Laughing Buddha, critical + and mother plants - Grow Journal

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Follow the growth of 3 strains and a mother plant

Hey there and welcome (back) to Free the Tree!

This round we are growing some Critical+, Laughing Buddha to flower as well as maintaining a Blue Thai mother plant 🙂 

Context of the grow

  • Strains: Critical+ (cuttings) & Laughing Buddha
  • Seed Type: Feminized
  • Seed BankBarney’s Farm
  • Nutrients or Additive Used:
    • Bio Grow NP
    • PK mixes
  • Grow Lights:
    – Vegetation Stage : 75W LED table
    – Flowering Stage : 400W LED table
  • Grower experience: 6th grow

Before getting into the grow report, compare both strain with our in-house comparison tool 🙂

Grow Report n°1 – Preparing Cuttings and Germinating Seeds

Here we are, back at the beginning of a cycle! Can’t wait to share these upcoming weeks with all of you 
Couple changes since last grow but it shouldn’t be that big of a problem.


Critical+ Cuttings – Rooting process

As some of you are aware we’ve had a critical+ mother plant for a little while, this is our 3rd round of cuttings with her. 

Here’s a couple pics of the process but, in full honesty, we slacked off a little and left them in the cups for too long, which made us lose 2 little ones and a bunch of time. If you want to know more on how to make a cutting, check out our how-to article over here 😉

Picking and cutting the branches

The first step to making the cuttings is obviously picking and cutting the right branches from the mother plant ^^
This round we started with 7 branches, planning that we would lose one or 2.
As we detail in our how-to article on making cuttings, the branches don’t need much light in order to root, what they do need it NOT to sweat, so don’t hesitate to chop off most their leaves (the left one still has way too many leaves) and place them in a very humid environment (aim for at least 90% humidity).

Cuttings rooting in the vegetation tent

We left the little one in the cups of water for about a week, the time for some roots to grow.
At this point we lost one of the little ones, we had left the top latch open, it wasn’t humid enough and she didn’t make it… (told you we were slacking off :/)

As you can see on the pic one of our mothers isn’t looking well at all, all dried up and dying… We were so focused on the citizen lobbying tool that we didn’t water her enough and lost her :'(.

Passing the cuttings from water to soil

Once we had some nice roots we went ahead and transferred the cutting into our pots.
As you can see we have them in different size pots. The idea here is to keep one as a mother plant (top left). The 4 others we will re-pot and transfert into the flowering tent once they’re ready to stretch.

(Yep, we lost another little one between the 2 steps… we took wayyyy too long to transfert them into the soil)

5 successful cuttings rooted and ready to grow

Laughing Buddha Seed Germination

Here’s a little one we’re really excited about! First time growing it and really curious to see what it’s all about.
For a long time it was a best seller at Barney’s Farm, a coffee shop & seed bank in the Netherlands although now, unfortunately, a bit it’s harder to find these days.
Luckily, during our last trip in Amsterdam we were able to get a little seed! 🙂
(check out the trip on our insta account)

Alright, enough said, here’s some pics of the germination process of this little one 

Seed Germinating – A humid and dark environment

Just like for the cuttings, we’ve made a full how-to article detailing the best ways to germinate your seeds, if you want to know more on that check it out over here.

We set the little one in a humid paper towel between two bowls. At first it was wayyyy too humid in there, so we left a little crack between the bowls in order to let some humidity out.

5 days later, the tap root has broken the shell

The morning after leaving the crack between the bowls we saw the tap root starting to break the shell; The picture above was taken that night and, as you can see, it’s big enough to plant 🙂

Seed you soon cotyledons 😉

With the tap root about a centimeter long we planted the soil, about 1.5 cm deep. This depth gives it enough room to break soil and deploy the cotyledons with little effort, while the tap root can get comfortable in her new home.

As soon as we covered the seed, we set the pot in a bowl of water in order to humidify the soil without disturbing the seed. 

48 hours later – Soil has been broken and the cotyledons deployed

A little under 48 hours later she had broken the soil and deployed her cotyledons and, you can’t really see it but, the first leaves are starting to grow.

We actually missed the ground breaking process which sucks… so awesome to see ’em say hello to the world for the first time.

As we speak the first leaves are starting grow more and the cotyledons are starting to die out; We set the pot on a box in order to get the Apex closer to the light in order to avoid any early stage stretching, we don’t want her to get top-heavy ^^

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Grow Report n°2 – First leaves, Fungus gnats and more

This past week was a pretty eventful one, these little ones needed a good amount of attention, which we were happy to provide hehe

As always, before we get into it, here’s a little overview of what we’re going to cover

Laughing Buddha – Early stretch & First leaves

Growth of the first leaves

If you’ve checked out last weeks grow report you’re aware that this little one had just broken ground and spread her cotyledons by the end of last week.

Within 2 days she started growing her first leaves which is pretty awesome 🙂 really want her to get growing quickly so we can make some cuttings and flower them asaaaap

two first leaves growing over the cotelydons
Growth of first leaves

Seedling stem stretching too much

As you can see in the image on the right the stem of this little one is pretty long, showing that she’s not receiving enough light, thus reaching for it.

This is really no optimal, appart from the fact that she’s focusing on vertical growth and not developing foliage (leaves) she will most likely be top heavy once those leaves do start to grow..
This is something we’ve experienced a couple grows ago, and covered a previous grow report.
It’s not the end of the world if she does get top heavy, we’ll give her a crouch until the stem gets strong enough to for her to stand.

seedling stretching which en dangerous her capacity of standing upright
Plant place closer to the light source to avoid any more stretching

Growth of the second stage of leaves

This little one is a fast grower, the first stage of leaves had hardly grown that she was already sprouting the second one. 

She’s really looking good, still a bit worries about her balance, when we watered her she wasn’t holding up all that good.
We’ve also added [a much needed] fan in there to get some wind blowing, which will make her develop the stem much more, as well as help dry up the soil after watering, avoiding these damn fungus gnats (getting to that next)

laughing buddha growing second stage of leaves
Second stage of leaves growing

Critical+ Cuttings – Transplanting and Fungus gnats

Transplanting the Critical+ plants

Although it was a bit early to do so, we decided to go ahead and transplant the plant that’s going to stay in the vegetation tent as a mother.

For the the 3 other ones we’re going to wait until they grow a bit more than transplant & flower them right away, can’t waiiiiiiiiiit 🙂

Freshly transplanted plant into 2L pot
Critical+ transplanted to a 2L fabric pot

Dealing with fungus gnats

After thrips and spidermites here we are dealing with fungus gnats… haven’t signed up for pests control school, but we’re getting close to being experts here -_-“

We had been wondering why our little cuttings were growing so slowly and with unhealthy looking foliage; turns out, it’s linked to the fungus gnat larvae feeding on our babies roots..

We’ll do a full “how to” deal with fungus gnats soon, but basically here’s how we’re dealing with them :

  • Sprayed the soil with a mix of Hydrogen peroxyde (1/4) and water (3/4). 
    This kills the larvae, but doesn’t deal with the eggs or adults
  • Manually hunted the visible adults
  • Set a fan out in order to dry the top soil (fungus gnats need humid soil)
  • Put down sticky traps for the adults. This doesn’t seem super effective atm, we’re going to lay out a glass with a little beer for them to drown in (follow a tip through instagram)

Next we’re going to remove the top 3/4cm of soil in order to get any and all eggs out of there, and possibly buy some nematodes to get this soil living with healthy organisms. 
Hopefully this is going to be the end of that..

Makin’ some cannabutteeer

We had been putting it off for awhile but finally got around to making some cannabutteeeer!
Been saving up the trims of the past 5 grows so really exited to see what it’s going to turn our to be hehehe.

We’re not going to detail all the steps here, if you’re trying to make some check out our recipe over here, that said here’s a couple pics just cause 😉 

Check out the full recipe

Blue Thai’s first cutting

Since we don’t want to flower our last blue thaï plant, we’ve decided to keep this one as a mother and flower some cuttings. Thing is… i’m not super super patient (workin on it ^^), and want to get her into the flowering tent asaaaaap.

In that spirit, I looked for a nice little side branch big enough to make a cutting out of. 

As you can see, we spotted one that was small, but not too small, and went for it. Hopefully, since it’s such a young sprout, it’ll still have a bunch of rooting hormones and will take quickly.

In order to keep it in a nice, humid, environment we placed it in a glass of water and placed cellophane over it, with a couple whole.
Water droplets quickly formed on the sides of the glass, showing that humidity levels are high. Hopefully she’s going to take!


Alright folks that’s all for this week,
Until next time, be safe and grow easy!

P.S: if you want to keep in touch, come say hi on our insta 😉

Grow Report n°3 – Stunned growth, transplantation & space cookies

This week was pretty chill, out little laughing buddha is coming along nicely, the Blue Thai is almost ready to get some cuttings done and we make a niiiiice space cake 🙂 Apart from these d**n fungus gnats, really can’t complain!
third week of the grow report

Laughing Buddha – Vegetative growth & Transplantation

Vegetative growth

This week our little sprout spread her leaves fully! Our fear of her getting top-heavy didn’t come true, we even set the fan pointing at her for awhile to test her and she stood strong 🙂

First deficiency signs

As you may have noticed in the previous pictures, during the week the little laughing Buddha started showing signs of a deficiency on her first fan leaves.

Pretty sure this is due to the fact that she needs to be transplanted more than a actual nutrient deficiency, sooo let the transplant begin! 🙂 

Transplanting to a 2L fabric pot

As you may be aware, the root mass of a plant is general twice as big as it’s visible foliage.
With that in mind, the pot she’s in is now too small and since it’s made of plastic the roots are most likely spiraling around.

As we started saying above, her first deficiencies are most likely related to this more than any nutrient needing to be added into the soil, although we will start adding some nutrients soon.

We decided to place her into a 2L fabric pot, which will allow the roots to prune themselves, and set her into our main tent, will a 400W LED light system.
The idea is to have her grow quickly, make a couple cuttings and then get her to flower. One of those will be used as a mother, the others will join their clone in the flowering tent 🙂

Fighting off Fungus Gnats

As we pointed out in last weeks grow report we had treated the soil of each pot with a hydrogen peroxyde mix in order to kill all the larvae, the mix being ineffective against the eggs..
Apparently, there were a lot eggs.. as you can see on the image on the right hand side (click to enhance) within a couple days the sticky traps were filled with young fungus gnats.

We’re waiting for a package with some nematodes, gnats natural predators, in order to get fully ride of these sucker..

hundreds of adults stuck on trap
Removed about 2 weeks later, hundreds of dead adults on there

Transferring plants to the big tent

Once we transplanted the laughing Buddha we decided to get the 3 main plants into our bigger room, where the light is much stronger. 
Our plan is to get them growing, make couple cuttings, then get to flowering.

With the cuttings we’ll keep one of each to make a  mother and the other will meet their sibling in the flowering tents as soon as they’re ready 🙂

Plants set under the 400W lamp
3 plants installed in main grow tent

Space Cookies

If you were with us last week, you’ve followed that we had made some cannabutter; now it’s time to take off. 
We used Flo’s famous chocolate cake recipe (;p). Butter wise, to be fully honest, we have noooooo idea of how potent it is, so we’ll find out.
Here’s the ingredients and so pictures to end this post in a tasty manner 

Space cookie ingredients (2 cakes made)

  • 480g of cannabutter
  • 400 of dark chocolate (the cooking kind!)
  • 8 eggs
  • Sugar

And that looks liiiiike :

Alright got some cake to go eat hehehe 
Until next week,
be safe and grow easy 😉

EDIT: that butter was pretty potent, got way too high

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Grow Report n°4 – New Strain, Natural Predators and Vegetative growth

Much has happened since the last grow report, from dealing with our fungus gnat infestation to germinating a new little strain, we had a lot of fun 🙂 Let’s get right into it
Laughing buddha, critical+ and blue thai in grow room

Nematodes vs Fungus Gnats – Get eeeem!

This week we finally got the Nematodes, these little worms are a natural predator for Fungus Gnats eggs and larvae, perfect to go hunt and kill these suckers and protect our babies root system 🙂 

We’ll do a full article on fungus gnats shortly, but basically the nematodes enter the larvae or eggs and develop in there, feeding on the insides of the fungus gnat.
Within a couple days, the effected larvae is dead hehe.

On top of that, nematodes keep the soil healthy, eating through the soil and adding nutrients to it, so it’s also a long term investment.

Nematodes in soil (jammin’ to the black eyed peas)

Phytoseiulus Persimilis protecting our plants

If you’ve followed our previous grows, you’re aware that we’ve had some intense battles against spidermites and thrips.
We’re sure that there’s eggs left, just waiting for the right weather to hatch and start back up this infestation (yeah these suckers can hibernate for months).

With that in mind, we decided to go ahead and get some phytoseiulus persimilis in order to introduce them to near our vulnerable plants.
Hopefully, this year will be one without spidermites!

Phytoseiulus persimilis on strawberry leaf

Phytoseiulus persimilis hunting Spidermite – Credit to Kopper Biological Systems

Sex Bud Germinating

Sooooo exited about this, here’s our first full sativa, the SexBud by Female Seeds. Her parents are the C99 and White Grapefruit, giving a fast flowering sativa (8/9 weeks), with a stimulating, creative and energetic social high. Can’t waiiiiit to see her grow.

She germinated within 24 hours, although we left her in the paper towel a big longer in order to let the tap root grow a bit. 
As we speak the cotyledons have opened up and the first fan leaves are starting to show hehe

Topping the Laughing Buddha

This baby has been growing so nicely, originally we were scared she would get top heavy, but nope, she grew a nice stem and is now growing faast!

Although we’re not sure that we’re going to scrog this round wedecided to top this baby in order to get multiple Apex’s. From there we will make a cutting off one of them for a mother plant, than get this beauty to flower 🙂

Blue Thai showing problems

For the past week the blue thai is showing issues. We though it was linked to the fast that she was still in a small pot, but the leaves are still turning yellow..
We’re hesitating on a nutrient or light burn situation.. To be safe, we flushed the soil and lifted a bit the light.. hopefully the situation will improve

Curing the Blue Kush

Sooo we didn’t share this grow on here (too busy on the citizen lobbying tool crowdfunding at that time), but we just couldn’t resist sharing this little beauty

We harvest her couple weeks ago, she’s now curing and soon ready to be smoke hehehe 🙂
Honestly we didn’t even weigh the final yield, as a g*d d**n spidermite attack impacted strongly her development around the middle of the flowering stage…

That said, isn’t she beautiful?

Grow Report n°5 – Vegetation stage, ScrOG set up, Cuttings and more

Heyheyy everyone, it’s been awhile since the last little grow report! 
We’ve been real busy improving the strain comparison tool available (check it out!) as well as the citizen lobbying tool that will be deployed on, so some exciting times ahead, but it leaves little time to write about our babies ^^

In this grow report we’re going to cover the past month of the grow. The little ones have grown nicely, we’ve got different levels of development as well as different strains, it’s going to be one interesting flowering period with all their different needs.

We’ve also still been dealing with these pests which has delayed us starting the flowering period. The hesitation comes from the fact that we’re mainly dealing with fungus gnats and these suckers attack the root system. Once we start flowering we want the plants to be in good condition so that they can focus on bud growth, not survival… sooo decisions decisions.. Anyway, here’s what were going to cover today

Big Buddha Cheese clones rooting

Last grow report we told you a friend brought us some clones of one of our faaavorite strains Big Buddha Cheese 😀
We had had a mother of this strain for awhile but she didn’t survive last year’s crazy heat (RIP) and we were all out..

The little clones started rooting nicely, although we had a freaking stink bug-type insect lay eggs (ty to Bannana_bin for helping ID it). The larvae seems to have fed on the foliage of the cuttings, killing the weakest clones..
Luckily we noticed quickly and were able save one individual. As you can see in the pics below, the bugs larvae is chillin (and feeding) on the leaf, leaving black scaring behind.

That said, she’s now fighting the fungus gnat larvaes and pupas… If/when she survives all this, we will have one stroooong mother plant!

SexBud going through the vegetation stage

Now this little SexBud, by Female Seeds is growing real nicely although our humidity levels aren’t optimal at aaaall 🙂
We had just germinated her when we wrote the last grow report and look at her now. We haven’t given her any nutrients so far, although we’re going to start adding some NP in the next feed to prepare her for the stretch

We topped her before writing this piece and are still hesitating on on scrogging her or going for the same LST training as the laughing buddha (see below).
Until we decide we’re going to let her grow a little and then place her in the special little spot we got for her in the flowering tent. Just before the stretch we’ll decide if we place her on the smaller screen or not.

Can’t wait to see go through the cycles of the flowering period!

Fungus gnats persiste and signs of other pests

Once introducing the nematodes into the tent everything started getting much better, we really though we had jumped through this hoop..
Turns out, we had forgotten a pot in the room and a little female laid some eggs in there. We were gone for 10 days, when we got back found a couple individuals within the grow room soo… here we go again..

We also had the pleasure to discover a blackflie and spidermite nest within our outdoor “garden”… hopefully we will be able to manage them well enough out there, avoiding any indoor issue

Making some Laughing Buddha and Blue Thai cuttings

For these 2 strains we popped our only seeds and wanted to keep the strain around just in case so we decided to go ahead and clone them hehe

At the time we’re writing the article one of the laughing buddha cuttings has grown a nice, strong, tap root. We’re about to set it into soil to let it grow. 
The 3 other cuttings are looking ok, we’re going to leave them a couple more days in the container to make sure they’ve rooted nicely before planting them in soil

Laughing Buddha – About to start the flowering stage

Last grow report we had just topped this little one in order to prepare her for a scrog. As you can see below, the had grown nicely since. We defoliated her a couple times in order to keep these 4 main auxiliary branches.

Since the blue thai is about ready to flower, and we have successfully cloned her we’re going to flower her like this, can’t wait to see the first pistils starting to appear 🙂

Blue Thaï ScrOG setup

Sooooo, if you’ve followed some of our previous grows, you know we’re pretty big fans of scrogging. 
The thing is, with the back to back pest issues we’ve been having for the past year it’s becoming problematic not to be able to take out the plants for inspection during the whole flowering period.

In order to get the best of both worlds we decided to make some individual scrog screens for 2 of our plants. We’re definitely loosing a bit of room, but we figured it’s not a real problem, it’ll allow each plant to have a little room to breath.

If you want to check out how we made the scrog net we documented each step over here, total cost ~5 bucks 🙂
With the screen ready we started weaving the blue thai. Once she’s covered about 60% of the screen we will change the photo-period so start the flowering stage hehe

Transplanting 3 little ones

On this 4/20 this little ones were ready to be transplanted 🙂 The laughing buddha and critical + will be flowered pretty soon. Since we just topped the sexbud we’re going to leave her a bit longer in the vegetation tent.
Once her auxiliary branches have grown a bit more we’ll place her into the flowering tent so that she can stretch and start growing some nice buds hehe

Alright folks that all for this one! Hope you enjoyed it, I know we love sharing the growth of our babies as well as what we’re learning along the way 🙂 
Remember, if you want to share your experiences, knowledge, or anything, you’re more than welcome to! Just contact us through the form or via instagram

Until next time,
be safe and grow easy

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