Week Ten: Defoliation Before Flower

Week Ten:

RDWC Grow Log Update


Now that we are in week ten of the veg cycle, my goal is to maintain the canopy as even as possible. Making sure that new growth is managed in the lower nodes is crucial when producing plants with as few popcorn nugs as possible. Because new growth will lead to more popcorn nugs, I will be defoliating the bottom 1/3 of the plant and low stress train branches in need of more LED light. Repeating week 3 of nutrients is needed to keep the plants in their vegetative state living in an RDWC system. Next week we will begin the transition phase of the current tent.

Weed nutrient schedule
We are repeating week 3 until we are ready for Flower cycle

Dinafem’s Sweet Deep Grapefruit has fully healed from its center tear and is producing some amazing nodes. The top and sides of this plant are filled with plenty of nodes that will give off top quality buds. Most of the inner nodes will be defoliated to allow better light penetration and wind circulation in the grow tent. With the upgraded Mars Hydro TSW 2000, the plants should have plenty of energy to produce top shelf bud. The SDG was LST enough to keep her height in check. However, we will have to keep an eye out and maker sure the top buds do not get too close to the LED lights.

The Passion Fruit strain, by Dutch Passion seed compony, has filled in nicely and is ready to flower. All the nodes are exposed and are being given enough light to produce top quality buds. The LST and defoliation done earlier to her has shown its merit, now that we are so close to the flowering cycle. Without training, these plants would have been 4ft tall and would have grown another foot during their flowering stretch. Fortunately we have learned from our first growing mistakes.

Always keep a notebook to track your plant life, nutrients, deficiencies, notes, and make sure you have an error section to remind you to not make those same mistakes again.


The DOS SI DOS 33 by Barneys Farm has maintained its tenacity and grown more inner nodes than I know what to do with. Cloning is always an option when defoliating, which is just what I will be doing with the DSD33 branches I take off her during defoliation. Because she has so many, I will be choosing the best looking ones and tossing the rest. No need for more clones than required. With clones on stand by, you can always have a good rotation going on your flowering genetics.

The Headband Kush clone has already started picking up some size, but will not be close to the other girls in here. Since it is a hybrid strain, the Headband will not be gaining crazy size, unlike the NASA Bruce that was in here before. With just one week remaining, I will be moving the Headband to a separate bucket where it will be in a DWC system separate from these girls in the tent. This will allow the Headband to take up as much nutrients as she need and not worry about sharing them with the other older girls in the grow tent.

Week Ten Info

Strains: Dos Si Dos 33Passion FruitSweet Deep Grapefruit, Headband Kush

Nutrients used: General Hydro TrioCal-Mag Plus, and SLF-100 (week 3)

Light used: MARS HYDRO TSW 2000 LED Grow Light and VIPARSPECTRA UL Certified 300W LED 

Cannabis Medical Patients

Chicago craft growers with jars
Why buy when you can grow?

With the first year of medical patient cultivation coming to an end, why are you not growing your own cannabis yet? As of January 1, 2020, registered medical patients in Chicago are allowed to cultivate up to five plants for medical use. Medical patients complain about Chicago dispensaries not having the best cannabis quality, taxing too much for all products, or simply inconvenienced by having to leave their homes during this second wave of Covid-19. If you have your medical card, have a space of at least 2 x 2, and the willingness to learn, check out Chicago Hydro for more information on how to get started on your home setup today!

Chicago Hydro does things a bit different. We specialize in hydroponics, the method of growing without the use of soil. This can take some time to wrap your mind around, which is why I started a YouTube channel where I demonstrate the day to day of maintaining a hydroponic setup. I enjoy reading the comments with different opinions than my own because it gives me a different perspective on how I train my plants. Chicago hydroponics is rapidly growing and I am here to help teach the new wave of growers along the way.

To be connected to the Chicago grow community make sure to follow our social links below. I post weekly updates on YouTube, do live training on Instagram, and plan events in the city of Chicago through Facebook! Looking forward to seeing you at one of our next events!

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Week Nine: Training Before Flower Cycle -Beginners Guide

Week Nine:

RDWC Grow Log Update

In week nine of the vegetative cycle, I have done some further training to best prepare my girls for the flower cycle. Since Chicago medical patients are allowed to grow up to five cannabis plants, I am using as many training techniques as possible to maximize the canopy size. As the canopy develops more nodes in the vegetative cycle, the plant will be able to develop more top bud sites come flower cycle. Repeating week 3 of nutrients is needed to keep the plants in their vegetative state living in an RDWC system. For now I will need to maintain their canopies and defoliate when needed.

Weed nutrient schedule
We are repeating week 3 until we are ready for Flower cycle

Dinafem’s Sweet Deep Grapefruit was left alone during its early weeks, mainly because it was one of the slower growing plants in the tent, but now she seems to be one of the healthiest growing girls in here. The fan leaves are growing to be hand sized in about 2 days. This rapid growth keeps me busy with defoliation to allow the lower nodes to have access to more light. If these plants grow too long without guidance, the canopy might become uneven leading to more popcorn nugs at the end of harvest. Earlier in her training, the SDG (Sweet Deep Grapefruit) was accidentally split down the middle. Fortunately I was able to save the plant by using tape on the hemp and allowing it to heal, becoming stronger in the process.

The Passion Fruit strain by Dutch Passion is quite the beautiful bouquet of nodes with just a hint of purple in the mix. All the branches on this plant are thick and have plant of nodes growing from them. Some lollipoping was definitely needed for this strain since most of the inner nodes would have only taken energy away from the top canopy. Defoliation and LST will guarantee that the most nodes are being developed while keeping the number of fan leaves to a minimum. Remember not to go over board when defoliating. A good rule of thumb is to only take away the fan leaves that are not directly connected to a node or bud-site.

The DOS SI DOS 33 by Barneys Farm has been the front runner since these girls were seedlings. I defoliate her one day and by the next her fan leaves seem to have doubled. She seems to be the NASA Bruce replacement in the tent as alpha plant. Some branches were removed from the center branches of DOS SI DOS 33 because she was topped two times. I knew the growing branches would need room to develop, so I made sure there was space for them to grow into. The majority of the branches are LST to the bucket lid taking up the most area in the grow tent.

When the Headband Kush clone develops four top nodes I will be transitioning this tent into the flower cycle. The temperatures have recently started dropping in Chicago, which is perfect for the flower cycle for trichome development. We will talk more about he ideal conditions for weed plants during the flower cycle in a future blog. Make sure to subscribe and follow to not miss out on the most resent updates on this grow tent.

Week Nine Info

Strains: Dos Si Dos 33Passion FruitSweet Deep Grapefruit

Nutrients used: General Hydro TrioCal-Mag Plus, and SLF-100 (week 3)

Light used: MARS HYDRO TS 600W LED Grow Light and VIPARSPECTRA UL Certified 300W LED 

Week Eight: When to Flip Plants to Flower?

Chicago Hydro is on its eighth week of progress in the veg cycle. We began this grow with three seeds and a NASA Bruce clone early in October. The NASA Bruce strain, however, overtook the grow tent with its rapid growth. Now we have replaced the NASA Bruce with a Headband Kush clone and will allow two weeks for the clone to adjust and further develop its root structure before we flip this whole tent into the Flower cycle. But when exactly is it the best time to flip your grow into the Flower cycle? Well, it all depends on who you ask.

Most beginners follow a grow schedule and stick to it religiously in order to understand the process of growing on their own. After a few grows, you will begin to understand the signs your plant shows you when it is trying to communicate they are not receiving enough nutrients, too many nutrients, are upset with their environment, etc. Doing research ahead of time can prevent easily avoidable errors early on in your growing journey. Errors made in the Veg cycle follow you into Flower and are noticeable during harvest. Making sure to have a solid root structure early on is the best thing you can do to your plants to speed up the veg cycle and get to Flower ASAP.

Chicago Hydro believes in the use it or lose it philosophy when it comes to space in your grow tent. If allowed to grow without training, the plants will grow as nature intended, tall and narrow allowing only the top buds to grow big and dense. We are an indoor micro grow though, so every inch counts when only five plants are allowed per grow (make sure to do your own research on cannabis laws in your home state.) Training techniques are crucial early on in the veg stage if you want to have an even canopy with very few popcorn nugs.

After I train my plants enough to take up most of the area in the tent, I will flip them into their Flower cycle and change their nutrients to Bloom. I have also just added a clone into the RDWC system, so I will make sure to give it some time to develop its root system before the Flower cycle flip. It is usually recommended that clones settle in for about a month before the flip, but I have faith in my clones!

Now that I have upgraded my grow light to mars hydro ts 2000, I am eager to see how the flowers develop on these girls. The Veg cycle also seems to have been quicker since the switch to the brighter LED in the Chicago Hydro tent. I will be going over all the LED lights I have worked with in the past and go over the pros and cons this weekend on the Chicago Hydro Youtube page. If you have questions on my grow, your grow, or want to get started make sure to reach out on here or on any of my social media links listed on the sidebar!

Week Eight Info

Strains: Dos Si Dos 33, Passion Fruit, Sweet Deep Grapefruit

Nutrients used: General Hydro Trio, Cal-Mag Plus, and SLF-100

Light used: MARS HYDRO TS 600W LED Grow Light and VIPARSPECTRA UL Certified 300W LED 

November 1, 2020