First grow, first diary. We are In Utero.

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In Utero
My first grow diary for my first grow. I’m not 100% sure of the format people like, I’ve seen some entries in other diaries etc.. I’m just going to provide the stats and be me. I’m here for the help, knowledge and camaraderie. I’m literally an old hippie who was born into and holds a certain set of ideals. I’m just a peaceful guy who likes to talk, as I’m sure you’ve seen or soon will.

A friend of my nephew dropped off some clones early last summer. He asked if I wanted them and said he’d come over at least once a week. That didn’t work out, I had no clue what to do or even to look up what to do. I overwatered. I left in the rain. I didn’t cover, I didn’t make sure I had first sun for dew. The summer was cloudy, rainy, hot, and humid. It was awful, they suffered and it was a disaster. It led me here. I began researching indoor growing and products. I came here for product advice and now here we are. The ladies upstairs are 4 weeks popped over the next couple days and doing ok. At least according to everyone who has seen them. I see issues but nobody agrees. I’m not going to argue while they’re still alive. I did overwater a few in the transplant. The living soil is different than anything I’ve ever seen or touched as far as soils. They’re recovering now, likely quicker than they would have because of advice I received here from Aqua Man. I tilted the pots 45° for a few, cranked the heat and lowered the humidity. Soil is moist today and they’re improving. Now I’m having a lighting issue because I don’t know how to use the thing. I do know who to ask, which is how this diary got started.

There is so much in between. Some really silly mistakes. I still say I’m dangerous but I may just get through this. I have a few along the way pics. Not many I planned on showing anyone besides mom so they aren’t “shots” haha. I’ll add them as I update. I just wanted to take this first step. I’m happy to be here with you all. I’ve learned a whole lot just by reading through the forum discussions. I say “learned” but what I mean is I read some great information. I don’t know that I’ve learned it yet. I know it’s here, and with experience and all of you helping, it will all come together over the next year or two. Maybe then I’ll have some advice for people too. I could right now tell them what not to do. Haha.

The Stats
5x5 tent in upstairs apartment bedroom

8” exhaust system including silencer

PhotonTek X600 Pro Full Spectrum LED

Secret Jardin Monkey 6” fan

Vermont Compost Jolly Roger living soil

Seeds dropped 11/5 & soaked 24 hours then into root riot cubes

Popped root riot cubes 11/6-8

Into 18oz solo cups 11/7 (happy frog)

Transplanted 11/29 at 3 weeks into 3gals (living soil)

4 are going into 30gals

3 into 7’s or 15’s depending on space.

3 Bruce Banner

3 Gorilla Glue

1 Girl Scout Cookie (of 3 dropped)

Temps Rh between 65-75° 48-60%



Living soils, as I learned after purchasing the product and containers, really requires a larger volume to work the way it is intended. I do not know from experience but all with stated knowledge say you will likely make it through a run or two in smaller containers, but not to the full benefit, and not continually reusable as intended. Getting better with each run. There will of course be differing opinions and shades of grey. At this point, I could have taken the soil back and made a new plan. I decided to use the recommended pot size and move ahead. In the future I’ll only be running 4 ladies at a time. It does mean I have to grab a couple more bags of soil. They have seeds too so it’s really just a money spending day coming up.



If you got this far thank you for reading. I look forward to what I can learn from each of you. ✌️
 
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After the tent was up and equipped and the seeds were here, I started to doubt myself and ability to germ a seed. I’ve never grown anything. I’ve pulled some weeds and watered the flower garden.

I was so convinced I couldn’t do it I was frantically searching for clones, even as they soaked and went into root riots.

too many pics here I’m sure but this is our journey so far. I see the lesson on the light. Haha. ✌️❤️🎼
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I did have a question to pose to @Aqua Man, which I’ll ask here instead of hijacking a thread. I’m just gonna copy paste. Believe it or not rewriting it could make it longer. 🤣🤣


I swear to all that is good I am not stalking you. Although I could probably learn all I need by going through your posts. I try to search a question before I ask it. If I can find the answer, why bother anyone. I am doing ok so far winging it with light. Messed up with the original seedling tray light (it was 12”) because ya know, I forgot the idea was for them to grow. It was fine for 9 plugs in the middle of a tray.

I was too afraid to put them under my PhotonTek X600 pro. I researched lights a bunch and had a budget. They all went over the stated wattage in real life tests and I was purposely trying to stay as low as possible. This one draws pretty close to the stated power, had the added benefit of a cool esthetic (I know, dumb), and is the US version of Lumatek….their trying to remain separate as far as sales, got confusing and earned me a supplemental 100w when they produce theirs in Feb ‘22.

So, afraid of the light I bought to grow weed, I went and bought another light to grow weed. It’s an HLG 65 V2 and it did well for my needs, but once they needed to be separated, that was done and I put them under the PhotonTek at 25% 24” (I may have started at 36” and noticed quick it wasn’t enough, I didn’t write it down…lesson learned). They were great. I jumped too quick to 50%, saw it quick, dialed it down a bit (have a controller with more control). Then over a few days I raised it to 50%, still at 24”. They seemed ok the couple days transitioning. Yesterday we talked about my overwatering a couple. This morning, just before lights out, I grabbed a peek and some of them were “praying” on the top. Not all, just a couple. Now, I’m sure you know I’ve read 100 opinions on what this means. I still don’t know what it means though. lol. I’m going to include their par reading, it’s great for when I’m in flower, I know what height will give me 900/1000. I don’t know how any of this works. Is par just halved at 50%? I have a feeling that’s probably not the way it works. I have the chart of what they need at each stage, I have a light that can give it to them. I have a grower who has no idea how to use it.

I would, will, and have considered buying a light meter. Maybe I’ll just rent one, take the plants out, test the thing at all heights and power levels and keep the chart.
I am so over budget it’s scary. I’m just not wanting to compromise because this isn’t going to fade out. I’m in this for the long haul. I need to save on my medicine. I’m trying to give myself the best shot. I’ve made a bunch of mistakes that cost money too but I’ll be ok. I’m hoping to avoid getting a light meter. Now, I can see on these par maps that if I hang it high enough, I can give them the right level. I don’t want to run the thing at 100% the full run. That’s silly. Sorry so long, and thanks as always for any input.

I did find a spot to rent a meter. I backed off the light a little down to 270w in case I’m just pushing too soon.
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The girls today, looks like maybe still a couple sisters rebounding from too much water in transplant. A friend said I could cut that leaf that’s hitting cover straw. I’m just afraid to do it. She’s so young. I knew enough to ask, and she can’t be happy like that but I am still afraid to hurt them I guess. I need to get over it. A week (later today) since transplant and they’re just now optimally moist (I think 🤔🤣). They’ve been growing though. Plan is still 4 30’s and 3 15’s 3 weeks from today (Monday) for 2 weeks, and flip. All from a mix pack at ILGM for beginners with 8-9 week flowering times. I don’t know how accurate those are but I’d imagine they’re close.

I didn’t need them as I still have 2 each from the pack but when I went to Vermont, and you can just buy them in the store, I had to grab Ethos Cherry Gar-See-Ya and Skunk hero RBX1 (I’ts a bit silly as I don’t even know what I’m doing yet). I also scored a full 5pk credit from ILGM because in my review, I said they fulfilled their end and all 9 popped, but 2 of the GSC had bad luck setting tap roots and never grew (one lost half a cotyledon on the way up). That’s above and beyond. It’s just nature. Of course being the fair minded guy that I am, I had to spend the never expiring coupon code immediately and show appreciation of the gesture by ordering another pack on top of the free one. My parents really did a number on me 🤣.

Anyway, rambling now but I got pack of Runtz with the coupon and a buy 10 get 10 of G-13. I’ll be giving a few away to friends who do outdoor grows in the summer. I can’t grow all these. I know they’ll keep longer than stated if kept correctly, but why not spread the love. They can’t help me much but a few that didn’t do all they could to discourage me, do try. Anyway, format probably sucks and isn’t what you’re looking for but it’s a journey of the ladies and me, right? Thanks for listening.

If you see something please say something. Haha.

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turn the intensity of the light down a bit or move the light higher. also when was the last time you water them? the bigger plants?
One thing for sure, for your 1st grow you are going to have your hands full
I will turn it down. It’s why these specs confuse me still I guess. I found one listing the values at percentages, at a lower height than I had it. A few less watts too. There is new growth and extended growth. I was just looking up new growth being light green. The two ladies in the front are having a hard time I believe because of the overwatering in the transplant. The soil is tough and was probably too much for me to begin with. Although, no. This is the method I agonized over. I have to learn this way. They all look a little better right now at 3:04am. This is the day cycle so I get the light heat during winter nights. I did sneak in a heater but 65 is the thermostat
I’m tired. 🤣🤣

They were really over watered in the transplant and it’s because of the soil. It got really wet and shouldn’t. Just for the activation hours ahead of time. I just saw dry spots, should have left them and didn’t. I had done really well and held back days longer than I would have before all the reading, combined with last summer.

If the meter is to be believed, as well as feel, the soil is perfectly moist right now. Roots are also bigger so I’d imagine if not drown already, they’ll begin to perk up and I will have to water in a day or two. I have picked up a wetting agent as suggested and will be slower and more even (somehow) they need so little a sprayer won’t work. Maybe a windex one. Haha. They’ll need 5% tops. They’re in 3gals.

God I talk so much but there’s no outlet. Can I really cut off the leaf that is hitting dirt? Why is it? The rest of the plant looks pretty good?

ugg, The confusion! Am I just dumb? My mom is gonna be pissed. According to the light test on coco (ok to say?) at 15.75” the par value at 50% is 502. Isn’t that good for them? It was at 20” about 75w less than 50%. I went up slowly over days and lowered it earlier. Haha. I’m dangerous.

Thank you!!!
 
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they seem to be in either a 5 or a 7 gallon fiber pots. With the amount of dirt in there and the size of the plant, i would say you shouldn't water for the next seven days.
if you keep watering them heavy their not going to be always droopy and then root rot can also accrue.

lets get your light to 2.5 ft above the top of the plant at 50% intensity. make sure the small seedlings are under a dome or something. they need more humidity and better temps and way less light.
 
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Woke up to some unhappy ladies. I don’t have a photo, I was in a hurry and woke up late, lights go out early morning.

I’m guessing here but I did stick my finger and a meter in. It won’t happen next time but the living soil blend is too much for germ and seedlings. I just started them in happy frog. The living soil is still perfectly moist. Like dead center on the meter, and the feel test, it’s not dry. The happy frog is dry. So, I’ll find a way I’m sure but here’s another lesson. There is a blend for them. Fort Vee or the Vee Lite. Same in every other way. I’ll use that next time. I’m going to make cubes from it too. The root riots worked exactly as stated but once the plants were growing in the solo cups, the plugs were drying and actually pulling moisture out. I’ll grab some pics later. I really didn’t know what to do. I hope it’s ok that I just left it. I didn’t want to give it water when the light was going out in 10 mins. Something I read. So, I don’t actually know. I know all the plants here in the summmer are watered in the morning.
 
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Check this out. I have been a long time Vertical Barebulb HPS grower and I was having issues getting my Chilled lights in the proper range. This helped me a lot.
 
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they seem to be in either a 5 or a 7 gallon fiber pots. With the amount of dirt in there and the size of the plant, i would say you shouldn't water for the next seven days.
if you keep watering them heavy their not going to be always droopy and then root rot can also accrue.

lets get your light to 2.5 ft above the top of the plant at 50% intensity. make sure the small seedlings are under a dome or something. they need more humidity and better temps and way less light.
They’re in 3gals right now which was never the plan but what came. They’ll be potted up once more. I was out of time. They haven’t been watered since they were transplanted a week ago today. The living soil moisture level is perfect now. The happy frog within it, is dry.

I raised the light last night like you suggested. Thought maybe I’d see happier ladies this morning. I know they’ll be ok I’m just upset with myself. My original mistake is still causing trouble. I knew it wasn’t a light issue as it’s raised etc. so I checked that center mass of soil. Dry.
 
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you can download photone on ISO mobile phone and read your ppfd or lux readings.
I have it, it needs to be calibrated with another meter. It’s not reading what the specs are. I know they are right too because of the reviews, videos etc. I bought the full version etc. I’m thinking of renting one. Just more work for me and full disclosure, which isn’t really necessary I know, but I’m not physically perfect. I’ve had 4 back surgeries, full of metal, hips, legs. lol. I’m only 52 so I try to keep it quiet and not complain.

it’s only $30 for 3 days but you have to put the $615 down. Which I get.
 
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I have it, it needs to be calibrated with another meter. It’s not reading what the specs are. I know they are right too because of the reviews, videos etc. I bought the full version etc. I’m thinking of renting one. Just more work for me and full disclosure, which isn’t really necessary I know, but I’m not physically perfect. I’ve had 4 back surgeries, full of metal, hips, legs. lol. I’m only 52 so I try to keep it quiet and not complain.

it’s only $30 for 3 days but you have to put the $615 down. Which I get.
i just use the free version and it works. ..sry to hear about youru surgeries.
 
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i just use the free version and it works. ..sry to hear about youru surgeries.
We both realize it could be user error, right? Haha. I have the diffuser on it etc. When I didn’t get expected numbers from the 600 I plugged in and hung the HLG 65. Also incorrect. I’ll work it out somehow. At least I don’t have it on them as close now.

Thanks on the physical stuff. Only mentioned so people didn’t think I’m just lazy about renting the meter. 🤣🤣🤣

Im not. This tent is on the second floor. I’m literally dying daily. Haha. But up I will continue to go….it is going to have to move down here next time though.
 
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We both realize it could be user error, right? Haha. I have the diffuser on it etc. When I didn’t get expected numbers from the 600 I plugged in and hung the HLG 65. Also incorrect. I’ll work it out somehow. At least I don’t have it on them as close now.

Thanks on the physical stuff. Only mentioned so people didn’t think I’m just lazy about renting the meter. 🤣🤣🤣

Im not. This tent is on the second floor. I’m literally dying daily. Haha. But up I will continue to go….it is going to have to move down here next time though.
don't worry abou the readings of the manual. You don't have the same light meter and area that they took there reading. It is just an example of the lights intensities for there meter.
However, at your stage for seedlings keep it 3ft high and 0 intensity, the other plants need to be at 2.5ft at 30% intensity or 5500 Lux. your slight bigger plants at 8000 lux
 
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don't worry abou the readings of the manual. You don't have the same light meter and area that they took there reading. It is just an example of the lights intensities for there meter.
However, at your stage for seedlings keep it 3ft high and 0 intensity, the other plants need to be at 2.5ft at 30% intensity or 5500 Lux. your slight bigger plants at 8000 lux
Oops. I’ll go lower it to 30%. It’s at the height. I thought you meant 50. Going up now. I’ll take a pic. Something else starting. Bottom 2 leaves of one (not cotyledons) are light green. I shouldn’t have to add anything yet. If it’s deficient in something I’ve locked it out. I’ll take it and double check which one she is. My brain is mush. I also did my shopping for the niece and nephews today.
 
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So, I did the best I could think of and just slowly watered the center portion (where the happy frog is) with a wetting agent added, just a few ounces. Here’s hoping. I think I’ve stressed the hell out them and they just look sad.

I know I lowered and raised intensity of the light too much, I can see it on the tips of tiny new growth. I think that is squared away for now. I know they’re resilient. I just feel like crap for letting it happen. I was doing so well. In cubes and solo cups I was perfect with watering. I had to force myself to wait because of all the reading and knowing for sure I was drowning them every other day in the summer. When they went into the solo cups, they weren’t watered again for 11 days.

This time, I overwater the living soil to begin with, going with 20% instead of 10-20, and as it slowly corrected to the right level, the happy frog dried. Such a bad idea to begin with now that I look back. 🤷‍♂️

Whatever happens (I’ll be devastated) I know I can get this far and I know what I need to correct. I can get here again.

The leggy gal in the back, the victim of the 12” seedling light, has her bottom leaves turning color, ideas? Soil should have all she needs. It’s literally been in there a week. Did I lock it out with water?
In a couple hours, if watering the happy frog is going to help, I should begin to see some improvement in stance?
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dude, stop watering them. inside your soil there is enough water specially with all that hay on top. The hay stops the light from allowing the soil to dry. so stop watering them for now. can you upload a picture of the entire tent?
 
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dude, stop watering them. inside your soil there is enough water specially with all that hay on top. The hay stops the light from allowing the soil to dry. so stop watering them for now. can you upload a picture of the entire tent?
That just went on a couple days ago. It’s getting replaced with barley straw. It was just to stop the top from drying. Like you said. It was really dry really quick. I misted it with a very fine sprayer meant to be used with chalk paint. Not even a measurable amount. The rest was overwatered like I said. 6 days ago. They didn’t see any water until just now because the the happy frog, is completely dry. Completely. I tried to direct it on that area. I’m not sure what else could have been done. The whole thing can’t be watered. The straw should have been wet down when it went on. I couldn’t & didnt because they were overwatered.

Those sponges (root riot) are still there of course too. They dried out twice a day in the cups. It draws it up and evaporates. I probably should have kept spraying that area twice a day.

Big light on here just for the pic. They’re actually under one of the first mistakes here.
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That just went on a couple days ago. It’s getting replaced with barley straw. It was just to stop the top from drying. Like you said. It was really dry really quick. I misted it with a very fine sprayer meant to be used with chalk paint. Not even a measurable amount. The rest was overwatered like I said. 6 days ago. They didn’t see any water until just now because the the happy frog, is completely dry. Completely. I tried to direct it on that area. I’m not sure what else could have been done. The whole thing can’t be watered. The straw should have been wet down when it went on. I couldn’t & didnt because they were overwatered.

Those sponges (root riot) are still there of course too. They dried out twice a day in the cups. It draws it up and evaporates. I probably should have kept spraying that area twice a day.

Big light on here just for the pic. They’re actually under one of the first mistakes here. View attachment 1194862
for these seedling, i assume that you only have one of the lights on and hopefully thats the bottom light? the top one is not on? also you can slightly raise that mini light so it is sitting at 25" away.
Show me a picture of this with that setting. Also, try to give these guys like 1/4 cup of water every time they seem drying up.
 
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