Gardening with The Anarchist's: After Hours!
What's up my fellow cannabis lovers and enthusiasts!? It's Wednesday once again, and you know what that means! It's time to welcome you all back to another edition of:
Gardening with The Anarchist's: After Hours!
Time really does fly when you're having fun, and I honestly cannot believe that a month has passed since we planted these little beauties! And since the first month has passed, I thought it only fitting to bring you all a Special Edition of "After Hours", where I want to try to do things a little differently than our usual weekly update!
With this being the One Month Update, we'll start out as we normally do with the top highlights from the month and review what I've learned during the grow so far! Then, we'll get into the normal daily breakdown from Week 4!
After all of that, we're going to end this Special Edition of "After Hours" with a little surprise that I really hope you all enjoy!! :)
So without further ado, let's get into the One Month Special Edition of "After Hours"!
First Month Highlights!
We've had an interesting month here at "The Anarchist's Alcove" to say the very least, but here are some of the highlights we've experienced in the past few weeks!
The Germination Process
On Friday, May the 20th, we originally started the germination process on 10 seeds, which I believe were all from a strain called "Lemon Skittles"! There were definitely a few other seeds in that bag, so I'm not entirely sure what I ended up with!
They sat in a container of water for approximately 15 hours before we transferred them to a wet paper towel, which was then placed inside a ziplock baggie to initiate the final stage of the germination process! Sadly, only 7 seeds had made it this far into germination.
During the next 36 hours I left them to sit, only taking the paper towel out of the ziplock bag to moisten it 3 times. On Sunday morning, May the 22nd, I noticed that the seeds had sprouted enough of a taproot to be able to be planted!
Not wanting to waste any time, I quickly got my homemade planters ready and transplanted the 7 seedlings into 2 separate milk jug planters, and placed them on a dresser underneath a normal table lamp. A few had started to pop on the 23rd, and all 7 had fully popped by the evening of the 24th.
After spending 3 full days underneath the lamp, they were finally placed outside, on May the 26th, to start receiving a natural light cycle that would be crucial to this early development stage!
Then on Saturday, May the 28th, I was finally able to transplant each seedling into its own container! Unfortunately, one of the original 7 seedlings didn't make it; so, determined not to lose another, we quickly got to work filling the rest of our homemade planters with soil from our family garden, and transplanted each of the remaining 6 seedlings into their new planters.
The week after the initial transplant was very interesting. I spent the first few days attempting to find a way to cure the very long and unsupportive legs that our seedlings had grown during their time under the table lamp; which, after the soil started to compact more inside the homemade planters, left me worried that the seedlings would eventually suffer the same fate as the first one that died off.
After searching around the house, I mixed up my own substrate that I thought would have the exact support and water retention properties that I was looking for, and then added it to the planters! I also added a few pinches of organic fertilizer to the mix, but I went into detail on that in the Week 2 Edition of "After Hours"!
I immediately noticed some burning on the tips of the leaves the next day, and was immediately concerned because of the fertilizers I had used in the substrate. But, with the milk jugs only having a hole cut into the side, I was also thinking that the burning was due to the sunlight filtering through, and possibly being amplified by, the plastic of the milk jug.
We did have some severe thunderstorm warnings and watches over the next few days, so I ended up putting them into the shed to prevent them from drowning! But after 2 full days inside the shed with very limited sunlight, we were finally able to place them back outside. I didn't notice any of the burning on the leaves getting worse, which made me think it was the sun filtering through the plastic that caused it originally.
At the beginning of week 3, I started to notice moss and a whiteish-yellow powdery substance growing inside the milk jug planters. The substrate had also managed to stay pretty moist throughout the day, whereas the coffee canister planters seemed to be draining rather well, and the substrate dried out relatively well.
So, in an attempt to increase the drainage of the homemade planters, I cut a few more drain holes along the sides. Which came in handy by Wednesday, when the plants received their first dose of real rain!
Only one planter had standing water in it when I came home that evening, which to my surprise, was actually one of the coffee canister planters; which meant that the milk jug planters were now draining sufficiently!
After monitoring the moss and powdery substance that had formed for a few days, and after no noticeable growth, I removed the infected substrate from all of the milk jug planters, hoping that this would prevent the continued spread of whatever it was that was growing!
I did have to add a new substrate mixture to Plant 5 after noticing that some of the substrate had been knocked out of the planter. This new substrate was actually garden soil mixed with miracle grow, which came from our neighbors. So in essence, my experimental grow just became more experimental! :)
After leaving for the weekend to explore the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois, we returned home to find that not only had all 6 plants survived the weekend, but, even though the substrate was dry, each plant looked really good considering the lack of water!
Learning Experiences from the First Month
Since this is the very first grow that we've every attempted, I can honestly say that the entire first month was a learning experience in some way.
First of all, I believe we should have made the homemade planters and prepared them a few days in advance. This would have allowed the soil to settle, and more could have been added once we transplanted the seedlings.
Another thing I should have done differently is the drain holes I made in the milk jugs. Either they needed to be just a little bigger, or just more of them in general. I think this would have prevented the powdery substance and the moss from forming, and possibly prevented the substrate from staying so moist.
Ventilation is another big issue that I should have been considering when I made my milk jug planters. Originally I just cut a hole into the top, leaving the handle to make it easier to move around the yard. I believe this blocked more wind than I intended, and possibly could have been a factor in the moss and powdery growths. I personally believe this would have dried out the substrate as well, at least a little more than it did at first.
Also, I do think I should have transplanted them at least a day sooner than I did, which possibly would have prevented the long legs; but they have all recovered nicely, so I hope there isn't much to worry about on that front!
Other than that, I think I should have cut the top off of milk jugs immediately, and added some sand to the substrate to help aerate the soil and prevent it from compacting as much as it did. I do think I left them underneath the table lamp for too long as well, which I personally believe was the main reasoning behind the long legs.
Well then, now that we have covered the highlights and our learning experiences from the past few weeks, now it's time to get into:
The Daily Breakdown for Week 4!
Picking right back up on Monday, June the 13th, we had some scorching heat here at "The Anarchist's Alcove" with a heat index of 104° F! Thankfully, Murty watered during the day while I was at work, but they were looking kind of dry when I got home; so I watered them again with our trusty water bucket, always watering the base, and never wetting the leaves! In my personal opinion (again, I am a first time grower lol), I think they're looking really good so far!
That darn heat followed us right into Tuesday, June the 14th, although I'm not exactly sure of the heat index; but I can honestly say that it was as hot, if not hotter than it was on Monday. Murty didn't get a chance to water them while I was at work, so I made sure I watered them very well when I got home!
However, I did notice that a green, moss-like film had started forming between the milk jug planters and the dirt. This is definitely concerning to me, as I don't want to harm these baby plants in any way. Thankfully, I have been rethinking the design, and storing more milk jugs and coffee canisters just in case something like this happened!
I also noticed that Plant 4 has suffered a burnt leaf today! I'm not quite sure of the cause, but maybe the unobstructed sunlight they receive on the pool deck is too much? It has been very hot so far this week, so maybe that has something to do with it? I am now starting to consider moving them back to the water tank, because they do get a little bit of shade every now and again in that section of the yard.
After spending the rest of the night and following day thinking about how to improve the planter design, I got home on Wednesday, June the 15th, to find that the soil in all 6 planters were dry! So, I watered them thoroughly, making sure not to wet the leaves.
I did notice that the water leaves are starting to burn off of both Plant 3 and Plant 5; which I believe is normal once the seedlings become more developed, but since this is my first grow, I'm not entirely sure! On the other hand, Plant 1, Plant 2, and Plant 6 are really starting to look amazing and hopefully will start to bush out here soon! :)
Once I arrived home from work on Thursday, June the 16th, I immediately went outside to play with Murty and Junior! Not too long after, I was able to meander over to the pool deck and check on the seedlings, which were all looking amazing today!
I did give them more water and while I can still visibly see the moss-like film inside the planters, it didn't seem like it was growing. Plant 1, which has always been one of my favorites, is also visibly starting to get bigger finally! Since this seedling first popped, I have always said that this little one had a lot of potential, and I can't wait to see what this baby can do!
Also, after 4 weeks of searching and destroying webs, I finally found and killed the spider living on Plant 4! I had killed multiple little green spiders throughout the month, but I believe this was the real culprit behind those pesky webs that were very noticeable in the pictures of this seedling!
Finally reaching the end of the work week, I got home decently early on Friday, June the 17th, and watered each plant as soon as I got home from work! Luckily, upon careful inspection, it didn't look like any of the burn spots were getting any worse!
While that is a good thing, I'm not going to lie, it does make me wonder if the plants are suffering from a lack of water? Or have they possibly been exposed to too much sun?
While these questions are slightly concerning, after the intense heat we've been experiencing this week, I have been very thrilled to see that all the plants are doing reasonably well! :)
Once again, we had made some plans for the weekend; so on Saturday, June the 18th, I decided to water all of the plants in the morning around 7 am, before the sun fully rose over the trees; which, as a result, places the seedlings in direct sunlight for the rest of the day! I know it's good for the seedlings, but I also know that they can suffer from too much heat, so I wanted to make sure they had plenty of water today!
Shortly after, Junior was persistent on taking a walk, so with all 3 children in tow, we went on a brief stroll through town. Now, I said brief, but we ended up at the library, so it took a little longer than expected to get home! But once Junior was asleep for his nap, Murty and I helped the girls tie-dye some shirts for the whole family! Well to be more accurate, I did the tie, Murty and Fairy did the dye, and Bug ran around the yard playing with Poppy! :)
We had a company function for my work that we were going to later in the afternoon, and fearing how hot it may get, I decided it may be best to water them again before we left for the celebration!
After getting home kind of late, I still managed to wake up early on Sunday, June the 19th, and was able to water before the sun fully rose over the treeline, just enough to keep the soil moist!
I also took a little bit of time and watered the main garden as well, because I knew it was going to need it! We spent the rest of the afternoon playing outside, and later on that evening we had Fairy's first track meet to attend, which she placed first in shot put with a total distance of 20 feet 10 inches! Not bad for a 6th grader! :)
Unfortunately since we've been so busy recently, I haven't been able to start on the new planters yet, but I have been thinking long and hard on how I want to do them! When we got home from the track meet, we watered them all again before the sun had fully set.
Well, that about wraps up our normal weekly update, but since this is the One Month Special Edition of "After Hours", then I think it's time to make it really special!! :) Hopefully you all enjoy it! :)
So, for those of you who have been following with "After Hours" since its conception, you have been able to watch my plants grow week by week! However, it can be a little taxing trying to switch back and forth between posts for comparisons, can't it?
So, for this Special Edition, I would like to show you all a side by side of every plant throughout the past month!
Well everyone, I think that will do it for the First Month Special Edition of "After Hours"! Thank you for everyone who has joined me in my journey this far, and we hope you'll tune in next week for the newest update!
Stay Trippy, My Little Hippies! We hope you have a wonderful week!!
- As always, all photos were taken using my beat up Moto G Stylus.
- Signature custom made by @doze!