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What's Happening to the Garden?

Discussion in 'Absolute Beginners' started by Freeman Lowell, Apr 7, 2003.

  1. I've run into some troubles in my little garden. It seems to be a compound of problems - HAS been actually. After about 20 hours of net research, I'm hoping I've narrowed it down some. First, let me tell you a little about my garden, and it's history.

    This garden is in a box with the traditional foil. At one time it was a whole box, now it's a box with a hole in the top. It has about 6 sq.ft. of floorspace in which there are two pots, about 3 gals. each.

    Each bucket was started by broadcast sea of green, offering over 150 plants to choose from. As time went on, some stretched and died (mostly lanky males, I assume) and others were deselected for slow development. At the time, garden had 30w coolwhite fluorescent and 120w incandescent (to give me a cool blue sky and yellow "suns.") I know it isn't much, but hear me out.

    Eventually, these plants were whittled down to 10 females. As most lanky plants were ripped out already, I had few males left to remove. Barely mature, I flowered these plants under the 30w cool and now 1502 incandescent. Some females did very little and were removed. All in all, I harvested about 1/2 oz. dry of extremely stony bud in light, fragrant nuggies. Based on amount, quality, growth habits and such, I selected 6 ladies to be regenerated. One pot has 4 and the other 6.

    These plants have been frequently fed, and continue to be, a dilute mix of 10/10/10 fertilizer.

    Nearing budding, I again upgraded. 30w fluorescent, 200w incandescent. This immediately caused a wilting problem that lightened up when I raised the lights - too much heat - and improved my ventilation.

    The plants have grown at a respectable rate until problem number two: In the pot of 4, several growing tips began to turn yellow with green veins, and in pot of 2, things are much more critical: the plants are a pale yellowy green and leaf tips are necrotic throughout all but the newest growth. Leaves appear wrinkly, some curving up, most down, some still green but cupping like a warped plank.

    After some study it hit me that I've probably hit an acid condition, so I flushed the pots with a couple gals. of Reverse Osmosis water and a MINUTE amount of baking soda. Within an hour the plants appeared to have improved dramatically.
    In the pot of 4, the spotting has not advanced. The pot of 2 looks greener, but still losing leaves as they yellow and die, or just crisp up from the tips.

    Further study suggests potassium as a possible nutrient in need. Into the blender went a piece of overripe banana and a little more baking soda, served with a rusty bolt since Iron may also have been lacking.

    Since then, I've been thinking, and reading. I've been complimented on my initial success despite hard Vegas water. On top of this Ihave been continuously adding other chems to it. I've come to the conclusion that since one pot has literally twice as much growth in it as the other, it may have been able to assimilate more of the chemicals than the other - resulting in more plants having less severe chemical burn, and less plants in the other pot having MORE. In short, since the 2 plants didn't use as much nutrient as the 4, they're hurting more quickly and dramatically.

    Having read recommendations of a soil-flushing, and a new one recommending it as part of routine maintenance, I've decided that a Vegas-style "Royal Flushing" is in order. Also considering just a teensy bit of Hydrogen Peroxide in the mix.

    With that background and history (and no current way to test PH) I'm hoping this history and explaination will give someone else ideas. Hopefully someone will be able to tell me if I'm on the right track, or maybe sees something I don't, knows better, and wants to share that info.

    Just a reminder to Grow for Yourself and to Share, and to share a bud like you would a good joke: Freely, with a Friend, and In Good Humor! Peace to all, and if you Can't Keep it Legal, Keep it in the Closet!
  2. Ditch the incandescent lamp and get an hps.
  3. Yeah man, incandesent is nothin but shit[​IMG]
  4. Again, in my little box and situation, my lighting options are limited. You know, it wasn't long ago that small gardens got along just fine under incandescent and inc/fluoro mixes.

    Any suggestions that actually have something to do with my situation? I mean, these lights are great, but they won't do crap for a sick, yellowing, semi-crispy plant.

    Thanks again.

    Attached Files:

  5. Well, you're putting a lot of time and effort into your grow but when it comes time to harvest you'll find you won't have much buds to smoke.

    Incandescent lighting, along with being the wrong spectrum of lighting, it is way too hot and has already scorched your tops. You also need a pH tester, some nutes might be getting locked out because the pH is too high or low...and don't use a rusty bolt for iron! Your hard water is probably fine since it contains calcium, something the plant needs for osmosis...just let it sit out overnight so the chlorine disipates.

    Other than that you're on the right track, but if you can feel you can finish the grow with just flouros and a 200W incandescent than be my guest...but you'll only be setting yourself up for failure.
  6. Incandescent lights suck! On my original first try grow I had an incandescent light until i got off my ass to get some flouros. It fucked up my plant beyond repair! To keep from burning the plant you have to keep the light away from the top, and the plant stretches towards that light making it very tall. My plant like this ended up 5 feet tall before flowering! Be careful not to let this happen (not that it will, I'm sure you're not as stupid as I was!). :)
  7. Thanx. When I can get into somewhere a little more stable, sizable and functional (like with a nice walkin closet) better lights are a must, but these will have to do for now. As for failure, well, my LAST harvest wasn't the greatest but I DID score some pretty nice nuggies and pinkiebuds under a measly 30w fluoro and 120w inc, so with the extra (and better pruning) it still wouldn't surprise me to more than double my last harvest. Still, I know those nice little buds that will be nicer more respectable ones would be fat, dense and sticky under the right lights.

    PH test kit = expensive? Any way to take a deep soil sample (or several) and do a litmus paper test? Any brewed-in-the-kitchen do-it-yourself PH guesstimate methods?

    Hey, there might be... Time to crack the texts. Ciao, and Thankx Again!
  8. The cheapest way to test your pH is with litmus paper...just put it in the water that comes out the bottom. I'd say get one from Home Depot, they're only around $15..just test the soil a few minutes after watering.
  9. freeman, i know ur quite happy with ur lights and all that but dont 4 get that light doesnt travel all that well, even tho u have more light now than u did b4 like u said u had to move ur lights further away due to the heat.
    now im not 100% sure of my sums hear but if u double the distance of the lights from the plants i think ur only gonna get about a quarter of the light.
    even tho u have an impresive amount of watts in ur garden i think u wud grow a lot better with just half the watts if they was all fluro (mix cool whites and warms 4 spctrum) all tho ur yellowin is bound to b caused mostly by the muck ur feeding ur plants on IMHO i think that they mayb having troubble with the light/heat in there. we all know that garden grass turns yellow if u block the sun light from it 4 a few days, i think u may have a problem along them lines from the light ur expecting ur plants to live on. now u have moved ur fluros (the only good light u have) away from ur plants they just dont have enough of the right wavelenghts to live on hence the drastic nature of ur other problems. wot was a small inballance in the soil b4 has become a major problem 4 ur plants becuse they r so sick from the light.

    well thats wot i think anyway. we all have plants that drop ther bottom leaves cus they dont get enough light. i just think its happening to ur top leaves aswell. i cud b wrong tho. i aint seen ur grow room or the state of ur plants. post us a few pics and that may answer a few questons.
  10. easy and cheap pH test:

    Take 1 gram of soil, add to a container of approx 100 mg of distilled water.
    Shake vigorously
    Aloow 10 minutes to settle.
    Then use litmus paper or pH tester to read pH level.
  11. Thanks, Everyone.

    I appreciate all the great info.

    Regarding lights: I think your numbers are right - light at double the distance is spread over 4x the area (2H*2W). Not too worried, since I just upped the lumens. and only raised them a few inches, plus fixed ventilation.
    The advantages I could see to going total fluoro would be cost efficiency, light efficiency (while new, anyways) and something I'm generally not used to - going without a focal point.
    Plants are said to respond better to a focal point, but I guess that depends on what one considers better. I use it to simulate a more natural environment (I wanna go organic!) I can only guess that total fluoro would have such well-diffused and spread light that it would penetrate better, and with a larger luminous area would naturally cast fewer shadows. This would also reduce phototropic effects like bending and stretching, keeping each plant more or less in it's place.

    Regarding Litmus Paper: God it pisses me off when I overlook the obvious! Thanks for the lesson in "Chemistry for the Oblivious!"

    Foiled Again! (Hence the subject!) Just as it would appear that different lights work better in different circumstances depending on your wants and needs and safety ratings (hehehehe) there are many opinions on reflective surfaces.
    Currently I have foil. Some say dull, some shiny. I say I'm tired of screwing with foil, curious about mylar. and I hear good things about white paint and posterboard, which sounds right up my alley.
    In a dense environment with good ventilation, which would you guys prefer...

    ...In a total flouro environment, and...
    ...In a fluoro/inc mix, and...
    ...In other light methods? And...
    ...Why is that? NOT just "Incandescent sucks." Heheh!

    Hey, Thanx for the Time.
  12. i vote white paint or black and white plastic. mylar is overpriced, iv had shocks off damp tin foil, plaster board isnt water proof.

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