Nearing a month with the longest of the current grow, and it continues to be an odd one. The elder of my two autoflowers right now, Santiago, has decided it's time to start flowering, though it's probably about a couple weeks early. Not a huge issue, but a little frustrating as it will likely mean a smaller yield. Now I'll just have to work on making her the best she can be given the circumstances - more and different nutrients, and plenty of both light and water.
Holt, the other autoflower, is not moving quite as fast as Santiago had by the same number of days, but he's still progressing skyward. Slow and steady wins the race.
Diaz has picked up her pace considerably in the past week and I have been admittedly overdue to transplant her - the discolouration on some of her leaves is both a sign of nutrient deficiencies (seems to be calcium) which, while I have been supplementing calcium, is likely also due to her roots being unable to stretch further. As I was repotting her, I confirmed that her roots had largely covered the bottom of the container which certainly has impeded growth and nutrient uptake.
Unlike last grow, where I transplanted first to 1 gallon fabric pots and then later transplanted again to 3 gallon pots, I opted to go straight to the 3 gallon pot both to save myself some effort and because this time I'm taking soil out of the equation.. "But Aria," you ponder, "that sure looks like soil!" To that I say nay, for it is Coconut Coir, a soil-free hydroponic medium. In essence it's there to keep the plant upright and hold water while offering the plant little to no nutrients of its own.
Why would I want to avoid the plant getting nutrients from the soil? Well, for both my past grows I had essentially been using planting soil as a hydroponic medium, but, to some extent, its own nutrient offerings interfere with my ability to be exact about how much hydroponic fertilizer I feed my plants. Moving forward, if Diaz gets too much or too little of a nutrient, it'll come down to how I'm using my fertilizer, and allow me the opportunity to correct course.
You'll likely have noticed in the above photos a MacGyver'd antenna-looking monstrosity next to the plant - that's a telescoping light sensor, my interrim solution to measuring light at the plant canopy as the plants grow. This is a continuation of my grow tent automation project detailed on the other side of my blog in the following posts:
I haven't posted there about the light sensors yet but it's on the to-do list.