Thrown into the fire- A journal and adventure of lightdep glory ( or failure) Advice, critiques, follow along

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sonygarden

sonygarden

Hello all. First off id like to say beforehand, thank you in advance for any help, and interest this may receive. Ive been reading the hell out of this forum, as well as others, and now its time to lay my cards out, and work from front to back, instead of backwards. Im located in southern oregon, to provide context of my environment.

Situation- Recently offered the opportunity to take charge of setting up 2 greenhouses, with the goal of continous grows in light deps. 200 clones to start with. (2) 20x50 ft greenhouses. Ive spent a lot of time growing with a master grower with great success, but lack of organization and leadership did not provide a conducive learning environment. So im very well rounded, and understand the task at hand, but am also lacking a great amount of knowledge. Im either going to succeed in a huge way, or crash and burn. My strong qualities are ability to research, trouble shoot, and educate myself on the fly. I always flourish in high stress situation. Ive been more on the extraction side for a while, but am confident i can succeed in this. I was thrown this chance kind of late in the game, so i am going to use this as a follow along for my grow, where hopefully people can follow along, critique my methods, and others can learn down the line. Im basically trying to fill in the blanks on certain things, mainly nutrients (organic or bottled fertilizers) and understanding ppms, balance, and feeding protocols. so here goes so far. If some of this sounds stupid and or wayy off, understand im here to learn. Thanks for reading thus far.. The more i read, the more i learn the intricacies of growing.. Ph, ppms, ec, etc. In my past experience of growing, things were fairly simple. whether due to budget, or time, i simply dont remember really being too over the top with analyzing these things. We had very clean near 0 ppm water from an underground aquifer.. Used greengro for soil amendment, and simple organic inputs such as chicken manure that was processed with a special process, fish emulsions, and a few other organic feeds which i recall. So part of me gets overwhelmed doing research, the other part of me says "calm down, its not that complex"

My goal is to keep a continuous grow going, but i know that takes a lot of work, time and dialing in. So for now im focused on the first grow. Im following a light dep schedule calendar as a reference. The following is a general timeline im attempting to follow-

February 1- take clone cuts. (I will be getting clones from a good friend with a good source, so im skipping ahead to the next date)
I dont know yet the size or maturity of the clones, nor what medium i will be receiving them in. But i will be receiving them roughly in the next week (feb 10-18th)
I currently have a shipping container set up, insulated. I will have approx (5) 4 foot t5 HO lighting setups as seen here t5 lights. Lined up straight down one side of the container, with tables under them for the plants. Im hoping this will be adequate for early vegging, although i can increase this if it is way under requirement. I will be keeping them on an 18/6 light schedule. Still figuring out the temp and humidity control setups, and trying to visualize the growth to accommodate the space and lighting needed as the grow.

February 22- Transplant clones to 1 gallon pots. They will remain in 1 gallon pots until the next calendar event, or until i see the roots fill out in which case i will up pot to 5 gallons. Again this will probably change my requirements for lighting and space in the veg room.

March 28- Transplant clones to final location. I will be using 25 gallon smart pots in the greenhouse. At this point from time of cuts being taken, to march 28th they will have been vegging for approx 8 weeks.

April 4- Begin 12/12 lighting schedule with tarp pulling. I have yet to decide if i will pull late in the evening, and uncover at night, or cover at night and pull early in the morning. But it seems the plants will have a week to acclimate to the outside and new pots before being thrown into flower.

8 weeks of flowering, with a suspected harvest date in late/end of may.

This calendar basically has the same layout, but color coded with 2 other processes to do in conjuction with this which theoretically will keep this cycle going for 3 harvests per year. Again im not focused completely on the 3, as i know thats hard to pull off even with a seasoned grower.

That is the general schedule i am on right now.


Nutrient plan--
So this is my first big hurdle. With my experience with growing with my friend, we grew organically for the most part, and he understood nutrients to a higher degree, so he was able to find suitable fertilizers/nutrients from good old fashion organic inputs. It was great economically, and produced great results. I feel organic has a stronger learning curve, but may be wrong. I also believe on the other hand that any branded nutrient lines will not be economically viable for a large grow of 200 plants. I genuinely am having trouble calculating my nutritional needs. The plants will be in 25 gallon pots, which will total about 25 yards of soil. My soil tester talked me through a lot of it, and explained that by giving the soil the proper nutrient balance, the plants will be able to eat properly, and i will just have to supplement with top dressing or watering in nutrients..But i can genuinely say, the feeding aspect has me the most intimidated. Reading feed charts which are always in mass per 1 gallon water, its hard to calculate ballpark what id need, and understanding ppms of each nutrient, and how it collectively affects the mix is also intimidating. Hoping the soil test(next paragraph) will help me figure this out a little better instead of trying to blindly formulate a nutrient plan. Open to any and all suggestions/explanations. Jacks 321 seems to be praised alot for its results and simplicity.. I cannot find a local source, so shipping is an option, but again, i have no idea of how to even begin to calculate how much id need.

SOIL-
So my grow property had a lot of large pots already set up, but we dumped them and dozed all of it into a corner to grade the tiers for the greenhouses. I have no idea what kind of soil or fertilizers were used. My partners are a little finicky with expenditures, and im not in a position to strongly argue anything on my behalf. So, the plan is to get a neutral/ light potting soil for the initial transplant from clone medium to 1 gallon pots. I know that small young clones dont need too much during the very early weeks, so a good watering and light soil should get them through. In the meantime, i have dropped off several samples of the bulk soil we have, and am awaiting results. The gentleman doing the tests is an older retired man who seems to just love what he does, and i expect him to be able to provide me with a good game plan for amending the soil and getting it up to par. All transplants will be done with the aid of bigfoot mycorrhizae around the root area, as i was always taught.

Questions about my soil plan-
1) Is there harm in starting the young plants in their own light potting soil, and then into the new amended bulk soil when they are ready for the 25 gallon pots? Any shock or distress from the completely new soil, assuming its amended properly and wont be too hot?
2) I see a lot of nutrient feeding schedules usually have some nutrient line for clones/small plants. So to add to my first paragraph, here too i am stumped on what to feed these girls as soon as the clones come to me.
3)Methods of analyzing soil content. As I go, im somewhat lost on exactly how to measure my soil contents, whats in there, what im lacking, etc. Deficiencys, over use, etc

Questions about the vegging room-
1) opinions on those lights that i linked? I actually have ten of them, but enough power to run 5 as of right now. Will these suffice for early clones/vegging, and will the suffice until its time for the girls to go outside.
2)Ideal temps seem to be 75-80 degrees for this time, with a RH of 65-75%. I am still working on the infrastructure to support this. Thoughts on those parameters?


To not overwhelm anyone interested so far, ill stop here for now. Im trying to attack my issues in the order that they are about to hit me. Step 1- setting up the environment and feeding for these clones coming to me within the next week. Getting those dialed in will buy me 6-8 weeks to work on the rest of my research. Those lights i linked are fairly cheap but im hoping will be sufficient. I will be following and posting here regularly. Thank you for reading thus far and i hope you can join me on this journey, and hopefully others can learn as well.
 
Anthem

Anthem

If I understood you correctly you want to get 3 rounds in per year in Oregon? I live in Socal and the best I have managed is 3 with the last being about 1/2 the weight of the first two. In the greenhouse in march, finished in December. I think I would focus on just 2 rounds. Spring/Fall. Also, if you are going to drop them into the greenhouse in late April, will supplemental light be required to keep the plants in veg for a week. Light dep can grow some good stuff. Good light dep is hard to tell apart from indoor.
You will need to have a good understanding of the greenhouse needs. You cannot just stick the plants in the greenhouse and manage the food and water. Secondly, you will need heating and cooling in the greenhouse. Plan on air exchanges at least once a minute. Also you are going to need a way to dehumidify the greenhouse. People, myself included, think that greenhouses do not get hot. That is just not the case. Look into some shading for the summer months. I had a tarp made out of Alumishield I think it was because the plants were getting too much light in like August. Lastly, the tarps. I was using supplemental lighting so I had to double cover the greenhouse to keep light from coming thru the traps. If your partners are not willing to pony up for equipment listed above, AC, circulation fans, exhaust fans, dehumidification, maybe a heater, I would personally not consider the opportunity.

Secondly, if I was going to take on a venture like this there are a couple of things I would do differently. First soil and nutrients. Yes, I agree, organic would be best. Considering the task at hand and the learning curve. I would stick with powdered nutrients. Cost of these in bulk is cheap. I mean super cheap as compared to buying a gallon of something at the hydro store. So I would just plan on feeding the plants rather than living soil. You will have enough on your hands controlling the grow environment and the plants.
This is just my opinion so good luck!!!
 
sonygarden

sonygarden

thank you for the reply!! to address a few of your concerns, i didnt mean to imply that they dont want to spend any money.. On the contrary, they are very supportive and financially well off. To clarify that part, i suggested getting new soil from a local bulk soil maker, and they suggested we test and try and use the soil we already have here. I have zero facts to be able to say that is the wrong call, so i didnt mean to make it sound like im working with nothing. As for greenhouse conditions, those are things we are ironing out now. I /we certainly know we cant just drop the plants in the greenhouse. As for heat, weve been researching pellet stoves with an idea of ducting from one tier to the upper tiers greenhouse to share the heat.

As for supplemental lighting, i was looking at led string lights. Ive had good success when used at the first budget grow i worked on. They may work out for that use. Im not 100% set on following that schedule, simply using it as a template to work off of. And i certainly am not aiming to pull 3 harvests out of this. I already acknowledge that is too much for one person coming into this being new. Ideally id get that early harvest around late may, and get a second batch of clones already vegging right out there. But indeed, im more concerned with dialing in my process than trying to slam out as many harvests as i can.

With that being said, onto the last item of nutrients. Where would be a good starting point to research and price out powdered and or liquid nutrients. Jacks 321 seems very simply and has good results, i just cant source it locally. My issue is not having a great idea of how much im going to need through the grow, makes it hard to gauge what sources or products i should be looking at. You touched on one of my thoughts, of if i should focus on feeding the soil, or the plants

Again to be clear, for all the knowledge and experience i dont have, i do have a lot behind that. I understand the work, dedication, diligence and focus needed to pull this off. I guess you can say im a well groomed newbie. So im confident i can rise up to the occasion. Just hoping with the help of you wonderful people, i can get through this first grow with some success
 
the rrock

the rrock

the first thing I would do is hire Anthem to manage things,being in your situation before(39 years ago) by the time I got everything figured out it was too late. Didnt have the knowledge or equipment to manage air movement or humidity control,but I learned alot on someones elses dime. I came out great as I was introduced to some sensi strains that I used to supplement my income for many years
 
sonygarden

sonygarden

unfortunately a paid consultant is not in the cards. Not so much because of finances, but because i know there will be no interest in bringing someone in. I have a lot of resources and support, and have always done well in these crunch time situations. I dont mind the 18 hour work days, reading, researching. Im confident if i can fill the holes in my plan, that i can be successful. If i could, i would. But the current situation is that i just need to figure out a solid plan, and go with it. Finances and support will always be there for me on my partners end. Like i said, as amateur as some of my questions sound, (and they are for sure), im not a complete newbie jumping into this with no understanding of the difficulty or work load. I am 100% devoted to the work load and will do everything i can to make this work. They have several grows with people running them. Im not COMPLETELY on my own, but for the most part its up to me to atleast decide what we need. The grows i worked on previously were a simple 2 man crew that grew more, and higher quality buds than most people we ever spoke with. It was just such a busy clusterfuck situation where i never had time to be diligent in learning these important details. I excel in research and getting my questions answered. but alas, i also know that in one day with a proper mistake you can kill 200 plants. I just dont want to sound like im more in over my head than i am.. and yes I am, but im as equipped to succeed as much as any one would be :) Soil tests will be back soon and im sure that guy will be beneficial in amending my soil. Nutrients is really my primary focus, as im mostly having trouble ball parking my quanities needed. As for the infrastructure, ie cooling, heating, dehumidifying, the people im working with /for are all capable of building, and doing all that. We already have several big ass fans, vents, heaters, etc. Just figuring all the details out :)

Thank you both for your advice and follow ups so far !! :)
 
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