First Micro Grow Attempt, FAIL! Please Help

Discussion in 'Micro Grows' started by noobfarmr, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. #1 noobfarmr, Jun 30, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2011
    This is my first grow attempt, doomed to almost certain failure, but I thought I'd post this journal anyway, in hopes that I or someone else can learn from my mistakes. :(
    I know this journal is going to have glaring procedural errors, but it's a journal of exactly what I did to produce dead/dying plants. Don't have pics of the entire journey, but there are some I'll throw in if I can figure out how.

    First, I decided on a whim one day after finding GC that I wanted to grow. So I pulled a few bagseeds out of my ashtray, folded them up in a moist paper towel sealed in a tupperware container, and tossed it in a drawer for 3-4 days. 3 of the 4 seeds sprouted a root, about 1/5-2" long. Wife had just finished planting tomatoes outside, so I grabbed some tiny clay pots we had lying around (an old window herb garden kit, I think) and threw the seeds in some Miracle-Gro and placed them on the windowsill.

    The seeds all sprouted and began to stretch. I assumed they were just growing. Watered them almost every day, and about 7 days later I decided they weren't really getting any bigger. Decided at this point that they needed more light...a grow box was going to be necessary. :eek: Started by looking around the house for materials to make a super cheap budget grow and came up with this:

    My space is 24"w x 11"d x 28"h, about 4.2 cu ft. It's one of those cheap prefab bookcases with the cardboard back from Wallyworld.

    After a little more reading on GC I began construction. Covered the inside in reflectix and mylar tape, snagged a few clamp lights with reflectors and a few 26w 2700k CFL's, couple of power strips and a cheap light timer. I had seen a thread on 12/12 from seed and though it sounded grand. So in they went, pots and all. No ventilation, no exhaust/intake. Just light and heat, and lots of both. Continued watering almost every day, throwing in a little MG tomato fert here and there.

    Still working on cabinet construction at this point I told myself. 'They'll be fine for a few days' :eek: 4 days later still no new growth, decided it was time to add an exhaust fan. Picked up a cheap $15 50cfm bathroom fan and the stuff to make a carbon filter. Cut out the cardboard back, attached 1x2 firring strips across the back and mounted the fan to them. Sealed up the edges with more mylar tape. The only intake hole at this point is the one the wires are running out the back. I foolishly assumed since the doors were not airtight on this cab, there would be plenty of intake air.

    3 or 4 more days in (around the end of week 2 now) I finally sucked it up and drilled two 1/2" intake holes, reasoning that too large an intake would ruin the negative pressure in the cab. Then added a facing of reflectix around the inside of the doors to help seal out light and air. Added y-splitters to my lights and 3 more CFL's. Now have 3x 26w 2700k and 3x 42w 2700k running 12/12.

    Let the plants go for another 4 or 5 days, wasn't happy they were showing no new growth, and decided to transplant them into hempy buckets. I used some old coke 2 liter bottles, covered in mylar tape. All the plants had some decent fledgling root systems, flushed/rinsed them off and threw em into the hempy buckets. Trying to bury some of the stretch in the process. (GL with that in perlite >.<)

    Watered these at least once a day, sometimes twice since I'd read that new hempy transplants typically need lots of water until the roots hit the reservoir and at this point I wasn't afraid of overwatering them.

    Another week in, still no sign of new growth, or even more height/thickness etc. Decided it was time for drastic measures. Thinking to myself that the plants hadn't enough veg time/light I swapped out three 26w 2700k bulbs for three 26w 6500k bulbs and switched to 18/6 light times (As if the plants needed even more stress at this point).

    Waited another 4 or 5 days, the plants started to have a little yellowing of some of the leaves. Finally (3-4 weeks in) picked up a cheap thermometer/humidity gauge. Left it in overnight and the temp in the cab lights on is 102F! Only 20% humidity! Enlarged the intake holes to about 1" each, when I put my hand there I can still feel air sucking into the cabinet. Added a 4" desk fan for cross breeze and a small aquarium air pump with a stone in a glass of water for a little extra CO2. This brought the temp down to 100F :( and humidity solid at 20%.

    At this point I'm sure these plants are dying, and I'll have to start again with some fresh bagseed, but I'm using these to try and straighten out the temp/humidity problem before I do. Any comments/suggestions would be most welcome. I'm really only interested in 1 or 2 plants for a perpetual personal SCROG type grow, but started 4 seeds figuring 1 would not be viable (it wasn't) and at least 1 of the remaining 3 would be male. Oh, GC in your years of accumulated aged wisdom, please help me grow my own!:hello:

    Attached Files:

  2. So good work on your some what light trap with a carbon filter. For one your lights should be 1-3 inches from your plants. Two the hum should be higher for seedlings. I'm doing my first micro cab grow. I let them veg for a week then put them into flower 12/12. It's been fun but my next will be a scrog with auto berry.

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  3. #3 readysetexplode, Jul 1, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2011
    Don't feel bad, you are actually on the right path just need to make some adjustments and keep reading and reading and gaining as much info you can.

    first off the only MAJOR concern I see here to restrict growing is the temperature situation. this has been my biggest enemy from day one.

    If I were you I would take the lights you have and find a better way to mount them.
    Most importantly I would move them close together right in front of that fan you have. thats probably the most brilliant thing you've done it actually looks pretty legit with that carbon filter haha. anyways you want that fan to suck out as much heat as possible so keep the heat as close as possible to it before it spreads and absorbs through the cab. Then just put your plants on books to get them closer to the lights :)

    when you have a scrawny little seedling like that it doesn't need that much light anyways, you could cut the lights in half for now reducing a lot of heat, add them as the plant grows as necessary. Also make sure not to put them too close, alot of people say they go up to 1 inch but I would keep them at least 5-6 inches away for now until you get a feel for it, I fried my plant up the second day I had it thinking 1 inch was fine.

    Only water when the top 2-3 inches is really dry, try not to everyday only when necisary and dont add any nutes for at least 2 weeks.

    Also, Stop fucking with things haha, sometimes you need to sit back and let nature run its course. if your going to make an adjustment ask yourself "why am I doing this and what is it going to do for my plant" haha anyways good luck I have faith that this could become a decent cab for you.

    edit* If your ever going to flower in this cab your going to have to seal all the light leaks for the 12 hours of darkness. this means complete total darkness, not even pin holes or your plant may start to grow balls. (seeds) I Would use 24 hours of light for veg and then switch to 12 for flowering, but thats me...
  4. #4 noobfarmr, Jul 1, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2011
    Awesome input guys, thanks so much for the advice. I enlarged the intake holes this morning before I went to work, about 1 1/2" - 2" each hoping this will allow more cool air into the cab. Still seem to have a good negative pressure. I'd love to find another way to mount the lights, I'm currently using 3 sockets with y-splitters, might just need to change to 6 sockets and hang directly from the ceiling. Putting them in front of the exhaust fan and raising the plants to the light is an awesome idea, I'll definitely do that. As far as the light proofing, I'm not so worried about the cab per se, it's located in a spare bedroom that never gets used, so the room itself will be dark. For watering, I'm using hempy buckets now, so there's never really much moisture above the level of the reservoir. I assumed since so much drainage, the roots just needed to be wet down once or twice a day to keep them from drying out. Is this not the case?

    Oh, and....just so I get this straight, 2700k for flowering and 6500k for veg? or is that backwards?

    Edit: Just checked on the plants after the intake hole enlargement. Temp is down to 97, humidity to 16%. Any suggestions on how to raise the humidity? Also, the seedling closest to the cross flow fan seems to be doing better. It's a much healthier green for sure. Will post some more pics this weekend.
  5. #5 noobfarmr, Jul 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2011
    Ok, I promised pics this weekend. New lighting setup is is place and I think it will work much better than the previous one.

    Unfortunately, while I had the seedlings out working on the of my dogs decided he needed a little salad in his diet :mad::mad::mad:
    So germing a few new seeds to try this again.

    Attached Files:

  6. Cool man looks a lot better, still think u have too much light for a seedling, just 2 of those bulbs would be plenty for now. To help with temps I would mount that little fan to he ceiling towards the front of the cab blowing air from the lights into the exhaust, then have another to blow on he plants

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