Not flipped in time - changing grow tent mid-flower

  • Thread starter phxazcraig
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phxazcraig

phxazcraig

519
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This is just a little story on what I might cost you to veg those plants just a little bit too long. In my case, one week too long. The delay resulted in plants too tall for my tent and light, and in consequence I ended up replacing a 4'x4'x80" tent with one a foot taller. (Gorilla Grow with optional 1 foot extension). I went from having only 19 inches from canopy to light in spite of the fact that I tucked the ends of the shoots back under a trellis net, to a good 27 inches (and dropping) with the branches untucked and set free to grow. I did this about 15 days since I changed from 18/6 to 12/12 on the lighting. Growing in coco coir/perlite mix from Roots Organics in air pots with 5x daily fertigation.

Ultimately I filled the tent edge to edge - but I did that with tall plants instead of short ones. I should have bent branches more aggressively earlier to fill the tents with shorter plants. Here is what happened on Friday:

BEFORE:

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In the above shots you can see how the tent has been set since Jan 7. Plenty of room above the tent.

In the image below, you can see that the light is as high as I can raise it.

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In the following image you can clearly see that I've cut the lower trellis net. I will remove the upper net without cutting.

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Here's a shot of the light mounting. I just hooked the light's hangars together with small carabiners. This light, an HLG-600R, is supposed to have 18 inches of clearance above it, and 2-3 feet below. I figure I can raise it higher with an exhaust fan right there.

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A little hard to tell, but the shoots have been tucked under the top net and are growing well.
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Here is a shot of the canopy thickness. Note: I started germinating seeds Jan. 7, put them in solo cups Jan 10 and transplanted to coco pots Jan 17 or 18. I posted some shots of the early growth in the thread 'Explosive Growth in Coco Coir'. This is my first coco grow, and they took off so fast I was not ready to deal with the consequences.

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To remove the plants from the tent, the first step will be to disconnect and remove the irrigation system.

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SWAPPING TENTS

I unhooked a corner of the top net.

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Disconnect the halo drippers.
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All four halos disconnected and tubing shown on floor.

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I tucked the tubing into the closet to keep it out of the way. Although I started the swap 15 minutes after the 2:00pm fertigation and the next watering wasn't schedule until 6pm, I also unplugged the water pump, just in case...
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Now I continued with the messy process of removing the top trellis net.

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Removing the net wasn't so hard, except I had used a lot of plant ties to tie shoots down, and each had to be found and removed.

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Max pic attachment hit (20) - more in reply to post.
 
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phxazcraig

phxazcraig

519
93
SWAPPING TENTS (cont).

After removing the nets, the plants were fairly messy, but the swap could now proceed. I pulled the right front and put it on a towel.
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One down! It because obvious that the nets had been holding up some weaker branches. Some of those got cut, some tucked into new net later.

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I proceeded with the process until all plants were removed.
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Now for the cleanup!

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Remove the equipment above the floor next.
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And finally the tent is empty!

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Disassembly:
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Cleanup:
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Rest on next reply.
 
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phxazcraig

phxazcraig

519
93
Swapping Tents, continued

INSTALLING NEW TALL TENT:

First, unpack. Not a good idea to unpack right on top of the space you're putting the tent, by the way.

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It was not fun trying to do this in a small space.

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Those poles get really tall with the 1 foot extension kit added on. And Gorilla Grow sells a 2-foot extension, plus you can add the 1- and 2-foot extensions together if you really needed to grow an old-school sativa, and have really tall ceilings.

In my case, I had to turn off the ceiling fan because it would hit the tent.

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So here is not only the top section, but also the 1 foot extension, which is a piece that just zips onto the top piece to extend it. Those zippers were suprisingly difficult to get started, and it took me literally 30 minutes to zip the various tent parts together. Something that should have taken a couple of minutes.

Note also that you need a step stool or ladder to work in the top of the tent now, and getting past the light was trickier when balancing on a ladder.

In the shot below, you may notice some poles going horizontal in the middle of the tent. I had purchased these in a 'High CFM' kit from Gorilla Grow earlier and tried to use them in the previous tent for strengthening. I have moved them here, where they fit better than in the old tent. Definitely recommended, they were designed to keep the tent sides from sucking in so much from the exhaust fan.
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After some struggling, partly due to tight quarters, I finally got the tent zipped on. I also changed to a much much safer stepladder.

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Here I have the light in place, along with the fans, though you can't see them here.
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Time to move the plants back in. Not sure how to deal with trellis net at this point, but I knew it would be needed because several branches were trying to hang low without support.

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Basically I just stuck the plants back in where they came from.

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Once I got the plants back in the tent, I worked at pulling the tops through the net, something that I'm still redoing 2 days later. I gave up on some of the wimpiest branches and cut them. Pulled out more bits of trellis net too.

Note the top of the tent extending above the top of the closet now. Used to be about even.

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And there it is in all its glory! My plants have survived, and two days later are still stretching, but they have a fair amount of space to use now. I have about 27 inches of space left to the light, and coverage is excellent. I turned the dimmer to give me 800 PAR in the center, and 500 in the corners.

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After this I remembered to hook up the water pump to the timer again .

So - that took me about 4 hours of effort and the $350 for the new tent. It would have been a lot easier to do with a friend.

It would also not have been necessary (I think) if I had simply flipped to flower at the 4-week point instead of the 5-week point. Looking at the canopy, it's just like the canopy on my last grow (in soil) except about 8 inches higher up. I like the flexibility the taller tent provides me, but it didn't have to be this way.
 
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Brownthumb

Brownthumb

189
63
Hope your switch works out… have the same light: definitely need the head room cause those babies run hot… at least you caught the problem early… I ended with light burn nutrients lock out on my first grow autos- ended up buying 2- 300 watt leds that run much cooler and gives me more canopy space….
 
phxazcraig

phxazcraig

519
93
Hope your switch works out… have the same light: definitely need the head room cause those babies run hot… at least you caught the problem early… I ended with light burn nutrients lock out on my first grow autos- ended up buying 2- 300 watt leds that run much cooler and gives me more canopy space….
So far, so good.

Last year I started my first crop - 4 autos - under a 120w LED. It seemed inadequate (it was) as partway into the grow I got the HLG-600r. And promptly cooked those autos some.

My first crop was finding limits by overdoing everthing. My next one underdid it. I have a PAR meter now to be more sure.
 
E9noxis

E9noxis

772
143
I like how in depth the whole switch was documented. Good post
 
phxazcraig

phxazcraig

519
93
So - that took me about 4 hours of effort and the $350 for the new tent. It would have been a lot easier to do with a friend.

It would also not have been necessary (I think) if I had simply flipped to flower at the 4-week point instead of the 5-week point. Looking at the canopy, it's just like the canopy on my last grow (in soil) except about 8 inches higher up. I like the flexibility the taller tent provides me, but it didn't have to be this way.

It is now 8 days since I swapped tents. I had 27 inches of space between light and top of canopy then. Tonight I have 12.
 
E9noxis

E9noxis

772
143
Pull at them from low so it doesn't disturb the top. Your plants are a V make it more ( ) shaped
 

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