may overlook or not understand?

Stoked to finally get to try this and really want to do it right! Any advice is greatly appreciated!
 
Schwer

Schwer

Supporter
537
143
Here's another VA bro welcoming you to the farm. Your plants look very happy and healthy. Nicely done!

Regarding your question, if you're going for yield you're probably going to want to employ some topping and/or LST as soon as you're comfortable doing so. I've seen some people with plants like yours turn them into veritable pretzels to get the job done, so your plants will probably be pretty forgiving with the process, even if you just went with some very basic LST methods.

If you haven't already looked it up, your goal for yield (especially since we can only legally have four plants) is to break apical dominance on each plant so that instead of growing one main branch stalk with many smaller branches (think Christmas tree) we grow many large branches like a bush. I'll try to find the appropriate links that it explain it better than I can and send them your way.

Also, take all of this info with a grain of salt because I am a totally new grower and an indoor-only one at that. Definitely find more info before following any of this advice...I should make that my sig.
 
VAgrower58

VAgrower58

14
3
Here's another VA bro welcoming you to the farm. Your plants look very happy and healthy. Nicely done!

Regarding your question, if you're going for yield you're probably going to want to employ some topping and/or LST as soon as you're comfortable doing so. I've seen some people with plants like yours turn them into veritable pretzels to get the job done, so your plants will probably be pretty forgiving with the process, even if you just went with some very basic LST methods.

If you haven't already looked it up, your goal for yield (especially since we can only legally have four plants) is to break apical dominance on each plant so that instead of growing one main branch stalk with many smaller branches (think Christmas tree) we grow many large branches like a bush. I'll try to find the appropriate links that it explain it better than I can and send them your way.

Also, take all of this info with a grain of salt because I am a totally new grower and an indoor-only one at that. Definitely find more info before following any of this advice...I should make that my sig.
I've done a bit of research on them but definitely need more info before I'm comfortable doing it. Anything would help and I appreciate anything you could send over. And I guess that means we're both amateurs, but exchanging info and ideas can never hurt!
 
Panhead59

Panhead59

326
63
Another new Sw.Va. grower here. The nutes (nutrients)in Your soil are good for about a month. Since they are in pots and not in ground, whatever they get will have to come from you. So while outside, it is not a 100% outside grow. Finding out the sex would be first thing to establish. I believe they are at the age now to start to be able to tell. You don't want any males as they will pollinate and produce plants full of seeds. Watering correctly is first thing to learn. They like to dry out. Water completely when you do but pots should be pretty darn light to pick up before you water again. It is a learning experience that just takes practice. So much to learn. And many different ways/methods to do a particular task, so you'll get conflicting advice which isn't all right or all wrong for ones particular situation. So read read read is what I do. Plants look great by the way. Keep things simple for first grow, there's enough to learn without throwing to many curve balls. If they were mine, I'd first see if they were "keepers", as in female, then very soon, like now, the are gonna need some food. Hope this helps. Read, read read.
 
FourPlants

FourPlants

424
93
You have found the right place to be on the internet for sure. I was in a FB group for about a week or two and had to leave because it wasn't an environment to actually improve cultivation skills in my opinion . Some good knowledgeable people around here. Take time to read and don't be afraid to ask questions. Take the time to field a few opinions when you have issues. Try to find one of the more experienced members who use similar styles to the ones you want to use and follow them... Perhaps you cultivate a relationship with them and get a mentor.
 
mysticepipedon

mysticepipedon

1,722
263
You don't HAVE to top them. If you want a single giant cola, don't top. However, you may face some bud rot in humid areas. I prefer smaller buds, so I would top. Also, big, tall plants are more noticeable.

Don't over-worry about topping. Your plants will forgive you, even if you fuck up.

Those don't look very sativa to me. They look more like indica-leaning hybrids or 50/50. Time will tell.
 
Capital_Florica

Capital_Florica

73
18
Super awesome seeing others from Virginia showing up on the forums. The plants are looking great! My two cents would be to lay off the nutrients for your first grow and focus on gaining a familiarity with the life cycle of the plant and how it develops to maturity.

I'd disagree with the comment above about container gardening not being a "100%" outside. The light source of the plants is the sun, that is the difference between outside and inside, the way in which they are getting light, not the medium they are being grown in.

I'd also disagree that the soil is only good for a month, you've observed that yourself not being the case, being those plants are over a month old, with only earthworm castings and are not showing any deficiencies. Any decent garden soil that is made for containers and not in ground will almost always get your plants through the vegetation period. I've been using Miracle-Gro Performance Organics for containers and it's been doing the job fine. I would use Fox Farms but there isn't any places that sell it close to me.

I would agree though with the gentleman about keeping it simple. I wouldn't worry about nutrients but if you do want to experiment I'd suggest Fox Farm Big Bloom. Start small and pay close attention afterwards. The cannabis plant is pretty good at telling you when it is unhappy and learning to pick up on those signs is probably one of the most useful skills you can acquire when growing pot. If you notice any funkiness following a feeding, use only water for the next two waterings and cut your dosage in half. At the end of the day, you're more likely to mess up the grow adding nutrients than not adding nutrients. If you just did nothing but water, and don't get any pest problems, you can guarantee a nice smooth grow with a decent harvest. Adding nutrients, increases the complication which increases the chances of issues arising. So start simple, the reason people have so many problems growing cannabis is because they add liquid nutrients. There would be a lot less problems popping up in the infirmary if no one used nutrients. With proper lighting, decent soil, and adequate watering, the plant will grow just fine. Nutrients are also not a one size fits all, different strains will react differently to nutrients. When going about learning about nutrients, I would suggest avoiding things that talk specifically about cannabis but look at general gardening books. Most cannabis grow books are repetitive, overly elementary and in my opinion pretty pathetic. Few contain any information that isn't already readily available all over the Internet. But look at gardening books, especially those that take a more scientific angle. I highly recommend Practical Science for Gardeners by Mary Pratt. The PDF is available for free online, Google is your friend. This approach will give you a better sense of the who, what, why regarding plant nutrients. One book specifically on cannabis I would recommend is True Living Organics by The Rev that has some fabulous information on organic soil growing, which will teach that maybe using liquid nutrients isn't a good idea after all. The Rev puts forth techniques that he calls a "just add water" style since his soil is packed with all the nutrients for the plant to make it through both the vegetation stage and the flower stage. Another would be Marijuana Horticulture Fundamentals by K of Trichome Technologies, this provides more of an overall introduction to growing cannabis but I think does so much better than most books out there.

What will most certainly increase your yield this go is topping. We should start going into flower in the next couple of weeks as August gets under way so it’s a great opportunity to top them before flower. I know it seems counter-intuitive snipping off the main growth but it’ll help so much once that apical dominance is broken to grow the lower branches of your plants and bush them out some. So, I highly suggest you do it. Once you understand it and see how it transforms the plants, you’ll never not do it. Topping will always provide a higher yield as opposed to not topping because by topping you’re increasing the amount of sites the plant will produce a flower.

I’d top them, let them recover for a week or so, transplant them into 10 gallon pots and buckle up for flower. Mixing in some perlite with that Fox Farms wouldn't hurt either, say 25% perlite, the rest Fox Farms with whatever amount of worm castings you used before. I've got three plants inside and one outside, really looking forward to seeing the one outside start to flower.

I’ve attached some pictures of my plants I topped about two weeks ago and they’ve recovered very nicely and are really starting to bush up.

20210727_163831.jpg

20210727_163837.jpg

20210727_164104.jpg


These two pictures show the one with an unintentional "Fuck I Missed" (FIM) and you can see it has recovered fine, and is growing just as much as the others. Like mentioned above, the plant will forgive you, you really can't mess it up.

20210727_163859.jpg
20210727_163907.jpg
 
VAgrower58

VAgrower58

14
3
You don't HAVE to top them. If you want a single giant cola, don't top. However, you may face some bud rot in humid areas. I prefer smaller buds, so I would top. Also, big, tall plants are more noticeable.

Don't over-worry about topping. Your plants will forgive you, even if you fuck up.

Those don't look very sativa to me. They look more like indica-leaning hybrids or 50/50. Time will tell.
Appreciate the input. I do think I will top them. Any advice on technique with the current state of the plants and what watch for/do after? I can send more detailed pics of the nodes and such if needed
 
OLDSILVERTIP

OLDSILVERTIP

76
18
Hey everyone, VA recently went legal and I am attempting my first outdoor grow. Obviously I'm an amateur so I'll lay out what I have so far and see what yall think.

Seeds came from Massachusetts from a friend, but we do not know the specific strain or sex. We believe they are sativas. They were germinated back in May and have been in veg since early June.

Grow conditions: I am from Virginia Beach, so we get a range of temps and humidities throughout the grow season. Most days are between 80-90 degrees with 50-60% humidity, but can fluctuate up to the low 100s and humidity can get up to 80-85%. I take the plants out and move them with the sun and keep them in a greenhouse overnight and during bad weather. The plants are all in 7 gallon fabric pots with Fox Farm Ocean Forest soil. I have a cheap soil pH meter and have been testing my water with litmus paper. I have been using earthworm castings for nutrients and have only done one application since veg began. I have applied a neem oil solution once when I noticed a small spider mite markings on a couple leaves.

Questions:
I have done minor pruning to remove lower leaves but no topping or anything else. The plants are about 18-20" in height and have about 5-7 nodes, should I top them or would I benefit from letting them go naturally? (Going for highest yield)
I have not been applying nutes other than worm castings, but the plants show no signs of deficiencies and I am seeing good vertical growth daily. Would I benefit from any other nutrient applications or is it a "if its not broke dont fix it" kind of deal?
Are there any nuances I should monitor that an amateur may overlook or not understand?

Stoked to finally get to try this and really want to do it right! Any advice is greatly appreciated!
look good from my house wish a lot of mine looked at that stage.
 
OLDSILVERTIP

OLDSILVERTIP

76
18
Another new Sw.Va. grower here. The nutes (nutrients)in Your soil are good for about a month. Since they are in pots and not in ground, whatever they get will have to come from you. So while outside, it is not a 100% outside grow. Finding out the sex would be first thing to establish. I believe they are at the age now to start to be able to tell. You don't want any males as they will pollinate and produce plants full of seeds. Watering correctly is first thing to learn. They like to dry out. Water completely when you do but pots should be pretty darn light to pick up before you water again. It is a learning experience that just takes practice. So much to learn. And many different ways/methods to do a particular task, so you'll get conflicting advice which isn't all right or all wrong for ones particular situation. So read read read is what I do. Plants look great by the way. Keep things simple for first grow, there's enough to learn without throwing to many curve balls. If they were mine, I'd first see if they were "keepers", as in female, then very soon, like now, the are gonna need some food. Hope this helps. Read, read read.
a lot of the people are more helpful than you can comprehend. i learn here every day alot more than i can rember!
 
TONKAMAN77

TONKAMAN77

41
8
Hey everyone, VA recently went legal and I am attempting my first outdoor grow. Obviously I'm an amateur so I'll lay out what I have so far and see what yall think.

Seeds came from Massachusetts from a friend, but we do not know the specific strain or sex. We believe they are sativas. They were germinated back in May and have been in veg since early June.

Grow conditions: I am from Virginia Beach, so we get a range of temps and humidities throughout the grow season. Most days are between 80-90 degrees with 50-60% humidity, but can fluctuate up to the low 100s and humidity can get up to 80-85%. I take the plants out and move them with the sun and keep them in a greenhouse overnight and during bad weather. The plants are all in 7 gallon fabric pots with Fox Farm Ocean Forest soil. I have a cheap soil pH meter and have been testing my water with litmus paper. I have been using earthworm castings for nutrients and have only done one application since veg began. I have applied a neem oil solution once when I noticed a small spider mite markings on a couple leaves.

Questions:
I have done minor pruning to remove lower leaves but no topping or anything else. The plants are about 18-20" in height and have about 5-7 nodes, should I top them or would I benefit from letting them go naturally? (Going for highest yield)
I have not been applying nutes other than worm castings, but the plants show no signs of deficiencies and I am seeing good vertical growth daily. Would I benefit from any other nutrient applications or is it a "if its not broke dont fix it" kind of deal?
Are there any nuances I should monitor that an amateur may overlook or not understand?

Stoked to finally get to try this and really want to do it right! Any advice is greatly appreciated!
I would do LST on it for sure. It's easy and "low stress" on the plants. Just be gentle when doing so. If a branch or stalk accidently breaks you can wrap duct tape around the break and it will rebound in a couple of weeks.
 
Mostlymooses

Mostlymooses

272
63
Definitely feed more. Think of feeding yourself, you can't grow and work without fuel, neither can your plants. I would feed as much as you can without over fertilizing, especially when you are flowering which they should be starting by now for outdoor plants.
 
Mostlymooses

Mostlymooses

272
63
Ed Rosenthal writes good, easy to understand books with comprehensive knowledge and more in depth problem shooting than your average Jorge Cervantes style book.
 
Gary86

Gary86

20
3
Hello I'm another new VA grower near Strasburg. Strain is Indigo child by mass medical
 
TONKAMAN77

TONKAMAN77

41
8
Virginia going legal opens up a lot of doors! And beautiful aromas. 😉 Happy Growing!
 

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