Starting From Zero

Now that I’ve spent some time learning, I feel ready to begin preparing my first grow. I’m an ignorant newbie with no seeds, soil, or lights - lots to buy and set up.

Before listing all the stuff I plan to buy, the cost estimate, and timeline for that first grow, I’m going to describe something. Then, when I re-read this journal entry in the future, I can laugh at myself for being a horse’s ass and stressing too much.

During the short time I’ve been an ILGM member (10 days!), I’m thinking that the most important preparation I’m going to make is not which brand of light or nutrients I’m going to choose. Instead, it’s learning how to control light, pH, and EC.

  • It’s important to know how to modify the amount of light my plant is getting as she matures, and how to use a meter when I adjust it each week - get it right. And I’m grateful to @Mozzy for these charts.

  • As my plant matures I need to increase the nutrients I feed her. So it’s really important to know what I should do to (every watering/feeding) so I don’t wind up poisoning my plant with too much good stuff - using an EC meter to protect her. I’m grateful to @Cap_Ron for sharing the method he uses for charting.

  • Cannabis plants grow best when they live in the alkalinity/acidity range of 6.0-7.0. So, its important to know what I should do (every watering/feeding) to keep my plant happy - using a pH meter.

With that out of the way, here’s the list of stuff I plan to buy - with a goal of delivered during January 2024:
-Seeds (Tropicana Cookies, feminized)
-Planting Medium: (soil, perlite/vermiculite, & worm castings)
-Nutrients (Adv. Nutrients, Silica Gold, & Cal-Mag)
-Grow Sacks (1 gal & 5 gal)
-Wire rack and drain pans
-Grow tent (36x36x72)
-Grow light (LED @ 480w)
-Controller (automation of light schedule & fan)
-Carbon-filtered vent system
-Circulation Fan
-Rope clip hangers
-Support trellis and/or posts
-6.5" spring-loaded bonsai scissors
-Latex gloves
-EC meter
-pH tester
-PAR meter
-pH Adjustment Liquids
-Glass storage jars (32 oz)

Estimated Start-up Cost: $1,500

Estimated Timeframe: 6 months from seed to cure… Feb 20-Aug 20

It’ll take time before packages start arriving. When they do, I’ll document it here in this Preparation journal - a couple of photos

Clay

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Sounds like a plan :+1:
Enjoy and have fun with that !!
There’s going to be a learning curve so don’t get discouraged. You’ll figure it out :wink:
Might wanna switch out latex gloves for nitrile. ( No powder )
Just a thought.
Happy growing :sunglasses:

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Get those seeds ordered early. I know it took longer than i wanted to receive them. Dont forget your general hydroponics pH up and down solution. Definitely a must have. You got this!!! Can’t wait to see your results.
:grin::+1:

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Switch made.
You caught me before ordering

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The fact you’ve researched before doing anything tells me alone you will be successful.

Loads of great information on here!

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My personal opinion, but I like the 2x4 better than 3x3, and something else to consider if you want to make it easier, and not worry about ec, and ppm, grow organic. Here’s what I do, so take t or leave it. Just got 12 ounces dry off one plant. I use and hlg 350r light.
Get some fox farm happy frog soil, and solo cups. Moisten the soil, and fill the solo cup. Plant the seed directly into the soil (not very deep), spray a little water on it to settle the seed, and stick a baggie over the top to make a little greenhouse. Keep it warm, and it should break ground in about 3 or 4 days. Stick it under your light on low power, and don’t water until dry.
When seedling is as wide as the cup, transplant into pot of happy frog mixed with perlite, worm castings, a little blood and bone meal, and fox farm fruit and flower 4-9-3 per the instructions on the package. Then top dress with the fruit and flower after 6 weeks, then once a month after that. I use a little kelp me kelp you during veg. I also use recharge occasionally to keep the microbes healthy.




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Sounds like you have done research. Best of luck to you. Hands on is the best way.
Post some pictures when you get started. I would be glad to follow along.

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You’re doing your research very well!!! I’m sure you’re gonna grow some great stuff!!! Definitely invest in good lights and a good PH meter. HLG are great lights from what I’ve seen. Spider farmer is a good cost effective alternative. I grabbed an Apera PH20 and that works great for PH. They make an EC meter also.
As far as controllers go, the AC Infinity stuff is really solid. Their controller and fans work really well and you can hook up humidifiers and other stuff to make your environment that much better.
The fact you’re doing such deep research shows you’re gonna be successful. I wish I woulda done as much research as you. I probably coulda saved a few headaches and dollars hahaha.
Can’t wait to see what you grow!!! Be sure to tag me when you start a journal. I’d love to follow along and watch!!!

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Good plan.

I pieced mine together over time starting with 100W in a 3x3 tent then buying one light every 6 months… now I have 400W and my harvests are really good for me.

One caution: start out maybe with 2 planta until you can get the first grow behind you.

Good luck. You’re gonna love doing this!


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Go for it you will do fine ! Quality lights will be the most important piece of equipment for indoor grow. Good luck :v:

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@OUTinMN I am just ahead of you, coming to the end of my first grow. This time I’ve done organic soil in 7 gal fabric pots. Next time I’ll be using 3 gal auto pots in coco and I believe I will achieve better results now that I am a little bit more experienced with what to look out for together with the different growing medium.
An awful lot is personal preference and you will be learning all the time. I want good quality, reasonable yield and a system that is easy but still lets me play.

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@OUTinMN Glad to see you back

In regard to the aci controller, I love mine. It allows me to control and monitor the conditions in my tent.

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Looks like your off to a great start! Didn’t have internet or a cell phone when I started growing :joy: high times magazine, flo tubes, HPS, MH and homemade soil! Keep it simple @OUTinMN you will find your niche and you have a ton of amazing people and resources here! Set to watch :eyes:

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I like 3x3 tents. I have produced 2.5lb dry from 1 plant using that size. 10 gallon pot. Gl on your grow and a suggestion. Overthinking can be counter productive during your grow. Not everything will go as we dictate so stay relaxed and remember probs can happen in a day or so but can take couple weeks to recover. React accordingly.

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I’m starting to feel a little apprehensive… 2.5 dry pounds from 1 plant in a 3x3!!? :astonished:

Do you remember what grow medium you used? Asking for a friend.

Next year when I re-read this journal, it’s going to be fun to laugh at myself… laugh at the way I was overthinking things back in January 2024. But since I’m pleasantly unemployed, it’s nice spending an elevated afternoon… just planning my first grow.

Clay

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Ordered My Tent

These are the first things I ordered:

-Grow tent (36x36x72) Spider Farmer
-Grow light (LED @ 480w) Spider Farmer
-Controller (automation of light schedule & fan) Spider Farmer
-Carbon-filtered vent system Spider Farmer

Might’ve gone with an integrated ACI tent kit, but as of Jan 1, 2023, they were out-of-stock on the 3x3x6

Next step: browsing resale shops here in the Mpls / StP area

Here’s the remaining list of stuff I need to find/steal/buy:
That was humor. I would never steal something I find.

-Seeds (Tropicana Cookies, feminized)
-Planting Medium: (soil, perlite/vermiculite, & worm castings)
-Nutrients (Adv. Nutrients, Silica Gold, & Cal-Mag)
-Grow Sacks (1 gal & 5 gal)
-Wire rack and drain pans
-Circulation Fan
-Rope clip hangers
-Support trellis and/or posts
-6.5" spring-loaded bonsai scissors
-Nitrile gloves
-EC meter
-pH tester
-PAR meter
-pH Adjustment Liquids
-Glass storage jars (32 oz)

Clay

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You got it my friend. That’s a super solid setup!!! How many plants are you gonna do at one time??? I will say I have 3 in my 3x3 and it’s crowded. Might wanna shoot for 1 or 2 at a time unless you’re doing a quick veg cycle.
But I’d say you’re setting yourself up for a great time!!! I totally get overthinking it. I did the same (and still do) but a few growmies on here have gocen some good advice. Remember it’s a weed and it will grow. They’re harder to kill than to keep alive. Just treat these ladies right and they’ll treat you right.
Looking forward to watching this grow. Big buds are in your future. This community has all the answers to all the questions and it’s filled with people that really wanna see you succeed.

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Re: the apprehension…Pretty much every first-timer goes through it. I went through it.

There is a free app named Photone that can downloaded on a smart phone that will measure DLI.

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Dirt was the medium.

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Thanks for telling about the Photone app, @rtbaum

Downloaded and ready to rock.

Clay

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