Aerogarden First grow

Discussion in 'Hydroponic Grow Journals' started by wtfbbq, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. #1 wtfbbq, Aug 14, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2008
    First time ever growing. I used kbfl0912's thread as a guide:

    For the Aerogarden, I bought the pro 200 model. I was able to buy the airstone, air pump, ph tester strips and tubing at Wallyworld for a total of around $30. I bought two sets of tubing, one for the airstone, the other one will be used to siphon the water out of the aerogarden.

    The ph tester will need to be returned as the lowest it goes is 6.2, and fr this situation, 5.5 to 5.7 is ideal. Does anyone have a suggestion on what kind of ph tester to get? I think I want to just splurge on a digital meter.

    I'm using distilled water, and plan on changing it out every week. I have decided to attempt germination directly in the aerogarden pod.

    I started out with 2 bag seeds, one on either side. I have read that white seeds mean they will not grow, so I am using the lightest color seeds I have so I can eliminate them first if they do not grow.

    For the purposes of germination, I have the lights completely off. The aerogarden's pump is still running though. once I see sproutage I'll put it on the 18/6 setting. I put it on the herbs/basil setting. To influence germination I am considering covering the pods with a dark material to have total darkness.

    Excellent timing guide for the aerogarden here:

    Because of the limitations of the AG and the fact that this is a stealth grow, I plan on likely flowering early. There are a couple ways to do this:

    Flowering light cycle earlier than usual

    I am leaning towards just flowering early since this is my first grow.

    Right now I do not have nutrients in there for the germination stage. I will put some micro bloom grow from advanced nutrients in there when I see sprouting occur. I cut the foam all the way in half so the root doesn't curl around the foam.

    pics/update in the next few hours

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  2. #2 wtfbbq, Aug 15, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2008
    Day 2: added some pics. I decided to cover the seeds with coffee mugs to make sure no light gets in there while they're germinating. I used tape to keep the other pods stationary. I also hooked up the air pump. I'm running it through one of the pod holes and covering it with tape.

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  3. I'd have spent that money on a bigger and better system, but to each their own.

    You need to light-proof the holes you're not using. Light + nutrient solution = fungus and slime. Good choice on the nutes, AN's always done well for me.
  4. Thanks for the advice re: the light-proofing. Would a piece of carboard be acceptable for that? I can cut to fit and tape down the sides... maybe have a removable cardboard puzzle piece in lieu of the coffee mugs too
  5. I went ahead and cut a piece of cardboard to size in order to cover all the wholes. also, yesterday the one on the right was sprouting! one on the left has not sprouted yet, so I pushed the seed a few mm further down so it was completely covered by moist darkness and covered it with the black mug. I have started the light cycling now, and I'm waiting for the nutrients to arrive so the baby that sprouted can be nourished. How long do you guys suggest I wait on the runt seed? I'm thinking 10 days. If nothing happens by then, I'll replace it with another seed.

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  6. Day 4

    The sprouter is coming along nicely! already had to take the clear pod cover off as the sprout was touching it. Waiting for the AN nutes to arrive. Still no joy on the runt though.

    Any chance we will know what strain this might be similar to by looking at it?

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  7. golf balls fit well in the holes you aren't using
  8. Cardboard works well, if you can get it to lay flat enough. Easy solution is just to hit Walmart and get some metal foil tape. It's like duct tape but instead of the grey plastic it has metal foil and completely blocks light. Just pop a little square of that over each hole and you're done. It seals things up light-tight, air-tight, and water-tight. It also reflects light nicely, so covering the whole top in it isn't a bad idea either.

    Looks good so far.

    Oh, and you can find the tape in the paint section of Walmart.
  9. thanks, I stopped by and picked some up.

    Day 9

    some pics of it coming in nicely. the rounded leaves are called chloro-something and are only there for the beginning I surmise. I'm guessing now that they have done their job, they will be turning brown and falling off?

    the jagged leaves are what we're paying attention to.

    I still have not put any nutes in. the replacement seed looks unsuccessful as well, looks like I might have to snag another one. I'm worried about starting nutes with one in veg and one in germ. I might go ahead and try the paper towel method, it might be possible that the aero is effecting it in some way(which makes no sense as the other one sprouted in there). But paper towel method is the most can't fail when it comes to gemrinating from what I've read. then maybe I'll keep the nutes low until the seedling starts vegging.

    I plan on starting nutes when I see the second set of jagged leaves. technically you can already see the second set, but I'm going to wait till they're a little bigger.

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  10. #10 wtfbbq, Aug 29, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2008
    Day 14

    I have moved the AG to inside an armoire a few days ago. It's become a stealth grow. This brings up complications. I put a digital thermometer in there and it's 90 degrees! I had a fan in there, the temp only dropped to 85 degrees. I bought a twin fan, and put a gallon of ice in there and the temp has dropped to 78 degrees. I might put one more gallon in to get to 75. I'm considering installing the twin fan in the back or side of the armoire and using it as an exhaust fan.

    I changed the water for the first time today, I'm using distilled water. Syphoning the old water out was too easy. After I put a fresh gallon of distilled water in, I opened up the nutes for the first time. I picked up a baby medicine dropper from a local drug store. If you ask the pharmacist many times they will just give you one free.

    I put in .75 tsp of the micro, let it sit for a few minutes, then put the .75 of bloom and .75 of grow. I did not mix it with a stirrer because there's an airstone, I assume that is plenty of agitation for the water, no? The .75 is lower than the normal levels on the bottle, but I'd rather put too little than too much. I will test the ph tomorrow.

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  11. Looks good. How long are you going to veg before flowering?
  12. How's it goin man?
  13. This is exactly how I plan to do my first grow for testing purposes. I'll be interested to see how it turns out!
  14. Nice little setup
  15. #15 wtfbbq, Oct 4, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2008
    Day 51

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  16. Looks sick man.
  17. #17 wtfbbq, Oct 5, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2008
    thanks, I have not begun flowering yet. I'm debating on whether to start now or wait 2 more weeks. Oct 15 would be 2 months, but I have no real reason to wait till oct 15 except that it's a nice round number. In the beginning I said I would flower early, so I'm torn. I will probably go ahead and do it for shiggles.

    I already bought the timer and the extra cord to set the light to 12/12. The more I think about it the more I'll probably go ahead and do it tonight.

    Since my lat post a month ago, basically all I've been doing is siphoning out the water once a week. then when I put a new gallon of distilled water in, I also add the nutes as well as some ph down(distilled water is around 6.5 ph, they say for optimum growth to have the ph around 5.5) be honest though I don't really measure the ph too often. maybe once a week. In between siphonings I top off the water once or twice a week.

    some of my thoughts so far on the aerogarden:

    it seems the lower the height of the light, the bushier the plant gets. notice the little guy on the left? it's stretching to reach the light since the other plant requires a higher height for the lamp. back when this project started, both seedlings had the light as low as it could be and the plants didn't grow as tall. To be fair though, these are bag seeds, so I don't know how much strain has to do with that. Also, I'm using more nutes because the plant on the right requires it, but the plant on the left might be benefiting from that as well.

    there is not enough light to help along the leaves on the bottom or sides. some leaves have fallen off and died on the bottom rung. not a huge deal as they weren't getting much light and were runts compared to the size of the leaves up top, and there are plenty of other leaves, but I understand why now when others talk about getting a 2nd and maybe third cfl to shine on the sides/bottom of the plant. Also notice the shelf is blocking some of the plant leaves on the side. I'm considering taking that little shelf away so the plant gets more light.

    As we move into winter, the temp drops inside the house, now it's around 75 degrees int he armoire, which is perfect. I still ahve a fan in there to circulate the air...

    Most of this stuff is just tweaking here and there. Overall it is very easy to maintain, and I have had no trouble save for a couple seeds that didn't sprout, but that's not the aerogarden's fault.
  18. The aerogarden uses CFL's, which don't penetrate very well and dissapate rapidly, meaning they only give enough light for plants at very close range. That's why your smaller plant stretched so much. It's not just an aerogarden thing - that's true of any CFL grow.

    Don't forget that when you switch to flowering your plants are going to gain probably 2-3 times their current height. Do you have enough room to raise your light for that or do you have a plan to deal with it?

    You might want to consider getting some extra CFL lights to supplement what the Aerogarden has. More light is more bud.
  19. i have an aerogarden figured i'd try growing again for the first time in years, gonna give it a whirl. WTFbbq everything grows low like that, I'm wondering if there are alternate lights that i could use instead?

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