100% beginner on a (reasonable) budget

I have a stage 3 but i also run a high flow activated carbon RV pre-filter since the water in SoCal is so hard

Looking great! Keep it up.

The last week has been interesting. At first, the plants were expanding like crazy with new leaf growth. Now, they’ve started to shoot upwards again.
One Super Skunk plant has something interesting going on. It looks healthy to me:

But this lower level of leaves is droopy and one of the leaves is even touching the ground. Is that because they are under the shade of the top canopy? Is there anything I need to worry about?

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This plant looks like it could use more water. She’s big enough to water to runoff.

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Okay, thanks. The other 2 plants are about this size as well. Should I also water them to runoff, or should I wait a few days to see how this plant responds? So far the leaves on the other 2 plants look okay.

Also - when watering to runoff, do you just keep constantly pouring until it comes out, or do you put in (for example) a quart of water, wait a few minutes for it to soak in and down, pour in another quart, etc.

It’s best to water slowly to give the soil a chance to soak it up. Remember to allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings when doing this. Your other plants are probably ok for now, it’s best to read them individually.


yes reading your plants is more important than lines in the sand. for example during explosive growth spurts in veg i will water them more frequently not waiting till the soil is too dry that the plants show water stress. I use smart pots so they are much more forgiving with potential over watering. And I water the outside ring of the pots so that the roots have to stretch to reach the moist soil. They put on more growth when I do this. But yes most newbies tend to over water their young plants.

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Well, it’s been 10 days and there have been lots of changes. The plants are now 44 days old. I think I will do a few separate posts so people can reply individually to a specific subject.
First off - more watering is exactly what that plant needed, so thank you everyone.
I went out of town for 5 days, and there has been pretty significant upward growth on all 3 plants. They have jumped from 3-5 inches tall to about 12 inches tall. They are about 10-12 inches wide. I’m thinking about trying some LST for 10 days like @blackthumbbetty mentioned in this thread:

Super Skunk 1:

Super Skunk 2:

White Widow:


The other major change was that a bunch of these appeared all over the plant. I’m not sure if these indicate preflowering stage or if they are the beginnings of buds. I searched all over and couldn’t find an article/post that clearly indicated “This is what a preflower looks like” or even “This is what a flower looks like” so I’ve circled the exact items in red to help future beginners like me clearly identify what these are. I’m excited to hear the answers on this one…


The last item is - my soil level dropped in the pots. I’m assuming this is because it has compressed because of the increased watering. Should I add more soil to bring the level back up, or just leave it as is?

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That’s definitely a bud!

Great! It’s kind of hard to tell, but it looks like there is 8-12 per plant right now.
I want to try LST, but the plants don’t seem very bendable. When I pull on it at the top, it really wants to move/bend at the bottom. Is this expected?

Gently pinch and roll it between your fingers along the length of the top area as you are bending it. Don’t pinch it so hard as you would in super cropping. Just gently squeeze while bending. Do it along the stalk so you are not bending sharply in one area. You will find out they are very pliable. I tie my tops over so they look like an upside down J. This sends auxins to the lower branches so they can grow up to the top shoot. I usually start my lst early on.

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Okay, here goes my first attempt at Low Stress Training (LST)!
I gently bent the stem in small sections just like @OldSchoolGrower said to do, and it made it pliable and easy.

I found what I think is a great tie-down for doing this: 1/8 inch nylon/polyester paracord. It is a nice diameter and soft. I bought it at the local hardware store, but here is an Amazon link for those that are interested:

160 pound 1/8 inch nylon/polyester paracord

I didn’t want to strain the plant too much, so I tied it a few inches down from the top:

The other end of the cord, I tied to a coffee mug to hold the plant down:

I’m not brave enough to bend them into an upside-down J shape like @OldSchoolGrower, but this is how far I bent them:

Super Skunk 1:

Super Skunk 2:

The White Widow plant isn’t as tall and was a little stiffer, so I didn’t bend it over as far:

Maybe after a few days I will try bending them over further. Or, maybe they don’t need to go further. I’ll wait for the experts to chime in.
With that said, I’m tagging @OldSchoolGrower @blackthumbbetty @Countryboyjvd1971 @raustin @Drillbit everyone I can think of to make sure this looks okay!!!


You did good. You can tie them down further in a day or two. Great job!

Work the stalk some more closer to your top. Also easier to use pipe cleaners. Just a simple loose wrap around and done. If you need to anchor down twist the other end of the pip cleaner into a eye loop and you can tie to that with your cord or plant wire. Your off to a good start, and the more you do it it will become natural and you can feel what the plant is doing while you bend it. I also prefer to start my lst early on around the 4th node. Plant is much more pliable and forgiving then. Give me a few minutes to dig through pics and I’ll post some.

Ok @TommyBahama here ya go Brother. You can stop training at anytime and switch to flower or veg longer and create a monster. As you can see it creates a lot of tops throughout all stages of veg. Your only limitation is time and space you want to commit to. That particular grow was my 1st grow in over 20 years. Started LST training back in the early 90’s. Man, I miss the plants I use to create back then. As you can see in the pictures I keep the plant very low. My whole plant is probably the same height as yours if not shorter. If you look closely at the 2nd pic, you will see the stalk in the center of the bucket. The plant was 1st tied in the direction of the wall. Once it passes the end of the bucket it is untied and allowed to grow up just slightly. Then I start tying it over in the opposite direction. The bend you are seeing is actually the 2nd bend. By continuing this the side branches grow then they are tied down as well, creating more branches. Hope all this helps. Any questions just give me a shout. More than happy to help out…


I made a post in “The Grow” section to ask about my soil drop and collect opinions on it. If anyone wants to view that thread, it is here:


Here’s info on what you asked me Tommy. Copy of it below your comment in my grow as well. Hope this helps. Just keep it tied over for now. So the side shoots can take off. I would keep your one anchor point where it’s at, so it will eventually hold in that position. Then I would take another tie and try to tie your very top of your main shoot over some more
. Keep it there for a few days, it will turn back up to the light. Keep it tied and let it grow up some. Hen start tying it in the opposite direction to the other side of the pot. As it keeps growing in that direction, keep working it til’ it reaches the other side. It should start filling out. Then start tying your new branches over. Dear is to keep the plant low while maximizing canopy coverage

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Oh shit Tommy, I just looked closer at your pics. You’re in flower. I wouldn’t really do much more to it so you don’t stress it. I cease all LST during flower. By the time I get to flower I’m done LST’ing by then