Kellogg Patio-Plus soil; GrowMore Sea Grow fert; household LED lightbulbs; scrog

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Sep 26 (DAY 30) continued...
Additional info to last post's "advice to anyone wanting to continue this grow..."
I mentioned some mixtures of Alaska Fish & Morbloom. I referred to "parts." But, to be precise, you should think of it as ppms. For example, I said:
  • "5 parts AK Fish mixed with 1 part AK Morbloom is a 1.54-1-1 NPK ratio." That would be 159ppm fish & 72ppm morbloom (total 231ppm)
  • "1 to 2 (fish to morbloom) is a 1-1.33-1.33 ratio." That should be 95 ppm fish & 108ppm morbloom (total 203ppm)
  • "1 to 1 is 1-2.45-2.45 ratio." That should be 63ppm fish & 144ppm morbloom (total 208ppm)
  • "1 part morbloom to 8 parts fish is 2.08-1-1 NPK ratio." That should be 45ppm morbloom & 159ppm fish (total 203ppm).
I should have stressed how volume measurements (parts) from the bottles can produce different results. It's really about the PPMs. Add small amounts to get the right PPMs. After doing that a few times, you'll know about how much volume produces how much strength. It doesn't have to be precise. But, if you mixed 5ml fish to 1ml morbloom, you might get something considerably different because the fish could be twice as strong as the labeled strength. It's important to focus on PPMs first, and get an idea of how much volume produces an amount of PPMs.

I transplanted into slightly richer soil this time because the previous mix was drying quite fast. The new soil is:

Kellogg Cactus - Kellogg Patio Plus - perlite - vermiculite​
6.5 parts: 1-4-0.5-1 (15.4% 61.5% 7.7% 15.4%)​
Dolomite: 15.62g/gal (5/8 Tbsp or 1-7/8 tsp).​
Gypsum: 0.615g/gal​
DE: 0.615g/gal​
[Note: those last two amounts aren't as precisely planned as they sound. I mixed 3.25 gallons of soil. I added 2g of gypsum & diatomatious earth. That turns out to be 0.615g/gal. I added gypsum & DE for no real reason. Another "betting on every horse in the race." Just trying to improve the soil a bit more.]​

For reference: When I transplanted last time, I used:

5 parts: 1-3-0.5-0.5 (20% 60% 10% 10%)​
Dolomite: 6g/gal (1/4 Tbsp)​

That mix has been working really well. I'd definitely use it again if the new mix didn't work right. The new mix has less sand (cactus), less perlite, more vermiculite. About the same rich/dirt Patio Plus. I'm hoping it dries slower.

Note: I think I may have used too much perlite previously because I'm used to Kellogg Patio Plus not having much. (See post #2 <<link for a photo of what it used to be like.). The new bag I bought looks like this:
Kellogg patio plus1
Kellogg patio plus2

If you look at the photos of the Patio Plus I used to get (post #2), there was almost no perlite (and it was more forest/wood chips). That didn't register with me until I got further into this grow. I was thinking "add a lot of perlite" from experience.

FWIW: the 1-4-0.5-1 mix that I transplanted into today looks like this:
1 4 05 1 K Cactus K PatioPlus perlite verm1

1 4 05 1 K Cactus K PatioPlus perlite verm2

The containers I used are Dillen 140 (5-3/4" tall x 5" square top x 3-3/4" square bottom). They hold 1600ml to the top edge. About 1400ml (47 fl oz) to a more normal (recessed) soil level. I think they're essentially 1/2-gal trade containers (which never hold 1/2 gallons. More like 1.3 quarts.).

The containers aren't much larger than the 20oz seedling'ish cups the plants were in. The roots have 1" down & 1" all four sides to expand into. I could have transplanted into these when I transplanted into the 20oz containers. But, at that time I was uncertain about the soil. (The small seedlings weren't doing well in the 2-1-1 mix of cactus, patio plus & perlite. I wasn't sure how the new idea for soil would work.).

I drenched the transplants with a mild bloom nutrient solution. Water was 141ppm (RO & tap). Added 119 ppm of Alaska MorBloom. (Total 260ppm).

After transplanting:
These were the plants after transplanting, and tying down the main growth shoots:
Day 29 transplanted top

In the tent, with the scrog frame visible:
Day 29 transplanted side1

Day 29 transplanted side2

I added two more 9w (60w equiv) bulbs on the right side for coverage:
Day 29 transplanted lights

I have 1/2" PVC pipe with "T" fittings that are cut off, and slide along the top & bottom frames. That gives me a pseudo "tent leg" to mount the lights to. That's what you see on the right side.

I should note: I'm not being precise when describing the 9w A19 bulbs. I'm using 8w Phillips from 4 years ago. Or, 8.5w GE Basic (a year ago). Or, new Philips are 9.5w. Generally, they're 60w-equiv. I call it all 9w. I'm not keeping track of each bulb.

Now I'm using:
2 8w 5000k A19 - on the arms (front & back)​
1 11w 5000K GE Basic PAR38 (Lowes) - on right arm​
1 8.8w 2700K Phillips BR40 (Home Depot) - in the center​
1 8.8ww 5000K Phillips BR40 (Home Depot) - one left arm​
4 8.5w 2700k A19 - on the tent legs​
520 ppfd center​
460 ppfd sides​

Next steps:
I was planning to grow in that 2x2' space (in a 2x4' tent). The plants are already taking up much of that space. I may spread them out and scrog the entire 2x4' tent.

It's hard to know what to do. I wish they'd show sex soon. If there were 1-2 males, the 2x2' space would work well. If I start scrogging in a 2x4 space, and there are males in the middle, I'm not going to make good use of the lights.

I could switch to 12/12 flower now to make use of the 2x2' space. But, that won't really be a scrog. Just using a screen to flatten the canopy (I won't veg much into the screen).
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Sep 28 (DAY 31)
Two days after transplant (now using full 2x4 tent)

Correction: The last two posts referred to "Sep 26 (Day 30)." That was actually Day 29.

Today I moved the plants into one row across the full 2x4 tent:
Day 31 full tent now

They were too crowded in the 2x2 space (half the tent). It wasn't going to work as a scrog in that space. If I switched to 12/12 now, in that 2x2 space, the net would have just been structural support. It wouldn't have had time to grow into it.

They're even a little crowed side by side. When I begin scrogging, I'll be routing the limbs more to the back and front of the tent. There's quite a bit of open space that way. I could stagger the containers more front/rear. I started to do that now, but the amount of light I'm using right now wouldn't be enough. I needed to keep them together more, or add more lights (which I'll need to do in a day or two anyway.).

I had a Botanicare "low tide" tray (48.375” x 14.5” x 3.75”) which I bought 5 years ago to something like this, but never used it. It fits the 4' long tent, sitting between the bottom frame bars. The top lip of the tray pushes the side of the tent out a little. But, it basically fits. (It doesn't use all the front-to-back space. But, for scrogging it doesn't have to.). I put two layers of cardboard under the right side. One layer under the center. That should create slight tilt so the runoff will collect at the left end. I'll suction it out.

Now that I'm using the entire tent, I was thinking I'd like to transplant one more time. I have 6" square containers, 7" tall (Hydrofarm #HG60123 Net Planter). That would add a little more soil. But, seeing them lined up, I think the way it is now is good enough. (They're in Hydrofarm #HG5SQPOT, which are 5" square, 5-3/4" tall.).

To me it looks like I should lace the screen soon (couple days) and switch to flower in a week or so. They're filling in the space pretty good.

It might have been interesting to transplant them into a large shared container (a tote of some kind, with drainage holes drilled). I think that would have worked better for scrogging in this space. Maybe two smaller totes (3 plants in each). Something that would fit in the runoff tray. Or, would fit in custom-made runoff trays, like that last one I was using (a tote cutoff at 3" tall). If I do this again, I'll spend time looking for totes that would work one of these ways.

I added another fixture to the right side of the tent (same homemade fixture I was using on the left side):
Day 31 lights two tubulars

The four leg-mounted lights (I was using) are turned off. I'm only using 5 bulbs on the left, 5 on the right (only the top fixtures).

4 8w 2700k Phillips A19 (Home Depot) - two arms each fixture​
2 11w 5000K GE Basic PAR38 (Lowes) - one arm each fixture​
2 8.8w 2700K Phillips BR40 (Home Depot) - in the center of each fixture​
2 8.8w 5000K Phillips BR40 (Home Depot) - one arm each fixture​
450 ppfd centers​
400 ppfd perimeter​

It's going to need more light soon (maybe even now). They aren't large plants, but they're taking up more horizontal space. You have to keep these 60w-equiv bulbs low for the right ppfd. Raising them for coverage lowers the PPFD. So, maybe tomorrow I'll turn on some leg-mounted bulbs. Or, use a "Y" splitter socket to turn one top fixture socket into two bulbs. That would be a good way to get more light. (I could also use 14w bulbs, 100w equiv. Be able to raise the fixtures a little for more coverage.).

I have an old Blackstar blurple UFO. I think it was called 135w, but draws 90w actual. That was one of my favorite LED growlights. I almost used it on that right side of the tent. That might be interesting to use it in one half, and lightbulbs in the other half. Definitely would be easier to use than individual bulbs.

Next steps
I'll have to feed this evening or in the morning. I think they're hungry from the transplant (which was just 120ppm of Morbloom (0-10-10). No nitrogen.). I bet they explode in growth again when I feed them. Since this is no longer a hardware store grow, I'm mixing Armor Si (silica), Liquid Karma (fulvic acid), and a high'ish-N Sea Grow + Alaska Fish. This is the way I usually feed. I bet they'll like it.

If that feeding goes well, I'll probably lace the screen in a day or two and start growing them horizontally that way. (The tie-downs are about at the end of their usefulness. Some of the branches extend further than tying to the lip of the container. I'd have to use weights sitting outside the containers. At that point, I might as well use the screen.).


Sep 29 (DAY 32)
First feed after transplant (three days after transplant)

I targeted ratio 1.7-1-1.74.

Gen Hydro ArmorSi (0-0-4). Want 64 ppm.​
GrowMore Sea Grow All Purpose (16-16-16). Want 100ppm.​
Pennington Alaska Fish (5-1-1). Want 55ppm.​
Botanicare Liquid Karma (0.1-0.1-0.5). Want 7ppm.​

You can't really control the PPMs that closely. I go back and figure out the actual ratio created using the result PPMs.

However, something strange happened with Liquid Karma. (More about that in a moment.).

Starting water = 124ppm (RO & tap)​
Added ?ml/gal Gen Hydro Armor Si for 62ppm​
Added 0.945g/gal GrowMore Sea Grow All Purpose for 103ppm increase. Total increase over water: 165ppm.Total ppm: 289.​
Correction to last feeding: I said I added "0.5118g/gal." That was actually the amount I added to 1830ml of water. That comes out to be 1.057g/gal (110ppm).
Added ?ml/gal fish emulsion for 48ppm increase. Total increase over water: 213ppm. Total ppm: 337.​

This is where things got strange. I expected to add 1.2mL/L (5mL/gal) Liquid Karma. I usually do this after adding the nutrients. Like sugar or molasses, I don't check the PPMs. Liquid Karma has such a low NPK content, it should add only 7ppm. Because I'm documenting this grow so much, I checked the PPMs. Wow. It added 90ppm. I don't think I even added the total 1.2mL/L. I stopped at 90ppm, concerned something wasn't right. (More on this topic in a moment).

Added 1/4 tsp/gal unsulfured molasses. Just to treat the soil microbes.​

Runoff: 1420ppm (into tray with no dried residue. First feeding in the full-length tray.). The transplant soil had over twice as much dolomite (5/8 Tbsp instead of 1/4. Plus some gypsum & diatomaceous earth.). Perhaps the high runoff PPM was from that washing out the first time. (When I transplanted, I poured the runoff back into the soil to ensure it was soaked. I didn't have much discarded runoff in the end.).​

Liquid Karma post-mortem
As I said, I always add this last, and never check the PPMs. To me, it's more of a "beneficals" thing (like sugar or molasses), not adding salts (to any significant degree, per the bottle's label.). Perhaps I've always been adding this much and not realizing it.

But: the quart bottle I have, I've been refilling it from a gallon jug I bought 5-6 years ago. The quart bottle was almost empty. The gallon jug had half a quart left. I discarded what I'd been using, and used up the remainder of the gallon jug. Maybe what was in the jug went bad(?).

I bought a new quart of Liquid Karma today. Plus, I've been wanting to get out of Botanicare's products (now that they're part of the Hawthorne/Scotts/Monsanto/Satan's left knee conglomerate.). So, I also ordered GrowMore's Amber Humic. I'm going to alternate between the two. (I don't want to switch abruptly. I've used LK for 8 years. I should give it some time, see how GrowMore's product compares. That's the only reason I bought another quart of LK. Just so I can do some comparisons like that. I'm not religiously anti-Botanicare/Monsanto. I'd rather support a more independent company. But, not if it doesn't perform as well as I'm used to.).

Anyway, I'm not really sure what NPK ratio I ended up creating. If I don't count Liquid Karma's contribution, I created: 1.63-1-1.72 (221ppm). Counting Liquid Karma: 1.47-1-2.52 (310ppm). I'm not sure what those LK PPMs came from, if they count the same way as the bottle's label would suggest, etc.

I'm curious to see what the new bottle does when I feed again (probably tomorrow). I figured the 1.2mL/L which I intended to add would create 20-40 ppm (more than the calculated 7ppm.). I think that's what I've seen long ago when I checked the final PPM. I always assumed it had something to do with enzymes, minerals in the fulvic/humic acids. (I don't know.). But, 90 ppm made me nervous.

AK Fish is like that too. I get twice the PPMs that the bottle's numbers would calculate to. I go by PPMs added, not the amount given. But, if enzymes/proteins and stuff contribute PPMs, maybe it's not twice as strong (as I've assumed it to be). That's what worried me about LK yesterday. I thought I was giving 11 times stronger than it's supposed to be. Not merely twice as strong.

Sep 30 (DAY 33)
24 hours after first feed (which was three days final transplant)

Plants 1-3:
Day 33 24 hours after 1st feed 1 3

Plants 4-6. One plant has curled leaf edges. It had too much fan blowing on it 2-3 days ago. I think that caused it.
Day 33 24 hours after 1st feed 4 6

Plants 1-6:
Day 33 24 hours after 1st feed top

Day 33 24 hours after 1st feed side

Last night, about 6 hours after feeding (1 hour before lights out), they looked bad. I was afraid I'd hurt them with the Liquid Karma. I actually considered flushing. They were very droopy, twisted leaves. The lateral training I'm doing made them look even worse. This morning, 2-3 hours after lights on, they looked very perky & healthy, leaves praying toward the light. (I should have taken a photo last night. It was a very big difference. Before/after photos would have been startling.).

The towels are wet, to improve the humidity (from 33% to 40%). I could have bowl of water, and lay the ends of the towels in it. They would wick water and stay wet longer. Either way, I think this helps in my dry environment. The plants always look better when I do this. (When I started this grow, I was having 20% humidity in the house.).

I'm going to have to install the screen soon (tomorrow or the next day). They're getting crowded side-by-side. I'll have to stagger the plants (front/rear), which will initially make the light usage less efficient.

As noted in one of the photos: yesterday (before feeding) I replaced the front & rear 9w A19 2700k bulbs (in the metal reflectors) with 16w A19 2700K bulbs (some old GE BrightStik bulbs I've used since 2014-15?). A total of 4 bulbs were changed. I moved the sockets further out from the center of the fixture, shining more at a side angle into the plants. This gives more coverage with a reasonable intensity. These bulbs are 100w-equivalent. The bulbs I replaced are 60w-equiv.

Tomorrow, perhaps I'll replace the two furthest side bulbs with 100w-equiv. I feel like those sides aren't getting adequate light.

When I put the plants under the screen, and stagger the containers (front/back), I may replace the remaining bulbs with 100w equiv, and raise the fixtures to get more coverage. Or, go back to 60w-equiv & and turn on the leg-mounted bulbs (to get better coverage closer to the plants.).

4 16w 2700k GE BrightStik (old) - two arms (front & back) each fixture​
2 11w 5000K GE Basic PAR38 (Lowes) - one arm each fixture​
2 8.8w 2700K Phillips BR40 (Home Depot) - in the center of each fixture​
2 8.8w 5000K Phillips BR40 (Home Depot) - one arm each fixture​
490 ppfd centers​
440 ppfd perimeter​

I like the BR40 bulbs. Their large diameter gives good coverage. Home Depot's "EcoSmart" brand has a 14-16w BR40 which should be like a 100w-equiv omni bulb (in a reflector). I might get some of those. I feel like Philips brand bulbs work better (maybe better quality light). But, they only have 18-20w BR40s (at least at my local store). I think that might be too intense. Maybe in mid- to late-flower it would be good.

Trivia: The number (BR40, PAR38, BR30, A21, A19) refers to the diameter of the bulb in units of 1/8". So, an A19 is 2-3/8" diameter. BR40s are 5" diameter.


Oct 2 (DAY 35)
Fed (and more info about how I calculate what I feed)

I fed 3 days after the last feeding. The roots are still filling in the container, apparently. Or, that last potting mix I made is heavier (which I wanted. The prior mix was drying too fast for my taste.).

I thought I would post the feeding info now (without the "24 hours after" photos). Instead I'll include some info about how I reckon the details of my feedings.

I use a spreadsheet[1] which lets me dial in the PPMs & NPK Ratio (mixing various products to get where I want to be). This screenshot shows the essentials of using it.
Steps to use

That screenshot shows what I targeted for today's feeding:

I targeted NPK ratio 1.7-1-1.72 at 224ppm​
Gen Hydro ArmorSi (0-0-4). Want 64 ppm.​
GrowMore Sea Grow All Purpose (16-16-16). Want 100ppm.​
Pennington Alaska Fish (5-1-1). Want 55ppm.​
Liquid Karma (0.1-0.1-0.5). Want 5ppm.​

You can't realistically control the PPMs that closely. I go back and figure out the actual ratio created using the PPMs I actually added. This is what I actually fed:

Starting water = 165ppm (RO & tap)​
Added 1.096mL/L Gen Hydro Armor Si for 50ppm (total ppm 215)​
Added 0.252g/L GrowMore Sea Grow All Purpose for 96ppm increase. Total increase over water: 146ppm. Total ppm: 311.​
Added 0.548ml/L fish emulsion for 59ppm increase. Total increase over water: 205ppm. Total ppm: 370.​
Added 0.301mL/L Botanicare Liquid Karma for 14ppm increase. Total increase over water: 219ppm. Total ppm: 384.​

Added 1/4 tsp/gal unsulfured molasses. Just to treat the soil microbes.​

Runoff: 1110ppm (into tray with dried residue from last runoff.). This runoff looks better than the last feeding. I don't mind 1400ppm runoff. But, it seemed a little too soon last time. I would expect that in late transition, mid flower.​

Based upon the amount of PPMs I actually added, I went back to the spreadsheet to determine that I created a NPK ratio 1.75-1-1.7 (at 219ppm). That's a trivial difference. I don't usually go back and figure it it out unless I'm documenting the grow.

A few notes about that feeding:
  1. I switched to describing the amounts fed as "per liter." Previous feedings described "per gallon." To convert the above to gallon, multiply the amounts by 3.78541.
  2. The new bottle of Liquid Karma produces PPMs that are more like I expected (3 times higher than the label calculates to. Not 12 times higher like that 5-year old stuff I used last time.). The old stuff was probably good. It didn't smell bad. I think maybe the cap hadn't sealed well. Maybe it evaporated (becoming stronger). I could have probably kept using it, but small amounts. This feeding, I used less (ppms than I intended) of the new bottle, just to start slow. I'd like to see how this looks, then feed Karma stronger. I also have GrowMore's Amber Humic on the way. I want to compare it too (weak and strong). I'll probably do that over 2-3 grows.
  3. The Gen. Hydro Armor Si is producing fewer PPMs than the label calculates to. It's also about 5 years old. Maybe it's precipitated out of solution. I'm going to buy Agsil 16H. I've been wanting to do that for a long time, but had a gallon of this stuff to work through. I think I'm going to call that quits too, and switch to Agsil. Gen Hydro's part of the Hawthorne/Scotts/Monsanto uber corporate world, like Botanicare. This is the only GH product I use. So, I can be Satan-free with Agsil. Plus it's a dry product. No long-term storage concerns.
I'll post "24 hours after feeding" tomorrow. The lights are still the same. I still think I'll need to lace the screen soon. They should grow a lot after this feeding. I'll know more about the screen tomorrow.

[1] The spreadsheet is available for download here <<link. That page explains more about how to use it. I hope it's ok to provide that link. (The spreadsheet is safe. No macros. It's just ordinary cell formulas). I've been using it for 6 years, and automatically think in these terms (NPK ratios, PPMs of each product.). The how-tos for the "fixtures" I use (with household LED lightbulbs) are there too.


Oct 3 (DAY 36)
24 hours after feeding

Plants 1-3 (left side):
Day 36 1 to 3

Plants 4-6 (right side):
Day 36 4 6

Day 36 all

I'm liking how they look. I was hoping the MiracleGro fertilizer would work this well. The yellowing older leaves are from the early struggles with MG. If I hadn't had that experience, I might attribute these to insufficient light. (I do feel I'm on the border of not enough light.). I try not to pluck leaves. I wait till they either drop by themselves, or little movement causes them to drop. I only deliberately remove/pull on a dead leaf it's crispy and still firmly attached. I figure until it's crispy like that, a leave still still contains something useful (even if only in the stem).

I'll probably create the screen tomorrow. I'll probably feed tomorrow, then do it.

After taking the above photos, I tied down the new growth further. It's pretty much at it's limit doing it this way. The lateral growth is long enough it will be immediately route'able under the screen.

I've got a lot of shoots happening. This will be interesting to see how it blooms (how many strong buds). I'm still unclear about the "proper" way to scrog. I've read that the undergrowth should be removed. But, I've never been a fan of defoliating. I'm just planning to leave the plant natural except for that topping (done a few days ago). I'm just going to use the screen to keep whatever's naturally growing spread out laterally. I'm not going to try to "spur more growth" by defoliating the lower part of the plants. (I'll wait and see what it looks like. Maybe it will be so dense on top that the lower part won't get enough light. Maybe defoliation will make sense later.).

The lights haven't changed since last described (I still haven't added the 14-16w 100w-equiv bulbs to the left & right end of the tent). After re-tying down the new growth, I'm definitely getting into the "not enough light" territory. There's enough sq ft to cover that the lights I have now aren't enough. I'm trying to decide whether make them higher intensity (and raise the two top fixtures for more coverage). Or, go back to 9w 60w-equiv bulbs in the fixtures, and turn on the leg-mounted lights. I'll wait to see what it looks like tomorrow, assuming I'll install the screen then. I think that will definitely be the time to increase the lights.

Still no signs of sex. I might have seen something on #3 today. I was hoping a male would show itself by now. I think this is something of a downside to scrogging. Once I tie the branches into the screen, if a male appears in the middle, I can remove him, but won't be able to reposition the plants to fill the hole. (But, the way I made the scrog frame, I think it might be possible to unlace the screen in the affected area, and slide plants on the side into the center, then re-lace. This would leave a bundle of twine unused between a couple plants. I could twist-tie that into a clean clump.).
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Oct 4 (DAY 37)
Feed & install scrog screen


I don't usually feed as high N for as long as the past feedings. I thought I would reduce N a little. I targeted NPK ratio: 1.45-1-1.72 (221ppm).

Gen Hydro ArmorSi (0-0-4). Want 67 ppm.​
GrowMore Sea Grow All Purpose (16-16-16). Want 112ppm.​
Pennington Alaska Fish (5-1-1). Want 37ppm.​
Liquid Karma (0.1-0.1-0.5). Want 5ppm.​
Starting water = 116ppm (RO & tap)​
Added 1.427mL/L Gen Hydro Armor Si for 61ppm​
Added 0.312g/L GrowMore Sea Grow All Purpose for 112ppm increase.​
Added 0.364mL/L fish emulsion for 37ppm increase.​
Added 0.559mL/L Botanicare Liquid Karma for 20ppm increase. Total increase over water: 230ppm. Total ppm: 346.​
Added 1/4 tsp/gal unsulfured molasses. Just to treat the soil microbes.​
Runoff: 1120ppm (into tray with dried residue from last runoff.).​
The actual ppms added (for each product) was close enough that the resulting NPK ratio wasn't much different than what I targeted. (It came out to be 1.43-1-1.83).

Scrog screen
I removed all the tie-down strings I had on the branches. (I was using 35.). I installed the scrog screen:
Day 37 scrog installed

The strings are 11-1/2" above the bottom of the containers (the tray floor). About 6-7" above the soil level. This is confusing to me. I've read the screen should be higher, and the plants grow upwards more into it. But, these are small containers. The plants will be rootbound soon. I think I might be expecting too much from that already.

I would have liked to drop the screen lower, and begin tucking the limbs now. But, I need some height underneath to be able to water/feed. I think this is a good balance. But, I worry the containers aren't large enough for the amount of growth I think it's going to need to do this.

The plants are staggered rear/forward.

Some details about the screen. This shows the corner, which is PVC elbow fitting:
Day 37 elbow leg

I drilled a 5/8" diameter hole through the top and bottom of the elbow (using a step drill). The scrog frame slides up/down the tent legs. I use some 5/8 ID (7/8" OD) tube (slit down the side to slip over the legs). It grips the legs enough to hold the frame. But, if I press down on the frame with much pressure, it moves. So, I put pipe clamps on the vinyl tubes to lock the frame in place. The vinyl tubes protect the legs from the clamps marring them.

The way I loop the string around screws, that could force the PVC pipes to rotate (letting the string go slack). I "pin" the pipe and elbow together using that #8 x 5/8" long machine screw. (When you drill that hole, you basically "key" that pipe's end to that side of that elbow. I.e., you should mark each elbow (and pipe end) so you know which go together, so you can put them back together whenever used again (with the screw holes lined up).

The elbows being fixed to the legs means it can be hard to fit the pipes into the sockets. I did this:
Day 37 tilt bend to fit

Pull one elbow down, push the other up (create more distance between them). Then bow/flex the pipe to get the ends into the elbows. When you return the elbows to their positions, they seat fully.

PVC fittings have tapered sockets. The pipe won't fully seat unless you cut slots in the end, to allow it to "give" with the taper:
Day 37 slotted pipe end

If you don't cut those slots, not only will the pipe not fully seat, but it will probably bind when you try to force it further into the fitting. When that happens, you probably won't be able to pull the pipe out. You need just enough slot length that it will seat without having to force it.

Remain unchanged. Lights went out 2 hours after setting up the scrog screen. I'll wait till tomorrow to finalize the screen height & plant positions. Then I'll add some more light.
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Oct 5 (DAY 38)
Morning after feed & scrog (still pondering how best to scrog); some lights added

After sleeping on it, and sitting at the tent this morning ruminating (I lowered the left-front of the screen 1" as part of my conceptualizing), I'm strongly leaning towards transplanting into the slightly larger containers I spoke of a few days ago.

The current containers are only 5-3/4" tall (5" square top, 3-3/4" square bottom). I feel conflicted about

1. The screen should be about as high as it is now (to work within my 4' tall tent, but the plants lack the amount of soil to grow up into that (and fill out the screen, and flower well in that small'ish amount of soil).

2. Versus: I wasn't planning to grow this much. I just wanted to do a quick demo of the things (most of which I'm not doing now. Only 15-20% cactus mix. No MiragleGro fertilizer. No CMH lighting. This has turned into more of how I normally grow. It's turning into making the most of the plants I have. Not a quick demo of how well the plants do with something else.). Now that I keep going further (the full tent, instead of half the tent), I think those containers aren't ideal. I feel a little rushed on the topic because they're going to become locked into the screen (soon). I only transplanted Day 29 (10 days ago). Seems early to transplant again. If I wait as I normally would, then the plants will be locked more into the screen (I think).

The new containers I would use are only 1" taller, and 1" wider. That doesn't seem like a lot (not worth the effort. I should have transplanted into these containers 10 days ago. I was still thinking I'd use half the tent then.).

I took this photo this morning showing the prospective containers positioned pretty much how the existing containers are positioned:
Day 38 topdown with larger containers

That gives some hint of how they'd fit into that space. I was previously thinking they'd be too crowded. But, now that I see the existing (smaller Hydrofarm HG5SQPOT) three containers staggered (forward/back), under the screen, etc., I'm thinking it would work better to transplant into these Hydrofarm HG60123 containers.

I would raise the screen a little for the 1" taller containers. That would feel better in terms of accessing the containers for watering. That wouldn't impact my 4' tall tent much.

I'm leaning that direction. I'm going to think about it until tomorrow morning when it would be suitable to transplant (the soil would dry more). I can lower the screen for now & use it to continue training the growth laterally. I can pull the plants out and replace them under the screen after just 1-2 days of growth. No problem.

I've never scrogged before. It's a lot of new stuff to think about on the fly. If anyone is experienced with scrogging and has thoughts, I'll welcome that input.

If I knew I was going to do this, I would have used the past week to look at large18x20" storage tubs to plant three plants into. It could be a shallow 6" height tub. That would be more shared soil. No need for individual containers when the plants will be locked in under the screen. I don't want to run around crazy today trying to find something. I think the only option now will be to use these slightly larger containers. (I could have done better if I had anticipated this.).

More photos. Plants 1-3:
Day 38 1 3

Plants 4-6:
Day 38 4 6

Day 38 all

BTW: I plucked some of the yellowest, lowest leaves yesterday when I fed and laced the screen. I figured I was locking them in at that point, and it would be easier to do then. If I knew I was still in a "not yet" mode, I might have left those leaves. (I really don't like removing leaves. I think they remain useful somehow until they're really ready to drop themselves.).

I added four 9w (60w-equiv) bulbs. One to the left-front tent leg. One to the right-rear tent leg. One each to the front and rear center pseudo tentlegs (the PVC pipes I use as tent legs to mount lights to).

Nothing else has changed. I.e., I still have two corner tent legs to turn lights on. And, I'm still running four 14w (100w equiv) bulbs in the top fixture.

I plan on swapping those 14w back to 9w since I'll have better coverage around the sides now. But, since the plants have been a little in the "not enough light" realm the past couple days (especially yesterday as I worked with the light raised), I thought I would let them have an abundance for a day or two (in case they're preparing to be stretchy as a result).
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Aqua Man

Aqua Man

Long time no see. Not sure how I missed this. Looking great man


Oct 5 (DAY 38) continued...
Found a tote (multi-plant container)

Looking online, I saw some plastic tote/storage at Home Depot which might work as multi-plant containers. I went to look more closely. Found a cheap blue 20-gal SKU: 1004-691-322 <<link. The bottom-outside dimensions are 18-1/2" x 12". I think that will sit inside my Botanicare low-tide tray. It's 12-1/2" across at the bottom. If it doesn't fit, I can use the Hefty 8.5gal/34qt clear tote I found at Lowes, which I cut down to use as a runoff tray (shown & discussed Day 21 <<link). This will definitely fit in that. (I can go back to Lowes and get a 2nd one for the other half of the tent. Two runoff trays instead of one long one I'm using.).

I'm looking forward to doing this because they'll have about twice as much soil than they would if transplanted into the slightly larger individual containers. Plus, one plant drinks faster. The soil dries sooner. If it shares soil with two plants, that might be more stable across all of them.

Other possible ideas if anyone's inspired to use totes as trays (and containers):

- Home Depot had a black 55gal HDX brand SKU 0000-207-585 which measured 38" long x 14" wide at (inside bottom). That would make a very good runoff tray for my 2x4' tent. I'm using a Botanicare low-tide tray (discussed Day 31 <<link). That measures (inside bottom) 12-1/2" x 47". That's a little narrow, and longer than you need (you'd never put soil a container at the left/right edges of it. They'd exist a few inches away from the sides of the tent.). So, that Home Depot tote would be front-to-back wider (which would would be better), and still left/right wide enough. You'd have 5" gap each side. That would definitely be good. It cost about $15 USD. That's a bargain. If I had to buy my Scotts/Botanicare tray today, it probably costs $120-150. Most of it would be shipping.

All you have to do is mark 4" from the bottom. Use masking tape to connect the marks (creating a visible straight edge). Then use a jig saw (fine blade) to cut along the tape. (Drill a hole on the waste side of the line to get the jigsaw blade started in.).

I could go back and buy one of those if my Botanicare tray proves to be too narrow for these blue totes I plan to use as containers. This HDX tray would work great with those.

- Home Depot has some black (yellow lid) HDX brand "Tough Storage" totes in different sizes (all the same design. Lowes sells the exact same totes branded "Commander."). That's actually what I went to look at. The 17gal (SKU: 1001240215) looked like it would fit inside the 27gal (SKU: 207585). I confirmed it will, but not much free space between them. Maybe 3/4" around the sides. Enough to hold some runoff. But, you'd have to suction it out quickly so the soil/roots don't sit in that too long.

Bottom line: You could cut the 27gal down to 4" tall (runoff tray). Cut the 17gal down to 7"(?) to use as a multi-plant container. It would fit inside that tray, with some space around the edges. They have some criss-cross embossed grooves in the base. That would let the runoff go into that recessed area. Also, the soil-containing one could have drain holes drilled in its recessed grooves so that they wouldn't be blocked by what it sits on, better aeration. (I'd still drill some on the lowest surface too so water wouldn't collect inside those.).

Two 27gals would fit in the 2x4 tent (one left side, one right side). They would extend entire across the tent (left wall to the right wall). They'd be a little deeper (front to back) than the Botanicare low-tide tray. So, those would make good runoff trays, like the Hefty I was using (which I got at Lowes, mentioned above).

The 17gal would hold more soil than the blue 20gal which I bought. (The 17gal is longer/wider, not as much height. That's why it's labeled as less total volume than the 20gal. If both were cutoff, say 6" to be containers, the 17gal would hold more soil. It's larger at the bottom.).

The reason I didn't go with these two is that it seemed to be too much soil (unnecessary). I think the blue 20gal will a good size for what I'm doing. If I had a 5' tall tent (especially a 7'), I would have gone with this larger 27 & 17gal. With my 4' tall tent, I don't think I'd use all that soil. I'm not going to veg long enough. Not letting them get too high beneath the screen.

Hopefully there's no problems with them having toxic plastic characteristics (leaching). I've never heard of plastic plant containers being a concern that way. I assume these totes won't be. I've seen other growers use them as containers.
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Oct 6 (DAY 39) preparing to transplant into totes
I just want to get some details posted & out of the way. I'll post photos of the transplant later today.

Mixed transplant soil.
I bought a new bag of Kellogg Patio Plus yesterday since I need to make more volume for the totes. This new bag is the consistency I'm used to (photo shown in Post #2 <<link). It's more wood, shaggy, less perlite than the last bag I had (photo shown in Post #21 <<link). It's darker. That last bag was more like Pro-Mix HP's consistency & appearance (peat & perlite).

So, I mixed this new soil with more perlite than I did in Post 21. This time I mixed 1-4-1.5-1 parts (cactus - patio plus - perlite - vermiculte). Last time (post 21) I did 1-4-0.5-1.

This is a photo of the mix this time:
1 4 15 1 K Cactus Patio Plus perlite vermiculite1

1 4 15 1 K Cactus Patio Plus perlite vermiculite2

I added 13% less dolomite, gypsum & DE compared to the mix on Day 21.

Dolomite: 13.54g/gal (1/2 Tbsp or 1-1/2 tsp).​
Gypsum: 0.533g/gal​
DE: 0.533g/gal​

Basically, I added the same amount of those things, but the volume of soil mix I created was 15% more. (7.5 total scoops instead of 6.5 scoops last time, due to the added perlite). I was too lazy to add more dolomite, gypsum and DE to maintain the same "per gallon" proportions.

Concern about this new mix:
I've used Patio Plus as 20-25% of my mix for years. Now I'm using it at 60%. I mentioned earlier that I was nervous that it would supply too much nutrients in the soil (NPK label says 0.30-0.10-0.10. That's pretty strong.). I was surprised that it didn't seem to. But, now I wonder if that was due to the freak bag I got. It didn't smell rich. It literally was like Pro-Mix HP (which has almost no nutrients).

So, now I'm worried again. This new bag looks/smells richer, like I'm used to getting. I'll have to be careful the first feeding.

Made the tote soil-container
I cut the container down to be 6-1/2" tall. That's 3/4" taller than the containers I'm using now. 1/2" shorter than the containers I was considering transplanting into.

I drilled 1/4" drainage holes every 2" across the bottom:
Day 39 communal container

I nested the 2nd tote inside this one, and used this one as a "jig" to drill holes in that one. (Just drill through these holes into that tote.).

When drilling, don't push hard like you're drilling into wood. These containers can crack when drilling holes (if you're in a hurry). Push gently, let the heat of the drill help it do the work.

I found a web site talking about growing in plastic totes, and the risk of chemicals (archived <<link). It says plastics stamped 1, 2, 4 or 5 are safe. (Some people will say no plastic is safe. I feel ok about it.).


Oct 6 (DAY 39) continued...
Transplanted (NOT in the tote containers)

I started to transplant in the tote containers, and had some misgivings. It came to mind how the soil might stay wet longer. Plus, I have concerns about the amount of Patio Plus I'm using (which should have manifested itself by now, except I was apparently using a odd bag that might not have had the amount of nutrients I'm accustomed to it having.). I could be putting the plants in a large amount soil which could be stronger (and stay wet longer).

I didn't feel good about that. Plus, I'm started to reach the limits of the size of my tent. I wouldn't have time to work with a problem.

The proceeding 24 hours before transplant felt rushed, making choices in a hurry. I didn't feel good about it. There's already been a few variables in this grow. I should just carry it to the end as is. My style of growing is faster drying which translates into feeding more frequently, able to vary the food more frequently. That's what I've been doing in this grow. I should continue that through flower to demonstrate it. If I switched to large quantity of soil (possibly excessive nutrients in the soil), that change what I've been doing.

Oct 7 (DAY 40)
24 hours after transplant

I took these photos today:
Day 40 front with wide led

Everything looks pretty much the same (and the containers aren't much larger). I mounted the screen 6" above the soil.

Notice the Philips 16w (75w-equiv) 3000k "Wide Surface" I'm playing with. I saw it at Home Depot a couple days ago. I was thinking how I like BR40s because they're so large (diameter), and better coverage. BR40s are 5" diameter. This "wide surface" light is 6" diameter. I'm going to post more about this light in the next post.

Plants 1-3:
Day 40 1 to 3

Plants 4-6
Day 40 4 to 6

I also took a photo of the pipe clamp securing the screen:
Day 40 pipe clamp

I talked about that clamp, but never showed it (there's different kinds of pipe clamps. That's what I used.).

The light are still the same. However, I replaced an old 16w (100w-equiv) 2700k GE Brightstik with that "Wide Surface" LED. There still are three of those BrightStiks being used. All the sockets are in use except the front-left & rear-right. (There are some additional sockets mounted higher on the tent legs. I'm not using any of them, nor plan to since this is a flat grow. I use them to sidelight higher up a traditional/vertical plant.).

The next post will have more info about the "Wide Surface" LED. I'm thinking about flowering one side of the tent under those (entirely 3000k), the other side under my random collection of bulbs (mixture of 2700k & 5000k).
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Oct 7 (DAY 40) continued...
Philips 16w (75w-equiv) 3000k "Wide Surface" LED

I saw this light (Philips 16w, 75w-equiv, 3000k) at Home Depot a couple days ago:
Philips led light bulbs 561654 c3 1000

Lately, I've been liking the BR40 bulbs because they're the widest diameter, providing more coverage (the LEDs are spread out a little more, less focused intensity, more even coverage.). This is 1" larger diameter (6"). I also like how it's so short. Household LED lightbulbs have some length to them which comes from the historic shape codes (A19, BR30, etc.). This bulb isn't recreating a legacy shape. It's more like a panel).

Something else which stood out to me: 3000k.

Some of the best outcomes I've had were using old Cree 19w (90w-equiv) 3000k PAR-38 47-degree floodlights. I recently threw them away. I got them in 2013 or 14. They're pretty old, and not very efficient (mainly because they're glass. You can't cut the front lens off to eliminate that absorption loss. Even if you could, the LEDs were mounted on a short "tower," pointing sideways at the reflector. So, they had reflection loss too.).

Those glass Cree 3000k floods worked really good, despite not being built as advantageously as modern bulbs (able to cut off the diffusion globe to get direct light from the diodes -- which are mounted facing the direction you want the light to go.).

Perhaps those old glass Crees worked well because of their color temperature(?). I don't think mixing 2700k & 5000k bulbs is very good. One plant gets more 2700k. One gets more 5000k. Usually I grow one plant (not a few small ones like this, which exacerbates the problem). I've always assumed a plant somehow averages the spectrum internally. (One side gets warm light, the other side gets cool. Maybe both types of light don't have to hit the same leaf? Maybe the plant deals with it internally? and doesn't care how well mixed it is.). But, maybe it's not that way. Maybe 3000k is why those old bulbs worked so well.

I'm thinking about using 8 of these on one side of the tent during flower (use my 2700k & 5000k bulbs for the other side.). That might be an interesting comparison.

It's relatively easy to remove the diffusion globe (compared to other bulbs). It has 6 tabs glued to the base. I cut through one with a hacksaw. Got fingertips underneath the globe, and pulled hard. They all popped/broke.
Philips wide 1600x1200

The numbers on the box (16 watts & 1150 lumens) didn't sound good. But, I know from experience you can't go by that info. Sometimes a light will use 30% less watts. A light like this (with the LEDs so close to the diffusion globe) might use a more-opaque diffusion globe to obscure the discrete LEDs spaced so far apart. That would cause it to have lower lumens (for the intended use). Remove the diffusion globe, and maybe it's about as good as any other 100w-equiv lightbulb (using 16w, like they often do)?

I have some new Philips 16w (100w-equiv) 2700k A19 bulbs. I thought I would compare this "Wide Surface" bulb to one of these traditional bulbs.

Philips 16w 2700k A19 bulb:
Philips 16w 2700

That's the "PAR chart" (measuring PPFD) with the bulb (the LED surface) 6" above the Apogee meter's sensor (which is about 1" above the grid surface).
  1. I measured the bulb once by itself (just the LEDs shining straight down.
  2. I measured the bulb again with a screw-on reflector. The height of the bulb remained unchanged.
As you can see, the reflector keeps more total light on the 18" square area. (147.5 PPFD compared to 115.3). But, it's much more intense in the center 6" square. It's unclear if that's better. It could be overdriving one part of the plant, underdriving the rest of the plant.

This is why I prefer 9w (60w-equiv) bulbs in reflectors. I can use more bulbs to deliver the same total watts over more surface area. I can have them all closer (since they won't be as intense). I think that creates a phenomenal efficiency because a large loss for light is the inverse square. (Every time you double the distance of the light, you reduce the amount of light by *4 times*). It's a lot of work to string up a many bulbs, and position/aim them, etc. It's a tradeoff between time & convenience versus watts used (heat generated, for me is the issue, in my climate, most of the year).

Anyway, this topic is why I've been liking the BR40 bulbs (5" diameter). Their LEDs are spread out a little more. Their integral reflector is a little wider. They create a more uniform coverage, which means I can have the light closer (which creates incredible efficiency improvements, in my mind anyway).

Phillips 16w 3000k "Wide Surface"
This is the same test (6" to the LED surface):
Philips 16w 3000 6inch

Offhand, that doesn't look as good as the A19 bulb. Fewer entire-area PPFD, using 1 additional watt. However, if you compare to the unreflected A19, that test was more intense in the center 6" square. The 12" square is about the same.

This is something which makes it hard to compare bulbs.

You'd think the same height would be a fair test. But, if you compare this "Wide Surface" bulb to the reflected A19, it really stands out how it's apples/oranges. If I'm willing to have 666 PPFD in the exact center, am I really doing a fair comparison of the "Wide Surface" with only 317 PPFD in the exact center. (Same distance to the LED chips. But, maybe that's not how this "Wide Surface" bulb should work?).

So I did two more tests with the "Wide Surface" bulb lowered to get 411 PPFD (the unreflected A19 at 6") and 666 PPFD (the reflected A19 at 6"). I thought this might be a more valid/comparable test, capitalizing on the inverse-square efficiency (if you have more uniform light and can put it closer):
Philips 16w 3000 35 5inch

Still not quite as good, especially for using 1 more watt.

But, I'm still wondering if the 3000k spectrum could make up for that. I always got good results from those old, inefficiently-constructed Crees. They were lossy by design. This "Wide Surface" bulb has to be putting out more light (no glass in front to absorb the light. Diodes facing forward, no reflection loss).

I'm considering using 8 of these 3000k bulbs during flower, on just one side of the tent (that would be 30w/sq ft. That's a good amount for household LED lightbulbs.). That would be a good comparison (to the other side of the tent, with a mix of 2700 & 4000k).

Philips makes another version of this bulb. It's a 26w (125w-equiv). If the one I tested is any indication, the 26w probably uses 22-23w. If I don't use all 8, this 26w might be a good bulb to use in the center of my top fixtures.That would add some 3000k goodness without putting all my eggs in one basket.

I saw something on the Philips site saying these are considered 120-degree floods. With that throw, that 26w might be good as a perfectly down-throwing light, covering a 2x2 space (with that spectrum. I could use 2700 & 5000k around the perimeter.).
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Oct 9 (DAY 42)
Playing with lights

The last post talked about the Philips 16w (75w-equiv) "Wide Surface" bulb. On the right side of the tent, I replaced one of the 16w GE Brightstick (2850k[1], which I was using in a reflector) with that Wide-Surface. Been watching how the plant (receiving most of that the light) likes it.

I got the 26w (150w-equiv) 3000k "Wide Surface" light too.

Yesterday I ran it in the center of the center of the top fixture (still the right side of the tent):
Day 42 plants 1 3

I only ran one 16w Wide-Surface with it yesterday. The above photo shows two. That's I'm planning to do in flower (two 16w top left & right, 26w top center).

After taking that photo, I went back to the 8.8w BR40 2700k in the top center. I'm still running two 16w Wide Surface 3000k where you see them. I want to see how the plants like it for awhile, before flower.

Yesterday, while I was running the 26w Wide-Surface, I ran a Philips 20w (150w-equiv) BR40 2700k on the left side of the tent (center of that top fixture). I took this photo this morning showing it:

Day 42 plants 4 6

Again, I've gone back to the 8.8w BR40 2700k.

This is 20w BR40 2700k:
Day 42 20w br40 2700k

This is the 26w 3000k Wide-Surface (shown with a 8.8w BR40 2700k):
Day 42 26w 3000k wide surface 88w 2700k BR40

I still don't have a great feeling about those "Wide Surface" bulbs.

It's hard to compare their PPFD measurements. Their total wattage is more like a 100w-equiv bulb (or more). But, the way their LEDs are spaced out over more area, it's more like running two to four 60w-equiv (9w'ish) bulbs.

I've never been able to figure out a fair/meaningful way to compare dissimilar bulbs like this. If you just measure PPFD from the same height for everything, then a 100w-equiv bulb looks better (even though you'd put the 60w-equiv bulb much closer to the canopy). If you measure a larger grid for a more uniform footprint (like these Wide-Surface bulbs), then when you measure a more focused light (like the BR40, or an A19 in a reflector), all those low readings around the edge of the grid would drag that down (i.e., those bulbs would never be used to cover that much space).

I spent a lot of time yesterday measuring these "Wide Surface" bulbs. In some ways they don't compare favorably (to the A19s I'm used to using). But, in other ways maybe they do (maybe they're just different in a way that makes them hard to compare.).

I'm going to give them a shot. A couple years ago, I imagined a lightbulb like this being the "ideal." (More like a flat panel; low profile; capitalizing on legacy/ubiquitous lightbulb "socket" mounting hardware). Back then, I was thinking of what an ideal bulb would be for a small space, cheap lighting. This is exactly it. (I'm just not sure whether the diodes/spectrum are good.).

So, I feel like have a duty to try them (just because I imagined exactly this kind thing.). It's really uncanny. I really did think of this kind of bulb a year or two ago as what I'd like to see. Instead of the diodes concentrated together like the ordinary lightbulb. And, instead of the legacy shapes (which are tall, consume more space). These are actually hard to work with. There's not much to hold onto when screwing them in. It's like trying to screw in a steering wheel. You have to hold it at the edges that way.

This is what I'm planning to do in flower:

Light plan

If the right side doesn't perform as well as the left side, I can make it look like the left side.

If the right side surprises, and looks obviously better, I might do something different on the left. Those "Wide Panels" come in 5000k too. I might replace the A19s with that. I might put one 26w 3000k Wide Surface between them (instead of the 20w 2700k BR14). I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch. But, I've been thinking that mix might be interesting too.

I still haven't fed since the transplant (Day 39, three days ago). The soil's almost dry enough (last I checked a couple hours ago). Probably in an another hour.

They don't look good to me. Seeing some yellowing of lower leaves. But, I think that's because I transplanted/soaked with half-strength bloom nutes (0-10-10. Only 132 ppm added to 116ppm water.). I think they're hungry, need more N now.

OTOH: This could be a good sign that the soil isn't too hot with nutrients. I was worried the new bag of Patio Plus (which looks more like I'm accustomed to) might be different that way (compared to the last bag, which looked like Pro-Mix HP. Not very dirty.). I think it will be safe to feed 220-230 ppm now.

This is how the lights are now, after all my playing running different bulbs for a day or two:
Day 42 lights

- Left side:​
2 - 16w GE Brightstik 2850k in reflectors (top fixture: front & back arms)​
1 - 8.8w Philips BR40 5000k (top fixture: left arm)​
1 - 11w GE Basic PAR38 5000k (top fixture: right arm)​
1 - 8.8w Philips BR40 2700k (top fixture: center)​
2 - 9w A19 2700k in reflectors (tent legs: left-rear, middle-rear.)​
(Left-front tent leg not used).​
- Right side:​
2 - 16w GE Brightstik 2850k in reflectors (top fixture: front & back arms)​
2 - 16w Philips Wide-Surface 3000k (top fixture: left & right arms)​
1 - 8.8w Philips BR40 2700k (top fixture: center)​
2 - 9w A19 2700k in reflectors (tent legs: right-front, middle-front. Note: Middle front is pointing more to the left side of tent since I'm using more watts presently on the right side of the tent.)​
(Right-rear tent leg not used).​

The right side is getting more light. After installing the two 16w "Wide Surface" bulbs, I should replace the bolded 16w Brightstiks with 9w'ish somethings. My goal is to get some advance impression of how well the Wide-Surface bulbs do (before getting into flower). Those higher-watt Brightstiks will give an unfair advantage.

I'll fix that when I feed today.

[1] I may have previously referred to the GE Brightstik as 2700k. They're actually 2850.
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Oct 9 (DAY 42) continued...

I targeted NPK ratio: 1.6-1-1.7 (218ppm). I don't usually feed this much N (as a proportion, this long). I usually bounce up and down between 1 and 1.8. I've been above 1.4 for awhile. I went back up a little this time (to 1.6) because they didn't get any nitrogen when I transplanted. A couple plants (especially #6, far right side of tent) were having some yellow leaves relatively high on the plant.

Gen Hydro ArmorSi (0-0-4). Want 69 ppm.​
GrowMore Sea Grow All Purpose (16-16-16). Want 104ppm.​
Pennington Alaska Fish (5-1-1). Want 46ppm.​
GrowMore Amber Humic (none). Want ?ppm.​
Note: This is the first time I've used Amber Humic. The label has no NPK/guaranteed analysis (unlike Liquid Karma). The label says to use 0.625mL/L for a "low" application. 1.25mL/L for medium. 2.5mL/L for high.​

Starting water = 112ppm (RO & tap)​
Added 1.675mL/L Gen Hydro Armor Si for 69ppm​
Added 0.274g/L GrowMore Sea Grow All Purpose for 103ppm increase.​
Added 0.364mL/L fish emulsion for 44ppm increase.​
Added 0.419mL/L GrowMore Amber Humic for 10ppm increase. Total increase over water: 216ppm (or 226 counting the Amber Humic). Total ppm: 338.​
Note: This is the first time I've used Amber Humic. I gave 2/3 of what's considered "Low" dosage. That gave me 10ppm.​
I forgot to add sugar or unsulfured molasses.​
Runoff: 1120ppm (The tray had *a lot* of dried residue from the transplant. I'm surprised runoff PPMs weren't higher.).​
The actual ppms added (for each product) was close enough that the resulting NPK ratio wasn't much different than what I targeted. (It came out to be 1.59-1-1.71 216ppm + 10ppm for Amber Humic).

Customized Water Can
The scrog screen is about 13" above the tray. The tray has around 3" tall wall. It's hard to water/feed. I added some tubing to my can:

Day 43 spout

I used thin-wall tubing because it's easier to pinch off (to stop the flow). There are other tubes like this which have greater differences between inside & outside diameters (1/8" thick walls). They're rigid, hard to pinch closed. These have a 1/16" thick wall. Soft/flimsy.

Using the larger tube for the entire length allowed too much flow, hard to control. I transitioned it to the narrower tube. That works pretty good. I might try transitioning to the next size down. 3/8" ID (1/2" OD) would fit inside that tube, and be thin wall, easy to work with.

In the previous post I noted how the right side of the tent was getting more light (with four 16w'ish bulbs, while the left side had two). I corrected that. I replaced the old GE Brightstiks (in reflectors, front and back of top-light fixture) with an 8.8w Philips BR40 5000k (rear) & 11w GE PAR38 5000K (front) and

Oct 10 (DAY 43)
24 hours after feeding

Plants 4-6 (right side of tent, before tucking them under the screen):
Day 43 right side

I think these look much better than yesterday (before feeding). They exploded with growth overnight. I'm not sure if it was the additional light I ran with yesterday (on this right side of the tent). I think they were just hungry. I'm going to feed 20% stronger next time to see what happens.

I feel like the plant under the 16w 3000k "Wide Surface" (far right) is liking it very much. One/two limbs near the wall have grown a lot, but I don't think it's a stretchy growth. It looks like good node spacing; healthy growth. I thought I noticed the same thing when I had that Wide-Surface bulb on the front for a day or two. It seemed like more eager growth. But, not stretch.

Perhaps the right side stands out as being better because the left side of the tent doesn't look as good. Plants 1-3:
Day 43 left side

They improved after the feeding. But, still look stressed. This could be because:
  1. They didn't get as much light as the right side (the past day or two).
  2. These are getting more warm light. Maybe the right side's cooler color temperature is better.
  3. Most likely: I spent a lot of time transplanting these three. I put them in the large communal container, filled it with soil, watered it; suddenly got cold feet about that idea. I put them in the normal containers (or, at least one plant), then thought "that's stupid. That container's hardly any larger." Went back to the communal tote/container. (Back and forth another time or two.).
I think I stressed these three when I was transplanting. Aside from the back/forth indecision, it was hard to get soil down the sides of these containers. They weren't that much wider (1/2" all the way around). I poured a lot of water (half-strength 0-10-10 "bloom nutrients") through those sides trying to ensure the soil was all the way down, no air pockets. (By the time I did plants 4-6, the right side of the tent, I had a good feeling for when the sides will filled. I didn't drench those as much.).

I see some younger cupped leaves (especially #1, which is the one I jacked around with the most). I think it could be due to keeping the soil too wet too long. I saw the same thing a few days ago when I was doing the staged watering -- but waiting 4-6 hours after initial wetting to pour the remainder. Usually I wait 20-40 minutes after saturating the soil, till I pour the rest. Earlier in this grow the soil was drying quickly. I thought I would buy some time waiting longer to pour the remainder But, I got the impression the plants didn't like that. Droopy cupped leaves made me think so. (I'm seeing that now. I think it might be due to the rough transplant & repeated drenching.).

On the left side, I may run a couple extra 16w Brightsticks tomorrow (to see if that might compensate for the right side getting more light the past day or two.). And/or, I might sway 1-2 2700k with 5000k on the left side (I'm leaning more that direction.).

Lighting plan for flower:
In the last post, I provided a drawing of how I think I'll do the lightbulbs.

Today, I was thinking Cree lightbulbs might be better than Philips. Back in 2013-16, Cree was the go-to for this stuff. Then they took a turn to cheap bulbs (the plastic "Tri-Flow"). Now they seem to go after the gray-poupon high-CRI (not very efficient with lumens, but better color rendition to the human eye) bulbs for 30% more than the Philips.

Last year, I bought a 16w (100w-equiv) A21. I wasn't impressed by the PAR I measured. It wasn't as good as the Philips (PPFD per watt). I haven't thought much of Cree since then.

But, I bought a new one today. It's a 15w (100w-equiv) A19. It does perform 5% better than the Philips. This is the bulb:
Day 43 Cree 15w 2700k A19

Note: the diodes sit higher than the base, where you cut off the diffusion globe. That's a good example of how you have to be very careful cutting off the globe. Some bulbs, the diodes sit lower. Some bulbs, they sit flush (even easier to hit with the saw).​

This is how that Cree performs:
Cree 15w 2700

A couple days ago I posted the Philips 16w performance. I'll post it again because I want to show the GE "Basic" bulb next to it (the GE performs identically for 30% less money):
Philips 16w 2700 compared to GE 135w

Those two bulbs must be made at the same factory, with the same diodes. They produce the same footprint, the same PPFD per watt. The only difference is the PPFD per $ (price of the bulb). The GE "basic" wins.

I have a bias toward Philips. I feel they've worked well for me (since Cree turned disreputable, IMO). I use the GE Basics too. I can't say I've noticed any difference. So, it's probably safe to save some dollars. (However, I bought those GEs last year. It's possible they change designs/materials without changing the bulb's model number/packaging. Anything bought today should be measured.).

Back to Cree:
The PPFD per watt makes me think I should mix the A19 bulbs (all the 2700k, and the two 5000k planned for the left side) 1 to 1 (Cree to Philips). Not just for the better PPFD per watt, but possible difference in spectrum. The Philips are 90 CRI. Cree are 90+. To the extent the Cree bulb is over 90, it will have more far red. (My Apogee PAR meter has the silver extended-range sensor. It will measure that far red as additional PPFD per watt.).

So, this might be a good reason to mix the bulbs in case there's a "best of both worlds" happening. Crees are 30% more expensive (PPFD per watt). But, it's just an extra $12 for all the bulbs. That's not much in the scheme of things.


Oct 10 (DAY 43) continued...
After the last post, I still felt the left side of the tent might have too much warm light. I replaced the top fixture's front-arm's 16w BrightStik 2850 with a 16w 5000k A19.

Oct 11 (DAY 44)
The left side of the tent looked much better. I don't think it was that (cooler) light change. I think it just took a day longer to recover from the transplant shock. Those first 3 plants had it rougher than the other 3.

3000k Wide-Surface (right side of tent)
I saw another example of a shoot growing happily toward this light.​
What stood out to me this time was that it was approximately equal distance 2700k, 5000k bulbs and this 3000k. It was definitely bending toward the 3000k. It also seemed to have more growth than other shoots. (Not stretchy/deprived growth. It looked healthy. Clearly preferring this light to the other color temperatures.).​

Oct 12 (DAY 45)

I think I'm not feeding strong enough. The plants seem hungry.
  • I was seeing some yellowing of #6 (far-right plant).
  • I'm seeing some of that yellowing on other plants today, before feeding.
  • #6 also shows some brown spots like calcium deficiency.
  • The last runoff ppm seemed low.
  • I've only been feeding 210-240ppm. When I grow my normal way with Sea Grow, I often feed in the 260-300ppm range. (I've been thinking that a larger proportion of Patio Plus in the soil would provide more nutrients. But, I don't think that's the case.).
  • I fed weak when I transplanted (which was just ~10 days after the prior transplant when I fed weak). The first feeding after that transplant was a bit on the weak side too (216ppm, the last feeding).
  • - Every feeding, they respond very well with good, happy growth, happy appearance. I think they want more.
This time I'm targeting NPK ratio: 1.3-1-1.72 (241ppm). That's not too strong. It's the high end of the range of past feedings. I want to hit that once, then go even stronger depending on how they look.

Gen Hydro ArmorSi (0-0-4). Want 82 ppm.​
GrowMore Sea Grow All Purpose (16-16-16). Want 132ppm.​
Pennington Alaska Fish (5-1-1). Want 26ppm.​
GrowMore Amber Humic (none). 1mL/L (which should create about 20ppm based upon the last feeding which was my first use of this).​
Starting water = 131ppm (RO & tap)​
Added 1.767mL/L Gen Hydro Armor Si for 83ppm​
Added 0.396g/L GrowMore Sea Grow All Purpose for 138ppm increase.​
Added 0.270mL/L fish emulsion for 40ppm increase.​
Added 0.998mL/L GrowMore Amber Humic for 20ppm increase. Total increase over water: 261ppm (or 281 counting the Amber Humic). Total ppm: 421.​
Note: That amount of Amber Humic is "low" strength per the label. It creates 20ppm. I'm not sure what those ppms are. There's no guaranteed analysis. But, Liquid Karma created more ppms than its guaranteed analysis, which itself was very insignificant percentages. I'll probably go back to adding this supplement and not measure it's ppms. That's how I always treated Liquid Karma. To me, it was just an add-on after mixing the nutrients.).​
Added 1/4 to 1/2 tsp/gal unsulphured molasses for the soil microbes.​
Runoff: 820ppm (I think this goes with the other points about feeding too weak. The runoff isn't contradicting those points.).​

I fed 20ppm stronger (261) than I targeted (241). That was mostly fish, which raised the N a little higher. I made that decision while mixing the nutrients. I felt like I should push it a little further/faster.

I took these photos an hour after feeding. Plants 1-3 (which were looking rough last time):
Day 45 plants 1 3

Plants 4-6:
Day 45 plants 4 6

Today I saw another shoot growing toward the 3000k Wide-Surface. This was another one relatively close to 2700k & 5000k bulbs. It was clearly bending to the 3000k, and had some nice growth (like it was doing better than the others).

That's three times I feel I've seen that. I'm eager to switch to 12/12 and see how the right side flowers compared to the left (which has no 3000k).

Last two corner lights turned on.
Today I turned on the left-front & right-rear corner lights (9w 2700k). Some growth is getting into those areas now.

As mentioned in the entry two days ago (regarding the left side of the tent): I replaced a 16w 2700k (2850k actually, a brightstik. I don't try to distinguish the actual warm color temperatures that exactly. I call them all 2700k). I replaced it with a 16w 5000k because the left side of the tent seemed warmer (and wasn't looking very good a couple days ago. But, I think that was transplant shock.).

This is a photo of the lights after feeding today:
Day 45 lights

Currently have:
- Left side:
1 - 16w GE Brightstik 2850k in reflectors (top fixture: back arm)
1 - 16w 5000k A21 in reflector (top fixture: front arm)
1 - 8.8w Philips BR40 5000k (top fixture: left arm)
1 - 11w GE Basic PAR38 5000k (top fixture: right arm)
1 - 8.8w Philips BR40 2700k (top fixture: center)
3 - 9w A19 2700k in reflectors (tent legs: left-rear, left-front, middle-front.)

- Right side:
1 - 8.8w Philips BR40 5000k (top fixture: back arm)
1 - 11w GE Basic PAR38 5000k (top fixture: front arm)
2 - 16w Philips Wide-Surface 3000k (top fixture: left & right arms)
1 - 8.8w Philips BR40 2700k (top fixture: center)
3 - 9w A19 2700k in reflectors (tent legs: right-front, right-rear, middle-rear.

I've never scrogged before. I can't imagine what this will look like when it stretches. I read something which said you should switch to flower when 30% of the screen remains unfilled.

This shows the space remaining in the screen:
Day 45 space remaining

I'm thinking I'll switch to 12/12 tomorrow night. Or the next. I imagine the plants will grow a lot after this feeding (they always do). I think I've only got another feeding before 12/12. (Maybe not even that. Depends on what they do with this feeding.).
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Oct 13 (DAY 46)

I'm cutting back to 12/12 light duration starting tonight. This is the lighting I will eventually have in flower:
Light plan cree

I don't know if I'll phase it in over the next couple weeks, or do it all this week.

This is the space today, 24 hours after feeding:
Day 46 12 12 space remaining

I'm nervous they'll stretch more than I'm envisioning, and overcrowd the net. Maybe I could wait 2-3 days. But, I imagine I'm going to overshoot this already. As normal-shaped plants, they almost double in size after switching to 12/12. So, I think now is smart.

They had good growth & look better after yesterday's feeding. Plants 1-3:
Day 46 12 12 plants 1 3

Plants 4-6:
Day 46 12 12 plants 4 6

I think I've been underfeeding. However, I see some burnt older tips. They could be from when I fed that one too-strong Liquid Karma (from the old-gallon remnants).

I was thinking today: my use of Armor Si could be causing a pH problem now. I usually don't feed it every feeding because I don't ph my nutrients (and I know silica raises pH. I usually do every other feeding, or 1 every 2 feedings. I've done 5 in a row.). Today I used the soil pH probe on plant #6 (far right). That's the one that seemed to have more deficiency recently (it's also been a heavy drinker, hungrier, drying the soil faster). The pH seemed a little high. Maybe I have overused Silica.

[Plus, this Armor Si is pretty old too. I'm using more of it than I did in the past, to get the targeted ppms. Maybe it's precipitated out of solution -- but, still has the potent high pH. I could be compounding a pH problem that way. Not just too frequently (for my no-Ph-checking style), but also using *more* of it each time. I'm getting rid of it, and buying some dry AgSil 16. That's dry, should last a lifetime.]​

The lights could have also contributed to an under-feeding condition (along with the weak-nute transplant so close after a weak-nute transplant). I added some 100w-equiv bulbs recently. They could be pushing the plants harder as "food" from light, causing them to need more food from the soil.

I should be feeding again in about 12 hours. Strong again. Using potassium sulfate (instead of silica) to raise K. I may add some of the flowering (higher-watt) lights tomorrow to help burn that feeding.


Oct 13 (DAY 46) continued

I began the "plan" described in the previous post's diagram. I replaced three (of the six) 9w A19 2700k tent-leg lights. I replaced the ones that the diagram shows being Philips 16w 2700k A19. (The three legs planned to have Cree 15w 2700k A19s remain 9w.). The top-lights remain unchanged.

Oct 15 (DAY 48)

As mentioned in the previous post, the plants look stressed to me. In some ways it could be due to transplant stress (It really wasn't a good transplant.). In some ways the right side is looking light stressed. But, that's odd because the 3000k "wide surface" lights seemed initially preferred by the plants (perhaps those lights have a better spectrum, driving the photosynthesis stronger, which would bring out the underfed condition I've been suspecting and slowly testing with stronger food.).

If they're underfed, the three 9w bulbs I upgraded to 15w will make that worse.

I have also speculated that my 4-5 back-to-back uses of Armor Si (very alkaline, should always be added tot he water first) might have raised the soil pH. Because I never pH my nutrient solution, I never use it back to back (let alone back to back 4-5 times in a row.).

With this feeding: I'm 1) going stronger again, and 2) using potassium sulfate to raise K (instead of silica). I'm also 3) starting the water's ppms using gypsum & epsom to get additional sulfur into the soil, which might help [a little] if the pH has gone too high. (Potassium sulfate has that sulfur benefit too. But, the nutrient solution should be less alkaline by not using Armor Si, which would be the real benefit of raising K with potassium sulfate. To my mind, anyway.).

This time I'm targeting NPK ratio: 1.4-1-1.72 (284ppm). That's 40ppm higher than the last feeding (which itself was on the higher side of what I've been doing.). This ppm is closer to how I normally feed with Sea Grow.

K2SO (0-0-50). Want 64 ppm.​
GrowMore Sea Grow All Purpose (16-16-16). Want 172ppm.​
Pennington Alaska Fish (5-1-1). Want 47ppm.​
GrowMore Amber Humic (none). 1.2mL/L​
(should create about 25ppm based upon the last two feeding which were my first use of this product. I'm not counting these 25ppm in the 284 total. I don't know what they are, what they count for. The bottle has no NPK label. But, that's not bad. Liquid Karma had one which showed insignificant amounts of minerals, but produced similar PPMs to this product, 3 times higher than the labeled details would calculate to. I always viewed that product as just "an add on" to everything else. I'm treating this one that way too.).​

Starting water = 160ppm created with:​
42ppm tap​
77ppm gypsum (see footnote[1] for more info about gypsum)​
41ppm epsom​

Added 0.088g/L potassium sulfate for 61ppm​
Added 0.454g/L GrowMore Sea Grow All Purpose for 175ppm increase.​
Added 0.438mL/L fish emulsion for 44ppm increase.​
Added 1.2mL/L GrowMore Amber Humic for 24ppm increase. Total increase over water: 280ppm (or 304 counting the Amber Humic). Total ppm: 464.​
Note: That quantity of Amber Humic is "medium strength per the label. It creates 24ppm. I'm not sure what those ppms are. There's no guaranteed analysis. But, Liquid Karma created more ppms than its guaranteed analysis, which itself was very insignificant percentages. I'll probably go back to adding this humic/fulvic supplement and not measure it's ppms. That's how I always treated Liquid Karma. To me, it was just an add-on after mixing the nutrients. I never kept track of it).​

Added a "pinch" (1/16 tsp/gal) sugar for the soil microbes.​
Runoff: 873ppm (3% runoff.).​
Note: I deliberately got low runoff to keep more of the soil goodness in the soil, thinking they're not getting enough food. 10% runoff would have diluted this to even lower ppm. So, 873ppm with such concentrated runoff still makes me think it's not getting enough food. I would normally get 1200-1400ppm now (but, using different soil. I'm not sure if that makes a difference. Trying to be careful.).​

Based upon the actual ppms created, the result NPK ratio was 1.37-1-1.68 (281ppm + 24 for the Amber Humic.)

[1] Gypsum. When making the starting water, add the gypsum the day before. It dissolves in water, but can take a few hours. My gypsum is fine flour, to sand consistency, and even occasional larger-sand pieces (bordering on fine gravel). The flour part dissolves almost immediately. It's the sand that can take 12-24 hours. If you don't give it time to dissolve then you'll see it continuing to add ppms which you'll attribute to the epsom (or the nutrients you add even later).

What I like to do is keep a liter bottle of gypsum concentrate. It won't dissolve into much of a "concentrate." It only dissolves to about 2.5g/liter. But, that will be much stronger than you'd typically need. (2.5g/liter is 1048ppm, by definition.). So, I load up a liter bottle with more than will dissolve, pour out what I need as I need it (every 2-3 days), add more RO water to that bottle (let the excess sediment dissolve into a max concentration again. And so on.). You just have to keep as much solids out of what you pour. I would still give the nutrient solution a few hours to see if what you poured in dissolves further. If it does, it should happen quickly as long as larger pieces didn't get poured in. Finer sediment in supension should dissolve quickly. (Certainly within an hour.). After you do this a few times, you'll have an idea how much "concentrate" to use to get what you want.

The key here is: if you're not treating a Ca nor Mg def, then you should try to get twice the ppms from the gypsum that you get from the epsom. If you do something relatively sane, like 80ppm gypsum & 40ppm epsom (120ppm total added to your 10ppm RO water, maybe a little tap water to take it up to 150), the resulting Ca should be 44ppm. Mg would be 17ppm. That's a safe a 2:1 ratio (4ppms higher on Ca, 3ppms lower on Mg, than it should be if perfectly 2:1. This isn't important. Cannabis is said to prefer a 2:1 to 4:1 ratio. People use dolomite all the time, which is 1.62:1 ratio. So, "twice the ppms from gypsum" will give you a good/safe ratio. If you were actually treating a deficiency, then you would want to break the ratio.).

Oct 16 (DAY 49)
Day after feeding

I took these photos this morning:
Day 49 top

Plants 1-3 (left side of tent):
Day 49 1 3

Plants 4-6 (right side of tent)
Day 49 4 6

They liked the feeding. No problems. They might be doing better. But, then again, I added more light the same day I fed (replacing 3 9w with 3 15w). They still don't look too happy to me.

I'm going to feed stronger again (probably this evening, tomorrow morning, whenever the soil is dry enough). After that I'll probe #6's soil again to see if the ph still seems high.

#6 (far right) has shown the most stress or underfeeding. #4-6 looked better than #1-3 after transplant. That could have been #1-3 having a rougher transplant, taking longer to recover. I attributed #4-6 looking better to the 3000k "wide surface" lights. But, now it seems #4 & 6 are more stressed than #1-3, making me think they don't like that light (or, probably more likely: the light is better, and causing them to need more food. I could have been underfeeding, and those lights pushed those two plants to need more food.). #6 showed it sooner, for longer now. #4 is showing it too. They get the most of the 3000k 16w lights.

So, I'll feed even stronger this next time. Just keep going slow and see what happens. I have to be careful because, if it's really a ph problem (the silica), I could go too high with food as the pH starts coming back down.
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Oct 17 (DAY 50)

The last feeding (284ppm, not counting Amber Humic) seemed to do better. I'm pretty sure the problem was underfeeding.[1] This time I'm going stronger (and simpler) by targeting NPK ratio: 1-1-1 (312ppm -- entirely from Grow More Sea Grow. No modifications to the NPK ratio.). That's 28ppm higher than the last feeding (which itself was 40ppm higher.). I feel like this is on the strong side. (But, I've never seen Sea Grow burn. It takes awhile for the salt to buildup in the soil before it becomes obvious. That's one reason I'm not adding potassium sulfate, which might not be as mild if this is becoming too much. I'd rather watch the runoff ppms for a couple feedings before using that again.).

GrowMore Sea Grow All Purpose (16-16-16). Want 312ppm.​
GrowMore Amber Humic (none). 1.2mL/L (should be 24ppm)​
(I screwed this up. See below.).​
Starting water = 155ppm created with:​
21ppm tap​
86ppm gypsum​
48ppm epsom​
Added 0.873g/L GrowMore Sea Grow All Purpose for 319ppm increase.​
Added 1.64mL/L GrowMore Amber Humic for 36ppm increase. Total increase over water: 319ppm (or 355 counting Amber Humic). Total ppm: 510.​
Note: My pipette is 3mL. I got it into my head that the top mark is 2mL. This caused me to give 2mL more than I intended -- which is about 30% more than I intended (36ppm instead of 24). This amount (1.64mL/L, instead of 1.2) is not even halfway to the bottle's "High" dosage amount. So, not a problem.​
Added a "pinch" (1/16 tsp/gal) sugar for the soil microbes.​
Runoff: 1140ppm (3-4% runoff.).​
Note: I deliberately kept runoff volume low to keep more of the soil goodness in the soil, thinking they're not getting enough food.​
I don't think runoff ppms are extremely accurate. But, this rise (for the first time) makes me think I'm fixing the problem. The next runoff will reflect this feeding. If it keeps going up, then I should increase the runoff volume. I tend feed that way. Stronger but more runoff (instead of dialing down the nutrients and trying to keep it perfectly balanced.).​

[1] I previously wondered if the alkaline silica caused a soil pH problem (since I don't pH the nutrient solution.). Later I realized that probably wasn't a concern: If uptake was impeded, there would have been salt buildup. The runoff PPMs didn't show that at all. Plus, if that had been a problem, the salt buildup would have acidified the soil. (Self-correcting.).

Oct 18 (DAY 51)
24 hours after feeding

I took these photos 24 hours after feeding. Space remaining:
Day 51 top

Plants 1-3:
Day 51 1 3

Plants 4-6:
Day 51 4 6

It's hard to see because I've tucked new growth down. But, that stronger (312ppm) feeding worked great. Lots of growth (which I'm afraid I'll regret soon; but looks healthier).

Plant #6 (far right) still doesn't look good. But, it's been a heavy eater, drying the soil faster. I should probably feed it separately. I've never done that. I try treat them as a group. I'm too lazy to try to fine tune individual feedings.

Related: I'm surprised how many genetic variations there are. These all came from a Northern Lights that I stressed (and produced a lot of seeds). It's surprising how much variation there is in what you'd think would be close relatives. One's short/dense. One's lanky/sativa looking. One (#4) has that "mosaic" discoloration. One (#6) eats fast, was the first to show deficiency after increasing the light.​

The net is bulging upward with some force. It's hard to determine when it's time to water. I always lift containers to feel the weight. The net's downward force interferes with that.

The next feeding will be the same as this one (maybe 10-20ppm stronger).

The next runoff ppm will be interesting to see. If not rising fast, I'll probably go back to using potassium sulfate to raise K. (Sea Grow's 1-1-1 NPK ratio works fine by itself. I've done it from start to finish. I feel like I get better results increasing N in veg; K through the entire grow. After this grow, I'm going to grow a plant under the CMH-150 light. I was thinking I'd use Sea Grow alone for that. Keep it simple from start to finish.).


Oct 19 (DAY 52)

The plants are doing even better after the last feeding (312ppm, not counting Amber Humic). I'm pretty sure I was underfeeding. This time I'm doing the same feediing this time: NPK ratio 1-1-1 (312ppm -- entirely from Grow More Sea Grow. No modifications to the NPK ratio.).

GrowMore Sea Grow All Purpose (16-16-16). Want 312ppm.​
GrowMore Amber Humic (none). 1.2mL/L (should be 24ppm)​
Starting water = 115ppm created with:​
34ppm tap​
48ppm gypsum​
22ppm epsom​
Added 0.797g/L GrowMore Sea Grow All Purpose for 304ppm increase.​
Added 1.2mL/L GrowMore Amber Humic for 28ppm increase. Total increase over water: 304ppm (or 332 counting Amber Humic). Total ppm: 437.​
Added 1/4 tsp/gal molasses (for the soil microbes.​
Runoff: 1010ppm (7% runoff.).​
Note: A little more runoff. The ppms are a little lower than last time. That could be the dilution of more runoff. But, either way, it doesn't look like I'm feeding so strongly that it's building up in the soil.​


I replaced the remaining 3 leg-mounted lights with Cree 15w 2700k. (Day 46<<link I replaced the first three with Philips 16w 2700k. Now all the leg-mounted lights are upgraded to 15w'ish from 9w'ish. I.e, 100w-equiv now.).

When they get further into flowering, I will replace the top-fixture bulbs to be what I showed in the diagram Day 46<<link. The leg-mounted lights now match that diagram. The top-fixture is still what I detailed last time in the lighting update.

I took these photos of the plants 24 hours after feeding. Plants 1-3:
Day 53 1 3

Plants 4-6:
Day 53 4 6

Space remaining:
Day 53 space remaining

Lots of good, healthy new growth. They seem happy now. I haven't tucked the new growth down yet. The available space will be look less the next time I take this photo.

Tonight starts 2nd week of 12/12 lighting. Hopefully they'll stretch about as much as they already have, and that will fill the net.

I'm seeing a lot of bud sites. This might turn out well.


Oct 21 (DAY 54)

The plants are doing even better after the last strong feeding (304ppm, and a 319ppm before that). I'm doing the same feeding this time: NPK ratio 1-1-1, but going a little stronger (335ppm).

GrowMore Sea Grow All Purpose (16-16-16). Want 335ppm.​
GrowMore Amber Humic (none, but creates about 20ppm 1ml/L). 1.2mL/L​
Starting water = 160ppm created with:​
51ppm tap​
62ppm gypsum​
37ppm epsom​
Added 0.901g/L GrowMore Sea Grow All Purpose for 335ppm increase.​
Added 1.2mL/L GrowMore Amber Humic for 18ppm increase. Total increase over water: 335ppm (or 353 counting Amber Humic). Total ppm: 513.​
Added pinch (1/16 tsp/gal) sugar (for the soil microbes).​
Runoff: 1220ppm (5% runoff.).​
Note: A little lower volume. The ppms are a little higher than last time. That could be the lower volume. If it keeps going up, I'll be concerned. With my preferred soil, I'm usually in the 1220-1800 range. I don't usually see a problem until 2000-2500. I'm not worried.​

Oct 22 (DAY 55)
24 hours after feeding

The plants continue to look good after that even-stronger (335ppm) feeding.

Space available:
Day 55 space remaining

I feel like I didn't have the plants centered (front/back) in the tent. The rear is filling up more. Maybe that's the reflective walls. I leave the tent doors open during lights on.

That space is going to run out soon (I have a lot of tucking to do). Plants 3-6:
Day 55 4 6

I'm seeing much more growth on that (right) side of the tent. This is the left side (1-3):
Day 55 1 3

You can see on the right side of that photo, the wall of growth which abruptly falls off.

I don't know if the difference is due to 1) the left-side plants had a rougher transplant (3-5 days before 12/12). Maybe they're a couple days behind?. Or, 2) those Philips "Wide Surface" 3000k bulbs (right side of tent) are making a difference?

I've got a feeling it's the "wide surface" lights. I saw clear evidence the plants liked that light (before the underfeeding became a problem). Plus, the ones growing the most vigorously (4 & 6) are the ones that had the most deficiency after those lights were installed. Maybe those lights pushed those plants harder, bringing my underfeeding to light.

I'd prefer less growth. I like the left side better (if stretch continues a week or two. It's going to get crowded on the right side soon.). But, in a taller tent, growing plants normally-shapped, this growth would be nice (if it filled in as a huge bud).

Now I'm curious to see if these "wide surface" lights drive bud growth the way they appear to be driving veg/stretch. That could be something.
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