Day one of putting the plan into action. I haven’t gotten seeds yet, but I’m preparing for them. I expect the HID light system to show up today, along with the seed starter and coco coir seed starter pots.
Today is preparation day. I’ll be cleaning the room from top to bottom. Rearranging things to allow the best setup for the two light systems. One HID 400 watt and one LED 300 watt will be the light sources. (Using 4 foot flouro for seed starting)
Drilled holes in all but one of the cat litter containers, then washed, bleached, and rinsed them.
The one I didn’t drill holes in will be what I use to mix the Fox Farm Ocean Forest soil with the perlite in. I’ll put stones in the bottom of each and then fill it with the mixture. That will happen after the seeds get here.
I’m looking forward to learning about indoor growing.
Looking to the future, I am considering the very next grow to be a hydroponic setup. Just because I want to learn how. It’s funny how the older I get, the harder it seems to be to learn, but the more I want to accomplish just that. Learning new things. I’ve convinced my wife to go along with my plans by offering to start some tomatoes in the spring and putting some of my knowledge to work. Although, she doesn’t know what I’m REALLY planning to use the canning jars for…
Seeds came today. Found em, eventually. (that was not a complaint, I knew what to look for, just don’t see as well as I used to.)
Paper Towel germination. I’ve always had good luck with that. 5 super silver haze and 4 white widow to start. Saving the others for the second grow. Going to flower in a second location. Finished cleaning and re-arranging things in grow room. HID light came today too. Man is it hot in that room. I also can’t run it and the fan I wanted. Guess it’s too much draw. The electric outlet box has a breaker and I’m not willing to cook it. I’ll use the LED out there with the heater this winter. The HID will be in the second grow room. We can use the extra heat in the winter.
Moved both existing plants outside to finish flowering. Got the coco coir starter pots and the start soil as well. Moving the cat litter boxes down into the room tomorrow. Will lay a board on top and put the little pots in a line. When the flouro and frame comes, I’ll use that to lighten the seedlings. Once the seedlings are big enough, I’ll bury the pots in the cat litter boxes.
I need to figure out how to make my pictures show right side up in this forum. They keep laying down. I think if I use photo shop to rotate them, it’ll stick and show up here correct.
I haven’t said thank you to Robert for a great book. It will receive the majority of the credit for what I’ve learned. And thanks the rest of you for all your helpful advice and making me feel not so alone out here.
I’m so excited. Haven’t felt like this since I got my first motorcycle…
It sounds like you have some interesting challenges. I’m sure others will learn a lot from your experiences as well, thanks so much for sharing!
I’m worn out. A good feeling. I haven’t worked this much in a long time. A little background…
I’m a 59 year old who recently was able to send a picture to his ex wife of his heart taken while they were doing some bypass grafting. The note just said, "see, you were wrong, I’m not a heartless bastard.) That was in April. I’m just now getting to feel like I’m alive again. This grow is just the ticket. It’s gonna be what keeps me going.
Anyway, today I got all the pots down in the shelter and put a layer of rocks in each of them. Checked the seeds to make sure they still looked viable. Lo and behold, most of them already show a pretty light colored line where they’re getting ready to grow a leg. Guess that John Mayer album I’ve been playing over and over for em has done the trick and put them in a “birthing” mood.
I could have waited another day, but I decided to fill my coco pots with starter and soak the heck out of em. Everything was really soaked good and I tapped it down just a hair. Lots of perlite, lots of light weight material. Then I couldn’t help myself, even though I don’t have the 4 foot light yet, I decided to put the seeds in the pots. I took a tiny long bolt and poked a small hole in the middle of each pot full of soil. I then put the little seeds in, smooth side first, point up because that’s how I was taught a hundred years ago. I pushed the seeds down, one by one to the bottom of the little holes. Then I made sure to gently pack the soil in firmly around the seed.
I did notice 1 seed with a jagged crack. I’ll see about that, I can live with 8 plants instead of 9. But, I believe everybody deserves a chance, so I put it into a pot as well.
Then the fun began, I took all my spiral CFL lamps and wrapped the cords and fastened them to a shelf down there. They all had soft white bulbs in them. I also have a pair of 24 inch regular fluorescents down there. I took one and put it on a 2x4 then changed the bulb to a daylight. I removed 3 bulbs from the CFL lamps and replaced them with daylights. The CFL’s are watching over the Super Silver Haze, the Fluoro is covering the White Widow.
Switched the album to Beth Hart and Joe Bonammasa. I might just stay down there myself with the babies…
Because my shelter is outside and has no source of heat other than the lights, I was going to use a small bathroom heater with a thermostat to keep the temperature up when the lights are off. I tested it last night and it failed miserably. Every time it kicked on, even with nothing else on the circuit, it tripped the breaker on the electrical box I had installed. It’s not tripping any of the main breakers. Earlier in the day I had assumed it was happening because I had both the heater and the HID light on at the same time. Last night proved otherwise. I will not be able to use the heater. (I did test it on a house circuit and it hasn’t popped any breakers, nor has the breaker or outlet gotten warm. So, I don’t think it’s the heater, I think it’s the rating of the box.)
A. I can run a heavy duty extension cord through the PVC vent tube. (Don’t like the visibility or possibility of popping breakers on my electric pole.)
B. I can run the lights at night to keep the temperature up during the coldest times. Also turning the fans off when the lights are off. (This will work until the daytime temperature gets below 70F.)
C. I can put the HID light back in the grow room for vegging and use the light at night. I would then use the LED in my other room for flowering. (If it gets too cold, I’ll just have to leave the lights on 24 hours instead of 18. I would also have to figure out a way to cool the room.)
D. I can leave the CFL’s on to help add heat that the LED won’t provide. (I watched them last night, it got 58F outside, the shelter stayed at 70F the whole night with 3 CFL’s and a couple of 2 ft Fluorescents. But, that doesn’t help keep the room warm when the lights are out.)
Ways to cool the room:
A. Use a fan at the large vent hole at the top to suck the heat out of the upper part of the room while using a few more fans to push the air around the plants and turn the fan at the back vent around to bring cooler air in. (I’ll be working on making this happen today. It requires figuring out how to fasten the fan into the 12 in diameter hole in the top of the concrete. It’s complicated by a plastic rain cover that I have no way of removing.)
B. Leave the shelter door open a crack to allow air to get into it faster. (When I’m here, that’s not a big deal. It’s in a fenced area in the yard. At night would be a visibility issue from the road.)
My brain has already started working on these little complications.
Germination has begun. So far there are two of each raising their heads above the soil. The light was purchased more for the frame. It’s strong enough to hold either the LED or the HPS light.
Decisions, decisions, decisions…
If anyone ever reads this looking for advice, here’s all I can give you. Be prepared to make decisions. Have an outline of a plan, or even go all the way to what you think at the time is a real plan. Something won’t work, you’ll have to make changes on the fly. I happen to have some interesting skills that help me deal with certain areas without cost. Other’s may not be so lucky. But, you will have to make changes to the plan.
I ordered both an HID/MH lamp and a LED. The HID is 400 watts. The LED is 200 watts. The HID isn’t quite as hot in the house as I thought it would be. The plan at first changed to put that one in the house and the LED in the “grow hole.” Then the heater wouldn’t work. Other questions, that I didn’t really think through before I started this needed answering.
- How you gonna dry and cure this stuff?
- How you gonna heat the grow hole?
- How you gonna keep the plants in the dark for flowering?
- Grow Tent.
- Rewire the grow hole and put the HID in there.
- Grow Tent.
No, I’m not getting more than one grow tent. Just one. This first grow it will be the flowering station, then it will become the drying tent. One of the skills I have that saves me money is Electricity. I know how it works, I know how to manipulate it, I know how to wire it. Army and College taught me some pretty good skills. I have rewired safely, (do not do this at home without the proper training and knowledge of local building codes) the 120V access to the storm shelter. I took an outlet box with outlets out of a building that doesn’t have electricity, and wired them into the shelter. No more popping the breaker whenever the heater comes on.
I’m thrilled. All 9 seeds that I started have germinated and are either pushing their little head shaped package above the soil or have discarded the seed husk and are spreading their seed leaves. The other 11 seeds are going to be my next grow. An idea that’s been poking at the back of my head is to pick the two best plants from this grow and clone them. Then pick the two best plants from the next grow and clone them. Once I’ve used these seeds and saved a mother plant from each strain, I’ll be ordering more seeds of different strains until I have a nice mixture of plants that I like. Tonight is the big test with the lights and heater. I have the thermostat set to 75 Fahrenheit. Verified my tent has shipped. I bought a Milliard 50 x 50 x 79 (inches) from Amazon.As soon as it gets here, I’ll be using the tent to flower two plants I had hanging around to test for light leakage. They’re sitting under the LED lights right now. (Forgive me, the pretty colors are very new to me.)
Can’t wait to see the set-up!
Pictures will come later, when the babies are ready to go into the purple palace. (I wear sunglasses and everything still looks green when I get out of the tent."
So, the plan changes again. I’ve got two plants at about 3 feet. Never quite got them to flower. I was going to flower them while the seedlings grew. I have no idea what strain they are or potency. Once I got the grow tent put up, all thoughts of growing out in my shelter disappeared. I love this thing. A few pinholes that I’ll tape up. Right now I stuck a 4 inch fan into a 10 inch sleeve for just blowing air out. All the lower vents are open, but I can go into that room without getting blinded now. Once the babies are big enough, (2 internodes I think) they’ll be moving into the grow tent. For now, I’m bringing them up into the back room. We’re supposed to get 36 degrees tomorrow night and I’m not taking any chances.
I’m moving the entire grow inside. I’ll use both lights to make sure everybody gets enough. (50 by 50 by 79 inches is the size of the tent. I have a 300 watt LED and a 400 watt HID/MH setup that’s got 3 settings, 50%, 75%, and 100%.) My pots are also too big, but that won’t hurt a thing this time around. Next time, I’m going with 3 gallon pots. I might try those cloth pots I have been reading about.
I lost one seed. My fault, I just couldn’t leave it alone and I think I left an air pocket for it to die in. It was a White Widow and I just started another one. It’ll be 5 days behind the others. I’ll see what happens. My wife says she’s reserving space now for a couple of tomato plants in the spring.
Sprouts are moving vertically nicely. Still waiting for the one seed to pop. (One I replaced.) It’s getting colder out. Threatening areas of frost tonight. Everything is inside now. My two older plants (bag seed) are both inside the grow tent. I have to wear my sunglasses whenever the door is open or I’m inside it.
Sprayed all the sprouts with plain water. Added water to all the coco pots. Not a lot, just enough to wet the top layer. Followed week 4 of the FoxFarm nutrient calendar on the two larger plants. Fan system got held up at FedEx, so I’m using a couple of 110 “corner” fans I had laying around. Not sure how much airflow, but when the fan finally comes it’s supposed to empty the tent 1 1/2 times per minute. I’m thinking that should be good.
Both lights are in the tent, but only the LED is being used. I’ll use both lights when I put the rest of the plants in there. By then I should have all the ventilation figured out. For now it will be awkward lifting the lights in the tent. Eventually I will have an easy pulley system working allowing me to raise/lower the lights from outside using the window to see inside.
All in all, it’s time to kick back for a weekend and play. Thanks for your help everyone!
The fan was supposed to arrive yesterday. Checked with the carrier, was told some kind of hazmat spill on the trailer, won’t get it delivered. I could have called Amazon and acted all butt hurt, but I chose to be reasonable instead. Girl fixed me up, shipped same items next day to get to me Monday, no charge. In the meantime I’ve got a couple of 4 inch 110 corner fans tied in place.Today I played with electrical. Here’s a tip. Have timed and full time power in the tent so you can have lights timed and other stuff not timed. Mark the power sources so you don’t have to trace power back to the source to know which is which.Now, when I was getting ready to upload that picture I had to fix something. At first it looked like this…Note the “address.” (GPS coordinates that happened to land at my back door.) Hmm, so, how do we fix that? Well, first you right click the picture before you upload it to ANYWHERE. (Just in case) Choose properties down at the bottom of the long menu. Once the properties opens, click on the Details tab at the top. That will get you this image… Click on the little blue Remove Properties and Personal Information link to go back to the previous screen. Once there, click on the circle next to Remove the following properties from this file. That will allow you to scroll down through the properties and check all those you wish to remove. Then, click on ok and you’re image will no longer point to your grow. Just a heads up from a puter geek.
Thanks for sharing, Robert had put out a warning about removing this stuff before you post but he did not show how to remove it, I’m sure people can make good use of this information.
You ever need geek stuff, I’m your huckleberry. If I can’t fix it, I know the girl that can…
6 inch fan and foil duct have arrived. I hooked the fan on top. Duct I will add later before I need it. Just have to plan the right path to get it to push air outside. I did notice one thing, when I first plugged it in it wouldn’t turn. It was humming but not turning. Unplugged it, looked at it carefully, and it wasn’t round. I fixed that by squeezing it between my hands until the fanblade could move freely. All better now. Because I now have a more powerful fan (240 CFM) I am testing the temperature hourly to see if I can keep it cool enough inside the tent. 1 400 Watt HPS at 75% and one 300 Watt LED. I also have a smaller fan on the bottom vent hole and all the vents on the tent in the open position. Temp is presently 84, I’m trying to get it down a little into the below 80 range. I don’t know what the night temperatures are going to be. The room is not well heated but I have a ceramic heater with a thermostat that I can use in the tent. Cooling is definitely going to be an issue until the daytime temps stay below 60. Perhaps I can hook up a second intake fan on the unused electrical access hole. I would hate to have to run the AC all winter, but if I have to I will. I have decided I don’t like the way grow tents have vent holes on top. I don’t have confidence in the fan’s ability to stay up there and not fall inside and hit my plants. So, I used some fence wire and hooked it to a 2 by 2 for stability.
Today’s challenge is going to be how to get the grow tent to cool down a little more. I have monitored the temperature with the lights on since I put the fan in yesterday.One thing I’ve started doing is to maintain an excel spreadsheet with data I’m accumulating. Such as temperature, PH, what I’m feeding, etc. I keep a notebook by the tent, put my readings into it and then transfer everything to my computer. I’m going to use the data to help me remember what I did where and what changes that caused.15:00 8216:00 8417:00 8218:00 8219:00 8220:00 8221:00 8121:30 8623:00 810:00 813:30 726:00 826:45 828:00 8210:45 8411:40 82The door was closed at first, no A/C in the house. At 16:00 I opened it because it was cooler outside than inside. Even when the temp outside got below 70, I was unable to get the temp in the tent below 80 until the lights finally went off at midnight. At 10:45 today, I had to close the door and turn the A/C on in the room. I have the A/C set to 65 F, that’s as low as it will go. In the room itself, there’s a little bit of radiant heat from the tent, but the fan is blowing everything outside through a foil duct. In addition to the output fan, I have a single 5 inch fan pushing floor air into the tent. I also have all the lower vents open. I’m going to try to close them just to see what happens.If I can’t get the temp down, I’ll have to go back to just the single 300 W LED for now and maybe purchase another one in the near future if I need more light in the tent.
Not sure what happened to that last post. When I first submitted it the times and readings were all nicely lined up. Perhaps a screenshot will work better.
So, today I got the temperature down to 79 during the hottest part of the day. Highest is 86, lowest is 72.
Next I’ll tackle humidity…