We're now at almost 5.5 weeks since triggering the flowering stage and the tent is smelling fantastic. It's probably just a couple weeks until harvesting starts and I'm excited. I'm starting to take stock of how this grow has gone and the learnings I can take away from it so far and have come up with the following:
- Don't grow different strains at the same time in the same tent - their different behaviour and fertilizer needs have proven difficult to work around with my schedule and level of commitment. I've tried to settle on a fertilizer formula that works for all the plants, but Nadja (Blueberry Muffin) specifically has been very particular. Her leaves are starting to yellow and many have fallen during flowering. I'm sure it's either some abundance or deficiency I haven't accounted for and probably won't be able to tame before the end of the grow. Beyond that, I have no idea if they'll be ready to harvest at the same time. I was hoping to reuse the tent for drying, but that won't be possible unless I harvest at the same time, whether the plants are all ready or not.
- Do figure out a proper drying setup - the climate where I live is very dry and it's likely my buds will dry overly fast and lose much of their flavour before the curing process begins. I likely need to dry in a tent or environment where I can add humidity in a controlled manner to slow the dry.
- Don't be so aggressive with initial tie-downs - for mainlining the goal is to give the colas some space and keep them at the same height, that's it, and I haven't even been too successful there in the end. My plants struggled for a bit while they were tied down. To that end, it might be more effective to use SCROG netting to spread things out than doing an over-abundance of tie-downs, especially for the plants with the most stretch.
- Don't top right before flowering - I did this on some advice I received awhile back and in the end, I suspect it delayed and stunted my nug growth rather than enhancing it, especially on the smaller plants. Next time I'll let the colas grow out naturally and see how they do without my intervention.
- Do grow fewer plants - while fitting as many plants as possible into a single tent is tempting, in the end it's been difficult to access them to examine, trim, and maintain them. I think I'd rather grow a max of two plants at once so I have room to sit in the tent with them.
- Get a jewellers' loupe - the digital microscope is cool and all, but it's really hard to use and focus it on trichomes while the leaves and nugs are still attached to the plant. A jewellers' loupe would make things much easier (though I'd still try to get some microscope pics)
- Get a bigger water jug or more of them - with each plant consuming 1L/day, I've had to prepare 4L of fertilizer water every single day. It'd be easier if I could measure everything out once or twice a week at most. Then I'd only need to concern myself with the watering most days.
What I know about these plants just scratches the surface of what there is to know and so for 2022 I've enrolled in a Cannabis Sommelier course. I'm excited to learn more about cannabis genetics, effects, and flavour profiles to guide some of my future growing decisions.
Here are more photos and comments from today:
Regarding Laszlo (above), I read recently that Bubba Kush is supposed to have pretty good stretch so it seems strange that my plant ended up so short. Maybe I'll experiment with earlier fertilization and more distant light next grow.
Colin Robinson is thriving still, and as you can see in the last photo above, there are some reaally nice purple hues coming in on the fan leaves.
Nandor isn't particularly tall, but is growing some decent looking nugs. I was very impressed with my (poorly grown) Pink Lemonade last time, so I only imagine doing better this time around.
Nadja is hanging in there. I've read Blueberry Muffin isn't a particularly high yield strain so I'm not surprised at how short Nadja ended up. She smells pretty good though.
You made it to the end! Here's a photo of my adorable new kitten as reward!