Cannabis Grow Journal From Seed

This grow journal covers the whole grow, and explains the 6-step training process used on the plant to improve yields! From seed to harvest, see several cannabis grow journals with pictures and commentary. Discover which grow method is right for you! GrowBuddy is a revolutionary app that helps you manage your grow, get help from other growers, & optimize yields and efficiency! Grow smarter today!

250W Cannabis Grow Journal – 6.2 oz Yield

The electricity cost was calculated with our local electricity price of $0.37/kWh. I didn’t have to buy anything new for this grow besides seeds, but if you’re a grower starting from scratch it would have cost $881 ($142/ounce) to do this grow, including the full cost of the setup, seeds, and the cost of electricity.

Timeline

Seed Germination: 2/15 | Switch to Flowering: 3/28 | Harvest: 6/20

4 months, 5 days

A Few More Grow Details

Strain: Journal features Original Amnesia, which is not available by seed. I recommend Skywalker Haze as an alternative strain that grows with the same structure. As a bonus, the resulting buds are higher quality with superior effects. (I order seeds from Seedsman).

Medium: Grown Hydroponically (Top-fed DWC). Here’s a tutorial showing exactly how to grow this way. Once you go hydro you won’t go back!

Grow Light: HydroFarm Sunburst 250W HPS – The Sunburst model I used for this grow journal is no longer available, but that’s okay because new LED grow lights work even better. A perfect alternative for this grow journal is the ES300 LED grow light. This LED uses about the same amount of electricity but makes less heat and produces significantly higher cannabis yields than the Sunburst I used originally. Learn more about my favorite LEDs I’ve used so far for growing cannabis.

Hydroponic Nutrients: General Hydroponics Flora Nutrient trio – I used the schedule on the side of the bottle at half strength. I also made a PDF showing exactly what nutrient levels I used: GH Flora Nutrient Trio DWC schedule

Supplement: Hydroguard – for root health

Nothing Better Than Holding a Handful of Homegrown Buds!

    (and complete 6-step training regimen)

Vegetative Stage

2/15 – 3 Seeds Sprouted

2/23 – Picked Best Plant Out of Three

Unfortunately I only planned to grow one plant, so I had to throw away the losers

Here’s our winner! It grew faster and more vigorously than the other two.

3/5 – Plant Training Session 1 – Make Base

I continued to give the plant water and light, but didn’t do anything else until it got bigger. This is what the seedling looked like right before I started cannabis plant training. Until this point the plant has been allowed to grow naturally without any interference. Now it’s time to start training!

Get ready, this day of training is the most extreme in the whole grow

Before

Next: Topped down to 3rd node (cut off top of plant just above the 3rd node)

Then I removed all other growth besides the top two growth tips and their fan leaves.

After

This creates a perfect base for further plant training. This step may seem extreme, but at this stage the plant will recover quickly, and the even base manifold will make training easier for the rest of the grow.

3/9 – Plant Training Session 2 – Spread Out & Tie Down

This is the plant 4 days after the last picture, she’s grown in quite a bit!

Now it was time for some LST (low stress training). I tied the two main colas (which we created in the last step) down with plant twisty tie. The purpose of this step was to start spreading the plant out.

It’s important to try to do any bending and tying down when the stem is still young and bendy. As a stem gets older, it becomes hard and woody, which makes it very difficult to bend without possibly causing damage to the plant. These stems were easy to bend.

Here’s the plant after I tied it down with twisty tie

Note: For all LST throughout this entire grow I use plant twisty tie to hook around stems so I can tie them down where I want.

In the next picture, I have arrows pointing to where I hooked the twisty tie for this step. One is hooked to the edge of the lid, while the other is hooked around a net pot. You can hook your twisty tie to almost anything, but I like attaching stems to things on the lid since they stay in the same plant relative to your plant even if you look inside the tank.

Here’s a closeup of a twisty tie being hooked around a stem for LST

You can hook the end of a twisty tie to almost anything, but I like to attach it to the lid (or a net pot) since it never moves in relation to the plant

3/12 – Plant Training Session 3 – Bend/Tie Plant Down and Towards the Middle of Tub

Time for more LST! I used plant twist tie to start pulling the plant more towards the center of the tub to continue helping it spread out more under the light

3/14 – Plant Training Session 4 – LST & Topped Plant Again

I used plant twist tie to continue pulling the plant more towards the center of the tub (sorry I forgot to take a pic before I tied the plant over!)

The plant had now grown 3 more nodes on each of the two main colas, and it’s time for the last topping. I topped (cut off the tips of) the two main stems/colas we created before. The arrows in the picture below point at where the plant is about to be cut/topped.

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Where the cuts will be made

Here are the ends I cut off.

Below is a picture of the plant after the cuts. It’s hard to see the difference because it was just the tips taken away.

A closeup one of the places where the cannabis plant was topped – you can see where the end was cut off.

3/16 – Plant Training Session 5 – Create 8 Main Colas

Today we will remove all remaining growth on the plant except for 8 main colas! Today is the last day of training! From now on our job will pretty much be arranging the colas if they fall over.

Here’s that plant 2 days later, and you can see all the leaves have turned up again. All the bright yellow spots are the growth tips that are left. New growth tips tend to be lighter than the rest of the plant, but this is a little more yellow than normal. This pic was taken in different lighting from the others so it’s possible the strange coloring was caused by the light, but I’m not certain the cause.

It’s possible the pH was too high or low, or that the topping caused some shock. I may have needed to do a complete reservoir change the same time I topped the plant last time, but whatever problem isn’t pronouced so I know the plant is overall healthy and will be able to move forward with training and recover quickly.

Before

Next – I removed the big top fan leaves so you could get a better idea of what’s going on in the structure of the plant. Remember each yellow part is a growth tip (where stems form and buds grow)

After – I removed all but 8 main tops/colas/growth tips

Here’s a view from a slightly different angle so you can better see the cuts that were made to leave 8 colas behind. I don’t think it matters much exactly which 8 colas you choose to leave, as long as they’re left in pairs. The main goal of this step was to create 8 colas.

Training is just about done!

3/21 – Plant Continues to Grow

I haven’t done anything at all since the last pics besides maintaining the reservoir, but I just wanted to show how the cannabis plant looks as it grows, and how fast it recovers from a training session at this point! It has been less than a week since the last update!

From the side so you can see how those colas are growing out

The plant is getting big enough to start tipping the net pot. Luckily with the size of these netpots and the way they’re shaped, they can’t really fall over. I choose not to do anything about it because it actually seems to be suiting my purposes.

3/27 – Plant Training Session 6 – Last Day of Training & Switch to the Flowering Stage

I’ve just continued letting the plant grow naturally since the last training session.

In my space, I have about 3 foot of height total as far as the space the plant can be in, so I want a final plant that is about 3 feet tall. The plant is about 1.5 feet tall at this point, which is half the final desired size. That means it’s time to switch to the cannabis flowering stage.

Why switch when the plant is half the desired height? After a cannabis plant gets the signal to start budding it goes through a “flowering stretch” which means that it will dramatically increase in size and height. On average cannabis plants about double in size after the switch to the flowering stage, though some strains don’t stretch much at all, while other strains can even triple in height! But the general rule is to expect the plant to double in size.

I want to clean up the plant one last time before the switch. I want to make sure that only the top canopy is left, and I want to make sure all 8 colas are evenly spread out under the light.

I remove all growth except the top 2-3 nodes/bud sites on each of my main colas. This is where I want the plant to focus all its energy.

Some people call the practice of removing lower growth “lollipopping” or say that the plant has been “lollipopped.” But it’s nothing fancy, we’re just removing everything that the plant doesn’t need to make buds. This causes the plant to put all its growing energy in just the places we want.

Lastly I used the twisty tie plus LST to tie down everything that’s left over. Now all the colas are the same height, and they’re evenly spread out under the grow light for maximum coverage.

Here’s a side view to show you what I mean about all the main stems/colas being the same height

The next day, I switched the plant to the flowering stage by changing the light timer to a 12/12 schedule(giving 12 hours of light, and 12 hours of darkness each day). Once I make that switch, the “flowering stage” has begun!

Flowering Stage

3/30 – Canopy is Shaping Up Great!

Here’s a top and side picture from a few days later to show you how that canopy is shaping up under the light. All the stems have stood back up and are starting to stretch!

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Nothing left to do now but wait!

4/6 – Plant is Stretching!

Here’s what the plant looks like a week later. It has added several inches in height, and still getting taller every day! The entire length of each cola is going to be covered with buds by the end, so I’m welcoming and hoping for a big flowering stretch!

5/3 – Buds Fattening Up!

It’s been just under a month since the last pic and I haven’t done anything except change the reservoir every week. The plant has gotten a little taller but most of the growth has gone into buds! Now we can see that those 8 colas we created are really fattening up

6/1 – Buds Continue Fattening Up!

Not much to report, which is a good thing in the flowering stage I still haven’t been doing anything except change the nutrient reservoir every week. The flowering stage is mostly a waiting game!

Harvest Day! – 6/20

Here’s some last pictures of our Original Amnesia plant before it gets taken down. It’s always a little bitter-sweet for me on harvest day because I usually grow attached to the plant, and it’s the time when I say goodbye. But who am I kidding, harvest day is awesome.

After all the branches have been cut down, and the leaves have been trimmed off.

Time for drying! These were hung upside down in my closet.

Put Dried Buds in Jars – 6/25

The plant has already been harvested and buds have been dried, but our work isn’t quite over yet. Curing your buds in jars for at least 2 weeks dramatically improves the quality, perceived potency, smoothness and smell of the final product.

This step provides the right conditions for certain chemical processes to take place. Basically “curing” means you open the jars every day to give the buds fresh air. A part of curing is also to prevent mold by making sure the buds never feel wet on the outside at any point while in the jars.

After 2 weeks in the jars, you officially have your own homegrown nugs that are ready to go! Curing for longer can continue to increase quality, up to a few months, but 2 weeks is considered the standard.

Final Yield & Strain Review

Altogether, the Original Amnesia plant yielded 175.9 grams, or about 6.2 ounces.

Yield: 6.2 ounces

These buds were dense and sticky with green buds! The plant was easy to grow and seems to be a good yielder. I barely had to do anything to keep it happy, and it was very forgiving when I made mistakes.

The effects and smell reminded me of an original skunk from years of lore. It smells very skunky, and the smell drifts through the house whenever I open a jar. These Original Amnesia buds cause a mellow and happy effect without being overwhelming, and I think it would be great choice for anyone who wants to relax without being “out of it!”

Seeds: $28

  • I ordered 3 seeds x of Original Amnesia from Seedsman)

Nutrients: $65

  • $40 General Hydroponics Flora Trio
  • $25 Botanicare Hydroguard

Grow Tent: $85

Grow Light: $250

HydroFarm Sunburst 250W HPS – The Sunburst model I used for this grow journal is no longer available, but that’s okay because new LED grow lights work even better. A perfect alternative for this grow journal is the ES300 LED grow light. This LED uses about the same amount of electricity but makes less heat and produces significantly higher cannabis yields than the Sunburst I used originally. Learn more about my favorite LEDs I’ve used so far for growing cannabis.

Oscillating Fans: $30

  • Two x clip-on fans circulating air around and over plants

Exhaust Fan: $30

One could also do this exact same cannabis grow in another growing medium like soil or coco coir. In fact, my last grow in this setup was using coco coir, and I got just about the same yield.

  • $4 10-gallon container with lid 10-gallon tote
  • $9 Hydroton/Hydrocorn Any type of hydroton or hydrocorn will work great
  • $14 Net Pots (3.75”) These are 3.75″ but make sure to match net pot size to the holes in your lid
  • $17 Water Pump EcoPlus-185 Water Pump
  • $6 Drip Manifold 4-outlet Adjustable Drip Manifold
  • $15 Air Pump (2 outlets) EcoPLus 2 Outlet Air Pump
  • $16 2 x Large Cylinder Air Stones EcoPlus Large Cylindrical airstones
  • $9 ½” Vinyl Tubing Raindrip or EcoPlus ½” Vinyl Tubing
  • $5 ¼” Vinyl Tubing Raindrip or DiG ¼” (OD) Vinyl Tubing
  • $3 Riser Plastic ½” Male NPT to ½” Barb
  • $17 Starter cubes General Hydroponics Rapid Rooters

Cost Breakdown (Including Electricity)

Setup & Supplies: $603

Cost for Complete Setup & Supplies: $603 (explained above – I didn’t have to pay for this since I already had my whole setup, but this is what it would cost to get all the supplies from scratch)

Setup Cost for Me (since I didn’t need supplies): $28 for seeds

Cost of Electricity: $278.12

This includes the cost of running the grow light, fan, water pump and air pump for the entire grow.

Including cost for running the grow light, fan, water pump and air pump for the entire grow would cost…

Grow Light: $161

Veg: 41 days of 18/6 = 738 hours

Flower: 84 days of 12/12 = 1,008 hours

Total hours: 1,746 light hours (total hours with 250W HPS turned on)

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At $0.37/kWh (we get charged at different rates each month, but this is on the higher end just to be fair), the entire grow cost about $161 in electricity for light.

HOURS x COST/HOUR =

1746 x (0.37 x 0.250) = $161

Water Pump: $6.12

Total Hours: 624 hours(26 days x 24 hours/day)

Water pump: 26.5 watt

At $0.37/kWh (we get charged at different rates each month, but this is on the higher end just to be fair), the entire grow cost about $6.12 in electricity for the water pump.

HOURS x COST/HOUR = $6.12

624 x (0.37 x 0.0265) =$6.12

Air Pump: $3.33

Total Hours: 3000 hours(125 days x 24 hours/day)

Air pump: 3 watt

At $0.37/kWh (we get charged at different rates each month, but this is on the higher end just to be fair), the entire grow cost about $6.12 in electricity for the air pump.

HOURS x COST/HOUR =

3000 x (0.37 x 0.003 =$3.33

Exhaust Fan: $41.07

Total Hours: 3000 hours(125 days x 24 hours/day)

Exhaust Fan: 37 watt

At $0.37/kWh (we get charged at different rates each month, but this is on the higher end just to be fair), the entire grow cost about $41.07 in electricity for the fan.

HOURS x COST/HOUR =

3000 x (0.37 x 0.037 =$41.07

2 Ocillating Fans: $66.60

Total Hours: 3000 hours(125 days x 24 hours/day)

Exhaust Fan: 30 watt x 2 = 60W

At $0.37/kWh (we get charged at different rates each month, but this is on the higher end just to be fair), the entire grow cost about $66.60 in electricity for the fans.

HOURS x COST/HOUR =

3000 x (0.37 x 0.060) =$66.60

Total for Everything: $881 ($142/ounce)

This is how much it would cost to get everything used in the entire grow (including nutrients, grow tent, grow light, tent, hydroponic setup, etc), as well as pay for the electricity in the grow. This includes literally everything even if you currently have absolutely zero growing supplies.

My Cost for This Grow: $306 ($49/ounce)

All I paid for during this grow was seeds and electricity. After the initial investment, you don’t often have to buy more supplies except for seeds, nutrients & bulbs every few grows, so your price to produce drops dramatically your second grow!

Cannabis Grow Journals – Full Grows in Pictures

View several different cannabis grow journals, complete with pictures and commentary from beginning to end. Contact us if you would like to get your grow journal added!

Table of Contents

Quick Grow Snapshot

8 plants (6 strains) in a 2’x4′ grow area

Grow lights: 315W LEC

Grow Type: Coco Coir

Final Harvest: 1.1 lb

First Timer CFL Bubbleponics Grow – 5oz in 3 months

Quick Grow Snapshot

4 plants in a 2’x2′ grow area, Max height 17″

Grow lights: 8 x CFLs
Grow Type: Top-Fed DWC Hydro System (Bubbleponics)
Total Time: 100 days (3 months, 9 days)
Final Harvest: 5 oz of premium BUD plus a lot of potent popcorn and trim for edibles

Quick Grow Snapshot

3 plants in a grow area that measures 3.75’ x 3’ x 6’

Grow lights: 250W LED Grow Light
Grow Type: Soil in Smart pots
Total Time: 145 days (4 months, 23 days)
Final Harvest: 9.3 ounces of dense bud + 1.4 ounces of airy “popcorn” bud

Quick Grow Snapshot

2 plants in a 4’x4’x7′ grow tent

Grow lights: 600W HID Grow Light
Grow Type: Top-Fed DWC Hydro System (Bubbleponics)
Total Time: 156 days (5 months, 3 days)
Final Harvest: 23.09 ounces of dense bud plus a few ounces of popcorn and trim

Quick Grow Snapshot

3 plants in a 4′ x 2.5′ x 5′ homemade grow box

Grow lights:

  • Vegetative: 6400k T5 Grow Light
  • Flowering: 400W HPS with digital ballast and air-cooled hood

Grow Type: Fox Farms Ocean Forest Soil
Total Time: 85 days (2 months, 24 days)
Final Harvest: 5.35 oz

Quick Grow Snapshot

1 plant in DIY dresser grow box, cost less than $20/month

Grow lights: 8 x CFLs

Grow Type: Soil
Total Time: 119 days (3 months, 28 days)
Final Harvest: 2.69 oz

To all you growers on a budget: It’s possible!

1 plant in a Cabinet you could get from Ikea

Grow lights: Total of 218w of CFLs

  • 1 x 125w CFL 6500k bulb above
  • 4 x 23w CFLs 2700k on the sides

Grow Type: Soil + Perlite
Final Harvest: 1.02 oz

Grow lights: 250W HPS

Grow Type: Coco Coir + Perlite

Final Harvest: 6.7 oz

Grow lights: 250W HPS

Grow Type: DWC / Hydroponics

Final Harvest: 6.2 oz

Hello, please note that the Pro-Gro 550 light has been retired and replaced with the Pro-Grow 400X which uses a multi-lens system to get deeper canopy penetration with the same amount of power. So far the 400X has been beating the 550 in live growing tests! More info coming soon!

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