If you have not read our Gelato Review Part 1, go back and see how we did with ordering and starting our seeds.
Three Weeks Later
In the first part of our Gelato marijuana strain review, we described in detail our customer experience with ordering from Crop King Seeds, in Vancouver, Canada. We ordered on June 12, 2019, on their website, and received our order two days later (we did pay the extra fee for faster shipping and a tracking number).
Our plants have been moving along quite nicely and we wanted to give an update with pictures.
Unfortunately, one of the free seeds that came with the order was lost while opening the package (be careful with Sunwest Genetics packaging), one Master Kush seed didn’t germinate at all and the third cracked, grew a one-inch taproot and then broke the surface of a pot of soil and stopped growing.
Luckily for us, this review isn’t for Sunwest Genetics or their Master Kush strain.
Back to Gelato
The strain we ordered, Gelato, is named after the delicious Italian iced milk (they use 3.25% milk instead of cream) treat that is known worldwide as being richer and having a better texture than ice cream.
So far, we are just as impressed with this marijuana strain as we are with the Italian alternative to ice cream.
We ordered them on June 12, 2019, and the four we planted germinated a week later.
Shortly after germinating our own four, we gave a seed to a friend to grow in soil outside, to compare our results.
First, we will show our progress with the four seeds we have started then we will include pictures of the soil-started seedling. Keep in mind that the soil seedling was started a day and a half after the four hydroponic seedlings.
From this point on, the plants will be referred to by number:
- First hydro seed to germinate
- Second hydro seed to germinate
- Third hydro seed to germinate
- Fourth hydro seed to germinate
- Soil seed that will be outdoor
Feeding the Seedlings
Nutrients were started the day before the following pictures, starting with 1 ml each of General Hydroponics FloraMicro, FloraGro and FloraBloom in the 4-litre reservoir. We do not recommend giving nutrients until they are at least starting their second set of leaves and over an inch high. Start VERY light, and be patient!
June 21, 2019, #2 and #1 Gelato seedlings; Day 6
June 21, 2019, #4 and #3 Gelato seedlings; Day 6
June 21, 2019, Gelato seedling height; Day 6
June 22, 2019, #2 and #1; Day 7
June 22, 2019, #4 and #3; Day 7
June 22, 2019, Gelato seedling height; Day 7
June 22, 2019, Gelato planted in soil breaks surface (soaked June 14)
On June 24, the water in the seedling bubbler was changed, and the nutrients were increased to the following:
June 23, 2019, Gelato #2 and #1; Day 8
June 23, 2019, Gelato #4 and #3; Day 8
Gelato So Far
Up to about this point, all four plants looked relatively normal and were growing around the same speed.
If you look at #3 (the third one to germinate, on the right in the above picture), you will see the first node leaves are a little deformed. Since all four are growing in the same reservoir of water and nutrients, it cannot be the result of the growing method and falls to genetics.
Other than that small issue, nothing else seems off.
Also, around this point, we changed the planned method of growing after transplanting (a mild technical difficulty with the aeroponic system and not enough time to test a new part).
To make it as easy and cheap as possible in the meantime, we decide to keep them deep water culture (DWC), with air stones.
With this method, you need to keep a close eye on pH (check out the pH tester we use on the What You Need To Grow Marijuana page). We recommend not using a pH perfect nutrient for this. They are perfectly suited to ebb & flow and soil. However, when using air stones in the growing reservoir, the pH is elevated and modifying the pH becomes an immediate nightmare. One small change and it will swing back and forth as it stabilizes, causing slowed growth and possibly yellowed leaves (you will see in later pictures where #2 dropped to 3.8 pH for a day).
Back to the picture timeline.
June 24, 2019, Gelato #2 and #1; Day 9
June 24, 2019, Gelato seedling height; Day 9
June 24, 2019, Gelato #5; Day 8
June 25, 2019, Gelato #2 and #1; Day 10
June 25, 2019, Gelato #4 and #3; Day 10
June 25, 2019, Gelato seedling height; Day 10
June 25, 2019, Gelato #5 in soil; Day 9
June 26, 2019, Gelato #2 and #1; Day 11
June 26, 2019, Gelato seedling height; Day 11
June 27, 2019, Gelato #2 and #1; Day 12
June 27, 2019, Gelato #4 and #3; Day 12
June 27, 2019, Gelato seedling height; Day 12
June 27, 2019, Gelato #5 in soil; Day 11
June 27, 2019, Gelato #5 height next to Master Kush that didn’t live; Day 11
At this point, we decided it was time to transplant to the permanent hydroponic system: a larger bubbler DWC system without recirculation and each plant having its own bucket.
There are a few reasons for this:
- Easier to track changes in water chemistry
- A problem will only affect the plants in that situation, not all four
- The aeroponic system that was going to be used had a problem that needs testing and it will take too long before transplanting, so we went simpler
That being said, a bubbler DWC system is the absolute simplest hydroponic system you can use or build. We will be creating a tutorial in the next few days for how we built ours, along with problems encountered in the past that will save you time and money.
We also decided on expanded clay pebbles over rockwool for the following reasons:
- Less likelihood of growing algae (not much of a problem when you cover the substrate so there is minimal light reaching it)
- More air to the root zone as rockwool saturates and doesn’t hold air bubbles very well)
- Excellent movement of nutrients from the reservoir to the roots
- They are almost indefinitely reusable, making them wondrously cost-effective
June 28, 2019, Gelato #2 and #1 before transplanting; Day 13
June 28, 2019, Gelato #4 and #3 before transplanting; Day 13
June 28, 2019, Gelato seedling height before transplanting; Day 13
June 28, 2019, Gelato #1 after transplanting; Day 13
June 28, 2019, Gelato #2 after transplanting; Day 13
June 28, 2019, Gelato #3 after transplanting; Day 13
June 28, 2019, Gelato #4 after transplanting; Day 13
June 28, 2019, Gelato seedlings transplanted and bucket placement in the tent; Day 13
Placement and Finishing
After the net baskets were installed in the buckets, the clay pebbles were soaked and rinsed. The air stones were situated as close to the middle of the buckets as possible (not entirely necessary, but good). Immediately after the above picture, we cut aluminum foil to cover the growing medium and reduce the likelihood of algae growth and ensure moisture stays in the medium.
We placed the buckets so that each plant will have an equal amount of space to grow, both front to back and side to side.
Bear in mind that the next few days we took pictures without reviewing them. The aluminum foil combined with the LED grow light created an inferior photographic environment and as soon as we noticed, we started taking pictures with the flash instead of the grow light (also gives a much better view of the colour of the plants).
June 28, 2019, Gelato #5; Day 12
June 29, 2019, Gelato #1; Day 14
June 29, 2019, Gelato #2; Day 14
June 29, 2019, Gelato #3; Day 14
June 29, 2019, Gelato #4; Day 14
June 29, 2019, Gelato heights; Day 14
June 29, 2019, Gelato #5; Day 13
June 30, 2019, Gelato #1; Day 15
June 30, 2019, Gelato #2; Day 15
June 30, 2019, Gelato #3; Day 15
June 30, 2019, Gelato #4; Day 15
June 30, 2019, Gelato heights; Day 15
It was around this point that we discovered a pH correction went too far on Gelato #2. The meter was reading 3.8, which is way too low for any marijuana strain. We immediately corrected the problem, but it is taking a while for the plant to recover (easier to see when we start taking pictures with the flash, so stay tuned for the next part of this review).
June 30, 2019, Gelato #5; Day 14
June 30, 2019, Gelato #5; Day 14
It has been roughly two weeks (in the review) since we started our plants, with only one having a possible genetic anomaly and a pH setback with another. We will be releasing part 3 of this review around the middle of July so that our readers can keep tracking their progress and see for themselves if they think Gelato is worth growing.
For Part 3 of this Photo Journal Review, Click Here!