Karmarado Strain – 500W COB LED Grow – High Pressure Aeroponics

This will be my second Karmarado strain grow. Karmarado OG is a cross made between two breeders Karma Genetics and Cannarado. It is a Triangle Kush x San Fernando Valley OG x White OG.

My first grow was 12/12 from seed with this girl. She seems to have great potential so I want to run her again only this time from clones. My first Karmarado grow is at https://420dotcom.com/karmarado-og-grow-journal.html

Both this run and the earlier one are in my high pressure aeroponics system. If you want to build a DIY aeroponic system check out this https://420dotcom.com/diy-aeroponics-new-high-pressure-aeroponics-diy-plans.html

Karmarado Getting Ready To Switch To 12/12

I took cuttings in early flower so these clones have had to reveg themselves. You can see some of those weird leaves you get when you reveg on the lower parts of the plants but the new growth is normal now so they are ready to flower. I have 16 Karmarado OGs under a 2×4 foot screen so this should really fill up the screen fast. Screen height is at 24 inches.

Here are a few pictures of her just before flipping to 12/12.

Karmarado Strain Grow #2 1000W High Pressure Aeroponics Karmarado Strain Grow #2 ready to be flowered Karmarado OG Strain ready to be flowered

My first grow did produce some nice buds but I did not have enough females to fill my 2 x 4 scrog screen so yield was only 9 ounces from 8 plants one of which was a runt. So this time I will have a full screen.

These plants made really nice sized buds and there was no larf at all. Frost coverage was good and so was the smoke. Some plants did not produce the tight buds I expect from an OG.

I have high temps for my summer grows in this closet and I think the heat resulted in loose buds. Some plants had this issue and others did not. This may also have cut back resin production. So I want to give these girls another shot. Rather than just grow out the plants with hard buds I decided to just run them all.

I had 1200 watts in that closet and have reduced it to 1000 so that should help some with the heat. I am seeing lower temps and higher humidity and I can dim the lights if needed.

Karmarado OG Week 1 Growing Strong!

My Karmarado girls have made some amazing growth this week and I am very pleased. I am expecting some killer ladies and a very good yield from them.

Plants always grow different when comparing seed grows and from clones. Long time growers say you should run a plant 2 or 3 times from clone before choosing a keeper.

I think I am seeing much more of the OG traits expressing themselves because I am seeing a lot more 3 leaf fans showing up. Also the odd leaves with 3 main blades and a 4th or 5th underdeveloped fan leaves.

It looks like the changes I made in the grow room have really helped. The temps on the leaves are 78-82 degrees right under the center of the light and humidity has been 40-50%.

The ladies are drinking less as a result and will be able to put the energy spent rehydrating into flowering instead. At least that’s my theory. I expect tighter, frostier buds too.

So I have some happy girls and that makes me happy. OG plants really prefer it cooler. If you can get the room dialed in they actually can yield very well. Here are some pics for you:

Karmarado OG Week 1  Karmarado OG Week 1 foliage


Karmarado OG Week 2 Flowering Has Begun

In week 2 my Karmarados really started stretching hard and flowers began showing. I have had to raise my lights to accommodate these ladies and am just about out of headroom.

I have had to supercrop one girl already, #4 which was the largest plant last grow and also the best yielder. She is a bit different than the other girls in that she has red stripes on her stem which is a trait I have noticed on other OGs and seems to be a genetic marker for high yield and potency based on past experience.

I  have removed one plant because she was not going to make it through the screen or yield very much so I now have 15 plants remaining.

Even without her the canopy is very full and has filled out well. Just about every square has at least one flowering top and some have more. I am expecting a very good yield this time around, possibly over a pound which is good. Considering the screen is only 2′ x 4′ under a 1000w HPS that would put me at 2# per light theoretically.

Here are some pics from day 14 of flower:

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Karmarado OG Week 3 – Switch To COB LED Grow Lights

Big changes this week as I switch my Karmarado girls over to COB LED grow lights. Even with Washington’s relatively cool summers heat has been an issue in my grow closet.

I was also experiencing problems with my 1000w digital ballast shutting off. It works great plugged directly into the wall. But I think because in this system I had to run it on an extension cord it was overheating and shutting itself down. Luckily I had a 125w CFL on for some sidelighting so my light cycle wasn’t interrupted.

I switched to a 1000w magnetic ballast but it put out much less light than the digital so I was not happy. I also did not want to go back to running 600w. So changes were needed.

Since I cant bring in cooler outside air I have decided to switch over to COB LED lighting.

I currently have one 4 light COB installed and will be adding another in a couple of days. I decided to go with Pacific Light Concepts CXP-250 for this run. These units pull 250 w at the wall although I heard one tester say he was pulling 260 something.

The light bar uses top bin CREE cxb3590 COBS driven by a Meanwell 1750 driver. The PPF is rated at 600 µmols. This is one solid unit and very bright. It can be dimmed and also runs very cool.

Here is a video from the developers YouTube channel Greengenes Garden showing these light bars in an array.

So there will be plenty of light in my closet. I actually think 1 would do the job but I am going with 2. I think the 2 units will get me close to replacing a 1000w HPS.

Even with just 1 unit the penetration is very good, light is actually getting down to my totes, and the plants are looking very happy. Especially because I did not crush any of them getting my Blockbuster hood out!

Heat issues are gone. Leaf temperature is 75 degrees and humidity is about 50%. Before I was getting temps in the 90s and humidity would drop into the low 20% range. I took my heat gun to the light and temperatures are 90-100 with the pin heatsinks on top running about 115-120.

The big question will be how well they yield compared to my previous lighting. I expect yields to be close but I expect quality to be far better.

Last runs yield was only 9 ounces from 8 plants one of which was stunted. On this run I culled one clone so I am running 15 plants. So if I can pull a lb from these ladies I will be very happy.

Plants started to show pistils on day 14 and went from HPS to LED COBs at the end of the week or about day 19 of flower so have only been under the new lights for a couple of days in these pics.

Here are this weeks pics:

Karmarado canopy about 18 days in Karmarado OG canopy about 18 days in Karmarado canopy about 21 days in New COB LED grow light from Pacific Light Concepts CXP-250 Pacific Light Concepts CXP-250 Karmarado OG day 21 under my new COB LED grow light from Pacific Light Concepts Karmarado Og canopy day 21 under COB LED grow light from Pacific Light Concepts CXP-250 Karmarado OG day 21 Karmarado OG day 21 buds Karmarado OG day 21 bud shot Karmarado OG day 21 bud shot under COB LED lighting Karmarado OG day 21 buds starting to stack Karmarado OG day 21 Karmarado OG day 21 bud development Karmarado OG day 21 bud shot Karmarado OG day 21 canopy shot Karmarado OG day 21 canopy, lots of buds coming on

Week 4 – HPS to COB LED Lighting Change Completed

This week my lighting change is complete. I now have 2 COB LED grow lights up. My lights are made by Pacific Light Concepts . They are a top quality build using Cree 3590 COBS and passive cooling. Very bright and they don’t put out a lot of heat.

These COBs produce a spectrum very close to sunlight. Mine are 3500k which is good for veg and flower. I really like the fact that I can actually see my plants. Blue-purple LEDs are really hard on the eyes and bad as far as seeing your plants. HPS is a bit better but they still mask the true color of things.

They are in a bar format designed to cover a 4′ width so multiple units can be hung to cover a grow area. I am getting very good par readings from these lights and more importantly my Karmarado ladies seem to be responding very well to the new lighting.

Plants are tall and I needed to supercrop some of the taller girls that were getting close to the lights. These plants spent their first 2 weeks under HPS lighting and the COBs did not really go in until the end of stretch so I am hoping future grows will be a bit shorter.

Plants have finished their stretch and buds are starting to stack. Pretty soon things will start to size up. The canopy is really full and I think I will get a good yield from them.

I still don’t know how it will compare to a 1000w HPS but I think it will be close. I have considered adding a 3rd light but at this point I am not sure it is needed. Originally I had 1200w in this closet but controlling heat and humidity was very challenging.

My temps and humidity are much better now. Low 80s and about 50% which is perfect. I don’t know that 500w of LED can replace 1200w of HPS. My gut tells me that 750w would match it. But because this is a better spectrum it may take less wattage to achieve the same results.

We really need to get away from watts anyway. Watts measure electric consumption and don’t tell us much about how much light a plant is really getting. PAR is a much better way to measure things. They say light loving plants like weed need a par reading of 800-1000 for maximum production and I am getting readings like this and more across the canopy so I am expecting good things to happen.

Here are some lights out pics from the end of week 4

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Karmarado Weeks 5 – 7  Sorry I Must Have Got Lost!

Not sure what happened but I think I got sidetracked with new lighting and harvesting my other closet. So to catch up, both lights are up and running at full tilt. They are getting 500 watts of COB LED lighting at 3500K. The girls seem to be liking them and doing very well.

Buds are stacking and swelling and some really nice colas are developing. I expect to see some nice sizing up over the next few weeks. One plant has very small buds and wont be grown again. Most are doing well but my #4 pheno seems to be the keeper of the bunch. She is the large plant in center, back with the super cropped cola. Here she is:

karmarado pheno #4

I will be going in and removing some fan leaves so light can reach lower buds because it is turning into a jungle again. Also I want to make sure air can flow through the tops. This strain will run 10 weeks so this is a good time to do it. I may give them a PK boost this week and next before flushing.

Here are week 7 pics:

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Here are a few night shots from week 6:

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Week 8 – Day 56 The Fade Is On The End Is Near

It looks like these girls will be finishing soon. The fade is on and leaves are starting to turn. Branches are drooping and falling over. From seed the stems on Karmarado were very strong and really didn’t need a 2nd screen.

But this run there are a lot of branches bent and falling over. They really took up the PK booster and will probably stop drinking pretty soon and fall colors will intensify.

Most trichomes are still clear or mostly clear and I did spot a few amber on one cola so it wont be long. I will start flushing them soon. I don’t know if they will go a full 70 days.

I am not really happy with the bud development and hope they will fill out more. Last run some buds were fairly loose and I attributed that to summer heat and the HPS lighting.

Now they are under COB lighting and temps have been around 80 and humidity about 40-50% but many buds are still fairly loose for an OG. I don’t think you can tell from my pics though.

Buds are very sticky and oily. You get an oil sheen on your fingers when you touch the buds. Smell is OG funk and citrus. Not lemon but definitely citrus, more like orange blossoms if you have ever smelled them.

Here are some lights out pics taken on day 57:

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Day 60 Time To Start Harvesting My Karmarado

Things have really sped up in the grow room and now it’s harvest time. The ladies have stopped drinking and while some leaves are turning colors others are dried and look like they were hit with a torch.

The ladies have been getting pHed water for a few days now. I don’t do long flushes because I grow aeroponically. The roots are hanging in air and there is no soil to flush so once I change to water that is all they get.

They will get a couple of days of darkness and then they will get chopped. So that will be on day 63 or week 9. Thought they might go longer but they finished much faster than expected. Trichomes are mostly cloudy with a few amber here and there.

The smells are incredible. It’s citrus and gas. They plants are sticky with oily, greasy buds. Lots of trichomes everywhere. The buds are not as dense as I would like but they were loose the first time around too.

I used 2 250w  COB LEDs from Pacific Light Concepts for lighting and have to say they did a great job. I just saw a $50 drop on my power bill too! Quality is excellent and I think trichome development is even better than with HPS lights. Smells seem stronger and better also so terpenes may have improved. I really did not pick up on the fuel smell last round but this time it is very noticeable.

I will probably selling off my HPS hoods and ballasts if yield is anywhere close to them and it looks like it will be. No idea on yield yet but I am hoping for a pound from that 2×4 screen which equates to 2# a light and is a pretty good yield for an OG. Time will tell. Meanwhile here are the last pics before chop:

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Here’s a few trichome shots:s20160918_0001 s20160918_0010 s20160918_0013 s20160918_0024

Karmarado OG Harvest

Plants were harvested this week beginning on day 63 and buds were green trimmed and are now drying.

I don’t hang my plants, instead I trim the buds and remove them from the stems and then let them dry slowly in paper bags stirring them once a day. It’s a space issue for me mostly and it is a bit stickier than trimming when dry. I do like the fact that once dry my buds are done.

I took green weights on the Karmarado and the final total of trimmed green buds was 1390 grams. Dry weight will be 20-25% of that and so roughly 10 to 12 ounces. I will update with final numbers.

I will not be keeping this strain because of yield and bud quality. Most plants did better this run than the previous one. My #4 pheno proved to be the top yielder again at 345 grams green and 190 grams last run.  So that is about 2.5 to 3 ounces dry.

The problem with this strain for me is bud structure. They just are not dense enough. Surprising considering the OG genetics in these. They also are a nightmare to trim with a lot of small leaf on the buds.


The loose buds is not a COB LED issue either. Buds were loose under a 1000w HPS too. That was why I ran these girls again and gave them a long veg. I thought heat was an issue because it was a summer grow under HPS. I see no difference between performance under either lighting system. The COBs produced the same results but with half the watts.

They are pretty easy to grow. The stems are fairly strong for an OG and plant structure is typical tall, upright OG with lots of stretch. Smells are typical OG, a bit of gas,citrus and earthy funk. Not the most potent OG I have grown and the high is more body than anything else. Would be good night time smoke before bed but I really prefer more head/body balance in my smoke.

Space is limited for me so yield is almost important as quality. I just don’t have room for any plant that can’t produce 2# a light which in my space means my 2×4 screen needs to produce a pound and have excellent quality too.

I must admit she looked promising. If I only ran the #4 pheno she would probably meet or exceed my yield levels but she still would not have good bud structure and still be hard to trim. So unfortunately I won’t be keeping this girl in my stable.

Final Results And Dry Bud Shots

The Karmarado is now dry and results are a bit better than I thought. Final weight was 370 grams or 13 ounces. My best plant was the big supercropped lady in back, the #4 pheno. She gave 95 g or a bit over 3.3 ounces.

I probably could run just her and get the yields I am after but the bud structure just isn’t that great even on her. I am keeping a clone of her for now in case I change my mind and decide to run the Karmarado again.

Smells are mostly citrus floral on her. I am terrible about taste but she taste like an OG pretty much. Potency is good but not out of the park. High is very body dominant. I like more balance in my smoke, but I think she would be good if you want to fall asleep. Will I grow her again? Probably not. That doesn’t mean she might not be worth a try. She may do better in a different system.

Here are some finished bud shots and trichome shots:

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