Or, I should title this “Where to begin, all over again.” Just as easily this post could be called “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

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This is what the garden looked like when I left on vacation...

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Blackberry Buds in Distress

While I was away the plants took a turn for the worst...

Let’s just begin… Myself and those close to me were rocked this year by a number of losses, crisis’ out of the norm, etc. Nonetheless, we are still grateful for every moment of life, but when these things strike, normality falls to the wayside.

That said, I took some time to go home for a few weeks to see family, gain strength and heal wounds. Im my absence, a friend offered to care for the garden while I was away.

There were the seedling, clones & autoflowers in one area, and the blooming Blackberry plants that were just 2-3 weeks from harvest. Explicit but simple instructions were left, sadly they were never followed. The plants weren’t watered for the first 9 days, by which point they were beyond between wilted and crispy dry. Then the following week, in a mad panic they were flooded…. I away, all the meanwhile under the impression everything was fine and dandy.

I’d been gone for about 16 days and the following morning upon my return, I eagerly entered the garden anticipating the bountiful harvest to be at hand only to find an emaciated waste land.

I was pretty bummed, and my friend (yes, still a friend ;-)) felt really bad. But she tried to help, and I did ask a lot of her, so I opted to focus on solutions, saving what could be saved, chopping what needed to be cut, albeit early.

Intense care saves the harvest for Blackberry plant xB

A quick flush & some TLC, and plant xB bounced back in time for harvesting.

Plant xA didn’t make it, sadly and was cut early. xB managed to pull back in to the living and finish. The little white widow is really stunted, traumatized but still in bloom. We’ll post up weights and bud shots in a day or so…

Most impressive is the noticeable growth improvement when we put the recovering plants under Hydroponics Hut’s improved spectra Pro-Grow 180 LED grow light and cranked her up to 18/6. After flushing & repotting, both foliage AND root growth was a noticeable step up form the previous Pro Grow line (2010), which I had absolutely no complaints about!

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Nirvana Blackberry buds harvested at week 11

After 11 weeks of bloom, and a near death experience, xB is cut & drying!

A New Hope - Cuttings, Seedlings & Autoflowers

Stunted but bouncing back... Autoflowers will be small, but smell amazing!

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It goes to show, you cannot count your harvest until it is harvested. The 2 Aurora Indica seedlings survived but at 7 weeks old are very stunted, at 4 weeks old the 2 White Widow seedlings we started are both double the size of the AIs. We lost all cuttings but one – Heidi Ho, and sadly the main Heidi Ho plant was a beautiful bloomer but went hermaphrodite (possibly due to stress, but more likely genetics) and was culled yesterday.

My poor Northern Light autos are in full bloom, but they got stunted too and will not be big yielders like their predecessors. – Pics coming soon…