Published: September 28th, 2018
Categories: Cannabis Info
By the end of June, I had a couple of healthy Bruce Banner #3 seedlings in 27l and 17l round, white plastic pots. Joining them were a towering Sticky Beast Automatic in another 17l pot and a resilient Blueberry Automatic in a 15l white fabric smart pot. After two weeks on the rooftop terrace, all the seedlings were ready for a first and final transplant from jiffy pots into large pots of a lightly fertilised peat, coco, and perlite mix.
I ran short of cannabis-specific substrate and containers, so I had to improvise with a 5l white pot and dope up some garden centre peat with Vertafort pellets for a replacement Blueberry seedling. One Blueberry Automatic had already perished 3 days post-germination. But lil Blue was healthy and strong.
I had managed to keep all my tiny seedlings in the sunlight close to 16 hours per day. In the mornings, I would move them across the terrace, following the sunlight through to the afternoon. And in the evening as seedlings were housed in homemade propagators, I could easily carry them to the kitchen windowsill for more sunshine. But now they would have to mature on the roof and grow large to stay in the sun longer. This they accomplished easily and I need not have worried.
After about a month of idyllic conditions, blue skies and temperatures in the mid-20’ celsius were swept aside by an opening salvo of thunderstorms with heavy rain. Fortunately, the autos were in early bloom and my Banners were still in vegetative growth when the downpour came. No sooner did I buy and painstakingly duct tape a greenhouse together when the summer heat wave struck Europe.
Temperatures in Spain peaked above 40°, and it was rare to see a day under 30° the whole month of July. My remote, off-the-grid location was being hit with all kinds of weather I hadn’t anticipated. But I was evolving and adapting. Most importantly, all my plants were thriving. I even got a chance to do some topping. In fact, I topped all my Zamnesia strains.
Throughout the month of July as the searing heat continued, my cannabis garden was consuming an astounding amount of water. All my Zamnesia plants, save lil Blue, were guzzling 3–4l of water daily. They really got thirsty in the high temperatures. When a thunderstorm did strike, I was quick to lift all the plants to the safety of the greenhouse. It saved them more than once when a severe storm with particularly strong winds hit late one evening.
Late in July, poor lil Blue was struck by a nasty rust fungus. At first, I hoped it was a deficiency, but after desk research failed, I discovered through field research it was a threat to fruiting crops and trees in the local area. Unfortunately, cannabis was also susceptible to this blight. Worse, it was contagious, so lil Blue had to be cut down and removed from the garden immediately.
My remaining Blueberry Automatic, big Blue, in the 15l smart pot was a bushy bud factory over 60cm tall with multiple long-running colas. Sticky Beast Auto also rose above 60cm with multiple colas toward the end of July. Both Bruce Banners were about the same size, with even more secondary shoot development.
After more than a week of flushing with pure water, I could see more pistils turning from white to red/orange every day the first week of August. The heat wave was just about to break and a thunderstorm with heavy rain was on the way. 54 days post-germination, I decided to call time on cultivation for the Sticky Beast Auto. Sure, she could have used another few days, but her now swollen tops shimmering with resin wouldn’t survive heavy rain. I couldn’t risk losing everything, so as the closest to being ready for harvest, I chopped Sticky Beast Auto and would risk big Blue a few more days.
I had already taken my entire crop indoors into my bedroom by the early afternoon of day 54 when the most ferocious thunderstorm and monsoon-like rains flooded my little village in the middle of nowhere. I was actually flooded from both directions as the drain on the rooftop terrace got blocked. Amidst the mayhem, I safely harvested chunky Sticky Beast Auto buds. Probably my third Sticky Beast Auto phenotype, but this strain has never let me down and I look forward to toking on this gooey gourmet ganja again.
By day 59, big Blue, my lone survivor Blueberry Automatic was thoroughly flushed and ready for harvest. Her pistils had gotten those precious extra 5 days to ripen. With a majority of vibrant red hairs and a glistening coat of resin, her flowers had finally finished. It was easy trimming with her high flower to leaf ratio. Actually, I believe she may have even out-produced Sticky Beast Auto. Blueberry Automatic didn’t quite have the bulbous swollen bud tops of Sticky Beast Automatic, but she had developed long-running colas. Even lower buds had gotten good sunlight and formed plump, frosty nugs. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with the heavy harvest from Blueberry Automatic.
Back on day 36, I started taking my then 60cm tall topped Bruce Banner #3 in the 17l pot inside a couple of hours before sundown. I had blocked out all the light from the windows in the bedroom with curtains and created a dark room. My thinking was that by carrying photoperiod plants into the dark room a little earlier in the evening, it would make them think the nights were longer, inducing bloom as a result. At time of writing on day 63, my first experiment on Dr Banner is already paying dividends with rapid flower formations.
The results were so promising, I have begun the practice with my beastly 1m tall, 5 times topped and vegged for 8 weeks Bruce Banner #3 in the 27l pot. 7 nights have already brought forth the first flowers while significant colas are filling up the branches of the first Banner to receive artificial 12/12, now 1m tall and budding strong.
From this point onward, I’m on uncharted territory. I have the autos in the bag and I’ll follow up with a full post-harvest report. But anything can happen with these monster Bruce Banners. If I can keep the rain off them and manage to squeeze them up and down the stairs to maintain the 12/12, I just might have an amazing photoperiod harvest finale.