First Time Grower - Paranoia Brain Dump

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GalaxysEdge

GalaxysEdge

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Alright so I am a first timer. Growing indoors. I wake up every morning and check on them and i just get filled with paranoia and questions. I am worried i am screwing something up. I wanted to use this thread to just come clean with all the questions/worry swirling in my brain in hopes to maybe calm the hell down lol.

Here is my set up:

Tent: 2x4 tent Vivosun
Lights: 2x Vivosun 300w LED Grow lights
Medium: Fox Farms Ocean Forest
Watering schedule: still dialing this in as the grow is still in early stages but my recent watering was approx 1/2 gallon water for each plant. Ph =6.5. I believe i achieved about 10-15% runoff with this watering.
Age of plants: sprouted on July 17th. Plants are 14 days old
Nutrients: none added at this stage, relying on the medium.

Here is my brain dump of questions and worry:

1. I feel like the leaves are dark green? Is that bad? Are they really dark green (i am colorblind so I suck with judging that)? If the are dark green what does that mean?
2. Why won't M3 (plant in the solo cup) catch the hell up to the rest of the plants? Why is it so slow? Why are the leaves droopy?
3. Ever since I watered recently (my first real big watering), the humidity in the tent shot up to 50 -60%...is that bad? I have two fans going.
4. I feel like the plants in the 3 gal containers are too shallow. Will they get taller? The leaves are practically touching the edge of the pot? Did i not put enough soil in? I left 2inch from soil to the edge.
5. How the heck will I know when its time to flip to flower? I know I am way far away from that...but I like to plan. I obviously don't have too much space so I am going for wider versus tall.
6. How will I know which parts of the plants will grow buds? Colas or whatever they're called? How do I identify colas?
7. How will I know when FFOF soil is out of nutrients? Do I wait for a certain PPM reading? 0? 100?
8. Overall I feel like these suckers are just slow growers? Am I being too impatient given they are only 14 days?


Whew...thats it for now...even if I dont get responses to these questions. Its good to lay it all out there.

Reference my photos below:
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NairnM16

NairnM16

298
43
First go smoke some bud bro chill out
Your plants look fine, how big do you want the plants?
3 gal pots look fine for your tent,

You want high humidity in veg,
If it was flower then I’d worry aim for 60-80 humidity in veg lower that to 50 start of flower and down to 25-40 late flower,

I’d recommend some low stress training at around 4/5 nodes, (YouTube will help)
The solo cup looks over watered let that dry out,

one your plant bush out a bit with low stress training introduce a scrog and fill the canopy wall to wall,

Once fill remove any lower growth then flip to flower, there’s no rush the time is on you patience is key just let them grow the leafs will tell you everything a good green is what you are looking for

give it a week or so then introduce a small nute 1/4 strength at ppm of 400/500 this is way below what they will need but a good starting point to slowly increase per feed till you find the plants uptake

to summarise your doing a good job keep up the good work I would stress to much
 
ImpulsiveGrower

ImpulsiveGrower

687
143
Your probably micromanaging your garden right now and that’s not right. This is supposed to be fun, relaxing, hell even therapeutic. This can cause a situation where you kill your plants with love. Most of the time you really just need to leave them the hell alone to do their thing. Don’t go messing with them every second or watering them either. I believe a half gallon for those size plants is too much and this can run into an issue pretty quick. Do you have a food scale? Weigh your pots filled with just medium first and weigh so you know the dry weight. This helps you know when your close to needing to water again as the pot gets lighter. You can also just lift the pot and get a feel or both. I’m pretty new to indoor growing myself and almost every question I had I literally typed in google. Almost every time threads from this website and others along with articles came up answering my questions. Always come here for your second opinion ofcourse. I thought with fox farm ocean forest you didn’t want to water till run off but don’t quote me on that. I grow organically in soil and I don’t water for run off bc it washes away all your good nutrients you’ve built up into your soil medium. Your plants look fine for 2 weeks old.
 
Schwer

Schwer

Supporter
531
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Hey man. I can totally relate to the paranoia and stress. I'm right in the middle of my first grow too, and the good crew here at THC Farmer have been kind enough to talk me down from many a ledge.

For what its worth I think your plants look great. I was just comparing your pics to mine at 2-weeks and frankly yours look better.

You asked about height, and yes, they will get taller and will probably do so quickly. Mine all did so at different rates, with one strain I'm growing being much denser and generally shorter than the other.

I would recommend that you start looking into the basics of Low Stress Training and topping (if you haven't already) as those are probably going to be the next major steps in your grow. They are both very easy to do and will increase your overall yield tremendously. I've been doing a lot of it so feel free to PM if you have any questions. I'm not an expert but I can help you with the first steps.

I skipped the Scrog for my first grow and I'm glad I did. Its a fantastic technique and will likely increase your yield by helping you fill every corner of your tent with delicious bud sites. That being said, I really appreciate being able to pull these dense plants I have to the front of the tent for LST, defoliation, watering, etc. Your tent doesn't look at deep as mine so that may not be an issue for you, but keep that in mind before you set up a net.

You will be able to answer many of your other questions over the course of your grow, especially the ones related to the anatomy of the plant. One of my absolute favorite things about this grow has been my ability to observe the very small changes the plants go through on a daily basis, and in doing so I've already learned so much about the plants and have new ideas for future grows.

Good luck, and a make a grow diary if you haven't already done so because I want to follow along with another first time grower. 😄👍

Edit: Oh, and that solo cup seedling looks overwatered, even if you just watered it imo. Maybe let that cup dry completely before giving it any more juice.
 
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socks4free

socks4free

145
43
If your relying on your medium for nutrients stop watering till runoff, runoff is leaching the nutrients out.

I'd imagine the plant in solocup is lagging behind because of overwatering ) not enough drainage did you put any holes in the bottom/sides of the cup?
 
GalaxysEdge

GalaxysEdge

133
43
If your relying on your medium for nutrients stop watering till runoff, runoff is leaching the nutrients out.

I'd imagine the plant in solocup is lagging behind because of overwatering ) not enough drainage did you put any holes in the bottom/sides of the cup?
I have holes just at the bottom. I can poke a few more on the sides. Interesting thought though because I really felt like I wasn't overwatering, but perhaps the water I am giving it isn't able to drain. Thanks for the info!!
 
GalaxysEdge

GalaxysEdge

133
43
Thank you to all you awesome people. Making me feel better already haha. I appreciate the feedback and helpful tips, especially regarding watering. I will no longer be watering to run off!

I cant promise I won't be back here with more crazy questions...but for now I am feeling good :)
 
GalaxysEdge

GalaxysEdge

133
43
Hey man. I can totally relate to the paranoia and stress. I'm right in the middle of my first grow too, and the good crew here at THC Farmer have been kind enough to talk me down from many a ledge.

For what its worth I think your plants look great. I was just comparing your pics to mine at 2-weeks and frankly yours look better.

You asked about height, and yes, they will get taller and will probably do so quickly. Mine all did so at different rates, with one strain I'm growing being much denser and generally shorter than the other.

I would recommend that you start looking into the basics of Low Stress Training and topping (if you haven't already) as those are probably going to be the next major steps in your grow. They are both very easy to do and will increase your overall yield tremendously. I've been doing a lot of it so feel free to PM if you have any questions. I'm not an expert but I can help you with the first steps.

I skipped the Scrog for my first grow and I'm glad I did. Its a fantastic technique and will likely increase your yield by helping you fill every corner of your tent with delicious bud sites. That being said, I really appreciate being able to pull these dense plants I have to the front of the tent for LST, defoliation, watering, etc. Your tent doesn't look at deep as mine so that may not be an issue for you, but keep that in mind before you set up a net.

You will be able to answer many of your other questions over the course of your grow, especially the ones related to the anatomy of the plant. One of my absolute favorite things about this grow has been my ability to observe the very small changes the plants go through on a daily basis, and in doing so I've already learned so much about the plants and have new ideas for future grows.

Good luck, and a make a grow diary if you haven't already done so because I want to follow along with another first time grower. 😄👍

Edit: Oh, and that solo cup seedling looks overwatered, even if you just watered it imo. Maybe let that cup dry completely before giving it any more juice.
I will definitely be researching LST a bit more. I feel pretty confident with topping as I've watched several tutorials. I look forward to that next stage.

And I have been following your diary Schwer! I love it. Its interesting but also gives me a chuckle while reading. I look forward to tracking your journey. Ill think about setting one up myself!
 
socks4free

socks4free

145
43
I have holes just at the bottom. I can poke a few more on the sides. Interesting thought though because I really felt like I wasn't overwatering, but perhaps the water I am giving it isn't able to drain. Thanks for the info!!
I like to have a few around the side at the bottom, the plastic cups are great at holding moisture in.
 
Capital_Florica

Capital_Florica

73
18
I think it's pretty normal for new growers to feel like their plants are growing slow. Something I have noticed with experienced growers is their ability to start plants off with strong growth. Which then makes many of us new growers feel like our plants are growing really slow. From what I've gathered, part of it is more familiarity with the strains they are growing and the medium that they are growing in. Both of which usually chosen to best accommodate the growing environment they are working with. Furthermore, from this familiarity they have mastered the art of watering indoors. Watering really is an art and I think it's safe to say that overwatering is the most common mistake novice gardeners make. It takes some time gaining a sense of your growing environment. A lot of us aren't in a position to get things like temperature and humidity perfect. Requiring that you pay closer attention and water delicately because the time it takes for the soil too dry out might be faster or slower than an environment with perfect conditions.

You will almost always be better under-watering than you will overwatering, because you can't take water away once you've added it. Personally, I think the best way to tell when to water is by simply observing the plant closely. It's harder with a small plant but the leaves will tell you when the plant needs to be watered. Once it's bigger, give it a week with no water so you can observe the signs. With seedlings, you want to make sure you're watering right along the stem and not the entirety of the medium. Since they will have much smaller root systems as oppose to a plant that has filled in the container with roots. Same goes for plants in containers much too large for them. You'll see people plant small plants in huge containers and let the plant grow into it. That's all well and fine, just need to make sure you're watering only around the plant and not the whole container.

So, with all that said, your first couple runs will probably get off to a slow start for various reasons, overwatering, plants too far away from light, pots too big or too small, etc. Usually though around the 3rd or 4th week the plant is established enough that it will start growing how you'd expect it to. It should be around the 4th or 5th node. At which point you want to almost certainly top it and start thinking about LST, especially if you're inside and working with height restrictions. What this slow start does is throw our timeline way off from that of an experienced grower and so we panic. Our plants are 45 days old and short, we think maybe it's our light, maybe it's our nutrients, maybe it's our soil. We know that we still have 60 days of flower to go through at some point. Is this grow going to take 4 months from seed to dry & cure?!?! Holy shit, maybe it's going to take 5 or 6 months! 😱

The mistake a lot make at this stage is to go changing all sorts of things which in turn adds complexity they don't fully understand. When what they should be doing is keeping it simple and accepting that their first couple grows aren't going to be great and will probably get off to slow starts. So during the slow start phase of the learning curve, you'll be around 1.5-2 months of veg and then two months of flower. It's important to know that the plants will usually double or more in size when you flip them into flower, that is without any LST. So if you let them get too big in veg, then you'll have huge plants in flower which isn't ideal for small indoor environments. So if you don't do any LST or topping, you want your plants to be short before flower thus vegging for a short period. If you do top and LST then you will have more control over the height of the canopy and can veg longer. Ideally, you want to work towards a month veg, month and a half max, and a two month flower. But to get their you need to have a strong start so that your plants are big enough a month in, which just comes from experience and overcoming the slow start phase.

It's worth remembering that in order for survival, the plant doesn't need all that much. Let's say you just did nothing but use FFOF and add no nutrients. You had adequate lighting and watered appropriately. The plant isn't going to die, nor will it do bad. That isn't to say it will thrive but it'll do fine. People watering liquid nutrients on non-inert soil grows are not going for survival but trying to get the plant to produce more than it typically would. But as novice growers, our goal should not be surplus but simply growing a healthy plant. So I think it's important to understand that depending on your medium, adding liquid nutrients isn't a requirement for success and when added without understanding can do more harm than help.

FFOF should have no problem getting plants through veg. The only thing I'd advise adding the first couple runs would be perlite and worm castings. Flowering is when the plant really starts to become demanding of nutrients. Your FFOF isn't out of nutrients, but surely it's lost some oomph after the month or two of veg. Also during flower, the plant starts requiring more things that it needed less of in veg, things which FFOF and many soils aren't equipped to provide completely, if at all. It is at this point that you should start experimenting with nutrients. I'd start small with something like FF Big Bloom and then add Tiger Bloom once you feel you've got the hang of it. I wouldn't even add nutrients during veg your first couple runs because you run the risk of messing the plant up and then having a horrible flowering stage. Instead in the beginning only worry about adding nutrients during flower. After those first couple runs you will have a better idea if Big Bloom and Tiger Bloom work for you or if you want to ditch those and try a different brand. Then start exploring changing up your soil by adding a couple things besides perlite and worm castings and also adding a nutrient regiment for veg if you need it. But always remember, that big yields don't only come from strong nutrient regiments, but also all the other factors like light, temperature, humidity, CO2, etc.

6. How will I know which parts of the plants will grow buds? Colas or whatever they're called? How do I identify colas?

So you know how in the beginning, the main growth of the plant happens in the center, pushing out fan leaves and getting taller. As it gets taller, you will have secondary growths come out of the area where the fan leaves connect to the stem. These secondary growths will soon resemble mini plants, doing the same thing the main growth is doing, pushing out fan leaves and getting taller. This area that is pushing out new fan leaves and getting taller is where the bud will form when the plant enters flower. The plant knowing that it has entered the flowering stage will stop pushing out fan leaves there and instead push out a bud. This area is called a bud site because it is where the plant produces a bud.

Topping is about increasing the amount of bud sites your plant has and LST is about keeping those bud sites to be around the same height in order to have an even canopy.

If you don't top your plant, it will have a dominant main growth taller than the rest, which will turn into a dominate main bud or cola during flower. You will still have secondary growths that turn into secondary bud sites and thus buds but they will be much smaller than this main dominate bud in the center of the plant. The main growth is called the apical meristem and it's dominance is called apical dominance. By topping we are breaking that dominance. We are telling the plant that we don't want it to grow a main dominate bud and many smaller buds, but instead we want multiple main buds of around equal size. The plant after having it's apical meristem cut will respond by putting energy into those secondary growths, and they will start growing taller and more vigorously. This is where LST comes in, the goal being to keep all those secondary growths at around the same height so that you have an even canopy. The even canopy allows all these growths to get around the same amount of light and thus grow to be the same size.
 
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