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DIY rotating garden on the cheap

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
These are the seedlings when they were just put in the drum yesterday. I will try to make a similar picture every 3 days so we can see the difference. (hopefully....:laugh2:)

day0.jpg
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
Forgot to mention, there we a few seedlings left over so I have put 2 in some soil to compare. Today I got a serious “warning” from my girlfriend, she threatens to replace the plate “BAR” on the basement door with “SALAD BAR” if I don’t focus more on the cannabis plants..... :oops:

leftovers.jpg
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
October 21, day 3 in drum.

The good and the bad....

The bad:
  • This afternoon I saw leaves were curling, it was too warm in the drum. I have a fan in the drum, just did not put it on. I opened the door and put the fan on, I assume not much harm done.
  • I had to replace plant no. 3 as the stem was broken. Probably it happened with putting it in the drum and I did not see it at that time. There are 2 small seedlings in the new RW cube, I will pull out the smallest one in a few days.
  • It is not really bad, but I lowered the ppm's from 1100 to 910
The good:
  • It looks as if the seedlings are growing......a 4th leave is coming up that was not there.....good sign....
  • I think the water level in the top reservoir is set pretty good. The RW cubes go only 6 mm deep through the nutrients but as soon as they touch the nutrients you can see the RW sucking up the nutrients and 23 hours later the bottom of the cube still feels wet, not soaking wet, just wet. The cubes go only once a day through the nutrients. Time will tell, to be followed carefully.
  • There is absolutely no nutrients coming into the drum. Only when the RW cube comes out of the reservoir it drips for a minute or so but that is outside the drum, the RW keeps all the nutrients within the cube...
dayo.jpg

day3.jpg


I will have to find a way to take pictures same distance/angle, not easy as one is at the ceiling when I take the pics.
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
October 23, 2019

Not going well......

Yesterday evening I saw that the leaves started curling again and one of the two small seedlings that I put in yesterday already died…..no high temperature so it had to be something else.

So I took the 3 RW cubes out and they were heavy and soaking wet. I put them on the scale and they almost had the same weight as after I put the cubes to soak for the night. Clearly the seedlings were drowning. This means there is far too much uptake of liquid during the short time that the cubes pass through the top reservoir. I have put the cubes on some kitchen towels to suck out some of the liquid and have to come up with a solution.

Solutions?

  • I cannot speed up the speed of the drum but it would be possible to lower the level in the reservoir but the cubes pass through the liquid only 6 mm deep and that is really not so much. I hesitate doing that although it is the easiest and fasted solution.
  • I could cut the bottom of the RW cubes with 15 mm but leave a square of 50 x 50 mm as contact surface for the uptake of nutrients (small green square at the bottom of the cube). In this way I hope there will be far less uptake and I can always adjust to more by adding a strip of RW besides the 50 x 50 mm (yellow in the drawing)
solution-cw.jpg


I will have today to think about it as the cubes are still draining out liquid.
Maybe you guys have a better idea?
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
October 24, 2019
I have transplanted one of the spare seedlings into the empty RW cube and used some toothpicks to support them better. I think I was too fast with putting them in the drum and will wait at least until after the weekend to give it a second try….
The curled leaves came back nice though.

seedlings-oct24.jpg
 

Remystemple

Well-Known Member
October 23, 2019

Not going well......

Yesterday evening I saw that the leaves started curling again and one of the two small seedlings that I put in yesterday already died…..no high temperature so it had to be something else.

So I took the 3 RW cubes out and they were heavy and soaking wet. I put them on the scale and they almost had the same weight as after I put the cubes to soak for the night. Clearly the seedlings were drowning. This means there is far too much uptake of liquid during the short time that the cubes pass through the top reservoir. I have put the cubes on some kitchen towels to suck out some of the liquid and have to come up with a solution.

Solutions?

  • I cannot speed up the speed of the drum but it would be possible to lower the level in the reservoir but the cubes pass through the liquid only 6 mm deep and that is really not so much. I hesitate doing that although it is the easiest and fasted solution.
  • I could cut the bottom of the RW cubes with 15 mm but leave a square of 50 x 50 mm as contact surface for the uptake of nutrients (small green square at the bottom of the cube). In this way I hope there will be far less uptake and I can always adjust to more by adding a strip of RW besides the 50 x 50 mm (yellow in the drawing)
solution-cw.jpg


I will have today to think about it as the cubes are still draining out liquid.
Maybe you guys have a better idea?
i'd say just put them in damp and wait to add the solution until the roots are popping. amazing set up broski. it's really neat. great work.
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
Thanks Remy, I keep the seedlings in the 4x4 cubes, the cubes are standing on a bunch of kitchen towels and the weight of the cubes went down from 750 grams to 400 grams. I keep them like that for now but give a little liquid/nutrients with a syringe every 2 days.
 

Remystemple

Well-Known Member
Thanks Remy, I keep the seedlings in the 4x4 cubes, the cubes are standing on a bunch of kitchen towels and the weight of the cubes went down from 750 grams to 400 grams. I keep them like that for now but give a little liquid/nutrients with a syringe every 2 days.
sounds like a great recovery to me! looking forward to seeing them back in the machine.
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
Heres a question. What happens to the roots once they do grow through the rock wool cube? The roots on my hydro plants are four or five feet long when streatched out.
Yes, I asked myself that question also before and during building the drum. I have asked Omega (they sell & manufacture rotary gardens and are a Canadian company) the same question and I got back this answer:

“The roots do not venture outside of the rockwool as they need moisture.”

There was a member here on 420, called “maxximus” and he did some posts on the subject, he had a rotary garden, but he was last seen here in Dec. 2009 I remember seeing a post of him where he answered the same question by saying “you basically grow stems” but he posted a lot of interesting pictures, here is his gallery:

Media added by maxximus

Also, just Google “ maxximus volksgarden” and click the tab “images” and you will be impressed with what you will see.

I don’t really think this is the “holy grail” for growing cannabis, if it was, everybody would have one by now I guess. All the posts here on 420 are from 2008 – 2010 and after that it basically stopped, at least I can’t find much more after that time. But the photo’s in maxximus’s gallery are impressive enough for me to investigate this rotary garden and honestly I like to do things like this, my handicap is, that I don’t have experience with growing cannabis but that does not stop me (for now lol). Good proof of my determination is my grow journal using cool mist humidifiers, I almost lost my seedlings because of the unknown and my lack of experience but things are going very well now.

Oh well, I might be ending up with all kinds of veggies next year if I fail, but at least I can tell myself that I tried.

Cheers
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
By the end of this week I will do another attempt with the seedlings in the drum. I have used one of the spare seedlings (in soil) to replace one seedling in the RW and they are all under a grow light, same circumstances. I wanted to share this picture that shows that the seedlings in the 4x4 RW cubes are doing much better than the one in soil. When the seedlings came out of the drum, they had the same size as the ones in soil (see post Oct 24) but the RW seedlings now are much, much bigger now. They all got the same light, fertilizer and ppm’s, maybe soil needs less?

oct30seedlings.jpg
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
Day ZERO, October 31, 2019

Another trial, another deception?

So here we go AGAIN, I have cut away some RW in order to make the uptake surface much smaller, what is left is about 50x50mm, so only this area will be go through the nutrients while rotating. If this area is not enough, I can always ad some to the RW cuttings that I kept.
  • 3 gallon in the bottom reservoir
  • 12 ml H2O2
  • Ph. = 5.03 I actually went too low but the Ph. will go up I assume.
  • PPM's = 650. (didn't want to start too high)
  • Once a day through the nutrients for 6 minutes. (6 mm deep)
  • Lights on 18/6.
  • Actually I wanted to wait a few days but we are running out of lettuce upstairs…... :woohoo: :woohoo:

oct31_1.jpg


oct31_2.jpg


oct31_3.jpg
 
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Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
Day 2, November 2, 2019

After 2 days there are no signs of any kind that something is not good. Plant 1 & 3 have a stem/leaf broken but that was because a strong fan on the side was aimed straight on the leaves, I didn’t realize the seedlings were that fragile. But I am sure they will survive that. (the fan is off now...)

oct31_2.jpg


day2-nov2.jpg


So far so good. :yahoo:
 

Jackopotomus

Active Member
I hate to be a debby downer but I'm having a hard time understanding the benefits of a rotational garden with LEDs. With traditional HID lighting the bulb emitted light in 365 degrees so half the light was wasted shining up and away from the plants. LEDs solve that problem in their design. Dont get me wrong I commend you for a job done amazingly well, but I just wonder if you're better off either A without all the extra work, or B (and I prefer B) switch the LEDs out for a smaller watt HID.
 

Edzzed

Well-Known Member
What about some kind of cam system where every 12 hours it dips the drum down to soak the rockwool then tilts it back away from it. Or look into a garden hose reel type setup and you could run an irrigation system to each cube. All you would need is a timer to run a pump. www.wish.com sells one that hooks up to a hose. I have one for when I grow outside this spring.
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
I hate to be a debby downer but I'm having a hard time understanding the benefits of a rotational garden with LEDs. With traditional HID lighting the bulb emitted light in 365 degrees so half the light was wasted shining up and away from the plants. LEDs solve that problem in their design. Dont get me wrong I commend you for a job done amazingly well, but I just wonder if you're better off either A without all the extra work, or B (and I prefer B) switch the LEDs out for a smaller watt HID.
Trying to do things differently is in my genes. I’ve made a living out of that but am retired now. I still like to do these kind of things, as a hobby and to learn from it, and I thought some people here on the forum would be interested in my experiments. If it was a matter of not wanting to do any work, I would buy the tinctures and all the other stuff because I simply can afford it. I could put 12 plants in the drum if I want (more if I cut more holes in it), my leds use only 46 watts, and I think that is not much on 12 plants in an area of 2’ x 2’. And as you point out, there might always be room for improvement, but it has to be an improvement. I already stated in an earlier post that I don't consider what I am doing as "the holy grail" in growing cannabis. Besides this "experiment", I grow plants “the old fashioned way”, just not with HID but with leds, as I have tons of led strings.

And there are more things that I would like to explore with the drum in the future, but that is another topic, one that has nothing to do with 420magazine.
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
What about some kind of cam system where every 12 hours it dips the drum down to soak the rockwool then tilts it back away from it. Or look into a garden hose reel type setup and you could run an irrigation system to each cube. All you would need is a timer to run a pump. www.wish.com sells one that hooks up to a hose. I have one for when I grow outside this spring.
I have a 7-days minute timer on the pump, I can let it run whenever and as much as I want, and each day of the week differently, so I am as flexible as can be. My RW cubes are not placed in one straight line (my bad) so it is difficult to use an irrigation system as in each row the RW cubes are placed different. There are existing systems like mine that work with the “ebb and flow” system so that is the reason I started with that, I have the feeling that irrigation like I do now is just a matter of fine-tuning. Thank you for thinking along Edzzed.
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
Day 5, November 5, 2019

Slowly but surely lol, perhaps hard to see but they all got a new 6th leaf.
Sometimes the leafs seem to stand straight up and sometimes they seem to "hang" but that has to do with the position in the drum while I take the picture. If a plant is in the top of the drum, the leafs hang down but I rotate the image 180 degrees and because of that the leaves stand straight up in the picture. (see plant 2)

The RW cubes don't feel so wet as before, for my feeling even a bit on the dry side but I guess I have to go with how the plants look so I am not going to change anything for now.

oct31_2.jpg


day5-nov5.jpg
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
November 9, day 9 in drum

I “lost" plant no 1, too embarrassing to explain lol, but it had nothing to do with the drum.

The plants are growing but I think there is too much heat, maybe I have time later today to change the fan because it is too strong, so I am not using it at the moment.

oct31_2.jpg


nov9.jpg


Although it is still a bit early, until now I am not REALLY excited about how this is going but maybe it is a learning curve (as are all the things I do for the first time). Maybe I look at this differently because of the good results with my USM grow system although that had a learning curve as well.
 

Budsbunny

Well-Known Member
November 11, day 11
I’ve cut the speed of the fan to 50% and that must have done the trick, the curling in the leaves is gone and a good grow, even plant 1, that I basically had given up is coming back although it will be hard to use as a reference any more.

nov9.jpg


nov11.jpg


I am still using the rock wool "take-up" surface of 50x50 mm (2"x2") and that seems to be doing fine.
 
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