What I’ve Learned in the First 4 Weeks of Growing

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Metrix

Metrix

36
18
so why you quote me and not say anything? there's nothing factual about what you said, especially if you haven't tried anything different.

In nearly 20 years of growing, I've used damn near every medium there is and soil has historically, and repeatedly, proven to be subpar to promix, coco, and hydro (of different methods). The easiest by far has proven to be rockwool, only seconded by recirculating dutch buckets. Let me explain why my opinion is what it is.

In soil:

You are lucky to see veg rates even half as fast as in a soilless medium. FACT.

You're more likely to have bugs and general filth around your grow area. FACT.

You can't rapidly resolve fuck ups because it retains water like a chick on her period. FACT.

You're more likely to overwater and completely fuck up because nothing changes quickly in soil. FACT.

You have new growers with maybe a couple harvests under their belts and that buddy that "grows organic trees outdoors" that think they know their shit, when IN FACT they don't.

Now, in soilless/hydro:

You have full control over whatever is going on in the media. FACT.

You can quickly address lockouts, deficiencies, and other common issues with visible results within days, not weeks. FACT

You have almost zero chance of overwatering. FACT.

You stand a better than not chance of having pests introduced to your environment by a subpar, money hungry organization hustling basically different kinds of animal shit with some compost, peat and bark mixed in. FACT.

You get exponential growth rates cutting down seed-to-harvest. FACT.

You end up with a cleaner burning, higher quality product. FACT.

Now if you can change my mind on any of the above with valid proof aside from shouting an opinion with no backing other than cognitive dissonance and an insistance on being a childish troll, I'm all ears. Otherwise, keep your mouth shut and don't @ me. I'm working on not being a dick and rather drop you on ignore than deal with a keyboard warrior that hasn't added any value to this forum at this point.
Amen

Absolutely true, beers on me :)
 
SSgrower

SSgrower

1,076
163
I really enjoy @Aquaman style growing as I now have 3 successful grows "inside" in a 4x4 tent. I would try outdoors again if Texas goes legal. SS
 
jguit

jguit

Supporter
899
143
When I start with a medium that has been perfectly balanced by mother nature for me, containing all the minerals and micro nutrients etc. etc., all I have to do for my plants is weekly minimal nutrient supplements, and I can be conservative because even if I underfeed it, the soil richness itself is my back up, so I can’t go too far wrong.
I feed them with a flowering compost tea that I air bubble for 36 hours, made from purified water, my compost, worm castings, humeric, molasses, azomite, potassium pellets, Cal/phos, and bone meal. Alternating weeks I’ll give them an Epson salt drink, or some other appropriate compost tea. The plants never seem toget too far out of whack that way and seem to be pretty well fed.
That mirrors my experience with soil as well. It was a lot of work, slow growing and much too messy for growing indoors. I've seen excellent soil grows but It just wasn't for me.
 
SmokeRings900

SmokeRings900

15
3
I started my first grow in a 3x3 tent under full spec LED in 70/30 coco/expanded clay balls with solo cups. I am growing 5 plants, 3 strains, from seed.
4 weeks later...here is what I’d say so far

1) Transplanting from coco/clay is a bitch...just use perlite. Make sure it’s wet, but not soaked. Certainly not dry. I had two fall apart from being too dry and to top it off those stupid clay balls fell out even with the moist ones.

2) Check your cups for drain holes before filling lol. At transplant I realized I forgot to put them in the sour power cup. Strangely enough it’s been the best and biggest growing of the bunch (Heres my current journal if you wanna check it out https://www.thcfarmer.com/threads/f...r-power-with-the-spider-farmer-se5000.133884/ and https://www.thcfarmer.com/threads/f...wer-pt-2-spider-farmer-se5000-journal.134885/ )

3) LEDs require higher temps and plants commonly require a little more calcium and magnesium when growing under them...and coco likes to absorb magnesium too so think about precharging it with cal/mag.

4) No one likes a scared Nancy, so stop freaking out over every little leaf blemish. This becomes apparent once you start to understand how the blemish got there ie: leaf was accidentally wetted by the nutrient solution...of course it’s gonna look like it has Gonorrhea after sitting under your powerful radioactive grow lights while soaked in a solution of powerful nutrient molecules. Look to new growth for your answers, and watch for changes in both.

5) Pay attention to the guy saying “hey bro you might want a bigger tent”! A 3x3 is pretty effin small when you realize you have to get in there and water, trim leaves, adjust the light, move the clip on fan to a different spot etc. Forget about putting a heater or humidifier in there. It’s tight as hell and I’m not even in flower yet. I take them out of the tent for maintenance every time.

6) Sometimes you’ll think “man growth is slow. Those leaves are exactly the same size they were yesterday” then you realize those are two new leaves and the other ones have already grown bigger than your head.

7) Most of the process I’ve found that doing NOTHING is better than doing anything at all. Many times I thought I should probably try to fix something but just left it alone and everything went fine, got better, and is rocking into a beautiful little miniature tropical rainforest.

8) Watering with a pump spray takes fooooorever. Like 1.5 - 2 hours is my total routine. But I enjoy it. I’m sure you can do it faster but I like to take my time and I think the plants dig it. But dang it takes forever lol.

9) I forget what number 9 is

10) Enjoy the process! 90% of the time I have to remind myself that in the end there will be clumps of dank bud hangin from those branches and that’s because once I got going, all the fun is watching this alien creature literally grow into existence from what appears to be nothing...that tiny mouse poop sized seed. It’s wild.


Hope this helps someone just getting started. Stick around and meet some good people here at “The Farm”.

What are some curve balls or oversights you’ve experienced first starting out? Drop it down below. Come check out my first grow in the links above. Who knows, maybe it’ll be a trainwreck (pun intended) haha

View attachment 1198711
Great job for a first grow Have you tried any auto flowers great for small spaces... www.ethosgenetics.com great genetics GROW STRONG~
 
tobh

tobh

Supporter
3,813
263
I apologize. I didn’t mean to characterize your initial perspective as a blanket statement. Poor wording. My bad.

And I totally agree with most of what you said as the inherent difficulties with soil - being crappy to start with, over-fertilizing, infected with insects, and several of the other challenges you mentioned.

But one of the things I do like about soil that I didn’t mention was how forgiving it is in the area of feeding the plants during their various stages, especially during flowering. When I start with a medium that has been perfectly balanced by mother nature for me, containing all the minerals and micro nutrients etc. etc., all I have to do for my plants is weekly minimal nutrient supplements, and I can be conservative because even if I underfeed it, the soil richness itself is my back up, so I can’t go too far wrong.

I feed them with a flowering compost tea that I air bubble for 36 hours, made from purified water, my compost, worm castings, humeric, molasses, azomite, potassium pellets, Cal/phos, and bone meal. Alternating weeks I’ll give them an Epson salt drink, or some other appropriate compost tea. The plants never seem toget too far out of whack that way and seem to be pretty well fed.

It seems to me that so many people have problems trying to balance all their nutrient requirements because it’s more like chemical formulas, which can be difficult to understand for many people, and easy to mess up.
Good soil is like a back up system.

But as you point out, if you consider a Greenhouse as outdoors, it is probably a whole different ball game indoors, and I am sure you know that game far better than I do.
see, you have experience in vegetable gardening and have a store of knowledge regarding organic methods -- this is a leg up on most new growers bar none. Your methods align directly with mine outdoors as well, and I would love to see some of your work simply because I may seemingly hold a position of "soil bad, hydro good" but that's not entirely the case.

Like in my career, there are hundreds of frameworks available that can cover 90% of a problem domain, and they all solve the fundamental problems relatively well, yet oftentimes when looking at scalability and time efficiency there is only one right tool for a given scope. Further it doesn't matter if the programmer (or grower) doesn't know what they don't know such as how to brew a tea for a given stage of growth or what amendments need to be made a month in advance so the microbiome has time to consume and chelate the nutrients into a form the plant can consume. These are things that come from experience which is not the focus of this thread -- this thread is in the seat of a new grower.

All that being said, I do appreciate your well thought out responses. Responses like this are conducive to knowledge expansion and refreshing of content on this forum without the antagonism which leads to name calling and communication breakdown. Truly, thank you for that.
Every point you mentioned has validity and can be true in some and maybe even most, but not all cases.

For people who understand and have amassed the experience and comfort level two diagnose and then counter correct any issues with their magic chemistry sets, then more power to them, whatever works for them personally they should use.

But sometimes simple is best, and with all the new Growers now trying to figure out how to exercise our new freedoms to grow our own weed, sometimes making it more complicated and daunting can be counterproductive.

Most people have some familiarity with growing something in soil, either as an indoor house plant person or an outdoor flower or a vegetable gardener. The easiest transition into growing your own weed, and the least expensive, can be the soil route for many.

It’s just a matter of there’s no such thing as one size fits all. There’s always more than one way to skin a cat.
You're absolutely correct. The biggest failing I see as it relates to this topic is entirely related to cannabis being the first plant a new grower has ever tried to grower, aside from maybe a slough of dead cacti they managed to kill. It's not often we see someone with experience with veggies or other ornamentals that is pivoting into growing cannabis, and when we do, they're typically pretty successful right off.

It's the truly new growers that suffer the most from the pitfalls of soil and that's why I think something requiring a little less finesse is ideal -- especially coco coir. Let me explain that last bit a little bit.

Coco allows for profuse amounts of watering -- it's damn near impossible to overwater (allowing the new grower to overmother the plant). There are also plenty of one part or two part liquid nutrient offerings that require just enough knowledge to measure a liquid out to n milliliters and add to water. Of course the trickiest part is pH, but so long the newbie understands that the pH needs to be between 5.5 and 6.2, they'll do ok.

That program alone would get a greater majority of new growers to a successful harvest with the least amount of hiccups than soil imo. The added benefits of it include learning what it looks like when a plant is underwatered (which looks very similar to overwatering), what healthy vegetation and growth rates should look like, possibly some pest control techniques (fungus gnats love wet coco unfortunately), and a bit about nutrient profiles. All these things would carry over to a soil grow almost seamlessly -- later they can get into organics which is obviously a whole science in of itself.

Sure, you can really fuck up in coco coir as you can in any other method. However, the only time I've had plants die in coco was due to getting stuck out of town and the media drying out to bone dry before I could get back to the plants. That's pretty much the only way a grower can seriously screw up in coco ime. The list of footguns is much shorter than in other medias which require more chemistry knowledge or more experience with other crops.

I think the biggest issue I have with soil is there is sooo much left to be assumed or simply disregarded as being "taken care of" that makes it hard for even experienced growers to diagnose what's going on without asking 20 questions before coming to the root cause and devising a solution. That in of itself seems to be the worst part of the user experience for soil indoors. Couple that with the timelines required for any corrective actions to take effect and we end up in the situation of new growers killing their plants with too much love.

Outdoors I would say it's a hard bargain to use any other method than soil simply because setting up an outdoor hydro system is a big monetary investment and you have to know so many other things to do it successfully. Not to mention the growing season outdoors without light dep is way too long, the root systems of cannabis can easily overwhelm most indoor systems with a short veg period, outdoors would be insanity without monumental volumes of nutrient solution and supporting infrastructure.

Overall I feel we're both making valid points and it's up to the new grower to decide what will work for them. At the end of the day we're all here experimenting and finding what we like. Finding a growing method that fits is like dating -- you crush on one method, then it shits on you, so you break up and find a new one and rinse and repeat until you settle into what works best for you. Really appreciate the good conversation, this is the kind of discussion that helps new growers gain a better perspective on their options to make a more informed decision rather than looking at beautiful bud shots and forming baseless opinions on someone else's experience.
 
B

BoboGrower0813

46
18
see, you have experience in vegetable gardening and have a store of knowledge regarding organic methods -- this is a leg up on most new growers bar none. Your methods align directly with mine outdoors as well, and I would love to see some of your work simply because I may seemingly hold a position of "soil bad, hydro good" but that's not entirely the case.

Like in my career, there are hundreds of frameworks available that can cover 90% of a problem domain, and they all solve the fundamental problems relatively well, yet oftentimes when looking at scalability and time efficiency there is only one right tool for a given scope. Further it doesn't matter if the programmer (or grower) doesn't know what they don't know such as how to brew a tea for a given stage of growth or what amendments need to be made a month in advance so the microbiome has time to consume and chelate the nutrients into a form the plant can consume. These are things that come from experience which is not the focus of this thread -- this thread is in the seat of a new grower.

All that being said, I do appreciate your well thought out responses. Responses like this are conducive to knowledge expansion and refreshing of content on this forum without the antagonism which leads to name calling and communication breakdown. Truly, thank you for that.

You're absolutely correct. The biggest failing I see as it relates to this topic is entirely related to cannabis being the first plant a new grower has ever tried to grower, aside from maybe a slough of dead cacti they managed to kill. It's not often we see someone with experience with veggies or other ornamentals that is pivoting into growing cannabis, and when we do, they're typically pretty successful right off.

It's the truly new growers that suffer the most from the pitfalls of soil and that's why I think something requiring a little less finesse is ideal -- especially coco coir. Let me explain that last bit a little bit.

Coco allows for profuse amounts of watering -- it's damn near impossible to overwater (allowing the new grower to overmother the plant). There are also plenty of one part or two part liquid nutrient offerings that require just enough knowledge to measure a liquid out to n milliliters and add to water. Of course the trickiest part is pH, but so long the newbie understands that the pH needs to be between 5.5 and 6.2, they'll do ok.

That program alone would get a greater majority of new growers to a successful harvest with the least amount of hiccups than soil imo. The added benefits of it include learning what it looks like when a plant is underwatered (which looks very similar to overwatering), what healthy vegetation and growth rates should look like, possibly some pest control techniques (fungus gnats love wet coco unfortunately), and a bit about nutrient profiles. All these things would carry over to a soil grow almost seamlessly -- later they can get into organics which is obviously a whole science in of itself.

Sure, you can really fuck up in coco coir as you can in any other method. However, the only time I've had plants die in coco was due to getting stuck out of town and the media drying out to bone dry before I could get back to the plants. That's pretty much the only way a grower can seriously screw up in coco ime. The list of footguns is much shorter than in other medias which require more chemistry knowledge or more experience with other crops.

I think the biggest issue I have with soil is there is sooo much left to be assumed or simply disregarded as being "taken care of" that makes it hard for even experienced growers to diagnose what's going on without asking 20 questions before coming to the root cause and devising a solution. That in of itself seems to be the worst part of the user experience for soil indoors. Couple that with the timelines required for any corrective actions to take effect and we end up in the situation of new growers killing their plants with too much love.

Outdoors I would say it's a hard bargain to use any other method than soil simply because setting up an outdoor hydro system is a big monetary investment and you have to know so many other things to do it successfully. Not to mention the growing season outdoors without light dep is way too long, the root systems of cannabis can easily overwhelm most indoor systems with a short veg period, outdoors would be insanity without monumental volumes of nutrient solution and supporting infrastructure.

Overall I feel we're both making valid points and it's up to the new grower to decide what will work for them. At the end of the day we're all here experimenting and finding what we like. Finding a growing method that fits is like dating -- you crush on one method, then it shits on you, so you break up and find a new one and rinse and repeat until you settle into what works best for you. Really appreciate the good conversation, this is the kind of discussion that helps new growers gain a better perspective on their options to make a more informed decision rather than looking at beautiful bud shots and forming baseless opinions on someone else's experience.
Very well said. I appreciate your thoughts and comments.

It all boils down to different strokes for different folks. As a long time organic Gardner, I know and am comfortable with soil, I have a greenhouse, and I am only growing two plants. I am best off with and will probably get best results with soil. I’d probably kill the poor things trying some of the more sophisticated techniques some of you guys use. More power to you.

I have always said, “if you want to be successful, find successful people and do what they do“. Hopefully, if I pay attention, I’ll learn something new along the way. It’s a Great journey.

But as laws start to change, and more people want to jump in to the game, I think the biggest challenge any new grower faces is figuring out how to get started in the first place. And we usually take the path of least resistance, something we are comfortable with, and for a lot of folks I think that will be soil.

I have to be honest, when I read many of these forums and folks start talking about all sorts of nutrients to balance this and something else to adjust for that, and referring to all the types of lighting, pumps, etc. etc. etc., My head almost explodes. When you’re in your 70s, learning new things doesn’t come easy, so you tend to stick with what you know. You younger folks, or even you older ones with more agile brains than mine, can avail yourselves of all the newest growing techniques, and will probably surpass my feeble attempts in the soil.

Whatever smokes yer drawers my friends. As long as you’re having fun.
 
tobh

tobh

Supporter
3,813
263
Very well said. I appreciate your thoughts and comments.

It all boils down to different strokes for different folks. As a long time organic Gardner, I know and am comfortable with soil, I have a greenhouse, and I am only growing two plants. I am best off with and will probably get best results with soil. I’d probably kill the poor things trying some of the more sophisticated techniques some of you guys use. More power to you.

I have always said, “if you want to be successful, find successful people and do what they do“. Hopefully, if I pay attention, I’ll learn something new along the way. It’s a Great journey.

But as laws start to change, and more people want to jump in to the game, I think the biggest challenge any new grower faces is figuring out how to get started in the first place. And we usually take the path of least resistance, something we are comfortable with, and for a lot of folks I think that will be soil.

I have to be honest, when I read many of these forums and folks start talking about all sorts of nutrients to balance this and something else to adjust for that, and referring to all the types of lighting, pumps, etc. etc. etc., My head almost explodes. When you’re in your 70s, learning new things doesn’t come easy, so you tend to stick with what you know. You younger folks, or even you older ones with more agile brains than mine, can avail yourselves of all the newest growing techniques, and will probably surpass my feeble attempts in the soil.

Whatever smokes yer drawers my friends. As long as you’re having fun.
haha i hear ya. the old addage can't teach an old dog new tricks definitely holds true. I feel the same way when it comes to some of the organic stuff I read about. I'm a software engineer by trade, so making sense of numbers, contraindications, and all that technical stuff that goes into hydro or soilless is second nature. I like the control factor involved, honestly.

With organics, it's a whole other ball game, and while some of the research I've seen in regards to converting ag farmers in the midwest USA to no till organics and the benefits it has on the soil quality in terms of preventing top soil erosion and the associated impacts on ground water reservoirs, it's still mind boggling how different it is from "use this powder at n grams per gallon." Then of course you get into things like KNF and it's a whole other level of information density that is hard to grok.

You're absolutely right, though. New growers come to a place like this where so many people are willing to say "this is how you do it" and start rattling off different acronyms and word strings representing techniques and to a new grower, they're starting from the position of their second grade experiment starting a bean sprout in a paper towel. A wall of information is not always good. It's a hard problem to solve, that's for sure.

On another note, there's a garden thread here somewhere. You should check it out! I would love to see what else you grow, and look enviously upon your greenhouse as I want one oh so bad myself.
 
Dothraki

Dothraki

1,026
163
Great job for a first grow Have you tried any auto flowers great for small spaces... www.ethosgenetics.com great genetics GROW STRONG~
I haven’t tried auto flowers, but I see you linked Ethos genetics. I just had an eighth of their Inzane in the Membrane though and it was some of the best I’ve had in a while. Great stuff, awesome high, flavor, potency. Great stuff.
 
B

BoboGrower0813

46
18
haha i hear ya. the old addage can't teach an old dog new tricks definitely holds true. I feel the same way when it comes to some of the organic stuff I read about. I'm a software engineer by trade, so making sense of numbers, contraindications, and all that technical stuff that goes into hydro or soilless is second nature. I like the control factor involved, honestly.

With organics, it's a whole other ball game, and while some of the research I've seen in regards to converting ag farmers in the midwest USA to no till organics and the benefits it has on the soil quality in terms of preventing top soil erosion and the associated impacts on ground water reservoirs, it's still mind boggling how different it is from "use this powder at n grams per gallon." Then of course you get into things like KNF and it's a whole other level of information density that is hard to grok.

You're absolutely right, though. New growers come to a place like this where so many people are willing to say "this is how you do it" and start rattling off different acronyms and word strings representing techniques and to a new grower, they're starting from the position of their second grade experiment starting a bean sprout in a paper towel. A wall of information is not always good. It's a hard problem to solve, that's for sure.

On another note, there's a garden thread here somewhere. You should check it out! I would love to see what else you grow, and look enviously upon your greenhouse as I want one oh so bad myself.
Hey man, I love your bean sprout in a paper towel reference. That is probably what got me hooked on growing things way back in second grade. And I have learned a few things since then.

Problem is, like you said, too many people are still at that level. Maybe they’ve stopped teaching kids how seeds germinate, grow into plants, and feed their faces these days. Hope not.

As to my garden veggies, that’s a whole nother world, and I don’t know if it would be appropriate in these forms. I really don’t have the time to go there anyway.
But If you are interested, I may be able to dig up a video of our garden and post it to you.

As to our greenhouse, I posted a whole bunch of pictures, including the construction sequence, in a reply to someone who previously expressed an interest in greenhouses. Don’t remember where but I think it was in this thread somewhere.
I’m still trying to figure out how to navigate this forum, as it is a new world to me, having never been on Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media. So I’m still groping in the dark here, but doing my best to figure it out. Just one more mystery in life to decipher.

I greatly enjoyed our soil versus “all the options” discussion. Hope we cross paths here and there. Let me know if you find the greenhouse pics.
Peace.
 
Dothraki

Dothraki

1,026
163
My buddy would kill me for posting this picture but.... check out that killer airflow 😂

241019DA B5E9 48A0 9334 BDDAE1D8B744
 
Clyde4210

Clyde4210

239
43
I started my first grow in a 3x3 tent under full spec LED in 70/30 coco/expanded clay balls with solo cups. I am growing 5 plants, 3 strains, from seed.
4 weeks later...here is what I’d say so far

1) Transplanting from coco/clay is a bitch...just use perlite. Make sure it’s wet, but not soaked. Certainly not dry. I had two fall apart from being too dry and to top it off those stupid clay balls fell out even with the moist ones.

2) Check your cups for drain holes before filling lol. At transplant I realized I forgot to put them in the sour power cup. Strangely enough it’s been the best and biggest growing of the bunch (Heres my current journal if you wanna check it out https://www.thcfarmer.com/threads/f...r-power-with-the-spider-farmer-se5000.133884/ and https://www.thcfarmer.com/threads/f...wer-pt-2-spider-farmer-se5000-journal.134885/ )

3) LEDs require higher temps and plants commonly require a little more calcium and magnesium when growing under them...and coco likes to absorb magnesium too so think about precharging it with cal/mag.

4) No one likes a scared Nancy, so stop freaking out over every little leaf blemish. This becomes apparent once you start to understand how the blemish got there ie: leaf was accidentally wetted by the nutrient solution...of course it’s gonna look like it has Gonorrhea after sitting under your powerful radioactive grow lights while soaked in a solution of powerful nutrient molecules. Look to new growth for your answers, and watch for changes in both.

5) Pay attention to the guy saying “hey bro you might want a bigger tent”! A 3x3 is pretty effin small when you realize you have to get in there and water, trim leaves, adjust the light, move the clip on fan to a different spot etc. Forget about putting a heater or humidifier in there. It’s tight as hell and I’m not even in flower yet. I take them out of the tent for maintenance every time.

6) Sometimes you’ll think “man growth is slow. Those leaves are exactly the same size they were yesterday” then you realize those are two new leaves and the other ones have already grown bigger than your head.

7) Most of the process I’ve found that doing NOTHING is better than doing anything at all. Many times I thought I should probably try to fix something but just left it alone and everything went fine, got better, and is rocking into a beautiful little miniature tropical rainforest.

8) Watering with a pump spray takes fooooorever. Like 1.5 - 2 hours is my total routine. But I enjoy it. I’m sure you can do it faster but I like to take my time and I think the plants dig it. But dang it takes forever lol.

9) I forget what number 9 is

10) Enjoy the process! 90% of the time I have to remind myself that in the end there will be clumps of dank bud hangin from those branches and that’s because once I got going, all the fun is watching this alien creature literally grow into existence from what appears to be nothing...that tiny mouse poop sized seed. It’s wild.


Hope this helps someone just getting started. Stick around and meet some good people here at “The Farm”.

What are some curve balls or oversights you’ve experienced first starting out? Drop it down below. Come check out my first grow in the links above. Who knows, maybe it’ll be a trainwreck (pun intended) haha

View attachment 1198711
My curve balls would be serious genetic defects on my first plant I tossed in the fire. Big mistake as the piece I kept to use as a substrate for d8 turned out potent on it's own. On my second grow I have another plant with defects but this time it looks for the better. I think I'll have 3 main colas. So 2 grows and 2 genetic defective plants. I'll never buy seeds from that seed bank again.
 

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