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Growing Culture

On the Deck III

 The
three Triple X plants are thriving in the wick system on the deck. They are
watered only once or twice a week, about every five days. No water is poured on
the top of the soil; it is pour

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The
three Triple X plants are thriving in the wick system on the deck. They are
watered only once or twice a week, about every five days. No water is poured on
the top of the soil; it is poured into the lower tray. The 3/8-inch nylon wicks
suck it up and bring it into the bottom of the planting tray. The soil draws it
up through capillary action. The entire top tray is webbed with roots within an
inch of the top.

 

During
the vegetative stage the plants were fed Master Formula A and B. The A formula
was 4-0-3, and the B formula was 1-5-6. Its combined formula was 5-5-9. The
initial water from the tap was about 100 PPM. I added 50 PPM Cal Mag to bring
the water to 150 PPM. Then I added 275 PPM each of Master Formula A and B to
bring the water to 700 PPM. Even though the plants were starting to flower I
thought they could use a little more growth so I continued using this formula,
which contained ample amounts of growth-promoting nitrogen (N).

 

The
water in the bottom tray was aerated using several bubblers powered by air
pumps and a water pump that circulated the water in the tray. Even with the
plastic tarp covering the trays I noticed that there were some mosquito larvae
in the tray. I added a few bait minnows to the water and they eliminated them.
The fish are still swimming around. The high PPM and dark environment doesn’t
seem to bother them and they are finding food in the reservoir.

 

With
all the pruning to encourage branching earlier in the season, the plants were
growing dense heads of branches. However, many of them were puny and could not
compete for canopy space—they were being choked out. Others were adventitious
shoots on the lower part of the plant that received little direct sunlight. The
plants definitely did not need them. Leaves that don’t get much light cost the
plant energy, stop the flow of air, and create mold-promoting humidity.

 

With
the bottom parts removed, the plants put all of their growth and energy into
the top canopy. The top branches grew taller and stronger and began to fill out
the space that the trimming opened. By the end of the month the plants had
refilled the space—only this time it was occupied by strong branches poised to
hold big buds.

 

TIP
OF THE MONTH FROM ASK ED®

Now
is the time when plants and buds are most vulnerable to attacks by molds such
as brown bud mold (botrytis) and powdery mildew. Rain, a large drop in
temperature nightly producing dew, high humidity and temperature in the range
of 55°F–70°F promote mold germination. To prevent a breakout spray preemptively
with an herbal fungicide such as Ed Rosenthal’s Zero Tolerance fungicide or
make your own. Make sure to spray new growth regularly and re-spray after heavy
rain.

 

Recipe
for homemade fungicide:

 

For
one quart:

For
one gallon:

      
1 quart water

      
3 ounces non-fat milk

      
2 teaspoons potassium bicarbonate (or substitute with
sodium bicarbonate—baking soda)

      
1/2 teaspoon oregano oil (available at health food stores)

      
1 gallon water

      
12 ounces non-fat milk

      
1½ ounces potassium bicarbonate (or substitute with sodium
bicarbonate—baking soda)

      
1/3 ounce (9 grams) oregano oil (available at health food
stores)

 

 

 

PHOTO
CAPTIONS

1.)   
July 18 The plants had grown into a dense sea of vegetation. They were too
crowded.

2.)    July 22 —a day after the plants were pruned. The buds have more space because
the weaker and nonproductive parts of the plants are no longer taking up the
plants’ space or energy.

3.)   
July 29 A week after pruning, the plant has filled up the space with strong
branches.

4.)   
July 29 This flower is about a week old. In about seven weeks it will be ready
to harvest.

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