Cheese Strain Grow Report

From Seed to Harvest

cheese plant growing slowly

Hey there and Welcome (back) to Free the Tree!
In this article we’re going to group together the different steps of our Cheese grow. We planted this little one right into the its final pot so the vegetative stage lasted long, very long..
But in the end during the stretch she became a pretty nice beast. Seems that we’re going to have an awesome this time around.

Cheese Grow Report | Table of Content

Context of this Grow

  • Strain: Cheese
  • Seed Type: Pre-Feminised
  • Seed Bank: Dinafem
  • Grow Medium: Non-enriched soil
  • Nutrients or Additive Used:
    Bio-Grow during the vegetative stage and the stretch. We followed the amounts indicated. When needed we supplement with short release nutrients.
    – Bio-Bloom starting the week before the stretch and until we flush.
  • Grow Lights:
    – Vegetative Stage: 400MHz MH (Metal Halid) Blub
    – Flowering Stage: 400MHz HPS (High Pressure Sodium) Bulb
  • Grower Experience: 4th indoor culture

Germinating the seed

This seed germinated real fast, within just 24 hours the seed had cracked and a day later we had the tap root you can see in the image on the right had side.
Let’s get to planting it!

How to germinate Weed Seeds?

Germinated Seed ready to plant

Day 0 | Planting the germinated seed

As we started saying in the intro of the article, with this plant we decided to see how it would develop if we plant it right away into its final pot.

What we’ve read is that the vegetation stage will last a bit longer since she’ll have a longer root development phase. That longer wait, apparently, is well worth it since she’ll be well rooted and be able to produce large flowers.

Makes sense, as they say healthy roots, healthy plant. We’ve also decided to test out some Air pots we bought the other day which allows the roots to air prune themselves, meaning that at no time the roots will be blocked.

Seed planted into final pot

Seed planted into final Air Pot

Day 3 | Seedling breaks ground and Cotyledon opens

It took about 2 days after planting the seed for the seedling to bread the ground. Once that happened things went pretty fast.
Within 24 hours the cotyledon had totally stood up and opened, ready to start photosynthesizing.

At this point the sprout is a little over an inch tall, we should start seeing the stem and first leaves growing real soon.

Cotyledon opening to start photosynthesis

Close up on Cotyledon starting to open

The Vegetative Stage

Day 12 | First Leaves Growing

We were expecting a slow growth but this is a little extreme.. As you can see, in a little under 10 days she’s only grown the first section of the first leaves, a small stem is starting to grow to go for the 2nd stage, but she’s slow..

Even compared to Blue Thai that we’re growing using the same method she’s real late, don’t think we’ll have time to scrog this one.

First set of leaves growing and cotyledon fully grown

First leaves developing

Day 21 | Third set of leaves..

I really hope that she’s just growing a massive set a roots down there and at some point she’s going to catch up at some point in time.
Our other plants are really growing well thankfully, we’re training them to go for a scrog so they’ll make up for this, but if she’s too small it’s going to be an issue.

Check out how the whole room’s going in that week’s grow post

slow growth during the early vegetative stage

Growth of 3rd set of leaves

Day 29 | Vegetative Growth

Over the past week she fully grew her main leaves and started developing the next stages.
She’s still pretty slow but at least we do see some development.

Objectively for a month old plant she’s really under-developed. Like we said a couple weeks ago, we were expecting a slower growth by starting them right away in the final pots, but this is pretty intense..

Main leaves present and vertical growth activated

Main leaves and vegetative growth starting

Day 39 | Starting to catch up

By now we had set up the screen and started weaving the branches of the Big Buddha Cheese plants, the Blue Kush and the Blue Thai.
The Blue Thai, which was also planted right in her final pot has only been topped once. On the Cheese side, since she was even smaller we decided not to top her and just let her grow as is.

We’ve also been pruning all the auxiliary branches to let her vegetative growth focuses on the apex, we need her to reach that screen!

Check out all our other grow reports
Cheese plant starting to catch up

Main leaves and vegetative growth starting

 Automatic Watering System

Today we also decided to finally set up our automatic watering system.
We tried out a couple bottle systems but finally decided to invest a little a get some water line and inline drippers.

In this version we only have 2 drippers, but a couple days later we added a third one making a circle around the stalk of the plant.
Now watering takes about 10 minutes of my time and the watering mix is irrigates the medium over a couple hours, just perfect for the roots 🙂

How to Easily set up your Own Drip Watering System
drip irrigation system automatically and slowly watering the plant

Inline drippers irrigating the soil

Day 42 | Growth finally kicking in

I don’t know if it’s the fact that we set the screen up, the drip watering system that is well irrigating the soil or that it was just that time but for the past couple days her growth finally kicked in.

We’ve been passing her leaves as much as possible over the screen to push her to grow and avoid shading and today her Apex is finally taller than the screen.

Now that she’s finally reached the screen I think it’s time to get the stretch going, all the other plants have just been waiting on her.

We’re not planning for this one to be yielding the most since she’s not going to be scrogging at all, but we definitely need to get this going.

Finally reached the screen. Ready to start the stretch

The Stretch

Day 43 | Changing Photo Period

Tonight will be the first day where we shut the lights off after 12 hours of light which will trigger the stretch and thus beginning of the flowering stage, finally! 🙂
Can’t wait to see how these little ones grow

Check out or article on the Lifecycle of Marijuana
Cheese strain just before starting the stetch

Cheese plant (right) the day before starting the stretch

Day 49 | Mid-way through the Stretch

It’s now been 6 days that we started the stretch, and stretch she did.. We’ve been pinching her a lot to and reduce the growth and strengthen the main colas but she still doubled in size!

Kind of crazy I wasn’t expecting this much growth. We definitely could of weaved her a little to develop a least another cola like we did on the Blue Thai.
This is a bit of an issue, the Cheese is now shading over the blue that which isn’t cool..

Check out or article on the Lifecycle of Marijuana
Plant doubled in size during the first week of the stretch

Cheese plant (right) vs Blue Thai

Day 50 | Pinching and Super Cropping the Apex

Yesterday we started saying that the Cheese was growing massively and shading her neighbor the Blue Kush so today we decided to do something about it.

In order to use the energy produced by the stretching phase, we’re going to creates some knots along the stem of the Cheese plant. To do this we need to damage the inner vein of the plant by pinching and crushing it gently with our fingers.

This will slow her growth of the Apex while she recovers the damage, this recovery will create a large knot where she will be able to store more nutrients within the stem.

On the other hand, in order to reduce her height, we also decided to super crop her, which will allow the lower levels to develop more and increase the size of that knot.

What is Super Cropping?
Folded apex and location of the future knot

Super Cropped Apex

Day 52 | Changing the Cool Tube to an Air Cooled Hood

Today we decided to change our Cool Tube and install an Air Cooled Hood. The main reason for this is that the reflectors on the Cool Tube are way too small and the colas in the corners aren’t getting enough light intensity.

We’ve grouped together everything in the page linked below

Cool Tube vs Air Cooled Hoods
Cooling hood installed with a MH bulb running

Air Cooled Hood

Day 55 | Removing the rope around the Apex

It’s been about 5 days since we tied down the stem and the end of the stretch is approaching so we decided to let it loose.

Couple hours after cutting the rope it was already standing back up, the auxiliary branches grew so much during these 5 days that the Apex is now standing just a little higher than them.

For the next couple days we’ll just let her recover a little since this does cause some stress.
We might also have to prune a couple of those side branches off, she’s still shading the Blue Thai a little too much.

Couple hours after removing the rope

Day 56 | Changing to the HPS bulb

Today we decided to change the bulbs from the Metal Halide bulb to the High Pressure Sodium. Pistils have been showing up for the past couple days so we figured that it would enhance this, and regardless we’ve got to do it at some point.

Grow room under the Sodium Bulb

Day 57 | End of the Stretch

Today it’s been 2 weeks that we’ve changed the photo-period and on paper this is the end of the stretch. I say on paper since all strains and grows are different.
In our case it falls pretty well, the vegetation growth seems to have slowed/stopped and pistils have been popping out.

What a 2 weeks, she basically doubled in size and became the tallest plant in the room, we definitely should have weaved her.
Here’s a before/after stretch picture of this Cheese plant (click on them so see the full version)

Cheese plant at screen level before entering the stretch

Day 43 – Before entering the stretch

Plant at least doubled in size during the stretch

Day 57 – Ending the Stretch

The Flowering Stage

Day 58 | Buddlets appearing

By now the pistils that started showing up on the bud sites started forming little buddlets, can’t wait to see them grow more.

The phosphorous deficiency has been developing across the Big Buddha Cheese plants so we gave them all a boost, hopefully it won’t be too much for this little gal.

Apart from that everything’s going pretty good, we might change the spot of the fan since it’s blowing right into the Apex of the Cheese and we don’t want her to get wind burn.

Pistils turned into buddlets

Grow room under the Sodium Bulb

Day 62 | Super Cropping the Apex

As we were saying the stretch was really massive, creating a real issue in regards to the canopy so we had to super crop her. 
We were really hesitant since the flowering stage started and didn’t really find much documentation on it, but we decided to go ahead and do it.

Folded plant in order to get room between light and apex

Super Cropped Apex

Apex super cropped

Cheese Apex folded

In hindsight it was definitely a good idea since it allowed the secondary buds to get a direct access to the light source and get more room between the Apex and the light source.

Day 69 | Flowers Developing

About a week after super cropping the buds started developing nicely, whether it’s on the Apex or on the auxiliary branches.

Apex flowers of cheese strain growing

Apex flowers growing

Cheese plant with 4 large auxiliary branches

View of the Auxiliary branch flowers

Although it’s really nice to see her grow nicely it’s really a bit of an issue since she’s taking up so much room around her. 
The Blue Thai to her left is getting a lot of shadow and the Blue Kush to her right stretched with her massively without producing as many flowers

Day 71 | One month after starting the Flowering Stage

As you can see in the images below trichomes are starting to come in. These are located on the leaves and should be taken into account for readiness, but still pretty awesome to check out 🙂 

first pistils of the cheese under the scope

Pistil and first trichomes under the scope

Cheese Trichomes clear trichomes

First Trichomes showing up on Flower Leaves

Here’s a couple pics of her beautiful flowers after this first month of flowering. Her multiple bud sites starting to develop nicely and aren’t too far apart which is really promising yield wise hehe

night view of the cheese strain

Night View of the Cheese Strain

Cheese strain flowers a month after changing photoperiods

Top view of the flowers

Day 75 | First signs of thrips…

Aaaah though we got rid of these but they’re back… We’ve got a whole bunch of larvae around and spotted a couple adults, suuuuuuucks.
We’ve done a full article on thrip control over here if you want to know more, but basically we treated our plants with a black soap & neem oil mix.

thrips on cannabis leaf under the scope

Thrip pupas on cannabis leaf

Adult thrip freshly killed

Adult thrip just killed

Here’s a couple pics of her beautiful flowers after this first month of flowering. Her multiple bud sites starting to develop nicely and aren’t too far apart which is really promising yield wise hehe

Day 91 | Flowers getting thick

Here we are, a little under a month and a half after we started the flowering stage and this baby is looking beautifully and smelling soooo strong, almost too strong

tall cheese plant much taller than the rest of the canopy

Cheese plant – 50 days into flowering

Apex of the bud 5 times bigger than thumb

Apex bud of the plant

Isn’t she beautiful? We’re starting to see some deficiencies on some main fan leaves but not really worried about it to be honest, we’re not too far off from harvest, meaning that we’re going to start flushing her anyway.

On the thrips side it’s really hard to deal with them.. the room is just soooooo full, when we spray it’s almost impossible to get all the foliage

Harvesting the Apex

As you can see in the 2 pictures above, this cheese plant is much, much taller than the rest of our plants, making the canopy super uneven. 
We raised the light as much as possible but we don’t want to get it too high for the other plants… but she’s still suffering soo much, between the heat & light intensity, it’s not possible.

Since we already tried FM’ing and it wasn’t sufficient, our only other choice here is to harvest the Apex… It’s a bit early, but not the end of the world. Here’s what the trichomes & bud look like 

Close up on Cheese strain apex flower

Before harvesting the apex

2 top buds remaining after apex cut

After harvesting the Apex

To be honest we weren’t really happy to harvest this apex but oh well… it’ll allow us to get an early taste of this little one.
Here’s a little pic of the flower after cutting of the fan leaves and a close up on the trichomes

Harvested apex

cheese strain milky trichomes

Trichomes of the harvested flower

Since these little ones are still growing that’s it for now. We’ll be updating the page regularly, click on the little bell on the left if you want to be notified! 😉

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