Prepping for a White Widow stealth closet grow

Discussion in 'Micro Grows' started by happyhosseini, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. [FONT=&quot]Right now I'm about two weeks out from starting my first grow. I've done a lot of research to help prepare myself, but as I only know the information in theory, I'd like to have some more knowledgeable growers shed some light on my setup and plans. I might miss a few things, so don't chew me out please.[/FONT]


    [FONT=&quot]The goods:[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]I've ordered 5x feminized White Widow seeds, which should arrive in the next week or so. For my first time, I'll be growing three plants. [/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The growroom:[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Living in shared housing in relatively dense suburbs, stealth is the best option for me. My housemates are 420-friendly and all in favor of the grow, although I haven't told them I'll actually be going through with it, as discretion is virtually non-existent within my friend group. From some horror stories I've read it seems to me the fewer people who know the better. I bought a grow tent for the job – if my memory serves me correctly, it's 36” x 20” x 62” (92 cm x 51 cm x 158 cm to those of you using the correct measurement system). Incidentally, that's a volume of 26 cubic feet, but I'll touch on that again later. It has shiny metallic inside walls and some ducts for fans. Pretty basic, but I've only got a small op going, so it'll suffice. I'll put the grow tent inside my closet, in a recession in the wall that will render it nearly invisible unless you're all up in my closet's grill. [/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The stealth:[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Beyond just keeping the tent hidden in the closet and hanging skunk pelts on my wall (which would only fool George Green), I'll have to do something about the smell. I've got two 120mm computer fans that claim to move 69CFM wired up to a 12V charger. They'll be moving air out through the top of my grow room through an improvised carbon filter (it includes an atrium gate, stocking, and activated carbon – I've read about it a few places so I assume it's a fairly common solution). Even if the 69CFM is overstated and then further diminished by pulling air through carbon, I suspect the pair of them should still be able to pull at least 26 CFM. I've read from numerous sources that this scrubber is very effective at cleaning the air, but being the paranoid type (*shifty eyes*), I'm also gonna put a few open boxes of baking soda in the grow room as well as my closet. And I suspect I'll become a fan of Febreeze, too. If fresh WW is anything like the cured variety, I'm anticipating a lot of smell to absorb/cover. The intake will just be passive…if it doesn't work well enough, I may add a fan later on. [/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The lights/plan:[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Going for the stealth approach and also hoping to grow as frugally as possible, I'm using CFLs. I know to place them very close to the plants for the grow cycle, incidentally. [/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]For the seedling period I'll use: 4x 23W 6500K spiral CFLs on 18/6. That totals 92W and averages 30[/FONT].6 watts per plant. I've got them hooked up on two Y-splitters on powerstrips, and I'll be using a fan during this stage to help develop the stems.
    For the vegging period, I'll use 12x 23W 6500K spiral CFLs on 18/6. That totals 276W and averages 92 watts per plant. The setup will be similar to that of the seedlings, except there will be one powerstrip, each with four bulbs, for each plant. At this point I will mount an oscillating fan in the grow room. On that note, any thoughts about keeping it running 24/7 or coordinating it with my light schedule?

    For the flowering period, I'll use 14x 23W 2700K spiral CFLs on 12/12. That totals 322W and averages 107.3 per plant. (I may add another higher wattage bulb if my budget allows later on – since I purchased everything possible up front, I'm coming up a little tight) 12 of the lights will mimic the veg period setup, but I'll place two more lights lower in the hope of promoting more growth.

    One quick question on lights – if it helps, I'd like to set up some reflectors to maximize the lighting my plants are getting, but given the custom nature of my lighting setup my options are a bit limited. I considered flat or q[FONT=&quot]uasi-parabolic aluminum foil reflectors mounted on my power strips, but have heard mixed things about aluminum foil. I don't think hot spots would be an issue with CFLs, but has anyone made successful reflectors for a similar setup or seen a creative solution?[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The grow:[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]I'm starting by germinating in moist paper towels, from where I'll move to some very small (just over shot glass sized) pots I purchased at a local garden store. Once the plants have grown into them, I'll transfer them to some 12oz Styrofoam cups, and then onto some 12” pots (somewhere between 3 and 5 gallon I believe – they're slightly tapered down to the bottom and I haven't calculated the volume beyond a rough estimate), which will hold them for the rest of their lives.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Despite not having much of a headroom constraint, I'm still planning on low-stress training to try to maximize my grow's yield. Would that be advisable given the dimensions of my grow room?[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The soil/nutes:[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]The soil will be Miracle Gro Organic. The guide I read on soil was a bit hard to follow. Would it be recommended to add 20-25% perlite to my soil? In regard to the nutes, I don't remember exactly what I bought (I'll post more specifics when I start my log), but there are two different kinds – one for the veg cycle and one for flowering. I followed a guide (I think from GrassCity somewhere) almost to the letter, so I'm pretty sure I'm on the right track with what I bought. The flowering one lacks magnesium, so I have some Epsom salt to add when we get there. For pH balancing, I bought a digital pH reader, and some baking soda and vinegar to help balance if necessary. [/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]That's all I can think of for now. Go ahead and rip me a new one – better me than my precious girls![/FONT]
     
  2. Hi sounds like you've done plenty of research.

    I'd keep some fan running 24/7 to insure that the plants are always getting fresh air...usually people run their exhaust fan all the time to make sure smell doesn't escape..usually this is enough air circulation/exchange in the dark period.

    I prefer early topping instead of major lst training later..I try to top at the 3rd node or so, promoting a good branching structure early on. Later the branches can be pulled down slightly here and there, attached to the side of the pot. Even if headroom isn't a concern, your lighting is only going to penetrate so far...growing plants taller then that can be a waste of time since the lower half will be all stem. Base your finished, flowered canopy depth on the penetration of your lights.

    I don't think hotspots will be an issue..they're pretty rare actually. Those disposable baking pans make great reflectors..very easy to work with and super cheap.

    I've seen some good results with the MG soil...but not too often. It usually comes standard with fungus gnats too. If you can get better soil I'd do it. Otherwise just use the MG for your base and mix in some perlite and/or peat, coco...lighten it up a little or it can burn seedlings..

    If you have decent tapwater (7-8) I wouldn't worry about PH...I see alot of people overly concerned about it in soil...I've never messed with my ph in soil...the organics will work it out. :eek:

    hope that helps...if I missed anything plz don't tear me a new one ;)
     
  3. Hey thanks for replying man:smoke:

    That's what I had been thinking about doing in terms of circulation - I'll just wire up my exhaust fans separately.

    Can you elaborate on topping? Is it as simple as just cutting when it reaches the third node? At that point, will it branch out from the top or will topping itself encourage more bushy horizontal growth?

    Good tip on the baking pans - I'll check them out the next time I'm at [local grocery store] (paranoid... :smoking:)

    I'll look into getting some other soil then (luckily that's the one thing I haven't bought yet) - any tips (esp. something more mainstream/easily found)? The Miracle Grow was like $8 for 1.5 cubic feet. If changing the soil would either make my life easier or help my girls out, I'd be willing to pay around $20, but I don't have enough cash to splurge (Amazon's price for Fox Farm Ocean Forest is about $40). If I bought a better soil, would you still recommend perlite?

    I think my tap water's good. As long as I've got a pH meter I can make sure I guess...
     
  4. I usually just remove the new growth tip at the 3rd node and the plant wil split in 2..you can then split the 2 tops, creating 4...usually by then lower branches begin to catch up so you end up with a few more 'tops' as well. I'm sure there's great info on topping here at GC..topping like this promotes a shorter bushier plant vs. a tall skinny one. Or a plant with several 10" branches vs. a plant with one 30" branch.

    Foxfarm ocean forest is a popular choice..but can be hard to find locally. Check ace hardware..they sometimes have it. Sometimes garden centers carry it also, but it's getting pretty late in the season. I thought homedepot carried promix maybe?..that's a great base for soil. I'd still add a little perlite to ffof to start seeds in..then when you transplant you can use it straight. Earthworm castings are also a great base for soil/soiless if you can find them .. I used to use EWC, perlite, peat, and a few amendments and it worked great.
     
  5. Found Promix at a garden center today. And disposable baking pans at Wally World. Sweet deal.

    I think I'm still gonna try the LST - the process is kinda intriguing and the potential for higher yields is hard to ignore.

    So psyched for this all to come together :smoking: Thanks again for your help man
     
  6. no problem bud... :)

    please keep in mind that there's not much nutrients in promix..it's great for starting seeds, but add a little extra stuff to use as a regular soil...ie..bonemeal, bloodmeal, lime..maybe like a tsp bm/bm per cubic foot...Tbsp lime per cubic ft...somethin like that ;) there's alot of ways you can do it..
     
  7. #8 unseen4ce, Aug 17, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2011
    ***All my humble and still learning opinion***
    LST is great for a small space, it will keep your plant under 2ft while maximising the yield. Good for cfl's too.

    You could top or fim, and then have the multiple branches produced hit a scrog screen (form of lst) which would train the plants, maximising light saturation and efficiency (as the branches would all be at the same height as you tuck them all below the screen until you have enough vegatation for flowering).

    Then once you've got enough vegatation below the screen (70-80%), put them to flower and watch multiple bud sites rise, all under a couple feet.
     
  8. I was a little worried about having to buy a whole bag of bloodmeal, but I found some in my storage unit. Somebody up there wants me to grow marijuana.

    I'm gonna stick with CFLs, already having bought them, but thanks for the tip.

    Seeds came a few days ago, and I bought a digital barometer/thermometer with a daily high/low. AND I found some shiny silver duct tape. About a week til I start germinating my seeds and put everything together - hope to start a grow log then, too.
     

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