Big Buddha Cheese - Grow Report

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Our first plant - From cutting to flowering

Hey there and welcome to free the tree !

In today’s piece we are going to go over our Big Buddha Cheese grow, this was our very first one and full of teachings, let’s get into it 🙂

The early vegetative stage

This plant was actually my first personal one, so the experience was full of learning, multiple mistakes were made, spent hours scouring the internet trying to find the answer to what was my issue, between forum threats and sites pushing their products, didn’t what to do.

That’s actually when I first thought of making a site regrouping all the info we’ve gathered through time and experience. Couple years down the road finally making it!
So let’s get started on these first weeks of the vegetative stage of this Big Buddha Cheese clone.

Getting the cutting into soil

However you got your cutting going, your going to have to get her in a new pot.
I didn’t take any pictures at this moment, but for you to see what to expect I’ve gathered a couple pictures out there.

Now if you don’t have this many roots no worries! mine had just a couple and finished just fine 😉

Image credit to grow weed easy

If you’re looking to get a friend to give you a cutting to get started, or you’re trying to clone one yourself, here’s a good guide to Cloning in 10 steps.

So let’s get the main part of the section, now that the our roots are going let’s get them into soil for the branch to finish her transition to a plant

How place Marijuana cuttings into soil

  1. Prepare your soil by making a whole to the depth and width your roots or cube.
  2. Place your Cannabis cutting into the whole you’ve prepared.
  3. Fill in the gaps with soil if needed.
  4. Prepare a water mix with a Ph around 6.5.
  5. Water the soil favouring the outsides. You want the roots to start conquering the new soil, best way to do so is have more humidity there.
  6. Let her do her thing.

Image credit to grow weed easy

Now that you know how to plant your cannabis cutting, let’s get back to the evolution of this Big Buddha Cheese

First days of the clone

The initial plan was to have about 4 plants, unfortunately 3 out of the 4 didn’t take.. I decided pretty quickly that this would be the opportunity to go for a SCROG, but I’m getting ahead of myself here.

Here’s a couple pics between day 0 and days 4 after potting the cuttings into the soil. She took real well and just started growing 🙂

You can see on the left image that she’s already go 1 good branch already going on the side.
This picture is actually about day 3/4 so she had already started growing, but pretty cool for this scrog testing

We’ve also got 3 nice leafs for her to produce energy, new leafs growing and 2 or 3 branches starting to grow. All good signs for a nice big plant.

Make sur you keep the pH around 6.5 during this time period, this will allow the plant to get all the nutrients she’ll need for her growth

My mix was simple, mainly composed of root booster and a little Nitrogen.

The early Vegetative stage

This plan got pretty big pretty quickly which is awesome. Before getting into it here’s a couple picture of her at this stage

You can see that during these first couple weeks those first branches, we talked about earlier, started to stretch out and get pretty big, developing their own leaf mass allowing the to produce more energy. Perfect.

In length the left one’s actually almost as long as the Apex, pretty nets!

By the time we got to the third picture I should of starting cutting branches more intensively. I had my main one’s to keep and just let her produce more and more branches.
She got all over the place pretty quickly. meaning the energy is spread out producing a bunch of little branches instead of focusing on a few strong one.

Even when going for a SCROG you want to choose the branches that you will use to invade the screen.

Looking back these first couple of weeks were pretty chill, I tested different types of dosages of nutrients for the plant, and that where it starting going sideways.

It started with nitrogen deficiencies, then nutrient burn… tell you all about it in the next post on of our Big Buddha Cheese series!

Until then, be safe and grow easy

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Transplanting and First Deficiencies

During the vegetative stage your going to need to transplante you plant at least once. The question is when to do it, and how to do so.
The second thing you will encounter are nutrient issues, most likely Nitrogen deficiency. It is the most common issue during the Vegetative stage, luckily easy to fix too.

When to transplant your plant

You want to transplant to a new pot when the roots have fully invaded the soil and are ready to grow into a new space.

 

How to find out when to transplant easily?

I find that the best way is to track how often you have to water your plant. If you’re watering every day or two then the roots have invaded the space and you should be transplanting soon.

How to transplant your Marijuana plant

  1. Make enough room in the soil for your plant.
    If use one of your current pots to make the whole your plan will fit juuuust perfectly 😉
  2.  Tap with your nails along the sides of the pot, on all 4 sides and all levels. This will get the roots loose in case they’re stuck to the pot
  3. Turn the plant up side down and try to slide the pot off, it should come easily. If it doesn’t don’t force it, just go back to step 2.
  4. Place the roots into the space you’ve made in the new pot.

It’s important to note that the best time to transplant is between 2 waterings, when the soil isn’t too humid, but not all dried up either

If you’re looking to get a friend to give you a cutting to get started, or you’re trying to clone one yourself, here’s a good guide to Cloning in 10 steps.

So let’s get the main part of the section, now that the our roots are going let’s get them into soil for the branch to finish her transition to a plant

What to do after transplanting your plant

The most important thing here is to mainly water the new soil. Just like when you got the cuttings into the soil, you want your roots to invade the new soil as quickly as possible.

The best way to do this? Keep that soil more humid than the older one, so when you water your plant focus on it.
I find that adding a little more root booster at this times give a nice little boost to it.

During the next week or two you will see the effects of having more room, she’s going to love her new home!

Now that you know how to transplant you Cannabis baby, let’s get into the deficiencies and other issues we encountered during her vegetative stage.

Deficiencies during the Vegetative Stage

During this time period we got 2 main issues. The first, Nitrogen Deficiency, is one of the most common deficiencies during growth. The second, Nutrient Burn, is pretty common when you’re a noob, and even not so noob, when you don’t know your strain.
Here’s how to spot each and recover:

But before we start, ask your self these 3 questions:

  • Has you pH been around 6 and 7 your last waterings? (N°1 source of problems)
  • Has you’re grow space been under 30°C (85°F)?

You’re good on both fronts? Alright let’s get going.

How to spot Nitrogen Deficiencies?

  1. Are the bottom leafs dying first?
  2. Are the leafs turning yellow then brown before dying?
  3. Is it starting from the tips of the leafs, center first?

If you’ve said yes to all 3, it’s most likely it!

So why does this happen?
Basically you’re plan needs nitrogen to make new leafs and branches. If she doesn’t have enough in her environment then she’s going to take in her stock, the leafs.
Since the bottom leafs have less chances to get direct sun light, they’re the first one’s to go (makes sens).

Now during the Vegetative Stage this is definitely something you want to avoir, you need her keeping as many leafs as possible! During the mid/late flowering stage it’s actually normal and something you want.

How to fix Nitrogen Deficiencies?

  1. Get Vegetative stage growing mix
  2. At you’re next watering add a little more than the minimal brought forward on the label to your water.
  3. Check the pH of the water. As long as your pH is over 5.5 nitrogen will be absorbed, but remember that the sweat zone is between 6 and 7.
  4. During the next days keep an eye out, if the spreading has stopped you’re good.

Now remember:

  • Check the pH after adding the ingredients but before you thoroughly shake the mix, although you should have mixed it with a stick a wood or so.
  • The leafs that suffered damage won’t recover. Although you might want to remove them I wouldn’t do so except if they just fall off.
    Why you say? They still have some stock in them, so the day your plan has another deficiency she’ll take from this one instead of attacking one of your clean leafs.

Now at the other end of the spectrum, nutrient burn… I’m covering this right after the Nitrogen Deficiency since that’s how it happened, by fixing that issue I had open a whole other one, and what a pandora’s box

How to spot Nutrient Burn?

  1. Did you recently water your plant with extra nutrients?
  2. Are the tips of the middle of your leafs starting to become black/brown?
  3. Does it progress from the middle down through the leaf
  4. Do you start to see it appear at different area’s of the plant and spreading quickly?

If your saying to yourself, yeah that’s exactly it, chances are you’ve given her too much nutrients, and now they’re killing her.

Do you feel like all is lost? No worries here is how to get out of the situation.

What is Nutrient Burn?

Just like taking too many vitamins is harmful to us humans, too many nutrients in the soil is harmful for your plant.

The roots, doing their job, will take in all these ingredients and send them up to the “out of the ground” section of the plant where it is used for different tasks, if the plant doesn’t need it she stores it in here leafs. When there’s no more “room” within these leafs, well that’s when the issues arrive. The access ingredients having no where to go from there start killing the leaf.
This is the reason why we see it start from the extremity of the leaf and slowly grow inward.

How to fix Nutrient Burn?

In order to fix nutrient burn you’re going to need to flush your soil, that’s the only way. What do I mean by flushing your soil? I mean at least getting 2 times the volume of you’re container in plain, pH’ed water through your soil.

You heard me right and it’s important, you can’t just add a couple of liters in there, or else you’re actually just going to let more nutrients out, causing more harm then good.

 
So, what do you need to flush your soil?
  • A recipient that can hold 3/4 times the volume of your container in water
  • 3 times the volume of your container in plain, pH’d water. Get your pH around 6.5
  • An area where you can have everything near

Once you’ve got all of this ready get flushing.

How to flush your soil:

  • Place your plan within the empty recipient
  • Poor 3 times the volume of your container with the pH’d water you’ve prepared
  • Get your plants back into the grow room

 

During the next few days you might see your plant get droopy with signs of over watering but it’s normal. They’ll get better as the medium dries out.

Now that you know how to identify and fix this issue with your Marijuana plant, let’s look into what this is exactly

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First 20 days and starting the SCROG

Hey there, welcome back to another edition of the Big Buddha Cheese series!

On this post we’re going to go over:

  1. The first half of the Vegetative Stage
  2. Installing the SCROG.

Being my first I was really exited at each new stage of this plant, and really just reading all over the place to try and find answers to all my questions.

just installed the screen, marijuana plant close to screen

The vegetative stage of Big Buddha Cheese

As we say in the previous post we had just gotten out of Nitrogen deficiencies and Nutrient burn, so needless to say we we’re being veeeery careful on nutrient levels.

Basically our mix was of about 5ml of vegetative grow for every 2L of water, given every other watering. She seemed to react pretty good to this so we kept it going.

 

She was also growing a large number of new branches and leafs, I made the mistake here to let them all grow, when really I should of cut down the leaf and branch mass.

This is what she looked like at this stage

In the left picture she’s 20 days into the vegetative stage, the one on the right is 2 days later.

 

You can see that we’ve chosen a couple branches and that we’re pulling them with string to the side. The objective for this was to get them growing laterally so that they would get direct access to light.
The second idea behind it is to have multiple branches “invading” the screen during the next steps. This actually worked out pretty well!

Once you have chosen your branches, don’t hesitate to cut unwanted starts once in a while.

I should have also gone for a big trim here, cutting of all branches and leafs that are useless so that she could focus on the growth of the rest.

At this point, we decided that the next day was the day to install the screen (drumroll)

Installing the Screen Of Green

So we did this over 4 days.

On day 1 we installed the screen and starting pulling the branches towards the whole we wanted them to go to. Each day we would lower the screen a little bit, that way we would gain space to start weaving her, without stressing her out too much, I call the “the acclimatation phase”

By day 4 they had reached high enough for us to start weaving the branches on the screen, let the invasion begin!

day 1 : Installing the screen

At this point all we did was get the screen in and slide it down at her level.
Now I strongly advise installing the screen high up and slide it down slowly. If it falls you might just brake your plant.

After getting it at the Apex’s level we got some of those top leaves laying on the screen so that they would get as much light as possible, but also so that she started getting used to the screen

just installed the screen, apex is passing over the screen

day 2 : Branches going through the screen

By the end of the second day we we’re pleased to see that the branches had grown and started passing through the screen.

In order to take a little more advantage of the previous growth we also brought down the screen a little, which went pretty well. As you can see we also started bending the Apex over the first screen

2nd day after installing the screen, branches are passing over it

day 4 : Weaving the branches onto the screen

As you can see by the 4th day after installing the screen, the branches had well passed over the level of the net, meaning it’s time for the first session of weaving :).
Here’s how to weave a marijuana plant for a scrog in image:

How to weave your branches for your SCROG
  1. Identify the direction you want each branch to go in. This planning step is important, you want to make sure that each branch has at least one free space to its left, and one to its right
  2. Bend the top of the branch over the first line and under the next one.
    Don’t hesitate to tie down the branch onto the netting so that it holds.
    In the first image on the side here you can see how we tied the apex on both nettings in order to pass her under and over the screen.
  3. Cut any leafs making shade to a spot where a branch could come out. You should also cut the branches that are to close to each other. At each not you should have tops 1 branch growing vertically.
  4. Take a string, on one end tie it around the top of your branch and the other tie it in the direction where you want you plant to go on the screen. Don’t hesitate to pull well on her she can take it.
    You can see on the last image of the set how each branch is weaving over and under the screen, as well as the green string pulling them in the direction we want her to go.

Thanks to this technique, with just one plant you can actually fill up a whole grow room! the only thing is that you’ll keep her in a longer vegetative stage.

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SCROG and the vegetative stage

Welcome back to the Big Buddha Cheese series! If you’ve been with us all the way, it’s been a fun but rough ride! We started with 4 cuttings, only 1 survived, so to maximise the harvest we decided to try our first SCROG ever! on our first plan ever, a bunch of firsts ^^ As you can see, by now we’ve got one nice looking plant, developing a large number of branches. At this point we really made a huge mistake, which we’re going to cover here so that you don’t make it with your screen of green! Let’s get going, to recap in this article we’re going to cover:
Big Buddha cheese scrog well in the vegetative stage

SCROG: What nutrients to give your plant during the vegetative stage

Your plant is going need all the energy she can in order to take over this screen. Now its important to remind this, nutrients are not the source of energy for a plant, light is through photosynthesis, nutrients are only a supplement.
That said, the mix is pretty straight forward as always during the vegetative stage.
Here’s to mix we gave here so that you can adjust your own, as a reminder we also inputed the temperature and humidity levels:

 

NutrientAmount
Nitrogen based3/4ml for every 2L of water
Root booster1.5 ml/2L the first weeks, after 0ml
TemperatureBetween 20°C and 26°C
HumidityAround 50%

 

Now remember with nutrients, it’s always better to go lower than over. If you notice Nitrogen deficiencies, just add a little more at your next watering, it’s always easier than dealing with nutrient burn.

 

Ok, now you have you’re plant going on your screen, cool! but what to do? Do you just keep weaving indefinitely? Let her grow as much as she wants until your max is reached? sooo many question, we’re going to try to answer them all!

SCROG: What to do during the vegetative stage

While your Cannabis plant grows you’re going to need to guide her, make sure she doesn’t waste her energy.
On the pictures i’m going to share, you’ll see the example of… basically what not to do. This was our first run, I was thinking “Lets get as much branches, we’ll have a bunch of buds, yay!”, but really this is the worst thing possible.

Here’s what you want to do:

  1. Keep weaving the branches that you’ve dedicated to invading the screen.
    While doing so, identify the one’s you’re going to keep out of the one’s that are growing off of your main branches.
    Generally you’ll see 2 branches growing at each knot, I like to keep the top one out of both.
  2. Make sure there’s enough room between each branch you’ve chosen.
    I like to have one or two wholes of the screen of distance between each branch so that they have room to grow nice leaves to catch light, without making shade to their neighbour.
  3. Cut any branches that are not the one’s you’ve chosen.
  4. Cut any leafs that are too low, making shade to your branches or not generating any energy.
    Be careful when cutting top leaves, you want to leave some to the branch in question! She needs to make food too
  5.  Keep this process going during the whole vegetative stage

Cutting your branches and leafs in this manner will do 2 things.
The first, it will boost growth in the younger areas of the plant, that have more light exposure.
Secondly, the plant can focus its energy on a couple strong branches instead of spreading it out all over the place. This will give strong branches instead of many weak ones.
You’ll thank me for this when you have a couple nice huge buds instead of a bunch of shy one’s 😉

Now as promised, our free-growing scrog

So full disclosure that last one is during the stretch. But you can see over her life she started growing soooo many branches, at that time I was all excited about it. But really, choose your branches, cut the rest.
For you guys to compare, check out our second run, this time we didn’t hesitate of cutting down what was needed. Look at the difference:

Now you can see on this one that there are less individual branches than our Big Buddha cheese, but these buds are so much bigger than the final render is much bigger this way.

Appart from that look at the difference in size of those leafs!

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The stretch

By now our plant was finally ready to get into the flowering stage so we changed the light period from 18/6 to 12/12 of lighting, meaning the plant gets into her stretch phase. This is where she grows a large amount over 2 weeks, by the end of this phase small flowers we’ll be visible on your buds. If you’re want to know more about the stretch check out our FAQ on the subject. We’re going to go over the stretch in 4 stages:
  1. Switching the light cycle to 12/12
  2. Changing to the yellow light
  3. The Stretch: Period of very strong growth
  4. The early flowering stage: Showing her first buds
Stretch of Big Buddha Cheese on ScrOG - strong growth

Changing the light cycle

So in order to start the flowering stage you need to change the light cycle from 18hours of light to 12 hours.
That change will trigger a natural response in the plant telling her its time to focus on the flowers.
At this point the stretch starts, for 2 weeks she will grow before focusing purely on flower production.

For the first couple days after the switch, I like to keep the vegetative stage light in order to reduce the amount of possible stress given to the plant.

Here’s a picture of her a day or two after changing the light. As you can see, no real big change between the vegetative stage yet.

Scrog just changed the light cycle

Changing to the Sodium light

I’m using two 400 Watts MH/HPS light bulbs. During the vegetative stage I use the Metal Halide (MH) based light, then switch to the High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lighting during the flowering stage. We’ll do a piece on this, but basically it’s the technic that’s proven to work, although you get more heat issues.

After two/three days of switching the light schedule that’s when I switch from the MH bulb to the HPS one. I do this in order to try and reduce the stress given at once.
After this, she’s fully in her flowering environment.

You can see in the image below that she already started growing nicely during the couple first days.

just changed to the yellow light for flowering stage of SCROG

The Stretch: Period of very strong growth

Now I don’t know if you can really tell with the picture below, but for an indica strain her stretch was pretty decent. She grew at least 60% on her main branches.
It’s really too bad I messed up and didn’t cut down most of those branches, I could of had a real nice flowering stage with this one.

If you’re wondering what are the differences between indica and sativa check out our piece here.

At this time you should be reducing the levels of Nitrogen given gradually, once the stretch begins her intake will reduce little by little.
While reducing the Nitrogen increase little by little the levels of Phosphorus and Potassium that you give them.

Stretch of Big Buddha Cheese on ScrOG - strong growth

The early flowering stage: Showing her first buds

By the end of the stretch we enter the early flowering stage. You can see in the image below her the first little buds. This white little string like pistils will grow in quantity and size, by the end of this transformation they will look like the buds you’re familiar with 🙂

By this time you should have cut off the Nitrogen nutrients, and start the Phosphorus and Potassium one’s. By now your plant won’t ingest Nitrogen through her roots anymore so you might as well safe it.
She needs Phosphorus and Potassium now in order to produce the flowers we all love so much.

First buds showing at the end of the stretch phase of Big Buddha Cheese

Alright that’s it for this one! 

Until then, be safe and grow easy

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