Season 1: Week 1

For this grow, I chose to go with Bergman’s Gold Leaf from ilovegrowingmarijuana. This is the founder, Robert Bergman’s, personal strain. According to a few grow journals I read, this strain is supposed to be easy to grow, and fairly resistant to fungal and insect pressures. The plants in flower are stunning and do indeed have a gold tinge to the leaves later in flower. It is also supposed to have a high THC content. Around 23% from what I have read. Although, this can vary from grower to grower, and this being my first time I’m trying to keep expectations low. Still, I can barely contain my excitement to watch these beauties grow.

I began the germination process on Sunday, August 30th. I placed 5 seeds in a clear glass of filtered, room temperature, unpH’d tap water. I put the glass in a box to keep it dark and set the box on a seedling heating pad. I left the seeds undisturbed for 24 hours.

When I checked the seeds on the 31st, 4 out of the 5 had split and started to show signs of a taproot. I decided to try using rapid rooters from General Hydroponics to root the seedlings in. However, I did not use the cell trays. I used a method from a well known member of the cannabis community, Subcool. This method involved turning the tapered rooter upside down, with the wide end facing down. Using tweezers, I created a hole there the seeds would go. Next I prepared 1 oz of distilled water with Real Growers Recharge. This is supposed to inoculate the roots with beneficial fungi and bacteria (more on this in my product reviews) that help transport nutrients and water to the plant. I squeezed all 5 rapid rooters and placed them in a dish with the water solution, then let them loose to soak it up.

Next, I took each seed, carefully with tweezers, and placed them about 2 seeds deep with the pointed side down. The seeds were then placed in a humidity dome under a 20 watt Compact Flourescent Light (CFL).

I initially left some water in the base of the dome, but the humidity got up to 99% so I dried that up. After this, humidity stayed around 75 to 80%.

With these steps done, all I could do was anxiously await the seedlings to sprout. I checked twice daily to be sure the rapid rooters didn’t dry up on me. Finally, on Thursday, August 3rd, I started seeing signs of life. Slowly, throughout the day 4 of the ladies started poking their heads up. One of them still had her seed hull covering her cotyledon. I learned from a previous mistake to let this go. Eventually, the hull was loose enough that I could tap it off.

You can see the hull still attached. You can help them, but need to be careful of decapitation. I learned this the hard way.

With life finally beginning to take place, me and my significant other started going about choosing names for the girls. Gertrude, Grace, Georgia, Greta, and little Gemma (who had yet to fully sprout). Naming the girls helps with keeping track of who’s who, and makes it easier to refer to in one’s journaling. Again, I left the girls to their devices to do what they do.

On Friday, the 4th, the rapid rooters felt a little dry. I used a syringe to give each lady 3 millilitres of distilled water. All the girls were above ground now. Gertrude, Grace, and Georgia were starting to show signs of stretching. Stretching is when a seedling tries to get closer to a light source, and the source is not strong enough. This can cause weakness in the stalk, and sometimes the seedlings need some sort of support. I used a twist tie to help Greta stand up straight.

Greta emerged kind of funny, and never really stood upright, and her base was weak.

On the morning of Saturday, the 5th, Greta wasn’t looking so good. I made the call to cull her for suspected damping off. This occurs at the soil level. Fungus attacks the stalk and prevents water and nutrients from traveling up the plant. It doesn’t show except right where the stalk meets the medium. By the time you notice, it’s too late. This can happen in a matter of hours, and you find what you thought was a healthy seedling laid over. This happened to me on my first go around. So, I lost miss Greta, but the other ladies seemed to be doing good. I left them for one more day in the humidity dome.

Grace quickly grew past Gertrude, who was born first. You can se how long the stalks are getting. Time for the big light.

On Sunday, the 6th, I decided the girls were ready to go in the tent. I placed them under the led light dimmed to about 25% capacity. Approximately 50 watts. When I checked to make sure the temperature and humidity were good, I found Grace was pushed over. I immediately figured it was damping off. Still, there was the chance that she was just too leggy and needed support. I used a twist tie to stand her up, and hoped for the best. When I woke up early Monday, the 7th, the ladies looked pretty happy. I moved Grace’s support away, and to my surprise she stayed standing. I left it in place, just in case, but am confident she will make it. The rapid rooters had also dried up rather quickly, so I hit each girl with 4 millilitres of Recharge solution.

Well, that’s pretty much it for week 1. Everything seems to be going well, and in the coming week I expect the ladies will be transplanted in to bigger pots. I should start seeing the second set of true leaves as well. There is so much more to come, so please stick with me, and maybe we will learn something together. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and feel free to leave a comment or hit me up via social media or email.

Shane

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