Another First Grow Thread!

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DarkHelmet

DarkHelmet

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As the title says, this is a post concerning my first grow!

Along with many others, I have taken this additional time spent at home as an opportunity to learn how to grow. Being a frequent consumer, it only makes sense to save some money (OCS is expensive), grow my own and be self reliant! Plus a new hobby would do some good.

Other than looking into lights, I really didn't research a proper way to grow in soil and how to go abouts it - I can be a bit all knowing at times, this time no different so proceeded to put plant in soil, water, give good light and figured soon enough "boom": Buds.
So far, its been established that it is not as simple as that. I've been self educating and have learnt many a new thing and now want to show off my rookie mistakes and learn from a community of experiences growers. I'm really hoping to get some good insight and constructive criticism, lots of room for improvement here.

Started with clones - 2 "Bubble Bomb" & 2 "Chemfire" - not sure on those - its what I was told - I did want to know if sativa or indica but haven't a clue at this point.

2 plants indoor & 2 outdoor - 1 strain of each.

Outdoor plants
  • 8x4x4 Pine planter box
  • Placed in planter box with straight black soil and 1 layer of light compost (no idea what type / mix).
  • They get uninterrupted sunlight (no shade) from sunrise to sundown.
  • I've had tons of problems with caterpillars and inchworms destroying the leaves but i think i got this resolved with some consistent BTK applications with a mister. I dont plan on using any more BTK at this point.
  • No other pest or insect problems at this point. My area has tons of Dragon Flies, Lady Bugs and Spiders so im hoping they keep the pests in check.
  • With them getting straight sunlight, they were getting a bit of heat stress - noted with leaves cupping - but they appear recover quickly without a sunblock in place.
  • Both outdoor plants were topped just after being placed in the plant box and the bottom growth has been cleaned up a few times at this point.
  • Both plants have been secured with a Velcro tie down as they were swaying too much in strong winds.
  • I have no intention on adding any nutrients at this time.

Indoor Plants
  • 4x4x8 Tent
  • 4'' exhaust w/ inline fan and carbon filter - approx 300 CFM
  • Tower fan for in-room air circ.
  • 5 Gal Felt Pots
  • SF2000 Spider Farmer Light
  • Placed in 5 Gal felt pots with straight potting soil (I've been told this is a mistake as it will stunt the growth as its giving the plants straight food?)
  • Did some minor LST early in veg - didn't really understand how far I can push it and how often it should be readjusted but I believe I have a solid understanding now.
  • Both indoor plants were topped.
  • With the SF light putting off very little heat, I wasn't too sure of my exhaust requirements. After noticing some WPM it is now understood that exhaust, mixed with air circulation is a must have in order to ensure the grow room maintains consistent temp and humidity. I removed some leaves with WPM, cleaned off some others with a paper towel soaked in room temp water and it hasn't been back since.
  • Room maintains 21C and around 45-50 % RH with exhaust, light and circ fan running 24hrs.
  • 8 Weeks in veg as of today w/ 24hr light, water every 2 days, approx 2L per plant
  • Defoliated
  • Noticed some new growth with yellowing leaves - research tells me I have a zinc deficiency most likely due to high PH of soil / water.
  • Checked & Soil PH (for first time today - i know, what the shit right?! - or at least thats my cousins reaction)
    • Soil PH @ 7 - too high!
    • Water PH after softener 8 - too high!
    • Water PH after RO 7 - too high!
  • Switched over to flower light schedule - 12/12 about an hr ago
  • Installed new SF4000 Spider Farmer light (has dimmer knob - glad they came to their senses!)
  • No nutrients used yet, not sure if I will use any at this point.
Other than the caterpillar / inch worm problem outside, the WPM and the very recent PH problem inside, its been a relatively problem free grow to this point, no evidence of nutrient burn etc or other issues.

Some of you are probably wondering why the hell a first time grower spent $1500 CAD on lights - 2 for that matter - and WTF the plan is.
I plan on growing my maximum plant allowance (4) all the time indoors - the outdoor is more of an experiment thanks to starting all of this right when it was the right time to plant outdoors.
I purchased 2 of everything (excluding the lights) so I already have a second grow tent ready to rock when the outdoor is done. I got the SF2000 not knowing what route I wanted to stick with in regards to lights - stay with quantum board, move to ventilated LEDS or HPS ETC. I knew my cousin may buy the light off me if I didn't stick with it.
It became quickly obvious that quantum board is the way to go, waited for them to drop in price off amazon (I got hosed on the SF2000 and paid nearly $100 more than what its listed for right now). Waiting turned out to pay off as they released the new SF's with a new external dimmer knob and the price appeared reasonable on their webpage and it arrived in less than 48hrs! - sorry Amazon, not gonna get me this time!

This past week has been spent gearing up for flower and planning the next grow.
The plan for the next grow is to stick with the 5 Gal fabric pots, but this time around im switching to Blue Sky Organics Super Soil and their Cannabis Grow Kit. The Kit came with some PH down so I plan on applying that to the indoor probably tomorrow.

If theres one thing that I really cant seem to wrap my head around is nutrients. Im confused just thinking about it, which is part of the reason why im giving bluesky organic stuff a try, it comes with guides(!!!) and appears to be easy to understand for my level of smarts (yet to be put to the test).

Im not trying to push any products here, just want to make sure im clear with what ive done to this point and understand that criticism is best provided if you know what im working with!

I am also keeping a running cost sheet, costs of set up and operating costs, and plan on analyzing cost per gram etc including my time spent on upkeep etc.

My house hold consumes alot of cannabis, to be self sufficient is going to take some strategic timing with both tents and learning how to maximize yields every grow. This first indoor grow is strictly a learning experience (maybe the second too) and any good bud we get out of this is a bonus.

Thanks for taking the time to read and/or comment!

tl;dr - First Grow, am idiot and made mistakes, spending green to grow some trees!, pictures.
 
2 indoor just placed
2 outdoor in planter box
4 clones
Indoor 6 weeks
Indoor 9 week trimmed switched to flower june 29
Turtle buddy
2 outdoor week 9
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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Hey bro welcome to the farm. I was skimming through your info and something jumped out at me.

You have a water softener. They exchange minerals for sodium. Sodium is a micro nutrient to plants but you wanna keep it to under 50ppm all in even after nutrients and the lower the better. It's literally toxic to plants.

If you test your water before the softener can you give us the numbers? You honestly will have a rough time if using softened water.

Also if you are using straight RO after check the ppm that's important because you need to see it's effectiveness in removing all that sodium.

It's possible you don't need to if you can check the ppm of the water before the softener.

To add you can't go by ph with RO water it has almost no influence on the ph once in the soil. I'm gonna stop here Soni don't over load ya. I'm going to make a post soon on PH and explain it since it's very commonly not looked at right.
 
DarkHelmet

DarkHelmet

9
3
Hey bro welcome to the farm. I was skimming through your info and something jumped out at me.

You have a water softener. They exchange minerals for sodium. Sodium is a micro nutrient to plants but you wanna keep it to under 50ppm all in even after nutrients and the lower the better. It's literally toxic to plants.

If you test your water before the softener can you give us the numbers? You honestly will have a rough time if using softened water.

Also if you are using straight RO after check the ppm that's important because you need to see it's effectiveness in removing all that sodium.

It's possible you don't need to if you can check the ppm of the water before the softener.

To add you can't go by ph with RO water it has almost no influence on the ph once in the soil. I'm gonna stop here Soni don't over load ya. I'm going to make a post soon on PH and explain it since it's very commonly not looked at right.

Gotcha.
I dont currently have a TDS or EC Pen as of yet or a digital PH Pen for that mater, but plan on obtaining a digital PH Pen and maybe a TDS Pen tomorrow. The water guys I used for the system may still have the readings before the system was installed, I'll find out! I figured using straight RO would be bad at some point as it doesn't have the mineral content. I understand that a tds meter will show the PPM in the water, but it doesnt tell you specific PPM per mineral does it? this is part of the reason why i dont quite understand nutrients...how do i know which nutrients to give and how much?! is it based on volume of dirt / container size and plant size?! ...im still very uneducated when it comes to water and nutes :/
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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Gotcha.
I dont currently have a TDS or EC Pen as of yet or a digital PH Pen for that mater, but plan on obtaining a digital PH Pen and maybe a TDS Pen tomorrow. The water guys I used for the system may still have the readings before the system was installed, I'll find out! I figured using straight RO would be bad at some point as it doesn't have the mineral content. I understand that a tds meter will show the PPM in the water, but it doesnt tell you specific PPM per mineral does it? this is part of the reason why i dont quite understand nutrients...how do i know which nutrients to give and how much?! is it based on volume of dirt / container size and plant size?! ...im still very uneducated when it comes to water and nutes :/
RO is not bad. It just needs to have the mineral content added back... Mostly cal and mag. If using RO just add cal mag to reach 100-150ppm and your golden. A ppm meter is gonna be a must man. You dont need to so much know the individual nutrients. Its the ratios that are important and the nutrient companies do this for you. By knowing the total ppm of nutrients added sever companies will provide a breakdown but like i say its the PPM and PH you need to know not the individual because thats done for ya.
 
1stonedman

1stonedman

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Hey bro welcome to the farm. I was skimming through your info and something jumped out at me.

You have a water softener. They exchange minerals for sodium. Sodium is a micro nutrient to plants but you wanna keep it to under 50ppm all in even after nutrients and the lower the better. It's literally toxic to plants.

If you test your water before the softener can you give us the numbers? You honestly will have a rough time if using softened water.

Also if you are using straight RO after check the ppm that's important because you need to see it's effectiveness in removing all that sodium.

It's possible you don't need to if you can check the ppm of the water before the softener.

To add you can't go by ph with RO water it has almost no influence on the ph once in the soil. I'm gonna stop here Soni don't over load ya. I'm going to make a post soon on PH and explain it since it's very commonly not looked at right.

That's great info, was easy to understand and straight forward. I didn't know that before reading your explanation so thank you.

In regards to the first season garden, its looking really great.
 
CosmoGrows

CosmoGrows

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Hey DarkHelmet,

Welcome to the Farm. You have a quality grow diary going, very setup and organized well. With that being said, i am going to go head and move this thread out of the Introductions and into our Grow Diaries section so that way you don't have to restart a whole new thread there explaining your grow and everything. If this is an issue let me know and we can return things back to the way they were. Hopefully it will save you some time from having to relog everything in the diaries section.

Keep us updated, you have a great start, and a quality diary going.

I'm going to make a post soon on PH and explain it since it's very commonly not looked at right.
PH Explanation - Aqua Man

I dont currently have a TDS or EC Pen as of yet or a digital PH Pen for that mater, but plan on obtaining a digital PH Pen and maybe a TDS Pen tomorrow.
Threads to take a look at! || Blue Lab VS. Apera/PH Meters

Good Luck, and good work so far.
 
DarkHelmet

DarkHelmet

9
3
DUDE I love your boxes! I wish mine came out looking that good.. I swear i measure shit 3 times and cut it twice and still fuck it up. :\\

Welcome to the farm!

HAH! Thanks!
I'm proud of my planter box!
Used tongue and groove pine flooring (left over a previous project) and pine 4X4's for corners, all untreated wood. The inside is lined with vapour barrier to stop seeping (and maybe help prevent premature rot through the sides but that is yet to be determined).
After the box was built, I got fabric pots for inside and realized fabric pots could be used outdoors (doh!) and allows you to move the plants around to better sunlight or out of sunlight - next summer the plan is to use 15gal or 20gal fabric pots instead of the planter box.
 
1stonedman

1stonedman

146
43
HAH! Thanks!
I'm proud of my planter box!
Used tongue and groove pine flooring (left over a previous project) and pine 4X4's for corners, all untreated wood. The inside is lined with vapour barrier to stop seeping (and maybe help prevent premature rot through the sides but that is yet to be determined).
After the box was built, I got fabric pots for inside and realized fabric pots could be used outdoors (doh!) and allows you to move the plants around to better sunlight or out of sunlight - next summer the plan is to use 15gal or 20gal fabric pots instead of the planter box.

Great job repurposing that wood and not letting it go to waste!
 
DarkHelmet

DarkHelmet

9
3
Hey bro welcome to the farm. I was skimming through your info and something jumped out at me.

You have a water softener. They exchange minerals for sodium. Sodium is a micro nutrient to plants but you wanna keep it to under 50ppm all in even after nutrients and the lower the better. It's literally toxic to plants.

If you test your water before the softener can you give us the numbers? You honestly will have a rough time if using softened water.

Also if you are using straight RO after check the ppm that's important because you need to see it's effectiveness in removing all that sodium.

It's possible you don't need to if you can check the ppm of the water before the softener.

To add you can't go by ph with RO water it has almost no influence on the ph once in the soil. I'm gonna stop here Soni don't over load ya. I'm going to make a post soon on PH and explain it since it's very commonly not looked at right.

PPM UPDATE:

Tap Water - After Water Softender - 552PPM - This is what the plants are being water with 99% of the time. My outdoor receives the same water unless it rains...

Reverse Osmosis Water - 52PPM
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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PPM UPDATE:

Tap Water - After Water Softender - 552PPM - This is what the plants are being water with 99% of the time. My outdoor receives the same water unless it rains...

Reverse Osmosis Water - 52PPM
Ouch the RO prob needs new filters. Do you have any water that you can test before the softener?
 
DarkHelmet

DarkHelmet

9
3
Ouch the RO prob needs new filters. Do you have any water that you can test before the softener?
I dont think so, the only spot i can think of would be off the pressure tank, will take a look.
The system was installed October 19, wasn't told frequency to replace and forgot to ask. Will replace asap!
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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I dont think so, the only spot i can think of would be off the pressure tank, will take a look.
The system was installed October 19, wasn't told frequency to replace and forgot to ask. Will replace asap!
Being after a water softener your gonna have to replace filters pretty often. If using for drinking and plants. Why im thinking finding a source before the softener will save ya a bunch
 
DarkHelmet

DarkHelmet

9
3
Being after a water softener your gonna have to replace filters pretty often. If using for drinking and plants. Why im thinking finding a source before the softener will save ya a bunch

I should of just bought a few of those zero water pitchers 🤷‍♂️
 
DarkHelmet

DarkHelmet

9
3
Update:

I've been watering with my RO Water and adjusting PH as required. Using Blue Sky Nutrients & schedule (not following it exactly). No PH issues or nutrient issues are noted since switching water and adjusting.

Finished setting up my grown room and second tent and set up for drying.
Started some seeds in jiffy pellets. 1 has popped, waiting on the other (5 days so far...kind of worried it might not??)

Indoor is doing great. Was having more WPM issues, considered trying Safer's Defender but really didn't like the idea of spray sulphur on flowering plants.
Local hydro store told me to try a product called white wash - an altered frequency water that you can spray / drench the plants in until harvest (about $30.00 CAD per Litre. A bit on the pricey side to be applying it regularly but definitely proving to be a useful product to have on hand).
Applied 5 min before lights out, checked on at lights on....and no WPM!
The only problems I see with using it is that its something you need to use regularly and is a bit pricey, its not a 1 and done kind of application.
Potential harvest date for indoor is Aug 26.

Outdoor is doing great as well. Plants are approx 5' 8''
Very healthy, will be defoliating this coming weekend.

**I noticed some small white bugs today on the plants. Very Small. See Photos. I'm assuming they are juvenile aphids but would like some opinions.**

Bugs noted to date:
Ants. All over the place - doesn't seem to be harming the plant or leaves at this point.
Grasshoppers and Crickets - Those buggers drive me nuts, destroy leaves and hide in the plants. I flick em away when noticed but its hard to get em all.
Wasps - Noticed lots of wasps buzzing around the top of the plants during the day. No nest or damage noted.
Lady Bugs - Lots of Ladybugs - I'm hoping these are good to have as I've always been told they are predatory to other bugs.
Beetles - not sure what to think about these. Will take a picture next time I see them. haven't noticed any damage caused by them, normally notice 1 or two hiding in the top leaves. - EDIT: A quick google search shows the bug as a potential Leaf Beetle - makes sense since its in the leaf - Im going to have to keep them away before they chow down on the plants.

Of course being outdoors bugs are expected, some good, some bad.

Leafs are huge, 4'' + across.
Not sure if anyone can tell if they are Indicia / Sativa from the leaves?

Photos of indoor are a week old.
Photo of outdoor is 4 days old.
Unknown bugs found today on outdoor.
Sorry if photos are potato quality, having phone issues.

Feedback is appreciated!
 
Outdoor 52FT
Bubblebomb1
Bubblebomb
Chemfire1
Chemfire
Outdoor Leafs
Bug2
Bug1
Last edited:
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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Indoors WPM keys.

Good airflow through the plants.

Don't use foliars if at all possible.

Day time humidity is not to much of an issue bit the humidity spike right after lights out is a killer. Try to keep the humidity under 50 at night. 60-65% during the day is not an issue. Most ppl don't realize within an hour of the light going out the temp drop and the humidity spikes... I would say this accounts for the majority of WPM issues.

Make sure leaves are not stack or sitting on one another. This will cause condensate on the leaves and prime for mold and fungi.

Remember leaves have microclimates around them so it really key to make sure they are getting air movement around all of them to allow the humidity to be taken away from around the leaf.

Maybe you knew all this and maybe ya didn't just thought I would post it incase.
 
DarkHelmet

DarkHelmet

9
3
Things looking good btw
Indoors WPM keys.

Good airflow through the plants.

Don't use foliars if at all possible.

Day time humidity is not to much of an issue bit the humidity spike right after lights out is a killer. Try to keep the humidity under 50 at night. 60-65% during the day is not an issue. Most ppl don't realize within an hour of the light going out the temp drop and the humidity spikes... I would say this accounts for the majority of WPM issues.

Make sure leaves are not stack or sitting on one another. This will cause condensate on the leaves and prime for mold and fungi.

Remember leaves have microclimates around them so it really key to make sure they are getting air movement around all of them to allow the humidity to be taken away from around the leaf.

Maybe you knew all this and maybe ya didn't just thought I would post it incase.
Things looking good btw


Thanks!
Great points for sure, I am aware of most and have a decent air flow setup in place.
The problem i think lies with when the WPM showed up - at the beginning before the tent was setup with circ air - i thought i had it under control then but probably didn't and it just kept coming back / spreading under certain conditions. I only had a tower fan intially for air circ, the oscillator broke so i added the other oscillating fan 3 weeks ago and put the tower fan in a position where it was more effective without the oscillation.
Daytime humidity is around 45%
Night Time is around 52%, i dont think ill be able to get it lower until the cooler winter months.
1 4'' inline fan @ 230CFM kept at full speed.
Upgrading to a 6'' 500 CFM variable speed with a temperature & humidity controller is being used once the 2nd tent is in use.
I have 1 tower fan suspended side ways for the top sections of the plant in the tent right now and 16'' oscillating fan on the lower sections of plant. lots of air flow in this tent. Air changes are up there as well with the 4'' fan and will be increasing greatly once the 6'' is in place.

Foliars - im assuming this refers to the spray / mist ive been applying. Why is it suggested to stay away from them? with the white wash being water I felt comfortable as i wasnt introducing anything its not getting already...
 

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