First Closet Grow W/ Pictures (Need help and input)

Discussion in 'Indoor Grow Journals' started by alexscraig, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. #1 alexscraig, Feb 18, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2009
    I feel like I am at least somewhat prepared given the reading I have done on the forums. Needless to say, I have many questions and would appreciate any advice to make my grow better.

    I germinated my seeds, which I acquired from different sacks over about 2 weeks, and planted them in some Miracle Grow soil for cactus and citrus, because of the claim of good drainage. After some more reading, I decided to go buy some organic worm-casting fertilizer and some Miracle Grow Moisture Control soil. As soon as the plants were poking their heads above the surface, I transplanted them from the older, thoughtless soil to my newer, better soil. The plants have recovered well from this, at least the ones that survived. So, most sprouted the 15th, making them two days old today.

    My grow setup is a closet, obviously, more specifically one of the shelves in my closet. It measures 40 inches tall, 12 inches deep, and 50 inches wide.

    I am currently using two 4ft. florescent bulbs at about 3-4 inches above the seedlings. One is rated at sunshine and the other at warm or cool white. (cant remember)

    My growing medium is 75% Miracle Grow Moisture Control and 25% organic fertilizer spikes which I crumbled into soil. (contains multiple manures and worm castings). I am currently, because of the recent transplant into bigger pots, using B1 Vitamin supplement to reduce the shock of transplant. Thinking of one more watering with the B1 and then straight watering until next week sometime, when I am going to start adding my Fox Farm nutrients.

    I usually open the closet door at night for an hour and in the morning for an hour for ventilation purposes. I am not currently using a fan or checking the humidity or air temperature.

    I have a soil pH and moisture meter coming at the same time as my nutrients, which I plan to use to better the grow.

    I live in Arizona, where the tap water is rich in chlorine and calcium, and I was wondering if I would be better off investing in distilled water as I don't have the time or the discipline to let the chlorine evaporate out.

    My questions and concerns are as follows:

    1. As the picture shows, my light does have some place to leak out, although that place is above where the light hangs. I compared how much light was coming out of the closet with my make-shift cardboard light container, and it seemed to make a huge different when it was up versus not up. Is that a problem, should the light be completely contained, given the dimensions of my closet (8ft-5.5ft-5.5ft)?
    2. I was hoping to get two 2700k 85watt CFL bulbs for the sides of the plant as flowering starts. Is that a good idea?
    3. Is the 12 inch depth I have in my closet going to present a problem? Should I look into somehow making it deeper or will 12 inches do just fine?
    4. Given the date of sprout, 2-15-09, what date would it be safe to begin using the Fox Farm nutrients? The Fox Farm is the trio-pack with Tiger Bloom, Grow Big, and Big Bloom.
    5. I also bought some Fish Emulsion for this experiment. Would it be beneficial at all to use that in addition to or to replace the Fox Farm at any time in the grow, for a change to the plants normal schedule?
    6. Is there any chance to turn these somewhat mediocre seeds a nice quality plant, given what I have to work with?

    [​IMG]Thanks in advance.

    This is how the closet looks with the light in the room on:
    revealing the setup in the light.jpg
    This is an example of how the growing area is not light-tight.
    Highlighting all the growing plants:
    Most developed:
    7. Is the fact that this plant is not centered in the pot a problem?
    The Vitamin B1 and the Fish Emulsion From Question 5:
    Something Cool I Did With A Blurry Image:
  2. #2 Mr.Tangent, Feb 18, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2009
    1.) light leaking out ism't a big deal(providing it wont get you busted), but for flowering if light gets IN, it may cause your plant to hermie(make seeds in the buds, not good).I'd say make a larger area, still in your closet.sealed too..
    2.)more light the better during flowering...more= better...2700k is perfect...
    3.)personally i'd say you need more room, 2ft or more if you can... look up LST(low stress training)good for big yield in small places. increases light coverage on plants..
    4.)give them only water until the small round leaves fall off...then start nutes at 1/4 strength...round leaves falling off usually indicate the plant has decent root formation, and 1/4 strength won't kill them...always be cautious on first feeding....
    5.)in addition with your nutes, but wait til they are might smell too!
    6.)heck yes, i got seeds in a bag of first grow i got 13.5oz off four massive plants....but it was much better than the bag i got them from...

    with nutes start off low...less is more with nutes...
    with light more is better.....more light faster they grow....

    good luck
  3. #3 alexscraig, Feb 18, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2009
    Thank you for your reply, and I hate to be a bugger, but I'm kind of curious about a question that you didn't answer and I kind of snuck in there at the end, question #7, which is underneath one of the pictures.

    If I go through the effort of making a box long enough to enclose my 4 ft lights (that is wider than the shelf in my closet), will the added benefit of the closure be worth the time and money invested in making it? Also, with the LST, is it necessary to have the wider space?

    Also, a couple more questions that were not numbered specifically.

    How big of a problem is that?

    And also...
  4. not a big deal at all...........dont worry...
  5. I will update with new growth within 48 hours. I am definitely going to follow Dierwolf's guide to LST when the plants get big enough. (Sometimes I wish willpower alone would make these things grow :cool:)

    If anyone could help me with the correct strategy to photograph my plants, I would appreciate that. I don't think I am working with a good enough camera to take high-quality pictures (only 7 megapixel). If that's the problem, it doesn't have a solution. If it's my photography, let me know.

    For's buddah time :smoke:
  6. Hey dude I just started a journal and our setups are pretty similar, in soil, light, etc. so I figured we could compare progress...subscribing to yours right now...

  7. Can someone give me a good idea for a simple way to mount a couple CFL's to the sides of my growing area? The cheapest, best way to mount single CFLs. Im attaching a paint version of what I am talking about.


    With perhaps a link to the item i need to buy. Assuming I have only the bulb and that's it.
  8. #8 Mr.Tangent, Feb 18, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2009
    go find a large carboard box if your strapped for cash, and yes, get a fan on them, or at least in the room.....bigger room for lst isn't nessecary but for a nicer yield i would recommend it.

    you can use your tap water, but let it sit for 24hrs before using it, or boil it, then let it cool.....

    ideally, you should get a thermometer, and a hygrometer in there. 24 to 28 oC & 50%humidity or more, then less then 40% or LESS for flowering..........
  9. #9 alexscraig, Feb 18, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2009
    Thank you for your reply sir.

    During the night I have come up with a few more questions that I would love to have answered.

    1. Is around 17-20 dollars (US) about the cheapest that a 65-85 watt CFL bulb is going to go, or am I missing a site that sells high wattage CFL bulbs for cheap?

    2. Will a 7 MP camera take close-up pictures without getting blurry, or is the lack of an expensive camera a bottleneck for taking detailed, unblurry pictures?

    3. An original question in my first post. Is that fact that I accidentally put my plant way away from the middle of the planter a problem, or will the roots just grow in the direction that they have room to grow in, not all around and into the side of the pot?

    So. pH meter, hygrometer, and nutes on the way.
  10. My 7 Mp camera works fine for taking close up pictures. Just make sure you let it auto focus and it should snap a decent picture. The 7 mp jpeg file is too big to upload on these forums so I had to scale it down 50% dimensions in mspaint. In other words, your picture has to be less than 3 megapixels to be able to load it up.

  11. 1)Thats about as cheap as your going to find me I have searched all over. The only way you can get them cheaper is by ordering by the case. If you have a Lowes near you they have a very good softwhite 65w.. goes for around $17 or so. I flower with them and they work great...look for yourself.

    2) sorry cant tell you..

    3)Doubt if it will be a big deal.

    Best of luck bro ...I will be watching:p
  12. #12 alexscraig, Feb 19, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2009
    Just a simple picture update. Day 4 from sprout.

    Settled on 4 seedlings to devote all the light to.

    Just had the last one sprout over the night, he's a little bit special, as they say :hello:



    I have discovered either a red herring or a potential disaster today. My soil pH meter (8 dollars off of amazon) arrived today. It is a "no-battery-needed" cheapie but claims to read pH, moisture content, and light availability. I don't know if anyone that has had previous experience can shed some light on this, but when I try to read the pH of 3 out of 4 of my plants the meter drops down as acidic as it goes (3.5). I had a bag of soil left over that hadnt been used, and stuck the pH meter in it. It read 6.5-6.8. Also, the 4th plant read about 6.

    Is it possible that the soil being pretty wet would hinder the performance of the pH part of the meter? Or if not, how could I possibly decrease the pH of my soil to 3.5 in less than 5 days?
    • I used a Vitamin Supplement that claimed to reduce transplant shock.

    • I broke up organic fertilizer spikes (poultry, bat and various animal manure and worm castings), putting about 25% fertilizer spikes to 75% pre-mixed soil.

    Other than those two things and not checking the pH of my water (which I highly doubt could cause the pH to be 3).

    As the pictures show, they dont really look like they are planted in something with a pH that low. Perplexing...

    Attached Files:

  13. I made some changes today. I converted one of those metal storage rack into a mini-greenhouse. I also added some more wattage to the grow. Went from 108watts of just floros to 108 watts of floros and 114 watts of CFL (1x68watt + 2x23watt).

    I'm attaching some pictures. after going through all that work, it doesnt seem like that big of an upgrade to me.

    Perhaps it is...lemme know.


    Attached Files:

  14. So alex, how many plants do you have going?
  15. Thanks for staying interested Paul :D. I have four going right now.

    One is growing really well, straight leaves, good growth, that kinda stuff.

    One is trailing right behind, growing well but a little bit slower than the first one.

    One is looking kinda sad truthfully. Droopy leaves, slower growth than the other two.

    And one is just barely sprouting and snailin' along.

    I am hoping to keep two females of the four I have growing right now. But, no more than two in the end.

  16. Chlorine can be evaporated by leaving the tops off your water jug for around 48 hours. This is important if your gonna use tap water (which you really should avoid if you can afford it). The chlorine in your water dissociates and can steal nutes away from your plant. This can also drastically affect the pH of your medium because the chlorine will take hydrogen out of your soil and raise the pH. This can cause ur plants to die. Idk what it costs in Arizona but where I am you can buy a gallon of distilled water (ph ~ 5.9) for like 70c a gallon. Other than that the grow is looking good to start. Check out my grow in my sig. Week 7 veg about to start flowering.

    The vegging part is really easy my friend. Just find a routine that woks well for your plants with your water schedule and nutes and then just repeat repeat repeat repeat until your plants are ready. Don't change anything that is working:smoke:. BTW how is the MG soil you're using? I've hear MG causes a lot of nute burn or did you buy soil w/o nutes in it already. If it becomes a problem you might wanna repot in to fox farms Ocean forest soil or Happy Frog soil. Im using a mix of both and its really good.
  17. I sort of have a plan at this point. I looked into LST and I am planning to do that, just waiting for the 3rd or 4th node of leaves. At that point, I plan to re-pot the plants into their final pots and I will be able to change soils then. I am going to go with Ocean Forest (as it's the only good soil available in my town of 700,000 people :confused:). The MG soil hasn't caused any problems because I haven't added any fertilizer yet. I got a little post happy and really since I started to now (5 days) there hasn't been a huge amount of growth. I have only watered about 3 times, including some over-watering I speculate. Once I see some growth worth writing home about I will buy some gallons of distilled water.

    Also...I plan on leaving for a couple weeks in the end of May or beginning of June. I kinda want to have the whole process completed, or at least be curing the weed by then. Can someone knowledgeable tell me if that is a realistic possibility at this point? If so, when would I have to induce flowering?

    I am thinking that it is way too early into the grow to be able to decide that.
  18. auto with the camera is not the best way to go, if you want to get close with detail you wanna go to manual and then find the macro or super macro setting, this will let you get real close and get a lot of detail like this

    Attached Files:

  19. Thank you very much man. My Nikon Coolpix calls it "close-up" but it was exactly as you said.

  20. Flowering takes anywhere from 7-11 weeks depending on the strain. You can flower whenever you want really but the more you veg your plants the better your yield will be and to personally (not a fact) I feel that bud flowered before maturity (when they show preflower sex traits) isn't as good. If your working from seeds it takes 6-7 weeks for the plants to reach maturity. May 29th is 13 weeks from today so Id say veg for like 3-4 weeks and then flower. If your on a deadline is to start drying then. If your plants have stopped growing I would start to look for signs of nute burn especially with MG soil. It could also be due to overwatering as u mentioned but MG soil is infamous for this. Most soils come with nutrients already in them that last for around 2-3 weeks but some are untreated. Look on your bag for that info. If your MG does have nutes in it I would repot them as soon as they start to grow again. Just get em in 3gallong pots or bigger now so u dont have to mess with it later (1 gallon/1ft plant). Keep in mind ur plants double in size after u flower so dont buy too small of a pot. Ocean forest is good soil but it has a lot of nutes in it to begin with. You wont need to use hardly any nutes for the first two weeks in the soil but after that you can start loadin up ur water with ur veg nutes.

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