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The Black cat grow

Hey all,

So here I am stuck at home with my girls (it’s a tough life right now lol) and I’m heading square into preflower. Just youtubing and doing other research into my next few weeks. The girls are about to cross that 15/7 mark tonight and are looking pretty damn happy. Everyone had their own slowdown of growth as the pistols started to pop and now growth is picking back up again YAY!

Ok so it’s been a while since I’ve done much in the way of trimming and it’s time to do some canopy management. Here’s how we’re looking for today.

My canopy is relatively even. My coverage is relatively evenly spaced. everyone’s healthy and responding well to training and feeding. But they’re a bit cramped.

So my pondering for the day is “Where do I want my girls to put their energy as they head to flower?” In a space this cramped I’m leaning towards the thinking my current tops are basically the be-all-and-end-all for focus. Thoughts?

I’m seeing a lot of side shoot development all around the tent.


And this girl in the back is AOFP

So I know the stretch determines pruning and trimming for a lot of folks - opinions and experience welcomed!!

And that ‘dark side shoots’ get trimmed?

But I’m wondering how much of the side shoots’ are going to prove worth the energy, and whether or not it’s better to trim that now?

Most of the canopy looks like this…

So I’m just not seeing much room for little nuglets as time passes. Most of the side shoots’ are a few inches under the current ‘top deck’, about mid canopy. I have done a few light lollipops to slowly clear the underside from a pretty early age to help get more air circulation at soil level to deter pests, mould and so on.

I’m wondering how much of this lateral development is gonna pay off and whether it’s better to wait the few weeks till early flower or just trim it off now?

My last run was a batch of WW autos and I’m still smoking from an August harvest, but their colas didn’t stack as much as I wanted and I had a lot popcorn. I’d obviously like to avoid repeating that but I’m also growing a blue cookies in here… Which I understand has a different bud structure??

Should you trim something like GSC less and allow more lateral development to get more golf balls? Or do you still try to push everything the girl has into her main buds?

I’m really not find ding a lot of detailed info on the difference in approach between ‘stacked colas’ strains and ‘golf ball nug’ strains.

Any help appreciated!

Keep well and blaze strong!

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Ok so got the trimming and shaping done, and while I was at it, got some shots for a proper tent intro.

Here’s the upper tent for reference.

The tent is a mammoth 4x4 and is only 6’ tall. Not shown is the fan on top, which a stealth inline 4". I forget the brand of carbon filter, but its not anything special, gets the job done. I have a fan controller added on, bought on Amazon for about 15 bucks, again nothing fancy.

Ok so for lights I’m still running a budget setup and am planning something better for the next run. I have 2 phlizon 600w ‘full spectrum’ and 2 phlizon gen 2 1000w ‘full spectrum’. They’re all blurples. The 600w’s were 200 Canadian, all in. The 1000w’s were 160 each, everything on Amazon.

The thing I like about this setup is the versatility. I can accommodate a bit more unevenness in the canopy and support the girls at different stages a bit better than a single light.

The 600s are 2 mode and have a pretty nice all on colour temp. The Red side is really red while the blue side is pretty white. The 1000s are pretty red for something to claim full spectrum.




I can provide a pretty wide range of colour temp, power and spread. They’re all on a digital timer which was included with one of the lights. Right now it’s all on as the girls approach the flip. I don’t have to pay for power, so a low efficiency setup doesn’t hurt my wallet. Still obviously want better smoke, so I’ll be upgrading asap.

For air circulation I have a fair amount going on, honestly it took a lot of time and patience to get this all figured out, but it was totally worth it. I didn’t have a lot of cash approaching a grow and the bulk of it went into the top of the tent. With some patience and a couple hygrometres I was able to map out airflow under the canopy.

Up top I have a pretty basic 6" clip fan moving air across the tent directly to the exhaust over the lights. Above the canopy I have an oscillating tower bought years ago from walmart.

Under the canopy I have a window fan, which is great for really pushing air, which I have aimed directly between the rows of plants, which pulls from the supply and over the humidifier. It’s aimed upwards across the underside of the canopy, pulling in fresh air and moisture and generally pushing everything in the tent up. I’m already lowering the humidity in prep for flower and I’ll be removing the humidifier in the next week or so.

To catch all the gaps and dead zones for circulation, I have a few little desktop fans bought for a handful of dollars each. They’re really not very strong at all, but they’re just enough to kind of direct the push of the window fan into areas it wouldn’t circulate by itself.

I rent and a lot of the place has carpet, including the grow room. This changes things a bit, obviously I can’t pull up the carpet in someone else’s property so that means I absolutely need the carbon filter for the smell, and need to run negative pressure in the tent. I find this tends to pull the side of the tent in, so I’ve installed some PVC piping around the side of the tent and covered it in reflective tape. It’s just enough to keep the side walls of tent from becoming convex and loosing that extra grow space. The mammoth tent also doesn’t have a reflection I’ve floor so I’ve taped up an emergency blanket to help with light penetration.

I’ve got a couple the CO² bags, but I’m not sure I’ll replace em when they’re done. A few other extras I have in here are a meat thermometer, which I have for checking root temp, a medium pH meter and the probe from the inkbird thermal controller, which is outside the tent with the heater in the lung room. I have hygrometres stashed all over the tent including a few outside and a couple more around the lung room. I mostly just use the cheap little ones you can buy by the dozen, as a way of making sure the lung room(which is also my bedroom closet) doesn’t have any risk of getting mouldy, even in the corners.

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Nice work mon!! I would test it as you go and dial in the inherent variables unique to that area. Trial and error, these plants are resilient and acclimate to many conditions rapidly…
Look forward to seeing the progress mon!

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Man plants looking really nice and healthy.

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Well today’s the bid day!

I’m super nervous and excited, but here we go. 12 hours of dark last night! Here’s how things are looking on day 1 of flower.


I’m stoked!

Keep well and blaze strong!

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Thanks man! Yeah I’m dialing as I go. Did an overhaul couple days ago to help cycle air through the lower faster and am pretty happy with that. Added a fan and redistributed the push so it’s a bit more even and pushing harder. Thermometers are showing about a minute between the lung room and any point in the tent. I think that’s reasonable?

Trying to balance with ambient right now is insane, the weather is all over the place and this house is old. Thermal controller for the WIN.

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Hey Mon…Yes sounds like you are managing the environment well!

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Those are soooo green love it. What media are you using.

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I’m using soil. I mix ocean forest about 2:1 with Dutch treat to avoid burning the seedlings. Same for the last 2 runs.

Last run I was using GH basic nutes. This run I’ve switched the Gaia Green organic dry amendments and have also added teas to the mix. Other additions include Monopotasium phosphate and floralicious plus (girls go nuts for this… especially if I give em some then feed a tea the next watering). I did give a little kick of N at one point(¼ strength) and gave em a hit of micro couple weeks back as the first pistols started popping(also ¼ strength).

Man I tell ya, the one thing I really notice is the smell! Like freakin night and day. The organics really pump up their stank, and that’s before flower! Really excited to see how that carries through the next few weeks.

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What lights are you using and do you switch them during flower?

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Right now I’m using budget blurples. I have 4 lights, 2 of each of 2 kinds. They’re not awesome but they were enough to get a smokeble harvest last year.

Yeah I change as the grow continues. I start with the 2 small ones, then after a while add one of the larger ones, then I lower them a bit, then shortly before flower I add the fourth light. I try to gradually increase light potency and spread to keep everything even. A couple weeks before flower I lowered them again to 24 above canopy and let them grow up to the lights from there.

I’m now keeping them at 18" above the canopy. The forth light is new this grow(borrowed) and the girls are certainly happier for it. I’m definitely seeing that light needs to get better for better harvests and am very eager to get a better setup before the next run.

Really looking forward to your post about your setup! I have some time before my next run. So I’ll definitely be waiting to see what you post before I “rush off to the store”.

Good news though, a friend wants to do a grow with me and he has a bigger budget and more space. It looks like I might be tending 2 gardens soon. I think it’s an awesome opportunity to experiment and learn and I’m stoked!

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So we made it through week one of flower and here’s how we’re looking today.

I’ve done a bit of shuffling, and I’ve raised some girls while lowering others to get the canopy more even. I’m very happy with that, but not proud that I knocked off one of the middle girls tops in the process.

Other than that little accident, the girls are looking really happy. Loads of productivity at all over from top to bottom.

The girls are more and more thirsty every day. I’m now watering twice a day to a total of 5 gal per day. Definitely seeing a difference with that change. They were droopy each morning for a few days, u till I started giving them some at night. I also started giving a bit of a bottom feed every time I water and this is probably helping too… Glad I’m using smart pots :grin:

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I just got 5x 5.5gal smart pots to try out. They’ve been calling to me for months and months. There expensive as fuck. But i found a good price on some and finally got some.

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Hey everyone, just popping in for a quick update.

It’s top of week 3 and here’s how the tent is looking today.

As you can see I’ve already defoliated and they’ve bounced back like nothing happened. They didn’t even droop. It was a tough decision to defoliate early, but there were some places it was really needed. The 2 runts were so crowded nothing was breathing or getting light. With the limitations I have for head room, honestly I just can’t afford to allow too much more stretch either. I left a few nodes here and there untouched to allow a bit more stretching where I thought I could get away with it.

Honestly, at the end of the day I decided the risk was worth it just for the learning opportunity. By the end of the defoliation I was glad I did, I cut out so many suckers and so much larf. There was a tonne of new growth that was starting to turn yellow, which now all looking lush and green. I don’t think I’ll defoliate this early again, because I don’t think I’ll crowd the tent this much again, but I’m very happy to say I’m already seeing the first little dusting of trichomes here and there and things are stacking everywhere. I think having a really gradual flip to flower has put them a bit ahead of their position in 12/12 and maybe I wasn’t too premature here after all?

So deliveries have been showing up all week and I’m super excited to be starting up a second room. More space, bigger budget, a partner to help and (hopefully) better genetics! Here’s a sneak peak at what’s to come…

There are two 8x2 grow areas in this room. I’ve set this up from scrogging. Looking at how much work it is to maintain the back of a 4x4 tent, I wanted easy access to everything heading into a scrog setup.

Each 8x2 has 4 spider farmer SF1000s and I’m hoping to get UV kickers for flower. Still need to finalize heat and humidity, but the ambient with lights on and exhaust maxed is around 60 @ 45%. So we’re not too far off, suppliers being out of stock and delayed deliveries are causing a bit of a challenge.

For genetics I ordered 12 fem. BC God Bud from BC Bud Depot, and man oh man am I happy with these guys. They sent me double my order! I put 10 seeds in to soak, every single one sank. Popped em over to paper towel last night and every single seed has cracked. I still have enough seeds left over to do a whole second run and then some!

We’ll be growing with organic dry amendments in Coco. Very nervous and excited to finally try coco. It’s also going to be rad growing with someone and I’m hoping that teaching someone else will kick my butt into staying on point.

We had a different idea for the lights but we’re on a schedule and suppliers are sold out all over. I decided to with 8 sf1000s instead of 4 sf2000s to have better versatility and more even coverage. Was I wrong? Would you have done differently?

I’ve also cracked the last of my seeds from crop king to grow outdoors. I’ll be buddying-up with a friend’s mom for the season so we can compare notes and learn together. Me in my garden, she in hers. Who says you can’t make friends in isolation? He he he. Ah this is awesome, I’m so glad I joined the gn, it’s been awesome reading and sharing and it’s going to be great growing and learning with some folks a little further outside of virtual. Growing for myself and my friends is great. Community, sharing and learning are making this look like it’s gonna be the best summer I’ve had in a long time! I got divorced end of last year and it’s really nice to find myself looking forward to things again and wearing a smile on a more regular basis. So I just wanna say thanks to those that comment and help and advise and share. Growing plants is nurturing my soul big time, I appreciate all the help with that.

Keep well and blaze strong!

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Wow now thats exciting! i just got a 8foot x 8foot x7 foot tent im setting up when i get home.

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Oh man, life has been crazy. New job and my apprentice has been a nightmare. On top of that my commute is now 3 hours a day… Sorry I haven’t posted in a while or been around to offer support.

The new grow has also kept me busy with a parade of issues made all the more difficult by the current impact to supplies and shipping, but we’ve finally stabilised temps and humidity. An interesting little ph issue also wiped out half the seedlings and stunted the rest. My tap water upstairs has a pH of 7, after I aerate the ph is perfect for organic every time with no adjustments. I’d been feeding downstairs on the same assumption. Turns out the water downstairs has a pH closer to 9. After switching the supply and correcting the ph, things are starting to recover. In the end I planted the blueberry cookie seedling I had slated for outside to replace the list seedlings.

Here’s the new grow.

Back in my main grow things are looking much better.
Here’s the tent at the end of week 3(last week).

And here’s this morning…

In my limited experience things are looking pretty good for bottom of week 4. Everything stacking up nicely, sites meeting to form colas and a lovely dusting of sugar spreading out everywhere. But as I said my experience is really limited. I’m growing organic in soil so I’ll give them their last feeding of dry amendments today. Feeding a bit early to allow time for nutrient to become available and because it will probably take a bit longer to deplete the nutrients come flush time.

I also planted the 4 best clones from the tent outside. It’s gonna be a good year if everything comes through.

Any tips and advice would be appreciated and as always…

Keep well and blaze strong!

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