First Grow Guidance: 400w MH/600w HPS & Soil


I'm getting ready to take the plunge and begin an indoor grow. I have a very large basement with 8 foot ceilings that is completely secure so I don't have a space issue. I'm looking to grow 4 to 6 plants. I've grown outdoors and a few times in an old phototron 300. The phototron is very small and I wasn't able to get much of anything out of it. From what I've read, it can assist me with sprouts & clones though.

Anyway, I purchased a good quality switchable 400W ballast with both a HPS (55,000 lumens) and a MH (38,000 lumens) bulb. Came with a nice hood and timer. At this point, I'm figuring I'll go with soil and work my way up to hydro. I have 10 babies germinated in the tron and I'm getting ready to transplant them into 10 inch pots.

I grabbed a bag of Fox Farms Ocean Forrest and a bag of perlite. I read where I need to mix it 70% FF -30% perlite. Does that sound right?

I know I should start them under the MH lamp for the veg phase but how would y'all recommend I water and feed these plants during this time?

Another concern I have is that the basement is rather cool and damp, even during the summer, so things can mildew very easily down there. Any suggestions to help alleviate that potential problem?

Thanks for any help!!
Re: First Grow Guidance: 400w MH/HPS & Soil

welcome to 420 magazine

looking forward to your grow dood. :smokin:

as for 70ff 30 perlite that will work fine.

as for watering and feeding. your plants will not need to be fed for the first few weeks. once you strart noticing there hungry pick up some foxfarm veg nutes. watering go wet/dry and make sure you stick to it.

what is the strain ?
Re: First Grow Guidance: 400w MH/HPS & Soil

Hi bgb4!

Thanks for confirming the 70-30 mix. I was thinking that I might not have to feed at first. I sure wouldn't want to fry the plants right off the bat.

I went ahead and ordered 3 pack of FF nutes (grow big soil/big bloom/tiger bloom) but I'm a bit confused on when to use the tiger bloom. Is it best to use that right at the end, to beef up the blooms?

I have no idea what strain it is. Gut feeling is that it's Mex Sativa, maybe a hybrid. Looks like all the Indica seeds I have are too old to germinate.

if it is long stemmed Sativa, would there be method of topping or growing that would help maximize my yield?

Re: First Grow Guidance: 400w MH/HPS & Soil

th GB is for veg, the TB is for flower and the BB works for both stages.. Go easy with the GB at first. It does have a kick..You won't introduce the TB until you are a week or two into flowering..Try and keep the air circulating in the basement, they may help with the moisture down there.. The high humidity is probably good for the veg phase.. There are tons of articles around here on topping or other techniques for height control.. Peace and happy growing.... Good Luck ..
Re: First Grow Guidance: 400w MH/HPS & Soil

you can try the paper clip training tecnique. this will maximize yields. you will bend your plant so it grows many main colas. instead of 1 or 2 main colas and a bunch of airy bottom buds.

check out the OverGrow FAQs. its under training, super croping, prunning.
Update on my progress

Here's an update on my progress. I've germinated and sprouted from seeds in the phototron. Here's some pics from around 10 days into the grow.






I figure once the root ball forms a little and the plants get a little stronger, I'll cut them out of the cups they're in and transplant them to 10 inch planters for the veg phase, then under the MH light to see what happens.

They seem to be doing pretty good so far. The leaves seem a little stubby. Maybe there's a strain of Indica in there somewhere.
Re: First Grow Guidance: 400w MH/HPS & Soil

They are looking good Harry.. They should outgrow those cups pretty quickly, so keep an eye on them if they slow down.. That Phototron gets a chuckle out of me everytime.. It brings back some old memories.. :bong::peace:
Re: First Grow Guidance: 400w MH/HPS & Soil

That Phototron gets a chuckle out of me everytime.. It brings back some old memories.. :bong::peace:
Yeah, lot's of us were taken in by the hype. Maybe it made sense for some people, but I think I spent 6 months of hassle to come up with an OZ or so of small tops.

I'm hoping that I can still make some use out of it by integrating it into what I'm doing now. That model 3000sx is not very large, maybe the chamber is 26 inches tall. I was thinking that I might be able to veg in it while I 12/12 with the HPS and get some kind of rotation going but I don't think it's large enough for that.

I guess I could get a few weeks head start with it though, if I were starting from seed. I could use it for clones. Only problem is I'd have to keep that clone vegging in the Tron while the bloom stage is occurring under the HPS. It might be worth the effort to do that and be assured of females.
Re: First Grow Guidance: 400w MH/HPS & Soil

I think that we should not use incandescent bulbs, except to increase the temperature. Too many far-infrared light will cause plants section of variable length.
CFL replacement of a better luminous efficiency, a high percentage of red and blue light photosynthesis, and more conducive to low and more branches.
Re: First Grow Guidance: 400w MH/HPS & Soil

I think that we should not use incandescent bulbs, except to increase the temperature.
That's a 25 watt germination bulb. It might be time to remove it, although it does stay kinda cool in that basement. The Tron came with the very first mass produced CF bulb, the phillips SL-18. I guess I could replace the 25watt'r with that but it's not gonna be much longer until I transplant. A few more day's I think..

Looks like that would grow a few 12/12's if you could stop the side bulbs from burning them.
Hmmm, that's a thought. How tall do you reckon the plant would grow in the Tron at 12/12? I guess I could train the branches away from the bulbs?
Re: First Grow Guidance: 400w MH/HPS & Soil


I wanted to update this thread with my progress. Yesterday, I transplanted into 10 inch pots yesterday and moved them under the MH 400w light. I used FF ocean forrest and perlite 70-30. I watered normally, carefull not to over water though.


Three of the plants seem very healthy, like this one..


I have one runt that isn't as green as the others and seems to be stunted..


I also have one in which the leaves are a bit twisted.


I haven't used any nutes at this point and was planning waiting a couple of weeks before starting with the FF big grow and big bloom.

Any suggestions on what I can do to help these two problem plants?

Re: First Grow Guidance: 400w MH/HPS & Soil

Might be time to start thinking about feeding them.. How old are they? I usually start light feedings at around three weeks unless they ask for it sooner..Just a thought.. :peace:
Day 13

Howdy all.

You peeps were right on the money!

These plants are now 13 days from germination. I transplanted into 10" pots 4 days ago (just after my last update) and I haven't watered them since. I do believe that I had over watered them while they were in the small cups and that was causing my problems.

They're looking so much better now..






The runt is starting to grow faster and the twisty one is looking much better.

I guess it's pretty easy for a noob like myself to over water out of the gate. As I mentioned, it's been 4 days since I transplanted and watered yet the soil still feels moist. I'll suppose I should wait until the 1st 2 inches on the top feels dry before watering, per the FAQs I've read.

I plan on starting with half strength FF big grow and half strength FF Big bloom. Does that sound about right?

Re: First Grow Guidance: 400w MH/HPS & Soil

Hello friends!!

After feeding with half strength FF Grow Big & Big Bloom, the plants are doing great!! I had a few gnats flying around but have taken precautions and they appear to have gone for now. I'll keep an eye out for 'em, being they can be bad around here. I sure wouldn't want disaster to strike.





Looks like they are getting ready to form the 4th node?

Should I be topping at the point just after the 5th node appears?

Anything else y'all could recommend at this point to possibly increase yield?
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