420 Magazine Background

1st Grow: Jumping Into The Deep End, DWC

LKABudMan

Well-Known Member
It just became legal in Virginia to grow four plants a couple of months ago. I gave some old bag seed to my brother and father, and they both started growing in soil. I have some gardening experience, but I do not get good sun, and would prefer to grow indoors. I home-brewed previously, and really got into the chemistry and science, including water chemistry. When researching growing, hydroponics sounded right up my alley. So I did some research and decided to start with a four bucket DWC system. This is my first grow, and I know I am being a bit ambitious growing 4 plants and two different strains in DWC. I have help from my wife and son, who are adopting one plant each. I expect to make mistakes and learn from them. Hopefully, I will end up with some bud at the end :)

Here is my initial purchase list:

VIVOSUN 48"x48"x80" Grow Tent Complete Kit with VS4000 LED Grow Light
Levoit Humidifier
Oscillating Fan
Reflective Mylar Sheets
Smartplug Outlet Extender
Wyze Camera & storage card
Bluetooth Hygrometers x2
4 Pack Digital Hygrometer/Thermometer
Deep Water Culture (DWC) Hydroponic Bubbler Bucket Kit by PowerGrow Systems (4) 5 Gallon - 6" Buckets
Vivosun Air Pump (Extra pump)
12 pack 4x2 air stones (Extra stones)
Air Tubing
Extra Bucket - Black 5g
Extra 6" netpots x6
Grow!T Clay Pebbles
pH Meter + TDS
pH Up/Down - Water adjuster
Advanced Nutrients - Bloom, Micro & Grow 1L pack
Advanced Nutrients - B-52 1L
Advanced Nutrients Voodoo Juice 500ml
Hydroguard 1qt
Cal-Mag Plus supplement
Advanced Nutrients (Budding)
Advanced Nutrients (Finishing)
Advanced Nutrients Overdrive 250ml
Hindu Kush Feminized - Pack of 10
White Widow Feminized - Pack of 10
Vivosun Seedling Mat & Thermostat
EZ-gro Plugs
10pk Seed trays
CloneX Solution
Marijuana Horticulture: Growers Bible

And the specs:

What strain is it? White Widow (Hybrid) x 2, Hindu Kush (Indica) x 2
Is it in Veg or Flower stage? Starting Veg
If in Veg... For how long? Two seeds planted 21 days ago, two planted 15 days ago
Indoor or outdoor? Indoor
If indoor...Dimensions (L x W x D) of grow space? 4' x 4' x 8' (4x4x8)
Soil or Hydro? Hydroponic DWC in 5 gallon buckets
Size of light? VS4000 - 400w LED
Temp of basement? 68f
RH of basement? 60% humidity
Temp of tent? 72f
RH of tent? 65% humidity
PH of media or res? 5.8-6.0
Any Pests ? Trying to keep them at bay
Type and strength of ferts used? Advanced Nutrients, 1/4 strength

Grow diary so far....

9/12/21 - Planted 4 seeds in EZ-rooter cells (White widow x2, Hindu Kush x2), re-hydrated with tap water adjusted to pH 6.0. Put seeds under the dome, set temp @ 75. Water in the bottom of the planter covering the bottom of the plugs
9/14/21 - More reading, rooter plugs should not be kept in water. Drained the water out of the bottom and took the dome off (over-reacted).
9/15/21 - First sprout (Kini)
9/16/21 - Second plant sprouted (Demeter). The other two look like they are about to sprout. Moved all plants into the buckets with clay pebbles.
9/18/21 - The two plants that had not sprouted still have not sprouted. Planted two more seeds, 'just in case'.

End of Week 1: Made some mistakes and learned some lessons this week. I took the first plugs out of the tray too soon. When starting four seeds, start them in four different trays. Use a light solution of clonex to soak the plugs and roots grow faster. Keep a little water on the bottom of the tray, but make sure the plug is not sitting in water. Keep the heat mat at 74f and the dome closed (90-95% humidity). Once the seed sprouts, open the vents on the dome for the first day. This takes humidity down from 90% to 75% over the course of the day. After the first day, remove the dome. Check the roots daily, and once you have 1-2" roots out of the bottom of the cube, then go to buckets. Of the first four seeds planted, only two made it to seedling. Both of the second two made it and grew faster with more roots.

Also still earning about pH. I am using well water, filtered through a 40m pre-filter and two 5m carbon filters. Water starts at 80ppm, 8.1 pH (I expect results from the well test soon). I am using phosphoric acid (AN pH Down) to bring down the pH of the water. The AN nutrients are supposed to be pH perfect, but with the low quantities I am using right now it is only bringing the pH down to about 6.7. I am hoping that once the quantities are increased, pH will hold better. However, using well water I may still need to reduce pH before mixing.

9/22/21 - First of the new seeds (Lorraine) sprouted. Opened dome.
9/23/21 - Second of new seeds (Alice) sprouted, opened dome. Removed dome from Lorraine.
9/24/21 - Checked Lorraine, and had 2" root coming out of the cube. Moved both new seedlings into buckets.

End of Week 2: Much better week. Glad I started two more plants, all four look healthy. Still small, but getting bigger every day.

9/25/21 - Three of the four (except Alice) now have roots in the water.
9/26/21 - Demeter is starting to show some rust colored spots. Checked the lights, and they were at 17k LUX, a bit too high. The previous day, we had sprayed Demeter with water, and the leaves got burned. Turned down the light, and moved a bit away.
10/1/21 - Saw a spider in the tent, and went on full bug control. Spread diatomaceous earth all around the basement, in the tent, and on the buckets. Placed glue bug traps all around the basement and especially around the tent. Watching for now...
10/3/21 - Added a second air pump and a second 4/2 stone to each of the buckets. You can never have too much air, right?

End of week 3: Plants are growing great. Kini is leading the pack; she will be going up to 1/2 nutrient schedule tomorrow. Demeter is recovering nicely from some light burn, and Loraine and Alice are starting their third node to begin vegetative stage. I learned that I should not just trust what the manufacturer states, and need to measure LUX/light levels to make sure they stay appropriate. LEDs give off so little heat, it is hard to tell by heat alone if you are too close.

The plants are really starting to grow now. We are still monitoring daily. I plan on updating this journal at least once per week. Stay tuned...








 

garybo

Well-Known Member
Hopefully, I will end up with some bud at the end :)
Looks like you have good start on your grow, continue with updates especially if your have any questions.
Good luck and spark up
 

LKABudMan

Well-Known Member
Got my well water report today. Not too bad, low sodium, sulfates, iron, and lead. Just a bit of carbonates. I will continue adding pH down to balance the carbonates, then adding a bit of cal-mag to bring the PPM from 80 to 150ish. Otherwise, I see no problem growing with this water.
 

ReeLeaf

Member
Very comprehensive journal so far, good job. I began in soil myself, tried various soil mixes and both tent and greenhouse, but my plants really began to respond greatly once I moved on to hydro and DWC/drip irrigation. So I would say you're off to a flying start here. I don't even measure ppm/EC anymore myself in hydro, I just go by the schedule provided by the producers of the nutes, and it works fine for me. So I would say there are even limits to how much effort you have to put into hydro, once you get experience with the stimuli/response of the cannabis plants. Hydro can sometimes give you responses within a few hours.

I wish you the best of luck with your grow, and I'm hereby subbed by this post, and will keep an eye out for your progress. Seems a good start.
 

LKABudMan

Well-Known Member
Thanks ReeLeaf. I am using Advanced Nutrients for this first grow. I have read that the recommended doses can be a bit much. I have also read in a couple of places that since the roots stay in constant contact with the nutes in DWC, you should use 1/3 of the nutes that are recommended. I am starting there, and if the plants want more I will increase. So far, so good.
 

ReeLeaf

Member
Thanks ReeLeaf. I am using Advanced Nutrients for this first grow. I have read that the recommended doses can be a bit much. I have also read in a couple of places that since the roots stay in constant contact with the nutes in DWC, you should use 1/3 of the nutes that are recommended. I am starting there, and if the plants want more I will increase. So far, so good.
It's for sure the safe route to not give all that the chart says in many cases, since some are known to exaggerate the dosage, I do almost the same as you anyway, and start off with half dosage and then move slowly ahead. My chart is a bit hazy with regards to the start phase, basically says to start off with root stimulator only, and then move on to low dosage of nutes, which I usually do after 1-2 weeks time or so. So not far off from what I do myself really, but I figure the start phase will be a bit hazy on all nute charts, since various strains and genes and so on, move at different paces. So the safe route will always be to go slow in the start phase, granted. But I think this is implicit with all charts.
 

LKABudMan

Well-Known Member
For my first grow, I was not planning on using any HST (topping/fimming). To try to get the plants to harvest as soon as possible, i planned to stick to LST only. However, since Kini grew twice as fast as any of the other plants, I decided to FIM her to try to allow the other plants to catch up. I attached a picture of the fresh FIM site and another of her after LST.


And here is a picture of the test from today
 

LKABudMan

Well-Known Member
Should I worry about having too little inter-nodal spacing? Kini (Afgan Kush) & Demeter (White Widow) are on their fourth week from seed, and Alice (White Widow) & Lorraine (Afgan Kush) are on their third week. All have 4-6 nodes, and most are under 4" tall.

From reading, it sounds like there may be two things at play, at least. The light (VS4000 400w LED) was too close, but I backed it up last week. Right now I have it 42" away @ 80%. I have read that lower temperatures, and especially low temperature deviations from day to night, can cause short inter-nodal spacing. My daytime temps are only 72-73, and I cam getting down to 66-67 at night.

All of these plants are young, and from my reading this sounds like a good problem to have. Should I worry about short inter-nodal spacing?







 

Tokin Roll

Grow Journal of the Month: June 2021 - Member of the Month: July 2021
Welcome to 420 magazine @LKABudMan

Should I worry about short inter-nodal spacing?

No, you don't have to worry about that, because you will be cleaning her up during the growing process.

You are doing fine and a very detail start to your grow journal.

I have some friends that grow with well water, and it can prove to be challenging, but since you have a RO filtering system installed you should be fine.

I'll be around.

Stay safe, and grow well my friend,

Tok.. :bong:
 

LKABudMan

Well-Known Member
I have some friends that grow with well water, and it can prove to be challenging, but since you have a RO filtering system installed you should be fine.
Thanks @Tokin Roll . I do not have an RO system. My well water report is atatached above. I have a whole house filter with a sediment filter + two 5 micron carbon 4x20 filters. It is fairly soft water, only 80ppm of mostly carbonates, with pH of 8.1. Right now, I am adding .375ml of AN pH down per gallon of water to get pH to 5.8. After that, it is staying between 5.8-6.2 pretty well. Do you have any specific challenges I should be watching out for using well water?
 

LKABudMan

Well-Known Member
I think everything is going well, but this is my first grow so what do I know? The plants have very little inter-nodal spacing. I mean like very little. They are squat little bushes with nodes stacked right on top of each other. Right now, most of the plants are still under 6 inches. However, they seem healthy, are growing daily, have healthy stems, and are eating and drinking. I have fimmed them all now, and are attempting to LST them. I also removed a few fan leaves and am trying to open up the middle a bit.

I have raised daytime temps from around 73 to 76, with lows down to 68. I have lowered the humidity as well. I was trying to keep 60% humidity in the tent. However, I put a hygrometer under the leaves of one plant and saw 10-15% more humidity in the plant than the tent (from the buckets?). I lowered the humidity in the tent, and the plants started drinking/eating more right away. Also added a fan to move the air around in the tent more.

Right now, the plan is to keep LST for another week, then switch to flower. Any suggestions or comments are welcome. Thanks for reading.

First pictures are of Alice, a White Widow planted on 9/18 (4 weeks from seed). She was just fimmed two days ago, so I am just starting LST.




Next is Lorraine, a Hindu Kush planted on the same day (9/18 - 4 weeks from seed). She was fimmed early last week, and is being LST'sd daily.




Next up is Demeter, a White Widow planted on 9/12 (5 weeks). Had an issue with the LST and broke a limb off, so she is not really symmetrical.




Finally, Kini is a Hindu Kush planted on 9/12 (5 weeks). She is the biggest of the plants. She was fimmed first, and was allowed to grow with no LST for a while. It took a lot of work and some defoliation to see the middle again.




Finally, a picture of the tent. Starting to fill in a bit...

 

Tokin Roll

Grow Journal of the Month: June 2021 - Member of the Month: July 2021
What's happening @LKABudMan

Your ladies are looking great.
When do you plan on putting them in flower?

I would do some defoliation a couple days before you switch to 12/12.
She will stretch once she is under 12/12, so try to remove all the big fan leaves before flowering.

I'll be around.

Stay safe, and grow well my friend,

Tok..
 

LKABudMan

Well-Known Member
Thanks @Tokin Roll I plan on putting them in flower at the end of this week. I am LSTing and defoliating this week to try to shape the plants as much as possible, continuing into the first couple weeks of flower.

When you say to remove the big fan leaves, do you mean the ones at the top (covering bud sites), or should I also remove the large fan leaves at the bottom that are not covering anything? Why would I remove all of the fan leaves before flowering?
 

Tokin Roll

Grow Journal of the Month: June 2021 - Member of the Month: July 2021
Thanks @Tokin Roll I plan on putting them in flower at the end of this week. I am LSTing and defoliating this week to try to shape the plants as much as possible, continuing into the first couple weeks of flower.

When you say to remove the big fan leaves, do you mean the ones at the top (covering bud sites), or should I also remove the large fan leaves at the bottom that are not covering anything? Why would I remove all of the fan leaves before flowering?
Yes, large fan leaves on top, middle and bottom. The reason I say before flower; is because defoliation does stress a plant, so you want her to recover before you flip her. Then in flower she will concentrate on the stretch and make bud sites with all the additional light penetrating the canopy.

Hope this helps.

Tok..
 

LKABudMan

Well-Known Member
@Tokin Roll Thanks, that makes sense. Right now, I am using LST to try to expose the middle and as many bud sites as possible. I am planning to flip this weekend, so I will give them a good defoliation at the end of this week. Thanks for following, and let me know if you have any more suggestions.
 

LKABudMan

Well-Known Member
@Tokin Roll , After reading your post yesterday, I went to do some LST on the plants, and realized how bushy they are. I started defoliating to try to expose the center of the plant, and then couldn't stop.

I really cleaned up Lorraine, including the big fan leaves:

I cleaned up the middle on Alice, but left the big fan leaves on the bottom. Should I get rid of these too?

Same with Demeter. I was just trying to expose the middle more, but did not get rid of all of the big fan leaves:

The plants look much better now, I can actually see the middle. Did I go too far? I plan on flipping to flower on Friday, so I hope to finish up any defoliation by today. Thanks for your help.
 

Rexer

Member of the Month: April 2021 - Photo of the Month: July 2021 - Grow Journal of the Month: Nov 2021
Hi @LKABudMan

Mind if I follow along? I've got a terrible memory, but will try to keep up. You're off to a great start and have some great support already.

Nice job with the time-lapse btw!
 

LKABudMan

Well-Known Member
Welcome @Rexer , I can use all the help I can get. I finished up defoliating all the plants.

Lorraine

Alice

Demeter

Kini

View from above

I can see the middle of the plants! Let me know how I did and any suggestions you may have. I plan on switching to flower on Friday. Thanks for your help.
 

Rexer

Member of the Month: April 2021 - Photo of the Month: July 2021 - Grow Journal of the Month: Nov 2021
From what I can see you did great! For a first timer your rocking this :high-five:

As far as flipping, I'm an Autoflower grower, so I'm the last person you'd want to ask :laugh2:
 
Top Bottom