Second Grow Timeline

With the success of my first grow, I was quick to start up the Second Grow. I cleaned out the grow box, mixed some fresh soil while the next group of seeds germinated. If I can successfully grow a second crop then I can be certain it wasn’t just beginner’s luck on the first grow.

DAY 1 – July 24 – Moisten 8 seeds bought from Netherlands between layers of paper towel. [on window sill]

DAY 2 – 7 seeds showing tap root.

cannabis germination

DAY 3 – Significant tap root growth on 7. 8th seed cracked with a very tiny tap root.

DAY 4 – July 27 – Placed tap rooted seeds into peat pots and soaked well.

DAY 5 – July 28 – Seedlings up already. Video here: https://youtu.be/zi5qUy2c34I

DAY 6 – July 29 – Placed planted seeds in grow box. [Light cycle: 18 – 6 hours]

DAY 9 – August 1 – Planted in square gallon pots. 8th seed discarded. 6 seeds in pots, 1 in a starter pot. [71° F 70% humidity]

DAY 13 – August 5- Robust growth. Watering every other day.

cannabis

DAY 18 – August 9 – Strong growth continues, very healthy leaves. [74° F 66% humidity]

cannabis seedling

DAY 19 – August 10- Leaves filling out quickly. Watering every day.

cannabis plants

DAY 21 – Steady growth continues.

cannabis growing

DAY 25 – August 16 – Steady growth continues. Rotating plants every day. [74° F 72% humidity]

Cannabis in the grow box

DAY 27 – Huge, wide leaves. Lots of new growth.

DAY 28 – August 21/eclipse day – need to consider a second grow box. Plants growing out very wide. Topped the 2 tallest plant this morning.

Day 32 – August 24 – took the riser out of the box to lower the cannabis plants 3″ from the lights. Very lush and healthy foliage.

cannabis

DAY 34 – August 26, 2017 – Moved the two smaller plants into their own grow box (read Grow Pod Project) sharing a 3 gallon fabric pot.

marijuana

DAY 39 – September 1st – full veg, taking up lots of water.

potted pot

DAY 43 – Labor Day – September 4 – Changed light cycle to 12/12 in main grow box. Two plants in “grow pod” catching up, still on “veg time” (18/6).

cannabis grow pod

cannabis farm

DAY 49 – September 10 – Switch to potassium rich nutrients (NPK = 1-3-14). 4 of the plants showing female pre- flower. Can’t tell on the others yet.

cannabis

DAY 53 – September 14 – Burst of growth at tops, starting to form flowers. Looks like I have 6 out of 7 females.

DAY 55 – September 16 – Had to tie back the largest plant.

cannabis plant

DAY 58 – September 19 – Six plants all showing flowers.

cannabis plant

DAY 60 – September 20 – Every plant has flowers growing strongly, including the “growpod” plants.

cannabis growpod

DAY 64 – September 24 – Flowers swelling nicely. Hot and sunny, brought 4 plants outside for a few hours. Trimmed larger fan leaves and any yellowed leaves.

yankee stoner cannabis

DAY 70 – September 30 – flowers fattening, odor quite strong, lemon and pine.

DAY 72 – October 2 – pistils starting to brown at the tips. Grow pod about a 2 weeks behind.

DAY 76 – October 6 – Flowers getting heavy. [68° F 76% humidity]

DAY 80 – October 10 – flowers continue to swell. Starting the flush with distilled water.

weed

DAY 82 – October 12 – picking off large yellowing leaves on all plants. Flowers still swelling.

cannabis flower

DAY 88 – picked off many yellowing leaves, still douching with distilled water.

DAY 92 – October 22 – Partial harvest… trim three of six plants today.

Let the CANNABIS HARVEST commence.

cannabis

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Cannabis Flower Festival

Cannabis flowers are as beautiful as they are unique. The fuzzy pistils rise from the bloom like wisps of white smoke. The aroma is very strong and quite pleasant, a mix of fruit and pine. As the flowers “ripen”, they become even more showy and fragrant. The flowers reveal a sugar like crystalline patina and the pistils start turn a light brown as the buds steadily increase in size.

Enjoy this collection of photos showcasing my second grow of cannabis plants’ flowers swelling towards harvest.

cannabis flower
Cannabis Flower – Day 59
cannabis flower
Cannabis Flowers at 63 days.
marijuana
Cannabis Flower – Day 65
cannabis flower
Cannabis Flower – Day 70
Cannabis Flower – Day 72
cannabis flower
Cannabis Flower – Day 76
cannabis
DAY 77 – Cannabis Flower
DAY 80 – a box of Cannabis flowers
cannabis flower
Day 88 – Cannabis Flower –
Getting root bound, harvesting this one soon.
Day 89 – Cannabis
Day before harvest
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Second Grow – Cannabis Sex

The group of plants from this second grow have grown beyond the size of the of the box. I should have taken steps to bend these plants to train them for lower growth. I’m hoping the switch to flowering lighting will stop the upward growth some.

cannabis plants

It hasn’t been quite a week under the “flowering” schedule yet there is already evidence of preflowering females. I examined all of the cannabis plants carefully and I can see no signs of male flowers.

weed pistils

cannabis pistils

Hopefully I’ll get visible evidence that will confirm the sex of all of the cannabis plants. See you soon…

update: It appears I have all female plants. I removed the seventh plant as the Massachusetts law only allows 6 flowering plants per household.

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Second Grow – Veg Time

The seedlings have had some explosive growth! I think it is fair to say these have entered the vegetative stage. The growth is so lush and the leaves so fat, I think I’ll need to prepare a second grow chamber to contain it all.

I lowered the plants by removing the 3″ box I had underneath the pots. These plants are starting to grow upward so that extra room from the light source was necessary.

I “topped” some of the plants by pinching that tight cluster of new leaves at the tip of the plant. This stops the tendency to grow one main cola, and splits the plant into two main stems. When the cannabis plant is topped at a young age, the plant will grow multiple colas by adding new branches for buds to develop on and (hopefully) keep the plant’s height down.

topping cannabis

I will top the other plants when their new leaves get a bit larger. I always hesitate when I’m grabbing that bright green cluster of new growth. I hate to hurt my plants in any way but this is a necessary step.

cannabis leaf cluster

…watch us grow…

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Stalking the Wild Cannabis

During the First Grow, half of the plants were males. [read: First Grow – part 3] To ensure the females would be seedless, I had to remove the males from their space. I planted two of those male cannabis plants in a thorny hedge next to my house.

I really didn’t expect them to live. I thought the surrounding plants would crowd them out but these guys are survivors, growing right through the thicket. Look carefully at the photo above and you’ll see the cannabis in there.

cannabis male plant

The males were planted outside in May. I watched these plants grow along side the pokeweed, blackberries and fox grapes. These two plants seemed to thrive in the harsh conditions, rising high enough to get to some sun and display their swollen flowers to passing pollinators.

flowering cannabis

I am impressed with the tenacity of this plant. Born from 2 random seeds in my desk, germinated in less than ideal conditions, ripped from laboratory-like conditions and planted with little care into a highly competitive environment filled with insects and herbivores, yet these two male Cannabis plants still managed to fulfill their life’s mission to produce their flowers.

weed

The Cannabis plants look right at home in that wild thicket. Even the insects seem to like the Cannabis flowers.

pollinator on Cannabis

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Second Grow – Seedlings

This Second Grow started with germination of eight seeds on July 24, 2017. Two weeks later, the remaining seven seedlings continue growing strong and fast. The eighth seed sprouted but looked deformed, growing much slower than the rest. I euthanized the struggling little guy and felt a slight pang of guilt. Vegans, kiss my ass. Killing plants is still murder.

cannabis grow box

The first stages of growth for this Second Grow have been much less stressed than the first grow. I have been able to give them more attention and a much better environment for a healthy start.

I’ve planted these seedlings into bigger pots within 10 days of germinating. I felt this would accelerate growth into the “veg” stage and let the roots get comfortable in their new “forever” home. I risk losing at least half of these as I expect them to be males.

As a bonus experiment, I’ve left the “seventh seedling” in a starter pot. I will compare the growth of this seedling with the 6 planted ones. Already I’ve noticed the soil dries out much faster in the starter pot.

I plan to develop a second grow box so I can grow at two different environments. I will be able to effectively grow two higher yield crops with staggered harvest times yet still stay within the 6 plant limit the state lawfully allows. Ideally, 6 grow boxes would be the best way to grow as I could grow much larger plants, stagger the harvest times, grow different strains and experiment with a variety of grow techniques.

cannabis seedling, 17 days old
Did I mention how well these seedlings are growing?

…watch us grow…

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First Grow – Harvest Wrap Up

The Cannabis curing continues, with all the flowers packed in a number of jars in a drawer. The total harvest on these three plants looks to be about 2 ounces. I expected more yet I am quite please with the product I did get from only three plants grown in a tiny cabinet. All the waiting is over… from germination to cure, that long anticipated moment has arrived. Since the harvest has been curing for a few days, I decided I need to test my efforts.

While my crop could use more curing time, about 7 to 10 days… I could smell a change in the cannabis. It had lost much of that grassy smell. I could detect the aroma of terpenes as well.
The “buds” are not as dense as I expected. I pulled one apart and the flower was still stringy and moist. I processed the flower in my grinder and rolled a hefty sized joint.

Clearly the weed could be a bit dryer and cured more. I wasn’t expecting much when I fired up the haebar but I can say I was pleasantly surprised. The joint burned well and wasn’t harsh like I expected. The Yankee Stonette concurred as we consumed the entire “reefer”. The high came on quickly and is more heady… not sleepy at all. From this observation, I conclude that I may have harvested prematurely as a more mature flower will impart a more sleepy high. That would also account for lighter weight buds. I sat back on the couch and enjoyed a very nice feeling of euphoria and pride.

The level of satisfaction cannot be denied. Setting on the couch burning a nice fat joint and reflecting on my First Grow adventure, I realize now I’m hooked. The hands-on learning approach has always worked for me. Jumping right into this grow box build and nurturing this crop to maturity has given me a whole new appreciation for the Cannabis plant, the people who grow it and the process it takes to bring the seed to a usable product.

Follow along as I start the Second Grow using my home made grow box. I will refine my process a bit and hopefully increase my yield, improve the quality and learn more about the amazing Cannabis plant.

…watch us grow…

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Second Grow – Germination

As the First Grow cures the Yankee Stoner gets ready for the Second Grow.

In preparation for Grow # 2, I ordered 15 cannabis seeds from the Netherlands. This is the first time I’ve bought seeds. This assortment was a special at $90.00 for 15, including shipping.

cannabis seeds

I set 8 seeds on wet (with rain water) paper towels and covered them loosely with another plate. Would you believe these seeds sprouted their tap roots within 24 hours? The picture below is only 54 hours after moistening. One seed is somewhat behind but under the microscope, a tap root is visible.

I germinated 8 of the seeds because I expect males. My first grow of six plants became only three as half of them were male. In Massachusetts, I’m only allowed 6 plants. My grow box is best for 4 plants. We’ll see how the numbers fall once I get them growing and cull the males.

I purchased some peat moss “starters” from a new head shop. I normally wouldn’t have bought them but I wanted to throw them some business their way and try a new product at the same time. I will do my best to support any business that is supporting the Cannabis community.

I placed them in a dish with some rocks on the bottom. I carefully placed the seeds, tap root down, into the peat pods then soaked them good with river water. On my window sill they sit. I will place them in the grow box tomorrow.

cannabis starter seeds

The rate at which these purchased seeds are growing is pretty amazing. Check out this time-lapse featuring 12 hours of growing seedlings.

Watch us grow for the second time.

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First Grow – Dry and Cure

All of the cannabis plants have been dried. I placed the trimmed buds upside down from plastic hangers, spacing them apart so none of the flowers tops are touching. I then hung the cannabis laden hangers in the closet.

I have a dehydrator that I turned on inside the closet. My thought was this empty dehydrator could dry out the humid air in the closet without raising the temperature too high. It did dry the flowers quicker than I expected, about three days. I trimmed the buds a bit more, removing the stems and any residual leaves and placed them in sealed mason jars.

big jar of weedThe weed still smelled “green”, lacking that fruity, skunk like smell I was hoping for. This is where the curing process will improve my buds. Inside the sealed jars, the weed develops the terpenes as it slowly homogenizes the moisture left in the flowers. There’s cannabinoid acids that need to decarboxylate into the psychoactive cannabinoids and terpenes that need to isomerize to create new poly-terpenes that create tastes and aromas that are much different from fresh flowers.

I need to inspect the jars daily, releasing any excess moisture by leaving the jar open for a while. There is a danger of mold growth, the surest way to ruin newly harvested cannabis. Drying the buds too much is bad as well, locking in that “green” taste and preventing the psychoactive ingredients from “ripening”. With any luck, this process will take about a week.

Meanwhile, I’m staring at all these jars of cannabis buds that I can’t smoke yet.

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Weed Up Close

Cannabis flowers viewed with a microscope look amazing. The trichomes appear as if they are part of an alien landscape. I used a cheap handheld microscope called the zOrb MM-480 digital microscope to explore the flowers of my first crop of cannabis.

Here’s a short video featuring a microscopic journey into one of my cannabis flowers.

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