Schwer's First Grow Evah! Planning, Prep and Grow

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dire wolf

dire wolf

7 gal is a big container for a first grow , but hey ....you can go for it
Just keep in mind much longer veg time to fill the pots
You want them well rooted when you flip to flower , try to avoid soggy bottom large containers that can lead to root rot
 
Schwer

Schwer

Hey s , I've had great results with coast of Maine , I highly recommend it ...did you discuss a pest treatment if one arises?

Damn dire wolf, thanks so much for all the info!

Regarding pests, just last night I happened to watch a video where a guy's soil was PACKED with soil mites and little worms. It was absolutely horrifying! Like horror movie material under a microscope. Apparently those particular critters weren't going to harm the plants but watching that vid was enough to get me focused on pest treatment in a hurry. I've seen a lot of solutions to different problems to include the yellow sticky tape, neem oil, nematodes, predatory mites, mosquito dunks, and now spinosad! I'll be sure to spend the necessary time to learn what helps with what, what I can and can't use together, and pest identification.

Also there's a silver bag of coast of Maine nutrient mix , I forgot what it's called , it's a general organic feed , not the lobster one , it smells like shit , but if you do a few teaspoons in your gal container , you should be ok , it's what I use ....
Also look into worm castings , it is shit but surprisingly dosent have any odor , your seedlings and small growth will eat it up , it's one of the least harsh , and richest nutrients young plants use ....it's amazing , just go easy with it , tends to stay wet and can compact mix , be sure to use 15 or more % perlite in your mix , some go as high as 25 /30 %

Is this the nutrient mix you were referring to? I see it does have some lobster shells but otherwise matches your description. Is this something you use when transferring your seedlings to a new home or when prepping your final pots? According to the Stonington's bag info I'd have to do some amending after 30 days anyway.
COMPF.jpg

As for EWC, that shit seems pretty ubiquitous when it comes to organic grows. I've seen it used in seed mixes, primary mixes, top dressing, teas, etc. Pretty amazing. There is no shortage of great information out there and good people freely willing to offer that info and help a newbie. The challenging for me is trying to consolidate all of that info into a single plan that will work for me. I worry about trying to do too many "helpful" things to my grow, which is why my original plan gets trimmed back on almost a daily basis, lol.

Scrog can be a bit of a pain in the ass for a first grow.

Regarding training, I came to this same conclusion and the ScrOG is one of the things I decided to trim from my first grow. LST and topping was still on the list but I'll have to look more into the other techniques you mentioned. For example, topping vs fimming is still a bit of a mystery to me but I have no doubt there are a billion videos on exactly that!

Consider what you will catch drainage in ....

7 gal is a big container for a first grow , but hey ....you can go for it
Just keep in mind much longer veg time to fill the pots
You want them well rooted when you flip to flower , try to avoid soggy bottom large containers that can lead to root rot

For drainage I was planning on using plant saucers along with a riser for each pot.

And yeah, I don't think I have a good grasp on my space, grow size, etc despite all of the vids I've watched and the info I've read. I'm pretty sure I'll stick with the 5 gal containers in keeping with my new KISS focus, and once I get the tent setup I hope to have a better feeling for the space I'll be using.
 
Sparky1980

Sparky1980

Damn dire wolf, thanks so much for all the info!

Regarding pests, just last night I happened to watch a video where a guy's soil was PACKED with soil mites and little worms. It was absolutely horrifying! Like horror movie material under a microscope. Apparently those particular critters weren't going to harm the plants but watching that vid was enough to get me focused on pest treatment in a hurry. I've seen a lot of solutions to different problems to include the yellow sticky tape, neem oil, nematodes, predatory mites, mosquito dunks, and now spinosad! I'll be sure to spend the necessary time to learn what helps with what, what I can and can't use together, and pest identification.



Is this the nutrient mix you were referring to? I see it does have some lobster shells but otherwise matches your description. Is this something you use when transferring your seedlings to a new home or when prepping your final pots? According to the Stonington's bag info I'd have to do some amending after 30 days anyway.
View attachment 1113745
As for EWC, that shit seems pretty ubiquitous when it comes to organic grows. I've seen it used in seed mixes, primary mixes, top dressing, teas, etc. Pretty amazing. There is no shortage of great information out there and good people freely willing to offer that info and help a newbie. The challenging for me is trying to consolidate all of that info into a single plan that will work for me. I worry about trying to do too many "helpful" things to my grow, which is why my original plan gets trimmed back on almost a daily basis, lol.



Regarding training, I came to this same conclusion and the ScrOG is one of the things I decided to trim from my first grow. LST and topping was still on the list but I'll have to look more into the other techniques you mentioned. For example, topping vs fimming is still a bit of a mystery to me but I have no doubt there are a billion videos on exactly that!



For drainage I was planning on using plant saucers along with a riser for each pot.

And yeah, I don't think I have a good grasp on my space, grow size, etc despite all of the vids I've watched and the info I've read. I'm pretty sure I'll stick with the 5 gal containers in keeping with my new KISS focus, and once I get the tent setup I hope to have a better feeling for the space I'll be using.
Even 3 gal fabric smart pots would be all right for a first grow. But 5 will be great, too. Just longer veg. The fabric will keep them air-pruned and eliminate getting root bound.
 
dire wolf

dire wolf

Damn dire wolf, thanks so much for all the info!

Regarding pests, just last night I happened to watch a video where a guy's soil was PACKED with soil mites and little worms. It was absolutely horrifying! Like horror movie material under a microscope. Apparently those particular critters weren't going to harm the plants but watching that vid was enough to get me focused on pest treatment in a hurry. I've seen a lot of solutions to different problems to include the yellow sticky tape, neem oil, nematodes, predatory mites, mosquito dunks, and now spinosad! I'll be sure to spend the necessary time to learn what helps with what, what I can and can't use together, and pest identification.



Is this the nutrient mix you were referring to? I see it does have some lobster shells but otherwise matches your description. Is this something you use when transferring your seedlings to a new home or when prepping your final pots? According to the Stonington's bag info I'd have to do some amending after 30 days anyway.
View attachment 1113745
As for EWC, that shit seems pretty ubiquitous when it comes to organic grows. I've seen it used in seed mixes, primary mixes, top dressing, teas, etc. Pretty amazing. There is no shortage of great information out there and good people freely willing to offer that info and help a newbie. The challenging for me is trying to consolidate all of that info into a single plan that will work for me. I worry about trying to do too many "helpful" things to my grow, which is why my original plan gets trimmed back on almost a daily basis, lol.



Regarding training, I came to this same conclusion and the ScrOG is one of the things I decided to trim from my first grow. LST and topping was still on the list but I'll have to look more into the other techniques you mentioned. For example, topping vs fimming is still a bit of a mystery to me but I have no doubt there are a billion videos on exactly that!



For drainage I was planning on using plant saucers along with a riser for each pot.

And yeah, I don't think I have a good grasp on my space, grow size, etc despite all of the vids I've watched and the info I've read. I'm pretty sure I'll stick with the 5 gal containers in keeping with my new KISS focus, and once I get the tent setup I hope to have a better feeling for the space I'll be using.
Yes that's the mix , I've used it with excellent results
I'd use the ewc for the second week to third week of seedling growth , it's remarkably gentle and won't burn up the fresh roots ....id then use the stonington later at around week 3 or 4 in small doses
 
dire wolf

dire wolf

Damn dire wolf, thanks so much for all the info!

Regarding pests, just last night I happened to watch a video where a guy's soil was PACKED with soil mites and little worms. It was absolutely horrifying! Like horror movie material under a microscope. Apparently those particular critters weren't going to harm the plants but watching that vid was enough to get me focused on pest treatment in a hurry. I've seen a lot of solutions to different problems to include the yellow sticky tape, neem oil, nematodes, predatory mites, mosquito dunks, and now spinosad! I'll be sure to spend the necessary time to learn what helps with what, what I can and can't use together, and pest identification.



Is this the nutrient mix you were referring to? I see it does have some lobster shells but otherwise matches your description. Is this something you use when transferring your seedlings to a new home or when prepping your final pots? According to the Stonington's bag info I'd have to do some amending after 30 days anyway.
View attachment 1113745
As for EWC, that shit seems pretty ubiquitous when it comes to organic grows. I've seen it used in seed mixes, primary mixes, top dressing, teas, etc. Pretty amazing. There is no shortage of great information out there and good people freely willing to offer that info and help a newbie. The challenging for me is trying to consolidate all of that info into a single plan that will work for me. I worry about trying to do too many "helpful" things to my grow, which is why my original plan gets trimmed back on almost a daily basis, lol.



Regarding training, I came to this same conclusion and the ScrOG is one of the things I decided to trim from my first grow. LST and topping was still on the list but I'll have to look more into the other techniques you mentioned. For example, topping vs fimming is still a bit of a mystery to me but I have no doubt there are a billion videos on exactly that!



For drainage I was planning on using plant saucers along with a riser for each pot.

And yeah, I don't think I have a good grasp on my space, grow size, etc despite all of the vids I've watched and the info I've read. I'm pretty sure I'll stick with the 5 gal containers in keeping with my new KISS focus, and once I get the tent setup I hope to have a better feeling for the space I'll be using.
As long as your not sitting in water you'll be ok , wet bottoms = very bad
 
dire wolf

dire wolf

Damn dire wolf, thanks so much for all the info!

Regarding pests, just last night I happened to watch a video where a guy's soil was PACKED with soil mites and little worms. It was absolutely horrifying! Like horror movie material under a microscope. Apparently those particular critters weren't going to harm the plants but watching that vid was enough to get me focused on pest treatment in a hurry. I've seen a lot of solutions to different problems to include the yellow sticky tape, neem oil, nematodes, predatory mites, mosquito dunks, and now spinosad! I'll be sure to spend the necessary time to learn what helps with what, what I can and can't use together, and pest identification.



Is this the nutrient mix you were referring to? I see it does have some lobster shells but otherwise matches your description. Is this something you use when transferring your seedlings to a new home or when prepping your final pots? According to the Stonington's bag info I'd have to do some amending after 30 days anyway.
View attachment 1113745
As for EWC, that shit seems pretty ubiquitous when it comes to organic grows. I've seen it used in seed mixes, primary mixes, top dressing, teas, etc. Pretty amazing. There is no shortage of great information out there and good people freely willing to offer that info and help a newbie. The challenging for me is trying to consolidate all of that info into a single plan that will work for me. I worry about trying to do too many "helpful" things to my grow, which is why my original plan gets trimmed back on almost a daily basis, lol.



Regarding training, I came to this same conclusion and the ScrOG is one of the things I decided to trim from my first grow. LST and topping was still on the list but I'll have to look more into the other techniques you mentioned. For example, topping vs fimming is still a bit of a mystery to me but I have no doubt there are a billion videos on exactly that!



For drainage I was planning on using plant saucers along with a riser for each pot.

And yeah, I don't think I have a good grasp on my space, grow size, etc despite all of the vids I've watched and the info I've read. I'm pretty sure I'll stick with the 5 gal containers in keeping with my new KISS focus, and once I get the tent setup I hope to have a better feeling for the space I'll be using.
Topping will split the top of the plant in 2 , fimming will slow down the top but it will continue to grow , as this is happening you'll get strong side shoots that will increase your bud sites
One of my favorite moves is to fimm the top of the plant , then when it recovers , do a super cropping on the main stem about 10 inches below the top , you'll just squeeze the stem and squash it , causing a bruise , that will soon heal and strengthen the entire plant , but there are all kinds of brutal shit you can do to the plant to encourage more bud sites and vigorous growth

Yea , watch the videos ,, then run it by some members here !
 
Schwer

Schwer

Thanks again for the replies Sparky and dire wolf. Super helpful.

The Gorilla 4x4 arrived today and I had it up a half hour later 😅.

I was able to do the full set up on my own without too much trouble thanks to a few handy velcro attachments. The only hard part was getting the top on, but that was entirely due to the 1 foot expansion giving me about an inch between the top of the tent and the ceiling (see last pic).

Speaking of the expansion. I messed up and ordered a two foot expansion thinking it was the one foot expansion. Oops. Last night I was confused because for the life of me I couldn't find the 1 foot expansion to purchase on their website. Now I know why... it was included with the tent! Now I just need to get that two footer returned.

I was looking forward to getting the main system setup this weekend just for fun (tent, ventilation, lights) but my vent items were delayed due to some bad weather. Aww well, now I can just spread the fun over more days.

Here are some pics with some empty 5gal pots for reference.

tent3.jpeg

tent5.jpeg

tent4.jpeg

tent1.jpeg
 
Schwer

Schwer

The ventilation equipment arrived today so I had some fun putting that together along with the lights. Good times!

I was not prepared for how bright those LED are. I mean damn. I may have temporarily blinded my wife because she was looking in the tent when I accidently turned them on. Sorry hun.

I used the vent cover on the right side for some stability during setup and forgot to take it off for the pic in case anyone is wondering why the closed carb filter end looks like its being vented. I'm going to tighten things up a bit later closer to my grow.

tent7.jpeg

tent8.jpeg

tent6.jpeg

tent9.jpeg
 
HeathenFarmer

HeathenFarmer

If you fill that 4x4 you’re gonna have a lot of bud to burn thru😂 It’s a great problem to have 😎

For organic soil I’m really liking the Dr Earth lineup on my grow. I’ve used Fox Farm and Earth Juice in the past on 1 indoor and a few outdoor grows with good results, but the Dr Earth is pretty fool proof and cheap. It’s 100% organic and contains all the myco‘s as well. Plants are really loving it.

If it’s your first grow don’t get discouraged if things go off the rails a little. Not saying they will, just keep at it. Are you 100% settled on genetics yet?
 
Schwer

Schwer

Ha, thanks HeathenFarmer. You know, having too much bud will be a nice problem to have for once. I look forward to making gift packages for friends 😁

I'm not 100% settled on genetics and have some time to think about it between now and mid June when I plan to start the grow. Any suggestions?
 
Smithers

Smithers

I’m about to start a redesign of my space too! And move it to a new location some time this fall. Pretty good read so far with what your doing, I like your light choice! 🌱🌞

Have you got your timers for controlling light schedule yet? Nearpow makes some great digital timers as apposed to those click dials. Don’t bump one of those with your elbow and mash the clicks and spin it like I did, headphones blaring... somehow I felt it and un-f’d myself before the plants knew. Don’t use those imo. Also, Ink bird has some great solutions for temp and humidity. I use the IHC-200 and ITC-308.

I kinda want to get spendy on something like the Omron Zen 20c1dr-d-v2 to control parts of my future space, but I’d like more analog inputs. And I don’t really need anything like that, but I’d love a central control center, when I build out my next space.

Following this from here.
 
Schwer

Schwer

Hey man, thanks for the reply. Looking forward to seeing that new space you're planning.

Damn, close call there on your light timers. I ended up getting the master controller for my E680 so I'll be using that for lighting control. I need to read the manual a bit more but it seems pretty intuitive.

The Inkbird products you posted have been on my short list too. Well, the one for humidity anyway. I'll probably wait to see how the humidity shapes up in my grow space before making any other buying decisions outside of the humidifier. I still need to settle on one of those.

But hey, I'm on my last week of vacation so I can start my grow as early as next week if I get my shit together. Woot!
 
Smithers

Smithers

Hey man, thanks for the reply. Looking forward to seeing that new space you're planning.

Damn, close call there on your light timers. I ended up getting the master controller for my E680 so I'll be using that for lighting control. I need to read the manual a bit more but it seems pretty intuitive.

The Inkbird products you posted have been on my short list too. Well, the one for humidity anyway. I'll probably wait to see how the humidity shapes up in my grow space before making any other buying decisions outside of the humidifier. I still need to settle on one of those.

But hey, I'm on my last week of vacation so I can start my grow as early as next week if I get my shit together. Woot!

I’ll post a link when I start my planning thread. And, fwiw, the dial timers are fine and I’m still using one, just careful to mount it out of elbows bump reach, cause it’s an easy mistake to make and not notice.

Inkbird makes a few combo units now that do both temp/hum, not sure how they work compared to the ones I got. But imo you can’t under-do trying to get your environment right. One of my next upgrades hopefully will be ability to graph temp/hum over time so I can understand how to best optimize... I see many people doing that lately. I know I get humidity spikes at lights out, air cools off and as much vapor can’t be held. Exhaust sort-of keeps up...

Scrap that Omron I said. Latest looking has me leaning towards Click Plus Plc, pretty new on the market (Mar 2021). I wanna setup industrial control, once, it’s what I do for career. As I expand to multiple rooms, I want to leap frog over shoestring individual units. My current stuff was and is just fine. But that Click, seems cheap, modularly expandable, says the code is free and very easy to learn. Like I need an excuse to pick up a new brand language anyway! I’ll be datasheet reading and comparing what’s out there for quite some time before settling. Not for everyone, that’s for sure.

Enjoy remaining vaca 🏖👍
 
Schwer

Schwer

This morning I put a little more work into the tent and grow room by putting in the fans, cleaning the place up and sorting my wiring.

Right now I'm working on temps and humidity to see if I can get away without having to install a window A/C unit in the room for the summer. Temps in the tent were reaching as high as 84 degrees F with the lights rocking at full blast. Ambient temps in the room were between 72 and 74 at the time. I dropped the lights down to 80% which is close to the max I'd be running during flower per some PPFD measurements so we'll see how that changes things up.

I also added a humidifier to the room (not the tent) because RH is the room was ~40% without the humidifier. Hopefully those numbers will improve throughout the day as well.

tent010.jpg
 
Schwer

Schwer

Regarding room temps and humidity: I settled on a solution that I think will offer me the most control during the summer. I'm putting that spare window AC unit in the room, and now instead of exhausting from the tent back into the room I'm going to exhaust outside via a window vent. I guess my neighbors and I will find out whether or not the carbon filter works. It had to be done though, the room was getting really warm during my testing with the LEDS running at 80% or higher, so venting outside should save me a lot on that AC electricity bill and make it much easier to manage temps.

At long last, I finally have the time to go ahead and get started with the actual grow. I settled on Black Berry Kush and Grand Daddy Purple for my first time out. I've decided to soak some seeds overnight in RO. I'll put them in some seed starters tomorrow and toss them in the tent under a dome. I'll start with six seeds and select the best looking four to keep it legal and fit my tent. I have the humidifier handy if the dome isn't enough to keep the humidity up.

I lowered my lights and put in a stand for the seedlings, and at the current distance and settings they'll get between 150 and 200 ppm for 18/6 to kick things off. I'll be transferring them to Solo Cups, then to 1 gal containers, and finally to 5 gal containers. I'm keeping it simple on soil and will be using Coast of Maine Stonington plat mix when I pot into the 1 gal and 5 gal containers. I'll amend with compost teas (mostly because I want to try them out) and the Stoneington firt.

I'll post some pics when I get that window vent installed.
 
early168

early168

9
3
Tentative Soil Mix Plan

The base mix I’m considering in split thirds of peat moss, EWC, and perlite for water retention, nutrient availability and drainage respectively. Here are brands I know I can get in my area. You may see a lot of Coast of Maine stuff, but that's mostly because I know the two big independent nursery's in my area carry their products. I'm certainly not married to the brand.

View attachment 1111684

I’m considering the following amendments for that base:

Dolomite Lime – My understanding is that this is necessary for neutralizing the acidity of the peat moss, and that dolomite lime is a good choice for slow release. About 1 cup per cubic foot soil. Not sure on my total soil requirements so I can’t get specific on measurements just yet.

Kelp Meal – additional macro and micro nutrients

View attachment 1111686

Lobster Meal –Calcium and some other macros

View attachment 1111685

Alfalfa Meal – NPK and micros

View attachment 1111691

Tomato Tone Fert – For a bit of everything.

View attachment 1111692

Neem Meal - Slow release N and possible pest repellant?

View attachment 1111693

And that's about all I have on the list for the moment, but with ALL of that being said I suppose I could also take the easier route and opt for the Coast of Maine Stoneington Platinum Growers Mix which seems to have most of what I listed in it to begin then and then amend accordingly. So that's a possibility as well and might be easier for a first grow.

View attachment 1111694
Great soil and amendment picks go with coast of Maine liquid squid, kelp, alfalfa, get some Diatomaceous earth for fungus gnats and the silica value, I actually combined stonington Blend coast of Maine with the raised bed coast of Maine and fox farm happy frog I started my build from there but your gonna come across so many organic ways of conditioning your soil your on the right track
 

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