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DIY rotating garden on the cheap

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
Calculating nutrients feed.

First of all, your guess will be as good as mine, I have based my “plan or schedule” on 2 things:
  • Twice a day I dip the 1.5x1.5 RW cubes with the seedlings 6 mm deep in distilled water for 2-3 seconds and each time it amazes me how much water these RW cubes suck up in such a short time.
  • In several old @420 posts, there was a member (maxximus) who grew cannabis in a rotating garden and when he was asked, he said that his RW 4x4 went only 6 mm deep in the nutrients. (he's not been here since 2009)
So that is what I will do with some testing first of course……

So here is some info about my drum:
  • It takes my drum 39 minutes and 15 seconds for one rotation.
  • That are 2355 seconds, divided by 360 (degrees) is 6.54 seconds per degree.

Please see Fig. 1 & Fig. 2

nutes-feed.jpg


  • Fig. 1 From the moment the RW hits the nutrients, until it leaves the nutrients are 36 degrees.
  • 36 degrees are 36 x 6.54 = 235.5 seconds or almost 4 minutes, that is the amount of time the RW 4 x 4 will be in contact with the nutrients.
  • Please note that I can "fine-tune" the height of the overflow (now 6 mm) with tenths of millimeters up or down.
PLEASE TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK OF THIS.....
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
To be clear, I am all alone doing a project that a lot of people are following. Many things unknown have to be solved while I never ever grew one cannabis plant myself. I take a lot of time to give you insights of the project so you will be able to come up with a suggestion (good or bad) when I am stuck or don’t know the answer. Many always know more than only one, but I wonder if I should spend valuable time in showing this project if no-one ever bothers to answer a simple question.
 

TheStonyRoller

Well-Known Member
I think 6mm should suffice, though some experimentation is going to be needed of course. Your set up is coming along well, don’t be disheartened by low traffic...people seem to get bored with journals. Should you have pertinent questions about plants specifically, I’ve had luck posting individual quandaries. Good luck with your project, I’m excited to see plants in there!
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
My reasons for building the rotating garden.

Maybe this is going to be a long boring story but I think I need to clarify why I am building this rotating garden (R-garden).

First of all, I have NEVER EVER grew a cannabis plant in my life, nor did I use cannabis, but I intend to do so with the crop that I will get out of my R-garden.

I have reasonable experience with hydroponics, I converted a shed in my garden into a hydroponic greenhouse (with mixed success) but at the end of the first season I realized that it is easier, cheaper and less work to buy the veggies in the store, so I modified my greenhouse last year into a spa room with a Jacuzzi and a sauna, much better choice lol.

I am retired but flipping houses as a “hobby” and some extra income. A few months ago I started to get mild arthritis in my wrist, I got a cannabis based salve from someone, it helped me a bit but not enough. My curiosity about cannabis had woken up and did some searching on it. My problem with tinctures and so or that you buy or get from someone is, that you never know of which strain it was made, while I, after intensive searching was very interested in the stain Harlequin, loaded with CBD.

THAN I stumbled on a picture of a rotating garden and that was like a jackpot for me. I am into innovation and lived from that the last 20 years and always "tickled" by a challenge, so I decided to make one and grow the Harlequin strain in it. I got my hands on a tumble dryer for free and started my build.

The advantages for the build as I see them:

Optimal lighting, minimal power consumption, always the same distance to every plant.
A lot of grow surface on a small foot print (3.14 times bigger)
Project fits me perfectly (innovative and execution I mean by that)
A VERY low budget R-garden.
Plants grow better and stronger because of Geotropism, see explanation from the company Omega Garden further below.

The disadvantages for the build as I see them:

Not many, the main one is, that it is a rather small build, I will need to do low stress training and future will tell how many plants can go in it, feeling-wise I think it will be 6 plants but who knows......
But still, 6 plants using only around 150W max. is probably not a bad result, efficiency wise.....

Geotropism

Geotropism is caused by plant growth hormones known as auxins. Auxins can speed up or slow down the growth of certain areas of a plant. If a plant stem falls and continues growing it is thought that the stem bends upward when auxins are pulled to the bottom side of the stem by gravity. The bottom side then grows faster than the top side which causes it to bend upward, As the stem becomes upright again the auxins even out and the stem then grows straight.

The rotating garden will perfectly demonstrates the effects of geotropism on plants. That’s it’s basis for success… the rotating drum is never in one spot, but constantly turning at a slow rate, with the root zone passing through a nutrient solution when it reaches the bottom.. The fact that the plants are turning at a constant rate utilizes the effects of geotropism and the growth hormones (auxins) that help orient a plant by forcing faster growth through the production of elongated cells where they are concentrated.. Auxins are now distributed evenly throughout the plant causing faster growth all over instead of being used to grow a stem faster on one side to help orient or right itself into a positive/negative geotropic position


I am not a scientist but the above sounds very logical for me, at the end I will find out I guess. For finding out, I have 2 experienced growers keeping an eye on what I am doing and what will come out of this R-garden (if any….) as I don’t have the experience myself. So far so good, the first friend wants to buy my R-garden when it is finished and the second friend wants to order one if this one gives a good result…ha ha ha. Not going to do that, but it gives me the feeling that I might be on the good track!
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
Starting today I will stop posting on this forum, the rotating garden, the grow journal as well as the enclosure. It is costing me too much time and the feedback on my questions was a bit disappointing as well. I know some of you will be disappointed but that’s part of life I guess. I will stay subscribed, perhaps I will do a post when the rotating garden is up and “running”.

Cheers.
 

Oldbear

Well-Known Member
I hope you can update from time to time. Its very interesting what you are doing here.

Like many others I have no knowledge or experience with something like this so I cant answer any of the questions.
 

Remystemple

Well-Known Member
I hope you can update from time to time. Its very interesting what you are doing here.

Like many others I have no knowledge or experience with something like this so I cant answer any of the questions.
Same here. i just wanted to see something different and awesome getting made.
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
I will do an update on the rotating garden if there is real progress, like when the first plants are in it. I do already have the data on nutrients uptake by the RW cubes and the reservoirs are in place, so is the electrical panel. Waiting for the solenoid valve that I had to re-order and the clones of course.....
Cheers
 

Oldbear

Well-Known Member
I will do an update on the rotating garden if there is real progress, like when the first plants are in it. I do already have the data on nutrients uptake by the RW cubes and the reservoirs are in place, so is the electrical panel. Waiting for the solenoid valve that I had to re-order and the clones of course.....
Cheers
That would be great thanks.
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
Hello all, after spending a long time on the alternative fogging system, which I think I have under control now, it is time to start focusing on the rotary garden again. I will prepare a test using lettuce, as this will be the first time ever and I don’t want to lose my cannabis seedlings with a test with unknown results.

Today I will start seeds in rock wool cubes and when they are going into the drum I will come back with an update.
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
Went to the city to buy fresh seeds but the seed companies have already taken all their seeds out of the stores. I had some old lettuce seeds so I have put 3 seeds in each cube. Let's hope for the best.
lettuceseeds.JPG
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
In case you are wondering…..the test is still “on”, just waiting for the right size……tik tak tik tak….

lettuceseedlings.JPG
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
Tomorrow will be D-DAY I guess. Three 4"x4” RW blocks are soaking in Ph. 5.6 and 1050 ppm Masterblend (10-10-5)nutrient. I actually wanted to put in 6 plants but my girlfriend asked me why I grow 6 lettuce as a test in RW-blocks@$2.20ea while she buys the lettuce@1.49ea………ha ha ha……science…..priceless! Did an empty test run this evening and all seems to work fine.

oct17seedling.jpg
 
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Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
Forgot to mention it earlier but I have made a small change in the set-up last week. Two times I received a solenoid valve (normally open) that were not really normally open so I could not use them. I decided to do it without (much better actually). See fig below:

no-solenoid.jpg


I made a “bottle-neck” in the hose (@B) instead of the electric valve. As long as the pump (@A) pumps more than what goes through the bottle-neck (@B), the reservoir will stay full and when the pump stops, the bottle-neck will remain open and the reservoir will empty until the pump starts running again, works very well.
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
October 18

At 8 pm the drum started to rotate and at the same time the pump started pumping for 41 minutes, one rotation of the drum and has just finished the nutrients cycle. I am too tired to write the complete story but I will attach some none-edited pictures. It all went very well! Tomorrow evening the rest of the story.

start1.jpgstart2.jpgstart3.jpgstart4.jpgstart5.jpgstart6.jpgstart7.jpgstart8.jpg
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
October 19, 2019

Soaked the RW cubes one night before and after that I let them “drip out” for 6 hours. The weight of the “full soaked” RW cube went down from 912 grams to 745 grams (= - 167 grams)

I made one mistake, I cut the corners of the small RW cubes to fit better the hole in the 4”x4” cube, but now they are sitting a bit “loose” , now lack of contact between the 2 cubes, I should have just pushed them in, need to fill that up with some rock wool later today.

Ph. set to around 6.2 (lettuce) and PPM’s are 1100. Basically it was a 5 gallon bucket full with well water and I added Masterblend 5 gr. + 5 gr. + 2.5 gr, that gave me the 1100 PPM. (well water was 530 PPM)

I have a mechanical counter that I ordered two weeks ago, I am planning to install it so I know in the morning how much rotations the drum has done during the night, just as a check.
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
Thank you nickeluring. It is true, 1100 ppm sounds like a lot, it probably is. There are many different opinions about lettuce/seedlings & ppm's. So gradually gave them higher ppm's the last 10 days, they did not seem to care so I went for it.
I started with lettuce as it is the first time ever, and I don't want risk my cannabis seeds for something unknown.
 
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