420's Soil Ppm Charlie Grow Journal, 9/2021

ppm Charlie

Well-Known Member
I thought as a new member, I would start a grow journal. This is my first journal post. My first post at the website was at the “Welcome” forum. In my welcome post, I prepared a soilless mix composed of 70% peat + 30% perlite. I adjusted the pH of the mix using powdered dolomite. I also added organic mycorrhizal inoculant to that mix for strong root growth.

Here is the latest...when I began my grow project, I ordered five feminized White Widow (WW) seeds from a Canadian seed bank. I followed the germination instructions to the “letter”. Three of the WW seeds failed to germinate. Two of the seeds germinated and were planted in peat pots. One germinated seed failed to “surface”. The second germinated seed surfaced, however, is quite sickly looking and never produced “true” leaves. I have basically given up in the WW seeds and the one sick seedling from this particular batch. Mark this attempt “failed”. A “head-slap” moment.

Two weeks later, I ordered five more feminized Northern Lights (NL) seeds (from a different well known Canadian seed bank). This order included five extra seeds as a gift. The “gift” seeds were marked Fruity Pebbles OG. I have no idea if the FPOG “extra” seeds are true genetic FPOG and I do not know if they are “feminized”. I germinated five NL seeds and four FROG seeds (one FPOG seed went missing or only four were sent – “head-slap” - NOTE TO SELF: I need to document and write things down better). The seeds in this group spouted readily within 2 days upon germination.

At this time, I have 9 seedlings started - two weeks old since germination and planting. Five of the seedlings are feminized Northern Lights (NL) and four are Fruity Pebbles OG (FPOG). In my haste to get started, I planted these germinated seeds directly in a 70% peat, 30% perlite mix with no soilless pH adjustment or inoculant. Three days ago I side-dressed these seedlings with mycorrhizal inoculant. In hindsight, I was impatient and should have waited to germinate and plant until my soilless mix was properly pH’ed and inoculated.

Initially, I started the NL and FPOG seedlings under “cheapo” string LED’s. Once they were a week-old, I substituted a Bloomspect full spectrum 600-watt LED, which I am using now for vegetative growth. The light is about 16-inches away from the seedlings and I am on a 16/8 light schedule. I arranged the “spouts” in a ring-like circular way to avoid exposing them to too much light intensity initially. I have been keeping the tent temperature in the 72-78 deg F range with humidity in the mid-60’s. I run a “daytime” fan inside the tent weakly and indirectly to just get the seedlings to quiver gently to increase their stem strength. I do not want flaccid stems. I run a weak different “nighttime” fan for air circulation.

Yesterday, I fertilized the seedlings for the first time very weakly. I used pH adjusted 6.0 water and General Hydroponics Flora Pro veg-package. I know it was probably a little early for a weak feeding, however, I added no nutrients to the peat + perlite mix originally. The seedlings responded to the feed well. Today, I watered with pH adjusted water only.

I am still acquiring all manner of equipment for my permanent grow room I have also been busy clearing-up the room, getting things setup and testing equipment as it arrives.

Any advice from others would be helpful. ppm
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Modest Grower

Well-Known Member
Looking good! I'm in for the ride. Don't let germination numbers get you down too much. I've had whole packs of 5 where I got 1 and it made me question what I was doing next packs all went 100. It doesn't mean I didn't do something wrong but it can be something out of your control. The fruit pebbles sound nice. If I had to bet I would guess they are feminized photoperiod.

Regulars are becoming more rare (maybe uncommonly sold is more accurate) and if it's an auto they usually state it but the freebie labels can be vague haha
 

ppm Charlie

Well-Known Member
Looking good! I'm in for the ride. Don't let germination numbers get you down too much. I've had whole packs of 5 where I got 1 and it made me question what I was doing next packs all went 100. It doesn't mean I didn't do something wrong but it can be something out of your control. The fruit pebbles sound nice. If I had to bet I would guess they are feminized photoperiod.

Regulars are becoming more rare (maybe uncommonly sold is more accurate) and if it's an auto they usually state it but the freebie labels can be vague haha
Yeah, it really bummed me when the White Widow seeds were losers. I will try getting some more White Widow seeds soon and try, try again. I like the strain charateristics very much.
 

Modest Grower

Well-Known Member
Yeah, it really bummed me when the White Widow seeds were losers. I will try getting some more White Widow seeds soon and try, try again. I like the strain charateristics very much.
White widow is one of my favorites. It is one of those strains that gets me moving and keeps me active. Great flavor and low anxiety for the level of energy
 

ppm Charlie

Well-Known Member
Awesome, I'm following along on this one. I love the classic strains. My first experience with quality bud was some NL that my sister brought back to the states from Amsterdam 20 years ago. How do you plan on watering/fertigating? By hand, auto drip, or something else?
By hand. I plan a mixing reservoir (plastic garbage can), sump pump, adjustable flow hose tee for reservoir return and outlet hose. In addition, a battery operated remote controller that fits in my pocket (like a car key "flob") can turn the pump on/off as necessary via a remote radio frequency controlled 120v outlet. I plan on 20% water/nutrients to the waste. To deal with the waste in saucers I plan on plumbing plastic tubing to the saucers, connecting all the tubes to one extraction tube and removing the waste via a shop vacuum (duct tape ought to make a tight connection for good waste extraction suction).
 

ppm Charlie

Well-Known Member
As I am working to collect the needed supplies and equipment for my grow, I found some interesting information. This week I have been working to understand efficient air movement through duct vents for intake/extraction on the outside of my grow tent. Another problem I am trying to solve is the how to control the environment inside the tent so the humidity and temperature remain flexible for different 420 strains but fixed and correct during flowering for any particular strain.

I am working on an air supply system for my tent that relies on water cooled heat exchange to cool the tent intake air to avoid having a portable AC unit in my tent or spending significant money for a split AC unit. More on that later.

Here’s a neat online calculator for checking the dew point based on temperature and relative humidity: Dew Point Calculator. You just use the left and middle sliders to set your temperature and humidity and the right slider shows the temperature at which condensation will start forming. A valuable reference for calculating and estimating the conditions in which “condensate rain” forms.

Regarding my flexible vent duct exploration, I came across this blog:

How to Install Flex Duct Properly - Energy Vanguard.

The one page blog article has a great take on flexible duct work and problems that can occur. I encourage all to read it.

In addition, the blog author referenced The Air Diffusion Council’s (ADC) publication Flexible Duct Performance & Installation Standards. This publication tells you more than you ever wanted to know about the subject, however, Chapter Four is particular interesting as it details the standard installation practices for different forms of flexible duct work and gives plenty of good diagrams of best practices.

The newest volume of this ADC publication is “pay-portal-ed” but I found Volume 4 downloadable online here:

https://a-actionhomeinspection.com/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/Flex_Ductwork_Installation.pdf.

It is worth a look and will get you where you need to be regarding correct performance for air handling in ducts and make your duct work installation neat and successful.
 

ppm Charlie

Well-Known Member
Well it has been a couple of weeks since my last post. In that time, I have been acquiring equipment, testing the equipment, making measurements and designing cooling and ventilation options. I have worked to clean up the grow room for tent assembly. It was a lot of work. There was a lot of junk in there. My two grow tents came recently. Tonight I assembled the 2x4 vegetative tent. Tomorrow I will assemble the 4x8 tent. I do not have a lot of spacial acuity, so it took me about an hour to assembly the 2x4. I was never a good tent camper.

My main flowering lights have all arrived. Four 2000w LED's, full spectrum, dual chip. They are supposed to cover a 2x4 area so I got four for the 4x8x7.8 flowering tent. They came with two rope pulleys each and a carbine clip system to hook the corners of the lights for dual rope suppression. I did not like the carbine system - hard to clip and not reliable for my accident-prone-self to operate. Instead, I purchased 4-point-clip hanging basket stainless steel ropes for single point suspension - only one rope pulley to operate.

The only thing I do not like about my four 2000w LED's is that the LED drivers can't be "remote" without clipping the LED driver wires, adding heavier gauge wire and then grounding the driver back to the light housing. Plus the manufacturer said the LED drivers should not be remote because that would void the warranty (dang it!).

As you can tell, I will probably have a heat problem in the 4x8 flowering tent. The four LED drivers will remain attached to the light housings. Even with proper ventilation technique, heat control is my primary concern. Heat buildup at the top tends to lead to uneven temperature profiles and can adversely affect a grow. I do not want to put a portable AC unit in my grow tent. It is a needless waste of grow space.

I have worked out three potential approaches to the "LED driver heat problem". For each approach the cooled air recirculates and remains in the tent. Eventually the cooled air is expelled by the extraction filter/fan assembly after mixing with intake air. The three possible heat-problem solutions are:

1) hydronic cooling with a heat exchange radiator fan simply blowing cold air across the tops of the LED drivers (a potential "down-and-dirty" solution);

2) hydronic cooling with the heat exchange fan sucking air through ducting where small "heat collection" hoods are located immediately above the LED drivers (my current favorite);

3) hydronic cooling with aluminum heat sink blocks attached to the LED drivers in a similar manner as a CPU liquid cooled computer build (i.e. a small dab of thermal paste).

I have acquired some of the cooling equipment to test each approach but not all has arrived yet. The heat exchange radiator fan is here, a DC voltage model, one where fan speed can be easily controlled by a DC power supply or fine-tuned by inline rheostat. I tested the DC heat exchange fan using a DC power source - it kicks ass!
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I also acquired an aquarium cooler (expensive). It has not arrived yet. The beauty of an aquarium cooler is I can always use it for reservoir cooling in "pure" hydroponic grows if I choose to switch from using peat/perlite soilless media (or at least that is what I tell myself).

I have also tested my intake and extraction fans and measured their output using an anemometer. I plan to control extraction fan speed with a small Variac transformer (500W Variac Transformer Variable AC Voltage Regulator Metered 5Amp 110V 0-130V).
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I have a separate fan controller for the intake fan(s?). A small dehumidifier has arrived and works well to dehumidify the grow room space (intake air will arrive from the grow room, enter the tent, be carbon treated and expelled to the great outdoors through ducting). Well, that is where I am at this point, equipment-wise.

My nine seedlings are progressing well (as you remember 4 Northern Lights and 5 *Fruity Pebbles [* = alleged heritage]). I have included a photo taken today at the end of this diary entry. I believe I was impatient and fed them nutrients (weakly) a little early. I used a 200ppm solution which burned a couple of the plants leaf tips (lesson learned - "Patience Grasshopper"). I followed the "leaf-burn" nutrient solution with two pH adjusted plain-water waterings. All seedlings responded well. The last two watering events were 200ppm nutrients followed by a pH adjusted plain-water watering. I plan for nutrients every other watering until I see a need to increase feedings. I will probably start "regular" feedings soon, as the seedlings are growing quickly. I have continued 20% to-waste on each nutrient or water feed. The seedlings remain under a 600w LED full spectrum light. I plan to switch them to the new "veg" tent soon.

Well that is all from Hooterville. ppm.
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ppm Charlie

Well-Known Member
It has been about three weeks since my last post here. In that time, my five feminized Northern Lights (NL) and four Fruity Pebbles (FP) [alleged genus] 420 have progressed well (see photos below). I continue feeding aggressively with General Hydroponics Flora Pro Performance package nutes. I have increased feedings to alternating two-feeds and then one water-only soaking. Nutes and water are adjusted to pH=6.0 +/-0.25. I continue approximately 20% nute/water overflow to waste.

One week ago, I transplanted my nine 420 wake-and-bake units (NL and FP) into 1-gal pots and moved them into the new 2 X 4 veg tent. The transplant media used was a soilless "home-mix" of approximately 70% peat and 30% perlite adjusted to a pH of approximately 6.0 with an additional dose of organic mycorrhizal inoculant. A Bloomspect 2,000-watt full spectrum dual chip LED lamp in the veg tent is mounted 16"-20" above the canopy.

I acquired a Levoit 6-liter digital humidifier to hold the humidity in my veg tent to +/- 5% with an adjustable range from 40%-80% RH. I am using an Inkbird 200 humidity controller and a reptile humidifier to hold humidity at 70%-75% in the seedling tent. Upon transplanting and transfer from seedling tent to veg tent, I decreased the humidity from 70-75% to 50-55% (veg tent). Temperature in the veg tent is 80-85 deg. F and regulated by a 6-inch diameter intake bottom port and one 4-inch Vivosun exhaust fan upper port. There is no intake air fan. I regulate exhaust fan speed, turnover air volume and temperature using a 500-watt, 5-amp, Variac transformer connected to the veg tent 4-inchexhaust fan. Air flow volume is measured using a Protmex digital anemometer. I am turning one tent-volume of air in the veg tent every 2 minutes, approximately. Exhaust port air volume is approximately equal to 300-320 CFM.

I will be topping the Fruity Pebbles and fimming the Northern Lights this week. In addition, I plan to add a 4-inch Vivosun carbon filter to the veg tent exhaust port because the Fruity Pebbles has begun to emanate odoriferous levels of unexpected fruity happiness.

Since my last post, I have assembled the 4 X 8 X 7.8 flowering tent. In that tent, I installed four 2,000-watt Maxsisun dual chip LED panels, a 6-inch Terrabloom carbon filter and a Vivosun 6-inch variable control inline exhaust fan. The flowering tent exhaust is plumbed to the out-of-doors using 6-inch flexible vent hose connected through a sidewall to an outside vent fixture. There are two bottom intake ports at either end of the flowering tent and each is connected to a 4-inch Vivosun inline intake fan by 4-inch fllexible hose. Tests of the "lights-on" tent configuration was nominal and conditions were within a few degrees of the optimum range of 78-82 deg. F and 40% RH +/- 5% (without additional humidifier/dehumidifier modification). I may add a humidifier and a third air intake (with or without fan) to further control temperature and humidity in the flowering tent if needed. Room air outside the flowering tent is dehumidified to the 40%-50% range (i.e. flowering tent intake air).

Two weeks ago, I started ten Candy Kush seeds for which eight germinated successfully. I also started some free seeds I received that professed to a Fruity-Pebbles+OG cross and a Northern-Lights+Skunk cross. At this time all seedlings are appearing and seem healthy in "home-mix" soilless media, 80-82 deg. F temperatures and 70%-75% humidity. More later. Any suggestions are most welcome. Be happy, smoke a fatty. That's the latest, ppm Charlie.

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ppm Charlie

Well-Known Member
Been a couple of weeks since I posted here. I wanted to update, y'all.

Strain: 5 Feminized Northern Lights & 4 Fruity Pebbles [alleged genus, free seeds]
About Strain: Northern Lights - 95% Indica; Fruity Pebbles - hybrid, approx 55% Indica
Life Stage: @ 7 weeks vegetative
In/Out: Indoor
Veg Grow Space: 2' X 4' X 5' Zazzy grow tent
Soil: Soilless media, 70% peat, 30% perlite, approx mix starting pH = 6.0 +/- 0.25, mycorrhizal inoculant + dolomite, no lime
Current Pot Size: 1-gal, plastic
Light: One Bloomspect 2,000-watt full spectrum dual chip LED lamp, 16" to 20" above tops.
Cooling: Air cooled, 1 passive 6" intake (lower); 1 active 4" exhaust fan (upper), Variac controlled fan speed adjustment,1 vertically stacked dual port oscillating fan; 1 Vivosun 4" carbon filter; exhaust output to room
Temp in Room: 72-75 deg F, RH 50%-55% (days) ; 67-68 deg F, RH 50%-55% (nights)
Temp of Tent: 82-85 deg F, RH 50%-55% (days) ; 67-68 deg F, RH 50%-55% (nights)
Pests: None (so far, knock on wood)
Watering Schedule: varies, beginning once per week, current twice per week, nute+nute+ flush
Nutes: General Hydroponics Flora Pro pack, week 3, medium feed schedule


Two weeks ago I topped and fimmed. I also started LST and selectively removed competing fan leaves. Branches and future bud sites are appearing nicely. I plan one to two more weeks in the 2 X 4 X 5 veg tent and then transplanting into 5-gal (Fruity Pebbles) and 3-gal (Northern Lights) fabric bags. At that point, I will move my 420 to the flowering tent (4 X 8 X 7.8, Zazzy) for two more weeks of veg. I figure sometime in mid-November to start flushing and flowering. I continue 10%-20% overflow to waste at feed/water. Two weeks ago the Fruity Pebbles starting detectable odoriferous emanation of fruity happiness and I connected a carbon filter to the exhaust fan. Smells in room subsided. The tent smells wonderful and quite "fruity", even in veg. When I unzip the tent,,,WOW...smells great! Current state of crop shown in pics below. I have one "runt" Northern Lights (top pic, top right). I am trying to bring her along gently but she resists. Stubborn girl!

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West Hippie

Grow Journal of the Month: June 2020 - Member of the Month: Oct 2021
Been a couple of weeks since I posted here. I wanted to update, y'all.

Strain: 5 Feminized Northern Lights & 4 Fruity Pebbles [alleged genus, free seeds]
About Strain: Northern Lights - 95% Indica; Fruity Pebbles - hybrid, approx 55% Indica
Life Stage: @ 7 weeks vegetative
In/Out: Indoor
Veg Grow Space: 2' X 4' X 5' Zazzy grow tent
Soil: Soilless media, 70% peat, 30% perlite, approx mix starting pH = 6.0 +/- 0.25, mycorrhizal inoculant + dolomite, no lime
Current Pot Size: 1-gal, plastic
Light: One Bloomspect 2,000-watt full spectrum dual chip LED lamp, 16" to 20" above tops.
Cooling: Air cooled, 1 passive 6" intake (lower); 1 active 4" exhaust fan (upper), Variac controlled fan speed adjustment,1 vertically stacked dual port oscillating fan; 1 Vivosun 4" carbon filter; exhaust output to room
Temp in Room: 72-75 deg F, RH 50%-55% (days) ; 67-68 deg F, RH 50%-55% (nights)
Temp of Tent: 82-85 deg F, RH 50%-55% (days) ; 67-68 deg F, RH 50%-55% (nights)
Pests: None (so far, knock on wood)
Watering Schedule: varies, beginning once per week, current twice per week, nute+nute+ flush
Nutes: General Hydroponics Flora Pro pack, week 3, medium feed schedule


Two weeks ago I topped and fimmed. I also started LST and selectively removed competing fan leaves. Branches and future bud sites are appearing nicely. I plan one to two more weeks in the 2 X 4 X 5 veg tent and then transplanting into 5-gal (Fruity Pebbles) and 3-gal (Northern Lights) fabric bags. At that point, I will move my 420 to the flowering tent (4 X 8 X 7.8, Zazzy) for two more weeks of veg. I figure sometime in mid-November to start flushing and flowering. I continue 10%-20% overflow to waste at feed/water. Two weeks ago the Fruity Pebbles starting detectable odoriferous emanation of fruity happiness and I connected a carbon filter to the exhaust fan. Smells in room subsided. The tent smells wonderful and quite "fruity", even in veg. When I unzip the tent,,,WOW...smells great! Current state of crop shown in pics below. I have one "runt" Northern Lights (top pic, top right). I am trying to bring her along gently but she resists. Stubborn girl!

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Hey ppm Charlie can we see some pics in natural light . They look great but hard to see under the burple lights . I remember when you came in I was checking your grow out .
 

West Hippie

Grow Journal of the Month: June 2020 - Member of the Month: Oct 2021
Nice work they look great ! I couldn’t see all that great work with the burple light . Thanks . I got you on the watch button .
 

ppm Charlie

Well-Known Member
Thanks, OMJJ. Still trying to get my large flowering tent in final order...details, details, mounting oscillating fans and cords. Hoping to transplant the above pictured 420 into larger volume pots within the next few days and transfer them to the flowering tent. I have some seedling Fruity Pebbles OG, Candy Kush and Northern Lights/Skunk-cross seedlings started. They are about 2-to-4-inches tall now and located in the clear plastic seedling tent (formerly the outside garden seed starter unit...LOL!). I bought another 2 X 4 X 5 Zazzy tent to replace the clear plastic seedling tent. It has not arrived yet. I think it will be easier to deal with the seedlings in a better tent, especially for cloning and the need for strict temp and humidity control. I will post pics of the seedlings soon. With all the day-to-day responsibilities around the house, 8 dogs and two cats, and with the outside vegetable garden to wind up as Fall temps dip, I am totally burnt at the end of a day. I guess getting old isn't for the weak. Still getting tomatoes and peppers from the outside garden though, mild Fall weather.
 

Krissi Carbone

Product Reviewer
420 Staff

ppm Charlie

Well-Known Member
Looks great PPM!!! Def much better look at those beautiful growing girls without the burple!!
Thanks very much, Krissi. Trying my best. Things ok so far. Be transplanting and flowering soon. Only time will tell. I am positive that I am mostly on the right track.
 
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