First Grow Advice

Discussion in 'First Time Marijuana Growers' started by Azejacob, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. My dad and I are currently undergoing our first grow ever. We started off with some bag seed that he got from a dispensary; Hella Kitty, supposedly a very popular strain in the area. We also purchased some TGA Agent Orange Seeds. So far 3 Hella Kitties and 3 Agent Oranges have broke the surface of our rock wool and they seem to be doing fine, going on about day 3 for the Hella Kitties and day 1 for the Agent Oranges. They are watered whenever they seem to need it with a nute mix that the hydroponics store sold to me. It seems to be working well but the water is not PH'd as of right now.

    Is it a big factor, should I really put some more emphasis on such a thing?

    Here is the setup... we bought a 2x4x6'6" Gorilla Grow Tent, 300W Advanced Platinum Full Spectrum Grow Light, 400 CFM Fan with variable speed control, intake filter, and an activated carbon exhaust filter, and a Ventech duct muffler to keep this growing operation as stealth as possible. Oscillating tower fan, wireless thermometer/hygrometer, and 5 gallon smart pots.

    Does everything in this setup seem sufficient to grow top-shelf quality bud from the start? Anything you would add to it to produce more yields and/or stronger bud? Of course it is wishful thinking but who doesn't want to grow the best tree possible?

    For some more background info, the tent stays about 75 degrees all day and drops down to about 71-72 degrees at night time, humidity hovers more or less around 50%.

    We currently have Fox Farm Ocean Forest soil for when we wish to transplant the seedlings and I was thinking of buying some all-purpose nutes for the veg stage but I am not sure if this could burn the plants since Ocean Forest is supposed to be a little on the strong side when it comes to nutes already. I do want to buy some nutes for flowering however... big bloom and tiger bloom from Fox Farm as I have heard they're the company to go with if you're not yet ready to make your own soil.

    We were thinking about mainlining the plants because it allows for a more even canopy and nute distribution but I did hear it takes much more time than say LST which some say produces the same if not better buds. I am almost sold that we will be topping our plants to have at least 8 colas if we don't go with LST. I also am a bit skeptical towards super cropping but it has come up and we are considering doing it as well.

    What other techniques would you employ so that we could maximize the potential of our space? Also in the future we are thinking of buying the 1' extension for the tent, do you think it would be worth it and would it really allow us to produce that much more bud?

    We want to grow 3-4 plants if it isn't pushing it, tell us what you think!
  2. Congrats on starting your first grow, It can be a great hobby! It looks like you have a good start with the light and tent. Once they're established in the Rockwool you should plant them in solo cups instead of straight into those 5gal smart pots. Topping is a good idea to get the side branches going, I usually let it go until there's at least 6 nodes and then top it down a couple nodes to get a bushy plant. I wouldn't try mainlining on my first grow and I've super cropped a few of my plants but I didn't see much difference in the end. Buying a ph pen will save you in the long run. In veg you shouldn't have too many problems but most flower nutes are pretty acidic so you want to be able to add ph up in the right quantities and a ph pen is the way to do it with little headache. I'm in day 56 of flower on my two plants in 5gal pots. I Topped them and used and light lst.

    Kyla's Blue Hash in Happy Frog
  3. Kyla, thanks for the advice. So PH really is that important... As for the solo cups, I'll get that started as soon as possible and get these into real soil so that they may start developing at a faster rate.

    Do you think it may be too much for them to put them in Ocean Forest at this stage? They are only about an inch or two in height and the cotyledons are still attached. Wouldn't they outgrow that container somewhat fast?

    Again, thanks for the advice it is much appreciated!
  4. I ran my first few grows without testing for ph. It was fine for a couple plants but then I had a plant that started to yellow I was trying to use the liquid ph tester but they're horrible and you'll still be guessing when I finally bought a ph pen I realized that it was way off. You put 3-4 months into every grow why risk a ph issue ruining your harvest.

    Most folks start in solo cups because the roots fill in before you get much vertical growth. If you start in a big pot then it takes longer for the roots to establish before the plant really begins to grow. It's also harder to water appropriately in a large container so people who are not growing autos start in a small pot and then size up. Once the plant is about the size of a solo cup you transplant it into a bigger container. I use happy frog and drop my seeds straight into that and I don't have an issue I think you'll be okay dropping the seedlings into ocean forest. Don't feed any nutes until your plants have at least 3 nodes. The soil has plenty of nutes until then.
  5. I'm just saying I have never ph'd my water...

    Water is only ran through a garden hose filter and straight to the plants.

    9 plants later still no issues.

    I think this whole ph water thing is blown out.

    Hydroponics I can't speak for, and I guess it also comes down to where you live.

    Go ahead guys and shun the non believer of ph'd water.
  6. Not shunning you Viking. Like I said my first few grows were fine with out ph testing and If you're buying ph perfect nutes you may not have a problem but risking hundreds of dollars in harvest instead of buying a $40 ph pen doesn't make sense to me. With Fox farm trio veg nutes mixed in water has a ph of 6.3 but flower nutes lowers the ph of my water to 5.5 which is way too low for soil grows and golden tree raises it up to 7.4- way too high. Without phing your water it's too easy to run into problems in flower. If you're growing organic and not feeding nutes along the way I'm sure you can get away with no ph testing
  7. Here's the deal on pH and why it is critical in hydroponics, and critical in soil as well. There is a small window between 5.5 - 6.8 pH where MOST of the elements needed for plant growth become chemically 'available' to the plants. Soil, naturally by itself, has a lower pH around 5 which is why watering it without pH is typically ok because standard tap water will come out 6.8 - 7.5, and the soil buffers/balances the pH of the water, creating that perfect pH range for the plant around the 6.0 mark. In hydro, there's no buffer so if you put in pH water 7.5 the plant can't get available nutrients. That is why you must adjust the pH down near 5.5. Humans ideal pH is around 7.3, which is why our tap water (municipal) is pH adjusted to be near that. So when adding that water directly to soil, no big deal, you'll most likely be okay.

    I can tell you that in comparison to LST, mainlining seems slow during veg because you have to cut off so much growth (I just used the tops for clones), but the mainlined plants I started responded very well. In comparison, the LST seems so fast because by the time you're topping your mainline, it's time to start laying down your LST, and as soon as you do, it'll start to bush out, and explode in new growth. But, the mainline plants come back fast, because they have a large root system compared to the size of the plant (as you just cut it in half). I know that with mainlining it is said that screens and supports is not too necessary, however I have been toying with the idea of ScrOGing with a 4-way manifold. We'll see.

    Your system sounds great though, and growing with your dad, man, that's so cool. I hope this provides a great bonding experience for you guys. I tried to get some Agent Orange last order but they were sold out! Such a great strain. I love TGA/Subcool, and you might be interested to know they use no till organics in their operations.

    If I may be so bold as to offer a few suggestions for this grow:
    -Skip the solo cups and make newspaper planter cups, as it will allow air pruning (like your smart pots; and no, you don't need to worry about the inks being toxic).
    -FFOF is great starter soil, if it were me I'd amend organically in flower.
    -Water using SIPs (sub-irrigation planters). Those smartpots perform best when watered from below.

    And a suggestion for next grow:
    -Learn about ROLS and No Till. Don't get rid of your soil when it's done, save it as it can be recycled (look up ROLS Recycled Organic Living Soil and No Till).

    Happy Growing!

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