Reflective material and soil

Discussion in 'First Time Marijuana Growers' started by rahamaker, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. Hey!
    I've some questions about growing - will this material (bought from the local store, which sells everything; it's suppoused to be a camping mattress and it's about 3 mms thick) reflect light properly enough in a 22cm wide/ 40cm long and 60cm tall PC grow box?
    Here's a picture of the material - [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Is it okay to use soil (+ perlite) that has nutrients in it from the start to the last phase of growing?
    Soil's NPK levels - [​IMG]
    Please notice that this will be my first grow and all your suggestions are more than welcome.

  2. That camping may looks shiny to you, but also..... grey.  One small part of it looks shiny if you look at it from the right angle, and the rest looks..... grey.  So that is your answer about the reflective material.  The same is true of heat blankets, mirrors, tin foil, all rubbish.  they reflect heat well, and don't actually reflect light well.  They are no good.
    Plain flat white is best.  Plain white mountboard from an art store would be better than that camping mat.
    Mylar is a special material that looks similar to tin foil, but it is actually specially designed to reflect light and it actually looks very bright, not grey.  Until you actually see the difference, it is hard to appreciate.
    White, or mylar.  Mylar substitutes are nonononono useless.
    The pH range on your soil suggests that could be too acidic, but also it could be fine.  Is it cheap?  Maybe the control is not very good.  If it doesn't kill your plants (I am not saying it will) then it will be fine to grow in it for the whole grow.  If you need more nutrients, that depends on how big your pot is and how big your plant is.  If you grow your plant in a PC case and it is 12 inches tall and your pot is 1/4 gallon, maybe you don't need to feed it.  Bigger plant/smaller plot, then maybe you will need some extra nutrients.
  3. Hi. Thank you for your informative post. I've decided to go with the material though as I already attached it to the box. As for the soil - yes, it was cheap. It was about 6 euros for a 6 litre bag.
    As I've assembled my pc grow box, it got me thinking - are the pots too big for this box? I'm thinking of going 18/6 for 3 or 4 weeks and 12/12 until harvesting (the strain is 'Blue Mystic' feminized). I will be using a 33W 2700K CFL and a 21W 4000K CFL. All the criticism and help is welcome.

    Attached Files:

  4. Forgot to mention that the box is 60cm tall, 40 cm x 20 cm
  5. You have heat-insulated your grow box by using that camping mat.  Give a serious couple of minutes consideration to pulling it out, and maybe spray painting the inside of the case white, or even just sticking white paper up instead.
    The pots are as big as they can be for your space,  To me they look about right for size of plant you will have.
    You need to have your lights near your plants.  Either fix the lights to the very top of the case, and raise the pots up with something you can adjust, OR keep the pots on the bottom and have the lights adjustable.  With 55w of light, you need to make the most of every lumen you have.
    When you switch to 12/12 the plants will stretch, my experience with small plants is they can double in height in two weeks and then stop.  Plan for this when you are growing them.  Try to avoid making them stretch for light during the vegetation, you could easily end up with then 6 inches tall but only 2 sets of leaves, if you don't get enough light on them.
  6. I appreciate your help sincerely, thank you for taking time to answer.
    So I should definitely not stick with this material?
    I'm going to have adjustable lights and I'm considering getting another 20+W bulb. Should it be 2700K or 4000K (local hardware stores don't sell anything above 4000K) or should I go with a fluorocent (?) tube (I saw a 6500K one for like 6 euros, didn't really figure out how to connect them though, they don't seem to have E27 socket-thingy)?
    When it comes to the plant's height I can afford approximately 40 cm (10 cm pots plus ~10 cm for bulbs) vertically, I was considering LST-ing, is that okay to do under the circumstances?
  7. It's basically like you've wrapped the inside of your box with a black blanket.  Even just painting or covering it would be better than leaving it.  Like I said, I know it looks shiny but that's not actually what matters, the light it reflects is almost useless to the plants.
    Obviously you need lights that you can actually use, so stick with the type you have.  Between the 2700K and 4000K, the 2700K has more usable wavelengths even though the 4000K looks "whiter" or "bluer".  Although the 6500K lights are "better" for veg growth, there's not much in it and it's not like you have much space for it to show the difference.
    LST is definitely your best bet in this small space.  You can grow a couple of "lillipops" which will be fine, but if you can turn each main stem into 2 or 4, you will get more out of it.  But to get more out of it you also need more light, so that extra bulb is necessary.  I have grown 2 plants with 90watts before using LST, and it was okay, a little over half an ounce I think, but the veg time was slooow because of the low light levels.  I would usually recommend minimum 100 watts and then another 20-50 watts per extra plant, max 3 plants (no max on light though).
    In a very small space, though, that generates too much heat.  Plan to add a third light, but consider how you might overcome any extra heat or space issues that will cause and take action if you need to.
  8. So to sum up - I should 1) switch the material to flat white paint (as mylar isn't accessable). Is there another alternatives, would flat white printer paper work?
    2) get an extra 2700K bulb (or even two) to get atleast 100 watts of light in there. As I've read 2700K is more useful for flowering period which in my case will be longer than veging.
    3) what about that soil I bought? Should I replace it (I've no access to Fox Farm as common soils aren't available here) OR just add 1/4 perlite and use it for the whole process?
  9. Yes, even white paper would be at least marginally better than the mat, it wouldn't make it any worse than it is.
    As much light as you can manage with regards to heat and space.  3 lights with good temps and enough space is probably slightly better than 4 lights when you can't keep the temperature down and the leaves are touching the lights.  Small spaces are a compromise.  Obviously you have already bought lights and only have access to what you can get, but 3x 33watt bulbs is better than 4x 20watt bulbs, so keep an eye out.
    If you have bought the cheapest soil you can find, then I would suggest you replace it.  You don't need FoxFarm soil, what you want is a potting or container compost from a brand that you recognise, even if it's just a national DIY store brand.  You want a compost that is designed for use in house plants or pots, not general "multi-purpose" compost.  If that's what you have, try using it.  If you open the bag and it's full of big chunks of bark and stuff, that isn't ideal for small indoor grows as it encourages pests and mould.
  10. Just a thought on soil, you could also go hempy with just straight perlite, but then you would need nutes
  11. Thanks. I think I'm gonna risk it and mix the universal soil with perlite and see what will happen during the grow.
  12. My favorite is happy frog soil. What strain are you working with?

    may the Gods smile upon your fields and bring you a good harvest.
  13. Thanks. Those common brands aren't available where I live. I'm gonna go with 'Blue mystic' feminized.
  14. Nice dude. Best of fortune to you

    may the Gods smile upon your fields and bring you a good harvest.

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