Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The White Widow's Farewell

It is the end of the road for this girl and I thought a tribute on the blog was appropriate.

How did she get this far?

It all began in the last week of December, just three months ago when I planted 5 little seeds.  Purchased from Amsterdam and a reputable dealer, these are direct descendants of the original White Widow and reversed to auto-flower status.  Auto-flowers have an average life of 84-90 days.  If you can get them to grow and grow well, you'll watch as each month passes and these plants shift from childhood (seedlings) to teenagers (vegetative) and then following month, adult flowering.  t the end of that flowering period they are done.  And that's where Miss White Widow is today.  Each day I let her continue she uses up some of that THC she worked so hard to make.   And, her little 'golden hairs' along the kola (that's the big bud strips up there) have gone from a light yellow to a deep orange and that means she is full of the good stuff.

In all I had about sixteen different strains going but sold off many duplicates for space purposes.  My indoor grow can accommodate anywhere between 8 and 12 auto-flowers depending on size. This first grow was to see which strains stayed true and kept themselves below 3 feet.  Miss Widow did that nicely.

The lights run 24/7 because there is no reason to put them to sleep, they are not going to go to sleep even at night.  They can't and the more light the better.  Give them all the light you can.

She is the first of six different strains that made it to full bud stage.  The other five plants turned out to be "feminized" Gorilla strains so I treated them the same as the auto-flowers.  They look fabulous but are no where near flowering stage.  So they have been moved to the "kitchen garden" outside my pantry window.

Aren't these girls huge?  Spring has arrived but it remains cool (50's) and if not overcast, sun hits them around 2pm and on to 5p.  By April they will be receiving full sun at least 6 hours a day and bright and reflective indirect light for the rest of the day light period.  In know this to be sufficient after growing many different flowers from five foot tall marigolds to carnations (try hard to grow), dahlias, two evergreen trees, a purple leaf maple tree, foxglove that grew taller than the window frame itself so these girls should do well.

What have I learned along the way about Miss White Widow?  The strain does not like its feet in water and when leaves droop quickly I immediately look to the saucer and it will be filled with runoff.

They are also pretty finicky in the early stages - I mean of the 5 seeds only 2 germinated.  Totally my fault, I was new to starting cannabis seeds.  Now I'm seeing 9/10.  As the two White Widow plants grew and were transplanted one crumbled in my hand because the soil wasn't damp enough and I gingerly placed the dangling roots into their new home but she didn't like it.  She sat almost dormant for a good two weeks and that's half a decade in the auto-flower world.  Today I wouldn't let this happen as I've learned the tricks to fixing this but three months ago I just watered her and made sure she had plenty of light.  Her sister (in the picture above) was growing leaps and bounds.  I eventually gave her away to a dedicated stoner friend and she is now at the same stage of this one above.

Now I may be able to grow up to 12 plants but those plants can grow no larger than 3.5' in size.  They can spread all they want but any higher and they burn and are ruined.  I love the White Widow strain because of their compactness, minimum amount of leaves and direct straight up growing.  I will grow this strain again during the third season and it will dominate the grow.  I will also train it using sticks to bend and force even more buds.  That is a challenge I look forward to.

OTOH, I have no idea how good she is smoke-wise because now we go into the drying and curing process.  It really won't be ready to smoke until the last week in May (2 dos) at the earliest and I'm hoping for great summer smoke!  I start Season 3 on June 15 and hope I know how good smoke-wise she is by then so I can buy the seeds in time.  Seeds are SO expensive.  Nothing ever less than $10 a seed and when you buy 5 seeds and end up with only 2 you learn quickly how to improve your germination skills!

On March 15th I started seeds from two strains, one classic the other brand new.  Six seeds are of the Purple Kush strain which is known for its purple leaves and strong smoky taste combined with a very high THC content (25.51%).  The plant is short in stature with dense buds riddled with thin white and orange hairs, frosty buds and an earthly pungent aroma.  It flowers within 8 to 10 weeks (56-70 days) but usually within 8 or 9 and can provide a high yield of frosty buds.  The THC level is extremely high and the effect is a known pure indica feeling.

Along with the PK seeds I also started Gorilla Glue #4.  This is a new hybrid strain cross between Sour Dubb, Chem Dawg and Chocolate Diesel with the Chem Dawg taking the lead.  Indoors it will reach no higher than 36" and finishes flowering in 9 weeks.  This is a Sativa dominant hybrid with THC levels at or above 25%.

13 seeds were dropped into a glass of tepid tap water and left to sink to the bottom.  After three hours any seed floating is batted or pushed to the bottom.  They usually stay there because the hull has been softened by the water and when cracked accepts the water and drops to the bottom.

After 18 hours I took one large paper towel and placed it on a white plate, put the PK on one side and the 7 other GG seeds on the right side.  Soaked in water then drained excess off and placed on a seedling matt (heating mat for seeds) on a shelf that gets plenty of indirect but no direct light.  s the seeds opened and sent out their tap root I waited until it was an 1/8th to one-quarter in long and dropped it, tap root down, into a six pack of vermiculite and organic dirt (3 to 1).  One week later and I'm looking at eleven very healthy seedlings: 6 GG and 7 PK.  Eleven in all.  I can support them all but don't want to drop down to less than eight.

Next month at this time I'll will have harvested all 6 of my current plants including the White Widow, three Barry Whites and two Gorilla OGs , the five outdoor garden plants should step into their flowering stage and these little girls will also be leaving their childhood stage and entering their teenage years (vegetative).  This is the month you don't want your plants to ever be out of light, water and nutrients (fertilizer) so they grow as big as possible.  Once they start the flowering stage they slow overall growth and concentrate on making buds.  Big and smaller leaves, now unneeded as she uses the nutrition from them to make a bud, will turn yellow and drop off and to help her, you should remove them before she drops them).

For this second season for flowering stage is expected to be May 15th.

My goal has always been to grow small, ample, easy-to-grow cannabis plants that can be harvested and smoked, traded or bartered, is home-grown and entirely organic.

Check back soon for more updates on Season 2 of our Russian Hill grow.