First Grow, needing a liitle help to piece it all together

Discussion in 'Growing Marijuana Indoors' started by Stoned_Stew_UK, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. Ok so as the title suggests this is my first grow!

    I've already spent the past month reading up on here, google, and any other online source i come across for the hows, whys, best, worst, do's, don'ts etc. (lots of conflicting info... very confusing)

    Ok so not a long time reading but i'm not new to growing plants, just new to growing this one, i'm also new to indoor controlled light growing (greenhouse and cold frame, then into the garden is what im used too)

    What i could use is a liitle help piecing it all together! Most of the guides on growing techniques i've come across take off from where basic MJ cultivation finished rather than going through it all a-z (understandable, but hard to combine it all... for me anyway!)

    So to start i was originally planning an outdoor grow.
    Found a nice spot in a wooded area near home with a load of wind fallen trees in the centre which gave an almost perfect east-west eliptical clearing, tall evergreens so sheltered from the worst weather making a sun trap during the summer months!
    I have 20 Sensai F1 seeds, (10 of each, Early Bud & Swiss Miss, chosen to be more suitable for outdoor cooler climate)
    Outdoor grow idea has gone down the toilet with the nasty weather looking to be here well into summer where i am!

    Plan B: Indoor grow
    Ordered 'ph perfect fert' grow, micro and flower, 60x60x140 Black Orchid tent and Light Wave T5 grow light (twin tube), no extractor as yet not too sure if i will need one or not as its going to be in garden shed not in the house? (i was originally going to use this for seeding and cloning)

    I have some old seeds (no idea what, came with the finished product) so i thought i'd give those a go first to get my hand in rather than possibly screw up 50 quids worth of F1 seeds! Put 6 of the old seeds in some common seeding compost and into my propergator, 3 are growing 1 did well, 1 followed a few days behind and the last about a week behind the first. When they are looking ready i will re-pot into peat cups and then finally into tubs when they ready!

    Right so now you have some idea of setup etc, this is where i could use some advice to fill in the blanks please!! :D

    Because there is only 3 (and don't know the sex) I was thinking of growing them SOG method and when they look ready (whats ready btw?) send them to 12/12 weed out the males, if there is a female all the better if not... well i have some hash bags!

    At the end of the day they are just old waste seeds that made it through the grinder in one piece, they've earned the right to at least make it to full plant right! And this is kind of a test run for me to make sure i'm doing everything right!

    With the SOG method should i prune the top off to make them bush out then let them recover before i flower them?

    When i start my F1's i was only planning on seeding one at a time, sexing using the cloning method.

    What is the best way to clone for production? (not mass, just constant personal supply)
    eg. Can i leave mother in veg permanently and just take clones over and over? (keep mum as a pet in the basement so to speak lol)

    Just to finish because i'm kinda certain someone will mention the lighting...
    I do have a load of 600W HPS hi-bay light units in the barn so i could pick up a grow bulb to fit and take a light unit out of my barn, but i'm concerned about cooking everything (regardless of an extractor) with it being a very small grow tent?
    I'm aware just how hot these get, a 40'x60' closed barn and with the lights on it does get pretty warm in there!

    One last thing...
    Whats the dealio with LED grow lights?
    I'm handy with micro electronics and can eaisly knock some of those up np!
    The LEDs used cant be anything special as there are only a few basic types and have a very limited light spectrum hence why the colour is so intence!
    The output on them doesn't (to me) seem intense enough to grow with, are they used as substitue light to enhance certain wavelengths?

    Thanks for taking the time to read this, and thanks for any advice that you can bestow upon me :D
  2. #2 Stoned_Stew_UK, Feb 9, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2014
    Just a little update...

    Firstly 4 plants started now. Was having my daily inspection and found a 4th seedling just starting to sprout which gives around 15 days between first and last seedling!

    The other thing i'm not so sure on is my first seedling... It took off like a rocket and is standing around 3 - 3 1/2" tall but only has its first 2 true leaves starting to form, is this a normal variation on MJ?
    Just wanted to check as all the seedling phots i've come across all appear to start true leaves within 1/2-1" above substrate!
  3. Further update to anyone paying attention to this....

    Read around a bit more... found the problem with my lanky seedling, lighting was too far away so i moved it down to around 2" and all good. Its stopped going up and started plumping out now!

    Heard that the twin tube T5's are a little on the weak side so i've beefed those up with 4x 300w cfl's (2 veg, 2 flower so i can swap them out)
    I've also taken the plunge with the extractor kit (4" fan and filter)

    At the moment my babies are in a small 30"x20"x20" cubby hole and are starting to look interesting, temp is sitting around 20c day/14c night with no fan atm, ill be dropping in a 6" circulating fan when the cfl's go in.

    They will be staying nice and cosy in there until they are looking ready to pot on from seed trays, which gives me the time to finish the tent setup and get it nice and tidiy (i'm a bit of a neat freak with cables and pipes lol)

    Not been watering too much, been 3 days and soil still damp so left em to it. (I'm only using water out of my rain water tub btw)

    Will put another update in as things go on, catch ya later
  4. no pics?

    Twas Ever Thus!
  5. #5 Stoned_Stew_UK, Feb 14, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2014
    I will get round to it shortly....

    I want to get everything squared away and tidy before i start posting picys ( i like to be neat and tidy before people come to visit) :)
    This wasn't really meant to be a grow diary either, but since your the first peson (besides me) to post it may as well become one lol

    I was starting to wonder if people were avoiding me ( well i have been asking a few no brainers in other topics... Soo, i suppose i deserve the cold shoulder here, lmao).
    Although it could be i'm doing everything pretty much right and not needing any direction yet?
  6. #6 zippy657, Feb 14, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2014
    sounds like youve got it pretty well covered brother.  there are some DIY things on LED lighting around here, but the HPS is probably a good place to start just to establish a baseline... I grow with T-5 HO bulbs, and if you do it right with some tight screen training they work as well (better) than any HID bulb, but HPS just makes things easier and opens your margin for error a bit, so great way to go on a first run.
    When the pics go up we can tell you what you might do better, but otherwise you seem to have it down... 
    Few key points:  
    You want your light as close to the plants as possible while keeping canopy temps below 85F so best bet is to have a thermometer with a probe hanging at the highest vegetation.  play around with your fans till you find the best configuration to get the light as close as you can.
    PH test solution is a must, and im not sure what that nute line you mentioned comes with but keeping soil ph around 6.5 is as important as any other part of your grow.
    from there, i dont know what else to tell you to do differently.  You'll dial it in as you go im sure.  As far as new growers posting on this site go, you appear a genius, which is to say you seem somewhat mechanically inclined and can read, add, subtract, multiply, and divide.  I deem more than half of first time growers hopeless from the start lol, but you'll do just fine.  
    pics pics pics
  7. #7 Stoned_Stew_UK, Feb 14, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2014
    Ok, you guys win. Here is first pic...

    This isn't where they will be staying just a cubby hole they went in after germinating, atm they will have to make do!(although with the cold weather snap, its done me a favour keeping them warmer at night around 11c)
    When i pot them on they will go into the tent which should be decked out by then.

    Sorry for the glare from the cfl, the only access is through the top and less than half the size of the overall space!
    I know its not in an ideal location either but again its a make do, cfl is on a short length of outdoor festoon cable and doesn't have wall mount bulb holders!

    Im waiting on some e27 ceramic holders from amazon... (Sent 2nd class but i'm calling BS on that its more like 'don't give a toss' class 12 days and counting grrrr)

    I have a 1000x500mm sheet of diamond pattern aluminium i picked up for £15 today. I will be making a hood for the 4 cfl's (when the fixtures turn up!) before they go into the tent. Already got a basic idea, needing holders to finalise measurements!

    whats in there:
    The white thing with gaffa tape round it on the left is a heat pad from my greenhouse (running on a timer 15on-15off in the day, and then on all night when light goes off)
    The seeding tray has a dome which atm is under it catching run off if i over water (haven't yet but better safe than sorry with cables laying about)
    Thermometer is in Celsius (remember i'm in UK lol) and it reads 22C (72F ish?)
    Night time temp is around 10-12C (50-54F)
    About the plants now:

    2 trays with substrate were all planted, needless to say 4 didn't make it!
    The tall one to the back was first out.
    the one thats collapsed over to the left near the front... Err... I accidentally pinched the stem when i moved them its all cool though, it sorted its self out and is heading back up!
    Little one hidden at the back was last out, around 7-10 days behind the rest.

    Attached Files:

  8. #8 Stoned_Stew_UK, Feb 15, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2014
    Ok, i have no idea why there is a url link on the bulb holders.... I didnt put it there! And they arent even the ones im talking about
    Its this type, so i can mount them side on!

    Still havent come, just found this pic on the interweb

    Attached Files:

  9. Had the seed trays open today to check how the root system is doing.
    The oldest 2 have a small (but good healthy) cluster of roots running down the sides of the plug tray.
    Its not a mass of roots visable yet just a few of the longer feeler roots have found the edge of the pot and gone down 2/3rd of the pot

    The smaller 2 have no roots visable yet on either side, in fact the one that got damaged (whilst its seems to be doing well) i dont think the root system is going to support it much longer unless there is a sudden burst of root growth!

    I will be leaving them where they are probably until the end of next week or sooner if roots start to come through the bottom of the plug tray.

    I'm using a type of split seed tray that directs the roots down rather than causing them to ball up, it can also be opened to inspect/remove without tapping or forcing the seedlings out of the tray (found these very good with other fruit, veg and garden flowers i grow)

    I will edit this with a pic tomorrow (dont always think to take camera with me!)
  10. cool man I am looking forward to seeing future pics of your plants :)
    I just finally got pictures up, feel free to take a look.
    Good luck ! :D

    Attached Files:

  11. What is that string on the sides of your plant? Are you trying to do a SoG?
  12. #13 Stoned_Stew_UK, Feb 18, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2014
    Hi, guys!
    Well i didnt get round to taking some pics of the plants today but, my bulb holders arrived woooo! :D

    So ive been busy making a reflector hood for the CFLs..... My original plan was a quad bulb hood, 2x2 end to end but would have been 2" too big for tent! (Sods law :( )

    This type of twin hood i have seen varying between £50-£80 by brand (i'm not sure if bulbs were included or not. I suspect the ones at the top end may include bulbs?)

    Shopping list: (will make 2 twin CFL hoods)
    1000mm x 500mm x 0.9mm diamond pattern aluminum sheet = £15 (it was on sale but search around, i found an ebay shop selling around this price)
    150mm x 19mm timber ( cost me nothing, got loads of scrap timber laying about i just happened across this size but other sizes will do equally well with minor modification to the design)
    X4 E27 ceramic bulb holders £1 each (or bayonet... I got E27 bulbs about £3 cheaper than bayonet!)
    X10 small hook eyes for net curtains £1.20
    X1m of 2.8mm welded chain £2.18 (chose welded chain purely for saftey, regular folded chain would be suitable if its load rating exceeds the weight of the lights and hood)
    1"1/2 & 3/4" screws ( if you have basic hand tools, you'll have screws laying around)
    Hand full of 2mm x 8mm pop rivets
    5m of 3 core flex £4.50 ( make sure its 3 core as the metal hood NEEDs to be earthed for saftey... Regular lighting flex is only 2 core)
    Plug £1

    Total cost £27.88
    Total time around 2 hours.

    Pics of the finished item.... I will get a pattern drawn up so anyone that wants can copy and print off then its just a case of marking out cutting and folding!

    Attached Files:

  13. thats a pimp canopy dude, good job :DD!!!!
  14. Thanks man, :)

    Well i decided to move to the tent now, light hood is up and the 4 seedlings have been moved into x2 12" pots.
    I know they should really be in a pot each but im not planning on them getting huge plus they will get some LST anyway.

    Ive also gone to 12/12 light as they need sexing and i found out this morning we have to go away in May for a while!
    So im not going to be around to keep an eye on them and dont trust anyone to do it for me!

    From today it give them around 75-80 days for flowering so should hopefully work out!
  15. #16 Stoned_Stew_UK, Feb 18, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2014
    As promised i drew up a plan for the light hood! Scale is marked on the X & Y axis

    I'll give instructions as best i can.
    If you ever made paper or card cubes/boxes in technology at school, its pretty much like that!
    The size of this hood is large enough for x2 CFLs or HPS bulbs up to 325mm long and 100mm diameter (CFLs i used were 290mm x 75mm (diameter at the body))

    When i refer to TOP this is the upper end of the plan, BOTTOM being the lower end (which is where the bulb holders will fit!

    Putting the hood together
    1. Start with sheet of alu shiny side down on bench.
    2. Draw pattern on.
    3. Using a steel ruler and a Stanley knife score ONLY the RED cut lines 2 or 3 times firmly.
    4. Repeatedly bend back and forth along the scored lines until the sheet breaks cleanly (do NOT try tearing it)
    5. Return sheet to shiny side down on bench.
    6. Gently score the GREEN fold lines.
    7. Turn shiny side up.
    8. Place ruler along fold line and ease the sides upwards, stoping just over 45 degrees for the 3 TOP lines and 90 degrees for the BOTTOM line
    9. Remove ruler and continue easing the sides together bending them from as close to the fold lines as possible. When they stay almost touching move on!
    10. Hold one of the TOP corners and mark the overlapping piece to create the blue fold line. Do this with the other overlap at the TOP.
    11. Flatten back out just enough to allow you to gently score the marked lines (remember to score the dull outside)
    12. Fold on these new lines to about 45 degrees, ( you wont be able to fold the narrowest part properly dont worry will fix that later)
    13a. Tape the corner together with gaffa tape to stop it moving around.
    13b. Hold the corner dull side down onto a piece of scrap timber.
    13c. Drill and rivet one at a time working from 1 to 3 (see second pic for example)
    14. Repeat steps 10-13 with the BOTTOM corners.

    You now have a reflector hood! Well done :D

    Now to fix the bent edges i spoke of earlier... Do this after riveting the hood together
    1. Open your bench vice as wide as it will go.
    2. Sort of arrage the corner of the hood so that the badly folded edge is face up with the vice directly under it.
    3. Using a hammer very GENTLY tap the edge flat, sliding the hood back and forth. (Make sure that the area you are hammering is touching the vice at all times)

    Making the frame
    Using 150x19mm timber mentioned in previous post.
    1. Cut one length 219mm long
    2. Cut one length 100mm long
    3. Arrange into an L shape with the smaller piece on top of the longer piece.
    4. Screw together with a couple of 1-1/2" screws
    5. Put on the bench with the short leg pointing up
    6. Offer up the aluminum reflector, making sure it is square.
    7. Drill 4 pilot holes through the reflector and screw it down to the long piece of timber with 1/2" screws.
    8. Drill 2 more pilot holes in the back pannel and use a couple more 1/2" screws.
    9. Offer up your bulb holders ( i found it eaisier to have the bulbs in them to get them evenly spaced) then mark, pilot and screw them down!
    10. Wire up bulb holders and earth the reflector ( strip about 1" of earth cable, unwind one of the screws holding reflector, wrap earth wire around screw then tighten back up)
    11. Turn the whole thing right way up, pilot and screw in 4 hook eyes into the corners of the frame.
    12. Add chain to desired length.
    13. Paint timber matt white (if desired) and hang it over some herb :D
    14. Chain may require adjusting after hanging up as this type of reflector is a little back heavy at the bulb holder end.
    Personally i like it slightly back heavy as it allows me to just flip the front up for plant access without moving the whole lamp up on the ratchet hanger things

    Anyhow i hope these make enough sense to be of use.... Between looking at the pics and instructions should be easy enough to make. I know that pictorials would have been way better, but i never think to get my cam out while im doing anything, i just get caught up in what im doing!!

    1. If your bulbs are longer than 325mm, just increase the length of the center rectangle.
    2. If using HPS, or MH bulbs you will need to add vents to the top this is easily done by using the Stanley knife to cut a U shape then bending them up slightly (see pic 3 for example)

    Red = Cut lines marked 'C'
    Green = Fold line marked 'F'
    Blue = Measured Fold line. I find it eaisier to mark these by folding the sides together!
    Shaded area = waste material not required

    Attached Files:

  16. very nice :D You are putting a lot of work in this!
  17. Yes and no! Lol

    I like to get things planned out and read up on in advance so i know a pretty decent amount before i start.

    As for the tinkering and making things... Thats just me being me, I'm one of those "turn my hand to anything" kinda people.
    I have a workshop out back as i make electric guitars in my spare time. Im good with carpentry, micro electronics, metal work (fabrication) and handy with an arc welder.
    I was going to make a steel frame tent, but my tent cost £39 and to buy the fabric alone worked out more than double that!

    Although i might make a new frame before my next grow, the one it came with isn't brill but i suppose you get what you pay for. Lol
  18. haha yeah, im sort of that way, i like just to jump into things and learn as i go most the time though :p will be uploading some pictures tonight!
  19. #20 Stoned_Stew_UK, Feb 19, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2014
    I got a couple more pics, of setup and plants.
    They are, 21+ days from germ and this is 3rd day of 12/12

    Last pic is to show where the tent is, as the cupboard its in isn't big enough to get pics outside of the tent lol!
    Cold air comes in from ground level outside with a coarse foam filter (to stop bugs and crap).
    Extractor runs into the cupboard which keeps cupboard warm as a buffer at night.
    Cupboard is vented to outside.
    ImageUploadedByGrasscity Forum1392801716.881614.jpg ImageUploadedByGrasscity Forum1392801737.356678.jpg ImageUploadedByGrasscity Forum1392801766.131880.jpg

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