Welcome back to our Critical+ 2.0 auto-flowering and Fruit auto-flowering series!
If you haven’t been following up here’s a little recap.
A little over a month ago we germinated 7 marijuana seeds, 2 Critical+ 2.0 auto-flowering and 5 Fruit auto-flowering. Unfortunately one of those fruit seeds didn’t take so we were left with 6 babies.
During the early vegetative stage we had couple issues with the balance of our sprouts and early stem with about 2/3 of our plants.
After that the flowering stage got going waaaaay too early because the main root hit resistance.. Yeahwhat makes the an auto flowering plant go into the flowering stage is the root system… something we didn’t know and learned with this one! We’ve covered all that in our guide on auto flowering seeds if you want to know more.
So here we are, after the first days of the stretch, and you’re going to see that she’s totally changing, welcome to the teenage years!
Day 32 – Auto-flowering seeds entering the stretch
So during day 33 we started cutting (pruning) some branches and leaves. Normally you do this during the vegetative stage, but since we kind of got blind sided we’re doing this know.
We’re also having many deficiency issues as you can see with the colors of most of our plants.. Although it seems like the decision of lifting the lights about 15cm (5.9inch) did some good to them. Here’s a couple pictures of the leaves showing issues. We’ve got hypothesis’s on why it’s happening but still not sure… One we figure it out we’ll Update this section to let you know! (If you have an idea share in the comment section!)
Spotting deficiencies during the stretch
So our suspicion here is Light burn. We hadn’t lifted our light yet since we put them in the grow room, it was about 20cm over head which isn’t that close, but they had been used to a light source that was further up so who knows it’s possible.
I know you might be telling yourself “that’s Nitrogen deficiency”. There are 2 things that go against that hypothesis:
- I’ve given them plenty, some of the plants with these deficiencies are actually also showing signs of nutrient burn
- The dead leafs aren’t falling of very easily, you have to pinch or cut them off to remove them from the stalk.
Now that second point is actually the one that hinted me off the most. Why? Because Nitrogen deficiency and light burn globally have the same signs, apart from 2 things. One of them being that with ND the dying leafs will just fall off, whereas with light burn they are hard to remove.
The only this that has me still hesitating is the fact that these signs are coming from the bottom of the plant, where normally light burn starts on top (second difference). But, these are also the main leaves receiving light, so it’s not totally crazy to think this.
In the pictures I didn’t show the next steps, but the leaf becomes all brown and dead, after which you need to pinch it or clip it off. This way to remove it is pretty unusual for a dead part of the plant.
Anyway, we brought the light up, hope it will do the trick.. they’re already not that big, loosing leaf mass is the last thing we want during the flowering stage.
This is a bit paradoxal with what I just said, but we’ve also been pruning some of our plants.
The one’s with the most deficiencies we’re cutting off all the side branches and pop corn buds, on the others removing the leafs in order to give direct light access to the branches below.
Pruning the marijuana leafs during the stretch
We’re going to go over the pruning (or cutting) of marijuana leafs and branches in 3 steps:
- How choose the leafs or branches you’re going to prune
- How to prune your marijuana plant
- What are we aiming for in this culture
In this example we’re taking a leaf as an example, but it’s basically the same thing with branches.
How to decide what to prune off your plant
During the stretch you really want to minimise extensive growth. The taller the plant, the more energy it takes to get the nutrients for the soil to the colas, as well as the “food” created by photosynthesis.
Keeping this in mind, if the branches you decided to keep don’t have direct sunlight due to a leaf making shade you need to cut that leaf. If you think it’s too risky because you don’t have enough leaf mass than cut that branch (or wait a little if you’re still in the vegetative stage).
Again, normally this is something best done during the vegetative stage since you can most likely recover, but we don’t really have a chance here.
Now that you’ve identified what you want to cut off, let’s look at how to do so.
How to prune your marijuana plant
- Identify the leafs or branches you want to remove
- Pinch at the intersection between the leaf or branch and the stalk of the plant. You can also decide to use a pair of scissors or clippers.
Whatever you use make sure you don’t damage the outer skin of the main stalk.
- Clip the branche off
In the case where the branch doesn’t cut straight off and the other skin of the main stem is still attached, cut it as close as the stem as possible. Try to damage it as less as possible.
The days following this you will see the other sections of the plants grow more, the energy previously used at this spot have been reallocated!
What are we aiming for in this culture
With 2 or 3 of our plants we’re decided to go for a one bud situation. The plants we picked only had 1 pair of small side branches and are the weakest ones. This will enable them to focus the energy they do have on their core flowers.
With the other flowers we decided to keep the main bottom branches, hoping that they will also produce a good amount of buds. We’ve remove all the “popcorn buds” or branches not receiving any direct light, hoping the cola buds will finish out to be nice and dense.
This means that on half the plants we had to mainly cut branches off, keeping the leaves for photosynthesis. On the other half we cut mainly leaves so that the main branches can have access to a direct source of light.
Globally we’re already aware that our harvest won’t be too crazy, this early flowering kind of screwed us.. But it’s alright, we learned something and could share it with you guys!
Day 34 – Changing to a Sodium Bulb
So we’ve entered the flowering stage for a couple days now and decided to change the light bulb so the sodium based one. The main difference between both is the light spectrum they emit. The vegetative light is more of a white/blue light whereas the Sodium based one if is more in a orange/infra red spectrum.
I’ve been reading around that during the stretch it can be good to keep the white light in order to reduce the spacing between the nodes, but honestly I don’t feel like doing more testing with these one’s, one yield isn’t going to be crazy, we’ll keep that test for the next run around!
Here’s a couple pics after the light change
P.S: remember to unplug your light before hand! I shocked myself, it hurts believe me!
I don’t know if you guess which one’s we’ve decided to go for a one bud or not off these pics, we’ll let you know in the next article!
We’re also going to go for another round or pruning, but for the flowers this time. We want the energy of the plants to focus on the main flowers on the top colas, not the one’s further down the stem that have little chance to make anything worth it.
Until next time, be safe and grow easy!