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First Grow! - Aerogarden Ultra With Mars Reflector 48 Using CK Dwarf Low Flyer

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CMJJMC2000

Well-Known Member
First off, I want to start by throwing out a big "Thank You!" to all of those who have contributed knowledge to these forum boards. Without y'all providing the knowledge, I wouldn't have the ability(or confidence) to attempt this.

Second, some background on me. This is my first *real* attempt at growing. About 20 years ago I attempted some outdoors but got spooked when they actually sprouted and destroyed the seedlings. I've had several large gardens in my backyard, growing full and also cherry tomatoes, silver queen corn, romaine, spinach, brussell sprouts, eggplant, peppers of all kinds, beans, peas and some citrus trees. Let me state the the level of care for those fruits and veggies pales in comparison to the regimen that I have planned for this dwarf autoflower. It's been mind boggling to read about all of the components that go into completing a hydro/aero grow. In addition to the effort spent towards sustaining the future plant, I have spent a great deal of time, effort and money to ensure the stealth nature of this grow - that's why I'm starting with the Aerogarden, which I will explain in the next section.

-The Gear
Aerogarden Ultra LED; the stock hood will be used for lighting the seedlings up until the 3rd set of leaves comes in. After that, I have a Mars Hydro 48 reflector series that will take over the work. The stock hood will be used for lighting from the rear of the plant - mounted to the wall. Additional supplemental lighting will come in the form of 2 x 24w taotronics grow bulbs hitting it from the front left and front right. The coverage should be quite complete, allowing lower branches to receive ample amounts of light.

Hydrofarm Airpump (7.8L/min) connected to 2 x 4 inch airstones in the left and right sides of the reservoir.

Digital thermometer + humidity monitor

Digital PH meter and Digital TDS meter

Advanced Nutrients; sensi grow a + b, ph up and ph down, Voodoo Juice, Big Bud, B-52, Overdrive, Bud Candy, Rhino Skin and Flawless Finish
Fox Farms: Bush Doctor Flower Kiss (foliant spray)
General Hydroponics: calimagic (cal/mag)

I'll be keeping the closet door open with a small oscillating fan pointing into the closet in order to help with circulation and air flow. Going to keep this on a low setting, as the closet itself is about 6 feet wide and 8 feet long with a 9 foot height. Aerogarden is placed in the rear right corner with the Mars being suspended from a wire rack that's about 4 feet off of the ground. I highly doubt these plants will get much taller than 2 feet (2.5 feet from the floor when you add in the height of the aerogarden deck).

For air purification, I'm moving the Winix u450 signature series from our master bedroom to the office. This thing is most impressive. If I fart in the bathroom, the unit in the bedroom detects it and starts filtering at max speed. It's quite the impressive filtration unit. But, again, everytime I fart - no matter how quietly - my wife knows it because that damn thing turns on. I've gone ahead and ordered a few extra replacement filters for it.

The seeds; for this grow I'm focusing on Crop King's Dwarf Auto Low Flyer strain. I wanted something hardy and easy to start with and from what I've been able to find - which isn't much - this strain should do it. Also, I'm hoping that this journal provides others with the details on growing this strain that I have been unable to find.

Seeds should be arriving any day now. They cleared customs in just a few hours over the weekend and have been in transit since sunday to my *secret* location. I will attempt to germinate 3 seeds and place all that successfully germinate into the aerogarden grow sponges and then into the growing cups. After a week, the healthiest looking will continue on. The remaining (if any) ones will be blended in a food processor and sent down the toilet. As much as I'd like to keep 2 of them for the whole grow, I'm worried about the roots taking up too much space in the reservoir of the aerogarden. I feel that I provide optimal care and conditions for 1 plant.

I have pictures that I'll upload tonight. Please stick with me and enjoy. I need the collective knowledge and experience of this community in order to do this right!
 
Thread starter #3

CMJJMC2000

Well-Known Member
That's a fair question. The simple answer is that I went a bit overboard and ordered about 25 seeds (from several different vendors), so in order to ensure that I meet the time demands of my growing goal, I'd like to germinate more than one seed to ensure that I start on my target date and end on or before my target date. My hope is to harvest this and have it dried *before* 4/20. I'll be very excited if the dried bud weight exceeds 20g after all is said and done. 20g would last me about 4 months - as I only smoke before bed (insomnia and GI issues).
 
Thread starter #5

CMJJMC2000

Well-Known Member
Renegade69, a member on here, had one hell of a grow log using an Aerogarden Ultra that produced an impressive crop. Granted, different strains produce results that depend upon so many different variables. I'm confident that, if I'm successful with germination and getting the first few leaves up on the seedling, that all will be well and harvest will come to fruition.
I did order more than just the CK seeds. Other seeds that are arriving are;Female Seeds Auto Speed Bud, Nirvana Auto Bubblelicious, Green House Seeds Big Bang Auto, Blimburn Sweet Auto, and Blimburn Mango
 
Thread starter #7

CMJJMC2000

Well-Known Member
Yes, my needs are such that a single autoflower plant will sustain my demand for a good period of time. The forgiving nature of the ruderalis strain made me seek out autoflower strains instead of going with standard femmed seeds and forcing flower after 2 weeks of veg. 2 months seed to harvest sounds incredible. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to see this through and share my experience along the way.
 
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Thread starter #10

CMJJMC2000

Well-Known Member
Thank you! I feel like I did a lot of research, but the more I read (about 2 hours daily) the more I realize that I really know very little. My taotronics led bulbs (2 x 24w) are here, but I don't have the fixtures in that room currently. Once the plant is in and tall enough to benefit (maybe at week 2???) I'll get those set up and oriented to optimize light coverage. I'm confident that 150+ true watts of LED will be more than enough to grow one autoflower. Just need to optimize placement and minimize stretch in the early stages. Not going to do any topping, LST, SCROG or anything like that on this dwarf strain. Trying to keep plant manipulation to zero on this grow and solely focus on the nutrient and lighting side of things.
 
Thread starter #12

CMJJMC2000

Well-Known Member
Yes, I'm doing the same. Never had any intentions, when I decided to grow, to actually join the forum. I was hoping to be a perpetual lurker. But, I feel comfortable enough doing this and the picture uploads with the enhanced anonymity that TOR provides. My wife is only interested in the end result and could care less about the intricacies involved in this (same with the fruits and vegetables we grow). Our local source hasn't come through in over a month, and being professional adults, speaking to coworkers and my employees about this is strictly off limits. So, I decided to cut out the source and go the direct route. Getting some free seeds would be nice, too, but I'm really fascinated with the process of the grow. I'm still fighting the paranoia that comes with all of this, but I know that I'm being as discrete as possible. In the future, I'm optimistic that the area I live in will open the doors to being able to consume this medicinal plant in a less discrete manner. It has allowed me to set aside my sleep and IBS prescriptions - which are awful drugs btw - and handle my insomnia in a much more natural way.
 
My wife will help me when ever I ask. She's actually better at transplants with our photos. Then I am. But yeah. I used to be paranoid all the time. To the point I wouldn't want to leave the house because I was a paranoid it was gonna catch fire or come home to flashing lights. I live in the country though and hardly have any visitors. I shoot guns in my back yard even. But purple kush. That stinks. I came home at midnight after my wife did the harvest while I was working. That time I could smell it outside the house. I'm guessing it was because she shut all the filter fans down. But damn. Only strain that's ever done that.
 

Renegade69

Well-Known Member
Hello CMJJ....

Got the invite so just wanted to help where I can.

Check my sig for my AG grow. If I were you I'd go to the end first so you can see the trials and error.

The biggest factors were size of res and water temp. If you dare then go to the beginning....LOL.

I'll answer any questions you have after that.

Good luck and welcome to 420....the best place on earth to learn about the plant we love.

Regards....
 
Thread starter #15

CMJJMC2000

Well-Known Member
Renegade, I've read it all the way through twice now - stupendous grow!. My water temps are staying at 75 with full gear running but no fans - ambient air temps are 78 with a weak 31% humidity (but no humidifier running now). My biggest question is about pump settings right after the germinated seed goes in the grow sponge in the aerogarden. What were your on/off times on the pump set for during this stage?

420, glad to hear the paranoia starts to fade with time/experience. Your plant pictures definitely illustrate the experience!
 

Renegade69

Well-Known Member
CM, Glad you found it helpful...twice....LOL.

I think I set the AG to the tomato settings. I'll go back to my first AG notes to confirm. I don't know what the pump cycle was for tomato but it's in the paperwork that came with it.

Pretty much took the seeds from the freezer to the AG and let it run. Seed pop'd within a couple days. Once I flipped I turned it to 24 hour pump and took the hood off when I changed to the LED.
 
Thread starter #18

CMJJMC2000

Well-Known Member
Thanks, Renegade! What do you mean by "flipped", is that when they throw first set of leaves? Or, is that when you switch to flower?

420, you'd be surprised how easy outdoor veg/fruit growing is on a small scale. The biggest challenge is pest control; bugs are a nuisance but birds and small mammals are the real crop killers. 200 square feet of raised garden beds pulls a big enough harvest to feed my family of a good number of my coworkers.

I'm so nervous about the germination and transplant into the grow sponge that I'm willing to expend more seeds than I'd like to in order to ensure that I can zero in on a process that works for me. I'm going to try Crop King's recommended method and may also do what Renegade did and simply drop one or two seeds directly into the AeroGarden and see how that works.

The wait for the seeds is killing me; one package left California on Monday and the other left New York on Tuesday. I'm refreshing the USPS page about 20 times a day haha!
 

Renegade69

Well-Known Member
Thanks, Renegade! What do you mean by "flipped", is that when they throw first set of leaves? Or, is that when you switch to flower?

420, you'd be surprised how easy outdoor veg/fruit growing is on a small scale. The biggest challenge is pest control; bugs are a nuisance but birds and small mammals are the real crop killers. 200 square feet of raised garden beds pulls a big enough harvest to feed my family of a good number of my coworkers.

I'm so nervous about the germination and transplant into the grow sponge that I'm willing to expend more seeds than I'd like to in order to ensure that I can zero in on a process that works for me. I'm going to try Crop King's recommended method and may also do what Renegade did and simply drop one or two seeds directly into the AeroGarden and see how that works.

The wait for the seeds is killing me; one package left California on Monday and the other left New York on Tuesday. I'm refreshing the USPS page about 20 times a day haha!
LMAO....the waiting comment.

Ok, so the "flip" is as you said....switching to flower. As for out door grows, I failed miserably and you guessed it....pest. However your suggestion on a raise bed will deter the mammals but nothing keeps the dam bugs away. I feel like I sprayed to much pesticide. You would be very surprised on how well the seeds pop'd in the AG. Remember which side up/down. Hell I always forget but seem to get it right at the last moment. Simply pop them in the sponge, AG plastic dome over the pod for some humidity, covered dish over that to ensure darkness and then lights out. I brought the heat up to about 85-90. 2-4 days later and she was there. I started looking on day 2 and as soon as she started turning up I removed the dish. Dark side of the moon is pretty far for me...LOL. I get mine from across the pond and up till this last order I've got them within a week. I trust my breeder so it must have gotten re-directed...LOL. Waiting a bit before ordering again but will get me another order going.

Checking in, checking out. Be patient and your seeds will arrive. I kinda agree with 420, pop only one or two at a time in the AG unless your going to transplant them to a different medium. And I hope you ordered fem's. I don't like wasting time only to find out she's a he....LOL.
 
Thread starter #20

CMJJMC2000

Well-Known Member
The more pointy side goes down and the flatter side goes up, right? My package from the UK - bubblelicious auto, big bang auto, auto speed bud - arrives tomorrow (maybe I can use the handbag/purse from stealth shipping as a valentines day gift for wife haha) but the package from up North is looking like it won't arrive until Monday. The timing of all of this is quite fortuitous. We have a home inspection Monday afternoon, so best to get that out of the way before things get into full swing. I'll go ahead and start my germination as soon as they arrive. All seeds are auto and feminized. Aerogarden will be going back to the kitchen island until the home inspectors are done Monday afternoon.

If the dark side of the moon was a location in the U.S. it would be a very sunny part of the South East.

The only dwarf auto low flyer grows that I've seen are on youtube. There's a guy that had 3 very bountiful specimens that he grew outdoors on a balcony. They were definitely yielding over an ounce (dried) per plant at harvest. His grow seemed more like a "dump the seeds in a pot and let it do its thing" type of grow. The compact size and densely packed colas make me think that it *could* be possible to maintain two of these in the aerogarden. I will be tending to these at least twice, and ideally 4 times per day - so I'm not worried about the reservoir running dry. If I went with 2 plants, my only concern would be for the root ball. If each one stayed at or below cantaloupe size I'd be fine. My lighting should be able to sustain 2 without a hiccup. I've thought of drilling the back of the reservoir to add in an ice probe from an old nano reef tank in order to maintain cool water temps but not sure how necessary that is. Seems like keeping the reservoir below 80 is essential.
Renegade, did you turn your pump off after roots were submerged and just let the air stones handle circulation up to the plant? With the air pump turned on full power (this one is adjustable, quite nice) it seems very capable of saturating the grow sponges and circulating water in the reservoir.