The finish line is near for my first grow. Trichome-coated flowers stacked on the upper halves of the branches have grown into pistils, most of which have gone from a pale honeydew color to a rusty copper. The tops are comparable in size to fingerling potatoes, while lowers range from raspberries to ping pong balls.
Rubbing the tip of a sugar leaf now releases more full-bodied burnt rubber gas where a sweet, mild skunkiness once was. At this point, I’ve stopped supplying both plants with nutrients, giving them limited water only as I prepare to harvest. This should serve a dual purpose: drought-stressing can stimulate trichome development, according to Ken Estes, and the denial of further nutrients lets the roots extract the last of what’s usable from the soil while exhausting the plants’ own excess reserves in the last week or so of their lives.
As for the two concerning issues News Joint Grow Journal 34, leaf yellowing and gnats, I am happy to report both under control. The yellowing I believe had been a result of the LED being too close, as all foliage appeared normal after I raised the light to accommodate any further stretch, though they ended up maxing out about ten inches from the light anyway.
The gnats I dispatched with glue traps and a sprinkling of diatomaceous earth (silica powder). Though I see one or two on occasion still, the population remains minimal. I’ll be interested to examine the roots after chopping to see if any larva damage occurred without my knowledge, but neither plant displayed signs of illness or infestation. The bottom branches responded positively to training with clips and were able to reach some light as well.
By accident, I sliced off a bud one day while defoliating. Not being able to use the tent as a proper drying space yet, I stashed it in a jar with a boveda pack and burped it several times a day for about a week before curiosity got the better of me. Premature, uncured, and not even completely dried, I picked the bud apart to examine under magnification to ensure mold spores had not formed before loading it into a bowl and heading outside to sample the TMs’ progress. Despite an undeveloped taste and moisture detracting from the smoothness of the draw, I was taken aback at how effective I found the smoke. I sat on a bench by a local beach staring at the lake for a good twenty minutes, thinking I was comfortable enough there to take a nap before piloting my flesh vessel home while surging with anticipation for the finished result. The feeling of getting high from cannabis I grew for the first time was incomparable.
I anticipate a harvest of about 2-3 ounces per plant, a modest yield overall. TM1 is sporting chunkier top colas and more green pigmentation while TM2 is mainly purple with blood orange undertones. Apart from that, phenotypical differences between the two plants are rather minimal, with TM2 taking more readily to the SCROG with its open structure while TM1’s more vertical branches gave it a slightly more compact canopy.
Before chopping them down, I’ll rotate the pots one more time, remove dying foliage, and stop using the CO2-producing ExHale bag to drop the humidity in the tent. I then plan to hang-dry the branches in the same tent after sanitizing the interior and stick the partially trimmed buds in mason jars to cure. Stay tuned for News Joint Grow Journal 35 for a post-harvest update and the last entry for this series.
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