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1st Grow - Crop King Seeds Purple Kush


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I am a complete newbie to growing plants in general, and have killed most of the herbs I've tried to raise. I'm hoping that weed is a bit hardier. :2:

StrainCropKing Seeds Purple Kush Feminized
Grow boxDIY 48" x 37" x 21"
Bucket Size10 gallon Smart Pots
SoilScultz Seed Starter Plus
Planned transfer to 70% Coco Coir, 30% Perlite
Lights8x CFL (5500k 2800Lumens
NutrientsGreen Planet Hydroponics GP3 nutrients

One day, I was sitting on the back porch with my girlfriend, and for some reason I decided to look up marijuana seeds. I had no idea they could be bought online. To my surprise, CKS was available in my hometown, so I wouldn't even have to mail order them. I flipped through the catalog, and saw Purple Kush. Purple is my GF's favourite colour, and the strain was listed as "easy to moderate" difficulty. Fate seemed to have a plan in store for me!

In retrospect, starting with some kind of autoflowering plant might have been a better choice for a first grow, but I didn't know what autoflowering was; I just knew I should be getting feminized seeds.

I picked up a packet of 5 seeds, took some selfies of myself with the people in the store for souvenirs (you don't get to see those pics!) and wandered back home to start the germination process. The seeds are feminized, and I wasn't planning on building a huge grow box, so I decided to germinate 2 now and save the rest for later.

Following the CKS instructions, both seeds successfully germinated and were ready for planting with 72 hours. Trying to be environmentally friendly, I built some germination pots out of brown paper bags.
I will never do this again! The bags ended up getting too moist and becoming moldy. It ended up in an emergency repotting a week into my grow and caused both me and my plants a great deal of stress. Red Solo Cups are cheap, tried and true. No sense in reinventing the wheel, eh?

Not knowing where to start, I picked up a bag of Schultz Seed Starter Plus. Nowhere on my bag did it say that it contained any nutrients at all, but in researching the media later on, I found out that it does "extended feed plant food" (0.07 - 0.05 - 0.04).

I was going to pick up AN's Grow-Micro-Bloom, but the fellow at the store convinced me to "Buy Canadian" and said that GP3 was basically the exact same stuff, so I picked up that and a big bag of Coco.

This is my grow at 7 days, before I discovered that the paper was wicking up the runoff, and the moisture was allowing mold to grow in the media. I had my grow room (spare bathroom with no windows) waaaaaay too humid, like 60%+ relative humidity because I saw one website that recommended starting with really high humidity and backing it off 5% per week during the grow.



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Here are my plants at 10 days. I was concerned about them being damaged by my emergency transplant to plastic cups, plus the fact that I overwatered them, had the pH way too low, fed them nutrients too soon and had the humidity way too high.


I've been reassured by a few people on this board that they look normal, and healthy, so I'm feeling much happier now. Now I just have to finish building my growbox so that I can move them out of the spare bathroom to a more permanent location.


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Looks good, I like purple flowers. I'm in.


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14 days in:

Because of my emergency transplant, one of the plants was planted on an angle, and it has continued to grow at the same angle. I wonder if this means they're getting so much light that they don't need to turn towards the bulbs.

I notice purple on the stems of both plants, but am hoping that it's just the phenotype of this strain. They are looking pretty happy and I've been watering every other day when the coco dries out. I've got my temperature problems under control (had ranges from 77-86F) by running my exhaust fan 24 hours a day, and temperature range is now 72-81F. Humidity is a bit low (below 40%), so I've turned on my humidifier.

I do see extra leaves starting to grow down at the cotyledons, and am wondering if this is normal or an indication of something else. The plant also looks short, with the nodes really close together. I have my CFL's really low, like 2 inches above the plants, so I guess raising them would stretch the plant out as well.

I think I'm going to transplant by the end of the week, into 5 gallon smart pots. That might give them a bit of time to recover from the transplant before I top or FIM them. I was planning on topping, but time is becoming an issue, so I may FIM and try to save what I've read is a couple of days recovery time to return to normal growth.

My pH meter is seriously not giving me good readings. I think I might just grab a bottle each of bromthymol blue and bromcresol green from a buddy and see if I can get some vague readings that I trust a little bit more. Bromthymol blue is yellow below 6.0, greenish between 6.0 and 7.6 Bromcresol green is blue above 5.4. They won't get me super accurate readings, but they'll get me in the right range, I think.


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Day 15:
24 hours after a feeding of nutrients, I'm seeing some brownish/yellow patches on the lowest leaves of one plant.

I am wondering if it's nutrient burn, but I read that was supposed to affect the tips first. I'm also looking into the possibility of calcium deficiency, but since it's a new problem, I'm not quite ready to treat that.

I'm planning on re-potting to 5 gallon smart pots tomorrow, so may flush at the same time if the problem looks worse. I'm not discounting pH as a problem either, as I've been having some serious issues getting accurate readings of pH. I'll try and correct pH again when I flush and water the larger pot.


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I ran some pH tests using some pH indicators: bromothymol blue, bromocresol green and methyl orange.

My tap water ends up somewhere a little bit more alkaline than RO water at around 7.3.

Runoff from my last feedings measured out to between 4.4 and 5.6, which means that the yellow spots I'm seeing are probably Magnesium deficiency. I must have really screwed up the pH when I was playing around with that broken pH meter.

When I transplant, I'll flush and then feed with some pH adjusted mix. Waiting on a new pH meter to arrive to see how accurate it is.


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It was a busy day 16 for my little plants.

I used to read all these grow journals and wonder why people named their plants. I thought it was silly. I realize now that it's so much more useful to refer to them by name to keep track of them, so my plant on the left is now called Lenore, and the plant on the right is now called Regina.

I up-potted to 5 gallon smart pots. They used a lot more perlite and coco than I thought they were going to; apparently my spatial estimation skills are a bit lacking. I ended up with about 65% coco and 35% perlite in each pot. I wet down the new media with a mild dilution of nutrients as well as full CalMag. It used a lot more water than I was expecting. I realize now that I'm going to need much larger containers on hand for the next feeding/watering cycle.

pH of my runoff was good, somewhere between 5.6 and 6.0 based on the results of using pH indicators Bromothymol blue and Bromocresol Green. I'm hoping that this helps with the magnesium deficiency I've developed.

During the transfer, I got a look at the roots...They look pretty good, and I'm really feeling like these girls are on track. I'd like them to establish for a few days and then I'm hoping to FIM/top them and start building my scrog.

I was surprised at how fragrant they were at only 16 days when I was transplanting. I wasn't expecting a strong scent until they started to flower. I'm going to have to get my carbon filter built and set up really soon.

Lenore in her new home.


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Day 18:
FIM'd both plants today, and started doing some LST with both plants as well. I realize now that just sticking wires into the Coco/Perlite is not going to be effective; when the media dries, the wires have nothing to grab onto. I may look at making some kind of plastic "donut" to go around the edge of the pot that I can screw some eyehooks into, or maybe I can make add some kind of attachments to the smart pots.

Lenore (day 18, FIM'd)

Regina (day 18, FIM'd)

Regina (day 18, growing in 65% Coco, 35% Perlite)


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Great job, keep it up. You ladies look happy.


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Day 25:

One week after FIM'ing, plants are looking pretty healthy. Last feeding, 5 days ago, was half strength. Last night I fed them with full strength nutrients. Each plant took 4 liters before runoff came out, so I threw in another half liter afterwards. With base nutrients and CalMag, pH is pretty low, but I've worked out a formula to bring it back into the 6.0 range, finally.

Regina is looking pretty bushy. Her tops are looking pretty dense. Her first leaves at the very bottom are turning yellow and dying. I've been doing some reading and that appears to be normal, but I'm keeping an eye on the lower growth as well. She lost her cotyledons a few days ago to the exact same thing.

Lenore was maybe FIM'd in the wrong spot. Her tops are looking a little bit mangled, but new growth coming up beside it is looking normal.

I've been trying to LST, but both plants have really short stems, so it's been really hard to get in there to work. Also, as the Coco dries out, the wires anchored into the media aren't really anchored anymore.

I've been a bit concerned about temperature lately. I tried placing my hygrometers right beside the plants. The temperature right under the lights creeps up as high as 88F whereas the ambient room temperature is only up to 84F, even with the fan blowing directly on the plants. I'm not sure if this is a concern right now, or whether it's normal due to radiant energy vs air temperature. I'm watching for signs of heat stress, but I don't really want to raise the CFL's higher than 6" away from the plants.

I think I'm going to need to flip to 12/12 this weekend, as well. I have a vacation planned for July, and really need to be finished with these girls before then. Timing is going to be tight. I'm hoping for shorter flowering time rather than longer.


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hmm...I just looked at my plants to see how they're doing, especially the tops. I just noticed these:

They look like every picture I've seen of preflowers and pistils.

My girls have been under 18/6 for their entire lives, and are feminized but not autoflowering plants. Do they look like pre-flowers to everyone else, too?


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Due to some time constraints (trip planned for a few weeks out of town in July), I had to switch over to flowering earlier than I wanted to. On day 28 after planting germinated seeds, I moved my cabinet from my spare bathroom down to the garage, which meant I also had to close up the doors and turn on the exhaust fan in preparation for trying to scrub the air through a carbon filter.

I flushed the plants with plain tap water and let them sit in the dark for 36 hours before moving to a 12/12 schedule.

Good news, is that the plants look great. My scrog hasn't even needed to be used for tying down the stems lately, and I'm just tucking them under into new squares. I've also acquired all of the parts needed to switch over to an ebb and flow feeding system so I can take a few days out of town and not worry about feeding. Probably not ideal with the size of my pots, but it's all experimenting still.

Lenore. Purple Kush 30 days after germination grown under CFL's. FIM'd at day 18.

Regina. CKS Purple Kush 30 days after germination, grown under CFL's. FIM'd at day 19, accidentally topped on day 27 (tore the top off while tucking plants into scrog for LST). She actually looks like she's doing a bit better than Lenore. Maybe I should have topped them again.

I have the DIY cabinet completed, although I'm finding the temperatures climbing a bit higher. The temperature in the box says 92.3F, and reads 97F right underneath the lights. Ambient room temperature is 75F and the air coming out of the exhaust fan does not really feel that warm. I have a more powerful fan on order, and I'll swap that in as soon as it arrives. I had thought a 100CFM fan for a 4' x 1.5' x 3' box would be sufficient, especially for CFL's, but apparently not. New fan will be 260CFM, hopefully that fixes the heat problems. If things look a bit sketchy tomorrow morning, I'll leave the doors open and blow an oscillating fan from the outside, but that's not going to do much for the smell.

I set up the parts for my Ebb and Flow drain table and added my nutrients. Finally checked my water, and unless my meter is wrecked, my tap water is 15 ppm. I'm ecstatic. We do have good water up here but I didn't think it would be that low. I'm not concerned about using RO or distilled water now.

Day 30, looking good for now. Hoping that flowering goes well!


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Good job so far, you have a grasp on what is needed to make it to harvest. Temps need to be under 80° unless your using LED lighting. CFL get hot too as you have seen. How many watts are you pulling from the wall? Room should be in mid 60's for easy temp control. Run 9p to 9a if possible. Plants look well for running hot.


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8x 40 watts, each is a 150 watt equivalent at 2800 lumens. That's 20800 lumens for a 18" x 30" space.
I kind of wonder if my lights are a bit overkill, but right now I'd rather use more light than less.

I'm running lights from 7:30pm to 7:30am, which gives me time to check them before work and then I have some time available after dinner to work on them.

I'm really surprised this CFLs are generating that much heat; i still wonder if it's the radiant heat that is really heating up the probes and they're not getting a good reading from the air, because the box doesn't really feel that hot...

Hmm, maybe I'll put a probe underneath something so that it doesn't get direct light... Then it should just be reading air temperature.

I also wonder if the probe is reading hot.... It says my room is 75F, but my thermostat says it's only 68F.

Thanks for checking in and for the advice... It's much appreciated!


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Update 38 days since germination, 8 days since flip to 12/12.

I changed to an ebb/flow setup, primarily because I had to go out of town for 4 days and I needed to have watering set up while I was gone. Also, it was getting hard to water around the screen and evenly into the pots (I was getting lazy). I started with half strength nutrients based on the Green Planet feeding schedule for "Transition Bloom".

I was having real heat problems with the 100CFM fan, so I removed two of the CFL's and left the doors to my cabinet open. I tried to block all light into the box, but I know it wasn't pitch black in there; hopefully this doesn't pose a problem down the road.

There has been significant growth in the week since I flipped to 12/12, and I've been busy tucking new growth under the screen trying to keep the canopy even. At this point, it's very hard to tell where one plant ends and the next begins, so I'm not going to bother showing separate pictures of the plants in the future. I compare the plants to how they looked a week ago (previous pictures), and I'm amazed. You can still see Lenore on the left, and Regina on the right. Both have nice and thick main stems with some strong branches coming off the sides. I'm not sure whether to start trimming some of the under growth, but I think I'm going to leave it all this time around. I'm running out of room to tuck the growth, so maybe it's time to start letting the canopy grow vertically.

Lenore at day 30 and day 38 (flipped to 12/12 on day 30)

Regina at day 30 and day 38 (flipped to 12/12 on day 30)

Both Plants together at day 38

I thought CFL's were supposed to run cool, but with the doors of my cabinet closed, temperatures were getting up to over 100F. I was having so much problems with the heat that I upgraded my 100CFM inline fan to a 4" 260CFM fan. I didn't know I could get a 4" fan this powerful. It has taken care of some of my heat problems, but I still have them. I don't know if it's because the volume of the box is so small that it's very easy to heat up quickly, but I suspect that is the case. I believe that if the box had a bigger volume, it wouldn't be heating up so fast.

I have 3 probes measuring temperatures:
1. Directly under the lights
2. Ambient temperature at the top of the box
3. Right on top of the exhaust to check the air coming out.

Even with the more powerful fan, I still can't get the ambient temperature in my growbox to get lower than 80, and the temperature of the air coming out of the box is pretty high, although I think that must be an error in the probe, because the exhaust air should not be hotter than the grow box temperature, even though the exhaust comes right out of the top corner of the box and the ambient temperature is being measued about a foot lower...:11:
The temperature of the room they are in is in the low to mid 70's. I've been thinking of a different light setup, but I can't think of what could run cooler than CFL's, I've heard that even LED's generate more heat than CFL's, but I can't seem to find good, clearcut comparisons. I won't be able to initiate another grow until the end of the summer, so I have time to do more research. I have a fairly small passive air intake (2" diameter) in the box, and I've put some weather stripping on the door to create a better, airtight seal, so maybe that's creating too much negative pressure and lowering the amount of air being sucked out by my fan. I may try increasing the size of my passive air intake to see if that helps improve airflow, too. I suppose I could also add my old 4" fan as another exhaust, but then I'd need another carbon filter. I'm also toying with the idea of making it an active intake, but I'll see if a larger passive intake makes a difference first.

It's time to change out the reservoir, so I'll probably do that on Friday and go with 3/4 strength nutrients.


Photo of the Month: Feb 2019, May 2021
Hey man, looks like I'm just in time to watch from buds start popping up on them babies. Was reading through your journal and we are both in the same boat, going away in the month of july and need our plants to be done by then. Your plants are 10 days behind mine for flowering time. Noticed that you haven't had an update in a couple of weeks, hope things are going good for ya over there! Best of luck


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I didn't realize it had been so long since I updated! I ran into a couple of minor setbacks. I had to run out of town for the long weekend, and somehow forgot to turn the timer for my ebb and flow table back on. Yikes. 4 days with no watering. I came back and the pots were bone dry. Even worse, the plants had stretched considerably and several grew into the lights, burning the leaves and even 1 bud. Doh!

When I turned the flood table back on, the pots actually started to float at first, they were that dry. Even worse, I think that the moisture in the pots/flood table had been keeping my temperatures low, so without water, the temperatures were climbing up to 90F. The plants have stretched considerably, and I did some extensive tying down of stretched stems to even out the canopy.

I really wanted to finish this grow with CFL's, but I've just come to the conclusion that I will not be able to control my temperatures in this box with the wattage of CFL's that I'm running. 330+ actual watts is probably generating somewhere in the area of 800-1000 BTUs, and even with my 240cfm fan running full tilt, it's not enough to compensate for the heat. Maybe with a HID or CMH air cooled, I could maybe work something out, but I'm not too confident on that anymore. I'm really growing for my fiance, and she'll be happy with an ounce a month so super high yields are not really as important as they first were. I guess that means I can survive with some slightly lower yields, as long as the buds are of quality, which I suppose means looking at LEDs.

I've ordered a Mars Hydro Reflector 96, which claims around 400 BTU of heat, so I'm hoping that this is a cure to the problem. I'm still going to explore adding additional DIY COB LED's for additional lighting, maybe down the sides or just to give some full spectrum light, but I guess I should see what my heat output is going to be like with just the Mars Hydro first.

I've been trying to clear up some of the bushiness by defoliating to expose more of the buds in the middle and to get rid of the burnt leaves. Not happy with myself, and I'm hoping this hasn't set my timeline back too far, but it has given me lots to think about in preparing for my next grow.

This grow was with an Indica strain that is supposed to be very short, and I'd like to grow some Sour Diesel, a Sativa dominant hybrid, for my next grow. I've heard they grow taller, so I'm going to need to consider how I'm going to top/LST/SCROG to control vertical height.


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31 days from flip.

I switched over to Mars Reflector 96 on day 28. I saw immediate drop in temperature from 86F to 81F. It's hard to take pictures with the purple light; I haven't set up a white light in the cabinet yet, but that's a project in the works. I switched to a full dose of the recommended GP3 bloom formula, and added in 2ml/L of their recommended Massive additive, but it's all a bit too much. I'm getting nitrogen toxicity symptoms (claw, dark green leaves and some leaf tips dying). I'm going to drop down to 50% Micro (5-0-1) to lower the nitrogen and leave everything else the same. Buds are a bit smaller than I would like at this point in time, especially with my grow on a timeline.

Day 31 of flowering. Grown primarily under CFL, but switched to LED on day 28.

Day 31 of flowering. Grown primarily under CFL, but switched to LED on day 28. Some nitrogen toxicity "claws" can be seen at the back left.
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