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EmElla's First Grow, CFL, Bagseed, Fox Farms

EmElla

New Member
Hey there guys,

Okay so this is my first grow and I really wanted to document my journey along the way.

So here are my supplies:
6 43 watt 6500k daylight CFLs in those clamp light things (will be switching these out for diff. temp when flowering)
Fox Farms Ocean Forest soil with added MG Perlite
Fox Farms Big Bloom, Grow Big, and Tiger Bloom nutes
The fan I have is a small door frame fan
I'm going to be growing in my basement which is cool and dry, but the small grow room is cordoned off with two heavy duty tarps.

You can see pics below of my setup and supplies.

I'm hoping to grow 6 plants so that I can get at least 2 or 3 females. To start with I germed around 13 seeds. For my germing method what I did was I kind of messed up, I was trying the paper towel method but after two days of not seeing anything I decided to try soaking them in water for a few hours and then go ahead and plant them in soil.

So the seeds (I got 8 out of the 13) are just bagseed, from a pretty decent stash. They basically spent about 36 hours in a dark cabinet between two wet paper towels. Then I sunk them in water for about 3 hours before planting them into styrafoam cups. (I did this method with all 13, but 5 didn't sink after being in the water so I figured they were duds.)

None of the seeds were cracked when I planted them, but I made sure to plant them around 1/4-1/2 inch into dirt. I was having some issues with temperature, when the lights were on at about 1.5 inches away from the cup the temp was high at about 82, so then I messed around and raised the lights so that the temp was down to between 70-78. It was fluctuating pretty wildly due to our air conditioner being on, but for the past day it's been around 71 pretty steadily.

Anyway, so the seeds sat under the lights and fan on the regular 18/6 timer for two days before I realized that the lowered temp at night might be stoping their growth. So what I did was turned the lights on all night last night and all day today. I was worried about the amount of light on the plants when I woke up, but I really wanted the temperature to be right so I left the lights on, but covered the cups with a thick piece of dark fabric, thus giving the plants darkness but keeping the temp up. (Our basement gets down to the low 60's in the dark.) So low and behold when I checked them this evening, after they were covered up number 3 had popped out of hiding. I was like super excited when I saw this. I've got a pic below.

One thing I'm not sure on is early seedling lighting. I was afraid that since one seedling had popped with lights off that maybe the others needed the lights off, but then I got worried about how much light should be on the number 3. So What I'm going to do is just keep them on a 19/5 lighting schedule until I get the majority popped up, then back to 18/6.

When I went down to adjust the timer before making this post I could see that number 1 and number 6 were on the brink of sprouting. Hopefully there will be more to see tomorrow. :D

Anyway, here are some pics of my setup and number 3.






Grow room with the lights off at night. The material around the area are heavy duty tarps. One side is silver the other is white.









Thanks for reading!
 
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usul

New Member
Greetings EmElla - Welcome to the forum and congrats on starting your first grow and your first journal! It's definitely a worthwhile learning experience.

Good choice on the FF soil and nutes. The MG perlite, however, is not a good choice - especially for seedlings. All the MG branded stuff contains nutrients and will likely burn your seedlings - I've seen it happen over and over again. Best thing you can do at this point is throw that bag of MG perlite in the trash and get a big bag of plain old nute-free perlite. When you mix soil for the pots into which you'll transplant the seedlings use at least 33% perlite (i.e. one scoop of perlite for each two scoops of soil).

For now, just let it ride and plan on moving those seedlings into larger pots when they're 5 or 6 days old. And most importantly - do not feed them any nutes at all for the first 10 to 14 days.

Otherwise, your setup looks fine for seedlings but I think you'll find 258W of cfls will not be enough to flower 6 plants. You may want to consider growing just one or two plants under those lights, or upgrading your lights. More plants does not necessarily mean higher yield.

Another thing to consider is ventilation. Not sure what your situation is, but just one or two healthy plants in flower will stink up your entire house, even if they are in the basement. If odor control is an issue (and it almost always is) you're going to need a carbon filter and a good sized exhaust fan.

Good luck!
 

obliviconsent

New Member
Yes, definately more lights. and carbon filters are great especially if you have alot of company over. Good luck with your grow.
 

EmElla

New Member
Gah that makes me like super pissed about the perlite. I spent 20 bucks on the fox farms soil and mixed like 1/3 of a bag of the perlite with it. Do you think it would be harmful to the bigger plants? I can use some clean ff soil that I didn't mix up for the seedlings, but could I use the mixed batch when I re-pot into bigger buckets?

Also, the lighting I know is not ideal, but I don't have any extra money to get a better light. What I can maybe do is get a couple more clamp lights and when I move into flower with the new bulbs I can add two of the daylight bulbs to increase the lumens count. I'm also going to have more room when I toss out the males. If I get even four females that will free up a lot of space and extra light for flowering.

Thanks for the info and encouragement!! :thanks: :yummy: :ganjamon:
 

EmElla

New Member
Unfortunately I don't have any money for a carbon filter, if the smell becomes unbearable then I will have to cross that bridge when I come to it. Fortunately I never really have guests over.

Also, I forgot to mention that this is just a basic grow, I've already spent around 350$ on supplies and I shouldn't have even spent that much.
 

usul

New Member
Bummer about the perlite - I was hoping to get that comment posted before you mixed everything up. At this point I'd just go with it and see what happens. Some strains can take high nute levels with no problem. Others will keel over. Time will tell ;) Just be aware you've got some really hot soil and watch the plants closely. If, after a couple weeks they're still looking good you can start applying the FF nutes at 1/4 strength and go from there.

I hear ya about the cost - growing your own meds is not cheap - especially at the beginning, but it pays off over time. I have over $2K invested in my 2x2 setup and expect to break even after my second grow. Rearding your lights, if you have to go with what you've got I'd suggest you'll get much more yield from one or, at most, two plants.

Hang in there - the first grow is always crazy-making - you'll figure it out soon enough.
 

EmElla

New Member
Okay, so I checked on the plants about an hour ago and they're lookin' good. Number 3 is like a full blown seedling now and number 1 and number 6 have sprouted. It looks like 2 or 3 more have the signs of sprouting, but I can't be sure right now.

I might post pics later.

As for the perlite thing, I think maybe I'm going to wait until all the plants have sprouted and unless I see signs of nute burn, to transplant.

I'm not sure where to get clean perlite, the Miracle gro stuff I found was the only one I could find at Home Depot, plus it was cheap.

It sucks that I have to basically waste a bag of the good soil, but maybe it will be okay. Just gotta have faith.

Do any of you know where I can get clean perlite? Any help is great.

Thanks!!
 

420warriors

New Member
Your setup looks good,but I wouldn't worry about the MG perlite. The amount of nutes is so minimal that it won't burn the babies. I have used it before with never an issue. I also agree on the lights,just try to add some in the next couple weeks. Heres a link for any CFL question you might have. 420 Magazine ®
:peace:
 

EmElla

New Member
Your setup looks good,but I wouldn't worry about the MG perlite. The amount of nutes is so minimal that it won't burn the babies. I have used it before with never an issue.
That's good to hear. What I think I'm gonna do is try and ride out the soil I have and then when I need to replant into the bigger pots I'm going to use 2 parts of the mixed soil with three parts of clean ff with pearlite.

Thanks for the link about the CFLs I'll check it out. I did a crap ton of research on lights when I was planning my setup, but now I'm just trying to balance out the temperature with the lights.

:thanks::ganjamon:
 

usul

New Member
420Warrior's post makes sense - nute tolerance is very strain-specific. One of the growers on this forum started with 8 different strains, fed them all the same nutes, and only one strain - White Widow - survived. Thrived, actually. Strains I've seen burned by MG perlite include Strawberry Cough and Blueberry. This is why I like a relatively inert medium - it's always easy to add more nutes but tough to take them away.

Since there's no telling what strain your bagseed is you'll just need to keep a close eye on things. Your plan for the soil mix going forward sounds good!

One other thing - I was thinking about the carbon filter issue and imagine you could make one on the cheap. I'm thinking an 18" length of 4" PVC pipe, drilled with many holes, covered with pantyhose, filled with activated carbon (from the aquarium supply aisle of your local pet store) hooked up to a 4" duct-booster fan. Add a few feet of flexible dryer venting and a bit of duct tape and you'd be good to go. It won't help with cooling but would give you very good odor control right through harvest. If this is something you'd like to try I can provide more details.

One last note, when I said to transplant in 5 days or so I meant 5 days after the seedlings have sprouted and are standing up fairly straight. Sorry for any confusion about that.

Your thinking and instincts are sound - trust your judgement and carry on ;)
 

EmElla

New Member
Whew! Okay so I checked on the seedlings today an all but one have sprouted or are in the process of sprouting. Seven out of eight ain't bad!

Anyway, so I've decided to go ahead and get another fan for when I have all the lights on and I'm going to add at least two more lights, maybe up to four depending on the money situation.

So now that I've decided on that I have one concern. All of the plants are looking good, but when I lifted up three to check for dryness I noticed a bit of root poking through the bottom hole. Now I know people have said that you should never let roots see light, and currently it's not seeing any light, but it's only been like three days and the plant is still teensy. So should I transplant it to it's 3 gallon bucket already or let it grow a bit more in the cup? There is a picture of the root below along with pics of the babies.










This is number three, the first plant to spring up and you can see the tiny bit of root through the hole. The pic above this one is of number three, so you can see how big it is.

Thanks for any help and advice! :439:
 
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ItsChrome

New Member
Hey hey! good looking grow. Don't worry too awfully much about the perlite, the nuts levels are fairly low. I used it my self and had negative side effects from it. I will be watching this grow for sure. good luck!
 

EmElla

New Member
Your plan for the soil mix going forward sounds good!

One other thing - I was thinking about the carbon filter issue and imagine you could make one on the cheap. I'm thinking an 18" length of 4" PVC pipe, drilled with many holes, covered with pantyhose, filled with activated carbon (from the aquarium supply aisle of your local pet store) hooked up to a 4" duct-booster fan. Add a few feet of flexible dryer venting and a bit of duct tape and you'd be good to go. It won't help with cooling but would give you very good odor control right through harvest. If this is something you'd like to try I can provide more details.

One last note, when I said to transplant in 5 days or so I meant 5 days after the seedlings have sprouted and are standing up fairly straight. Sorry for any confusion about that.

Your thinking and instincts are sound - trust your judgement and carry on ;)
Thanks! I'm not planning on a carbon filter right now, as I'm out of work and have no income, but if I get some money before flowering I might build one. What I will try to do is make sure that when I enter flowering I contain the smell as much as possible. We don't ever really have guests over and we have a stand alone house on a decent sized lot near a nature preserve, so hopefully when it does get really stinky we can put up with it.

Since it's also my first grow, if I do find that the smell is just too intense then I'll be sure to get a carbon filter next time around.

The problem with most carbon filter plans that I've seen is that they need to be hooked up to like ducting or something. The only place I can and do have my grow area/tent thing is not really near any ducting and it would cost too much to install some.

Basically I think I'll just see how the first batch goes before worrying about ventilation or anything.

Thanks for the encouragement though and I appreciate all of the positive and informative info! :thanks::allgood:
 

EmElla

New Member
Hey hey! good looking grow. Don't worry too awfully much about the perlite, the nuts levels are fairly low. I used it my self and had negative side effects from it. I will be watching this grow for sure. good luck!
Thanks! I'm glad you're liking the grow!

I think I'm going to take the rest of the MG perlite and soak it and rinse it, making sure that I get as much plant food off as possible and then I'm going to use that with the clean soil.

Hopefully it will work well. :D :thanks::ganjamon:
 

EmElla

New Member
Okay so it's been a SUPER busy day.

I went to home depot as well as a garden store and picked up some clean perlite, light extenders, more CFLs, and another fan.

So I set up the new fan and the new lights and I transfered almost all the babies into bigger pots.

I transferred 5 of the plants into .75-1 gal size planters and one of the babies into it's final 3 gallon home. There is one still in a styro cup and one that has yet to pop up in a styro cup, I'm thinking that one is a dud, but I'm going to wait a few days before I throw it out.

When I replanted I used clean FF soil with sterilized perlite at about a 1/7 ratio. I'm planning to put some gravel in the bottom of the 3 gallon buckets when I do the final transplant, but because I didn't have the rocks on hand, the one that went into the bigger bucket today didn't get any. The 3-gallon transplant (aka number 2) also got some of that icky miracle gro-ff soil mixed in with it, but not really enough to harm it was at about a 2/5 ratio.

I'm really worried about the plants, I had some trouble transplanting a couple of them and I feel like I was too rough with them. One of the plants also had signs of nute burn, one of it's rounded leaves was yellowish orange on the end. I made sure to give it clean soil when potting it though.

I did make sure to give them tons of water and I transplanted them about 20 minutes before the lights went out. I dunno, I just hope they survive! :yikes:

I'm going to try and give them a bit longer in the dark so that they can rest a bit more, but I really hope that they'll be okay, I've never transplanted anything, let alone stuff that is sensitive to it.

I'm going to take some pics tomorrow and hopefully post 'em tomorrow, but this is where I'm at right now.

Oh! Also when I went to home depot to get the light extenders I had 6 CFLs in my cart and I had to ask this guy where they were, he showed me and then straight up asked me if I was making a grow room. He was an older guy, maybe in his late 50's early 60's, and he was a bit scruffy.

I kind of freaked and told him I was just doing some kind of project in my garage, but I totally bet that he's an old school stoner. Heheh

Thanks guys! :smokin: :439: ;)
 

ItsChrome

New Member
Dont worry so much. They will be fine, I know some times I catch my self being a little worrier too. We some times forget that our babies are plants, very hardy plants at that. They will take more abuse that you think. so unless you ripped off their leafs or broke all their roots, they will be fine. I look forward to your photo update.

Oh also in my last MSG i meant to say I had NO negative affects from the MG perlite.
 

EmElla

New Member
Hey hey,

Okay so I checked out the girls this morning and again about 15 minutes ago. They're lookin' good except for the one that has the nute burn.

Number 1, which was/is the biggest has grown like at least a half inch since last night. I actually think I'll have to transplant her again in a few days.

I'm posting pics below of the new(ish) setup as well as the girls in their new pots. I think the added light has helped some of them although number 5 is still showing continued signs of burn. I think it may have actually gotten worse, hopefully its just the stress and she'll perk back up soon.

On to the pics!















These two are of the nute burned #5, the rounded leaf opposite the yellow one is dried up/burned away now, I think this changed from last night. Last night she was just kind of curled and yellow.




Hope she gets better! :yikes:

Thanks! ;)
 
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usul

New Member
Looking good! Very happy to see you've added more light and have the girls in larger containers. You are well on your way.

It's normal to worry about the plants - especially at this tender age, and especially if you read these journals. We're all trying to tweak things to the Nth degree in order to maximize yield and it can sound obsessive - which is half the fun ;) Chrome is correct that it's hard to kill these plants - they will survive most anything you can throw at them. But harvesting a significant quantity of high-quality meds requires a bit of obsession. Anxiety can be a great motivator.

Loved your story about the guy at HD - I'm one of the gray ponytail crowd and I'd have given you a wink and a nudge too - haha! Reminds me of the first time I brought a bag of freshly harvested buds from some skunk plants in to my art studio. Out in the hallway I ran in to one of the other artists who rents a space there (a non-smoker) and she said "Do you smell that? I think a skunk got in here!" I just smiled and said I didn't smell a thing.

Grow on bro!
 

obliviconsent

New Member
Loving your light setup. Looking very good. I've had more trouble with my flowers than with the might Weed plant. Give yout ladies time and they will aclimate to their new pots and shoot up.
 
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