First, let us start by saying thank you so very much to the GD community and all those who have followed our journey. The outpouring of support and heartfelt concern we’ve received has been comforting as well as incredibly humbling.
There seem to be a million things that have to be done when you’re preparing for a hurricane and, as we’ve learned recently, having a hydroponic garden is one of those things that unfortunately get added to the list entitled “Do What You Can and Hope for the Best”.
Our plan consisted of making sure we had two buckets of water ready because the girls were drinking anywhere from 1 – 2.5 gallons every few days. We have a swimming pool and knew that if worst came to worst, we might have to resort to using it for more than flushing toilets. Going by previous storm experience, the power had never been out for more than a day or two at the most in our area so we weren’t really sweating it too bad.
Sunday evening, when the storm hit, the power went out as expected. We continued to sit in the dark as the eye passed over us in the early morning hours on Monday, thinking that the worst had passed and we could better assess the damages once the sun came up.
Thankfully, exterior damages were minimal – some downed limbs and a fallen fence panel or two. A few hours of clean-up and we were back to being able to focus on one of the more important tasks at hand – getting everyone through the power outage.
By Monday night, we were researching ways to try to keep the girls on schedule. We put flashlights in with them during the day and kept the doors open to try to get them some air circulation.
On Tuesday, the girls were praying even with the minimal light they had coming from the flashlights. We took the water we’d set aside for them and split it evenly between them. Several times that day, we took the plants from their buckets, poured their solutions into another bucket, then back into the original, in hopes of providing a little more oxygen for them.
A plant we hadn’t been running a diary on – the first clone taken from our GSC survivor – had already been struggling with a calcium deficiency and since she was only a week away from harvest, we decided to not make her suffer any longer and harvested.
On Wednesday morning, we moved them out of the confines of their room and into the living room in hopes that some natural light would help them. Before the move, the small Blueberry clone had begun to droop. We spent the day again attempting to add oxygen to their water.
Thursday morning, we woke to find the little Blueberry clone flat on her bucket lid. The Blueberry mother, Sour Diesel mother and our Girl Scout Cookie clones, Things 1 and 2, were sagging in spots and were starting to yellow. Hoping to get more oxygen to them as well as lower the reservoir temperatures, we resorted to mixing in some of the pool water in as well.
Early Thursday afternoon, we were offered the use of a generator by a friend whose power had been restored. We gladly took it and immediately powered up the air pumps for the girls and got fans going to get the air moving. The temperatures had been in the low to mid 90’s with minimal winds so we were elated with the addition of the fans. However, without having air conditioning, the temperatures inside the reservoirs were impossible to regulate.
Power was restored in the early morning hours on Friday and we woke to find each of the girls in varying stages of distress. We made our own personal assessments, consulted and concurred that both Things 1 and 2 were probably gone. The Blueberry and Sour Diesel clones were also not going to make it. The Blueberry and Sour Diesel mothers both looked pretty rough, but we had serious hopes that they would be able to bounce back since the power restoration had also given us back our climate control.
Bubble Gum and GSC, our survivors, looked better than the others, with the exception of the Orange Crush/White Widow cross who had minimal yellowing and had been praying daily, even under the most minimal of light. Another plant that we weren’t running a diary on, Jack Herer, had been just two weeks from harvest and looked somewhat stressed, but nothing major. We felt confident that these four would be our survivors.
We were wrong.
We began taking photos of them the morning the power was restored, took them again eight hours later, again 24 hours after the first photos, and so on to have something we could use as a true comparison of how they were fairing. The photos, posted in their perspective diaries, were undeniable. We were losing them all, and fast.
As we found ourselves disposing of them one by one, we also found they all had two things in common. Their roots were discolored, dark and dying and their foliage had begun to smell dead. This led us to stop looking at the foliage and focus on what was going on in the reservoirs. What we discovered quickly changed our original forecast and led to the harvest of the Jack Herer and ultimately to the destruction of our survivors, Bubblegum and GSC.
When the power was restored, we also discovered several roof leaks, one of which was major and in the flowering room. So, after destroying all but one of our plants, we disassembled everything, packed it all away, and called the insurance company.
At this point, everything is sort of up in the air as we wait for the adjuster’s assessment and the insurance company’s instruction. For now, we have our one little White Widow/Orange Crush cross, which we try not to remind ourselves could be male, and are doing our best to recover.
We find ourselves hesitant to work with her, as though anything outside of a water change might somehow reverse her fate too. Then we remind ourselves that Blueberry was being grown with the hopes that it will help someone we know who suffers with seizures and a little defoliation gets done. We remember how this person has struggled with the medications they’ve prescribed because functioning on them seems virtually impossible and LST suddenly doesn’t seem like such a big deal.
Again, we thank everyone for their support and GrowDiaries for allowing us to share our story.