1st ever grow, in coco from seed?

Discussion in 'First Time Marijuana Growers' started by Methods, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. OK, so the thought of growing my own herb has been with me for a long time, I now have the perfect space in my newly built recording studio for a 1.2m x 1.2m x 2.0m Grow Tent and im going to give it a bash, using coco as my medium.

    I found a great starter kit online which includes:

    • XL Bud-Box with Silver Lining
    • 600w Complete Grow Light with Mixed Spectrum Bulb, Ballast & Shade
    • 6 x 10L Pots
    • 6 x Saucers
    • 1L Coco A&B Food
    • 1 x 50L Coco fibre
    • 1 x 10L Clay Pebbles
    • 2M Jack Chain
    • 100mm Extraction Fan
    What are you thoughts on this set up? I will expand as time goes on but to get my 1st crop growing will this do? I will obviously also use nutrients (CANNA) bought separately to the correct dosage on the Canna coco grow chart.

    Im looking at getting seeds in from Green House Co. as I visit dam regularly. Is it as easy as planting a female seed into the coco pots and taking it from there? letting them grow, feeding them, then harvesting them? I am a complete beginner as you may tell! are there any guidelines I must follow growing from seed? do I just make sure they are feminized or is there anything specific to growing from seed in coco?

    I see people recommend soil as a 1st grow, but I really want to give this coco thing a go as i have read nothing but good things about it and im willing to put the time and effort in for good results, please if you have any help, tips or recommendations such as links, websites, books that would be cool!

  2. coco rocks........might need more exhaust but time will tell.....what kind of coco......add 1/3 perlite....some dolamite lime as ph buffer......worm castings are great addative...also get a cal/mag suppliment...coco eats this shit up..do you have ph gear...what type of water.....ph up and down..check out the coco forum in hydro...welcome aboard the cocomotive:wave:peace deacon:bongin:
  3. Hi Methods, I think I can help you out a bit considering I'm 4 weeks into my first grow using coco.

    Like you, I initially decided to start with soil, however upon reading up on coco I couldn't resist.

    I definitely recommend that you read AskEd's coco guide (in the hydro > Coco coir section)

    Next, you'll want to consider germinating your seeds using the paper towel method. I've germinated 11 seeds this way, and all 11 broke through (100% success). Soak them in a cup (cover so its light proof) for up to 24 hours. After 12 hours try and make them sink to the bottom of the cup. After they are all sinking, place them in a plastic container in between a few sheets of damp paper towels (note: not soaking wet, just damp). Place a lid over the container (dont close it - just cover it so it stays humid in there and can get a bit of air). Place somewhere warm (not hot), on top of a fridge or something. Check them a couple times a day, fan some fresh air in there. When they break through (the tap roots will come out), plant them about 1/2 inch into the damp coco with taproots down.

    Be very very very careful at this stage. Dont damage that taproot. I use tweezers to handle them.

    Fill the tiny hold with soil and leave it be and in a day or so you'll see them coming through the coco.

    A couple more notes:

    1. Make sure everything going in is ph 5.8
    2. Get some cal-mag. Your going to need it.
    3. Definitely amend the coco with perlite. I use 50/50 coco/perlite
    4. Dont blast the seedlings with light once they sprout. Don't use HPS unless they are very far away.
    5. No nutes for the first week or so (read more on this, dont just wait one week). Seedlings burn easily.

    Looks like you have a ton more to learn, but I can say this: coco is awesome and not too tough for a first time grower (in fact I think it may be easier since you know exactly whats inside your grow medium). It's also very difficult to overwater, and its ultra easy to flush coco (which will help if you over feed - common first time grow mistake).

    Anyhow, hope this helps! Don't take the above as a definitive guide. You'll find the full info here on GC. Good luck!
  4. Hey guys,

    Thanks for both your input! I was looking at using Canna Coco Natural Fibre in the pots, would you still recommend adding perlite to the mix? Also I do not have ph gear, I take it this is to test the ph of the water before watering? which water would you recommend using? tap or bottled water maybe? I will be sure to cop some ph gear somewhere at make sure its at 5.8 each time.

    Thank you also for the tips to germinating the seeds, this is the method of use also stated on the Green House Co. webpage so ill be sure do it this way!

    One last thing I would like to know, can I determine the height of my plants? I dont really want them too huge and i have seen pictures and reports of plants in 6'' pots with a yield of 30g plus.. I like the idea of using slightly bigger pots and growing them as fat as I can as small as I can, baring in mind my tent is in my studio. im not after kilos and kilos, just enough high grade bud to see me through to the next crop :)
  5. #5 deacon, Sep 5, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2010
    height....strain.......how close lights are.....temps...pot size...select a medium height strain...indica or hybred....use some lst to keep short...height is easy to control with a little forethought:smoking:might suggest scrog

  6. Perlite has many benefits as an amendment. Your ratio can vary (most use between 25% to 50% coco to perlite). Perlite is an excellent additive not only because it is inert, but because it will help further prevent compaction, and help retain water (even though coco does a great job at this by itself). It will also help you cut down on the amount of coco you need ($5 will get you a nice sized bag of perlite).

    Being able to check your PH is critical. In a nutshell, if you PH is out of whack (too high, too low) you will begin to experience nutrient deficiencies. Your plants can only use nutrients when your PH is at a specified level.

    Remember, coco should be treated as a hydroponics medium in this sense. 5.8 is where you need to keep everything that goes in (water, nutes, flushing solutions, EVERYTHING). If you're putting something in there and your not sure what its ph is, you're risking a nutrient lockout which prevents your plants from getting the nutrients they need to thrive.

    Too many variables here. Not all tap water is the same. Same with bottled water, its not all the same. Your water is one of the most crucial elements (more important than your nutes), not only because the plants need water, but because its the delivery system of your nutrition as well.

    I would recommend having your tap water tested for purity. If you buy a TDS meter you should be able to get a good idea of how "pure" it is. The lower the better.

    Average tap water comes in at 140-400 PPM. Most growers are fans of RO systems for their water as it ranges from 0-50 PPM. Again, lower is better, if you have tap at 150ish you'll probably be fine. Distilled is pretty decent as well (and is something you can do yourself if your pretty handy - just google "DIY distilled water"). Be safe though! If you want to get it done fast, go to the store and buy RO water by the gallon (pretty cheap).

    Deacon made some excellent points on this already. Look into SCROG or LST for controlling your height. Too many guides out there so I wont get into it.

    One thing I can say is this: roots thrive in coco. Since its so lightweight and airy, you'll find your plants roots cutting through it like warm butter. Definitely consider a slightly larger pot over a smaller so your girls have plenty of growing room.

    With that said, your grow will be slightly less efficient because you wont be able to get as many plants in a small area. You'll also be adding quite a bit more water/nutes to fill that big container. Finally, the larger the pot, the more water you'll be using to flush it.

    So its your call. If you want a decent compromise, I suggest looking at sprouting your girls in a 6" pot, and then transplanting into a 10" or 12" pot when its time.

    One last thing and then I'm done - deeper is a bit better than wider when it comes to pots. Go with the deepest pots you can find if your short on width. Another option is the double pot method (that may not be the "industry term"), which is when you grow in one pot, and when its time to transplant you just cut the bottom off, and place over-top of another full pot of coco.

    I guess the point I'm trying to make is coco is a root lovin' mix. If you added perlite to it even more so. You'll want to make sure you give those little roots as much working room as possible.
  7. #7 Methods, Sep 6, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2010
    Thanks again for all your comments and knowledge! ive been looking into this method of growing more and more and im definitely going to give it a shot. I found this ph gear online:

    Complete Water Testing pH Meter Kit - GOnDO PHB-1 on eBay (end time 13-Sep-10 16:23:53 BST)

    I think im going to buy this, but what equipment would I need to check the PPM of the water as mentioned, sorry if thats a stupid question! do I mix my nutes with the water or add separately, would the nutes come ph ready in that case or do you add buffers to acheive in with the water mix

    You guys have been most helpful, Ive been looking at asked's guide and I cant wait to get things moving and see what results I get! will make sure to keep the forum posted with pictures and info as my plants grow (or not) hehehe.
  8. #8 MrSmoke, Sep 6, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2010
    That PH meter looks good and should be fine. I don't have first hand experience with any other meters other than the one I own (Milwaukee ph56) but I do know you want one that adjusts for temp, and has at least 2 points of calibration.

    For checking PPM, you'll need a TDS meter. They are pretty cheap.

    You'll be adding the nutes to your water at varied ratios throughout the grow cycle. Plants in veg should have a different NPK ratio than nutes in flower which is why most "MJ friendly" nutes come in at least a 2 part system. One for veg, one for flower. I use the Fox Farms lineup myself which is 3 different ferts. Note that there are "coco specific" types of nutes out there which as far as I understand just include the added calcium and magnesium - no experience with these either, but its pretty well known that coco growers have to pay particular attention to cal/mag which is why most simply buy Cal-Mag from Botanicare and use in conjunction with their regular nutes.

    Remember, you'll want to start any new nutes at a quarter strength or so and work your way up to full dose. When changing the feeding regiment you have to pay attention to the plants to get a good idea how they are taking it. Again, no nutes for seedlings - they don't need anything for at least the first week.

    One last thing, you'll need some PH up and PH down as well to adjust everything. General Hydroponics sells a kit that contains everything for under $20.

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