What better way to cheer up a wet, cold and miserable day than with a few bowls on the bong, a large cup of coffee and starting a new grow diary? I’ll be updating the journal once per week, and unlike other people… don’t expect 100’s of photos (there will be precisely zero) like you find on the popular Growdiaries.com!
Even though I love the site, I’ve found myself skipping the images and searching for the juicy tit bits written by the grower. The experience of growing a strain is much more valuable to improving my cultivation efforts, than a bunch of beautifully shot photos.
You have to listen to some great tunes while writing a grow diary, and am sure you’d love some music while reading this very long Speed + Auto blog post. Have a little dance shall we!
My last grow was Auto Ultimate by Dutch Passion, and even though I love the strain, having fantastic genetics and large yields, It’s super slow! It took 95 days from seed to harvest, so this time I’m going for pure speed!
This is my first time growing Speed +, but have done my research and from other growers diaries and solo cup challenges know that under the right conditions this strain can provide decent yields quickly.
7 weeks from seed to harvest is my target, but would be happy with chopping down around the 8 week mark. If I can achieve this time frame, I’ll continue with Speed + on a perpetual monthly grow until my 7 seeds run out.
I purchased the seeds from by go to suppliers Seedman.com at the end of last month, and were stealthy delivered 4 days later. 5 seeds for under 30 quid, and 2 freebies of the same strain from Sweet Seeds, plus a bonus 3 feminized photoperiod Blueberry’s from Seedman, made 10 seeds to play with in total. Bargain!
Target weight? As I grow for personal use only, I always aim for 1oz per plant. Anything more is gravy! When looking at potential yields online, I always go by the outdoor grow estimates, as find these more accurate the this g/m2 bollocks.
But for those of you that what to know, word on the street is…
Indoor yields will range between 350 – 500 gr/m2 while plants that are cultivated in an outdoor setting should produce between 30 – 150 gr. each depending on the usual external factors but especially the local weather conditions. [Seedman]
Grow Room Setup
I’ll be running the same setup for all my grow diaries. This helps keep a controlled environment for any tests and experiments I try. I live in a quite small apartment, and space is at premium, so have a few small grow tents, instead of these fancy 1,000,000,000 sq/f professional grow rooms!
The tent, grow lights and ventilation I’ll be using is very basic, cost effective and perfect for beginners to replicate. I’d rather share grow information using equipment the common man is likely to own, than saying I grew a 75oz monster with expensive hydroponics, Co2 generators and trillion dollar lighting systems.
- 3×3 GA Grow tent.
- Marshydro TS 1000.
- Black Orchid 4″ Extractor Fan Carbon Filter.
- 1 Gallon fabric pots.
- BioBizz light mix soil.
- Chempax high + low nitrogen plant feed.
As mentioned, nothing too exotic or complicated! A basic cannabis grow setup every man and his dog can afford and operate. These elements will be kept constant for future grows, so we can concentrate on the quality of the strain, not other outside variables.
Right, let’s get this bitch growing! But first…
Let’s have quick break! Put the kettle on, make a brew or coffee and smoke a joint or bowl of whatever sticky herb you have on hand today.
I’m going to enjoy some Bubble Kush Auto, that’s been curing for 3 months, ground up in to a smoking blend with mullein and damiana.
Then come back, watch this video of a gorilla playing drums for awhile, when your ready continue reading my scintillating Speed + Auto grow diary…
…Ahh, that’s much better!
OK, if your anything like me, you’ve spent countless annoying hours researching the best way to germinate cannabis seeds, and inevitability ran in to a brick wall of conflicting answers. People spouting glass of water, damp tissue paper, rock wool, plugs, propagation domes and heat mat bullshit.
Let’s look at an example…
The guys at Leafy state;
Cannabis seeds require three things to germinate: water, heat, and air. Because of this, there are many methods to germinate your seeds. The most common and simplest method involves the use of paper towels saturated in water.
and Grow Weed Easy recommends;
One of the best cannabis germination methods is to use specifically-made starter cubes and seedling plugs. These plugs make cannabis germination easy. You simply place the seed in the cube or plug, add water as directed, and seedlings automatically get the perfect conditions for germination.
then I Love Growing Marijuana prefers;
To germinate with water, fill a glass with tap water and allow it to reach room temperature over a few hours. The temperature should be around 18° C or 65° F. Do not add nutrients. Drop 2 to 3 cannabis seeds into the water and watch for any changes. Refill the glass with fresh water every other day while maintaining its temperature.
You can see the problem here? Three of the biggest cannabis growing websites on the net, all pushing different germination methods. Crazy!! I’m going to tell you a TOP SECRET germination technique that reliably pops my seed 99% of the time.
After I tell you this mind blowing method, you’ll want to immediately contact all your growing friends and tell them my revolutionary germination trick, but please restrain yourself and keep this game changing information to yourself… Promise me!
I Planted The Seed In Soil And Water It!
Yes, call me insane! But it turns out that over 500 million years of evolution has actually solved the mystery of germinating cannabis seeds. I simply fill the smart pot with the BioBizz soil and perlite light mix, occasionally tap on the ground to compact a little and when it’s half inch from the top press down lightly.
Next, I water the soil to dampen, make a small quarter inch deep hole in the middle with a pencil, drop the Speed + Auto seed in, back fill the hole and water again. All I need to do now is re-water every day or two, to keep he soil moist and wait. It really is that easy!
It’s alive! It took 4 days to shows it’s face, on par with my average of 3-4 days for germination. When seeds refuse to pop for 7 days, I write if off as a dud and plant a new one. Sometimes seeds are just not up for it, and this has nothing to do with how it’s germinated.
My Speed + Auto baby is looking strong and has already shed it’s shell cap. The grow tent is set to a 20/4 light cycle, and at a constant temperature of 26c and humidity levels are at a steady 40. I’ll feed nothing but a small amount water for the first week, at regular intervals, making sure to water in a circle 2 inches away from the plant, forcing roots to stretch and hunt for the source.
As you may of noticed I apply a K.I.S.S (keep it simple stupid) mentality to most practical situations, and my cannabis grows in the seedling stage are no exception. Temperature, humidity and growing environment are exactly the same for this stage, as any other.
Royal Queen Seeds reckon;
Seedlings have very particular needs when it comes to temperature, humidity, and lighting, and missing the mark in any of these areas can prove fatal for such small plants. For best results, we recommend growing seedlings in a propagator where you can easily create the perfect environment for them to flourish in.
and Weed Maps seem to think;
The temperature in your grow environment shouldn’t exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit, otherwise the seedlings may grow too tall. (You should also plan on lowering the temperature at night to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit.)
going on to say;
You should also aim to keep humidity in the grow environment at a higher level, typically around 70 percent. That way, the plants can absorb moisture from the environment to develop stronger roots without getting weighed down by over-watering.
Yet again, we’re getting different (therefore confusing) advice from these so called cultivation experts? The fact is, the perfect climatic environment solely depends on the genetics of the strain your growing. There isn’t one size fits all, and these clowns need to start telling their readers the truth.
Various stages of a plants growth cycle DO NOT require climate control intervention to thrive. It’s just made up shit, to get people to buy more crap they don’t need.
Firstly, do you think the climate changes in a strains native land, to suit seedling, veg or flowering stages? No, it’s pretty much constant. Secondly, strains originating in dry hot climates like Afghanistan will have very different requirements to one from cold high humidity climates like Siberia.
It seems like common sense, that you should match grow room conditions to the genetically inherent locality of the cannabis strain. Speed + Auto, from what I’ve read, is what I call a “goldilocks” cannabis strain, and will thrive in balanced, straight down the middle temperature and humidity zones.
I like to always start growing at these levels, no matter the strain. It allows flexibility to dial up or down things to any adverse reaction the plant may exhibit. As, for watering… I like to water just after the light switch on each day, but only if needed.
I’ll test soil moisture levels by sticking my finger right in there. Ideally it’ll be at a slightly excited librarian dampness, not gang bang ready, dripping wet porn star levels… Dirty bad soil!
Week 1 Veg
Running a day late on this update, so apologies for that! Captains log star date 15/03/21. The Speed + Auto is coming along nicely, with 2 sets of health leaves. Not much vertical growth at the moment, but that is to be expected while roots are still filling the fabric pot.
The plant is 2.5 inches tall, and leaves span 5 inches. I’ve moved the light further away as saw early signs of heat stress, but other than that plant is strong and healthy. I’m feeding PHed water without nutrients, and will continue this for the next 7 days. There’s plenty of feed in the soil for 2 weeks of growth.
As this is a speed grow I’m developing and testing a new growing method I’m calling “Anti Stress Training“, or AST for short. Instead of training plants for potentially larger yields, which I believe slows down and stunts growth, I’m doing the exact opposite and supporting leaves from the underneath. My theory is by reducing stress in this way, more energy will be diverted to growth and early finishing. More on this later…
Week 2 Veg
The Speed + Auto is growing quickly. 3rd node just showing it’s face and early fan leaves are almost hanging over the edge of the 1 gallon fabric pot. Very surprised the planted has started to give off a pleasant sweet aroma. Leaves are looking strong with no signs of deficiencies. All in all happy with the progress.
I’ll start feeding nutrients in the forthcoming week, and will start with 2 milliliters per liter of my feed. I’m using 6 scoops of Chempak low nitrogen feed, mixed with 1 liter of water. This is the concoction I take the 2 mill from, and add to water.
These fertilizer is an NPK 12.5 / 25 / 25, and designed for flowering stage. However as I’m speeding growing, going straight to bloom nutrients will stimulate flowering activity early. The fertilizer I’m using, which is much cheaper than traditional cannabis nutrients, also contains secondary vitamins and minerals like; boron, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum and zinc.
To avoid calcium problems, I’ll also boil 3 eggs in water, with a splash of vinegar, let them simmer for 20 minutes, allow the water to cool and use for base water for watering once per week. Even through my tap water does contain calcium, this method just safeguards from potential issues down the line.