420 Magazine Background

FiveToMidnight's First Grow - Coco/Perlite - NL - MarsHydro 300W LED - 2015

FiveToMidnight

Well-Known Member
Hi guys,

I have built myself a 1200mmX900mmX450mm box to house my girls and fitted it with a 4" Carbon Filter with ducting through a 4" inline duct fan and a MarsHydro 300W LED light.
I will be growing 3 X Northern Lights Feminised which are germinating at this present moment using the old paper towel in saucers technique. Once tap roots are showing, these will be put in to seedling peat pots and then into their final home in 7.5L plastic pots.
I have purchased some General Hydroponics Flora Micro and Flora Bloom as well as some PH Up and PH Down as my nutrients and will be growing it all in a 75/25 Coco/Perlite mix.

Once in the peat pots I will be feeding plain water and then nutrients after week 2 at 1/4 strength. (This is what I have been advised) If anyone can suggest a better plan for this please feel free. I'm not 100% sure if I should be waiting until week 2 in the peat pots or week two in the large pots.
The formula I will be using is (per Gallon/3.7L):
6mL FloraMicro
9mL FloraBloom
1g epsom salts (only use this one if they show signs of mag def)
pH to 5.8-6.2
Again, any suggestions to this are greatly appreciated.


Here are some pics so you can see what I have done. Any comments are highly appreciated!









Questions:
Can someone please tell me what the PPM I should be aiming for should be and how to change that if it is too high or too low?
Can someone please tell me if I should be adding nutes in week 2 of being in the peat seedling pots or wait until week two of being in the large pots?
Can someone please tell me if I should be putting them straight under the LED light as soon as they are in the seedling peat pots or wait until they have sprouted above the coco?
Can someone please explain how I should be flushing them? I have plastic basins under the pots to hold any run off but should I be emptying that before flushing? or after? or at all? Sorry but a bit of explanation around this task would be awesome.


Any help that anyone can provide is HUGELY appreciated. I wouldn't have made it this far if it wasn't for the generous help of so many people on these forums.

I really hope you enjoy my journal!! :Namaste:
 

Beams

New Member
Subbed! I'm not a grower (yet) so I can't give you any advice but I'd love to come along for the ride.
 

FiveToMidnight

Well-Known Member
Subbed! I'm not a grower (yet) so I can't give you any advice but I'd love to come along for the ride.
Thanks Beams, all are welcome!
 

Skybound

Well-Known Member
You should really get a EC/PPM meter and a PH meter so not to overdo the nutes. I'd wait till the 2nd or 3rd set of true leaves to begin them on plant food. I'd also try to find another intermediary pot size between the starter pots and the 7.5L. The trick is to match the media bed to the root mass. If there's too much media, it will likely dry out too quickly which will make you water more frequently and waste nutes and make the media bed get salty in the process. LEDs need a good amount of head clearance, so please do some research for better recommendations on this. Your box looks nice and I suspect you'll have a lot of fun with this grow as our first grows are always the funnest. Just be prepared to make mistakes and learn from them. Spend a considerable amount of time in 420's How To section to sponge as much knowledge as you can. Sub to other growers journals for real time knowledge and ask many questions along the way.
 

SmokeSara

420 Sponsor
:circle-of-love: Hello Five, you can put them straight under LED during seedling, but watch out for the distance. The recommend height is 24-30inches above the plants during germination. :circle-of-love:
 

FiveToMidnight

Well-Known Member
You should really get a EC/PPM meter and a PH meter so not to overdo the nutes. I'd wait till the 2nd or 3rd set of true leaves to begin them on plant food. I'd also try to find another intermediary pot size between the starter pots and the 7.5L. The trick is to match the media bed to the root mass. If there's too much media, it will likely dry out too quickly which will make you water more frequently and waste nutes and make the media bed get salty in the process. LEDs need a good amount of head clearance, so please do some research for better recommendations on this. Your box looks nice and I suspect you'll have a lot of fun with this grow as our first grows are always the funnest. Just be prepared to make mistakes and learn from them. Spend a considerable amount of time in 420's How To section to sponge as much knowledge as you can. Sub to other growers journals for real time knowledge and ask many questions along the way.
I have both EC and PH meters so no problem there, just not sure in the PPM measurements I need to achieve.
I had some other people advise to go straight in to the final pot and not to bother with transplanting due to the hassle of risk of hurting the plant in the process. However I do have some smaller 5L pots I can use if you think that will be better?


:circle-of-love: Hello Five, you can put them straight under LED during seedling, but watch out for the distance. The recommend height is 24-30inches above the plants during germination. :circle-of-love:
Thanks heaps Sara, what is recommended once they sprout and then for the rest of the grow?
 

Skybound

Well-Known Member
Before seeking PPM suggestions, you need to research the "conversion ratio" that your brand of meter uses to output PPM. Most common are 0.5 and 0.7. Mine for instance is 0.5 so suggested PPM ranges from me might vary from the next grower, and the higher the PPM, the broader the range. If your conversion ratio is 0.5, about 200 PPM of Flora Bloom and water will promote root growth, just bare in mind that the cotyledons will feed the seedlings through the first few sets of true leaves.
 

FiveToMidnight

Well-Known Member
Before seeking PPM suggestions, you need to research the "conversion ratio" that your brand of meter uses to output PPM. Most common are 0.5 and 0.7. Mine for instance is 0.5 so suggested PPM ranges from me might vary from the next grower, and the higher the PPM, the broader the range. If your conversion ratio is 0.5, about 200 PPM of Flora Bloom and water will promote root growth, just bare in mind that the cotyledons will feed the seedlings through the first few sets of true leaves.
I found the conversion ratio is the same as yours, 0.5.

Sorry but what are cotyledons?
 

Beams

New Member
Cotyledons are the seed leaves. They have a very round shape.

This plant has 2 rough seeds emerging between the two cotyledons:
 

FiveToMidnight

Well-Known Member
Cotyledons are the seed leaves. They have a very round shape.

This plant has 2 rough seeds emerging between the two cotyledons:
Thank you, makes it very clear :Namaste:
 

OldMedUser

Well-Known Member
It's 4am and I have to get to sleep or I'd have lots to say but just a quick bit of advice you can thank me for in a few months when you are smoking lots of great bud.

Take those nutes back and the pH pen and adjustment stuff too and get some AN pH Perfect nutes. The 3 part is good stuff but the 2 part Sensi Grow for veg and Connoisseur for flowering is a big step up. I'm using those two for over a year now and loving them! I used the older 3 part for the 13 years before that but not having to worry about pH is very relaxing.

GH is owned by Miracle Grow now and in good conscience us pot growers should be giving our money to a company that supports cannabis and not one that will hang up the phone on you if you call and ask about using their stuff to grow pot. Everything AN makes is made just for growing great pot and tested on pot plants. It's like buying cheap stuff from China at Walmart instead of paying a few bux more to buy a much better product made in North America that supports people here at home. AN is made both in Canada and the US by people you might meet at the next Cannabis Cup. (rant over)

Once the first set of true leaves are open a 10% feeding is a good idea to get then going. If you planted in dirt with natural nutrients in it they would be feeding from day one so why not in peat which is barren of nutes?

You don't mention what kind of water you will be using. Save yourself a ton of hassles and go strictly RO or distilled water. Most of the pH, lockouts and toxic salts buildup is because of hard water. Anything over 100ppm will give you trouble or at least make you flush every 2 weeks to a month to prevent problems. I do grows in soilless or DWC from clone to chop and almost never flush or change nutes and don't see problems. Have to have some practice to do it well tho. Being lazy and broke helps too. :)

Enough. To sleep, perchance to dream. :48:

L8r
 

Skybound

Well-Known Member
I've heard nothing but good things about Advanced Nutrients, and definitely am a fan of RO water. It's a bit costly @ roughly $200 for a decent filtration unit, plus it takes roughly 6 gallons off the tap to make a single clean RO gallon, but still at the end of the day, it's worth the extra effort. I've done the distilled water thing prior to getting my RO and I must say that buying 10-15 gallons a week was anything but fun and easy. I got into using GH nutes because there are so many well documented journals of successful grows here on 420 and didn't want to leave too much to chance in my first grows, but in the same breath, I also wished I would've just got me some of that AN that OldMedUser suggested.
 

FiveToMidnight

Well-Known Member
It's 4am and I have to get to sleep or I'd have lots to say but just a quick bit of advice you can thank me for in a few months when you are smoking lots of great bud.

Take those nutes back and the pH pen and adjustment stuff too and get some AN pH Perfect nutes. The 3 part is good stuff but the 2 part Sensi Grow for veg and Connoisseur for flowering is a big step up. I'm using those two for over a year now and loving them! I used the older 3 part for the 13 years before that but not having to worry about pH is very relaxing.

GH is owned by Miracle Grow now and in good conscience us pot growers should be giving our money to a company that supports cannabis and not one that will hang up the phone on you if you call and ask about using their stuff to grow pot. Everything AN makes is made just for growing great pot and tested on pot plants. It's like buying cheap stuff from China at Walmart instead of paying a few bux more to buy a much better product made in North America that supports people here at home. AN is made both in Canada and the US by people you might meet at the next Cannabis Cup. (rant over)

Once the first set of true leaves are open a 10% feeding is a good idea to get then going. If you planted in dirt with natural nutrients in it they would be feeding from day one so why not in peat which is barren of nutes?

You don't mention what kind of water you will be using. Save yourself a ton of hassles and go strictly RO or distilled water. Most of the pH, lockouts and toxic salts buildup is because of hard water. Anything over 100ppm will give you trouble or at least make you flush every 2 weeks to a month to prevent problems. I do grows in soilless or DWC from clone to chop and almost never flush or change nutes and don't see problems. Have to have some practice to do it well tho. Being lazy and broke helps too. :)

Enough. To sleep, perchance to dream. :48:

L8r
I've heard nothing but good things about Advanced Nutrients, and definitely am a fan of RO water. It's a bit costly @ roughly $200 for a decent filtration unit, plus it takes roughly 6 gallons off the tap to make a single clean RO gallon, but still at the end of the day, it's worth the extra effort. I've done the distilled water thing prior to getting my RO and I must say that buying 10-15 gallons a week was anything but fun and easy. I got into using GH nutes because there are so many well documented journals of successful grows here on 420 and didn't want to leave too much to chance in my first grows, but in the same breath, I also wished I would've just got me some of that AN that OldMedUser suggested.
I, like Skybound, went the GH rout due to seeing many successful journals on here and other forums using them and was recommended by several to try them. I have however heard many good things about the AN 2 part and is on my list for next grow, but had to make a decision at the time and I'm sure I should still be able to get a decent result.
I have just bought 10L of distilled water today so will be using that but was told by many that tap water after being left for 24 hours unsealed is fine to use. However thing I will go distilled for now as it isn't too expensive but we will see how costs go.
I keep getting told different things about when to start feeding so its getting very confusing but you make a very good point so I may take your advice.

I just need to work out when to put them under the light and how far away the light should be. I can't seem to get straight answers

Thanks heaps for your help
 

Skybound

Well-Known Member
If sprouted, there's no doubt that light is needed right away to photosynthesize. Though I suggested 3 sets of true leaves to begin feeding, I won't advise against starting right away at 10% strength either. One way may slightly slow growth, or maybe the other way will slightly speed up growth, but growth will occur either way so I hope you can see the broad scope of suggestions as room for a lot of grace and forgiveness which makes this such a beginner friendly hobby/way of life. Please feel free to experiment till your heart's content, especially with your first grow. I know that you, like every single last one of us wants your plant to produce the most bountiful, high powered harvest that your plant is capable of producing with the equipment and supplies that you have, but at the end of it all, you have to come to grips with the fact that this is very new to you and mistakes will be made and your equipment and supplies is limited. With that said, I think you would be wise to embrace the experience for what it is and learn as much as you can from trial and error and trying new techniques. Everything you learn now will benefit you in the rest of this and all future grows.

So don't take our suggestions as concrete definitive gospel, but rather starting points and approaches. Adopt what you can and see how it applies. If you make mistakes, see what "common knowledge" might suggest went wrong. I know most of this goes without saying so I will stop kicking the horse.
 

FiveToMidnight

Well-Known Member
If sprouted, there's no doubt that light is needed right away to photosynthesize. Though I suggested 3 sets of true leaves to begin feeding, I won't advise against starting right away at 10% strength either. One way may slightly slow growth, or maybe the other way will slightly speed up growth, but growth will occur either way so I hope you can see the broad scope of suggestions as room for a lot of grace and forgiveness which makes this such a beginner friendly hobby/way of life. Please feel free to experiment till your heart's content, especially with your first grow. I know that you, like every single last one of us wants your plant to produce the most bountiful, high powered harvest that your plant is capable of producing with the equipment and supplies that you have, but at the end of it all, you have to come to grips with the fact that this is very new to you and mistakes will be made and your equipment and supplies is limited. With that said, I think you would be wise to embrace the experience for what it is and learn as much as you can from trial and error and trying new techniques. Everything you learn now will benefit you in the rest of this and all future grows.

So don't take our suggestions as concrete definitive gospel, but rather starting points and approaches. Adopt what you can and see how it applies. If you make mistakes, see what "common knowledge" might suggest went wrong. I know most of this goes without saying so I will stop kicking the horse.
I assumed the moment I saw something poke through the coco I should put it under the light but its good to be sure. Just need to work out how much distance away it should be. I've heard about 8-12 inches so I'm thinking of starting there and seeing what happens.
I might try feeding at 10% straight away and see how they like it, can't be too bad for them I figure.
Can I just clarify, when you say 10% do you mean 10% of my formula or 10% of what it says on the bottle?

I really appreciate all the help, I couldn't do this without it!
 

Skybound

Well-Known Member
Scrolling back to view your closet, I suggest starting the light at the highest point, especially since you have LEDs which can be very intense. OldMedUser suggested 10%, and I know he means 10% recommended dose strength. I suggested 200 PPM of GH bloom, but you can even lessen that to 150 PPM. Dialing in such a diluted mix can be tricky so mix 1 gallon of water with 100% recommended dosage strength and shake the jug well to mix the nutes good. Then pour some of this "base" mix into another jug and add plain water to it. This will help you easily achieve the lower PPM ranges while giving you another base to mix from. Once you whip a base, it's so much easier to mix your nutes as it's just then 1 part base to some parts water and you get your target PPM everytime. You might need to keep mixing a base gallon most of the way through veg as more diluted feed regimens are the norm. My mentor (who is no longer on 420) suggested that I not exceed 600 PPM in any stage of veg (18/6) and my experiences have shown this to be sound advice.
 

FiveToMidnight

Well-Known Member
Scrolling back to view your closet, I suggest starting the light at the highest point, especially since you have LEDs which can be very intense. OldMedUser suggested 10%, and I know he means 10% recommended dose strength. I suggested 200 PPM of GH bloom, but you can even lessen that to 150 PPM. Dialing in such a diluted mix can be tricky so mix 1 gallon of water with 100% recommended dosage strength and shake the jug well to mix the nutes good. Then pour some of this "base" mix into another jug and add plain water to it. This will help you easily achieve the lower PPM ranges while giving you another base to mix from. Once you whip a base, it's so much easier to mix your nutes as it's just then 1 part base to some parts water and you get your target PPM everytime. You might need to keep mixing a base gallon most of the way through veg as more diluted feed regimens are the norm. My mentor (who is no longer on 420) suggested that I not exceed 600 PPM in any stage of veg (18/6) and my experiences have shown this to be sound advice.
That sounds like a good way to mix, I will try that.
What is your formula for achieving 200ppm of bloom?
 

Skybound

Well-Known Member
I use 200 ppm bloom when taking clones in rockwool cubes, so I add some RO water to a pail (no certain amount). I also use 12ml and 20ml syringes for drawing in nutes to be squirted into the pail as I see fit. I would shoot in about 5ml of bloom and mix thoroughly and take a reading. If I overshoot my target PPM, I would add more RO water to dilute it back down, but if still under, I keep adding and mixing till I get to where I want to be. For the most part, I've found that little to no ph corrections are needed for any of my veg regimens, but it's still good practice to take frequent readings just to ensure there isn't too broad of a PH swing. Anything from 5.5 to 6.5 is fine for my liking.
 

OldMedUser

Well-Known Member
A few hours sleep does a creaky old body good. :)

I know not of LED lights other than for what they would cost to replace all my old magnetics I could grow pot for a couple of years at least.

I'm not fond of rapid rooters, peat pucks and the like. Very small pots or seed starters with the same media the plants will grow in is best. I use a screen the same mesh as mosquito screen, 1mm mesh, to filter out the chunks in my ProMix HP and have a great medium to start seeds or cuttings in. I also have a pill jar lined inside with 150 grit sandpaper that I put my seeds in and shake gently for a full minute to lightly abrade the surface of the seed so it absorbs water easily and also get through any residual skin oils from people handling the seeds with their fingers. Use tweezers to move seeds around. I plant directly into the promix without soaking or paper towels for excellent germination rates even with 10 yo seeds where 50% is damn good. The 9 - hole pots I use look like this. Fill only as many holes as you need.



You might want to get the sprouts started under CFL light 5-12am. One 23W 5000 - 6500K CFL does a great job starting them with very little chance of doing any harm and you'd want that no more than 3" away. After they have a couple of sets of true leaves and are in their bigger pots the under the big light they go.

The thing you want to avoid is tall, stretched out sprouts that look like they belong on a plate of chicken chow mien. Some folks say have a fan blowing on them enough to have them waving in the breeze all the time but that can dry them out real fast and even give them wind burn. What I do is once I see the jagged tips of the first true leaves starting to poke out I flick them back and forth with a finger tip. Gently at first a couple or more times a day then with increasing vigor as they get stronger. A few strains grow so short and bushy that there is no need for this.

Syringes are an excellent way to always have very accurate measurements Skybound and I have many. I used to refill my printer's ink cartridges and kept the syringes and blunt needles that came with the kits. The local farm supply store is a good source for larger ones and also food grade, clear plastic tubing that fits over the tip to make it easier to get the nutes out of the bottles or grab samples out of one of my DWC tubs. My favorite is an old 30cc glass one. Super smooth action but I have a couple of 60cc plastic ones with tubing on them for larger quantities. When using one to mix up your nutes keep a small container of clean water handy. After taking one nute suck up a small amount of water, 2cc or so in a 12cc one and then pull the plunger all the way back, shake it quick and squirt the rinse into the jug you are adding nutes to. Repeat and on to the next nute. This procedure prevents cross contamination of the various things you will stick it in.

When someone says use say 250ppm don't sweat it. At that level 50ppm +/- is just fine. At higher levels 100ppm +/- is fine too. Same with pH. If your target is 6.0 and it reads 0.2 either side of that it's close enough. pH pens are never dead on and people that have a $50 one that reads to 2 significant digits like 5.83 are deluding themselves. You'd need to spend $1000 or more to get that kind of accuracy with any degree of confidence and that extra digit is really meaningless to a grower.

I only check the ppm for DWC. Growin in pots I just use 1/4 strength for seedlings until the get 3 or 4 nodes and are starting to take off then 1/2 for a feeding or 2 then 3/4 for really good growth. Rarely do I go full strength until a week before I flip when I will go full but use 1/2 the grow and 1/2 the bloom and a bit of Big Bud to prime them for flowering.

I saved a long post I did in another thread about this stuff and it follows. I'll highlight some of the more important points pertinent to your situation and some is a repeat of what's above.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The whole idea of the pH Perfect line is that you don't have to worry about adjusting the pH of your water. In fact you probably won't be able to change it from whatever you get once the nutes are in the water. The pH buffers in the nutes will resist changing the pH from what they want it to be and AN has engineered it to stay at the pH that is best for pot. I'm a chemist and not exactly sure how they do it.

There is no way to tell you when to water/feed. For potted plants I water when they need it. Every 4 or 5 days is about when I need to water my big ones. I know when to water by hefting the pots. They feel very light when it's time but the plants aren't drooping yet.

Allow your plants to dry out one time enough to just begin to droop then lift the pot up and really feel the weight. Jiggle it up and down so your brain gets the feel for it. Then use something that you can keep track of how much water it takes to saturate that pot until it can't take any more water. (I measured water into a 2L pop bottle and marked every 100ml with a felt pen and did the same to a 4L milk jug but marked it every 250ml.) Then hoist that pot up and feel it's weight. Wait until that pot feels almost as light as when it dried right out but the plants are still up and happy then it's time to water again. You could also keep a same size pot full of you dry soil mix to compare to until it becomes 2nd nature. Three days is about perfect for watering as a general rule. If you have to water every day or every 2nd day it's time to repot to something bigger. I have catch pans under my pots so when it runs out I let it sit in it for a half hour or so then suck out the excess with a turkey baster. That way I know the root ball is saturated with no dry areas. I sometimes water from the bottom by filling the pan and letting it wick up so that I can let the top 3" stay dry to help prevent gnats. Always seems to be a few buzzing around.

If you know how much water it takes to soak the plant then you can mix up your nutes more accurately or if in a hurry just dump 80% of that amount in and head out the door knowing they have adequate water.

Measure your nutes etc accurately as well. I have a bunch of different sized syringes from 1cc up to 60cc to draw up nutes from the jugs and then squirt them into the tub or watering can. The local farm supply has a big assortment and also had clear plastic tubing so you can fit some onto the end of the syringe and more easily get the nutes out. Keep a glass of plain water to suck up a little bit twice between different bottles of nutes and rinse the tube and syringe so you don't cross contaminate the concentrated products.

It is a real good idea to have a small aquarium air pump and air stone to aerate any water be it tap, RO or distilled. Then it is saturated with as much O2 as possible and good for preventing root rot. I have a dual outlet one for that so I can do two jugs at once when filling a tub. If I only have one jug to do I just drop both stones in. Distilled water has almost zero oxygen in it. It's "flat" water. If no air pump is available then left standing in an open pail for a day will let it absorb oxygen from the air.

I only ever use RO or distilled water for my plants in pots or DWC. My distiller died about a year ago so it's been RO ever since. Either is better than using tap water. Most tap water is pretty hard and causes salts buildup in the soil that interferes with everything. Get a water quality report from your supplier. Usually a phone call to your city/town can get you an email of their latest test results or it might be on their website. If they ask why you want this info ask them why they need to know that. Or tell them you want to get into brewing your own beer or start raising salt water tropicals or grow rare orchids. None of their damn beeswax. As a consumer you have the right to that info so screw 'em with a big stick. Best to be polite until you have that info tho. :)

All I got for now. :48:

L8r
 

FiveToMidnight

Well-Known Member
I use 200 ppm bloom when taking clones in rockwool cubes, so I add some RO water to a pail (no certain amount). I also use 12ml and 20ml syringes for drawing in nutes to be squirted into the pail as I see fit. I would shoot in about 5ml of bloom and mix thoroughly and take a reading. If I overshoot my target PPM, I would add more RO water to dilute it back down, but if still under, I keep adding and mixing till I get to where I want to be. For the most part, I've found that little to no ph corrections are needed for any of my veg regimens, but it's still good practice to take frequent readings just to ensure there isn't too broad of a PH swing. Anything from 5.5 to 6.5 is fine for my liking.
Thank you for explaining, that makes it very clear. I will experiment and see how I go but I think I understand what I'm doing now with this bit now.
 
Top Bottom