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The Trellis Project

Hi! You have found the landing page for The Trellis Project, a totally different take on the growing of indoor cannabis. This technique didn't come about overnight. In fact the curious can see the intermediate steps as I figured this out:

This page however will hopefully explain the setup showing the grow every step of the way from the initial tent setup to final harvest. I have two tents with some 20 Citrus Saps split between them in 8 Hempy Buckets, four per room, each with a trellis rig. The tents are set up completely atypical to normal grows and it will look weird as hell but all that is forgotten once the returns start happening.

To get ready for this, I just finished my previous crop, got the tents cleaned out, soilmix made, aforementioned Citrus Sap seeds germinted and then split amongst the Hempy Buckets which are 3 gallons each. The buckets have hydroton up to the drain hole in the Hempy and then a 75/25 mix of coco coir and mostly Perlite, though I ran out and had to use hydroton to get this complete. It all works.

I don't have the lights done as of this video but that is secondary at this stage; I am just getting the actors to hit their marks...

We are now about a week away from flipping these from veg to bloom and thats when we also bring the trellis rigs into play. We first anchor the bottom of the trellis to the pot (top is hinged), then we anchor all of the major limbs to the chicken wire, essentially flattening the plant. Finally we shine Mars Hydro 600w LED grow lights directly onto the trellis for maximum bud development. To show how this all works we started a new crop of Citrus Sap (mutants) and as of this grow, all plants will be trellised. I figured to take one video per week to show how the plants take to the trellis rigs and how the plants develop this way. Right now we are still more or less normal for this point in the veg cycle; nothing special yet. Here is a video for week one...

More to come...

Update: 26 APR 2020: At long last I have the plants "trellised" or tied down, mostly how they will remain until harvest. Oh sure little adjustments here and there but for the most part, its done. Now its just feed them and watch the blinking lights.  Here is a video I did just to show this intermediate stage right after trellising. The plants ALWAYS look like they lost a fist-fight right afterwards; now the thing is they will grow into this new arrangement, resulting in the so-excellent "Wall O Bud" this technique tends to produce over the next four weeks. For now, enjoy the video and remember to refer back to it in a month when things get so amazing....

Keep the faith baby.


Update: 08 May 2020:
Finishing third week of bloom, plants are settling into their rigs and growing great. From here on out its mostly just watching and drooling....

I tried taking some new pics today but my eye-hand coordination just wasn't there so I grabbed these. First is one of the taller plants stretching up out of the zone where the light was most intense so I started training it to go side-ways and stay in the light, Carol-Anne! 

And from the tasty buds dept, this was just a fairly new (like them all at this point) Citrus Sap bud...the money shots are still coming...

That should do it for now. I have more notes and such to share but that will have to wait. Today saw not just this but also I had to actually make my new DSL modem work so I could get 'net access again; turning your smartphone into a hotspot is a cool trick but woefully inadequate for my kind of now I am pretty burned out. One last thing though, much of my cannabis writing will probably get moved to a growers forum I have found where they will hopefully do more good than just rotting here.....the home of the trellis project there is:

Update: 26 May 2020: Well that didn't take long. Apparently some of the resident assholes at Growers Network Forum took issue on my opinion on autoflowers, then took issue with how I wrote, then took issue with who I was and capped it all off by claiming they never read my work because of all that but I was defective anyways.  Fine, my time is too fucking short to put up with simple-minded fucks that can't mentally get out of their own way. So Trellis Project is here until completion. Fewer will see it but oh well, ain't doing this to get known or rich, just writing down what I learned....

I will need to go over whats been posted where and get things settled up, expect this page to be current within a few days, depending on medication....


Here is a short video upate I made today when I had a few spare minutes of clarity. And ignore the date information I muttered about when trying to narrate this w/o falling on my face. Time has been fucked up since day-one of this dementia so its now been just over 4 weeks of bloom, will be 5 on Friday (three days from now), not 6 or 7 as I guessed in the video. Target date to start checking for done-ness for my personal tastes (one of the many benefits of growing your own meds, you can make them "perfect" for your personal needs) around June 20th; that will give us 9 weeks of flower if I did my math right, not that it matters: I harvest stuff when I feel its ready. So if on the 20th I walk in and find some buds more mature than others, and the mature-looking ones test "done", I take all of the buds that look like that. The rest stay and fatten or just wait until they are ready. Classic gradual harvest, only side-ways. Complicating this however is the sheer volume of bud this time around, a result of over-using plants on the trellis. Probably single most important lesson taught or point established: everyone should do a single-plant per pot trellis grow. Experienced growers are encouraged to try no more than two plants per pot. Its not the roots, my 3.5 gallon pots can hold more than that with the trellis in action. No its that with one plant, there is nothing to confuse the novice grower and the pinning down and trellising process will go smoothly. To use more than a single plant on a trellis/pot, the grower needs some skills at LST...not that there is specifically LST going on here, its that many of the skills needed for this are shared with LST techniques. It takes a lot of concentration and focus to keep just two plants dealt with on a trellis; three or better and its just nuts and not recommended. If for no other reason, while this does make more pot, it brings back some of the waste that you don't have with a single plant per trellis.

The point of the trellis is to keep each main limb separate so they all get the same light, air, etc and when you have the chaos of three plants going hog-wild, you can forget keeping them pinned right and that kills another of what I consider this methods better features: the daisy-chain of heavy buds you find on ridiculously-thin little branches that would have been pruned under other circumstances. I will dig out some pics to demonstrate but its real and a thin, scraggly string-sized limb you would normally chop off makes this string of pearls like string of seriously heavy, round and dense buds. If you try this technique you will see it for yourself, its pretty cool and its pretty killed when you can't trellis the plant properly because you have too much plant for the area of the trellis (it always comes down to the fucking numbers, eh?). So going forward, no more than two per pot but for the next grow it will be just one per pot for a special reason:

The next grow will by my Padawan Learners trial by fire to see if she is ready to take the reigns here, so the next grow target will be modest and uncomplicated; IOW "normal" I hope, this will be her text-book grow...every grow till now has been evolving this idea or that and so never growing exactly the same twice which makes learning hard on a novice growing assistant. One thing is clear though: the physical layout of the grow tent has solidified, only slight modifications in the pinning and possibly the nutrients do I see in our future. Pining is just learning new stuff by doing it alot. The nutrient thing though is not meant to be a random "try this shit" kind of thing.

Rather after closely observing the trellis grows that I have, I am finding that if you do it right, the plant takes on the need for some things and loses the need for others. Two of the latter things the trellis technique removes is the need for a big root-ball space to get a big plant and the toughening and strengthening the plant goes through just trying to hold buds aloft. This latter means the limbs grow fat buds on tiny not-super-developed branches. One of those weird but true things. Now one result of the plant not needed to put energy into roots for stability or needing to spend energy holding itself (and all branches) "up", that energy seems to get put into the budding itself. That theory explains the consistently big buds on branches so tiny and thin they could never hold them up on the first place.

Thats just theory and under normal circumstances there is a lot of testing I could to do definitively prove or disprove these ideas but time is not something I have in abundance, so until glaringly proven wrong, I am tenatively assuming the statements I made to be reasonably true. Now normal nuttrient diets are designed around the needs of the typical cannabis plant; what do you suppose could be tweaked in the plants diet to fascilitate the trellis technique? To help the plant really work with the system, to make sure there is enough of (whatever) to really help the trellised plant blast out the biggest and best crop that it is capable of. Additionally, what nutrients are now superfluous?

To intelligently hazard a guess at these things you probably need to be a ..dunno...actual scientist of some soft like botanist (worked for Mark Watney; man I bet that guy could grow some pot!), have a few traditional grows under your belt and then a few of these. Then I think you would have the data needed to make a smart guess as to what ot add and what can be removed, if anything. Note that I also suspect a real botanist would see needs far beyond anything I can; way-amateur grower here, never made a secret of that.

So look at it this way: I already said (somewhere) this will be a warts-and-all journal, I report things as they happen, mistakes as they happen, blind-alleys, utter failures and the occasionally hard-won victory....

For now, here are a few make-me-feel-better shots of the Citrus Sap buds forming as I write this...

Photospheres of tent 1 and 2 as of this morning, 05282020;

29 May 2020:
If I weren't laughing, I would be crying. Inventing stuff when your brain is broken is really hard and if you are to succeed at all you must be prepared to do somehting over and over until you get it right and when you have dementia, that might take a damned long time, longer than you might have.

So today I would like to present one such idea, a proof of concept more than a finished product that all started when I got this really good deal on what was supposed to be a 2000kw grow light for cheap. Well cheap is good but if this were anything near an actual 2000w of light, there is noplace in my grow tent I could put it w/o frying plants. So I needed to figure out some way to use the light indirectly and in an enclosed tight little space....but also wanted to find a way to get around LEDs other short-coming, they are great at illuminating shit directly in front of them but there is no radiance, no spread to the plants to the left or right of where you are aimed. So this was an attempt to not just use the 2\kw lights indirectly but also to spread that around the tent to more plants than the 1 foot square light would do. 

Then it hit me all at once, something that would do both jobs in a single go: a fucking disco ball! well the ideas behind it anyways. This way the light and power connections can remain stationary yet through the use of rotating reflectors, the light gets spread all over the 4x8 grow tent! Original model used tin foil for reflecting, that was a no-go first time I tried it, not reflective enough...then I rememberd my very first grow tent, a series of office chairs and stand-up lamps with space blankets spread all over everything to create light-discipline. 

Well my blankets arrived last night, my disco "ball" made from pieces of styrofoam from a craft store and zip-ties got upgraded today tks to Beth, my hands were just not up to the task...and then I intalled the proof of concept in tent 2...this kind of thing I need to make work on paper and then once built, I need to watch it and figure out how I should have done it in the first this will remain in action a few days as we tweak the design and lighting strategy...

Greetings folks, today is June 1st, 2020 meaning we are about three weeks to harvest so thought to capture where the buds are all with this technique on a weekly basis until done, so here is another video status update....

06 June 2020:

Hey kids! Things are rocketing along to harvest nicely, buds are all fattening up. For what its worth, I am doing something now known as "bud blasting" which is where in bloom where you jack the phospherous up and blast the buds to make them fat. I normally use Advanced Nutrients Bloom, Grow and Micro but for the bud-blasting I replaced my micro with something called "Flower Fuel" which carries an NPK rating of 1-34-32 I think; its high as hell. Anyhow during this period the plants are basically over-driven nutritionally and causes the buds to be immense but at the cost of pretty much the rest of the plant.

As this is so chemically harsh on the plant and I am already over-stressing the fuck out of these anyways, I am doing a clear-water flush every three days from now until a week before harvest, at which point I will switch them all to straight water the rest of the way......

Also to prepare for harvest I built a "cola rack" that I can hang in a spare room and hang a ton of colas from to dry. You know me, Spare Parts Man so the PVC used to be part of a watering wand I made and the chicken wire is leftover scraps from making trellis rigs.....but it will work just fine, thank you....

With this we are about two weeks away...or so...I have noticed the two basic phenos in there, one is pretty standard and will be ready when I expect it to but the other looks like it needs alot more time...or something. They don't look bad, just not finished. So I might take their colas on day-one of harvest but leave the rest to finish. I already know this harvest is going to be a multi-day affair, even with help and even with making most of it into RSO. Oops I guess the proper term for it now is FECO for Full...Extract...Cannabis Oil I think. Anyhow since thats where most is going it just gets a quick wet-trim chop job and quick dry......

So maybe tomorrow is a good day to take one more video to capture progress since the next one after that COULD be harvest day.....

Peace for now...

stay safe everyone, the world has gone nuts...

09 June 2020, bloom week 7 Update:

Video update for this week; there will be one next week and probably a final flush and then harvest.

Main point of todays video is to show the waste involved with going multiple plants per trellis. Found this yesterday; what happens in you go through your initial pinning down and then usually thats it for a one plant per trellis setup. What happens here though is new buds form under the other pinned foliage. The result if the buds and fanleaves can grow mashed into each other and when the buds start cranking resin it has nowhere to go and rot can set in..The solutions is two-fold:
1. Trim or defoliate excess fanleaves that are adding to the problem, repinning as necessary so all buds get light and air again.
2. Don't do this again, Dumbass.

So here is my video update showing that and the rest of the fun....

15 June 2020: Defoliation continues, harvest approaches, time for one last crappy photosphere.

Hey Gang, resident nut Jeff here. The trellis project is approaching the finish line, the missus and I have been busy getting ready for harvest while also chipping away at the intense foliage in there for some last-minute light and air. Basically, anything with a stem is going, been working on this for a week, tired AF and still not done yet. One thing keeps me happy though...when doing this a couple smaller (like string-thin branches small) branches got cut so I cut them up to dry, knowing they are both early and likely to taste like ass due to the bud blasting but what else would you do with these?

Now one thing that this really slammed home last night was this pile is just some mistakes, representing about .0001% of whats left in there which means harvest is going to be a cast-iron bitch on wheels...for two disabled folks, that sucks. Good news is this defoliation process helps with that; every trim I make today spread over two weeks is one trim I don't have to be doing all at once all day long on harvest day. Makes sense to me.

One fun thing about this defoliation is you get to see some really strange shit you did not know remember those pieces of dryer hose I used as stand-offs for the trellis rigs? Well look what I found growing inside of one:

Huh. Anyhow one other thing I needed to make sure to write here about this process, its taught me something interesting. First, when you do a trellis grow, since the branches don't need to work to support the plant almost at-all, all energy is put into flowering. This results in lots on bigger buds on tiny-assed branches. Now those are DELICATE fucking branches as I found and will snap quite easily if you are not careful and these days, I am not. But being the double-edged sword, you know how normally grown branches can grow buds too heavy and they sag and if the plant is woody enough, snaps/breaks where the branch joins the main plant. Age-old story. When I saw how easy these can snap I am like oh shit, because thats what they do, the over-weight bud thing...but to my surprise, these branches growing like this are actually very flexible if the bend is gradual, which explains why I had plants the other day with maybe 18 total branches overloaded with bud, hanging to the floor like fucking dreadlocks and not one broke, not one. I just added more of those yoyo plant hangers and they are fine...that would NEVER have happened with a standard plant, not with 100% of them, no way.  So this is kinda cool in a way and if nothing else, something to know.

So on to the next thing (busy morning/days)...I realized taking bud-shots with the scope to sorta demonstrate doneness is really not going to work if I use a different bud each time, let alone not using same today I tried to rig up a laptop and camera in grow, shook so much only 3 of 10 shots useable but here are shots of three from today and we will track these same buds thru do harvest:

This shits way easier when the bud is sitting in a dish, the camera stuck to the desktop with a suction cup and you can carefully focus, aim and click. Oh well, will try to do better next time.

As for the trichs, they are still pretty clear, starting to cloud some. Stay tuned...

For the final trick of the day, at the request of my mentor I tried to take a pair of photosphere pics to show what defoliation is looking like. Totally fucked them up, sorry, I have dementia so sue me if things are hard to get right. Still there is a LOT of fucking bud there to harvest in a week or so....

Messed up the right side of both, eye-hand coordination was not a forte this morning. Sadly I fucking fixed this LAST WEEK by constructing a stand/stablizer for it....which I totally forgot to use, still sitting in closet....memory loss sucks total ass, and not in a good way either...

Just a note of caution I feel I need to throw in here. I have done alot of crazy things in that room over the years and used alot more power than I do now (being 100% LED and low-impact everything) yet never had a problem. I get these two new Chinese 2000w grow lights and last night just before lights out I went into the grow room for something and smelled burning electronics. Used to be in the biz, trust me I know the smell. Confirmed with both dogs and wife. The wall outlet this room was power from was hotter than hell. Only started when I added the pair of 2kw emergency rewiring of shit and now that room only powers the lights; everything else (fans, exhaust, the real heavy draws) are now wired onto what I think is the washer/drier circuit. Seems to work but that freaked me the recepticle and all parts are nice and cool...except one of the power bricks for one of the Chinese lights....the other is fine so this may be a botched one. Hey they were like 25 bucks a throw so I knew the risks...well except for the nearly burning the house down part.

Never a dull moment.....


16 June: Since one of the plants was doing such a nice job of being a nice, clear example of how the trellis trick turns out, I cleaned out many of the fanleaves to make the pictures/video clearer and then documented everything I could about that plant. Due for harvest in about a week, we started total clear-water flush today....

22 June 2020: Final Grow Video
Tomorrow is harvest day for this and so thought I would snag some final video to show how things turned out after all this time. Plants are eager to go, buds look finished, drying area ready, help/manpower arranged-for....without further ado, here is the final grow video for this project and probably from me specifically. The dementia is making doing this too hard; I feel I have given it my all....

So tomorrow morning we go thru and snip all those long branches, clean off any remaining fan-leaves and hang them in an area I have set up for the purpose. Rest of the bud is for RSO and will get chopped up and stuck on an herb dryer I have, eventually becoming RSO....

Peace to all and I hope this helps someone coming after me....

Jeff Cobb
Las Vegas, NV 2020
23 June 2020: Harvest Update 1:
Got started this morning by removing everything from the tents gear-wise and unhooking all the plant hangers. Then we switched the lights from timer to normal and went to work. Snipped off 24+ of the best tops/colas/meal-fit-for-a-king, trimmed off any remaining fan leaves and hung them on this rack I made for the purpose:

Then we spent the next two hours solid pulling branches loaded with buds and chopping them up to make RSO. What this means is we leave anything with a trichome on the bud so if its a fan leaf but covered in resin, in it goes. After two hours we transferred what we had chopped up into one of my herb dryers, holds 10 racks or drying trays worth of product. As my Parkinsons side was making itself known after all that intense work, I had Beth get on the ladded and redistribute all of the RSO flower. Ended up using the top 5 tiers.

Now I am burned out beyond fuck ATM, just a product of the dementia but there is SO much bud left I won't sleep well until its all at least cut up and drying.. Because after all that work above, we have barely made a dent in the overall job....
25 June 2020; Harvest Complete.

OMFG. OK this is one of those "duh" moments but....OK up to this I had a pretty well-oiled machine here, growing and all, knew all my nutrients, capacities, etc. Established all this growing normal, text-book growing methods. As such, we have exactly enought pro herb drying racks to take care of any crop we have had to date plus about 50%. Oh yeah, I had this ALL figured out. So this fully explains why Mr. Belt and Suspenders designed and planned the trellis system to generate "up to double the normal indoor yield." and making those trellis rigs is the only change I made but up till now, I might do one or two trellis plants as a test but that was it. So this time I go full-throttle trellis where EVERY plant was trellised which, if it is its goal could have produced a lot more meds than normal...but dumb-ass, Mr Everything Has To Be An Experiment, I decided to see how much I could tax this system and went 2-4 plants in each pot-trellis combination. This was insane and frankly stupid because it brought back waste which the original system eliminated with one plant per trellis.  However I didn't know that in the beginning and tried to make sure these were on the biggest trellis rigs I could make and the result was a lot more waste than I am used to (which is none) BUT it also made just plain more buds too, so where the biggest crop before would not fill one of my pro herb drying racks, or take more than a day to complete, this one took three days of two people working their asses off. I am going to do a proper weigh-in at the end but even this speaks to how much medicine we just havested. Like I said, before MAYBE a herb rack could be filled but this harvest made so much meds I ran about of space to dry it all. First the buds above on "Harvest Day", hanging in the spare shower stall. Then there is the main drying rack of 10 full:

Then we pulled out the spare, 4-5 rack dryer:

Then when we could not find the additional attachment racks for rack two, we had to default back to old-school cardboard flats like you use to trim on....

So thats the status; the rest of the room looks like a frat house after a party. Cleanup tomorrow, the first stuff to come off will be the top two racks on rack one as they were done day-one of this, with the rest rolling off over the next two-three days following. Hanging stuff I don't know because thats not how I normally do it and so have only the vaguest notion of when they will be ready. I do expect some amazing smoke from them though, they are super-resiny and fragrant AF. Nice long clean flush. Should be great.....

One last tid-bit to add: growing this way, the plants sometimes turn ivy on you and by that I mean they find insane ways to grow in and out of the trellis rigs, making harvest a little is one example from the plant harvested this morning, crossed in and out of the trellis rig no less than four times, with fully-formed buds all the way....


OK as of today, everything is in a bag or bottle and Beth, bless her heart found the gram scale to check out results....

First, the "colas" or tops, branches we hung to dry from that rack I made. After trimming from the branches and clearing debris, there were 27 of these odd pill-bottle-like-but-aren't-pillbottles bottles, each holds about 8 grams of bud. I used these because even though nobody gives a fuck about how RSO flower looks, stuff you smoke should not look all mangled and shit so I finish these in bottles like this to keep them safe and intact.

Anyhow 27 bottles worked out to a little over 8 grams of flower per bottle for a total of 216 grams.

Then the RSO flower, way easier to measure, made 4 gallon bags packed with flower with a partial of about a third remaining. These weighed out as:
Bag:           Grams:
1                  156
2                  164
3                  130
4                  122
5                   40
Total:          612

Total grams harvested and stored: (216+612) 828.
At 28 grams per ounce, just under 30 ounces where harvested (29.57 to be exact)...

Which at 16 ounces per pound, works out to ....1.84 pounds.

Woof. I would say we hit our target.....

A final note: I had a lot of plants going here, all of the same-ish strain (Citrus Sap) but as the genetics got mixed with GG#4 and Tahoe Cure pollen, there can be lots of variation; in this grow the variations were between two main phenos (the Berts and the so-called "normals") but aside from that, very little.

However. One of the plants, the "Exemplar" shown above generated some of the nicest, tastiest, most potent meds either of us has seem in some time, home-grown or store-bought.  They were so good we went back thru every bit of the harvest and extracted all of this single pheno and saved them for smoke and stored them in "special" glass jars:
I christened this Citrus Sap #3 as it was the third pheno in tent 1....if things were as they were even a few years ago, I would have taken clones of all these, two each at least so in case one turns out like this I have the perfect stock to start making copies with. Sadly such things are beyond me now, so this one is that lucky fun cool fluke that will not be repeated, at least not by me. So next time is turned over completely to my Padawan learner and she as selected GG#4 and Tahoe Cure for the next (and her first solo effort) crop. I am as hands-off as possible......


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