~~Mama Pearl's Organic Multi Strain Grow~~

Discussion in 'Organic Grow Journals' started by pearl75, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. #1 pearl75, Mar 22, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
    Hello, hello, to all my GC blades and bladies! I've decided to step out of my comfort zone, and start a new grow journal on the open forums. I'm doing this for two reasons; first, I think I'll get more helpful feedback here, and secondly, I thought it could be helpful for any other growers new to organics (like ME) if they follow my thread and watch what I do, and where I make mistakes, and how I remedy them. It's how I learned just about everything I know up to this point.

    An organic grow is not something I just decided to jump into head first. I've spent many hours over the past few weeks reading, researching, acquiring tools and amendments, and then reading some more. I can't say this enough, I am really excited about this grow. I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high just yet. I've struggled with many problems with all of my grows to date, everything, of course, being a learning experience. But as I'm sure you all know, it can be a very frustrating learning experience. Nevertheless, I think I'm up for the challenge.

    What I'm working with:

    400w mh/hps switchable (for now, and I'll talk more about lights later in this post.)
    3 & 5 gallon smart pots (on their way)
    3 Cataract Kush feminized (these were given to me so we'll see :rolleyes:)
    1 Pineapple Express auto
    1 Critical+ auto

    FFOF (it's the best I can get around here. no one around sells promix or sunshine mix, just MG blech)
    alfalfa meal
    bone meal
    blood meal
    kelp meal
    EWC (lots of it!!)
    EarthGro Organic humus/manure
    sphagnum peat moss
    Liquid Karma

    I think I'm off to a pretty good start, if nothing else. My medium is "setting up" while my plants are in seedling stage. Once they are ready to be transplanted, my soil should be ready. :D

    About the lights...I'm having temperature issues in my grow room. It's just too damn hot in there, and it's really costing me. I've looked around, read a lot, and I've been leaning toward t5s. I know people will say that you cannot beat hps, especially for the flowering stage, but it's not working for me. I found this set up on ebay that seems like a good deal. If some of you wouldn't mind, could you click the link and then tell me what you think of those lights? I'd really appreciate it. They put a total of 8000 lumens. Anyone familiar with growing w/ t5s, if you have any advice let me have it. I'll take all the advice I can get.

    Well, that's all for this post. I will tell y'all that I love to take pics of my grows, and I love to post pics. So as this thread grows, it's going to be filled with pics. I appreciate anyone taking the time to read my thread. Chime in with any comments. All feedback is welcome. Thanks, GC. :smoke:
  2. Hello Pearl,

    "Anyone familiar with growing w/ t5s, if you have any advice let me have it. I'll take all the advice I can get.

    I can only speak for the veg side of things when it comes to T5HOs.The particular system I use works great provided you use the proper bulbs(light spectrum). Any how I am not going to go off on a tangent on T5's. You are welcome to check out my grow and see my T5 system. They are no where near as cheap as the ones you have listed. The biggest difference would be the ballast's and the reflectors. Which IMHO are probably the most important part of the fixture.

    As far as flowering goes I have no comment due to the fact I have not tried it. If after checking out the system I use and you think you might be interested, I will gladly answer any questions for you if I did not already answer them for you in my journal.


  3. Hi Mama Pearl,

    Welcome to GC's organic journals:wave: I'm looking forward to following your grow journal and send you good vibes for this journey.


  4. @chunkdaddyo: Thanks for the encouraging words. I look forward to receiving your feedback. :smoke:

    @MGB: Thanks for checking out the lights. I'll def. look into your light setup. You mentioned the reflector being very important. I don't know how important it would be for me since all my walls are lined with mylar insulation. There's a lot of reflecting going on in my grow room...lol I'll snap some pics of it, and post them here so y'all can see what my hubby built me. I'm pretty proud of it, tbh. :D
    With all that mylar, do you still think I need the big reflector on the lights?
  5. Hey Pearl,

    Always good to see another female grower in the City. Us guys can't have ALL the fun!

    See ya...
  6. #6 MGB, Mar 23, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2012
    Hello again Pearl,

    "You mentioned the reflector being very important. I don't know how important it would be for me since all my walls are lined with mylar insulation. There's a lot of reflecting going on in my grow room...lol"

    Ok let me try and explain this as simple as possible. Not that I don't think you will understand. It's just that I am not always so good at explaining/teaching. I say no matter what reflective surface you have your reflector is very important. I say this because your reflector is going to be the closest reflective surface to any bulb. Your whole goal in artificial lighting gardening is to get as many PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) also known as micromol ( A unit of measure of the amount of light hitting a surface that is in the range of 400-700 nanometers) to the plants surface. For every inch your lighting is away from your plant these units of measurement decrease.

    Now let me try and give an example. Ok lets say your reflector is 1" away from a bulb. In this instance light would only have to travel 1" before it is reflected back toward the plant. Now lets be generous and say your closest wall is 5" from the bulb. Now the light must travel 5" to the wall and whatever the distance back to the plant. You have now lost available PAR because it is weaker when it hits the plants surface.

    So lets say you choose to buy an inexpensive reflector that only reflects 75-85% of light verses the more expensive reflector that reflects 95-98% of light. So now your only reflecting 75-85% of the light 5" away to the wall and back to the plant. See how it begins to compound itself? Keep in mind you are paying the same electricity bill either way. Why not get maximum par to the plants surface? Keep in mind in this example I did not include the reflective surface of the mylar 85-95% reflective surface depending on brand. This will compound par loss even more.

    I have not even gotten into the angles at which the reflector reflects light. This is also an important feature. Inexpensive T5 reflectors are generally flat. I think I will stop while I am ahead. I am sure I have given you TMI as it is, my apologies. So for me anyway I would rather spend the extra money one time for the better system as to maximize PAR and get the bang for my buck from my local utility company.


  7. What's up man welcome to the journals.

    I have to ask, what size fans are you using in your tent? I have a 3x3x7 tent and I run a 1k HPS. I have major fan work, but you want par, I got ya freaking par.
  8. And as far as your base. I was wondering if you checked Home Depot or Lowes for a peat moss called ProMix. I have nothing but amazing things to say and at $2.50 a cf goddamn.
  9. Thanks for breaking all that down for me. I really appreciate it. I guess a reflector is really important for me then since my grow space is rather large for only four plants. My light has to travel a couple of feet and back from the reflective mylar. In that case, I'm really not getting the most from my light. At least, not from the reflection off the walls. I think if I do go with T5s I'm going to buy a larger unit than the one in my link above. If I'm going to flower with them, as well as veg, I'm going to need something better than what I found on ebay. After reading some more about them, I don't think 8000 lumens is enough to handle my grow. Even if I doubled that by buying two of those units, it's still not enough I don't think.

    @SoooHaggard: I'm not sure about the measurements of my fans. I have two intakes in the floor that my husband bought from Radio Shack, and one larger outtake fan in the ceiling that my husband built himself. Then, of course, I have one oscillating fan blowing all the time.

    As far as ProMix, I've def. heard of it. I wanted some so badly, but no one sells it around here where I'm from. I checked Lowes, Home Depot, and even some nursery shops. No one had it. So I bought a bale of sphagnum peat moss and mixed it in with my FFOF.
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  11. I hated to have to break this up into two posts, but it's the only way I could get the damn pics to not only upload, but actually post. Every time I tried to add any text, I got a 'Oops Internet Explorer could not display this web page' crap. :mad:

    Since I'm tired of retyping everything, I'm just going to ask about my two dying autos. I don't know what went wrong with them other than maybe heat stress. But a 3rd plant, it was a Pakistan Ryder just like these two, did just fine. I harvested it a few days ago, and was rather pleased not just with the results of the effects, but my yield of about an O was better than I expected. These two that are left have just stopped growing. The leaves turned yellow/brown, and crispy, and the buds just are not filling out. Nothing I have tried to remedy this has worked. I'm afraid I may just have to chop them, and make hash with what little bit I get. But if any of you think these two plants can be saved, I'm all ears! What if I transplanted them into some of my new soil? Y'all think that might help them, or should I just not bother and cut my losses?

    The 3 Cataract Kush never sprouted. I'm not surprised. They were given to me, and I didn't really believe the guy who gave them to me when he told me what they were. (it was the same guy who told a bunch of people he won an 8-ball tournament that I knocked him out of in the third round. :rolleyes: Not to be trusted.) So I am germinating 3 more PE right now, and will put them in some dirt tomorrow.
  12. Hey Pearl, :wave:

    Some closer pics of the girlz in question would help. So would the details of your mix, and the conditions in your grow room (temps, air flow, etc.), and your watering/nute schedule.

    This line: Nothing I have tried to remedy this has worked. needs explaining. What have you tried? Most often, when you see girlz that look like this (from what little I can see), it's because someone tried too hard to fix a problem.

    Are they near what you would expect for a harvest date? If so, there's probably nothing that can be done in the short time left to bring them back. But, understanding what got them to that state in the first place, will help you avoid the same situation in future grows.

    So, post a little more info, and let's try to get to the bottom of it.

    See ya...
  13. I really think it's too late for those two plants. They should have been ready to harvest about two or three weeks ago, but they decided to stop growing, and the leaves turned all crispy and ugly. They are not part of an all organic grow. I used FFOF soil, and Technaflora nutrients kit. As far as a schedule, they were getting plain water-plain water-nutes, repeat. I thought maybe they got badly nute burned, so I flushed them heavily with plain water several times. Then I thought maybe they were mag deficient so I put Epsom salt in plain water and started watering them with that. Nothing helped. They didn't get worse, but they didn't get better either.

    I'm having terrible temp problems at the moment. Temps are why I'm considering changing to t5s. My husband is thinking of installing an air conditioner in the big building, then running a duct through the floor to my little building to try to get cooler air in there. Right now, my temps are getting over 90 sometimes. With my health problems, I can't always run out there all the time to check on this. That's been a real issue. If I didn't have a ten year old, I'd be growing in the house. :devious:
  14. Your fans are very small for the amount of air in that room. If your serious about growing I'd get something around 450 CFM (135-150 bux). Inline, not a duct booster like you have.
  15. That probably says it all right there. Your description and the glimpse from your pic is pretty typical of a salt build up in the soil. Once those salts whack your roots, that's usually the end of the game...you lose.

    Sorry, better luck next time.

    And, like SoooHaggard just pointed out, air flow is critical to the success of a grow room. Even with high temps in the 90's, good, strong, fresh air flow will save the day.

    See ya...
  16. Is this based in a shed? Or just at someones house?

    If its outside I would go to the Indoor Growing section here at GC. Look at all the DIY stickies, I'm sure you'll come up with something, like you attach the small fan you have now for the intake,and upgrade to a larger exhaust inline fan you'd be smooth sailing.

    Its rough to pocket it at first but in the end the results really blah blah haha.
  17. PW is right about your tempt vs air flow. Good air flow, regardless of temp, is better even than a lower temp and no air flow...Passive air flow is the easiest to make work, the intakes have to be at floor level and the air evacuates at roof line. Many intake areas, light sheilded by either hoods, 's' curves (I do this), or screened and many of them. I have had grows in some really hot hot heat, the plants do fine with air flow thru the leaves at almost any temp, because the plant itself only really needs to be able to have the transpired liquids and gasses that it puts out removed by the flow of air. That's why humidity is a concern, causes the transpiration rate to decrease. Keep that air moving.
  18. Hey, everybody, so sorry I've neglected this thread. I've had a lot of things going on, including a wedding and a new baby on the way. I'm happy to report, though, that my plants are looking really good. The temps around here have leveled off, and my little building isn't nearly as hot as it was. I have the out take fan going strong now that I've replaced the cord. The cord was getting too hot, and I couldn't keep it plugged in all the time. That's no longer a problem, so yay! :smoke:

    My camera isn't with me at the moment, so I can't take any pics right now. However, I will take pictures later on tonight and post them here. My plants look much better than I expected. There are only a very few, tiny yellow spots on a couple of the leaves of each plant. I've been watching them very closely, and they're not getting any worse or spreading anywhere. I don't think I need to worry much about it. As a good friend of mine once told me in another grow thread, no plant in nature has all perfect leaves.

    When you see the plants, you will notice that they are stretched. I did that on purpose. They're all autos. My last grow was all autos, too. I grew three of them, and one got stretched, the other two didn't. I got more bud, and better buds, from the plant that stretched than I did from the plants that didn't. I think it had a lot to do with the distribution of light. So we'll see.

    So that's all for now. Like I said, I'll report here again later on tonight after I take some pictures. I look forward to any feedback. Hopefully I'll get some after the pics have been posted so you all can see what I've been talking about.
  19. congratulations on your new child!!!!!

    is it a boy or a girl....

    or are you waiting for a surprise ;) ?

  20. Oh, haha, I guess I should have been more specific. I'm not the one having the baby...Thank GAWD! My stepson and his new wife are expecting a baby boy in June. We're all very excited. I can't stop buying things. Every time I go to the store for something, I end up buying something for the baby too...lol We just got back from Missouri, though. We went there for the wedding. It was nice, but I still say they're too young. Oh well, every once in a while a couple beats the odds. Maybe they'll be that couple. I hope so, at least.

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