Grow Number 5

March 1, 2014 - April 25, 2014
Strain: King Louie OG (Indica Dominant)

2 nodes: Transplanted clones and flipped lights 1
4 nodes: Started FoxFarms Big Bloom w/molasses 8
3.0 - 5.5"
6-7 nodes: Defoliated all fan leaves with 1" of stem 15
1st Flower
4.0 - 7.5"


4.5 - 8.25"
Starting LST


Started FoxFarms Tiger Bloom


  Defoliated remaining fan leaves 43


Starting pre-harvest flush. Checking trichomes

Early Harvest


Cure at 8 days


Hang dry until 25% of wet weight,  trim, cure in
glass jars with Boveda 62% humidity packs for 30 days minimum.

March 1st:  Week 1 (Transition)

Picked up 6 new clones and a freebie backup from the House of Clones in Van Nuys. They were sold out of the strain I wanted so I went with King Louie OG. These were transplanted to the new and 50% larger 1.5 liter plastic bottles filled with FoxFarms Ocean Forest potting soil blended with an additional 30-40% medium Perlite and a couple cups of fresh worm casts complete with a few small worms. These clones were started in rock wool cubes and the well developed roots were poking through the edges. Originally the plants were about 4-5 inches high but were planted deep in the new containers leaving only about 1.5 inches of stem above the soil. The extra couple of inches of stem buried in the soil will develop new roots along its entire length.

After equalizing the dry weights of the planted containers at 400 grams all containers were given about 7 ounces of fresh rainwater (pH 5.5) from an overnight storm. From past experience I've learned not to fully saturate the containers to the drip point until the new transplants are established. The recently watered root cube retains enough moisture to keep the plant going and the additional  water just lightly moistens the surrounding soil so that it doesn't suck the moisture from the root cube. As before the weights will be charted weekly before and after watering to keep track of plant growth and needs. After watering all containers weighed between 577- 606 grams.

I am researching this strain by checking online grow blogs. So far I've learned it is one of the Southern California OG indica strains which are noted for their sedative effects and mainly reserved for night time use. This strain however is balanced by its sativa influences being a cross between OG Kush (sativa) and L.A. Confidential (indica).

As for grow characteristics it matures in eight to nine weeks and is a heavy feeder. Most indicas are short and bushy plants unlike the stretchy sativas.  However I have seen descriptions of this particular strain as 'lanky' but as of yet I haven't seen any examples. Those could just have been isolated phenotypes of this strain over expressing their sativa parentage.

I'm hoping that by flipping the lights (changing from 18 on/6 off to 12/12) immediately to trigger the flowering cycle the plants will concentrate on flower formation rather than vegetative growth and thus will be narrower than a plant building branching stems and leaf. If given a normal 30 day vegetation period the canopy of just one of these plants could easily fill the entire 10 inch by 12 inch grow shelf.

3-5:  All 6 of the original plants are making progress and four are already on their third node. I'm not sure if measuring height or counting new nodes is the best way to track the growth of this primarily indica hybrid. Unlike the previous grow which was a sativa dominant these plants were flipped as soon as they were transplanted and had only two nodes above the seed leaves.

With no vegetative time the plants should start building a central cola just above the ground level with additional flowers surrounding it.  One style of growing strips the plants of any fan leaf with 1" or more of stem in the belief that the energy that would have gone into maintaining that large leaf can be better used in bulking up the flowers instead adding up to an increase in harvest weight.  I have used this technique in previous grows with mixed success as not all strains respond equally. But it does help to open up the canopy to more light and air which is always a concern in such tightly spaced grows which are susceptible to mold and fungus from lack of circulation.

March 8th:  Week 2 (Transition)

The first week following transplanting and the first week of flowering are the least dramatic times of the season since the adjustment to the new conditions slows growth.

In the present case both conditions overlap so it isn't surprising that they have only put on 1/2 to 1 inch of new growth and showed signs of transplant shock with dried leaf edges and tips.

I've used the analogy before of a parent hovering anxiously over a newborn and that's what these times of delayed activity feel like. Once the root systems expand beyond the root cube to the surrounding soil the real growth begins. I expect to see that in the coming week.

Here, in extreme closeup, is the classic indica branching and node structure. The  area depicted is only one inch tall and yet already has four flowering nodes in that limited space.

 It will be interesting to compare how these plants grow with the previous tall and lanky sativas.

Plants were watered with 1/2 cup of worm cast tea today and retained between 77 - 101 grams with the containers weighing between 588 - 592 grams after watering. The tea was made from stored rainwater and FoxFarms organic Big Bloom with 3 tablespoons molasses per gallon to feed the soil bacteria. The hardest part about transplanting clones is determining how much to water until they are established. For example, even though the plants had only used about half of the water given to them on 3/1 and the soil probe showed plenty of moisture in the root zone they looked a bit limp and did perk up after being watered. The larger containers are also a factor. In time things will sort themselves out but for now I would rather under than over water.

Based on my experience from the previous grow  I am convinced that the use of worm cast tea and molasses to feed the soil bacteria made all the difference in soil tilth - it drained more quickly and the roots were more responsive to watering.  Since it is all organic I plan to use it exclusively as the only fertilizer in this grow relying on the organic potting soil to supply the remainder of the nutrients.

3-9:   Another milestone for the anxious 'parent' - plants #3 and 5 are showing their first roots!  Can the others be far behind?  

Now that the root system is becoming established by extending beyond the root cube the plants will be better able to utilize the recent watering and nourishment as they begin what is known as the 'stretch' - the first 30 days following the reduction in photo period when the plants put on their greatest vertical growth.

Once that is completed the final 30 - 40 days will see the plants concentrating their energy into increasing flower (bud) size and resin production.

3-11:  It's a bit premature at this stage of the grow to be discussing post harvest drying and curing procedures but I just came across a new (to me) product that offers the promise of absolutely controlling the humidity level during the curing process and for months afterward during storage.  

This Boveda pack is an all natural two-way humidity controller that guarantees a perfect 62% RH at all times either absorbing or releasing moisture as needed. Proper curing fully develops color, aroma,  flavor and potency.

Last night, after checking the online grow logs and finding 100% positive reviews from actual growers, I ordered a years supply which will be here in a week *. Now that the previous grow is ready to be jarred long term a humidity pack will be included in each storage container.

With these packs handling the humidity regulation there is no need to 'burp' (ventilate) the containers. They can just be put away and left alone for at least 30 days. As the link indicates the daily opening of the containers and allowing them to 'breathe' contributes to the deterioration of the trichomes (resin glands) causing them to lose THC. I also think that the 7-10 day time frame previously used in hanging the plants before jarring was excessive ... three days/25% of wet weight works much better as a guideline.

3-13: Plants were watered with 1 cup of worm cast tea made with rainwater and molasses today and retained between 130-168 grams with the containers weighing between 604 - 622 grams after watering. This batch of tea was made over a week ago and the molasses was added to the entire batch at that time - by today it is clear there has been some fermentation as the yeast smell is a bit overwhelming.  

* Didn't realize I had agreed to priority 2nd day shipping - the Boveda packs arrived today.    

March 15th:  Week 3 (Flowering)

All of the plants have completed the transition stage and are now flowering - notice the very thin single leaves radiating around the center calyx with a few emerging white pistils. Three of the plants now have 6 nodes and while the other three gained just a single node and remain at 5.

Three of the plants put on a half inch or more during the past week while the other three doubled that and are now an inch or more taller than the others growing under the same conditions. Possibly those clones came from a different mother plant and reflect more of a sativa influence. They will be watched carefully to see if they continue to outpace the other three.   

3-18: Plants were watered with 1 cup of RO H2O and retained between 124-152 grams with the containers weighing between 602 - 639 grams after watering.


Four days ago I indicated I was concerned about the disproportionate heights of several of the plants.

These two in particular ... #2 is only 3.5" tall while #3 is over 7 inches.  The smaller plant isn't stunted so much as the fact that its nodes are much, much closer together showing the indica side of the hybrid.

 #3, on the other hand, has the same number of nodes but they are spaced much further apart like a sativa.  

Generally a hybrid has been grown over several generations and its phenotypes (variations within a strain) are stable and of a consistent size. Not sure what accounts for the difference in this case.

What is does confirm though, if #3 really is a King Louie, are the reports that this indica dominant hybrid has a tall and lanky phenotype as well. I'm kind of excited to be able to grow the two side by side but I am disappointed that I wasn't informed that #3 came from a different mother plant than the rest.

March 22nd:  Week 4 (Flowering)

Plants put on over an inch of growth this past week and now are between 4 and 7.5 inches with the majority around 5-6 inches. The number of pistils has easily doubled and perhaps tripled. Decided not to try to count nodes this week because the newly emerging nodes are still a bit indistinct. The count will resume when the plants are taller and the internode spacing is more pronounced.

The plants are still being kept 12 inches from the intense overhead light relying on the side lighting for their initial growth. The lesson from the past grows is that the plants do better at this distance during the first thirty days of flowering. Moving them closer resulted in prematurely aged pistils and dried leaf tips.

Because of the 22 inch tall vertical side lighting the plants are surrounded by 10,800 lumens at all stages of their growth. By the 30th day of flowering the plants will be tall enough to begin to benefit more directly from the overhead light which adds another 7-10,000 lumens. By that time the trichomes (resin glands) will have started covering the surface of the leaves which allows the plants, if grown outside, to withstand the higher late summer/early fall temperatures. Indoors it means the plants can be moved to within 4-6" of the hotter overhead lights.  

3-23: Plants were watered with 1 cup of worm cast tea and molasses retaining between 134-164 grams with the containers weighing between 591 - 642 grams after watering. Noticed a slight browning of the pistils on the top cola of the tallest plant #3. Currently it is about 11" from the overhead light but previously it was under 6" which might have been too close at that stage. .

March 29th:  Week 5 (Flowering)

Plants #1, 2 and 6 grew 1/2 inch taller this week while #4 and 5 remained the same height as last week but are a bit more bushy. Plant #3 skyrocketed 1.25 inches.  Plants were watered yesterday with 1 cup of stored rain water with the containers retaining between 115 - 177 grams after watering.

The plants are exhibiting definite indica characteristics with their squatty, bushy shapes and closely spaced nodes. The top colas are 1/2 by 1 inch now and all nodes are swelling daily with new masses of whitish pistils.

The four nodes in the picture on the right are growing tightly together on a two inch section of stem which shows just how close the nodes on an indica plant can be. When fully mature these nodes should grow together resulting in a single very compact and dense bud.

Something new in this grow ... using a LST (low stress training) technique to tame the disproportionate height of plant #3 by bending its stem horizontally and staking it in plant 2's container. This will shift the plant's growth away from its central tip and into the lateral flowers/buds. This was the technique used in the first two grows.

3-31: Remembering how this technique allows all buds to have equal access to the overhead light insuring maximum development I went ahead and laid over four additional plants that had reached five inches or more. Number two is still too small. The plants were also raised to within 6 inches of the overhead light with no increase in shelf temperature.

Since it will require additional time and risk damage to unpin and re-pin the linked containers their individual positions will no longer  be adjusted each morning instead the entire crate will be turned 180 degrees to balance the side lighting. But if an individual plant needs weighing or a closer inspection the pins don't need to be removed - the stem is just pushed down and out from under the hook.

4-3:  Plants were watered today with 1 cup of worm cast tea with added molasses. Plants retained between 161-204 grams. The weather has been cool and wet this past week and so the plants used less water going a full seven days since the last watering. All plants are now being tied down and trained and have already taken a set with the stems bent horizontally.

April 5th:  Week 6 (Flowering)

It's been 5 days since the plants underwent a low stress technique to limit height and create a flat topped canopy. Even that technique creates some stress though and it seemed as if the four week old flowers had stopped growing with many pistils shriveling up and turning brown. But this has also occurred in previous grows and may just be a stage related event. This morning there was evidence of renewed growth so I'm hopeful.

Did find and fix a very minor light leak in the grow room ... one of the fans has a backlit on/off indicator light which was leaking through the black tape originally applied to block it. All sources warn of the dire consequences of the plants receiving light during the 12 hours of darkness - everything from reverting to the vegetation mode to hermaphroditism. And yet all outdoor plants receive moonlight during two weeks out of every month without altering their flowering activities. But just to be safe the fan was re-taped.
4-8: Plants watered today with 1.5 cups of worm cast tea (no molasses) supplemented with a heavy feeding of FoxFarm's Tiger Bloom (2-8-4) especially formulated with extra phosphorus to promote flower and bud development. Containers retained between 186-247 grams (6.5-8.5 ounces) with the fully watered containers weighing between 552-702 grams.

The original FoxFarms potting soil contained enough nutrients for the first 30 days and these next couple of supplemental feedings will carry the plants through harvest.

The plants have been fully trained and now only need a gentle restraint to continue keeping their low profile. It is easier and safer than I thought it was going to be to unhook the plants for weighing and inspection. Grow #2 used an overlaid plastic grid to maintain plant height instead but it wouldn't work here because of the individual containers having to be linked together under a common non removable grid.

April 12th:  Week 7 (Flowering)

Here we are at week 7 with three more to go. The terminal colas are averaging 1.25" x 1.0" and are beginning to swell somewhat. There does not seem to be much new pistil growth though and that concerns me ... this is the stage of the grow when the flowers should put on most of their growth. Perhaps due to the more denser nature of indica flowers the actual pistil growth is concealed beneath the many small single leaves. Trichome development appears to be on track with many of the smaller top leaves showing a dusting of resin glands.

The plants were defoliated today of the remaining multi-lobed fan leaves with stems over 1" long on the theory that the plants no longer need them for bud development and their maintenance detracts from the overall energy available. All removed leaves (shake) are being saved and will be sifted for kief following harvest.

With this final defoliation and the recent training all plants are now ideally spaced and opened up. For this final push the shelf was raised to position the plants to within 4 inches of the overhead light where they will be monitored for any heat susceptibility. I also have some 2" tall wooden blocks that can be put under the containers raising the plants another 2 inches if it proves that they can tolerate the extra heat.

Plants watered and flushed today with 2 cups of Big Bloom worm cast tea (no molasses) and a heavy feeding of Tiger Bloom with the plants retaining 196-239 grams of liquid. One more heavy feeding at the end of this week and then nothing but RO H2O and molasses for the final 2 weeks which will flush out any residual fertilizer from the soil forcing the plants to exhaust their own supplies.

April 19th:  Week 8 (Flowering)

The accidental snapping off of a bud yesterday wasn't a total loss as it did provide an opportunity to assess the current trichome  development captured in this 150X magnified image from the digital microscope and in the close up below.

Notice that all of the glands are still clear and only a few have fully formed globular heads on an extended stalk. The flowers will be ready for harvest when all of the glands have fully formed heads and stalks that have turned cloudy instead of clear and less than 30 percent show the amber color indicating that the glands are beginning to deteriorate.

The plants were watered today with their final heavy feeding of 2 cups of Big Bloom worm cast tea with molasses and Tiger Bloom extra strength fertilizer. They retained between 168 - 255 grams of nutrients draining freely after the second cup.

The indica strains can handle the larger nutrient load unlike the sativas from previous grows that thrived at half strength feedings only and tended towards leaf burn at the higher levels.

The upper leaves are covered every morning now in a fine layer of trichomes looking and sparkling as if they had been dusted with confectioner's sugar. However an early assessment indicates that this will be probably the smallest harvest yet most likely because these indica plants needed to be vegetated for at least two weeks or possibly more before flipping the lights.

The current plants were flipped at two nodes and only put on 5 more during the first thirty days known as the stretch whereas the previous sativas were flipped at 8 inches and ended up with a total of 15 nodes each. Since each node is a potential site of a flower the more nodes the better goes one train of thought but others feel that limiting the number of active nodes makes for larger flowers.

I'm beginning to think an overlooked factor is the size of the root system which has to support both vertical growth and flowers. It's obvious the larger the plant the more extensive the root system. Flipping the plants early as I have been doing limits the size of the plant's subsequent root balls to what they can achieve in 60 days instead of the usual 90 day growing period for indoor cannabis.

Switched out four of the side mounted T5HO's to daylight (6500K) spectrum bulbs to assist in flower growth although my previous use of 2 mixed spectrum bulbs did not seem to make any noticeable difference. Perhaps 4 is the key.


Last night I found another small bud with a stalk snapped from hitting the hood when being moved. This image was captured with the digital microscope set at 40X magnification which gives a much better sense of the numbers and distribution of the resin filled trichomes.

Notice how the pistils have changed in color from yellow white to brown. They appear dried and withdrawn back into the calyx which is an indicator of them having reached maturity ... less than one week before harvest is my best guess.

Lowered the plants down a notch today as the previous 2" spacing below the light put the top of the plants within the hood where the heat is concentrated and the larger leaves around the tops had completely dried out and were crumbling to the touch.  Now the plants are 4-6" below the overhead light which appears to be the optimal distance based on prior experience.


Plants flushed with 2 cups RO H2O with molasses only. Even though it has been 6 days since the last watering the containers only retained between 116 - 166 grams indicating the plants used less water than normal possibly due to the higher humidity this past week. But it is also possible that the plants have slowed their growth as they approach maturity as this image of the trichomes made today shows - all have fully developed globular heads now and are beginning to fill with resin turning cloudy as they do.

4-24: Due to severe leaf drying plants #'s 2 and 6 were harvested today just one day short of the 'official' early harvest date. Another check of their trichomes indicated full development with most turned cloudy but no amber yet. #2 weighed just 2 grams and #6 weighed 4 grams.

After harvest the two containers were inverted and the root balls checked. The bottom third of each container was saturated and the root balls were not extensive extending just a couple of inches below the original grow cube. That suggests that at some point they each were over watered for their respective size drowning their roots and stunting subsequent growth.

Clearly these plants need more vegetative time before being flipped into flowering mode. Two months to harvest is a savings of 30 days per grow but unless a large number of plants are being grown the smaller return per individual plant isn't justified by the savings in time and electricity. Since I'm limited by California law to a maximum of 6 plants my only option is experimenting with fewer plants and a longer vegetation cycle. In the past the longest vegetation time was barely two weeks with clones that were two weeks old to start. The current grow had no additional vegetative time being flipped as 2 week old clones. 

I do have to say though this is one of the more fragrant grows ... I returned to the coach late this morning when the temps were in the high 70's inside and the smell was quite noticeable when I opened the outside door. Had these plants been 18" high like the last grow I would have had to start using a carbon filter to reduce the odor.  Although the grow is perfectly legal under California law I certainly don't want to attract attention and create problems for the property managers.

4-25: Today marks a full 8 weeks since the lights were flipped and the plants are ready for harvest. The only concern is that they haven't been  flushed yet which is a mandatory 'must do' for indoor cannabis grows. Flushing supposedly removes any excess inorganic chemicals from the plants through a combination of stopping fertilizer feeding and leaching the excess out through heavy drenching. This supposedly improves taste and smokability removing harshness and bitterness and leaving nothing but a fine grey ash.

Or so it is supposed ... however the last grow was harvested in sections over a 42 day period of time with the first section flushed for 12 days and  the final group for a full 42 days. After repeated samplings I could not detect any difference in taste or smokability between the two extremes that couldn't be accounted for by their respective length of flowering.  In fact it appeared that what actually determines these and other factors is the quality and extent of the curing process.

I did find some support for this position among long time growers posting to the online cannabis boards but the most telling argument perhaps is that outdoor grown cannabis is not flushed. Common sense (and agricultural law) though does suggests limiting the use of inorganic chemicals and fertilizers immediately prior to harvest ... usually the last 7-10 days are water only.

Grow Number 5 Harvest

With that being said I decided to go ahead and harvest the remaining plants today as a test of the no-flush approach. Here is the breakdown by weight:

Plant #1: 5 grams Plant #4: 6 grams
Plant #2: 2 grams Plant #5: 6 grams
Plant #3: 11 grams Plant #6: 4 grams
  Gross (wet) 34 grams

Plant #3 or the mystery plant weighed easily double that of the others but still, at 11 grams, only half the weight of the average plant in the previous grow. The root balls of these plants did reach to the bottom of the containers and the soil was evenly moistened throughout with no bottom saturation.

Based on previous grows the dried weight will be about 20-25% of the wet weight or a little more than a quarter ounce.

4-27:  Plants have dried down to 14 grams which is 41% of the original 34 grams. When they reach 9 grams (26% of the original) they will be trimmed and the buds will be stripped free of the stems and jarred with a Boveda 62% humidity pack.

4-28: Plants now weigh 12 grams or 35% of their wet weight. Actually they weighed 14 grams but 2 grams have to be deducted for their 6 labels and the 6 elastic bands securing them to the drying rack. The stems snap easily now which is the standard indication that they are dry enough for curing though so they were put in a mason jar, untrimmed, with a Boveda Pack to see if they can be maintained at 62F. If not the jar lid will be left off to dry some more.
The plants were trimmed today prior to final curing even though their weight was down to only 35% of the original because I felt that they were getting too dry. The RH in the jar was 65% but the heat for the past few days had the jars up to 85F. The trimmed buds weighed 8 grams and the total shake combined with the earlier trim weighed another 6 grams for a total harvest of 14 grams or 1/2 ounce.

The shake was so dry I just rolled the flowers between my palms to remove it. The buds are beginning to acquire some flavor and smell. Combined with a bit of the kief I sifted out it made for a relaxed and enjoyable couple of hours this morning.


Flowers appear to have been over dried with little aroma. Smooth with good potency.

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