I’m a new cannabis grower who decided to give hydroponics a try for my first grow. I have done lots of initial research but the amount of info out there is overwhelming and sometimes contradictory so I decided to “just jump in” with my grow and keep learning as I go. This approach has mostly worked, but I think I’m late to the game on thinning my grow. I started 8 autoflower seeds, 2 of each strain together in a 4” net pot, 18 gal reservoir, top-fed recirculating DWC system. Everything is going great! The plants are huge and leafy and herein lies the problem. I didn’t expect 100% germination and I thought it would be easy to pick strong specimens and remove the stragglers…. But now I’m looking at these huge girls and I think I waited too long to thin them. It’s the 5th week since spouting and I still have two plants per net pot. They haven’t started to flower yet, but it’s getting clear to me that not all plants are getting equal light. I have done minimal light stress training so I’m getting decent horizontal growth, but some plants are growing over others and blocking light. I’m not sure what my next steps are, my thoughts have been:
Option 1: Keep on keeping on and do nothing. The biggest plants will get the most light and hopefully my yield won’t be too impacted by growing so many plants in one system. I check them daily so I can keep my reservoir topped off.
Option 2: Try to carefully remove the smaller plants and keep the biggest plants under the best lights. I have another system I can move the smaller plants to, but they would have weaker grow lights. I’m worried this option would damage roots and impact the growth of all the plants.
Option 3: Just chop the smallest plants and let the biggest plants thrive. This probably would do the least damage to the remaining plants, but it would leave behind the roots of the cut plants and I’m not sure what would happen there. Also, it kinda breaks my heart to think of killing plants that are healthy just because they are smaller.
There are probably other options I haven’t thought of yet. I welcome your experience or articles pertaining to how to proceed in my grow. Thanks all!!
Here is how it looks currently