My First Grow

Discussion in 'Indoor Grow Journals' started by carthoris, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. #1 carthoris, Feb 10, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2009
    This is my first grow. I haven't started taking pictures yet, but I will soon. I haven't smoked in a while, but my brother came over and helped me do something, so I acquired an ounce of good mids, and we smoked until we could no longer move. It was great. A couple weeks later I decided to pick all the seeds out of what was left and try to grow a few plants. I started reading. I decided to go for CFL's for a few reasons.

    First, most people dont have great grows with cfls - That might sound like a reason not to do it, but I think most people who fail with CFLs fail because they dont know what they are doing.

    Second, Convenience. Everything I bought came from Wal-Mart. That's a lot easier than doing mail order. Also, there is less chance of tracking it back to me, not that Im paranoid, it just seems like a plus.

    Third, Heat. The 400W HPS and MH that I had were really hot, and since this is a minimal grow at best with perhaps 2-3 plants, I decided I didnt need to go for that. Why did I have HPS and MH if I wasn't growing you ask? I got the setup for someone else who has since moved.

    Finally, initial cost. 12 CFL's(6 Daylight, 6 Soft), one light fixture, and one cord cost me about 45$ Granted I could of gotten a HPS for $80-120, but I decided this route was fine - and if it didn't work or I decided not to grow again, I could always put the light bulbs in my house. Ive been slowly buying CFL's anyway. A HPS would look awfully funny in my ceiling fan.

    I decided to do a soil grow first, just to see how it worked. I also decided to use two different soils. Miracle Grow w/Extended Feeding and cheap top soil. I wanted to see the difference, this is about learning for me and if I dont get a good crop, that's OK, that's how you learn. Of course 4-5 ounces would be wonderful too.

    Materials(All from Walmart):

    Top Soil - 1$
    Miracle Grow Soil - 4$
    6 26W 6500k Daylight CFLS - 3 PKS @ 6$ = 18$
    6 26W 2700k Soft CFLS - 2 PKS @ 6$ = 12
    Light Fixture - 8$
    LightSocket Doublers - 3 @ 2 = 6
    15 Foot Inside Cord - 2$
    Jiffy Seed Starter - 3$
    3 Gal Garbage Cans - 2 @ 2$ = 4
    Remote temp sensor - Free (10$ initially at Walmart)
    Sterlite Plastic Tote - Free (5$ initially at Walmart)

    That's my initial outlay. I had an old tote, so no cost on that, it would of been about 4 dollars at Wal-mart. I didn't use pots due to cost, however at Wal-mart there are 3 gallon garbage cans and buckets for 2$, I went with cans cause they were stronger. The temp gauge I bought for the kegerator I bought, but since I have that all dialed in now, I put it in the grow, it works great for this.

    Initially I followed the Jiffy Seed Starter instructions and the seeds sprouted and started growing within a few days.. One got all spindly and fell and is growing like a vine, so that's a wash. I got about 6 nice seedlings, and I kept them in a window in a spare bathroom. However since the light was to one side they were growing towards the light, I turned them every day but it made their stalk grow curved. I hope this doesn't hurt them in the long run. I left them in the window about a week all told.

    I made the fixture first. Its about 18 inches long and has 3 sockets on it. I then put a socket doubler in each socket. For a grand total of 6 bulbs. Since that is only 156w for all 6 bulbs, its less than 3 regular bulbs would of been, so no issue there, I'm sure I could of bought heavier bulbs at Lowes, but I'm trying for one stop shopping. I then cut the end off the 15 foot cord, its one of those cheap brown ones that has 3 plugs on the end. I attached this to the fixture with the supplied wire nuts. Then I had a pleasant surprise, on the back of the light fixture in the center there is slots cut into it, basically it looks to be the exact size of a muffin fan. For those who don't know what a muffin fan is, its basically looks like a computer cast fan, but its 110/120v, which makes it work without a converter (thats a good thing). So as soon as I find one of the ones I have floating around Ill have a air cooled light fixture.

    I put the entire jiffy starter in the plastic tote, and rigged the light about 12 inches above it. I decided to put 4 6500k's and 2 2700k's in the fixture. I figured a mix of light would be better than all the same, I could be wrong, but I doubt it matters much either way. This is going to sit like this temp until the plants are big enough to plant in the ground. I'm not sure how I'm going to set it up after this, I might get a piece of plywood and a couple 2x4s and build a proper box with cooling. Not sure yet. As it sits, my plants are about 78 degrees more or less according to the meter. CFL's aren't even heating up my extra bathroom, with a HPS in there Im thinking it would be 100 by now.

    I haven't decided when to start flowering or anything like that... generally what percentage of seedlings are male vs female? If anyone has any input on something I could do to make it better, I would appreciate it.
    Also, I'm interested in setting up a hydro system. Which is the easiest/cheapest. Really would prefer something that doesn't have to be babied. Or is soil good enough? Thanks in Advance!

  2. Hello carthoris and congrats on deciding to grow your own. First, you have a 50/50 shot of getting females over males. I see no reason to go with hydro over soil for a small grow like this. You may see a minor increase in yield and potency, and a slight decrease in blooming/ripening time, but then you have to worry about sterilizing your system, pumps, grow media, etc after every grow. Additionally, if you have a power outage your plants won't suffer. It sounds like you are on the right track and I wish you luck.

    Oh 1 other thing, it is definitely beneficial to be using both blue and red spectrum lights. Among other things, it keeps your internodal spacing shorter, thus creating shorter bushier plants which is important when using lower wattage fluoros.
  3. I was wondering what kind of soil to use for seedlings or after germination. ? I just killed 6 germinating seeds because the soil i got had too much nutes.thanks
  4. REally looking forward to your grow!!1:D subscribed +rep
  5. I've had the best results with peat pucks from Jiffy. You can grow them in just the puck for a week or so until they start sprouting roots all over the place (just keep trimming them for a day or so).

    If you mix a plain dirt 50/50 with that hot dirt you have, the seedlings will survive much better. (something neutral like ground up bark, perlite and vermiculite only.)

    Sounds like you're on the right track.

    Make sure you take care of smell right now. Nothing worse than scrambling to cover up an odor problem because you're usually not the first person to smell it.
    Very dangerous problem.

    I kinda envy those folks that don't have to worry about smell LOL

  6. What is the best way to take care of the smell? I'm thinking about doing my first grow as well. My only concern would be the odor.
  7. Here's a great list to start with, what you end up using will depend on your particular situation.
  8. I went to Wal-Mart to get some real pots for the plants. 5 bucks a piece my butt. I went to Lowes, really looking for some of those cheap black pots... 6-7 there. 5 Gallon buckets just seem so big, and the 3 gallon ones were ones again 5 bucks a piece. I had an old sterlite tub, 20 gallons or so, so I threw all the soil in there and picked the strongest 6 seedlings. I have some pictures, and Ill be posting them soon.

    For the soil, I put 1 part miracle grow soil, 2 parts top soil, 1 part perilite. Im having trouble with deciding if its wet enough, with 2 cups of water it feels dry as can be after, I put a half gallon today or so... if I poke it and feel moisture dont water, if its dry then water, right? Do I need to poke holes in the bottom of the sterlite tub to drain it off - I wouldnt want it to turn to swamp mud at the bottom or anything.

    My plants arent getting any taller, but they are getting a lot fuller/bushier. They are only about 5 inches high. How high should they really get before I flower them, and how long? I dont see any sex or anything... My lights are at about 8 inches, I figure Ill leave the lights where they are til the plants get to be 6 inches from the light. Then Ill keep it at 6 inches, I will getting rid of the extra bathroom that I have my plants in, so I guess Ill be building a cabinet for them.

    I figure out the 6, hopefully 2-3 will be female, Is growing them in the Sterlite tub ok? 20 gallons enough for 2-3? They wont fight each other using the roots or anything right?
    Do I need to hehe Kung fu Weed.

    How much will they smell when they start to flower, is it going to be really terribly smelly? I dont really get visitors, and any I do arent prudes - So if they smell it, theyll just assume Ive been getting high? Or is it that bad? Im pretty handy, and I dont think Id have an issue figuring out a charcoal filter. Will 2-3 plants be that terrible that my house will reek?

    Im really enjoying growing them - Thats something I hadnt really counted on. Im enjoying it. I dont really smoke often, every six months or so Ill pick it up for a week and go on a binge. When I was younger I used to smoke every day - I guess getting old and turning into a corporate whore does that to you.

    Well, Ill get the pictures posted in the next few days!

  9. Not the greatest idea but it will work. Since I didn't see you mention what seeds you started with I would assume at least 50% will be male and need to be dug up and thrown out.
    Yes, it's definitely possible to grow without drainage holes (and there are people that do it all the time) but it's harder to learn that way. Best to put in drain holes for this first run at least.

    Sounds like they're doing great.
    They're going to grow 2-3 times larger once you put them into 12/12 lighting to flower. Keeping CFLs 6 inches from all leaves will ensure great growth.

    They tend to mix roots and stall growth when you cut them apart. They won't kill each other though. Just better to have one per pot as it makes your part easier in the long run.
    Better get started on that cabinet right way. You'll need to test temps and get the airflow and odor control down pat before you throw those ladies into 12/12.

    The wonderful, delicious, heady scent of growing cannabis is a dead giveaway to anyone who's been around a growing cannabis plant. I wouldn't think you'd just gotten high, that's for sure. I'd be looking around your place for a closet or cabinet. :)
    I have 6 clones that are about 6" tall. If I rub them, my entire house reeks for about half a minute until the air clears. They're still in veg! You can smell them about 50 feet away from my house during that time too.
    Definitely get started on your odor control now. That way you won't have to scramble and patch something together that's not going to be as effective.

    There ARE strains that are low odor and I've done grows with them and used only odor pucks and scented plugins. There are only a few strains like that though and it's doubtful you're going to be growing them this time around. :)

    Nah, you'll find that you'll toke a bit more, once you have it around. It's the "going and getting it" part that really bites. Getting older doesn't make that part any easier or safer. You're situation is perfectly normal. :)

    Cool :)
  10. Well, I am doing away with the bathroom that the plants were in, so I had to move them. Luckily a spare room in my house has a closet that cuts to the left and the right. Its a 3x3 square to the left and the right of the main opening - already semigloss white. So all I have to do is put a door on it and a roof. I moved them in there, dropped the light to 6 inches, and it looks good. They grow so much every day... soon my babies will be all grown up (wipes a tears away)

    While cleaning out the closet for the plants, I found the muffin fan I had been looking for. Joy. Its a high cfm 120v muffin fan. I bought it for 25 cents at the flea market a year ago or so. I didnt know what Id do with it, but I knew Id do something. So I Now have a 3 sided small area, I like my light setup, and a good exhaust fan. My plants have a very mild smell still. This week Im going to figure out the exhaust system. Should I take a 3 gallon bucket and possibly run a pvc pipe down into it from the top of the grow area and then over the top and down into a neutralizing liquid, a bubbler of sorts like a bong. So Ill have the fan and intake going into the top of the bucket, and the intake will go down under the water. The fan will create suction and bubble the air through the water - I may put a piece of screening in the bucket to make it lots of small bubbles. Im not entirely sure the fan is strong enough for that, but I have to start somewhere. My other idea is to possibly just make a carbon filter. Ill probably end up with 2 plants that I keep and flower.

    If I get rid of 3-4 of the plants(males) after 3-4 weeks, do they have THC in them? Could I say for instance make green dragon liquor out of the males? Im really starting to enjoy this growing. I go check on them every day (Good morning ladies and gentlemen.. preferably all ladies) Hopefully they will sex soon! How long before they sex?

    Thanks for Reading.

  11. Even when I have weed - I dont smoke much. I got a quarter ounce of good stuff, delivered. lol, I dont have to go out and get it really. I have half of it left 2 months later, in fact thats where the seeds came from. I go through phases, hell, Ive eaten an ounce of shake before in nacho cheese. I remember farting weed smell for days. I was wiped off the face of the earth.

    Its a labor of love, I really enjoy watching them grow and reach for the sky. They are very pretty, and I love their smell. Im just strange - I cant wait to take the first puff of these plants.

    Consequently - Id like to try growing Salvia also.
  12. Stick with a carbon filter. Much easier and more effective. (You'd need a much more powerful fan)

    It depends on the strain and growing conditions. Most plants won't have much THC in them at 3-4 weeks. A very few will have almost enough for your liquor.

    Yep, growing is addictive :) It generally takes 2-3 months before pre-flowers show.
    Once you get going you'll want to keep a mother plant of any genetics you want to run again. Working with clones will make things a lot easier. :D
  13. You really should get some drainage holes in the bottom of your pots,do it now before your roots get down there and you damage them doing it later. Soil need to drain and air out for your roots to be healthy.

    If you have problems later on and need to flush your soil you wont be able to without having proper drainage. Also, you cant give your plant too much water, if proper drainage, only water too often. You want to water your plant untill you have about 25% runoff of the water you put in. Ideally give her half of the water let it soak in for15min and then the rest so you dont get dry areas in your soil.
  14. The plants have exploded! They only got a inch taller or so - But they are about 8 inches around. They are short and wide. The smell is barely there, but I smell it, so Im going to put the door on and get ready to flower in another week. Ive been feeding them 1/2 strength miracle grow blooming. They doubled in 2 days. I hadnt fertilized them at all previous to this besides the miracle grow soil I mixed in at the beginning. They seem to be liking it. Some of original lower leaves are yellow on one plant - The smaller 2 leaves that they start out with, do I cut them off? They arent alternating nodes yet, would it still be OK to flower them? I want to figure out which are males, get rid of them, and make the environment better for all the plants.

    Its kind of amazing that they are growing like.. well.. weeds. Even without me really treating them right, they are growing great. Funny thing is my electric bill is actually less than last month - I guess changing all my lights to CFL in the house more than made up for the 6 23w bulbs I have going 24/7. Life is good, Im really thinking about expanding my growing area next time, I really enjoy all this. Is hydroponics fun too? I really enjoy this - I wonder if Id like growing tomatoes the same?

    Do any of you grow any other plants? There is a plant called salvia that is pretty interesting. Its legal still. Harder to grow though, I think it requires walling and humidity to an exact amount. Well.. I added all the pictures Ive been taking with my blackberry. From old to new. If anyone has any questions about my set up let me know! Im going to do a cost vs production chart at the end taking into account everything needed in the grow. Well, back to my projects! Thanks for reading!


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  15. Generally, how often do you usually water? Also, my plants are outgrowing my sterlite tub. Tommorow I am walling them up and putting in odor control - 10$ bathroom fan at harbor freight - 4$ worth of dryer vent and 2.50 for some activated charcoal at walmart. They also sell premade cuttable carbon filters for about 7 dollars - Im not sure how well they would work though. I could make 4 filters with that one though - Its the prefilter, the carbon, and the plastic mesh. Either way tommorrow is the day. Right now they are in the area with a white wall on 3 sides and a white sheet over the 4th side.
    The plants are probably 3-4 weeks old from the time they broke the soil. If I started flowering them next week would they be alright with that? They are about 8 inches tall now. I have all the room in the world. Its just me and my wife and I have extra bedrooms and a garage. I just know that at the moment Im not going to get any better lights than my 6 cfls (I may move up to 9 possibly.) 9 would put me at 207 watts for a 2 foot by 1 1/2 foot area. I have the 6 babies and I assume 3 will be female... I can expand the grow area though, and Im really considering it. If they get to 20 inches high, I assume they will take up a 18x18 space? I really have a 6 foot by 2 foot space I could part with easily.. or possibly 2x2 on either side with the 2 foot in the middle for the access panels and vent.
    They are cramped, I can tell that.. they are growing great though and not really any issues... I can smell them when I walk in - But noone comes over but my dad and he dont care. Im also doing construction in the bathroom so I could blame it on mold in the bathroom that Im taking out too. It doesnt smell like marijuana exactly - I imagine more people havent smelled it growing.
    What are the best looking buds to grow? I always saw those crystal white colored buds that looked awesome, are they good? I want something to break out when Im smoking with friends.

    Well.. off to bed with visions of big beautiful buds in my head.
  16. You really need to get them in their own homes... the roots are going to be a tangled mess... and your going to run out of space.
  17. #17 carthoris, Mar 3, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2009
    I was hoping to sex them before I put them in individual planters - They are a month old now - its probably too late to separate them isn't it? I have the 6 of them, and I put the timer on and dropped them to 12/12 last night. I also added more lighting - and an exhaust system, carbon scrubber, as well as a door/roof.

    I decided I wanted to flower them, so flower I am. 12/12 as of yesterday on a brinks mechanical timer - Do these hold up ok? 4.50 at wallyworld. Seems to be alright.

    I put the cabinet up around it a few days ago and after looking at plans for exhaust I bought a 12 dollar bathroom exhaust fan from Lowes. I bought a 8 dollar piece of exhaust vent. The hard kind that doesnt kink, not the type for dryers. Then I boxed it in with particle board, ran the vent out the top.

    Then I decided to work on smell - so I bought a 5.96 container of activated charcoal at walmarts fish department. I was hashing out how I would make the scrubber while drinking a 64 ounce soda from the gas station.. then it occured to me that on one side of the soda cup was a 3 inch input and on the other a 5 inch. Light went off in my head. I have purchased a 3.77 cuttable filter at walmart for my scrubber without a clear idea of how I would use it, so I cut a 3 inch circle and a 6 inch square. I cut the bottom of the cup out but left a lip to keep the pad from falling out, then I filled it with activated charcoal to the top, put the square over it and ducttaped it on the end. I put the 3 inch exhaust vent pipe on the end of it and clamped it down. Looks good, functional, and the actual scrubbed cost was about 7 dollars - including the cost of the soda that I drank while brain storming. There is no smell when the lights are off, and a very mild smell when they are on, I only notice when I come home and the lights are on. My plan to deal with that is some odor gel in the closet area and another 12 dollar exhaust fan in the roof blowing it into the attic. I also plan to order 2 of the 10$ scent destroying lights.

    I also decided I needed more power (tim allen laugh) So I went to home depot - they have a lot better selection of lights than lowes - And I was about to buy a 100w hps for 50 bucks because I didnt see anything better when I spied 68W CFLS. 68 real watts. They do 4200 Lumens per bulb. At the 2700k. I was excited to say the least. 14 bucks a piece. Regular screw in sockets. Thats about 63 lumen per watt... I figured that wasnt so horrible so I went with it. The bulbs dont get hot at all, I could hold them in my hand while they were on.

    So my lighting is now 6 23w bulbs(4 5700k(I think) - 2 2700k) and 2 68w 2700k bulbs. For a total of about 17,500 lumens/270w. In a 3.3 square foot area. So I think I have plenty of lumens to flower. I wanted to truly see how CFLs would do on equal footing before I go and buy a hps or something. I could easily swap my light out for a hps in the future, but I like having multiple bulbs so that if one goes out I still have light for my ladies. I happen to have about 20 tanks of C02 for something unrelated - the 20# ones. Would it be worth giving them CO2 or is that the sort of thing that you only do after you have maxed out every other thing? Im not exactly a scientist with the nutrients - I pretty much just mix up miracle grow bloom half strength and water when it seems dry.

    Does anyone have any advice for transplanting? Do I wait until I find the sex, or do I need to seperate them now? Do I need to just dig them out and replant? Its about a week before I know the sex right after switching to 12/12? Is 12/12 the most efficient? I need to be finished up by April 15. Thats 45 days, will I be done by then? If not I can work something out, but I wanna make sure.

    Would building a cheap hydro setup with the little strainers and a bubbler to keep the roots moist be worth it? Would I get better results or just faster? Im so excited, but Im also worried - I cant imagine having a kid lol, Id be all twitchy all the time. Well, I appreciate any comments or insight! Thanks in advance!

  18. Im getting into this entirely too much. lol. So I got an air freshener with the odor gel in it, as well as a 13 dollar 15W Ionizing lightbulb. I figure if it works, its worth 13 dollars. I didnt put it in the cab, I put it on top with the exhaust from my crappy little scrubber on it. You can smell it in the room and they havent started flowering yet.

    Fixing the scent - I added the lightbulb, and a freshener... hopefully it will work, but I decided to go further. Im going to do the Stanley mod. 35 bucks at Walmart, its a cage fan and Im going to put the inputs on the side of it like a lot of people have. Then I have a 10 gallon tote. Im going to take the 10 gallon tote, put a 4 inch exhaust fitting on the bottom. On the top Im going to put a piece of metal grating (its actually for an airconditioner input) cut to size and put whats left of the cuttable filter over it. Im shopping ebay right now for the best price on activated charcoal. How much charcoal do I really need? 5 pounds or so? Im going to take the bathroom fan back - it works OK but not as well as I need. It doesnt smell at all when the lights off. But when the lights on the room its in smells - my mom came over and smelled 'new wood' I showed her my plants, she said they were very pretty. Shes never been high in her life. lol. My dad is excited and expectant about getting stoned as all getup.

    The two new lights I added in are really awesome. 68W CFL. They grew the plants a full 2 inches in one day - I only know how far because I set the lights at 3 inches from the biggest plant and the next day they were about 3/4 a inch away. I have 3 yellow spots on a leaf on one of the plants, its a top leaf, but its not too close to the light or anything. Im thinking possibly the PH is up? I havent fertilized them all that much - I used about 1/3 perlite, 1/3 miracle grow soil, and 1/3 top soil. If it was burn from that Id imagine it would of been before now since its been 5 or 6 weeks. I water them every 2-3 days when the soil is dry, with a 1/2 strength bloom miracle grow. I know miracle grow isnt the greatest, but my plants look good besides those spots on the one leaf. Would a teaspoon or vinegar in my water help possibly? What happens if the PH is too low?

  19. #19 carthoris, Mar 7, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2009
    Well, I bought a stanley blower, an activated charcoal filter at Lowes for air machines, I had the prefilter pad, I got about 30 pounds of activated carbon. It wont be here for a few days though. I got a stick on 6 inch duct starter. It was about 5 dollars, it stuck right on, has real good tape on the backside, it isnt leaking so I didnt put screws in. A 6 inch starter collar with the bendable tabs didnt fit whatsoever inside the hole of the stanley, but I bought the sticky one too so its all good. It keeps my cab about 72 or so in the night, and 75-80 in the day. Are these temps ok?
    Stanley Blower: 45
    Prefilter Carbon: 5
    Prefilter Stiff: 4
    Fittings for Duct: 15
    Duct: 10
    Clamps : 3
    Carbon: 1.99 a pound
    Sterlite Tote: 3.50
    Silicone: 2.00

    I think I just sexed my first plant... its a boy! Wait.. thats not a good thing..:( He popped up about 6 inches taller than all the rest and I see two what looks like balls on a couple of nodes. Im not sure yet though, so Im going to let it go a few more days - He wouldnt be a danger until flowers show up right? Ive only been flowering for 4 days.

    Picture one is the male. Hes droopy because I decided to hold off on watering for a day or so... I had read that dry conditions help with resin formation.
    Picture 2 is my exhaust system - I hung it from the roof with ropes - it is very quiet. If someone was sitting 2 feet from it - they would assume it was the air conditioner running. Which is a good thing.
    Picture 3 is as good as I could get of the males balls I think? Camera wouldnt focus on it very well.
    Picture 4 is of my ghetto cross lighting. I have 8 lights on it.
    Picture 5 is lighting - Notice the two big ones.
    Picture 6 is lighting also - I just liked the way the plants were sort of profiled.
    Picture 7 is my temp gauge/humidity. 10 bucks at walmart with 10 foot cord for the sensor.
    Picture 8 is my garden protector. As long as hes with me - Im magically safe.
    Picture 9 is my carbon filter - I only had 8 ounces of fish charcoal at the time, so I tossed that in, my bulk will be here soon and Ill fill it to the top and tape the charcoal prefilter on it - at the moment I just layed the filter on top - it still helps.

    Well, any comments would be appreciated! Thanks.


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  20. Hard to tell from that pic... a lil blurry... but wait a few days... but not too long

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