After much deliberation and research, I decided that BC Northern Lights' Bloombox was the right system for me. Although I fully understand that a grow room can be put together more inexpensively, stealth is the utmost importance right now. I've read *a lot* of journals at this point, and I am excited to try to start growing! I've chosen 420 Magazine for my grow journal because I have learned the most from its members so far, and I am hoping to have support from the experienced growers!
I have no experience, but I am hoping to try the mainlining or Manifold technique for this first grow. I am still awaiting my 5 White Widow feminized seeds (any day now!!). When I get them, my plan is to germinate 3 of them (I am reserving the last two seeds in case of catastrophe.) and send all 3 of them through to flower. Before that happens, while still in the vegetation stage, I will be topping and LSTing them to form 8 colas. My goal is to top the plants and use those parts as my first clones. I will label everything, and hopefully once I harvest, I will know which plant is the one that should be my mother plant.
After the first harvest, I am hoping to have clones that I can start flowering immediately. I am unsure as of yet if I will be able to perform the manifolding technique on them, but I will try. :wood:
Resevoir Size - 23 Liters
Medium - Rockwool
Lights - 400w HID
Nutrients - I purchased the "Bloombox Royale with Cheese" package, and I have a year's supply of nutrients. I am completely new at this, so more on these later.
Strain(s) - White Widow Feminized (hybrid)
# of Plants: Up to 9
Flowering - Average 55-65 Days
Yield : Hoping for 16 ounces (Probably less for the first grow with only 3 plants)
Since I'm still awaiting my seeds, I will talk a little about my experience with BC Northern Lights, the delivery, and the Bloombox itself. I'm also dorkily practicing on tomato seeds right now. Actually, it's a good thing I did, because I accidentally allowed the rockwool to dry out on my first germination attempt. I am now on my second attempt, and I've improved a few things.
When you purchase from BCNL, you have options on how to get your box to your grow site; however, regardless of delivery method, with the Patriot Act of 2001, you must provide your social security number to get it through customs and into the country. It's annoying, but about 80% of BCNL's business is with the US. The boxes aren't inherently illegal, so...it is what it is.
In terms of delivery, the most private way to do it is to get it delivered to a depot where you go with a moving truck and pick it up yourself. For a bit more money you can have it delivered to your home, and for a bit more than that, you can get it delivered to your home and delivery people can bring it inside for you. Since I am not particularly strong, I opted for the third option. BCNL lists the BB as 230lbs including the pallet and all items inside. When cut away from the pallet, the box itself is listed as 100lbs. The actual waybill listed the weight at close to 500lbs. The BB comes covered with a cardboard box that easily lifts off. Be careful when you do this. There is nothing else concealing the BB, and the control panel is not covered either, and that clearly shows the rocker switches that say "vegetation" and "flower." It got awkward. Fortunately, they came a bit after 4pm, so it appeared my neighbors weren't home to gawk. Which is really lucky since we had to unpack the box before the delivery guys would attempt to bring it inside. The rockwool is completely visible in clear plastic sleeves, and the nutrient boxes have the photos on it that list the NPK values. One of them asked if it was a freezer of some sort. I just nodded, and he said, "Oh, I thought so." The other one seemed like he knew what was going on, so to throw him off I said, "Wow, I can't believe how complicated this is! I should have just gotten it delivered to my boyfriend's house, but that would have ruined the surprise." He then started giving me advice on how to move it when the time came.
The dimensions of the BB are 51" tall, 54" long, and 28" deep. The 28 inches worried me, as I had read that it was more like 29" or so because of the collar that you attach the carbon filter to. I measured the door to my bedroom, and it was just over 28". I had to take the door off the hinges, but it squeaked through. The depth is a true 28" including the little collar. Once you assemble the carbon filter mount, the depth is substantially over the 28" though. I didn't measure because I removed it once I realized how far away from the wall I would have to have it.
The Bloombox is a great piece of equipment. I did purchase the shipping insurance, and I'm glad I did. The box came with a dent and scratch on the flowering chamber door. It doesn't affect the door mechanics or the BB itself, so it's only cosmetic, but still...it is an expensive piece of equipment, and I like shiny, new things. BCNL promised to ship either a new door or give me $100 dollars credit since I had the insurance. I chose the credit.
I've been calling BCNL on a fairly regular basis. Lisa is my contact person, and she couldn't be more helpful and patient with me. She has a lot of experience growing, and she will be a helpful resource once my seeds arrive.
One other thing to note. BCNL can no longer ship pH Up or Down, so you must purchase those on your own. Also, my BB came with a power cloner setup that dually functions as the vegetation setup. You just switch the lids and air pump. Because of this, I did not get a clone dome. While I was at the hydro store, I bought a cheapo seed starter kit that has a clear cover since I'm germinating, and I also purchased a heat mat at the drugstore. Other than those items, the BB seems to have come with everything I will need for at least a year.
Photos to come, and once my seeds arrive, I will be documenting everything. Until then, let me tell you about my Brandywine tomato seeds. Just kidding.