Big Slugger invited us back to his grow room to see how his Blue Dream was coming along. Slugger’s garden was featured in an earlier article on pruning; and this was a nice opportunity to see the results.
The last time we were at Slugger’s, we watched as he pruned and staked the plants. At that time, it looked like Slugger was going to have some monster plants. Upon arrival, we were stunned to see just how large the Blue Dream plants had grown. On average, the plants reached four and one half feet above their containers. Slugger had not planned for such growth, and had to make emergency modifications to his grow room. He had already raised his 1000 watt HPS lamps as high as they could go, and was left with no other option but to remove his tables.
Cutting the legs off the tables afforded Slugger the additional space his monster plants needed in order to avert disaster. Monster plants presented another problem: With huge masses of entangled plants, the canopy would obstruct air flow. Concerned about stagnant air, Slugger installed additional circulation fans to help keep the air moving. By this time, Slugger’s two high-capacity dehumidifiers where sucking nearly four gallons of water out of the air in the room each day.
Removing the tables had presented another problem: without the gentle slope built into Slugger’s table design, water began to pool in his trays. As this water evaporated, the increased humidity meant more work for the dehumidifiers, which where already running around the clock at 100% capacity. Slugger knew this arrangement was not ideal; but he was still managing to maintain a humidity level of 40-50%.
The tipping point came when one of Sluggers dehumidifiers failed. The over-worked unit condensed its last quart of water sometime during the night. Slugger was not available to address the situation that night, and relative humidity quickly soared to over 80%. By the time Slugger replaced the dehumidifier, over 40 hours had passed, and the damage had been done.
Slugger’s heat evacuation system maintains his grow room at 75-81º F (24-27º C); but when humidity is allowed into the 80 percent range, the room becomes inhospitable for marijuana plants and begins to favor fungal production. In Slugger’s case, the invading fungus was Erysiphales or Powdery Mildew. Even though the humidity was now under control, the Powdery Mildew (PM) continued to spread at an alarming rate.
If Slugger’s medicinal grow becomes completely contaminated with Erysiphales, he will have to compost it. So he decides to harvest this garden two weeks ahead of schedule. This grow has been fraught with problems, but Slugger decides to try to salvage what he can from it. Fortunately Slugger has a resource that was not available even a few years ago: He is sending a sample of his Blue Dream harvest to SC Laboratories for a full analysis–screening for Erysiphales included. The lab results will indicate if the bud has been tainted by unsafe levels of fungal spore. Lab results will also reveal cannabinoid content. This professional report will provide detailed information about the quality of the medicine before anyone has a chance to consume it.
As you can see, uncontrolled plant height has caused some serious problems in this grow room. Understanding the problems associated with tall plants, and learning how to control marijuana plant height are important tools for every grower to grasp sooner than later. In Slugger’s case, the problem was largely due to Blue Dream’s propensity to double in height between flowering and harvest.
Slugger’s Grow Room: Blue Dream Harvest,