First Time [soil] Grower - Grow Journal

  • Thread starter Nottheone
  • Start date
  • Tagged users None


Hi all,

This is my first post on the site. I looked forward to engaging members and learning more about cultivating as I embark on this journey. On the advice of several peoples' posts I have read, I decided to start a grow journal. I have been taking daily photos of my grow and I am about 2 weeks in at this point. I have previously grown before, but that was a hydro grow many years ago and frankly, I would most certainly classify myself as a beginner. I have no experience growing with soil.

Here are the specs of my grow:

1 x Girl Scout Cookies - fem and 1 x Blue Monster - fem (from 420newguys)
1100W LED grow light (Luoapp) - According to manufacturer, veg switch is 600W, bloom switch is 1100W, and both together is 1200W.
Grow medium: Roots Organic (ROD75) growing medium and Kind Soil. The soil was placed in 3 gallon vivosun fabric grow pots and layered as follows: 1 lb kind soil on bottom, 1:2 mix of kind soil and RO (1lb and 2lb respectively/approx), and then a top layer of RO to the top. I also filled Solo Cups with RO for seedlings before transplanting to my 3 gallon pots.
I am growing in a 2x2x4 ft grow room and I am using a vivosun 4" 195 cfm fan for exhaust connected to 4" vivosun air carbon filter.

I also later added a Handfan dehumidifier (the type that can sit in a cup of water) and a stationary fan for circulation.

As I have been ordering materials on the fly and dealing with various shipping delays, the grow was started in closet initially and moved to grow tent a few days in. We also temporarily moved into to larger grow tent (3 x 3 x 7 ft) but I could not maintain adequate temperature, so I reverted back. I will get into that further in described the photographs.

I am using only veg light currently and have experimented going higher and lower. I currently have the lights sitting approximately 18" above the canopy. The humidifier is keeping my RH between 65-75 depending on the setting. Day time temps are between 70-75 and nighttime temps are between 65-68.

Germinating seeds:

I started seeds in water for 24 hours. The Blue Monster sprouted a shoot while still in water. Neither sunk to the bottom on its own but did so after a light push. I then transferred from water to paper towel using tweezers. Unfortunately, I did not take any photographs of this part. I left the seeds in paper tower between two dishes in the darkness for another 36 hours before planting. There was a 1 inch shoot from BM seed and half inch shoot from GSC seed when transferring to soil.

Day 3:


I used a large piece of cardboard with aluminum foil to enclose these in the closet. I also made posts and attached a plastic ziplock bag around the mouth of the solo cups to create a humidity shield. When I first watered, I gave each solo cup approximately 7-8 ounces of water. I have well water with a ph of 6.66. My water is also very soft at 28 mg/L. Light was set to veg on 18/6 schedule. At this point, the lights are 20 inches above the soil.

Also, for those wondering, I put the solo cups in the larger planter because I read somewhere that it would make it easier to transplant. On reevaluation, I think this probably was not great advice but not particularly harmful either, at least not that I can see. More or less, it was just unnecessary.

Day 4:

This is BM the following day in the morning and then later in the afternoon. No sprout yet from GSC.

Day 5:

The first picture is GSC sprout poking her head out. The second picture is the BM seedling.

Day 6:
The first picture is BM seedling and the second picture is GSC.

This is the day I received my grow tent, exhaust fan and filter, so everything was set-up and plants moved from the closet to the grow tent. Blue Monster continues to outpace the GSC in growth. I have no re-watered and just continue to leave humidity dome.


Initially, I removed the ziploc bags because I figured in the grow tent, I would have better humidity. This assumption was incorrect. I would go on to put the ziploc bags back over my seedlings in towards the end of day 7. I also initially could not find a configuration that I liked for my exhaust and filter set up, so the filter was initially on the ground near the plants.

I also raised the height light at this point to 22" thinking that putting the light further away would result in maintain RH.

Day 7:

I tried to change the light cycle at this point, having read that many people experienced good results going to 20/4 during this stage. After trying it for a day, I did not like how the leaves of the seedlings began to curl down so I changed back to 18/6 for the following day. I also put the ziploc bag back over the cups as a humidity dome.


Blue Monster on the left side - GSC on the right.

Day 8:
The first picture is BM and second picture is GSC. This picture illustrates a slightly less concerning curling of the BM seedling. It began improving when I put the ziploc bag over the top of it. The GSC seems to enjoy the light with or without the humidity dome but I put one back over her in solidarity with her sister.

Day 9:
The first two photos are pictures of BM and GSC respectively, taken shortly after lights on in the morning.

Later in the day, I received my humidifier and hygrometer so I could check temperature humidity. I brought a smart one (Govee) so I get updates to my phone and I can set various alarms. This has been very helpful.

I also purchased a personal humidifier - this one made by Handfan. It is a cylindrical humidifier that can be dropped in a cup or bottle of water and either be set to spray continuously for 4 straight hours or intermittently for 8.


I also added a stationary fan for circulation here. Clipped to the side and blowing above the tops of the seedling at the lowest setting. In addition, with the inclusion of the humidifier, I removed the ziploc bags and placed humidifier near seedlings to keep relative humidity up.

This picture is still day 9 at around 6:00 pm. The back left is GSC and the front right and BM. Plant has still not been rewatered to this point. My understanding is that the medium should dry out completely at this stage before rewatering. I can tell by stick finger into a few inches deep that bottom of the cup remains moist.

I will add more days shortly. By way of reference, my grow is currently at day 14.

Thank you for reading. I do have some questions that I will pose as I've noticed some slow growth to this point but I will ask them shortly when I post days 10-14. Thanks again.


Day 10:
First picture is BM and second picture is GSC.

The plants were watered on this day as well. I watered at night, which I think under normal circumstances would be a mistake, but at the time it did not occur to me. Watering took place approximately 2 hours before lights off. The water is tap water (well water as described in the initial post) that has been sitting in gallon container near grow room for 24 hours.

Day 11:
First picture is BM and the second is GSC. I decided to give them a morning misting of regular water. They just looked like they needed it a little. I think that's the beginner in me just looking for more stuff to do but I felt better about it afterward and they do not appear that they were harmed by this.

Later in the day, I received my larger grow tent - 3x3x7 ft. I moved the setup in the evening to the larger grow tent.


Ultimately, I decided that this tent was too big for the space I was using and decided to break it down and put everything back in the 2x2x4 tent. This photograph was taken on Day 12 shortly before moving grow back to smaller tent.

Day 12:
GSC on top and BM on bottom. I gave these a small misting in the morning and again at night with plain water.

For point of reference, now having the hygrometer and humidifier, the climate has been as follows:
During the day/lights on hours - Temp: 70-74; RH - between 65-75% depending on what setting I'm using for the humidifier. During the height of the day, it can get upwards of 80% humidity with the 4 hour continuous setting in use.
Nighttime/lights off - Tempt: 65-68F; RH - 65-70%.

Without the humidifier running at all, I am getting RH in the range of 40-55%.

Also to note - exhaust and circulating fan running all the time - both at lights on and off. Humidifier running all day as well and I switch between modes depending on my availability to change the water and start new cycle. So typically, during the day its running at full strength and I'm getting mid-70's RH and at night its running intermittent and I am getting mid-60's RH.

Day 13:
First picture is early at lights on - top is BM and bottom is GSC.

This picture is before bed: top is GSC and bottom is BM.

Day 14:

I should note, after setting up the larger grow tent and breaking it back down, I figured out how to install filter on the top of my smaller grow tent freeing up space, so the first picture is what the tent looks like now.

Then, these are pictures I just took. I also took one with lights off so you can see the color without the blue hue.
I also moved the cups away from the center of the 3 gallon pots so they can get the light from the middle of the LED grow lights. I will recenter when I transplant. I also noted that when I lifted the solo cups out of the medium, the soil underneath the cups was dry, but I did have some roots beginning to poke out.

This is where I am currently in the grow. I feel like for two weeks, they are really small but everything I am reading is saying that they are probably doing fine and just establishing a nice network of roots. I am crossing my fingers that that is the case.

I wonder if I should supplement some Cal/Mag given how soft my water is. I think that could be contributing to the slow growth I am dealing with. I am awaiting my liquid feeds and ph testing to come in. I ultimately plan to do some topping and scrogging when I get to that point.

I also would like to start foliar feeds (I have Blue Planet cal/mag with iron; Dr. Earth Nitro Big 7-2-2; blue planets liquid seaweed; and safergro natural wet). I also ordered ph down from advanced nutrients just to be prepared if my foliar feeds wind up too high in ph. My understanding is that that is far more common than the other way around. I believe I am to wait though until I start getting five fingered nodes before I foliar with nutes.

And finally, I intent to transplant from the solo into the bigger pot. I will also top off the remainder of the pot with more roots organic. I am not sure when to transplant exactly but based on the size of my seedlings, I think I may be another week or two away.

Again, thanks for reading and any suggestions and tips you all have for me are greatly appreciated!
Last edited:


yeah, could be just growing roots, I thought mine were growing slow at first, and now they are almost growing too fast.


I am definitely hopeful that’s the case. Not seeing the kind of growth I expected keeps making me want to tinker with things.

On that note, I had a couple questions about PAR/PPFD, and particularly during this stage. Most of what I’ve read said seedling should be getting between 100-300 Par and between 400-800 for veg stage. If my temperatures are good, what is the downside of providing the seedling greater PAR by moving the light closer? Obviously, if there is too much heat, that’s an issue, but I mean, assuming I stay in a healthy range there. Is the issue that the increased photosynthesis will cause nute burn on a plant not capable of using the increase in the uptake of nutrients? Also, in veg, is that 400-800 just a guide or can I try to get closer to 1000 (without going over 1100 to avoid need for supplemental CO2)?


Also, how are PAR values from manufacturer advertised numbers different if just running veg lights rather than both veg and bloom?


Day 15:
GSC on left and BM on right.

Considered lowering the light and seeing if increased par would help. Decided instead though to just flip the bloom button on (along with the veg) for full spectrum and see if that spurs my girls to life.
  • Like
Reactions: Ina


So a lot has happened since I last posted. We were at day 15 and I am now at day 28. Since that time I have moved my plants from the solo cups into the larger planters. I started a feeding schedule with nutes, I fimmed, lowered my lights to take advantage of better PAR, and now I am lst-ing.

Day 18:

Day 21: (before feeding any nutes)

Day 22: (earlier in the day, I fed 2L water each. I know I don't need to PH water going into living soil but for clarity, PH was 6.45 and PPM was 200. Contents: well water, .5 tsp Recharge, .5 tsp TPS Cal/Mag, .5 tsp Molasses, .5 tsp liquid seaweed, and .5 tsp Natural Wet. (.5 tsp = approx. 2.4 ml).


Day 25 - shortly before lights off in the AM:

Day 25 afternoon - before FIM:

Day 25 - After FIM

Day 27 - Blue Monster (lights lowered to 15") - Also - fed the girls again. Another 2L well water, this time, I did not PH but PPM was approx. 742 (estimating because I did not write it down right away). Contents: 4 tablespoon Natural Wet, .5 tsp TPS cal/mag; .5 tsp Recharge; .5 tsp Molasses; and 1 tbsp NitroBig.


Day 27 - Girl Scout Cookies (lights lowered to 15") (note, I also missed a litte on my FIM which is why one fan leaf has a small hole and one fan leave missing bottom petal - smh)


Day 28 - Blue Monster w LST (and to clarify, not a true LST yet, just trying to give some exposure to the lower bud sites):

Day 28 - Girl Scout Cookies w LST (same notes re BM apply):

You may notice also that I had some browning of the tips on the lower fan leaves which were/are working themselves up to the higher ones. I think this may have been a result of nitrogen deficiency as the problem seems to more or less be slowing down after feeding with the Nitrobig.


So a lot has happened since I last posted. We were at day 15 and I am now at day 28. Since that time I have moved my plants from the solo cups into the larger planters. I started a feeding schedule with nutes, I fimmed, lowered my lights to take advantage of better PAR, and now I am lst-ing.

Day 18:
View attachment 967149 View attachment 967150

Day 21: (before feeding any nutes)
View attachment 967152 View attachment 967153

Day 22: (earlier in the day, I fed 2L water each. I know I don't need to PH water going into living soil but for clarity, PH was 6.45 and PPM was 200. Contents: well water, .5 tsp Recharge, .5 tsp TPS Cal/Mag, .5 tsp Molasses, .5 tsp liquid seaweed, and .5 tsp Natural Wet. (.5 tsp = approx. 2.4 ml).

View attachment 967164

Day 25 - shortly before lights off in the AM:
View attachment 967155 View attachment 967156

Day 25 afternoon - before FIM:
View attachment 967157

Day 25 - After FIM
View attachment 967158 View attachment 967159

Day 27 - Blue Monster (lights lowered to 15") - Also - fed the girls again. Another 2L well water, this time, I did not PH but PPM was approx. 742 (estimating because I did not write it down right away). Contents: 4 tablespoon Natural Wet, .5 tsp TPS cal/mag; .5 tsp Recharge; .5 tsp Molasses; and 1 tbsp NitroBig.

View attachment 967160 View attachment 967162

Day 27 - Girl Scout Cookies (lights lowered to 15") (note, I also missed a litte on my FIM which is why one fan leaf has a small hole and one fan leave missing bottom petal - smh)

View attachment 967161 View attachment 967163

Day 28 - Blue Monster w LST (and to clarify, not a true LST yet, just trying to give some exposure to the lower bud sites):
View attachment 967165 View attachment 967166

Day 28 - Girl Scout Cookies w LST (same notes re BM apply):
View attachment 967167 View attachment 967168

You may notice also that I had some browning of the tips on the lower fan leaves which were/are working themselves up to the higher ones. I think this may have been a result of nitrogen deficiency as the problem seems to more or less be slowing down after feeding with the Nitrobig.

Welcome. Looking good. If I could offer any advice at all it would be to resist the urge to over feed. Less is more imo... I am very much like you, where I want to maximize my efficiency with nutes, and environment, just try and remember these things do thrive in nature where noone is force feeding them shit LOL... As far as your light cycle, whatever you choose, I would just make sure you stick to it... Good Luck!

One more thing, I would be more concerned with your spectrum than your PAR, if you turn one of those switches off, Its going to change the spectrum the lights throw out.


Just a follow up to @jaguarlax in that Roots Organics soil, I assume you mean original, there are enough nutrients already in it to last a month.

Yes, it’s the roots organic original potting
soil. And I’ve been trying to be delicate about my approach with the nutrients since much of what I’ve read has stated that both the roots and the kind soil are already pretty hot.

Given the softness of my well water, I think I definitely needed to add the Cal/Mag. And my understanding was that the Recharge and Molasses are just both pretty good for feeding organic soil and assisting in root development. I’ve been hesitant about adding the other stuff (Liquid Seaweed, Nitro Big, and Wetting agent/surfactant) but the surfactant is suppose to make the soil breathe better which I can’t imagine is a bad thing. So really it’s the Nitro Big and the liquid seaweed which I haven’t added together yet and likely won’t. Just one at a time and sparingly.

I had concerns since I left the soil out for so long under the lights without getting water and drying out ... I was only watering what little was in the solo cups but not the soil surrounding them, that I felt it needed a boost but I’m almost positive I’m overthinking it. So far so good though but I’ll keep an eye out. Those brown tips had me worried for a bit.

I’m also going to upgrade my light in short order. Going with a 500w cree cob full spectrum (parfactworks) that throws out better par while still keeping me in the right range. Should arrive in a couple of weeks. I’m not sure if my slow growth starting out was light related, cal/mag related or something else but we’re on the upswing it feels like.


Day 29: Missing FIM
I think it’s pretty safe to say that I was 0 for 2 on FIM at this point. I didn’t cut low enough and missed the growth tip. Just getting the lettuce-like growth up top but the growth tip didn’t split.


I was not all that enthused about cutting the plants to begin with so I won’t be doubling down and trying again. I’ve decided to just do some LST and I’m bending the tops down. I think this should give some of the lower growth an opportunity to catch up and I guess I’ll be in almost the same position.


Day 30 - I decided to top the Blue Monster after the failed FIM. For the Girl Scout Cookies, I just kept bending the top down and doing some lst.

Day 32: The BM has been slowed down by the top but its starting to develop the two main colas at the top and devoting some resources to some of the bottom growth and treating them like primaries also. GSC continues to bush out. I also fed the girls today - just another 2L each with mixed organic nutes (cal/mag, recharge, nitrobig, liquid seaweed, surfactant, and molasses).

Day 35: I put the new light in today - 500W Cree Cob LED (Parfactworks). My temps are a little hotter in the tent now, but I also think that has something to do with the changing of the seasons IRL - temps are just warming generally (it says 75 on the meter but the doors were open - when closed, I've been getting upwards of 86-87 some days). The light has been easier on my eyes also.

Day 36: Just doing some LST on the BM and using lst and the netting on the GSC to push some growth out of the way to get some light through the canopy. It's not quite a true scrog but it's more or less the idea. The plants also seem to love this light. I have it raised approx. 18" from the top of the leaves. Because the grow room is only 4' tall, I won't be able to get it much further away. But i believe during flower, it can get as close as 12" so we have some room to play with I think.

Day 38: I was planning on switching to flowering 12/12 lighting on Sunday but I feel pretty confident to do it today. I am starting to have concerns that I will outgrow my room under flower so I don't think waiting longer is going to do me any favors. I gave the girls another 2L yesterday (w/ recharge, molasses, surfactant, cal/mag, nitrobig, liquid seaweed, and BIOAG Vam) and I did a light foliar this morning with surfactant, cal/mag and liquid seaweed.
Last edited:


Day 39: Changed to 12/12 the night before and this is after a light foliar.

Day 41: Still working on spreading out my canopy some while I’m getting some stretch. I also note that I’ve seen some pre-flowers with pistils come out on both plants and so far so it looks like we’re going to be good there. But just to double check, so I be checking each bud site to make sure there are no hermes?


Day 44: These girls are just chugging along.

Day 46: I switched to bloom nutes today and increased my water interval by a day (from every 5 days to every 4) - still 2L each. Still giving recharge (probably will give one more week of recharge), Molasses (5ml), liquid seaweed (5ml), surfactant/wetting agent for soil hydrophobia (15 ml), cal/mag (2ml), and General Organic Biothrive Bloom (10 ml).

Day 47: This morning - still having to tuck some tops under the net to get some more tops to jump up during the stretch. Again, this isn't a true scrog and if I had to do over again, I probably would have went in that direction. But having the trellis has helped me push the tops around to get more light through the canopy. I wonder if I should start defoliating yet... I might wait another week or so for the stretch to stop. They are both really reaching but BM (picture on the bottom) has definitely been taking the lead on stretching recently.

Also, I just wanted to throw in this last picture. I had been looking for a good picture of what it a solid top looks like when done correctly - showing the knuckle formation around the new tops and secondary tops. I think this demonstrates it pretty well, so just going to leave it here for anyone doing some research... (note: this was taken about 5 days ago and the knuckles are even more pronounced now).


Day 49:

After this, you see some tops starts developing flowers and the stretch taking place.

Day 54:

After this, I'm not sure, but it looks like we may have a hermie issue and it's still yet unclear whether it will continue to occur. The seeds were feminized but it's possibly a genetic trait or due to some stress. I am not sure. I also could be mistaken about the nature of these structures, but they did not appear normal. That being said, I also saw similar structures elsewhere on the plants but with pistils coming out. These pics are from day 56:

I decided I wasn't going to take any chances, and cut these off. I saw them one other place on the plant, and cut those off as well.

Day 63 - they looked like crap in the morning and it seems I will now need to adjust my watering schedule. They were watered earlier in the day and I also added Bio Bud from general organics to my nutrient regimen. I was initially going to try every three days - and I water with nutes each feed. But I may switch to watering on a 4 day schedule - 1 day watering with nutes, one day off, then a watering day with plain water, one day off, and then repeating the cycle. It's clear that they need more water than every 4 days at this point though.


Day 70:

Day 73:

Day 76:

Leaves have been turning yellow, particularly on the back plant - the Girl Scout cookies plant. She seems to be burning through her store of nitrogen. My nutes that I’m supplementing my super soil with have nitrogen too so I’m not sure why that is. The Blue Monster is yellowing just a little bit but is mostly lush green still. It’s also been a little darker shade of green throughout the grow though. The BM is also super icy already, and the GSC is getting there but not quite. Looks like I am approaching week 6 of flower at this point, so another 3-4 weeks to go before harvest. I’ll be giving nutes for about another 2-3 weeks and then flushing for last 2 weeks. I should also note, those pollen sack appearing structures never returned and I’m thinking perhaps I was incorrect about what they represented. Either way, the plants have not shown any more evidence of hermeing.


This is just a pic which shows the differences in color between the two plants. BM just much more green still although she’s also been greener than the GSC throughout the grow.


Day 84:

Day 86:

Day 89:

Day 90: I think I should be close to harvest... right? Maybe another week? I have about 40-50% red pistils and a lot of cloudy trichomes. On the back plant, the Girl Scout cookies, she’s showing some amber trichomes on her sugar leaves too, although it could be the lights... hard to tell. What do you think?
Last edited:


Pretty plants! Nice first effort👍
Recommend you spend $10 on a 60 x Loop and check the trichomes, it's the best way, shame to come this far and harvest early, or late!
Top Bottom