Trainwreck is yet another marijuana strain with a name that is something of a misnomer. Rather than causing you to curl up into a fetal ball or spend days regretting your choice of weed, smoking Trainwreck will provide you with a clear mental high. With a THC content of up to 21%, though, it is not a strain to be trifled with. You initially feel a sense of euphoria, but this can arrive very quickly.
Next, you will feel uplifted and happy simultaneously, and eventually your body begins to relax as you enjoy a warm and comfortable feeling. It is a strain that is much loved by users seeking something to provide creative inspiration. In medicinal terms, Trainwreck is said to be effective against chronic pain, PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
It is a Sativa-dominant (65%) hybrid, but its origins are shrouded in mystery. According to one story, there was a terrible train wreck in the city of Arcata in California sometime back in the 1960’s. Nearby, a pair of brothers who were growing marijuana illegally decided to quickly harvest their crop, lest responders to the accident spotted it. Whatever the case, it is a ‘train wreck’ of genetics, as it was created from a mix of an Afghani Indica and Mexican & Thai sativas.
A far more believable story suggests that Trainwreck was ‘discovered’ by Eric Heimstadt in the year 2000, and the strain was probably a product of the wonderful Emerald Triangle in California. Alas, Heimstadt died in 2009 and never claimed that he discovered the strain. While this origin story makes more sense than the Arcata train crash one, most experts believe the Trainwreck strain was discovered long before the 21st century.
Regardless, as is always the case when you try to grow your favorite strain, it is necessary to understand its particular nuances.
| “In this marijuana growing guide for Trainwreck, we provide you with eight steps and tips to help you grow the kind of weed that makes you glad you put in all the hours of work.”
1 – You can grow trainwreck indoors or outdoors
Trainwreck is a versatile strain capable of growing inside or outside. It can be grown from either seeds or clones, but it does need a warm and dry place so if you intend on growing outdoors, make sure the plants are protected from frost.
| “The main thing to remember is that Trainwreck can get HUGE, so make sure you give the plants enough space to spread their wings.”
We have heard reports of Trainwreck plants reaching the incredible height of 15 feet – a bit of an issue if you elect to grow indoors!
When you do grow it indoors however, you can be rewarded with up to 18 ounces of weed per square meter planted. Its flowering time is 8-10 weeks, and it is a fairly easy strain to grow inside under controlled settings. It is tougher to grow outdoors, but you may end up with a significantly larger yield of up to 25 ounces per plant. Trainwreck is a late harvesting plant that is normally ready by the end of October or even the beginning of November.
2 – Trimming your Trainwreck plants
It is essential that you trim your Trainwreck plants, or else they will grow tall and thick-stemmed without producing great buds. If you fail to trim adequately, the plants will spread out all over the place and the lower branches and buds won’t receive adequate light or nutrients; they will also be exposed to excess humidity.
It is best to begin trimming as soon as your Trainwreck plants develop a bushy shape. It is a hard ask for new growers, but when your plants are in the early vegetative stage it is a great idea to remove a few of the lower branches along with their leaves. By removing these relatively unproductive pieces of the plant, you enable it to grow taller with more productive branches. When done correctly, this process should increase yield at the end of the growth cycle.
Make sure you invest in sharp scissors. If you attempt to trim using a serrated blade or blunt scissors – or worse, take them off with your bare hands – you risk shocking the plant. When this happens, you stunt growth. As your Trainwreck plants get bigger, the upper leaves fill out and will form a canopy above the bottom parts of the plant. The lowest leaves and branches are likely to die from lack of light, so it is best to get rid of them as soon as they start to yellow, if not before.
The biggest branch is called the cola and, believe it or not, snipping it off could result in a bigger yield.
DID YOU KNOW: The top colas have a chemical that restricts the growth of the plant’s lower branches, and removing it can enable the rest of the plant to flourish?
Rather than wasting the top colas, though, test them out to see how potent your weed is likely to be.
3 – Once your Trainwreck plants reach flowering, let them grow!
It is a HUGE mistake to try and force your plants into the flowering stage shortly after trimming the plants. They need at least 4-5 days to recover first. This is especially the case if you remove the top cola. Once you snip it, the branches and leaves at the bottom of the plant begin to work their way up to fill the new vacancy. After waiting a few days, force your Trainwreck plants into the flowering stage.
As soon as your plants enter the flowering stage, it is time to STOP trimming! The only exception is the removal of dead branches and leaves. Otherwise, pruning is a really bad idea because your plants are growing fast and extensive trimming will cause your plants to go into shock. While there is a theory that stressing your plant in this manner will result in faster-growing weed, it is far more likely that you will damage your yield.
4 – Feeding your Trainwreck grow
As per usual with weed, focus on ensuring your plants have adequate amounts of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K). If you are intent on growing your Trainwreck plants organically, make sure you either purchase or create ‘super soil.’ The easiest option is unquestionably to pay up to $30 for a bag of pre-mixed soil. It should have all the nutrients you need, including the extra calcium and magnesium required by this particular strain.
When adding soil to your cannabis garden, you must determine what it contains. For example, does it have a sandy or clay-like feel, or is it fluffy? Additionally, is it dry or does it contain a reasonable level of moisture? What about worms and insects? It seems a bit complex to begin with, but you should soon get a handle on what is required soon enough.
First and foremost, make sure your soil has plenty of N-P-K. Focus on adding plenty of Nitrogen during the vegetative stage and Phosphorus during flowering.
| “We also recommend adding soil amendments like crustacean meal, bat guano, and worm castings during the vegetative stage, as these are all filled with Nitrogen.”
Once you switch to the flowering stage, look for chicken manure, rock dust, and bone meal as they are high in Phosphorus. Round things off with wood ash, compost, and kelp meal as they are laden with Potassium. Apply the requisite amendments and begin tilling the soil. You can do it the old-fashioned way by digging, or else you can use a rototiller.
After you have mixed everything in, make sure you water the soil to cool added manure. Repeat the process every couple of days until the soil feels cool to the touch a few inches deep.
5 – How to deal with nutrient burn
Although Trainwreck plants can handle a lot of nutrients, it is still possible to overdo it. If this happens, the roots of your plants will take in more nutrients than the plant can use. The result is ‘Nutrient Burn’, which typically appears as a yellow or brown ‘burn’ on the ends of the leaves. If you don’t act, the burnt tips grow inwards and the ends of the leaves become crispy. Ultimately, it genuinely appears as if your plants have been set on fire!
If you are using commercially bought nutrients, start with as little as 25% of the recommended dosage.
| “Trainwreck plants are robust and can handle underfeeding for a short while. If you spot nutrient burn and are growing in a hand watering system, flush it with plain water.”
If you are using a hydro system, reduce the levels of nutrients in the reservoir by adding plain water at the right pH or changing the water and starting again with lower nutrient levels.
Your Trainwreck plants are at their most vulnerable once they reach the flowering stage. At this point, their focus is no longer on creating leaves and stems. Instead, they are more concerned with making buds or flowers. At this point, they have little chance of bouncing back from serious problems. Therefore, be extra careful when adding nutrients and reduce the Nitrogen levels!
6 – Handling pests & diseases
Unfortunately, pests and diseases are a problem that all marijuana growers have to deal with. Pests such as fungus gnats, spider mites, and root aphids can ruin a crop if left unchecked. Spider mites in particular are among the most devastating, as they can cause the death of plants within just a couple of weeks.
These tiny pests are just 0.4mm in size, which makes them extremely hard to spot with the naked eye. If you see tiny white dots, it could be a sign of Spider Mite infestation rather than mold or mildew. These pests also spin miniature webs, which means you should look for signs of cobwebs on the plants.
Spider mites love warm and dry environments, so raise the humidity in the room and reduce temperatures if you spot an infestation. Instead of using toxic commercial miticides, try Pyrethrum, a naturally derived insecticide that kills mites when applied at 5-10 day intervals. However, you should not use Pyrethrum when your plants are flowering. At this point, neem oil is one of the best ways to eliminate spider mites.
Leaf Septoria is a common disease, and while it doesn’t kill Trainwreck plants, it will reduce yields significantly. It is reasonably easy to spot since it appears in the form of yellowing and scabs on the lower leaves of a plant. As soon as you spot Leaf Septoria, get rid of the leaves and dispose of them to prevent the infection from spreading. Bacillus subtilis fungicides are among the best spray options to treat plants.
7 – What’s the right temperature for growing Trainwreck?
The generic advice you’ll receive suggests that you should keep Trainwreck plants in temperatures between 65- and 85-degrees Fahrenheit. There is nothing wrong with this advice, but you will have to make slight adjustments throughout the growing cycle. If you enrich your plants with CO2, they should still thrive in temperatures of up to 90 degrees.
| “When growing Trainwreck indoors, it is best to keep it at a moderate temperature of 75 degrees during the light period, and a drop of no more than 15 degrees during the dark period.”
If you allow the temperature to fall much below 60 degrees, your plants will grow slowly and you’ll likely suffer a poor yield.
When growing outdoors, it is possible for the plant to grow well in temperatures as low as 50 degrees. However, we don’t recommend this for Trainwreck due to its sativa-dominant genetics. Once the temperature dips below 50 degrees, there is a severe risk of tissue damage occurring which could kill your plants.
8 – What is the right humidity level for Trainwreck?
Achieving the right humidity level isn’t especially difficult, although the relationship between humidity and plant growth is quite complex. If you allow the humidity to get too high, you risk mold growth. New growers, in particular, tend to keep humidity at excessive levels. Even during the early stages of growth, there is no need to keep humidity above 70%.
Maintaining the right humidity levels becomes more of an issue for indoor growers because of the need to understand Relative Humidity (RH). ‘Relative’ relates to the difference in the amount of water that can be carried by air at different temperatures. Air carries more water at high temperatures. RH refers to the ability of air to carry water at a specific temperature.
At 50 degrees, 1,000 cubic feet of air is capable of carrying approximately 266ml of water. At 50% RH, it is carrying 133ml of water. At 70 degrees, air can carry twice as much water which means, at 50% RH, it is carrying 266ml of water.
The big pain with RH is night growing. Once the temperature falls, the RH goes up. Add in the colder plant surfaces, and condensation appears. With excess moisture comes a higher risk of mold. Although it is possible to grow clones in humidity levels of 95%, it is best to err on the side of caution and keep it to 80%.
As Trainwreck prefers warmer temperatures, you should look to keep humidity levels low. 60% is more than enough during the vegetative stage. Once you force your plant into flowering, reduce the humidity level by up to 5% a week until it is at 40%.
| “We believe that all growers should invest in a high-quality hygrometer and thermometer so that they can accurately measure the humidity and temperature of their grow rooms.”
If you leave this to chance, you are inviting slow growth and the development of mold among other things.