Cool Blog, Bro: My 2021 Garden Journal


Every year, I tell myself that I'm going to do a thorough documentation of my gardening efforts from germination to harvest, but somehow I've never gotten around to it until now, and the zone seemed like a great place to do it.

Spring begins tomorrow, and I started eight seeds in soil (FoxFarm's Ocean Forest) indoors this morning, and watered them with water that was pH adjusted to 6.0. I was thinking about planting last weekend to coincide with the new moon, but we got a bunch of snow the week before, and I just wasn't feeling it. Also, the closet that I'm using is the coldest spot in the house during the winter, and I wanted things to warm up a bit before I got started.

I planted four feminized seeds from Growers Choice Seeds--Skywalker OG, OG Kush, Blueberry OG, and Girl Scout Cookies--plus four regular seeds that were gifted to me by a very kind zoner recently: two Willamette Valley Pineapple from Oregon Green Seed, and two from a selection pack from Roadkill Skunk that are described as "haze, skunk and heirlooms that never got ruined by the Dutch". I had good results with Green Crack and GSC from Grower's Choice last year, so I'm really looking forward to seeing how these strains turn out, and especially the OGs.

My indoor grow space is a closet that has about 4'x4' of grow space. I have a simple little lighting setup comprised of three 10W LED bulbs in reflectors that combined put out 2400 lumens, and a small fairly quiet fan for air circulation. I was thinking yesterday about using some of my stimulus money to pick up a small LED panel, but I don't know if that's really necessary; I've had good early veg results with this setup the last few years for less than 50W. They'll be on a 14 hour light cycle, which is what they'll be moving out into come mid-May.


Planting seeds/ gardening is partly an expression of our ability to hope. 

I like Merriam-Webster's third definition of the word cultivate:  3 : to improve or develop by careful attention, training, or study : devote time and thought to. 

Happy Spring and happy gardening, mike.  Those sound like some sweet strains.

Gardening is definitely an expression of hope, Joe, and it's also about acquiring patience too. This is a six month process for me, and there will be moments of absolute wonder and moments of great frustration too, but you knew that already.

BTW, in the pics of clones you've posted lately, a lot of the leaves are chopped blunt. Why is that?

And speaking of hope, I'm hoping to get six females out of the eight seeds I planted yesterday; if any don't germinate, I'll replant. Six will really strain my outdoor grow space, and especially late in the season when the amount of daylight hours my side yard gets decreases drastically, but I'll figure out a way to make it work. These are good problems to have.



>> BTW, in the pics of clones you've posted lately, a lot of the leaves are chopped blunt. Why is that?

The closest remaining fan leaf to the growing tip gets its ends snipped to reduce leaf surface area which reduces water loss through transpiration. This procedure lowers the stress on the fresh cutting and aids in rooting success.

Today is six days since I sowed eight seeds and five are emerged this morning. I wouldn't say that I'm giddy with excitement, but it's close.

I might have missed one this morning, but there's six up at noon. Two to go for 100% germ rate. If they haven't come up by about Sunday, I'll drop a couple more seeds.


I should add here too that I picked up a thermometer for the grow a couple of days ago and found that it was only getting up into the mid-60s in the closet during the daytime, and dropped down to about 59 degrees overnight. I was hoping I wouldn't need to use a space heater in such a confined area, but this changed my mind.

The space heater is a safe, newer, tower model that oscillates; I'm also using a small fan for greater air circulation. After consulting Jorge Cervantes, I set the space heater to 75 degrees, closed the door, and by this morning, things were popping up.

One more popped up overnight, so I'm at 7 out of 8 emerged. I'm hoping the eighth seed will emerge in the next 24 hours or so; if not, I'll plant another one.

I should probably mention here too that I planted my seeds directly into soil in one gallon pots. The reason for this is I don't want to disrupt/stress the plants at this stage of development. A buddy of mine who grows outdoors starts his seeds in tiny little pots, and then needs to repot them to one gallon posts fairly early on in the game, and I just don't see that kind of disruption as necessary. I think that even with a clean transplant, there's still some time lost as the plant recovers from the transplant and adjusts to its new container.

Next year, I should probably soak the seeds before I plant them, but I didn't think to do that this time around. Still, with seven seeds emerged in one week, I think we're doing pretty good here so far.

Cmon Adie (8)


Hey Mike, an easy method of increasing your chances for germination is to take the seeds you want to plant and throw them in a bowl of fresh, tepid water. Seeds that sink are viable, seeds that float are dead.  Soaking seeds should not be for more than 12 hrs., and I agree with planting directly into a 1 gal.  You can disturb the roots when they are well developed in that 1 gal. pot with no problem. Also, I've found that placing a layer of saran wrap directly on the soil surface after your known viable seeds are planted keeps a very even moisture with little evaporation. Consistent moisture levels are critical for successful seed germination.  As soon as you see emergence from the soil, remove the saran wrap. Seeds contain a small amount of starch for the initial energy needed to develop a primary root along with getting the first non-true leaves (cotyledons) to emerge just like what your pics show. But that starch charge is miniscule and conditions like cool soil, uneven moisture or planting the seeds too deeply will cause the starch charge to be used up before emergence can occur.

Looks like you're well on your way.

>>>if not, I'll plant another one.

always keep trying... :-)

Thanks, Joe.

Number 8 still hasn't emerged this morning, so I'll give it 24 more hours. If there's nothing happening by tomorrow morning, I'll plant another seed using the method Joe discussed above. In the meantime, I need to get my second Covid jab today.

I posted that gardening is "also about acquiring patience" last Saturday. Seed #8 has emerged this morning. 100% germ rate, and we're off and running.


I made some adjustments yesterday after a very helpful email chat with Joe. I added another light, upgraded the bulbs to 17.7W 500k LEDs (combined equivalence of the four is about 400W), and adjusted the distance of the lights to about a foot above the seedlings. I also top-dressed the pots with fresh soil to offset the little bit of stretch that happened because the lights were a bit too high above the seedlings. This week I plan to just leave them alone, except for periodically looking in on them to see how they're doing.

Seed #8 is not developing like I'd want it to; after finally emerging, all I'm seeing are the cotyledon leaves. I'm thinking I should plant another seed in a new pot, and see if #8 perks up in the next week or so, or if it needs to be culled. I've had some runts turn out to be impressive plants, but I've never seen this kind of early stunted growth before.

The other seven are looking good with the first set of palmate leaves just starting to emerge.

Seed #8 still hasn't shown any movement, so I planted another seed of the same strain this morning. I'm going to let #8 sit for a while before I decide what to do with it.

Have I mentioned yet that the first few weeks of a grow are my least favorite part? I don't think so. Yes, it's pretty much miraculous to see the plant emerge and take shape, but at the same time, the increments of early growth are miniscule and difficult to discern on a day-to-day basis, and the plant itself seems so insubstantial.

The main stems are almost translucent at this point; a pale green column of cellulose nearly quivering with the liquidity of life, they seem so frail, like their stems will never become rigid like wood to support the well-trained branches lined dense with sticky flowers growing heavy in the early September sun.

Somehow, we'll get there, but at times early on that seems like a somewhat unlikely proposition to me. I'm waiting for something to go wrong. The seeds won't germ. I'll overwater. I'll underwater. Is the temp too low, or too high? Is the light too close, or too far? What happens if the cat figures out how to open the closet door--he seems to understand how doorknobs work, but when he shows me what he's learned with his paws wrapped around the top of the knob, I always remind him about the opposable thumb thing--and eats all the seedlings. He has a thing for fresh greens like I used to have for crack 30 years ago, and it's not a pretty thing; it's feral and greedy.

But I digress. I'm seeing some nice little progress the last few days with 6 of the 8 seedlings starting to push up their second set of palmate leaves, with the first palmate leaves spreading their tiny leaves, and the single serrated leaves below noticeably widening and lengthening. The other two--which are both the Pineapple strain--are not looking very promising at all. The late emerger (#8) still hasn't progressed beyond its cotyledon leaves, and the other one managed single serrated leaves, but they're twisted into a wavy appearance, and it's hard to tell if there's another set of leaves ready to pop up after those; it doesn't like like it.

The ninth seed I planted to replace #8 looks like it will be emerged in the morning, but I'm not too hopeful; I mentioned the problems I was seeing with the Pineapple to the person who gifted me the seeds, and it sounds like he didn't have much success with them either. It happens. The really good news here is the heirloom seeds he gifted me look terrific. It's only about 10-11 days since they emerged, and they're the clear early leaders in this game.

This is one of the heirlooms; I'm loving the fat leaves on this one.


Pineapple strains are dodged a bullet.  

Sit with your plants.  Have patience.  Listen and then speak to them with your attention.  Check the floor temp --- if you're noticing stagnated growth buy a heat mat. A few degrees might mean a lot to a seedling.  

If all fails I've got you with tried and true fem seeds.    


That's what I'm seeing, jonas. The third pineapple finally emerged today, and it's looking runty already.

I'm not sweating it though. I have four feminized little beauties that started pushing up their third set of palmate leaves today, and the two regular heirlooms are looking even better. If I end with with five females, I will be a very happy camper, even though it's going to strain my outdoor grow space.

That said, I would never say no to some tried and true genetics ;-)

root temp and rh 





I hear what you guys are saying about the floor/root temp, but the other strains seem to be doing just fine; it's only the Pineapples that are stunted. Would different strains have different temp needs?

Pineapple---a true one, is sativa dominant.  They are used to a little more heat.  That being said, you will get a better result if all your roots are in a comfortable temp.  

I'd be happy to send some genes your way.



Yeah, I think was thinking about the sativa dominant thing after I made my last post. But the air temp in the grow space stays ~75 round the clock, so I can't imagine the soil and roots are that cold.

Thanks for the generous offer, jonas. Here's my address:

Mike Edwards
PO Box 1363
Frazier Park, CA 93225

Air temp and soil temp are separate.  If you're not temping your water realize that there will be a shock.   

Get a mat, it won't over heat.

Ill send a few your way.  


They're not getting much water at all at this point, and when they do, the water sits in a watering can in the grow space, so it should be pretty tepid.

I have used a regular heating pad under a domed tray with a small, high-output florescent fixture hanging 2" over said dome to hatch beans and it never failed me. I usually left them in there for 2-3 weeks, into VEG cycle, and the roots were robust and very well-established by then to transplant without issue. Higher temps and humidity levels at that stage seemed be very helpful.

Stick a thermometer in the water that sits in your grow space.  If its above 62 degrees I would be surprised.

 Surface temp does not equal root temp. 

Florescent and low output LED work great for your seedlings.  If they're newer strains start pumping up the fert once they're rooted and have a set of leaves. 


I just checked the water temp and it's 70.

Water temp at 70 shouldn't be a problem.  I would still look for a mat to make sure root temp doesn't dip too low.   Soon they'll be sucking up water and nutes.   

Yeah, that's what I was thinking, jonas. It's been sitting in the grow room for a few days, so I figured it was pretty much tepid.

And while we're on the topic of water, like I mentioned earlier, I haven't had to water very much yet, but when I have, I've been using a turkey baster, which gives me great control over where the water goes in the pot, and also lets me deliver specific, measured amounts; it holds one ounce fully filled. Once they go into 7-gallon pots, I'll just water them from a watering can, but the turkey baster makes things much easier for the 1-gallon pots they're in right now.

Time for some family portraits. Most of these are three weeks since planting, and two weeks since they've emerged.

First off, the feminized bunch: Blueberry Kush, Girl Scout Cookies, Skywalker OG, and OG Kush.


Next up, the heirlooms; these are not feminized, and I really hope they both come up female.


And finally, the Pineapples. The two on the left were planted three weeks ago; the one on the right was planted a week ago. The one I planted late is looking like a normal plant developing normally, so I'm thinking these are some bunk genetics, or they're inconsistent/unstable at least, and the problems have not been due to low soil/root temp.


I've been picking up the pots to assess when I need to water, and trying to let them dry up pretty good, which I read somewhere encourages root development; when the immediate soil isn't moist, they need to reach for it. Makes sense to me. I picked up a new pH meter recently and need to calibrate it tomorrow. I'm thinking I'll need to water the first part of this week.

With the number of leaves emerged, and their surface area greatly increased, growth is really starting to pick up. I'm planning to do the first topping when a plant reaches six nodes, and I have several that have fourth palmate nodes just emerging, so topping could start by the end of the week. The method I plan to use--mainlining--helped me double my yields last summer, and I'm hoping to get things dialed in even more this season.

One of the things that sets mainlining apart from other methods is that after the first topping is done, you also remove any nodes below the two growth tips that remain. The plants recover fairly quickly from this radical pruning, but it takes something like a leap of faith to strip away most of the plant when it's only 3-4 weeks old.

Got my new pH meter calibrated today--stuff like that always gets me a bit on edge because I think I'll mess it up somehow--and did some watering, about 4 ounces per pot. I also added a baking sheet with tap water in it just in front of the fan to bring up the humidity a bit. I wonder though how effective that will be in the long run, since the local conditions up here are really dry in the summer, and by really dry, I mean single digit relative humidity during the day.

The replacement seed (Pineapple #3) is looking pretty good about 10 days since planting, and by pretty good, I mean it looks about normal for a seedling 3 days emerged. Pineapple #1 is still twisting and turning, but producing new leaves too, and has what looks like little branch buds emerging from the cotyledon node--I've never seen that happen before--and Pineapple #2 is still just sitting there with its cotyledons and nothing else really going on. I expect that #2 will be trashed at some point, but I'll wait until its laid down or withered up before I remove it.

One of the perks of living in a small town in the mountains is that SoCal Edison semi-regularly shuts off the electric for the whole town for a day to do maintenance. Once my plants are out in the garden, that's not a big deal, but right now they're used to their 75° well-lit closet.

I knew about the planned outage ahead of time, and was thinking I could just take them outside for their first taste of indirect sunlight, but then it got down to freezing here last night, and it probably won't get out of the 50s today. Time for Plan C: a south facing window where the light is filtered by trees until late afternoon.


Now for the good news. The power outage was supposed to run from 10:30 AM-6:30 PM, but somehow--miraculously--the lights came back on at about 1:00 PM, and I just got an email notice from Edison that their work got finished early. My seedlings are now back in their preferred environment (and yeah, those are the Pineapple in the middle row).


Grows like a weed! Looking good, especially those robust non-Pineapples.

The leader of my pack has it's sixth node emerging, so I'll probably get started with some topping this weekend.

I decided last night to pick up some 10-gallon fabric pots (in beige) to replace my old 7-gallon black plastic pots. I've been thinking about making the switch to fabric for a while now, but I wasn't sure how well they'd work once we start getting real hot. With the plastic pots, I normally have to water twice a day once the heat is on, and I'm thinking the fabric pots might need more than that due to evaporation. I'll be using the old pots for sunflowers and oriental poppies, I'm thinking, and some tomatoes and peppers, of course.

Moving up to 10-gallon pots should be interesting too. That's a 42% increase over the 7-gallons, which should mean an increase in root mass, but I'm also a bit concerned about how much taller the plants will get in the bigger pots. We will see.

Let the mainlining begin.

I did the first topping on one of the Heirlooms today. This can be kind of scary because the plant is really just starting to fill in, and I have to lop most of its foliage off.

Here's the before:


And here's the after:


The idea here is that by removing all of the foliage except for two remaining growth tips and their companion fan leaves (solar panels), the plant is going to direct all of its growing energy at the node that remains. After a day or so spent recovering from the cuts, the new growth should really take off. In a few weeks, I'll repeat this process to yield four growth tips, and a few weeks after that, I'll do it again to yield eight. I'm still undecided about whether I'll do it one more time after that for sixteen growth tips like I did last year; it got kind of difficult to manage that many branches, so this year I might only do eight.

Time to water again tonight. I gave each plant about eight ounces of water a couple of days ago, and the pots are already pretty light to lift. With leaf growth really taking off, they're absorbing a lot more water than they were just a week or so ago.

Topped my OG Kush today, but need to wait a few more days for the Skywalker OG, Blueberry OG, Girl Scout Cookies, and the other Heirloom. They're all leafing out nicely, but their new branches at the nodes aren't as well developed as the front runners just yet.

As for the Pineapples, one is still just sitting there with its cotyledons and nothing else; that pot and soil will likely get recycled this week. The replacement Pineapple started off okay, but its two single blade, serrated leaves are doing the wavy thing now, and there's been no new growth beyond that yet; I'll let that one sit for a while to see what happens. And the third Pineapple seems to be straightening out in ways; it still has some wavy leaves, but it's growing and has 2-3 nodes now, and I'm thinking it might actually make it out to the garden in 3-4 weeks.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the ground squirrel dilemma.

I've always had gophers in my yard, and that's the main reason I do my gardening in pots. Their holes pop up all over my yard, but, for the most part, they remain underground. That's not the case with the ground squirrels.

The gray squirrels who visit my yard are very interested in the squirrel-proof bird feeder that hangs outside one of my kitchen windows, but they've never shown any interest in my weed garden, or my bloomers or veggies. The ground squirrels want to get into everything, and they're quite bold too.

When I step outside to have a smoke, the ground squirrels bid a hasty retreat from the middle of my yard to the fence line that I share with my neighbors, but I have to move on them to get them to go under, or through, the chain link fence, and once they've done that, they sit just inches from the fence staring at me, like they know that the fence does a much better job of keeping me on my side than it impedes them.


I plan to move my pot plants out into the garden in about 3-4 weeks, and that prospect has me thinking many unkind thoughts a lot about the ground squirrels lately. Thoughts that involve BB guns and poison, slingshots and explosives.

Realistically, I think a BB gun would just end up providing me with another source of frustration. Sure, I can buy a BB gun, and then sit and wait, but I'm thinking I might not be a very good shot. The idea of using poison just doesn't feel right to me. Once you start spreading that stuff around, where does it stop, and who else does it kill in addition to the targeted species? A slingshot is just a more primitive version of gun technology; I have plenty of small stones in my yard, but there's the aiming thing again. And explosives? The film Groundhog Day is instructive on this matter, and again, like with poison, where does it stop, and who else gets killed once the fireworks start?

Which leads me to snap traps, and I mean the big, sturdy wooden ones, loaded up with fat dabs of peanut butter.

I consider myself a peaceful person these days. I love life in all of its manifestations. But the ground squirrels have me thinking murderous thoughts, and I'm just about decided. I'm not thrilled by the prospect of killing, and I'm not exactly looking forward to disposing of the corpses, but my desire to have a garden that isn't regularly ravaged by rodents seems to be taking precedence over my more peaceful predisposition.

I need to make a decision about this in the next day or two, so that I can initiate my program of eradication, and render my yard safe for gardening in the next 3-4 weeks, but I'm not real happy about having to decide, and I'm less happy about having to do something once I've made my decision. I want to believe that peaceful coexistence with the ground squirrels is possible, but there's just no evidence to support that proposition.

>>> peaceful coexistence with the ground squirrels <<<

That's like saying peaceful coexistence with rats. Right.

I hear you, judit.

One more method occurred to me for ground squirrel repelling: cat piss. My cat Murphy is an indoor cat, and I use clumping litter in his box. I'm going to experiment for a day or three with placing the clumps in the holes in the yard the ground squirrels have excavated. I'm hoping the concentrated predator scent will encourage the little fuckers to wreak their havoc elsewhere. If that doesn't work, I'll make a trip to the hardware store for snap traps, and let the killing begin.

The cat litter is definitely worth a try.  Another thing that consistently makes them scatter is the sound / sight of a hawk or an owl. A decoy might be an alternative.

WTF are 'ground squirrels?'  Deer etc eat plants here, never squirrels.  


These little fuckers:

I live in the high desert, jonas, and many species only sources of liquid are leafy green plants or insects. I had a couple of ground squirrels (Otospermophilus beecheyi) in my yard last year and they completely tore up a couple of pots of bloomers, but somehow never found my pot plants. This year the local population seems to have exploded and I have at least a dozen that are calling my yard home. Hence, my need to annihilate them.

Joe, I like your idea about using a decoy owl or hawk, but I would need several of them due to the layout of my yard. We have both of those species in this area, but apparently not in numbers enough, or nearby enough, to work their predatory magic on the ground squirrels.

Look similar and act like chipmunks here.  Had plenty at old house -- like you pointed out, one turns into 20 very quickly.  A bobcat moved into our stream and took care of them.  They ate everything,  including scratching away concrete and getting under stoops.      Outdoor cat?   Poison?  Rat traps? 

They're related to chipmunks, I believe, but much larger.

I'm thinking big snap traps loaded with peanut butter is the way to go.

I concur.  Traps. Keep them loaded and clean.  

If you can't beat them, feed them, away from your plants with bird seed(possibly mixed w poison).   Donate some american flag bird feeders and a year supply of seeds to your neighbors for labor day.  Make water traps, they'll have to be deep and cleaning out isn't pleasant.

They either need to be eradicated or you need to provide an alt source of food/water.   


Strangely enough, there don't seem to be as many ground squirrels around today. I worked on collapsing their holes yesterday, and spread some fouled cat litter at one point on the fence line where they enter and exit frequently. I know that's not the end of it though.

I've considered putting out bird seed on the side of my yard that's opposite of where the garden will be, but also thought that that's kind of like an invitation into the yard, and they might not stay where the bird seed is. I do like the idea of gifting my neighbors with bird feeders though. That's my kind of devious.

I'll continue to collapse their holes and spread used kitty litter for a few days, and if that doesn't work, I'll deploy traps baited with peanut butter; I just hope gray squirrels and birds don't get their little necks snapped though. That would really suck.

I should probably mention too that I had my weeds whacked yesterday (most folks up here have dirt yards because it's really difficult to keep a lawn green once it gets hot), so the ground squirrels don't have much cover anymore, and that's also reduced the amount of food they have available.

Live trapping also works well, mike.  It's a relocation program.  Using unshelled peanuts for bait works well, then when caught, let them loose somewhere like a park or your landlord's place.

But opossums and raccoons like unshelled peanuts too, so sometimes it's a surprise as to the contents of the live trap. 

My neighbor claims to have live trapped two armadillos last spring and she used Jolly Ranchers for bait. nk

Joe, I had a havahart trap when I was a kid back in CT, and and me and my best friend caught a few gray squirrels in it, and then watched them for an hour or two before letting them go. At this point though, with a full-on herd of ground squirrels to round up and transplant, that sounds like a lot of work (to do the life-honoring thing). I read earlier today that they only have a range of like 75 yards, meaning that's as far as they travel in their lives, so I guess I could move them to the little park we have in town, which is only about a mile away and already overrun with ground squirrels, so a few more shouldn't hurt, right?

Ugh. Now this really is a dilemma.

I'm remembering too an incident with a raccoon about ten years ago. I was working for a retired lady schoolteacher doing some projects for her around the house and yard, and she had a raccoon living under her deck, and didn't like that state of affairs at all. I told her about havaharts, she bought a good-sized one, we baited it with peanut butter, and the next morning I got a frantic phone call from her; there was a raccoon in the trap and he didn't sound at all happy.

I drove over and found a whole bunch of raccoon squeezed into that trap, and the schoolteacher was right: it didn't look very happy at all. I carefully lifted the trap into the trunk of my car and drove about 5 miles out of town into a heavily wooded area (we live in Los Padres National Forest) that was in a different watershed. I carefully lifted the trap out of the trunk of my car, and that's about when I realized that I was going to have to open the trap to let the thing go.

Those were some nervous seconds as I looked for a down tree branch that was long enough and sturdy enough to work the trap's locking mechanism. I'm sure my hands fumbled at first, but then I figured it out, took a deep breath, and released the catch.

The raccoon was suddenly a blur, like roadrunner's legs in the cartoons, but he was moving away from me across an open field, so I released the breath I had been holding. In the blink of an eye, he was up a tall pine, I assume to chill and soothe his frazzled nerves for a while.

I mention this because if I get a havahart, I need to consider which size, and I'm not sure I would want want big enough to contain a raccoon because that activity is already checked off of my bucket list.

>>because that activity is already checked off of my bucket list.

lol...snap trap it is.  My dad feeds the squirrels all winter and then complains in the spring that there's too many of them digging in the beds, so he resumes the live trapping.

I think it's a ritual he enjoys. 

I'm partly to blame too, Joe. I do some ground feeding after a snow for the Dark-eyed Juncos (who will eat at the feeder sometimes, but they seem to prefer the ground), and of course, the squirrels get to enjoy the easy eats too.

Topped my Blueberry Kush this morning, so that's three done, and three to go. I'm not including the Pineapples in that count because they are totally on their own schedule.

Happy 4/20, freaks. I'm one month into my growing season.

Well, I was going to give my plants their first taste of the sun today (filtered sunlight, and not for long), but the weather changed back to cold and blustery today, and there's the possibility of a little snow in the forecast over the weekend or early next week, so that's on hold for now.

My Skywalker OG and the other Heirloom should be ready for their first topping tomorrow, but the Girl Scout Cookies looks to need a few more days at least; the GSC is looking really good, but the new branches at the nodes aren't very well-developed yet. I'm thinking they all (except the Pineapples) should have their first toppings done by this time next week.

I also need to start working on training the ones I've topped already, and will probably get started with that tomorrow.

Looks like a great start to that mainliner !

keep it up Enjoying this journal 


Thanks, Sigmund.

Well, the combination of putting used kitty litter in the ground squirrel holes and/or the weed whacking seems to be having an effect. I'm not seeing nearly as many of them as a week ago. There's still some individuals hanging around, but not the gangs of them like I was seeing before. I'm happy about this development because I really didn't feel good about having to kill them. That said, I'm still going to be monitoring this situation, and I'll do what I have to do to protect my garden.

Skywalker OG is killer, keep that one rolling.  I have a 'DogWalker' from Mike Tysons ranch that is killer...just trying to figure out how to keep it happy.  Some of these 20-30%ers need a killer amount of feed.  

I have a couple Crown OG crosses(wedding cake, triangle kush, bruce banner) and trinity x gg4   --- they are a few weeks behind normal schedule.



Skywalker is an old favorite of mine too, jonas, and I'm really looking forward to see what this one does. It's a fem seed, and my fingers are definitely crossed for it. I just got done topping it and my Heirloom #2.

I also started the training on my Heirloom #1 today. It's as simple as this; as you can see, the new growth has increased nicely since last Saturday when I topped it:


I topped my GSC today. The third node branches still hadn't emerged much, but I needed to get this done because space is getting tight. I also started training the OGK and BBK.

I finally pulled up the Pineapple that never made it past cotyledons. There was barely any root on it at all. And I topped the other original Pineapple because it was getting too tall and gangly. This was not topping for mainlining. I just lopped off the main stem right above a node that has three fan leaves. I'm starting to think this Pineapple strain might have originated in Chernobyl.

Here's the Heirloom I topped on Saturday, April 17th. As you can see, she's like two plants growing from one main stem now. I'll probably be re-topping her later this week to get to four growth tips/branches; there are already 4-5 nodes on the new growth.


Mike - I am really digging this blog. With NY going legal, including the grow exemption, I really am considering giving this a go next year, brown thumb and all. Any tips on how to procure good seeds appreciated. Never realized how much goes into it but think it would be fun. But the critters would be a big concern for me. Squirrels, other creatures of the woods, rabbits and deer. Rats with antlers. We can't plant anything because of those fuckers, and we have a very large population that beds down in a 36-acre protected area a couple hundred yards from where I live. We are on their main buffet circuit. I have read that although not on first page of menu, deer will eat cannabis when hungry enough. And we have so many that it is only a matter of time before they are hungry enough. Do you have any insight on that? Keep up the good work!

Thanks, Dennis. I hope I haven't given the impression here that growing weed is something like rocket science. Given the proper conditions, the plant will do pretty well on its own, but there are ways to optimize the plant, and mainlining is one way to achieve that. I've only been growing for about five years now, and every season I learn more about the plant.

As for critters, we have deer not too far from where I live, but they don't venture into my neighborhood very much, and I'm more concerned about my friends the ground squirrels and raccoons possibly. jonas mentioned above that he's had to deal with deer, so he's probably better qualified to talk about strategies for dealing with rats with antlers than I am. I think he lives near NY state too, so he might have some tips about the growing season back east.

As for seeds, my advice is to read lots of reviews of sellers before you buy, and I would also suggest that it's a lot easier to buy seeds from US sellers at this point, which simplifies the process. Getting payment to seed sellers outside the US can get kind of complicated with conversion rates, and sellers who only accept bank transfers or Bitcoin. Here's a thread about seeds that might be some help:

I'm not at all happy about this, but I logged my first ground squirrel kill this morning. I picked up a couple of rat traps this morning, baited one with a fat dab of peanut butter (Jif Creamy, if you're wondering), and then ran a quick errand. When I got home about 15 minutes later, the trap was sprung, and the killing has begun.

As a lapsed Catholic, I feel like I should do some penance for this dastardly act, but as a gardener, I feel vindicated.

Today is six weeks since I planted; tomorrow my plants will be getting their first taste of outdoors in the morning in the shade.


Looking good, mike!  Keep up the good work.

(((((((happy girls))))))))

One giant step closer to their final home this morning. They'll spend a couple of hours in the shade today, and then I'll gradually introduce them to full sunlight (and longer days outside) over the course of the next week or so, with an eye toward transplanting them into their 10 gallon pots next weekend. The weather this coming week looks just exactly perfect for doing this, and I think any really chilly weather is behind us at this point.

I need to start the training on the last two (Heirloom #2 and Skywalker) today, and it might be time to do the second topping on Heirloom #1 too. The Pineapples (on the right) are what they are (mutants).


An overhead view of one of the Heirlooms after the second topping with four growth tips now. I'll do one more topping for sure, which will yield eight growth tips, and maybe one more after that for sixteen. Five of them have two toppings at this point, and the GSC has one.


I love geometry.

And this kind of fractal geometry is the best, IMNSHO.

I got my second ground squirrel kill today. I set the traps over the weekend, and kept finding them sprung, but empty. Again, I'm not happy about this, but these guys have to go.

Nice that your last post was at 4:20.

Found a lot of rat shit in my shed today and have set a snap trap. Here's hoping.

I didn't even notice that, judit, but in my defense, it was only 1:20 PDT.

What are you using for bait? I've found peanut butter to be fairly irresistible.

Third ground squirrel kill today, and one mouse last night. This whole experience is verifying that I am not a killer at heart. Each one of these takes a little bit out of me, despite my claims of necessity.

Ground squirrel #4 while I was having lunch. Time to dig another hole.

Yes, peanut butter. I haven't gone out to check if one was caught (killed). I did manage to snap the side my finger in the trap as I was preparing it and because of the problem with my other hand I had a hell of a time getting my finger out of the serrated plastic. It was a big painful shock. Don't do that.

Coming up on seven weeks tomorrow, and things are looking pretty good. with the exception of the two remaining Pineapples of course. I've been putting the good plants out in shade and filtered sunlight for an increasing amount of hours over the last few days to get them used to what's to come (full south-facing sun at an elevation of 4500', ungentle winds, and low humidity; I know that sounds really horrible, but it's also very similar to the conditions in the Hindu Kush region). The Pineapples have been outside 24/7 the last few days because I've pretty much given up on them, but I'm not ready to kill them off just yet.


The Good Ones


An overhead shot to give a better sense of their geometry. Five have been topped twice, and one only once.


The Pineapples. I'm guessing this is the last you'll see of these. (I saw the pic was blurred right after I took it, but I didn't even bother taking another one.)

I'll stick to my original post: pineapple is a garbage strain, even if you find success the flower doesn't seem to capture the sativa dominant high nor the indica(s) that were bread into it's genetics. 

I'll second the notion that it is never pleasurable killing anything --- even pests.   Deer in the NE need to be stopped with a fence and the constant presence of humans or canines. Some old 'piss' tricks work but chances are that most deer are acclimated to humans and don't 'spook' as easy as they had.      

The main issue is mold and being able to finish before the frost.  Spend the time needed with your plants,  learn to build lean tubes covers -- learn light dep.  Or at the very least stay to the rule that 'something is better than nothing'. Once you recognize mold on the outside of a flower know that the inside is already caked and done.


I won't miss the Pineapples when they're gone, jonas, but I'm going to let them grow out a bit more just to see what happens; it's been a real freak show so far, and who knows what they'll do? They were a gift, and the gifter said he had nothing but problems with them too. Plus, Pineapple isn't really a strain I would have picked myself. I prefer indica-dominant kushes for the most part.

I'm thinking it's transplant time, and the only question I have right now is when. Tomorrow morning would work best with my schedule for the next couple of days, but I think it would be good if I could get them done this evening after sunset. I'll still be giving them limited full sun the next few days (they got about 2 hours from 7:30-9:30 this morning, almost an hour at noon, and will get about an hour or two after 3:00 PM), but that'll give their roots a night to do what roots do before having to deal with daylight tomorrow.

The plants will be going from their one gallon planters to 10 gallon fabric pots. I modified tomato cages to give the pots a structure for the mainline training; I'll add thin bamboo stakes as needed later in the game for supporting and training branches.


I haven't seen many ladybugs yet this year, but found this one on one of the plants this morning. I hope more follow her example.


Seven weeks since seed.


After about a week of getting them used to being outdoors, and easing them into full sunlight, six plants doing fine; the PIneapples got pulled today, but other than that, things are looking great. Tomorrow, they'll get the first full day ot sun. I've left them untethered the last few days after transplanting, so I need to get them tied down again for training. I also have a few third toppings coming up in a few days, and the GSC's second topping, but I want to give them another couple of days to get adapted to their new pots before I start topping again.


I did the third and final toppings of five of six today, and the second topping on the GSC. It's weird to remove so much foliage just as they're getting going again, but that's what's needed for mainlining. I also gave them all their first taste of grow nutes today, in a little bit less than light formulation.

Get real veg light and things would be looking much better.

I have volunteers that are waist high from seed I made last year that fell off the plants and sprouted on their own.

Well, I guess it was inevitable that I'd get a weedier-than-thou post is here eventually. I just never imagined it would involve volunteers.

A plant made seeds, those seeds fell off a plant and now those seeds are growing?  

Look what's happening out in the streets
Got a revolution (got to revolution)
Hey, I'm dancing down the streets
Got a revolution (got to revolution)
Oh, ain't it amazing all the people I meet?
Got a revolution (got to revolution)
One generation got old
One generation got soul
This generation got no destination to hold
Pick up the cry
Hey, now it's time for you and me
Got a revolution (got to revolution)
Hey, come on now we're marching to the sea
Got a revolution (got to revolution)
Who will take it from you, we will and who are we?
Well, we are volunteers of America (volunteers of America)
Volunteers of America (volunteers of America)
I've got a revolution
Got a revolution

Look what's happening out in the streets
Got a revolution (got to revolution)
Hey, I'm dancing down the streets
Got a revolution (got to revolution)
Oh, ain't it amazing all the people I meet?
Got a revolution, oh-oh
We are volunteers of America
Yeah, we are volunteers of America
We are volunteers of America (volunteers of America)
Volunteers of America (volunteers of America)

rough looking grow up in here. 

par for the course, considering...

Another weedier than thou post. Sorry that my garden grow doesn't compare to your bougie indoor setup. Didn't the plant teach you anything?

Green is good, no yellowing.  Come on og it's still May.  If you've been in the game you know that outdoor goes from a couple tops to bushes within weeks.  

MIne will.......  



 How's it looking now, Mike?

Hey, judit. Things are looking pretty good considering we had a return to really chilly weather the last week or so, with overnight lows getting down to 30 for a few nights in a row, and the corresponding daytime highs only getting into the 50s. The good news is we rarely get frost here in the high desert/foothills, but we did get some light snow flurries on Monday, I think it was.

I've also been really busy with a new writing gig I just started, and it's almost the end of the semester too, so my work life had been kind of crazy lately. I should start blogging again before long though. Things should start jumping up any day now, so I should actually have some stuff to write about.

I was coming home from some errands yesterday, and saw a ground squirrel that was was too close to the garden, so I baited some traps again. Got my fifth kill this morning, and I'm glad I'm haven't been around to hear the snapping for any of them.

We're finally getting some good growing weather here with daytime temps in the high 70s/low 80s, and overnight lows only getting down to about 50. Most of the plants are looking good. The GSC is kind of runty, but looks okay; I grew one of these last year from the same seed bank, and that one was kind of runty too.

I fucked up one of the Heirlooms when I was doing the third topping in what I'm calling a pure stoner error. I took it down a node too far, and ended up with not much more than four fan leaves and the nodes they support. Kind of surprisingly, after recovering for a week or two in mostly cold weather, there's seven new growth tips emerged, and maybe an eighth. It's way behind the pack at this point, but I'm thinking it should leaf out pretty good in the coming weeks. (Note to self: In the future, do your toppings, then get stoned.)

The other four (Heirloom, Skywalker OG, OG Kush, and Blueberry Kush) are looking real good. Emerald green and topped three times with eight growth tips each reaching for the sky, They should veg out real nice in the next 4-6 weeks before flowering starts in the first half of July or so. I'll snap some progress pics over the weekend, and post them here.

>>> (Note to self: In the future, do your toppings, then get stoned.) <<<

Or as the first Mr. judit used to say, first you flotsam, then you jetsam. And he also said, first you pillage, then you burn. He was full of those sorts of sayings.

> first you flotsam, then you jetsam

I might have to write a story under that title. Not about the first. Mr judit, of course, but you never know with these things. It could happen.

And yeah, yeah, yeah, I said I might snap some pics tomorrow, but I got inspired by the nice even light now that my plot is in the shade for the day.

I should mention here too that I've started feeding them their veg formula. General Organics BioThrive Grow. I'll be giving them a light feeding every time they get water (roughly every other day) for the next month or so.

The first one (Skywalker OG) gives a good view of the manifold that's been formed. One main vertical stem branches into two horizontal branches, which branch and then branch again into eight growth tips. I have them trained in pairs of two right now, and will start training the eight growth tips separately in the next day or so.


Skywalker OG


Blueberry Kush


OG Kush


Heirloom #1


Heirloom #2


I should add that I will not be topping the GSC or Heirloom #2 any further. The GSC will have 4 branches, and the Heirloom #2 will have 7 or 8.

Your girls are growing well and looking very healthy, mike. Nice work!

I can agree with 5/6 of that, Joe. We've got some great growing weather going on here now, and it's getting to the where their growth is visible day by day.

I love how much fun playing with plants is. Play on!

And then--just like that--it was awkward week in the garden. Trained and defoliated ten weeks in, let the real growing begin.


Skywalker OG


Blueberry OG


OG Kush


Heirloom #1


Heirloom #2


Girl Scout Cookies

Looking good.  Don’t over feed but you can push a bit. 

I’m behind -  been more worried about getting clones rooted for others instead of making trees. 

In the end it all works. 

Thanks, jonas. I plan to push the nutes a bit once they recover from the latest defoliation, but it really depends on the weather too. As usual, we went from late winter weather to full on summer in the blink of an eye, so I might be watering every day before long here. If that's the case, I'll probably stick with a light feeding every time they get water, which is a way to push things, without pushing too hard. If I do that, I'll probably just give them water once a week too, so that nutes don't build up too much in the soil.

Got my sixth ground squirrel today. I wish those little fuckers would listen to reason. And speaking of little fuckers, I've seen a couple of chipmunks lately too. They're technically ground squirrels, although they're much cuter than the usual ones, so it'll make it harder to kill them, but I'll do what I have to do.

Seventh ground squirrel today. Much smaller than the other six. Like half the size. The next generation, I'm thinking.

In other news, awkward week straightened out pretty quick. Perfect growing weather lately. Daytime highs around 90, overnight lows of about 60, blue sky, lots of high altitude sun, and low, low, low humidity. Give me a month or so of this, and things should start looking pretty awesome.


Nice work, Mike! "Clear-cutting" those honies is already paying dividends

Not much to report today. Got ground squirrel #8.

Ground squirrel #9 was not a clean kill.

I had just finished washing my lunch dishes, and was getting ready to step outside for a smoke, and that's when I saw one of the traps flopping around. Next, I heard the screams.

I stepped outside and assessed the situation from a safe distance. Wished I had a gun and knew how to use it. Stepped a bit closer and made eye contact for a long moment. It was a young one. About half the size of yesterday's. But I knew what I had to do.

I turned around, walked a few steps to the shade, put on some gloves, and grabbed my hoe. I was hoping for one clean shot just below its head, but the little bugger was still thrashing underneath the trap. With the hoe blade, I slowly flipped the trap over and gave it its last look at the blue sky and noontime sun. That seemed to calm it for a moment. I lifted the hoe high and brought it down fast, and knew right away I had hit the body, and not hard enough. I steadied myself and lifted the hoe high again. Thought something like a little prayer, and then brought the hoe blade down with more force, and it hit its mark.

When I spoke to an old buddy of mine last night, I mentioned the count was up to eight, and luckily, I hadn't seen any of the kills, but each one still took something from me. I've killed more in the past few weeks than in my lifetime, I told him, and I think I entertained the thought for a second that maybe the killing was done.

Today, there's blood on the blade. I hope the killing is done, but now I doubt it. I have it in me, and wish I didn't. 

Time to dig another hole.


There's been blood involved with valuable crops for centuries.  Pests are pests, but it still isn't easy killing, and live or snap trapping is the way to go. At least you're not poisoning them, which in turn could then be ingested by raptors, cats, etc.  


Sorry, mike.

I've had rats snapped but not killed thrashing on the attic floor above my bed. I couldn't get up there and wouldn't have been able to do anything about it, so it went on for far too long. It's bad.

Thanks, Joe and judit. We do what we have to do, and sometimes that includes inaction. To quote Lao Tzu, When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.

It's been another weird weather week here in the hills of southern California, and by weird, I mean cold. Overnight lows of about 38, and only getting up to the low 70s by late afternoon. The good news is it's been sunny, so there's some growing going on, but things are creeping up more than jumping. We're supposed to get back to seasonal temps over the weekend, and then we'll probably stay there until sometime in September.

That's the sport of outdoor growing for you. We work with the hand we get dealt.

The weather is warming up nicely, and should stay that way for the foreseeable future.


Mike Check out - Growing With James - on youtube he is a Bucket Grower in Canada and his plants are Awesome.

The four good ones, from front to back: Heirloom #1, Skywalker OG, Blueberry Kush, OG Kush. 32 tops in all. (Not counting the 4 branch runts on the right: Girls Scout Cookies and Heirloom #2).


Heirloom #1


The girls are looking beautiful, Mike. Thanks for the pics. 

Thanks, Joe.

Had a couple of scares today. I noticed the primary branches of the manifold--where it splits in two from the main stem--started cracking on two of the plants: Heirloom #1 and Skywalker OG. I'm not sure what is causing this. It's just the two so far, and everyone has gotten pretty much the same training, treatment, etc.

I wrapped them up with some gorilla tape first, but then thought some flex wire would be better. My old Boy Scout training with ropes and lashing kicked in, and I did not spare the flex wire. I hope it does the job, and the plants heal the gashes with that green magic of theirs.


Scare #2 involves the heat wave that settled in here yesterday. It didn't hit 100 until today, but it never got lower than 70 overnight, and it was pushing 90 by about 9 this morning. I had watered/fed yesterday late in the day, and things looked pretty good at about 10:00 this morning.

I got busy with some writing, and then stepped out for a smoke at about 11:00 and noticed immediately that about half of the plants did not look right. The leaves' silvery undersides were showing and the tops were drooping. I thought about moving them to shade, but they've gotten big enough that it's kind of awkward to move them now. Decided instead to give them a big (2 gallons each for all but the small two) drink, so I pHed some water got busy.

I finished watering the first plant, and then turned my back on them to fill the watering can again and pH the water, and by the time I turned around to face the plants again, the first one I had watered had already bounced back completely. As I went down the line, the same thing happened again and again and again, and within about 15 minutes, tragedy had been narrowly averted, and everything in the garden was right again.

Except for those cracks. Oh, well. Nothing left to do now, but wait and see. I think I've done all that can be done. Drama in the garden. There's always got to be some.

With the solstice coming up this weekend, I wanted to follow-up on my light cycle. My plants are all photos and I had them under 14 hours of light indoors, and then moved them outside when the amount of daylight was just about 14 hours. This seems to have worked out just fine. I've had no early flowering, and needless to say, I'm happy about that.

That is all.

you can always pop 4 or more stakes in the ground around the bag and run some twine around underneath to support the weight of the lateral branches, mike. The splitting sometimes happens when the laterals grow faster than the main trunk can beef up to support the weight of the laterals. These are good problems. Plant growing pains.

Gotcha, Joe. The splits are kind of deep, but not tragically so, I hope. Less than halfway through the branches, I'd say. I'm keeping an eye on them, and what I'm not seeing is any effects beyond the cracks themselves. As you can see in the pic from Thursday at 11:31 am, the plant looks nice and healthy.

Just came in from the garden, and it looks like a couple of the plants (Blueberry Kush and OG Kush) have started early pre-flowering. Calyxes aren't well-formed yet, but I'm pretty sure I'm seeing stigmas, so these should be two in the girl column. (Good thing too because they were feminized seeds.) I checked them out with a magnifying glass, and will look at them with a loupe once the sun has gone down.

Which reminds me. I have a digital scope in my junk drawer that I need to dig out. If I can hold it steady enough (which is not as easy as it sounds because I have to hold my phone in the other hand; this is one of those things where a third hand would really come in handy), I might have some pics later this evening.

Heirloom #1 looks to be a female for sure. I'm happy. The Heirlooms are the only non-femininized seeds remaining, and this plant has been my favorite since it sprouted.


I just checked the other plants, and, as I mentioned above, the Blueberry Kush and OG Kush are looking to be females, but it's still too soon to tell, and I'll add the Skywalker OG to that list too. The GSC is behind the others in growth, so I'm thinking it'll be another week or two at least before it shows its sex. Heirloom #2, which I butchered doing the third topping, is looking like it could be a male. If that's how it all shakes out, space is going to get real tight for the next three months. Five plants is just about all the room I have to finish.

Just over three months into this project, and about three more months to go.

I cut down Heirloom #2 today, the one I butchered on the third cut. I'm all but certain it was male; like 99.9%. That frees up a bit of room for the others, and it's one less to feed and water.

His big sister on the other hand is looking dandy after some defoliation this morning (of outer branches that likely won't produce much).



Looking great!  

What feed and schedule are they getting?

Thanks, jonas. The feed is General Organics BioThrive Grow. I've been giving them a light feeding every morning, except once a week, when I just give them pH adjusted water.

It's been hot (although not quite as hot as the PNW; it's only been getting up to 100 here more often than not lately), so that means two gallons a day going into each ten-gallon pot. They all just started showing their sex, so I've got at least a couple more weeks of veg before I switch them over to the BioThrive Bloom formula.

Some thunderstorms rolled in, and we got some rain today, and thankfully no hail. The rain wasn't much, maybe 1/10 of an inch at best, but it's something, and my ladies are loving it.


Hi Mike, looking good. Nice training.

I had no idea squirrels were being killed in here or I would have shown up sooner.

Lol it's my specialty

I'm not going to type "lol" here because I'm actually laughing out loud and I don't want to cheapen it.

I wouldn't say that killing squirrels is my specialty yet, Bss, but with nine in the ground, I think I've made some nice gains. I still wish I had finished that last one with one blow from the hoe instead of two, but what are you gonna do?

Dude I think nine squirrels is a solid haul. It's only one week into summer! And doing it the hard way too...


i've been digging into the burrows and putting small road flares down there, then supercharging it with the backpack blower and smoking out the whole lot. that might not go over real well with the neighbor folk so close by in your case, though.

one of my German shepherds actually pounced and smashed the shit out of one the other day, I was quite proud because he's normally a pretty shy guy.

I did a pretty major defoliation this morning to get the girls ready for flowering. Cut most of the stuff on the lower third of the branches to focus the plants' energy up top. They look pretty goofy now, but will fill back in over the next week or so, just in time (I hope) for the start of flowering.

While doing this, I also assessed how these five different strains are taking to mainlining. In his tutorial, which is linked above, nugbuckets says that some strains do better with mainlining, and I've found this to be the case over the last two seasons. The Heirloom, OG Kush, and Girl Scout Cookies are looking great, with pretty much symmetrical plant shapes and branch lengths; the Skywalker OG and Blueberry Kush, not so much.

When it comes time to choose seeds next year, I'll definitely be choosing the first three again for eight branch mainlining. If the smoke is really good on the Skywalker OG and Blueberry Kush, I'll plant them again, but will probably just let them do their own thing, or maybe top them twice for four branches.

Your grow looks so neat and tidy, Mike.

It's a little mostly-contained, south-facing side yard (~20x10') that gets perfect sun this time of year, BK, so keeping it tidy isn't a problem.

I've been thinking about naming it the Republic of Weedpatch.

Here's my not so tidy southwest facing hillside. There are 4 plants there, somewhat camouflaged by the shit around them.


Sorry for the faux pastor putting my pic in your journal thread. I thought it was the other, generic one.

That's no faux pas, BK. I've been kind of surprised that more folks haven't been posting about what they have growing this year. I'm guessing things will pick up once we get into the sexy flowers stage of the game.

That's a good looking patch. Have you done any training on them, or just let them do their own thing?

I did an early trim, and will do another in a week or so. Other than that, I'm letting them go.

See the thread I just started. Like it or not, I'm not messing up your journal!

> I'm not messing up your journal!

No, you're not, BK, and neither did the pic of your patch. Hell, ogkb didn't even manage to mess it up. He just left a couple of little cat turds to mix into the compost heap.

It's just a beautiful day for growing pot up here today, and other stuff too, of course. It's all kinds of sunny, 90 degrees, and there's a light breeze. Also, one of the branches of the Skywalker OG just started flowering, with multiple stigmas starting to cluster at the top.


How's that Skywalker doing? Is it an auto flower? It seems awful early to start flowering. I passed on a monster Skywalker clone because I read that they can be finicky outdoors. I went with strains that I know can handle the fucked up Vermont weather and bugs. Yesterday was 86, sunny and humid. Today barely hit 67. The next 2 days are supposed to be 63 and dumping rain. Then, back up to the 70s and 80s. I've found that the pure and almost pure indicas don't do so well with all those fluctuations.

The Skywalker is doing okay, and maybe even well. If I'm having a problem with it, it's that the plant's structure kind of doesn't seem to lend itself to mainlining. It just doesn't have the nice symmetry of branches that a few of the others have. We'll see how she finishes up. That's the real test. If she produces dense, dank, stony buds, I'll be happy.

All of my strains are photos. We have a pretty long outdoor growing season up here, so I don't see the need to rush things with autos.

And yeah, this is about when flowering starts where I'm at. I know it's only shortly after the solstice, but the days are getting shorter, and that seems to be the trigger. You don't need to get to 12/12 for flowering to start. That's how indoor folks do it because they're all about optimization. Ain't no such thing in the garden. We work with what we get.

And as for climate, mine is similar to the Hindu Kush region, and that's kind of like a bad Bobby joke about Billy's broken drum: it's hard to beat. (I'll take a rim shot for that.)

Skywalker OG



We're heading into our fourth little heat wave of the season already, which has actually been not so bad for vegging, but I hope we get back to some normal summer temps once flowering really gets going. Whatever happens, I'm just trying my best to keep things nice and green.


My local NPS station said we're having our fourth heat wave this weekend. I thought it was only the third. I don't think I missed one; I must've run a couple together.

It's obnoxiously hot. We have a couple three 100 degree days behind us and a couple three ahead of us, and the worst part is it's not really cooling down at night. It was about 75 at midnight last night, and then only got down to about 72. We've had some breezes, but they're more like little devil winds than the sweet soothing kind. And tt doesn't help that we're flirting with single digit humidity almost round the clock. If it wasn't for slathering coconut oil onto my hands, and plenty of cool, clear water to constantly drink, I'd could easily be confused with a really big stick of beef jerky right now.

I hear Death Valley hit 130 today. I would think eyeballs would start to shrivel in their sockets in temperatures like that. I should be grateful for it only hitting 100 here, I guess.

But we're going against nature and keeping things green here today with plenty of cool, clear water. Last evening , I started doing two 2-gallon waterings a day. Everybody got 2 gallons of water and nutes in the early morning, which has been the drill lately, and then I gave them 2 gallons of pHed water after they were in shade yesterday at about 6:00 PM. This morning, at about noon, a couple started looking droopy, so I gave them 2 gallons of pHed water and that perked them right up.

I decided not to do nutes for the next couple of days until things cool off a bit. They're stressed enough with the heat right now, and I don't think encouraging them to grow rapidly is necessary or beneficial right now. They've had a good veg, a few branches are up to about 5 feet, which is about as high as I'd like to see them go because the fence is only 6 feet, and they're leafed out nice and bushy. A few days of just chilling in the heat wave as they're headed into flowering makes sense to me, plus it's like a mini-flush before I start them on flowering nutes in the next week or so.

Last year's harvest was plentiful, this year not so much.  Lots of hands on work to be done just to grab a few.  Grab an irrigation hose system w a timer from the spigot. 


> Grab an irrigation hose system w a timer from the spigot. 

I wish I could, jonas, but not with water where the pH runs at least 8.0 from the spigot.

And it's way too soon for me to judge what this year's harvest might yield, but if nothing disastrous happens in the next 90 days or so, we should make it to plentiful.

Good Luck to all the Outdoor growers!

Ain't she pretty?


Yes, she is. One of your autoflowers, I'm guessing?

Sure is, Mike. I'm enjoying these autos. They're so easy. My only concern is the drying/curing. It's not going to be easy to find space that's 60-65 degrees and humidity in August.

> Don’t over feed but you can push a bit.

Getting back to jonas' mentioning pushing nutes at the end of May, I'm finding that a six-day a week, light feeding with watering is working great, with one day a week where they just get pHed water. There's a few leaf tips here and there that are a bit browned, but I had to look for them in what is otherwise a sea of lush, vibrant green.


When conditions are optimal I feed every 3 days.  I just was dropped some rain buckets --- they immediately get dumped with a bag of sea kelp, earth worm castings and bone meal.  Ill keep a air stone in there and a pump to get the liquid out.  The key is to keep feeding the bucket with ferts and water. 

I am way behind this year ---- of all things a lone turkey pulled all my plants and clones that I had to gift out.  The pore bird seemingly got separated from the pack and he/she is manic.  The family passes through the yard without even stepping to the garden --- the lone bird passes hours after.  We've considered trapping it and waiting for the pack to come back.     

Tore our veggie garden too --- left the tomatoes and I was able to save a couple of cucs.  

Our biggest issues here is usually mold.  I guess this year will be another test of guerrilla farming.  


First, the good news in visual form. That's four in a row (from front to back: OG Kush, Blueberry Kush, Skywalker OG, and the Heirloom), and the Girls Scout Cookies on the side.


Next, it looks I have a little aphid infestation going on. These are smaller than any of the aphids I've seen before, and I thought I was looking at some kind of egg mass at first because they're kind of cream-colored/pale yellow, don't move much at all, and are mostly on the stems rather than under the leaves. Reddit edumacated me in a hurry about this yesterday, so I picked up some neem oil concentrate at the local hardware store, and then did an application early in the evening. Hopefully, that'll clear things up because it's just about time for things to start flowering here.


Other than the aphids though, things are looking pretty good, and they're sounding really good too on this fine Sunday morning courtesy of Billy Strings on Austin City Limits.

One more shot from the Sunday garden. This is the manifold of the Blueberry Kush. This one has the beefiest main stem in the garden, but as you can see, there's some inconsistency in the branching, and I'm not sure why that is. You can see that there are about four thicker branches and about four that look less developed in comparison. The result up top is there are three branches that tower above everything else in the garden, and the height of the rest of the plant is more or less consistent with her sisters. The big three are closing in on six feet though, which includes height of the pot, but my fencing is only six foot tall, and I'd like to keep things somewhat discrete.


Prof DeBacco on Aphids

They can be born Pregnant!!!???wtf

Last night, I sprayed with a mixture of neem oil and Dr. Bronner's Castile soap last night (2 tablespoons of each in 2 gallons of water pHed to 6.0), and that seems to have reduced the aphid infestation already. I'll do it again next weekend, and on a weekly basis as long as I need to.

I dropped my $30 Amazon pH meter on the concrete slab of my side porch yesterday, which is apparently a very bad thing to do. I'm watering everyday, and that means pHing everyday (because my water runs roughly 8.0 or more), so I needed to get another one fast. Even with Prime, Amazon couldn't get me one for a few days, but luckily I had a doctor's appointment off the hill this afternoon, so I was able to pick one up my local (45 miles away) grow shop today. Of course, they didn't have any cheap ones, so I dropped almost $100 on the lowest priced one they had. A Bluelab pH pen.

I decided to pull out the ladder and take some overhead shots of the ladies after the sun went down today. Here's the Heirloom:

Skywalker OG:

Blueberry Kush:

OG Kush:

Girl Scout Cookies:

It's exciting to look down on them. Beautiful geometry.

I'm glad you're getting somewhere with the aphids.

The first one is really something to behold, judit. She's been a beauty since the start, and the symmetry of her shape and branch lengths is what I dreamed of when I was planting seeds back in March.

And yeah, I'm seeing far fewer of the aphids already. Little sucker fuckers.

One of my favorite things in the world is the geometry of agriculture. I usually say that referring to fields, harvests of fields, farming agriculture, but this fits right in there. Thanks for the pics. And good job!

CBD Kush auto, 2 weeks to go:


Blueberry auto, 1 week to go:


Here are my 2 Scooby Snacks. This year I tried something different and did one early trimming, then just let them go until the other day. On Tuesday I tied them back and started cleaning them out, readying for flowering. On Tuesday night a massive storm rolled through and split one of them. You can see my surgery.


7B6F15C9-158A-4C85-BD24-754F916735FC.jpegHere's a top-down of one of the Scoobies. She's ready to put on some massive kolas. The mother that profit is clone yielded half oz. buds, indoors.


2208AD4C-A138-4CD8-9190-C7271927A236.jpegAnd finally, one of the 2 Gold Leaf, which is Robert Bergman's "special hybrid." Only he knows the lineage, but it's supposed to be 70/30 indica, disease and mold resistant, with an outdoor yield of 28-32 oz per plant with massive buds. This one is already over 6' tall, so we'll see.



Looking good. August 1st is coming quick to the east coast.  Looking like you'll have a nice crop.  

I haven't popped any autoflower yet but from what I gather its worth a run....with a shit load of plants.



My first time doing autos, and I have 4 out. They'll yield maybe 1.5-2 oz per plant, but they're almost no maintenance. It's also pretty friggin' fun to watch.

I saw a whole garden full last year --- like you said small yield --- and the 'grower' was a complete novice.  She yielded a decent amount but nothing that I'd even waste my time on unless there were 25-50 or so.  One of my clones that I gifted her equaled the same amount as 10 auto flowers.  

Looking frosty there, BK. But only a week or two to go.

Did my second application of Neem oil + Castile soap tonight. I noticed a fairly drastic reduction in aphids this week, and hope tonight's application has a similar effect. My girls aren't fully flowering yet, and I'd like to get the aphid thing under control before flowering really kicks in.

So these three branches. They're all on my Blueberry Kush, and they're more than 6 foot at this point. Everybody else is in the 4 to 5 foot range, which is pretty much what I expect from mainlining in 10-gallon posts, but three three guys. lol. They're playing their own game, and i'm curious how they're going to fill out. What I really don't understand is this kind of variation within one plant. The other five branches on the plant are all at least a foot shorter.


Are you rotating plants, individually spin around or order of placement?    Sometimes its simply placement to sun/reflection of backside.  I see that you have the wall that will reflect light.  Possibly look at the placement of sun, reflection of/displaced heat from......      There is no perfect way -- it's all trying and learning. 


They get early morning sun from the northeast and then late day sun from the southwest, so they're getting pretty good coverage, I'd say. Mostly though they get it from the south all day lone, and they seem to like that a lot. And the walls are not that close to the plants; the perspective is pretty well flattened out in that shot. They're all about 6 feet from the wall.

We're getting a bit of rain here this morning, surprisingly. It probably won't be measurable, or if it is, it'll be in the 100ths of an inch, but my girls seem like they're liking it, and I am too. Usually we don't get much if any rain between March and November.

I did a trichrome check on Saturday, and the blueberry will be done this Saturday, and the CBD Kush about 6 days later. The best part about autos is that it's like watching them grow in fast forward. They change so quickly. Here's a blueberry:



Mike -- though the wall is feet away it does reflect light.  If you're looking at an individual side of a plant doing better than others it's almost certainly amount/intensity of light. Indoors it would be a combo of light and air circulation/temp. 


My early morning run through the patch ---  Japanese beetles.   Traps and torches coming out.  It's been at least a decade since ive dealt with those fuckers.  They'll eat a whole plant per day.   

Gotcha, jonas. I thought you might have thought the plants were right against the wall. The three big branches are on the side that's closest to the wall though, so the reflected light could have something to do with their extraordinary size. I'm okay with some mystery in my life, and I can't wait to see how those monster branches fill in.

BK, you're just making me drool now. I'm still at least 6-8 weeks out from a sight as pretty as that one.

lol, my "real" plants are 10 weeks away from looking like that!

Had to hack down both of the blueberry this morning. One had massive bud rot and I lost the entire kola, as well as some smaller buds. It seems to have happened overnight. I believe the culprit is earwigs.

Lots of humidity and rain this summer on the east coast.   It's going to be a year of 'get what you can get, something is better than nothing'.  I had powdery mildew weeks ago. 

Gotta check every day and work from there.  Rot doesn't happen overnight.  Your patch is nestled amongst other plants?  They will share disease and most importantly rot.



The autos were in their own little area, well away from the main plot. Only one got it bad, the other just a spot. The CBD Kush have -0 days to go and they're unscathed. I hit them with copper to stave off any nasties.

Well that sucks, BK. I lost a couple of nice tops to bud rot last year, and I know that's an ugly feeling.

This is one of the reasons that I'm happy to have just a small weedpatch. It's fairly easy to keep track of what's going on with 5-6 plants.

Four months in, and I can finally say that flowering is truly underway. Here's the Heirloom, who is still the leader of the pack.


In other news I ordered 300 live ladybugs from Amazon the other day to open up another front in my war against aphids. I'll do another Neem/Castile treatment this weekend, and then it sounds like the ladybugs should be here by the end of next week. Hopefully, these two tactics will mostly take care of the aphids, if not completely.

Not much else to report here at this point. We've got about two months to go, and I'm getting kind of burned out on the everyday feeding/watering, but I just keep telling myself that it'll be worth it in early October when I have branches hanging in the closet drying.

It had been a while since I've seen any ground squirrels in my yard, but in the last week or so, I've been seeing a couple of them, so I put out the traps again, and just got my tenth rodent kill of the season. This time it was a chipmunk, which is technically a ground squirrel, but of course they're much cuter. I don't see many chipmunks up here, and the likelihood of seeing one just got reduced by one.

Got ground squirrel #11 today.

Really looking forward to the ladybugs' arrival. I'm getting tired of look for and squishing aphids.

Water bottle sprayer -  1 part dishsoap, 1/2 part hot pepper or cayenne powder.    That usually does the trick but nothing is full proof.  If you were inside i'd say turn up CO2 to max and they'll all die. 

It's an off year.  My motto that I hate to repeat --- get what you can get.    Catch the cola rot early  -- once it spreads it takes out the whole plant. 

Not a great year for sun on my side but hopefully i'll end up ok.  

My gals are soaking up whatever sun they can get. I just hope it warms up. We've been fighting to get to the low 60s here, too many days that are 59 and pouring rain.

Cannabis aside, I'd love to have a bunch of days that are 59 and pouring rain. Maybe in January. Maybe.

Late fall here, November, when everything is already inside and drying...I don't mind a couple days of dark rain.   

I need 75-80 degree days now....but I can tell that's already passed.  The mornings are cool and damp.

Like clockwork -- 8/1 is the day I see the change.  I already know they wont last until mid October so I might pull myself indoors come 9/1.     Don't do much inside anymore but I have the means.    

Are you in CT, jonas? I'm curious where. I grew up in Branford and Wallingford, and then worked and lived around Hartford in the 80s. Now that I see those names all in a row, I could you could say that was my Ford Era.

I'm in Litchfield County(Washington Depot) -- northwest hills.  I know a bunch of people in Wallyworld.   I'm isolated in my neck of the woods but own a business on the border of New Haven county.   CT is a very small state.   


I've done really well with Scooby Snacks the last few years, but those genetics were small buds. I could go on to October with no rot. Trimming kind of sucked, but it was a trade off. The new genetics are big buds, which worries me about Fall. Conditions here are considerably harsher than farther South.

> I'm in Litchfield County

I didn't get up that way much, jonas, but I'm willing to bet our paths crossed more than a few times.

Meanwhile, it's August, and it's a real jungle out there now.


Front to back, that's the Heirloom, the Skywalker OG, and the Blueberry Kush green monster. You can't see the OG Kush because of the BB Kush, and that's the GSC on the side. happy that you are being conservative and staying WAY under the CA legal 6! (;

Hey, five plants instead of six is 17% lower than the legal limit. That's substantial. Six would have made watering/feeding trickier too. Things are getting tight in my little side yard.

Made the fourth application of neem/soap mixture tonight, and finally got the formula just right, so there's no neem left in the sprayer when I'm done. Just that nasty sweet odor.

The aphid population seems to have reduced sharply in the last week, but I still want to be sure they're really under control. The flowers on the two of the plants (Heirloom and OG Kush) are starting to stack up, and the other three are about a week behind that. My point is I really want the aphids gone before buds start fattening up, so I'll do another application next weekend if I have to. I also have another larger (1500) batch of ladybugs that should get here next week. The first batch (300) didn't hang around long, so I'm going to release the new ones over four or five nights.

I have some new ground squirrel stories to tell, and one to retell, but I've been working on paid writing project, so I haven't been to motivated to do much joy writing lately. Maybe next week once my summer class has ended.

08FD9029-CFF0-4844-8D67-3856E760600E.jpegEarly flowering stage in Vermont. They're all stacking. Here are 2 shots, please be from below and one from above.



Neemed again tonight. I've been reading conflicting recommendations for using it once the plant is flowering. Some claim it leaves an oily residue that could effect the taste, and other point out that it disintergartes pretty quickly when exposed to UV light, and we have plenty of that in the spectrum up here. I'm hoping tonight will be the last night I need to spray, but the effin aphids are still with me, though they don't seem as bad as they were a few weeks ago.

PXL_20210816_014607579.PORTRAIT (1).jpg

Golden Hour Heirloom

Looking good, Mike.

I neemed the other day and I'll do it one more time, in a few weeks. I don't like to use it within a month of harvest.

For regular use I go to Humboldt's Secret Flower Shield, which hits aphids, mites, pm and other fungi. It's a corn oil base, has no smell or toxicity, and works really well as an an adjunct to neem.

A hawk just got ground squirrel #12. The screaming got my cat all bushed up.


OG Kush

OG Kush

Damn, those are beauts. You're weeks ahead of me.

These are the earlier two of my five. The other three are a week or so behind these.

And yeah, it's hard to beat high-altitude sunshine and lots of it.

We just started flowering, in earnest, about a week ago. Here's a Scooby Snack:


535591E9-907B-4C78-AAD7-4AA00E61BECB.jpegAnd a Gold pLeaf:


pulled the 2 matanaska's from seed he gave me.

1 plant 80-90% loss. same plant 10 ' away, only 10-20% loss. mine is elevated 6' in the air, i think the butterflies see it more easily.

jarred up and curing.

other 3 plants are cherry bomb that were clones. they are weird. super leafers. not crazy about the bud structure.

fucking hate catepillars.

Are those two from matanaska autoflowers, Turtle? If they're photos, how can they be anywhere near ready?

> mine is elevated 6' in the air, i think the butterflies see it more easily.

I'm wondering how easy it is for you to see the plants up there. Monitoring for caterpillars isn't perfect, but it's better than nothing.

they might have been? they went seed to done flowering quick. I "think" i planted on the spring equinox.

they elevated plants, yes...kinda impossible to monitor really well. I used a net/hoop setup last year but the bastards still got in. 

my neighbor is stoked on the plant in his yard and is game to do more.

Girl Scout Cookies

OG Kush. Another 2-3 weeks, I'm thinking.


And it's about time to repost this handy guide that Noodler posted last fall.


September is a magical time. Things have gotten much stinkier, stickier, and stacked in just the last couple of weeks. The next few weeks should be more of the same, but there's still stuff that can go wrong too. I've been pulling large fan leaves the last few days to get sun down to lower branches, and to make it easier to see things like caterpillars and bud rot too. I've seen neither of those so far, and the aphids are greatly diminished, so I'm secretly hoping for a heavy, heady harvest starting right about the time the autumnal equinox, and the six month mark for this project, come rolling around.

Late summer sunshine. OG Kush in the front, followed by the towering Blueberry Kush, with Girl Scout Cookies on the side; the Skywalker OG and the Roadkill (formerly the Heirloom; it recently earned its much smellier moniker) are behind the Green Monster.


And yeah, I'm going to gloat a bit.

By ogkb (pyramidheat) on Monday, May 17, 2021 – 12:33 pm

rough looking grow up in here. 

par for the course, considering...

Look at those beauties under the sun!

Happy gloating, mike! Beautiful girls! pHing the fert soln every time and checking the girls daily pays off!  It's truly a labor of love, and fuck the naysayers.











look at dem fat kolas! looks really  good mike.

the matanaska's strain is curing. 

neighbors plant looks nice, he wants to pull it. 

my 2 cherry bombs look stupid. i've never seen flowers with so many leaves, its weird.

2 other clones under some lights an ak/glue mix and a cookie cream something-an-another, may put those out this weekend or soon.

caterpillars have been terrible. there's more moths and butterflies flappin' around here than there are people. it's insane. next season will try to go back to some kind of net system, because nothing more depressing than seeing your flowers go to shit. 

a friend said he put out a bird bath and haven't had problems.

you have 'pillars out there in bernie-ville bk?

We sure do have caterpillars. I think that Mike even pointed me me out on a pic I posted last year. This week I'm going to give the. A good spray with BT, which should hold them for the rest of the season.

My biggest concern is bud rot. All 4 of my plants are going to have big, fat, and dense buds. As it starts to get cool and rainy, it's perfect storm for the rot. I'm being super consistent with prevention. I'd really like to build a frame so I can cover them when it rains, but there are cons to that for me. The biggest is that there's a rec path on the other side of the cornfield, and the frame would be a beacon that screams, "look at me, look at me!"

yeah, i mean i've sprayed bt and/or captn jack''d have to spray daily? here?? i dunno man.

good luck with the rot. do you trim to open up air circulation?

I had the pleasure of having Strawbud over for a garden tour on Saturday, and we grilled a tri-tip, had some bitchen fajita-like tacos, watched the JRAD show, smoked a lot of weed, and had a really fine day overall. My cat Murphy wasn't too thrilled about Strawbud's dog Jack, who's a sweet old gentlemen yellow Lab (I believe), but he eventually got over it.

My fingers are sticky from pulling fan leaves as I type this. Ah, September...

Early morning Roadkill

AECF3082-A900-40B6-A24E-AB438DB9B037.jpegThose are beauts, Mike. Is that Roadkill Skunk? They didn't like the Vermont fall weather too much.

Early evening Gold Leaf:



That is Roadkill Skunk, BK. It's the dankest smelling bud I've ever grown, and seems to love the weather here in SoCal.

Here's a sentence I never thought I would utter: I needed to pull out my ladder to check the trichomes on my Blueberry Kush. That's her in the foreground, followed by Skywalker OG, and then Roadkill at the top.

Thanks for the photos, gents.

sick pics.

i farm worms. cut 2 this morning. neighbor's looks way better than mine but still 5-6 worms came stringing out of it. they kinda come out when you hang it upside down.

i think the raised platform where i can't see nor reach the tops of the plants is failing...


Turtle, I found my first two caterpillars/worms just a little while ago. They were tiny, only maybe an 1/8 of an inch, which tells me they might have just hatched in the last 24 hours or so. I got them on outer leaves, and don't see any bud damage yet, but I'm on high-alert for the little fuckers now.

Trichomes all around are looking mostly milky with some ambers, but there's still plenty of heads that still look clear, so I'm thinking I have two more weeks to get to prime. They'll get their last nutes this week, and then a week of clear pHed water before I start taking them down. I'm thinking I'll take the tops first, and let the lower branches have an extra week, which will make drying a bit easier rather than having it all come in at once.

That'll be about 6 months plus a week or two since I dropped seed, but when I called this a six month project back in March, I wasn't taking into account drying and getting stuff to a minimal cure. I should have some sweet buds ready by Thanksgiving, I'm thinking.

It's a beautiful late summer morning here, and the forecast is for cooler temps the next week or so, with daytime highs in the mid 80s, and overnight lows in the low 50s. Should be just about perfect for late season terpene and trichome production.


Good Lord, Mike!

Weed Porn Tuesday

i think i'm getting worse at this...

57A421F8-F34C-46C2-86E3-175BED420464.jpeg08059F13-D7CF-4598-B796-811331DC456B.jpegA little Saturday morning weed porn from Vermont:



Looking frosty, BK. I hope the weather holds for you.

Turtle, it sounds like your elevated grow doesn't really work when it comes to caterpillars. You need to really monitor things once you know you have a problem like that, or maybe think about using something like mosquito netting, which lets most of the sun in, but keeps the cooties out.

Used netting last year, didn't work that well. Just cleaned up. Absolute annihilation. 

shit show. Worm farm.


My cannabis brand is City Farms... 

The girls look great guys! Nice job all around! 

Day five of flush. I'll probably start harvesting top colas in the next few days. The weather couldn't be sweeter. Getting up to near 80 in the daytime, and mid-40s overnight. Lots of sunshine and breezes. Not a bad time to be dying.

OG Kush

Girl Scout Cookies

Girl Scout Cookies



Blueberry Kush

Girl Scout Cookies

Chop, chop. It's Takedown-the-Tops Tuesday.


Skywaler OG

Blueberry Kush

OG Kush

Girl Scout Cookies

I also started taking down side branches that had heavy tops. My closet is full, and I'm thinking I have just as much still standing in the garden. We're gonna need a bigger boat territory this year.

Looking good, Mike. My Gold Leaf is coming down this weekend. It's almost ripe:


Yikes! seems fitting.

I'll take a yikes, and having said that I need to get back to trimming. I should have the quick, wet trim done on the first batch today.

Mike Send Me An Email Thanks Rob at [email protected]


It's been kind of a crazy week. I guess I forgot how busy harvest gets, which is probably a good thing.

I finished wet trimming the first batch yesterday. They don't take up so much room once they're trimmed, so I harvested another batch of branches. I think I have about two-thirds of it hanging now, with the other third still standing in the garden. I'll probably be able to start putting the first batch into jars the middle of next week, and then I'll see about getting the rest of it drying. I hope the stuff still in the garden doesn't ripen up too fast in the next few days.

The weather has been pretty sweet the last week, with daytime highs getting up to just about 80 and overnight lows around 50. This is helping me keep the temp in my drying closet in the 60s, and my new humidifier is keeping the RH around 60%.

168010AE-4E86-4EF7-A0F5-D52EA6E96DF7.jpegFirst Gold Leaf is about 2/3 down. I'm doing a full wet trim because of potential rot. This is the haul off the top node of the second biggest branch. I left the clippers there for perspective.



I said it had been kind of a crazy week last Friday, and it's pretty much remained that way. The first couple of batches are in jars now, and my closet is still filled with branches drying, plus there's two more partial plants still standing in the garden. I'm thinking the first wave of harvest should be done by Saturday, and it's looking like my yield will be somewhere in the 3-4 pound range, which is pretty darn good for 5 ten-gallon pots. Roughly 10-12 ounces per plant.

I'm really impressed by the terps on the Girl Scout Cookies and Roadkill Skunk. The others smell good too, but not nearly as powerful. And the buds on everything but the Roadkill Skunk are nice and tight; the buds on the Roadkill are kind of fluffy.

One last quick note. I've found three worms in my drying closet so far. Two were on leaves and one was crawling on a shelf. I'm not seeing any bud worm damage yet, but the fact that I found three indoors is kind of unsettling. That's just one of the many hazards that need to be dealt with when growing outdoors.

Three down (GSC, Blueberry Kush, and OG Kush).

And two to go (Roadkill Skunk, Skywalker OG).

I'll be getting what's hanging in the closet into jars today and tomorrow, and then taking down what remains of the last two plants on Saturday and giving them a quick, wet trim over the weekend. Once they're in jars sometime next week, I can shift my primary focus back to regular-life mode after spending the last 10 days juggling resources like space and time, obsessing over details like temperature, humidity, and degrees of doneness, and trimming of course. And there will be more trimming to do in the weeks to come. Lots of it. But that'll be done without the pressure to get it all harvested, dried, and in jars within the window of optimum ripeness.

The first Gold Leaf yielded 18 oz. When all is said and done, the second will be in that ballpark. The phenos on my 2 Scooby Snacks were dramatically different. Although I pulled them both today, one was ready. The other has heavier sativa genetics and could have used 2 more weeks of real grow time, which it isn't getting with this weather and light. I left a lot of popcorn out there, which I'll pick later this weekend, freeze, and try making dry ice hash out of.

Here's 2/3 of one Gold Leaf and both Scoobies:


It looks like you're going to need more jars, BK. Lots more jars. And it looks like that space would be good for a couple of grow tents, if you wanted to avoid the problems of growing outdoors.

I'll be chopping the two partial plants that are left in the garden today and getting them hung in the closet. I have almost 3 pounds in jars at this point, and probably another 3/4  of a pound still in process. Once I get finish trimming done, and lose some more moisture content, I'm guessing I'll end up with just over 3 pounds, or a little more than 10 ounces per plant. That's a pretty good average for ten-gallon pots, but it is just an average.

The big winner in my garden this year looks to be the Roadkill Skunk, which, by the time it's all said and done, should yield close to a pound. The OG Kush and Skywalker OG also did really well, with about 12 ounces per plant. The real test though is how this stuff smokes, and it'll be a week or so before I start sampling my harvest.

That said, I'm looking forward to next year already. I'll definitely plant a few of the strains I had this year, and I'll do things pretty much the same as I did this year because things seem to be working well. But having said that, I feel like I have to say that even though some things will be the same, the grow will be entirely different.

A friend sold me a 2x2 tent and light for cheap. I may play with some autoflowers this winter, for fun. Although outdoor has its challenges, I love the process. I've always liked smoking outdoor more than indoor. Another bonus is the quantity I get. It's way more than I ever need, and I love hooking people up.

I wet trimmed the first batch, which I've never done before, and didn't love the results. At 68 degrees and 48-50% rh, it's perfect for dry trim. I also had too much fan action, and it dried it out quicker than I wanted. As you can see, I went back to dry trim.

This is the first time I've grown from seed to at her than clones, and it's super interesting. I have 2 Gold Leaf and 2 Scooby, and the phenos on each are dramatically different. The indica leaning GL smells like banana, and the sativa leaning, that took longer to ripen, smells like minty skunk. The indica leaning Scooby smells like orange juice, and the sativa leaning, which really needed an extra 3 weeks of real grow time, smells more earthy.

The last two partial plants are hanging in my drying closet, the stuff in jars is stabilizing, and life has gotten pretty much back to normal after a week plus of somewhat obsessive fun getting it all in, dried, and into curing. I have a lot of finish trimming to do, but I don't feel rushed to do it. It'll keep. And my garden space? It feels like wide open spaces out there, even though I know it's just a small, fenced in side yard, but then again a garden is a place of transformation.

First there is no weedpatch, then there is a weedpatch, then there's not.

I just remembered that I left a ton of popcorn on the plants. Out of sight, out of mind. I wouldn't be surprised if there's another 4-6 oz out there. I'll deal with it this weekend, after the rest is trimmed and jarred.

Great work. It'll be another two years to be able to grow in my state.

Thanks for the lessons.

Jaz, I have to say that growing pot is one of the most satisfying things I've done in life. Give yourself a couple three seasons to figure things out, and you'll be set for life.

I just ordered some seeds for next season from this place:


Darkness Falls and Seasons Change, gunna happen every time.

I am done! There's a ton of popcorn left out there, but I can't deal. I'll tell my dig sitter that she can pick it if she wants.

Well, I think that's about a wrap for my growing year. I have a little more than three pounds in jars, with about 2/3s of it finish trimmed at this point. All that's left is medium and small nugs, and I'm in no hurry at all to get to that time-intensive task, which is probably my least favorite part of this whole thing. But I'm complaining. It was a very good year in the garden here, and I'm very much looking forward to next year already.

Congratulations, Mike. It's very pleasing that you are so satisfied with your work and the results. Enjoy!

Thanks, judit. The enjoyment portion of our program is just getting underway here. I like my bud to be well-cured (meaning a month in the jar at least, although six weeks is better), but I sampled some Blueberry Kush the other night, and really liked the slightly-sweet and seriously dank flavor, and the high was a stony indica effect. I also tried the Girl Scout Cookies the other morning. That one has a big, lively flavor, kind of spicy sweet, with a solid sativa stone. And I just sampled the Roadkill, and was impressed with the flavor, which I'd call a classic skunk, and I'm thinking this one might well become my go-to daytime smoke.

Aside from all that, I have a amazing garden pic to share from a zoner who prefers to remain anonymous, and I'm reminded again that we are everywhere. Click the pic for a larger view.