Mars Hydro Cup - My first and second grow journals, in what will soon be a perpetual op

RadicalRoss

Active Member
Oh hey there! I wasn't really planning on doing a grow journal, at least not one for public consumption, but the Mars Hydro Cup has spurred me into action. I've got a ton of pics from the start of this grow, so I think what I'll do is dedicate a few posts in this thread to get us current on each grow and then go from there. I'm open to advice or questions about what I've got going on, but keep in mind I'm newer to all of this.

Without further ado then, I'll just hop right in with some information about what equipment I'm running and how it's set up and follow it up with what plants I'm running in each.

Vegetative Tent
2.5'x2.5' Vivosun Tent
2x Viparspectra V300 LED Lights (claim to pull ~130W a piece from the wall, I haven't bothered to check)

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I have just been running this tent open so I can use the bigger humidifier and to help with some heat issues.

Flowering Tent
4'x4' Mars Hydro Tent
Mars Hydro TS3000W LED Light (pulls 420W from the wall, according to a cheap amazon meter)

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I know, I know, before you even say it. That the space is drastically underutilized. When I set out I wasn't intending on having so much room.

In the flowering tent, I've got two clones I picked up from the dispensary. One is Black Cherry Gelato and the other is labeled Hulk... I think it's Hulkamania, but I'm not 100% on it. Wouldn't be surprised to learn it was Bruce Banner either, the dispensary has sold both of those recently.

In the vegging tent, I'm running elev8 genetics. I popped 3 each of Gorilla Cookies and Gelato Cake, but only 2 of my 3 Cookies seeds popped leaving me with 5 plants for this run. As if to make up for this, one of the Gorilla Cookies phenos is incredibly vigorous, I've had to top it down extra nodes to keep it somewhat even with the others.

So, that's what I'm working with here. More information about soil and (lack of) feeding schedule will follow in the posts to get you up to date. I intend on making one reply for my first run, presently in flower, and another for my second. Both will get us up to the present day and then I'll start with the periodic updates.
 

RadicalRoss

Active Member
First Grow - Start to 7/19

6/15 - I take my first two cannabis plants ever home from the dispensary and get them settled into their new living arrangements.

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I transplant them each into 1 gallon pots of Roots Organic 707 soil and shove 'em in the tent. I don't plan on using any nutrients at this point, so it's water only.

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Amazing how far they've come since...

6/20 - Just another pic, looking back on it I may be noticing some discoloration on the leaves that will become very apparent later on. I didn't at the time, though, and just kept watering with un-pH'd tap.

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6/28 - I rehomed the girls to 3 gallon cloth pots today. Looking again at the pics, I think what I was seeing last week may have been windburn rather than anything to do with pH or nutrients

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My BCG has looked (and with the benefit of hindsight will again look) much better, but I'm still convinced it's time to transplant into Sohum soil so here we go! I picked up some 3 gallon cloth pots from the local grow store and away we go!

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I almost forgot that I got sold on this stuff by the guy at the store. I'm not sure how much of a difference it makes, but I utilize this every time I transplant.

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Quite a bit more room for my girls to stretch their legs

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I let it get so dry in there when I was starting out, it's quite dry in my house and has been since I started the grow and thus monitoring conditions such as RH in my home.

7/7 - Girls still growing in veg, they reach the screen and I start utilizing it to train them out. My plan at this point was still to keep them in the veg tent and take them to flower with the Viparspectra lights.

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It was so dang dry in there. My poor girls.

7/15 - They're still growing, but this time I was kind enough to all of us to take natural spectrum light photos

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7/19 - It's time to rehome the girls into their final, 7 gallon cloth pots. I got these on amazon, it's actually really hard to beat some of the deals they've got even if I would rather support local. Oh well.

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I was surprised how much bigger 7 gallon pots seemed! The discoloration on the leaves I mentioned earlier still isn't very apparent, which means it must have been something that happened later in my plants' lives...

Annnnnnnnd now we're at the file limit! I'll continue in the next reply.
 
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RadicalRoss

Active Member
First grow - 7/19 to 8/27

7/22 - I switched the trellis out thinking the string one might be better. Ended up just really not mattering at all.

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I also start to notice preflowers at this point, reassuring me the clones I bought were indeed females.

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Around this time I realize I probably won't be able to pull in enough bud to keep myself out of the dispensary with the setup I've got right now, and realize how much I enjoy the hobby, so I invest significantly, purchasing the Mars Hydro equipment. At this point my grow room was still in a south facing room, which gave me some heat issues and explains why my light is "backwards" here.

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It was also around this time that I flipped to 12/12. I let them veg for a couple days under the new lights in the new tent and then flipped em over. Unfortunately I didn't write down an exact date, so I'll just assume it was the 1st of August for ease of calculations. It was around there.

8/4 - I notice these strange bright green discolorations on leaves from both plants

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I believe another user told me it was a minor P or N deficiency. Growing in super soil without nutrients, this shouldn't be an issue. It was around this time that I realized my water from the tap was 8.6 pH and started correcting down to 6-7. After this change, new leaves didn't exhibit this problem. The original discolored leaves remain, however, to this day.

8/6 - I defoliate below the canopy, lollipopping my girls

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8/10 - I continue using LST to shape my canopy as the pre-flowering stretch continues. Bud formation is becoming noticeable. Also I still had them situated in a column away from me as opposed to a row in front of me. So many silly inefficiencies.

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8/15 - A natural light pic from when I was moving them out of that south facing room. What a hassle that was, but worth. Also a little sneak peek at what's going on in my veg tent at the same time.

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8/27 - Bud production continues apace

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I also start to notice some frostiness on select sugar leaves

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And that's 10 pics again! I'll get us up to date on this grow in my next reply.
 

RadicalRoss

Active Member
First Grow - 8/27 - Present

9/6 - I got a macro lens for my camera at some point so I have a bunch of developing bud pics

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9/11 - More bud pics

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And that pretty much brings us up to present day as far as pics go. I realized this week that according to Sohum's best practices guidelines my plants may likely run out of nutrients before I harvest, so I've started topdressing with 1/2 dose of Roots Organic terp tea, starting two days ago. Hopefully this will be just the little nudge in nutrients they need to cross the finish line.

I am also pretty happy with the environmental conditions, even in this heat they're much closer to ideal. This is a pretty typical day for my girls in flower.

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I did give one of my buds a good little squeeze one day when I was really stoned and couldn't resist, and it felt quite firm to the touch. Hoping to get some real dense nugs of fire off this, though it likely won't be enough to keep me out of the dispensary until my next harvest but even a few weeks away would save me a lot of cash.

I've been making a timelapse in my flower tent since 8/20, nothing too exciting so far but here's the most up to date video.


PHEW!

*dusts off hands*

Next up are my teenage girls that I've raised from seed. I feel like I learned so much from this run that I've applied to the next, and going back to examine it in this fashion really drives that point home for me. Can't wait to see what I learn from my next grow!

Thanks for sticking with me thus far, I hope I can keep you coming back.
 

RadicalRoss

Active Member
Second Grow - 7/24 to 8/10

7/24 - My feminized seeds from elev8 get here. I picked Gorilla Cookies and Gelato Cake, hoping they'd flower in roughly the same time and have different enough effects that I'd want to keep both of them around. My ultimate goal is to find a pheno I like and just run clones of it, but with so many strains out there it's difficult to decide where to even begin!

The seeds look good to me, but I wouldn't really know from good cannabis seeds as before today my only experience was with bag seed.

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I plant 3 of each into Jiffy Pellets which I've soaked in water. Really just a tiny hole and a bit of peat tossed on top.

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Then I just mist under my dome every day and wait. Eventually 5 out of 6 pop from the surface.

7/27 - Hello world!

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I put the jiffy pellets into red solo cups with holes cut into the bottom, using Roots Organic 707 soil as I'm told it's less hot for seedlings. I put them under my grow lights in the veg tent hoping to stop them from stretching too bad. Still holding out hope for the 6th Gorilla Cookies at this point, but ultimately nothing ever sprouts :(

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7/29 - One of my girls is shy and doesn't want to get naked for me so I have to help her along a bit, pulling off the remaining bit of seed shell

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7/30 - I swear if I had the patience to sit down for an hour and watch these things you could see them grow. Of course I don't have that patience, maybe once I can smoke some of the Gelato Cake and try it :)

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8/2 - Time to up-pot, I think! Into the newly purchased 1 gallon cloth pots from amazon my baby girls go. I give up hope on the last Gorilla Cookies pill and just toss it, perhaps I could have tried some more intensive methods to revive it but meh, it's not really worth it to me. 5/6 success rate for my first grow from seeds isn't half bad.

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I took this pic while the dehumidifer tank was being refilled.

I think next time I'll let them stay in the solo cups a bit longer to establish a root ball. I am sure many new growers struggle with this, but I always want to be doing something though often what my plants really want to be doing is chilling out without me playing with them. Thankfully growing in soil there's not too much that I can do to really, really mess them up. My girls transplant just fine and start growing vigorously pretty quickly.

8/5 - Like I said, they barely slow down at all if they even do. Already you can see how quickly Gorilla Cookies #1 is growing, it's got a couple leaves the others haven't even started on yet.

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8/10 - Yep, still growing

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RadicalRoss

Active Member
Second Grow - 8/10 to Present

8/10 - I just like this pic

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That right leaf never did develop normally, but Gelato Cake #1 seems no worse for wear. Eventually it just gets defoliated with the rest.

8/15 - I top them for the first time.

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8/18 - They're still growing really quickly! I believe I decide around today to lop off a bit more of the Gorilla Cookies pheno that is so vigorous to get it back on level with my other plants. I am worried about this one, elev8 says Gorilla Cookies tends to stretch a lot during flower. I'll have to watch it closely, but it's the one I want to make sure I clone as well. It is amazing how much bigger it is at every step of growth.

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8/27 - I transplant into 3 gallon pots of Sohum. That's a 3 gallon in the back and the rest are 1 gallons. I could cram six three gallon pots in there for sure, but no more haha.

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8/29 - I've got some dirty girls who love bondage. Doing some more LST today in anticipation of the second topping, which happens somewhere between today and the next day I've got pics

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9/11 - I do more LST, and change their positions under the light

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Turns out I actually FIM'd this, meaning I did it unintentionally. 3 mains from one cut is neat though, I'll have to consider it as a purposeful technique in the future.

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They never look too happy right after some LST, but they've yet to be angry at me for more than a few hours.

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9/16 - And that brings us to present day! I'll go snap a pic right now, actually, since it doens't matter if these girls get their beauty sleep.

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It's hard to tell from that pic, but that Gorilla Cookies #1 pheno on the left is still just so massive. The Gelato Cake in the back right is very wide.

The plants in the middle are hatch chili peppers I'm going to try and grow alongside my vegging plants.

Well, there we go pretty much! We're up to date. My intention is to post weekly updates on Wednesdays, but I may post in between if something comes up that I want to share.

Thank you for your time! Comments? Concerns? Leave me a reply!
 

RadicalRoss

Active Member
9/17

First Grow


I snapped a few more bud pics today after I watered the ladies. Hoping to be smoking these by Halloween.

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(I know, I know, I've got a dog)

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Second Grow

I watered them as well and popped a couple tops off the side shoots of Gorilla Cookies #1. That pheno is nutty, these beans were all germed the same day and I've topped it down more than the others already, and it's still the biggest. Oh well, hopefully it'll take up the space the bean that didn't pop would have.

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SpawnOfVader

Well-Known Member
9/17

First Grow


I snapped a few more bud pics today after I watered the ladies. Hoping to be smoking these by Halloween.

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(I know, I know, I've got a dog)

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Second Grow

I watered them as well and popped a couple tops off the side shoots of Gorilla Cookies #1. That pheno is nutty, these beans were all germed the same day and I've topped it down more than the others already, and it's still the biggest. Oh well, hopefully it'll take up the space the bean that didn't pop would have.

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Lol that's gonna be a super short cure or you're planning to borrow my bubble bags and press some LIVE ROSIN

FYI - got 6 grams of fresh frozen bubble hash about dry- we should press it.... the color changed a lot during drying since I couldn't just freeze dry but no signs of mold so I'm sure it will press/smoke.
 

RadicalRoss

Active Member
Lol that's gonna be a super short cure or you're planning to borrow my bubble bags and press some LIVE ROSIN

FYI - got 6 grams of fresh frozen bubble hash about dry- we should press it.... the color changed a lot during drying since I couldn't just freeze dry but no signs of mold so I'm sure it will press/smoke.
Hey man, just lemme know when and where. I'm always trying to press rosin! I picked up some live hash rosin form the dispensary the other day, I'd be super curious to see how closely we can replicate that type of product.

Yeah, I am sure I'm gonna be that guy dipping into my stash as it's curing, lol. Both because I'm impatient and because I'm curious how the flavor changes over the course of the cure. I guess most of the cup winners get a 6 month cure, which I know for sure I'm not patient enough for.
 

SpawnOfVader

Well-Known Member
Hey man, just lemme know when and where. I'm always trying to press rosin! I picked up some live hash rosin form the dispensary the other day, I'd be super curious to see how closely we can replicate that type of product.

Yeah, I am sure I'm gonna be that guy dipping into my stash as it's curing, lol. Both because I'm impatient and because I'm curious how the flavor changes over the course of the cure. I guess most of the cup winners get a 6 month cure, which I know for sure I'm not patient enough for.
I did a one week dry and one week cure before sampling any real amount...now I just pull out a big nug before I go to bed and that's the next day's smoke....that's enough fresh air to make it more palatable (using my vape though not smoking)... I'm just too cheap to buy weed if I have over 10 oz sitting in jars right next to me.

I'd assume this will come out ugly compared. It was that light live resin color fresh out of the freezer but once I chopped it up and dried it the resin browned a lot. I think to get that super light appearance you'd probably need to freeze dry.... we will find out though. I can drop it by your place whenever if you've got a filter bag extra.
 

RadicalRoss

Active Member
So I finally got tired of keeping all my crap on an unfolded ironing board and / or strewn about the floor and got a work bench from the internet.

Reviews said it was a pain to put together and they're right, but it feels stable enough to press dabs on and holds all my crap! My grow room looks so much nicer, amazing what cleaning up your space a bit will do for you.

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RadicalRoss

Active Member
Second Grow 9/20

Time to water the girls in the veg tent today. It'll probably be 9/21 or 9/22 for the flowering tent, those 7 gallon pots with the smaller plants seem to hold their water for a long time.

I noticed something really strange, though... Looking at my plants, one of them is obviously quite a bit smaller than the other four:

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(the shorty there is in the front left, one of my Gelato Cake phenos)

Taking a closer look at it, I'm seeing the same discoloration I got on my plants in the flowering chamber right now.

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What the heck is going on here?! What would cause one plant to suffer from this, which I'm still operating under the assumption of being a P or N deficiency, but I've been running these all in Sohum soil and watering from the same pH'd reservoir. I try to change their position in the veg tent each time I water so different parts of the plant will get light, so anything physical would have probably affected another plant as well. I'm really stumped here.

ETA: my 2.5'x2.5' is starting to feel pretty cramped. Hoping that my flower tent doesn't have too long left to go, but I fear that Hulkamania (possibly) plant may be a couple weeks behind BCG.

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RadicalRoss

Active Member
First Grow 9/20

Just a couple bud pics, today I used a lighter for scale.

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(BCG)

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(BCG - left, Hulkamania? - right)

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(BCG)

The BCG is looking a bit more "done," the buds are fattening up and it's easy to see the swollen calyxes covered in delicious trichomes. If my guess was accurate (probably +/- 4 days), it's been 7 weeks since I flipped to 12/12. Since these were bought as clones from the dispensary and the budtender didn't really know what's up, I have no idea what their advertised flower time is. I'd be surprised if I'm ready to chop either of these next week, though.

I'm settling in for 9 or 10 weeks flowering and hoping my veg tent can be maintained. Maybe I'll have to do some more topping.
 
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