Cultivating Eight 97 S.A.G.E. Plants for the First Time:
- Doug_xx2’s 97 S.A.G.E. Grow
- Learning from Doug_xx2’s 97 S.A.G.E. Grow
There is always a first time for everything. For Doug_xx2, growing marijuana is something that he has always wanted to do so but did not have the courage to. Now, he has prepared everything and is ready for his journey.
What better way to ask for guidance than connecting with his co-growers? With the help of the ILGM community, he was able to put a grow journal. This way, other newbies or veteran growers may learn something or share their knowledge based on Doug_xx2’s experiences.
Doug_xx2’s 97 S.A.G.E. Grow
97 S.A.G.E. are seldom to be the first choice when it comes to growing cannabis. As they are recommended to be grown by those with experience. However, when they succeed with it, they will have buds with potent, yet unique smelling flowers.
Coming from Fall ’97 and S.A.G.E. lineage, the buds are also expected to have high resin quality and high THC content. Although some growers have difficulty with it because of its long flowering time and tall growth stature.
Doug_xx2 decided to defy the odds by doing exactly what is not expected from him on his first grow. He would be growing eight 97 S.A.G.E. plants on his first grow. And despite its long stature, he also decided to scrog his ladies.
Seeds: 97 S.A.G.E.
Paper towels are the most convenient method to germinate seeds. But Doug_xx2 wanted to try something different for his first grow. Instead of using paper towels, he used coffee filters and rather than water, he soaked the seeds with Medi-One nutrient solution.
After the 24-hour immersion, eight 97 S.A.G.E. seedlings are planted in Happy Frog Potting Soil still with Medi-One nutrient solution. Then, he did something out of the ordinary. Instead of using chemicals for Calcium-Magnesium (Cal-Mag) supplements, he chose dried egg shells and 100% Hershey’s Cacao powder.
All eight seedlings are inside a closet with 2-feet T5 fluorescent lights. He also added a heater set to 75°F for good measure.
His 24 hours on and 0 hours off light schedule along with watering the plants with Medi-One nutrient solution seem to be working well. Of course, using a nutrient-filled water solution needs to have its pH level calibrated before feeding them to the plants.
Growers would usually use pH up or pH down to balance the levels. However, Doug_xx2 wanted to keep it all-natural as much as possible and used vinegar with baking soda instead. He measured the pH until he got 6.5 to 7 and watered it to the plants.
Even though things are working well, he wanted to have some changes around his growing space. He traded his lights for an Agrobrite T5 4’ 6 tube lights. Then the pots are now 1-gallon smart pots.
The sprouts are already reaching for the lights and Doug_xx2 wanted to give them more space by burying them a little bit deeper.
Seems like the sprouts are having difficulty standing on their own. Electric fans are known to strengthen the stems of the plants. Doug_xx2 installed one for his plants. Then to stimulate growth, he also started massaging the stems and the leaves.
As for watering, he still adds Medi-One solution as prescribed by the label except every third watering. That is the time that he only gives them straight water to let them breathe a little.
As healthy and green as the plants may appear, some discolorations started appearing which could be a sign of magnesium deficiency. His fellow growers suggested stopping using baking soda to his plants. Upon further research, he found the following possible effects of using sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) on plants:
- Binds to the phosphorous and makes it unavailable for consumption for the plants
- Decreases plant growth
- Stays in the soil after flushing
Unknowingly, he was poisoning his plants by using sodium bicarbonate, a type of salt.
He finally gave in and bought some pH up and pH down for his plants. As per the packaging of the products, he has already caused some nutrient lock-out because of his pH level as well. pH 7 to 7.5 is too high and locked out any remaining phosphorous, iron, and manganese supposedly for his soil.
Learning his lesson, he re-balanced his water and nutrient solution between 5.75 and 6.0. He also stopped watering the plants nutrient-filled solution almost three times a day. Instead, they receive a pint of nutrient-filled water and misting of pH balanced water only once a day.
Lesson learned: never use baking soda in growing. Good thing Doug_xx2 caught up early on to change things up and his plants are now recovering. There are less and less discoloration on them and more nodes are starting to appear.
Up until three days ago, he has been feeding the nutrients at the 3rd week mix as prescribed on the package. He combines it with foliar misting the plants with distilled water to avoid hard water deposits. Although, both processes do not give him enough water to have a run off.
Since he cannot test the pH level and ppm of the soil, he was surprised to see tiny spots and holes starting to appear, even to the newer growths. Although, he already has a culprit: a single insect lurking around in one of his 97 S.A.G.E.
Also, there are still some discoloration appearing on the leaves. In hopes of reversing the damages, he added a teaspoon of Epsom Salt to his foliar spray to supply some magnesium to the plants.
As if all those are not enough to baffle Doug_xx2, here comes another one. He is quite confused why one plant looks different than the rest. One probable reason is its phenotype. Others could have grown out to be sativa-dominant, while this one is Indica-dominant.
One ILGM Volunteer named bob31 has a lot of suggestions for him:
“I think if you stop watering on a schedule and start watering when your plants need it then you will be preventing a lot of future problems, like root rot.”
“Buy a TDS meter as without one there is no way to know how much nutrients your plant needs. Runoff pH should be 6.5 to 6.7 so you are in fact locking nutrients out of your soil with a low pH runoff.”
“I’d get a good magnifier and have a very close look at those plants again. Something is eating it, looks to me.”
And Doug_xx2 intends to follow through. He stops his daily feeding schedule and only does so when the soil gets dry. He also went ahead and bought one TDS meter, one thermometer and a hygrometer.
Thanks to Majiktoker, a co-grower from the ILGM community, he was able to identify the insect roaming around his growing space. Apparently, it’s a wood tick that has been eating the holes out of his plants. He sprayed the leaves and the stems with neem oil solution to get rid of the tick.
He also flushed the plants with pH 7.0 water and wait for a couple of days to see what happens.
Two days later and his girls seem to be happy. No more wood ticks and no holes for the newer growths. They also appear to perk up after the flushing, so he is thinking that what happened to him really was a case of nutrients lock-out.
It seems like the wood tick really traumatized him. He went out and bought more pesticides for his girls. And even though he got two various kinds, Doug_xx2 only used SNS 203, the one with the natural formula. Usage instructions told him to use it as a foliar spray and re-apply every 5-7 days.
Initially, his plan was for this to be an all-natural grow. However, when circumstances went against him, he decided to add chemicals into his growing solutions. If possible though, he still opts to use those with natural ingredients like this one.
Seven weeks in and Doug_xx2’s ladies are all looking magnificent inside his 5’ x 5’ x 7’ tent. So far, all his remedies worked, and he has not encountered more problems. In fact, he is now able to give the ladies some low-stress trainings (LST).
Almost a month since his last update, and he now has his girls under a scrog (Screen of Green) net. He will use the net to train his ladies and pull more bud sites up near the light. This way, he would be able to maximize his space and end up with more yield.
The ladies have also been pruned which they seem to like. Now, they are filling up their net quite nicely.
From eight 97 S.A.G.E. plants, Doug_xx2 is down to seven. Sadly, after switching to Ushio Pro Plus HPS 1000-watts Double Ended 8-inch Saturn XXXL Cool Tube, he found one plant had the nerve to grow some balls. These pollen sacs are the reproductive parts of male plants that produce pollen. If he does not pull his male 97 S.A.G.E. out soon, he would find himself growing some seeds instead of buds soon.
Another crucial factor of scrogging is keeping the plants bushy, not tall. He wants to keep the plants at a height that they would not reach the roof of the tent. To keep it that way, he decided to switch the flip early.
Doug’s_xx2 97 S.A.G.E. are already 89 days old and it is also their 4th day in flowering.
Over that time, they have already filled about 75% of the net. More bud sites can also be seen popping out of the net.
One day before their first week into flowering, Doug_xx2 decided to super crop them. Super cropping involves pinching and bending the branches to a specific direction. This would get the plants too stay bushy or become bushier. Then, since positioned them in a way that more bud sites can receive light, it also enables the plants to produce more bud sites.
He added another trellis or net one foot above the first one. This time, the holes are smaller so that he can get more LST done on the plants, giving them a chance to produce more buds. Also, it acts as a support for the branches of the plants.
So far, no plant has reached his second net yet. But his set-up seems to work well with him. Buds have started appearing. These have also started growing clear pistils.
18th day into flowering and they are already popping up their second screens. From the looks of it, he is going to end up with densely packed and huge buds per stem. He has taken the pictures without the HPS light and they look incredible.
Doug_xx2 also decided to do one controversial pruning method for cannabis called defoliation. Other growers also call is as the “lollipop” method. It involves removing a lot of the lower growth of the plants and resembling a lollipop. This way, the energy in the tent is focused on the canopy.
Here’s what they look like four days after their defoliation:
Also, quite noticeable below the second net, the girls are spacious. The air can freely roam, and the lights are absorbed completely by the top buds. No unnecessary elements to divert the energy to. Thanks to defoliation/lollipopping.
Almost a month later, Doug_xx2’s girls look unrecognizable. They have created a jungle of buds among themselves. Most of which are tightly packed and already have amber trichomes growing out of them.
He has also been using Nectar of the Gods nutrients which, according to him helped them grow this big. Although, when he used Bloom Khaos from the same line, his plants adapted magnesium deficiencies. He used Cal-Mag for two weeks and it did the job for him.
Remember how he used Medi-One Solution all the time during the first part of his grow? Well, he now claims that they might have caused the problems that he encountered and that he would “use the Nectar for the gods in a heartbeat every single grow.
According to his calculations, this grow only has 15 to 25 days left before harvest. In preparation, he has already stopped feeding and has changed the lighting schedule to 11 hours on and 13 hours off.
With growth this big, nobody believes him when he says this is his first grow. One grower named Nug-bug even commented “Dude your killing it for your first grow! Are you kidding me? Only thing you should doubt is if you have enough jars for curing.”
With only a few days left, his trichomes are already crystal clear. Meanwhile, the trichomes are already brownish and amber in color. Harvest day for Doug_xx2’s 07 S.A.G.E. is getting near.
He was right. Only 26 days later, the buds are already in Doug_xx2’s hands. He already prepared a small closet to hang the buds to dry.
Meanwhile, for those little ones that fell before he even had the chance to hang them to dry, he made them into a keef. Like the resourceful man that he is, he used a mesh bag and dry ice to do so.
He cannot tell exactly how much he has harvested because he does not have a weighing scale at hand. Looking at it, we can say it was a lot.
Now that every bud has dried, he picked out the best ones and placed them in jars to cure.
With so much yield, he even ran out of jars to put them in. He also tried to do some bho with some extra buds.
Learning from Doug_xx2’s 97 S.A.G.E. Grow
A lot of cultivators choose organic and all-natural for their crops. Some would even avoid using chemicals at all costs. Some may succeed but there are those that may have a lot of problems along the way.
One of those growers who opted to use all-natural ingredients for his grow is Doug_xx2. He used the following:
- Dried eggshells for calcium
- 100% Hershey’s Cocoa Powder for magnesium
- Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and vinegar to balance pH
He regretted the last one because it almost ruined his plants. Fortunately, he caught on with the problems at the nick of time. His co-growers helped him understand that using baking soda causes some nutrient lock out in his plants. Also, no one has ever proved that using it with vinegar balances pH in the soil.
Nonetheless, once he was able to solve those problems he encountered, everything went on smoothly for him. It’s a big bonus that he had a lot of yield to harvest. As a matter of fact, he was able to do much more than cure them.
Do you have any recommendations for those who want to grow with all-natural materials?
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