RicinBeans's first-time indoor grow - "Cement Shoes"

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RicinBeans

RicinBeans

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Hello! This is my first time growing almost ever, the exception being a clone I was given in Spring that I was growing outdoors until it tipped over and died (I think due to the plant becoming so large that it became too top-heavy for the pot, and blew over on a windy day). I figured it would be a good idea to create a thread for myself here to reference in other discussions on the forum, so as to have a list of all my equipment and a timeline available to quickly point to.

Some of the early information in this timeline was documented shortly after the fact, but the dates should all be correct, and any I'm uncertain about will be presented as an estimate. Equipment entries have links where available.

EQUIPMENT: I'll list all the current equipment here, and the journal portion will mention dates at which any of it that I didn't begin with was added.

Seeds: The seeds themselves are from this vendor, All Seedy, and they're called Cement Shoes. They were given to me by a friend, so I can't speak for the transaction process.

Soil: (as described by my friend who mixed it and provided it to me) "Ocean forest soil w/ some chitin/worm castings, bone & blood meals, perlite, and super manure."

Pots: The pots are large, plastic pots I obtained from a local $.99 store. They are about 1-foot tall and the openings are about 13" in diameter. Each have 8 holes drilled on the bottom.

Tent: The tent is a 4x2x5 grow tent by VIVOSUN.

Lights: I have (2) 600w LED grow lights by WAKYME, with separate "veg" and "bloom" switches.

Exhaust/intake: I have (2) VIVOSUN 6" 240 CFM exhaust fans. I'm not using any filter.

Fan Speed Adjuster: One VIVOSUN Variable vent fan speed adjuster to regulate the intake (details in the journal portion of this post).

Timers: I have (2) BN-LINK 7 Day outdoor digital programmable timers.

Interior fans: I have (2) COMLIFEF170 rechargeable clip-on fans to move air around the inside and provide a breeze for the plants.

Netting: A 2-pack of MEGALUXX dual-layer trellis netting for stress training.

Climate control: One Kloudic (218 sq ft) dehumidifier.

Plant caddy - (2) Skelang plant caddy (details in the journal portion).



JOURNAL: This isn't as specific as I would like in the early days, and I'll be sure to keep a tighter journal in future grows.

Mid-July, roughly between 7/14/21-7/22/21: This was my germination period. I started with three seeds, gave them about 24 hours in a closed jar, and then placed them on a wet napkin to sprout. One of them had a sprout within 1-2 days. A second one followed within a couple of days of that, and when both of those were about an inch in length, I planted them, on 7/22/21. The third one had just sprouted about that time, but was short and appeared to be curling around the seed. I planted it two days later, on the evening of 7/24/21, when the sprout seemed sufficiently long, but had completely curled around the seed. That seed would end up not taking at all once planted, and won't be mentioned from here on out.

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7/22/21: The day that the two seeds that had germinated properly were planted. I started them on a 24/0 light cycle, with only the veg switch on as pictured above. The lights were roughly 12-18" away from the soil.

Seeing as how most guides I've seen involved starting in smaller containers and later transferring to larger ones, whereas I was starting with a larger one, I decided to commit to a daily watering schedule so as to accommodate all of the immediately superfluous soil that might soak up any water that the plants did not receive. I would estimate that at this time and up to today, I've been watering them with about 1 cup of water each time.

When I planted, I did see a couple of gnats flying around the soil that my friend provided me, and that had been sitting in the tent/pots for about a day. I decided to wait them out and see if they persisted.

At this time, I wasn't sure how to ventilate the tent. I didn't realize until too late that the timers I bought limited how many times I could have them automatically turn on in a day, so I decided to have them running 24/0. My intake was/is situated on the bottom, left-hand side of the tent, and my outtake situated in the top-opening of the tent. Since I was unsure of a better way of securing the outtake, I decided to just cinch the bottom of the vent opening so that it would act as a sort of floor for the outtake duct fan. That solution meant that a small part of the outer perimeter of the duct fan was obstructed though, which meant that if both fans were running at once, the intake was pushing more in than the outtake was pushing out. I experimented with leaving one or the other on at a time and letting the other one sit off, with the positive or negative pressure activating the fans of whichever was unplugged. Eventually, after some reading on the matter, and seeing as how neither configuration seemed to particularly effect the temperature of the tent interior, I decided to get a fan speed controller. Since then, I've been running both duct fans 24/0, with the controller lowering the intake so that it's just barely lower than what the outtake is pulling, so as to establish mild negative pressure inside the tent.

Interior fans are oscillating 24/0.

7/24/21: Late in the evening, around 11pm, I noticed the tiniest little hint of a sprout growing from plant #2, the right-hand-side plant (pictured below). I checked on them again at around 3am (7/25, now), and #1 was poking out as well.

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8/27/21: I had been noticing more gnats appearing in the tent each day, and so had bought some yellow, sticky traps to insert into the soil in hopes of catching enough of them. They arrived on this day, and I inserted them.

8/28/21: My fan speed controller arrived. From this day on, vent fans are running 24/0, with the intake slightly lower-speed than the outtake, establishing slightly negative pressure inside the tent.

8/31/21: Photos below of #1 and #2. I was still trying to keep feeding the center plant at this point, in hopes that it was just taking longer to poke above the surface. It never did.

As the pictures show, the traps had caught some gnats but not a great deal of them. Meanwhile, I was seeing more of them flying and crawling around every day.

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9/2/21: Becoming more concerned about the daily-increasing gnat population, I decided to give the plants a day off of watering, so as to hopefully dry the gnats out.

9/3/21: Watered.

9/4/21 - 9/5/21: No water, also in hopes of drying the gnats out. The daily amount still appeared to be increasing though, no matter what I did.

9/6/21: - Watered.

9/7/21 - 9/8/21: No water. Population still increasing, though there are what appear to be hundreds of them stuck on the traps at this point.

9/9/21: Watered/

9/10/21 - 9/11/21: No water.

9/12/21: Watered. At this point, I was concerned about the bottom leaves of #2 yellowing (and both plants getting droopy) in recent days, and decided not to mess with skipping water too much anymore. I bought a container of Diatomaceous Earth, which had arrived on this day. I applied it to the top of the soil after watering.

This day was also the first time I noticed evidence of some water having escaped the pot saucer for #2, and dried around it. I lifted the pot for the first time, and discovered that there was more space for water to gather there than I had realized there was - the saucer's compartment was full of water, and some gnats as well. I emptied it out, along with the saucer for the non-growing center plant, which had also gathered a pool of water. Oddly, #1's saucer was bone-dry. There was a small bit of dirt in it, but no evidence that water had ever pooled there. I decided to find a better solution going forward, and ordered my caddies.

9/13/21: Watered. Caddies arrived on this day, and I put both of the plants onto them. There are fewer gnats than the previous day.

9/14/21: Watered. #2's tray had a good deal of water collected in it, whereas #1's did not have any. I gave them both a little extra water on this day. The leaves are continuing to brown on the bottom of each plant. Late-night pictures below.

My friend came by and said that he thought they looked great. I was concerned at how short they were, being over three weeks since they were planted - when I see others' growers guides, they all seem to be much taller by that point, and into the vegetation stage, whereas mine seemed to still be in the seedling stage. He said that while they're not as tall as other, that they're more robust in terms of leaf count than most he's seen by now.

The DE appears to be continuing to decrease the gnat count.

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9/15/21: No water today. I may try skipping one day periodically from here on out. Both trays had water in them today.

The DE seems to be continuing to decrease the gnat count inside the tent.

It's hard to say, but the edges of some leaves on #2 appear to be slightly yellow. Out of concern for that, I moved my lights higher today. They're now about 20-22" away from the tops of the plants.

The plants are each about 2" tall. It's now 24-days out from when I planted the germinated seeds.


***I plan to edit the main post regularly with journal entries, and make posts for any noteworthy developments separately in the thread. I just wanted to make sure to get this posted, as I've got some questions for the forum and wanted to make sure that I have a journal in-place to reference.***
 
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RicinBeans

RicinBeans

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It looks like I can't edit posts after a certain time period, unless I'm missing something. I'll tack the updates on in separate posts, I guess.

9/16/21: Watered. The gnat population has decreased dramatically, presumably due to the application of DE. They remaining ones seemed to be congregated towards the center of the pots where the plants are growing, which makes sense, as that's where I water them. After I watering, I applied more DE to the center space where I watered.

9/17/21: No water. I'm adding pics below, not because they're especially noteworthy versus the last uploads in this thread, but because of the note I'm going to make for the following day.

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9/18/21: Watered. I put a little extra water in today, and covered almost the entire soil surface for the first time. For one, I wanted to start flushing the DE through the soil. Second, tomorrow is the day I plan to give the plants their first light cycle that includes some dark, and I wanted the soil to stay damp throughout the two days until the next watering.

So in the last week or so, I thought I must have just been mistaken about where #2 was relative to the pot opening, as it seemed more and more off-center each day. I finally got my face up in there close (they're tiny so far, as you can see) and realized that it was growing almost in a complete diagonal. I moved some soil around from one side to the other, and sort of finessed/packed it so that the leaning side was propped up, and closer to straight. It's hard to see in the photos, though it is growing that way in the photos above, from 9/17.

The reason I put those up there anyway though, despite the lean not being very visible, is that when #2 was situated at that steep angle, both plants appeared to be about the same size. Once I straightened #2 out, it became clear that it's the far larger of the pair. I have to wonder if there is something about it growing at that angle that forced it to grow taller. I took pictures the following morning, and will post them under that day's entry.

9/19/21: No water. I got an early start today and took photos, and it's clear when you see the zoomed out one with both plants together that #2 is now considerably larger than its roommate. I was hoping things would be more uniform for simplicity's sake, but I guess that things won't be that way, at least for now.

I'm taking them off of a 24/0 light cycle today, and moving them into an 18/6.

Additionally, I'm putting the ventilation fans into a cycle for the first time - they've been on for 24/0 most of their lives (after my initial fiddling for the first week or so). Since my timer only allows 8 programs, I'm forced to work in 3-hour chunks, and so decided to start things off on a cycle of 2-hours-on, 1-hour-off. I'll be monitoring the temperatures at times right before it's about to come into an on-cycle to see if the tent is getting noticeably hotter at those times. My experimenting early in this process suggested it shouldn't be an issue, but I want to make sure of it before I settle into that rotation.

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ComfortablyNumb

ComfortablyNumb

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1. You need more drainage in those pots.
2. You need airflow between the catch pan and the pot.
3. You need to water correctly.
4. New lights would be a bonus and give you a much better harvest.
5. Get a soil meter.

Basic Watering

Watering SOIL
 
RicinBeans

RicinBeans

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Thanks for the robust reply!

So I have 8 holes on the bottom of each pot, and I switched from the pans/saucers that came with the pots (pictured in the first photos) over to caddies (pictured in the more recent photos). Those have ridges on them that theoretically allow for air movement, as well as removable trays underneath, which have helped me monitor and manage drainage more easily. I've considered trying to rig these caddies though, so that they have a little bit more space - maybe by gluing small pieces of wood or plastic on the surface to raise the pots a little higher. I honestly hadn't even considered air flow there until you mentioned it - I was just thinking about it because #1 sometimes was catching some water underneath that would sit on the caddy surface, rather than go down the center hole. I've had to lift and dry that area as a result, but the overwhelming majority of water is draining through the center hole and into the water tray. I have a feeling that the reason #1's pot is a little sloppier is because I gouged those holes out (in pre-made spaces designed for it) with scissors, whereas I used a drill and made neater holes in #2. I've been considering taking a drill to the bottom of #1 and trying to make it neater now, with the plant in it, but I'm a little nervous about maybe hitting root somewhere in there - though it's hard to imagine that the root is going too far down, considering the size of the plant. I have no idea though.

Since you mentioned it though, I think I'm definitely going to either try to rig it to allow for more air flow or see if I can find another model of caddy that leaves more space between the bottom of the pot and the caddy surface at large.

I do own a pair of moisture/ph/light monitors, and was using them when I had a plant I was trying to grow outdoors. I hadn't started using it here though, for two reasons. For one, I never saw the meter change. I left it in the pot constantly, with the setting on moisture, and it didn't matter if I skipped a watering day, checked it late in a watering day, looked at it after watering or looked at it after a strong rainfall - it always seemed to be in the same general range. I'm not sure if I was doing something wrong with placement or if the item is/was just defective. Early today, I broke it out and tried dipping the tips into a cup of water and it didn't respond at all. I'm not sure it it should work in those conditions though, or if it's specifically designed to only pick up such things in soil. I may have to invest in the other one.

I'm stuck with these lights, unfortunately, as I can't really afford to spring for new ones at the moment, and I'm past my return window. For future reference though, when I have the resources to upgrade my tent, what should I be looking for that I don't have? Or what should I be looking to avoid that I have right now? I opted for ones with veg/bloom switches, thinking the variety of options could be useful, but since then, I've seen posts in various forums/threads that allude to "blurple" lights being inadvisable, and wondered if my lights fall under that category.

Sorry for all the additional questions, and thanks for all the info. I'll be sure to check out those threads shortly. I actually read the second one (about jabbing the meter in the side of the pot) earlier today, and was wondering if it would be a good idea to apply at this stage of growth. I look forward to the first one though, as all the reading I did prior to this regarding pot size has been vague on the matter, and didn't give much reason to start small other than to easily tell how much I'm watering at a time. I decided that I would just go easy on the water and apply in in a specific area, rather than risk damaging the plant when I wanted to transfer it from a smaller to a larger container, as I've never done anything like that before, and since my experience with the outdoor plant gave me the impression that they can be very delicate. Seeing as I'm having potential overwatering problems now though, maybe it wasn't the right move.
 
ComfortablyNumb

ComfortablyNumb

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We like Spider-Farmer lights. They make an excellent product at a mid-ish price point.
Blurple = Blue/Red LED. Usually with a VEG and BLOOM mode. Each switch is half the total watts, and the draw is really around half of that. So, your 600w of light are really only around 250w-300w

It sounds as if your soil meter is defective is a 3-in-1, soil, pH, Light.
You want the one that only has 1 probe and needs no batteries.
The other ones are squirrelly at best.
Ours bangs the stops when we put it in water.

These plants are not as delicate as everyone thinks they are. They will grow if you let them be.
Getting the best harvest is another matter.

I like a tent that leaves me just enough room to stand it up in the room. Get the tallest tent you can fit in your grow area.
Or, just build your own grow spot. In the long run, it might cost slightly more to start, but you will have a much better grow zone for it.
 
RicinBeans

RicinBeans

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We like Spider-Farmer lights. They make an excellent product at a mid-ish price point.
Blurple = Blue/Red LED. Usually with a VEG and BLOOM mode. Each switch is half the total watts, and the draw is really around half of that. So, your 600w of light are really only around 250w-300w

It sounds as if your soil meter is defective is a 3-in-1, soil, pH, Light.
You want the one that only has 1 probe and needs no batteries.
The other ones are squirrelly at best.
Ours bangs the stops when we put it in water.

These plants are not as delicate as everyone thinks they are. They will grow if you let them be.
Getting the best harvest is another matter.

I like a tent that leaves me just enough room to stand it up in the room. Get the tallest tent you can fit in your grow area.
Or, just build your own grow spot. In the long run, it might cost slightly more to start, but you will have a much better grow zone for it.

Thank you so much. I will definitely be ordering one that is exclusively for moisture tonight. It seemed odd to me that this one was so unresponsive. I thought maybe I was doing something wrong by having it too deep or shallow in the soil. I assumed that the detection point is the tip of the spike though, where the color is different from the rest of the spike, which would mean that that specific space is being monitored. As such, it definitely should have been responding after a watering, especially considering that I was giving that outdoor plant a good deal of water at a time.

I was considering moving to both switches on - some articles/threads I've read suggest having both on at all stages of growth, where others have suggested that the lower (veg) wattage is fine for early stages, and that both switches should be on in the flowering stage. I almost did it a few days ago, but figured that since I definitely seem to be having a soil/moisture issue of some kind or other, that I'd try to address that first.

And yeah, I definitely regret not getting a taller tent haha. 5 ft seemed like a lot, but when accounting for a caddy or other type of stand, an inch or so for the top crossbar, two feet of space between the plant tops and the lights, and the space the lights themselves take up, I realized that I wouldn't be able to let the plants in here get terribly tall before I would have to switch the lights into 12/12 and force flowering. Live and learn. I'll definitely be getting a taller one next time I'm able to upgrade the situation. While I have space limitations as far as what I can use for growing, they aren't height-wise at all.

Thanks again, and I hope next time I post in here, I have something positive to report.
 
ComfortablyNumb

ComfortablyNumb

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You might consider a ring or three of holes in the lower portion of the pots. It adds drainage and also is used for access holes for the probe.
This one is a touch excessive.
 
RicinBeans

RicinBeans

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You might consider a ring or three of holes in the lower portion of the pots. It adds drainage and also is used for access holes for the probe.
This one is a touch excessive.
I just may. I'm going to try drilling the holes of #1 (that I cut out with a scissor initially) either tomorrow or Sunday (I know it's already technically Saturday - I'm having a late day) and compare to see if that's what was causing the draining discrepancy, just to get that part clear. I think I may take that extra step afterward though. I also have to get around to seeing if there are better caddies, otherwise I'm going to have to get a little creative as far as creating additional space between the bottom of the pots and the caddy surfaces.

If I do make additional holes along the sides, I have to figure out if I'm going to land the tip of the meter near the bottom of the pot in anticipation of deeper root growth, using it as a general gauge, or try to place it closer to the surface, so as to tell me when the area closer to the current roots are dry. I'm reluctant to move it around too much over time, as I'm afraid I might hit the root system and damage it.

As for a general update:

Today (9/24) was the fourth day without watering, and the surfaces are still damp but finally noticeably less so. Yesterday, #1 seemed less droopy than it had in days prior, but there was not noticeable change from yesterday to today, either to my eye or in the side-by-side photo comparisons.

#2, on the other hand, has grown each of the past two days. I didn't notice the difference between 9/22 and 9/23 until I looked at the side-by-side photos, but when I opened the tent today after the dark cycle, it was clearly visible without even looking closely, and more so in the side-by-sides. It was a very productive last 24 hours for #2, which is encouraging. Photos from today below.

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The gnat populations is still lower than it has been in previous weeks, but there are still some crawling around in the soil. I'm hoping that this dry spell I'm initiating, combined with the DE on the surface, will rid the plants of the last of them. I think once the soil is dry to the touch, I'm going to try to continue to dry the plants out until there are any signs of distress, just to hopefully bring the gnat issue to a close for good.
 
ComfortablyNumb

ComfortablyNumb

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They really need more light. Do you have a big 100w light bulb you can put in there?
 
RicinBeans

RicinBeans

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They really need more light. Do you have a big 100w light bulb you can put in there?
Please excuse the delay, had a long day and late night yesterday - for the first time in nearly two years haha.

I'd be a little concerned about connecting another device to the same outlet there, but it shouldn't be too much trouble to get a clamp-style light or something in there in terms of space or anything like that, though I'd have to rig it if I wanted it to get lower/closer to the plants.

Should I not just flip both the veg and bloom switches on though, if it's not enough light, and give the plants the full available spectrum from my current lights? When I initially read up on the subject, I had seen some people who gave their plants the full spectrum the entire time and others who waited for the flowering phase to do so. I was going to go with the latter since my understanding was that that phase is the one that really requires maximum light exposure since it directly impacts the way the plants produce buds. I can go ahead and start with it now though. Is the idea that it would make the plants grow more quickly? I can do it today.

As for a general update:

9/26: The soil is STILL damp. It's less so though. Today is going to be the sixth straight day the plants are gong without water. I'd estimate, based on the rate it which it's been drying thus far, that at least the surface should be dry in two days or so.

The gnat situation looks nearly the same, though they seem a little busier today. I'm wondering if it's because they're having a harder time finding moisture. I may apply more DE today but I want to do a little reading and make sure there isn't a point at which you can overdo it with DE and cause harm to plants.

The great news today is that #1 definitely looks a little better. It's hard to say if it actually grew or if the leaves are just more perked up, but it's the first noticeable change in its shape for some time.

#2 has continued to grow. The top leaves are substantially larger than they were last time they were photographed. I finally started grouping my photos in separate folders so as to make the side-by-sides easier, and the timeline of #2 shows steady growth for most of its life, with the exception of one short period during which it seemed to be growing at an odd angle. I'm very enthusiastic about this plant though. Hopefully #1 will get there soon as well.

I also need to refer to growing guides again, as I believe this is the point at which I want to start giving them nutrients. Seeing as how I have a couple of days left without watering, it's probably not a priority for today. I want to have my mixtures bottled and ready to go though, so I can put it out of my mind.
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ComfortablyNumb

ComfortablyNumb

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Sorry, just went back up to read it again.
I'm still not seeing any airflow between the pot and the catch tray.
You do not have enough drainage, especially with that soil mix.
You could be on the edge of root rot.
Get some drainage or repot in cleaner soil.
 
RicinBeans

RicinBeans

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Sorry, just went back up to read it again.
I'm still not seeing any airflow between the pot and the catch tray.
You do not have enough drainage, especially with that soil mix.
You could be on the edge of root rot.
Get some drainage or repot in cleaner soil.

For future reference, what is it about this soil mixture that makes it retain so much water? That's exactly what I was trying to find out in my other thread, from which this discussion came. I want to be sure to avoid this in future grows. Is it the manure, or some other element that my buddy included in that mixture? Or just too many things in one compound?

The airflow at the moment between the bottom of the pot and the caddy surface is minimal. The pot itself has ridges on the bottom, and the caddy has small ridges on the top, which probably just creates a handful of mm of space for air to move underneath. As far as drainage, there are 8 holes on the bottom of the pot, and the caddy surface has a hole through which water drains into a tray underneath the caddy.

As per your suggestion though, I'm creating more air flow space below the pot. I could only find one similar caddy-style device that has deeper grooves, but they're only in three directions coming out from the center of the caddy surface, whereas the 8 holes underneath each pot are in a cross/x formation. That being the case, I decided I would have to mod the caddy or pots a little bit. I ordered these furniture grips, and they should be arriving tomorrow, along with new moisture meters. I'm going to stick/stack a few of them together and either attach them to the bottom of the pots or to the caddy surfaces, thus creating a substantial gap between the bottom of the pots and the caddy surfaces.

I'll also be drilling a narrow hole in the side of each pot, through which I'll insert my moisture meters, and I'm considering drilling a few larger holes in each pot for drainage/air flow purposes. Hopefully, once that new setup is achieved, it will somewhat mitigate my water retention issues. Issues which have definitely badly inhibited plant #1 (I'll go into more details in the update section of this post).

On a side note, I was briefly in a backyard bar on Saturday, and they had a bunch of cloth pots everywhere that I became curious about. I got around to reading about them last night, and they seem to be the answer to most if not all drainage/air flow issues. I'm almost certainly going to be using those as containers for my next grow - which I almost can't wait for at this point.

As for a general update:

9/27: Today will be the 7th consecutive day without water. The soil surfaces still have a tiny trace of moisture to them.

I think the leaves on #2 may have grown a little bit since yesterday, but the plant is more or less where it was, still pointing upward.

The state of #1 is a bit more distressing, however. Whereas yesterday, for the first time in weeks, #1 had appeared perky, with the leaves headed in more of an upwards direction, today, the leaves appears as they did two days ago and for roughly a couple of weeks before that - droopy. What's even worse (or perhaps it's a disturbing sight that may indicate something positive is happening) is that while there were almost no gnats to be seen on the surface of #2's soil, #1's surface was positively CRAWLING with gnats. More of them than I've seen since I started using the DE. Given that their numbers had been decreasing up to this point, both in #1's pot and in the tent overall, my hope is that what I witnessed there today is due to the lower part of the pot having dried out, and the gnats moving out to look for moisture. Obviously, I can't say for sure if that's what's happening. I did apply an extra layer of DE on #1 today though, in hopes of it catching/killing all the newly-surfaced critters. Hopefully tomorrow I'll open the tent and be met with a far less distressing sight.

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ComfortablyNumb

ComfortablyNumb

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You said, "Soil: (as described by my friend who mixed it and provided it to me) "Ocean forest soil w/ some chitin/worm castings, bone & blood meals, perlite, and super manure."

FoxFarms products are not the quality they used to be. They changed the formula and it just doesn't cut it anymore. We used FF Ocean Forest for some time but we had to switch. We changed to 'Roots Organic LUSH', twice the soil at half the price.

Worm castings will hold water, as will the 'super manure'. They are both thick and will slow drainage down. Combined, they nearly stop it altogether.
The plants simply do not need all that and they are drowning and gagging on it. I would suggest a fresh bag of soil and a repot on the bad one. The other one might make it where it's at, but I would do both.
 
RicinBeans

RicinBeans

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You said, "Soil: (as described by my friend who mixed it and provided it to me) "Ocean forest soil w/ some chitin/worm castings, bone & blood meals, perlite, and super manure."

FoxFarms products are not the quality they used to be. They changed the formula and it just doesn't cut it anymore. We used FF Ocean Forest for some time but we had to switch. We changed to 'Roots Organic LUSH', twice the soil at half the price.

Worm castings will hold water, as will the 'super manure'. They are both thick and will slow drainage down. Combined, they nearly stop it altogether.
The plants simply do not need all that and they are drowning and gagging on it. I would suggest a fresh bag of soil and a repot on the bad one. The other one might make it where it's at, but I would do both.
Thank you SO MUCH for this info. This is exactly along the lines of what I suspected, but it was just speculation, and I was hoping someone who actually knows what they're talking about could confirm or deny it for me. I'm so glad to finally have the main culprit nailed down.

I may decide to try repotting, but I also might just follow this to its conclusion, as I was considering forcing these to flower early-ish anyway (like on the 1st of November, regardless of how they're looking) so that I can start a brand new grow in December. My thinking is as follows:

I would like to start a grow of 10-12 plants in small cloth containers in the tent at the very start of spring, and then transfer all but 3-6 of them to outdoors when I move them all into larger containers - the outdoor ones going into even larger containers than the ones I keep in the tent to live out the rest of their days. I figure if I wrap up the current grow by December 1st, it would allow me for one more shot at a strictly indoor grow before I start my springtime batch of 10-12 plants. 12/1/21 - 4/1/22, would give me a four-month period to take a second stab at an indoor grow from scratch, with better containers and soil, leaving me enough time to get my third, indoor/outdoor grow going in early spring.

It's a fair bit to mull over, but I'll play it by ear for now, and see how things look as October comes toward its end.

Thanks again for the insight, it's most valuable!
 
ComfortablyNumb

ComfortablyNumb

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It takes 4 months for a full grow indoors. 2 months of Veg, and 2 of Flower. Depending on strains, maybe a week either way.
 
RicinBeans

RicinBeans

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It takes 4 months for a full grow indoors. 2 months of Veg, and 2 of Flower. Depending on strains, maybe a week either way.
Yeah, I'd definitely be cutting it close, is my worry. It doesn't leave me much room for unexpected events if I want to get an indoor-into-outdoor grow started by 4/1/22. According to a quick Google search spring equinox begins on 3/20/22, so even with my current timeline, I'd be a tiny bit late for an indoor-to-outdoor transfer. Considering the alternative is to see this current, fraught grow through to a later date though, where I won't have time for an in-between, second shot at an indoor grow, I might end up risking it. I'll just have to see how things look as we near the end of October and see what seems to make the most sense.
 
ComfortablyNumb

ComfortablyNumb

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Yeah, I'd definitely be cutting it close, is my worry. It doesn't leave me much room for unexpected events if I want to get an indoor-into-outdoor grow started by 4/1/22. According to a quick Google search spring equinox begins on 3/20/22, so even with my current timeline, I'd be a tiny bit late for an indoor-to-outdoor transfer. Considering the alternative is to see this current, fraught grow through to a later date though, where I won't have time for an in-between, second shot at an indoor grow, I might end up risking it. I'll just have to see how things look as we near the end of October and see what seems to make the most sense.
Do you have a yard or outdoor space you can build in? You can grow nearly all year long.
 
RicinBeans

RicinBeans

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Do you have a yard or outdoor space you can build in? You can grow nearly all year long.
Holy smokes... that is incredible.

I do have access to a yard, which is where I plan to move the potential 4/1/22 grow, but it's mostly paved (despite the weed growth that got a bit out of control this summer). I can't really build in there, and if I could, I'd be concerned about a structure like this acting as a massive neon sign advertising my well-beyond-the-legal-limit grow activities, and result in theft and/or snitching. I'm in NYC, and the yard is connected to/clearly visible from five others.

Thing is though, a buddy of mine who used to live here but now lives in Maine was in town over the weekend, and was talking about the possibility of starting a legit, licensed grow out there for business purposes. One that he could startup/fund and that I could maintain. He knows I'm a complete newb, but trusts me to become immersed in this new hobby of mine, as I tend to do when I discover a new love, and become competent enough. I hope his trust isn't misplaced... Better believe I sent him the article you just linked me before I even started typing a reply in here. I think an endeavor like this might be a bit out of the range of how handy my friend and I are, but this is definitely something we might be willing to recruit a professional to help us build, depending on what sort of situation we find ourselves looking at resource and space/land-wise. You've definitely given us something to discuss over here.

Thanks again, I really appreciate all the input. It's a huge help, both for the current/next grows and for overall learning about the process.
 
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