Crop King Seeds Reviews – Gelato Part 3


In This Crop King Seeds Review


Keep in mind that Gelato is only available through Crop King Seeds, as it is their exclusive strain. Also, we will be sharing a promotional code near the end of this review for 10% off your first order.


While looking through this photo journal review, you will be taken through how well Gelato handles topping (eventually manifolding), how it handles different nutrient changes (and a few things NOT to do) and what bouncing back from a pH mishap looks like.

Out of five seeds that were soaked and germinated, all five have grown and stayed alive with only one having a slight deformity. I know this one plant will produce a bit, but I also know it won’t be nearly as much as the others.

There was also a cloning exercise done during this review that will be explained further in a separate article.

If you haven’t read the first two parts of this review, you can find them here:

In those two parts of the review, you get to see from seed through germination to transplant into our hydroponics system.

In this part of the review, we are going to follow all five plants, numbered #1-#5 by the order they germinated. #5 is being grown outdoor in soil by a friend, while #1-4 are in our hydroponics bubbler setup in a tent.

For a complete list of items we used to grow, click here.

Let’s start on July 1st, 2019 (the day after part 2).


July 1, 2019; Day 16 for #1-4, Day 15 for #5


Gelato #1

Gelato #1

This was the last day that I took the pictures with the LED light on. Starting July 3rd, I shut the light off and used the flash to improve the quality of the pictures and remove the dark lines.


Gelato #2


Gelato #2

This plant had a pH problem which will be much more apparent in the next set of daily photos. The first two fan leaves have yellowed and the growth has almost stopped.


Gelato #3


Gelato #3

This plant had a slight deformity right from germination and should have been discarded and a new seed started. However, we wanted to track how it affects the overall growth cycle and the final yield to show to our readers.


Gelato #4


Gelato #4

This plant will eventually be topped and trained differently from the others, and it will be tracked to see the difference during the entire growth cycle.


Gelato #5


Gelato #5

In case you didn’t read Gelato Review Part 1 and Part 2, this was a seed that was given to a friend to grow in soil as an outdoor plant. The pictures will not be as regular as the indoor plants, but are good for comparison.


Indoor Gelato Seedling Height


Indoor Gelato Height

On each day, there will be one photo of each of the four indoor plants from above and a side shot to show the relative heights. In this photo, #1 is the top left, #2 bottom left, #3 top right, #4 bottom right. #3 and #4 switch places in later photos to keep the larger plants near the back of the tent.


July 2, 2019; Day 17 for #1-4, Day 16 for #5


No photos were taken of #1- #4 on July 2, 15 and 28 due to being away for the night or out until after the light timer shut off.


Gelato #5


Gelato #5

This plant keeps up quite well in soil, and this one is to be transplanted to an outdoor pot on July 10, as you will see.


July 3, 2019; Day 18 for #1-4, Day 17 for #5


Gelato #1


Gelato #1


Gelato #2 pH Problem


Gelato #2

This is around when it became extremely obvious that there was a pH problem with #2. If the pH is too high or too low, it makes it so that the plant cannot absorb some important nutrients that it needs to survive and grow. This looks like a nitrogen deficiency, but all four plants were getting the same nutrients and were similar sizes at this time.

I tested the water and it was 3.8 pH. What had happened was that I was using the end of some pH perfect nutrients before starting into the nutrients I am using now, and the pH was a little high for hydroponics (pH perfect was only Grow and Bloom, so I’m sure they weren’t working properly). I used a bit of pH down, but I obviously overdosed somehow.

Once I became aware of the situation, I immediately changed out the water to a 6.0 pH mix of the new nutrients and threw out the pH perfect leftovers.

Remember, hydroponics and aeroponics need 5.5 to 6.5 pH. A bubbler will increase the pH slightly, so under normal circumstances, aim for 5.5 to 5.8.


Gelato #4

Gelato #3

This plant has had a slight deformity since germination, and should have been discarded and a new seed started. I wanted to grow it to term to show why on here. I will be moving this plant outside with #5 in August to allow room for a clone of #1 in the tent and keep my plants at the legal amount.


Gelato #4


Gelato #4

This plant appears to start slow with smaller new growth and later on I train it differently from the others. It is quite impressive later on.


Gelato Heights


Indoor Gelato Height


Gelato #5


Gelato #5


Gelato #5


July 4, 2019; Day 19 for #1-4, Day 18 for #5


Gelato #1


Gelato #1

At this point, #1 is the best of the four of them. The leaves are symmetrical and perfectly coloured, and the roots are more developed by far, as you will see in the next picture.


Gelato #1 Roots


Gelato #1 Roots

All four plants have gotten 1 ml of BioRoot (found here) on June 23. There was significant root growth after that point, especially with #1.


Gelato #2


Gelato #2

If you look closely, you can see a bit of darker green starting near the base of the yellowed leaves. They never fully recovered, but this is a sure sign that the damage of the low pH is being reversed.

Always make sure you keep an eye on your leaves for issues and fix the problem right away if you can. It might slow things down, but it doesn’t have to kill your plants.


Gelato #4 Roots

Gelato #3 Roots

Even though it has a deformity, root production is doing well with the addition of BioRoot.


Gelato #3

Gelato #4


Gelato #3 Roots

Gelato #4 Roots



Indoor Gelato Heights


July 5, 2019; Day 20 for #1-4, Day 19 for #5


Gelato #1

Gelato #1


Gelato #2


Gelato #2



Gelato #3


Gelato #4


Gelato #4

This is when #4 started catching up with #1 and filling in really nicely with dark, wide leaves.


Indoor Gelato Heights


Indoor Gelato Heights


Gelato #5


Gelato #5


July 6, 2019; Day 21 for #1-4, Day 20 for #5


Gelato #1


Gelato #1


Gelato #2


Gelato #2


Gelato #3


Gelato #3


Gelato #4


Gelato #4


Gelato Heights


Indoor Gelato Heights


Gelato #5


Gelato #5


Gelato #5


July 7, 2019; Day 22 for #1-4, Day 21 for #5


Today is water change day for the indoor four. The nutrient amounts have been increased again to the following:

  • Micro : 4 ml
  • Grow : 6 ml
  • Bloom : 2 ml

There is another problem that becomes apparent (not nearly as serious as it seemed when found) over the next few days that looks and acts like a calcium deficiency. It was then that I noticed that the Micro that I was using was made for hard water (tap water on a well) which would have more calcium in it than any type of filtered or distilled water.

Because of this, the Micro Hardwater only has 1 mg of calcium, where normal Micro has 5 mg. This was fixed immediately, but most of the problem looks like the poor genetics in #3 and not really a calcium deficiency at all.


Gelato #1


Gelato #1


Gelato #2


Gelato #2

Since the pH issue was caught very quickly, #2 is keeping up quite well for size. The two yellowed leaves never recovered and were clipped off during the first pruning session.


Gelato #3


Gelato #3

At this point, it looked as though the strange growth was coming to an end and that #3 was going to start growing normally. Wishful thinking, unfortunately.


Gelato #4


Gelato #4


Gelato Heights


Indoor Gelato Heights


Gelato #1 Growth Tracking


Gelato #1 Growth Tracking

I decided to take some measurements on water change day to see the growth, since they have gotten to the beginning of the fourth node and rapid vegetative state should be starting.


Gelato #1 Growth Tracking


Gelato #1 Height


Gelato #5


Gelato #5

The LED grow light (found here) is very strong, and the indoor plants are showing very little stretching. #5 has been in a window so far, and is stretching quite a bit. They stretch to “reach” more light.


Gelato #5


Gelato #5


July 8, 2019; Day 23 for #1-4, Day 22 for #5


Gelato #1


Gelato #1


Gelato #1 Growth


Gelato #1 Growth Tracking

I only really measured #1 for this, but it had grown an inch wider in 12 hours after water change day and nutrient increase to 4 ml-6 ml-2 ml (m-g-b). Do NOT increase nutrients quickly to try to achieve this when they are any younger or smaller. The first set of 5-point leaves is usually the sign of rapid vegetative growth starting.


Gelato #2


Gelato #2

As you can probably see, water change day was also pruning day for this plant. The yellowed leaves were clipped off.


Gelato #3


Gelato #3

It is a bit more apparent that this plant is going to continue to grow like it has been in a tornado. The leaves grow in a strange spiral and seems to be stunted later on. This plant will be headed outside in August.

Gelato #4


Gelato #4

This plant started a little slow, but has progressively gotten better.


Gelato #5


Gelato #5


Gelato #5 Size


Gelato #5 Size Comparison

As you can see, the soil seedling is keeping up perfectly with the largest of the other four so far.


July 9, 2019; Day 24 for #1-4, Day 23 for #5


Gelato #1 Growth


Gelato #1 Growth Tracking

Another 24 hours has shown another inch (almost) of width on #1.


Gelato #1


Gelato #1

It is around this point that people become excited while growing cannabis. Their first iconic five-point leaves have developed (there are usually one to two nodes of one-point and two–point leaves), and the plant has decided it is ready to grow VERY fast. This is when nutrients can be increased much more.

This is also the point when you will be able to pinpoint and fix any problems with pH and nutrients quickly, as they will show symptoms quicker (they need more nutrients). If you see any discoloring or browning, fix it fast!

You will see that we have a few minor changes to make in the feeding around this time.


Gelato #2


Gelato #2


Gelato #3


Gelato #3


Gelato #4


Gelato #4


July 10, 2019; Day 25 for #1-4, Day 24 for #5


Gelato #1


Gelato #1


Gelato #2


Gelato #2


Gelato #3


Gelato #3

It was at this time that I had noticed a calcium deficiency in #3 and a bit in #2. In the next picture, you will notice the brown-black spots on the leaves that do not have any mites associated with them.

Spider mites will leave smaller black dying spots, and usually live under the fan leaves, where a calcium deficiency will generally only affect the lower leaves. Calcium doesn’t really move much after the leaves are formed., so there is no way of repairing the damage.

All you can really do in this case is supplement with a calcium-magnesium product like the one found at our What You Need To Grow Marijuana page, under Hydroponics>Bubbler>Optional.


Gelato #3 Calcium Deficiency


Gelato #3 Calcium Deficiency


Gelato #4


Gelato #4


Gelato Heights


Indoor Gelato Heights


Gelato #5


Gelato #5

Today is the day!

July 10 is when #5 is being transplanted to its outdoor pot. We are crossing our fingers that pests and animals don’t decide to make it into lunch.


Gelato #5


Gelato #5

This is the last time #5 will be in a window.


Gelato #5


Gelato #5 Transplanted

This is immediately after being transplanted. The pellets are Slug and Snail killer and the powdery stuff is Diatomaceous Earth (Click Here in Canada).

Diatomaceous earth is the fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of algae. It is perfectly safe for humans. You can even eat it! It’s also found in many products like toothpaste as a mild abrasive agent.

The secret when it comes to very small creatures, like slugs and other pests, is that there are tiny sharp edges that will actually tear their skin or shell, which means it makes an excellent barrier between them and anything you don’t want them to get near.

As you can see above, you can also wet the leaves of a plant and dust them with the diatomaceous earth to give an extra layer of protection.

The dome (Click Here for Canada) is being used to keep the humidity high and protect the new transplant from high winds and heavy rain for a week or two.


Gelato #5


Gelato #5

The chicken wire around the outside is to keep deer away. The cloth pot is also on an old table to elevate the surface of the soil to about 4 feet.


Gelato #5


Gelato #5


July 11, 2019; Day 26 for #1-4, Day 25 for #5


Gelato #1


Gelato #1


Gelato #2


Gelato #2

This plant has finally fully recovered from the pH mishap. The yellowed leaves have been cut off so it is actually on its fifth node. It is recommended not to top a plant until it has fully developed its sixth node. During this growing review, you will see the beginning of a manifold training technique as well as defoliation. The manifold will be done in two different ways to demonstrate the difference.


Gelato #3


Gelato #3


Gelato #4


Gelato #4


Gelato Heights


Indoor Gelato Heights


Gelato #5


Gelato #5

The day after transplant, #5 is doing very well. Not even a little drooping.


Gelato #5


Gelato #5


July 12, 2019; Day 27 for #1-4, Day 26 for #5


Gelato #1


Gelato #1

The very fast growth is definitely keeping up for #1. The center shows the beginning of the sixth node, which means topping will commence soon.


Gelato #2


Gelato #2

The upper leaves are growing in much bigger than the stunted leaves at the bottom caused by the low pH for a day.

She’ll make a full recovery.


Gelato #3


Gelato #3

As you can see, the leaves are not as nice and the growth is slightly twisted. As mentioned before, the noticed deformity would have meant throwing the plant out and starting a new one upon germination, if not wanting to demonstrate to you why.


Gelato #4


Gelato #4


Gelato Heights


Indoor Gelato Heights


July 13, 2019; Day 28 for #1-4, Day 27 for #5


Gelato #1


Gelato #1


Gelato #2


Gelato #2


Gelato #3


Gelato #3


Gelato #4


Gelato #4


Gelato Heights


Indoor Gelato Heights

You may notice the neoprene collar around the stem of #3. These are usually used alone in a 2″ net pot to suspend the plant with no substrate (like rockwool or clay pebbles) for hydroponic and aeroponic systems.

They also work great for younger plants with thinner stems to help them stay upright when using clay pebbles, like I am here. Shortly after this picture, I added collars to all four plants.


July 14, 2019; Day 29 for #1-4, Day 28 for #5


Gelato #1

Gelato #1

Today is a huge day for #1 and #4. They have both fully developed their sixth nodes and are ready for their extreme training.

Here is a brief explanation (there will be a full article later).

What I am going to do to the four indoor plants is called manifolding. If you think of a car manifold, pictured below (excuse the blurry picture), four (usually) pipes converge into one. We will be doing the same thing backwards.

.


Four cylinder manifold


Manifold

Notice how one pipe is split into two then two into four. We will be mimicking this by topping the plants.

Topping means taking the top of the main stem off in such a way that forces the plant to grow two in its place. Each growth tip or node (between where the new fan leaves grow from and the main stem) has the potential to be a new top. The only real requirement is for it to be the closest one to the light.

You can use low-stress training or topping (or fimming, which is not important for this article) to create new tops.


Gelato #1 after topping


Gelato #1 After Topping

To start the “manifold”, I took off everything above and below the third node. You want to wait for the sixth node to be developed because that is generally when every marijuana plant is entering rapid vegetative state and leaving “seedling” mode.

You also want the stems to be bendy and pliable to do the low stress training required for the next step.

We will be making a T-shape with the two new tops, and then four tops from each arm of the T.

We are doing this for two reasons:

  • Each top produces a “cola”, or one very large bud. You want as many colas as possible to grow to improve yield.
  • The best way to use a stationary indoor grow light is to have the same amount of light reaching all parts of the plant at once. You want your plants to take up all the width of the tent, while all being the same height. You want a canopy.

Gelato #1 after topping


Gelato #1 After Topping


Gelato #2


Gelato #2


Gelato #3


Gelato #3


Gelato #4


Gelato #4

This is the picture just before the topping for this plant. Gelato #4 will be done a little differently than the others to show the difference between methods.


Gelato #4 after first topping


Gelato #4 After Topping

For this plant, I left nodes 2 and 3 giving four tops, which will each be topped into to during the second topping. This method will allow for a more square final canopy instead of rectangle, but will require more LST (low-stress training), because node 2 and 3 are at different heights.

Thanks to the excessive amount of light given by our excellent 1000w LED grow light (found in our What You Need To Grow Marijuana page), the height difference between nodes is almost nonexistent. If you have stretching from using a different light, use the method we used for #1 above.


Gelato #4 after topping


Gelato #4 After Topping

Topping is done. Collar has not been put back on yet.


Gelato #5


Gelato #5

Because of the increased humidity under the dome and the organic material in the slug and snail killer, a harmless fuzzy mold started on the surface of the soil. This is in no way related to bud rot (way too early anyway) and will go away with the dome being off for a few days.


Gelato #5


Gelato #5


July 16, 2019; Day 31 for #1-4, Day 30 for #5


Gelato #1


Gelato #1


Gelato #2


Gelato #2


Gelato #3


Gelato #3


Gelato #4


Gelato #4


Gelato Heights


Indoor Gelato Heights


July 17, 2019; Day 32 for #1-4, Day 31 for #5

It was water change day for the indoor plants.

This will be the last time they are given BioRoot and the main nutrients have been increased to the following amounts (each bucket contains a little over a gallon of water):

  • Micro : 5 ml
  • Grow : 10 ml
  • Bloom : 5 ml
  • BioRoot : 5 ml

It is also topping day for #2 and #3.


Gelato #1


Gelato #1

The two main tops for the manifold are starting their third node each. This means that soon the second major topping will happen and then the rest is training and defoliation.

To make it as efficient to train as possible, you want the nodes that you keep to be the same direction. So, you want the nodes that you keep going the opposite direction of the T-shape.


Gelato #2


Gelato #2

It’s topping day for #2 and #3, and this is the before picture for #2.


Gelato #2


Gelato #2

This picture is to show how much foliage is actually under the canopy before it gets cleaned off.

All leaves below the canopy are getting very little light and are basically just stealing growth energy from the important nodes above.

Keep it clean underneath.


Gelato #2 After Topping


Gelato #2 After Topping

This is #2 after the unnecessary nodes and fan leaves are removed.


Gelato #2 After Topping


Gelato #2 After Topping

Notice the spot where the plant was topped. Leaving the extra bit of stem above the nodes you are keeping gives more strength to the plant while training and while it recovers from the severe damage caused to it by topping.


Gelato #3 Before Topping


Gelato #3 Before Topping

This plant had a few nodes of calcium deficient leaves and I chose to top to the fourth node instead of the third because of it.


Gelato #3 After Topping


Gelato #3 Topped To Fourth Node


Gelato #3 Topped


Gelato #3 After Topping


Gelato #4


Gelato #4


Gelato Heights


Indoor Gelato Heights

After topping the final two plants, #3 and #4 were switched for positions so the bigger plants were near the back and for more comprehensive picture taking.


Gelato #5


Gelato #5

The mold has reached its final stage and will soon clear up completely. The plant has been completely unaffected by it.


Gelato #5


Gelato #5

As you can see, the leaves are extremely similar inside and out. The main two differences are both caused by the difference in light:

  • The deep shade of green in the tent
  • The high amount of stretching outside

Gelato #5


Gelato #5


July 18, 2019; Day 33 for #1-4, Day 32 for #5


Gelato #1


Gelato #1

This plant is starting its third set of nodes on the two new tops and will soon be topped the second time.


Gelato #2


Gelato #2


Gelato #3

Gelato #3


Gelato #4


Gelato #4

This plant is growing very densely and symmetrical, but it wouldn’t if it were outside or had a weaker light. If #5 were topped this way, it would not grow ideally at all.


Gelato Heights


Indoor Gelato Heights


July 19, 2019; Day 34 for #1-4, Day 33 for #5


Gelato #1

Gelato #1


Gelato #2


Gelato #2


Gelato #3


Gelato #3


Gelato #4

Gelato #4


Gelato Heights


Indoor Gelato Heights


July 20, 2019; Day 35 for #1-4, Day 34 for #5


Gelato #1


Gelato #1


Gelato #2


Gelato #2


Gelato #3


Gelato #3


Gelato #4


Gelato #4


Gelato Heights


Indoor Gelato Heights


July 21, 2019; Day 36 for #1-4, Day 35 for #5

Today was second topping day for #1 and the start of LST (low-stress training) for #1 and #2.


Gelato #1


Gelato #1 Before Second Topping


Gelato #1 After 2nd Topping


Gelato #1 After Second Topping

This is after the second topping.

We took everything except the first and third nodes on the two main tops (the nodes coming out of the sides, not the top and bottom). This way, with some LST, all eight tops will be the same distance from the light.


Gelato #1 Tied


Gelato #1 LST

This is #1 after being topped for the second time and tied down to the bucket handles for the main two stems to be as close to the same level as possible.


Gelato 32 Tied


Gelato #2 LST

This plant was also tied down because it was starting to get taller than the others.


Gelato #3


Gelato #3


Gelato #4


Gelato #4 Before Trimming


Gelato #4 Trimmed


Gelato #4 Trimmed

The art of defoliation is to take away any larger upper leaves that will restrict light reaching lower growth tips. You don’t want to take too many or cause any large gaps if there are fan leaves below.

If a large upper fan leaf is blocking a newly forming growth tip, get rid of it with a sharp clean pair of pruning snips, like the ones found on our What You Need To Grow Marijuana page.


Gelato Heights


Indoor Gelato Heights


July 22, 2019; Day 37 for #1-4, Day 36 for #5

Today #4 gets topped to eight tops by topping each of the four from the previous topping.


Gelato #1


Gelato #1


Gelato #2


Gelato #2


Gelato #3


Gelato #3


Gelato #4 Before final topping


Gelato #4 Before Final Topping


Gelato #4 Topped


Gelato #4 After Final Topping

The growth tips were topped quite close to the main stems to ensure that the travel distance for nutrients was as similar as possible for each top at later stages.


Gelato Heights


Indoor Gelato Heights


Gelato #5


Gelato #5


Gelato #5


Gelato #5


Gelato #5 Height


Gelato #5 Height

Our friend used his arm as a height comparison for #5.


July 23, 2019; Day 38 for #1-4, Day 37 for #5


Gelato #1


Gelato #1


Gelato #2


Gelato #2


Gelato #3


Gelato #3


Gelato #4


Gelato #4


Gelato Heights


Indoor Gelato Heights


July 24, 2019; Day 39 for #1-4, Day 38 for #5

Water change day. The following amounts in the one-gallon buckets:

  • Micro : 5 ml
  • Grow : 10 ml
  • Bloom : 5 ml

There was an accident where clipping a fan leaf resulted in removing one of the 8 tops on Gelato #1. It never grew back, so it now only has seven tops.


Gelato #1


Gelato #1


Gelato #2


Gelato #2


Gelato #3


Gelato #3


Gelato #4


Gelato #4


Gelato Heights


Indoor Gelato Heights


July 25, 2019; Day 40 for #1-4, Day 39 for #5


Gelato #1


Gelato #1


Gelato #2


Gelato #2


Gelato #3


Gelato #3

Here you can really start to see the weak genetics of this single plant, that essentially look like a nutrient problem. The leaves are dry and discolored. The growth is very slow.

The next day, I replaced the nutrient mix with filtered water to try to flush the plant and see if it would make a difference.


Gelato #4


Gelato #4


Gelato Heights


Indoor Gelato Heights


July 26, 2019; Day 41 for #1-4, Day 40 for #5

Today, I flushed #3 with pure water to try to alleviate some symptoms that could be nutrient related.


Gelato #1


Gelato #1


Gelato #2


Gelato #2

This plant was also showing some symptoms of nutrient problems, but once I switched out the Hardwater Micro for the regular variety, the new leaves were all normal. I didn’t flush this one at all.


Gelato #3


Gelato #3

This plant never would have been kept alive and wouldn’t be using my nutrients if it weren’t for me wanting my readers to see why its important to be selective when germinating and selecting plants to take to harvest.


Gelato #4


Gelato #4


Gelato Heights


Indoor Gelato Heights


Gelato #5


Gelato #5


Gelato #5


Gelato #5


July 27, 2019; Day 42 for #1-4, Day 41 for #5


Gelato #1


Gelato #1


Gelato #2


Gelato #2


Gelato #3


Gelato #3

Most of the affected leaves were pruned away.

Most of the new growth also feels dry and coarse.


Gelato #4


Gelato #4


Gelato Heights


Indoor Gelato Heights


July 29, 2019; Day 44 for #1-4, Day 43 for #5

July 28 was skipped because we were away for the night and couldn’t take pictures.

Gelato #1


Gelato #1


Gelato #2


Gelato #2


Gelato #3


Gelato #3


Gelato #4


Gelato #4


Gelato Heights


Indoor Gelato Heights


This Concludes This Installment of the Review


Thank you for reading this far and enjoying our journey with the incredible Gelato by Crop King Seeds!

As promised, follow this link, and use Promo Code : FIRST10 to get 10% off your first order!

For Part 4 – August 2019, CLICK HERE.


Happy Gardening!