Garage Grower's First Grow - First Journal - Soil - CFL

Thread starter #1
What strain is it? Nirvana's Northern Lights
Is it Indica, Sativa or Hybrid? What percentages? supposedly Indica dominant hybrid (don't know %s)
Is it in Veg or Flower stage? currently in Veg
If in Veg... For how long? 18 days
If in Flower stage... For how long? n/a
Indoor or outdoor? indoor
Soil or Hydro?soil
If soil... what is in your mix? FFOF with extra Perlite & a handful of Vermiculite
If soil... What size pot? exact size unknown... guessing 2-3 Gal.
Size of light? 8 CFLs
Is it aircooled? yes - passive intake with 8" duct booster fan exhaust
Temp of Room/cab? 65-80
RH of Room/cab? currently in the low 40s, slowly increasing
PH of media or res? FFOF says 6.3-6.8
Any Pests ? none yet, doubt I will for THIS grow
How often are you watering? as needed
Type and strength of ferts used? FF Grow Big, 3/4 strength every other watering since first full set of leaves


This is "technically" my 2nd grow... but the first was a completely feeble, uneducated attempt. I had a bagseed and got a shovelful of dirt from my yard, put it in a bucket and watered... there were no holes in the bucket, no fans for circulation, and my lights consisted of just ONE incandescent "grow bulb" in a cheap clamp-on reflector and an equally cheap 18" fluorescent "grow light" that more resembled a cheap under-cabinet kitchen light... and BOTH lights were entirely too high from the top. That actually sprouted and got one full set of fans before toppling over and died. knowing what I know now, I'm sure it was combination of improper lighting and absolutely NO drainage LOL.

fast-forward 10 years or so and I decided to give it another try, this time with known genetics and a little knowledge under my skull. Placed my order with Nirvana and while I anxiously awaited delivery (or a visit from customs agents LOL), I did my research. Many of my Google inquiries led me here to 420, so I signed up and read through many of the journals, learning a lot about soil, nutes, lighting, ventilation, etc - as well as working out a few ideas of my own. I also got materials together and built my garage box.

Box is built on top of my workbench, which has a large loft-type shelf above it - floor and ceiling taken care of. a few scrap pieces of lumber got the rest of the box built. so far, no money spent. I already had the mechanical timer from my previously mentioned failed attempt, and I had the 8" duct booster fan (something like 270cfm) from a previous temporary heat/AC duct I had run. so I went off to Homer's and got a roll of 24" reflectix, a 4-lamp bathroom vanity fixture, 4 Y-socket splitters, and a couple packs of 23w bright white CFLs. Got the box up and running in a day.


my seeds came from Nirvana and I popped one in a wet paper towel, then into a ziploc bag and put it in my desk drawer, checking it a couple times a day. by the end of the first day, the seam on the shell had cracked and sort of looked like a tiny pistachio LOL, but no tail yet. by dinner-time the 2nd day, it had a tail poking out almost 1/2" long, so I put it in my first soil mix... a mix of top soil, perlite, peat & humus. Seemed to take forever to pop ground, thought at first maybe it died. Then it finally came out, but growth seemed really slow from other journals I've seen here, so I thought something must be wrong with my "custom" soil mix, so I went to the garden center and bought a bag of FFOF and started prepping my bucket for early transplant. I get my cat litter in these great plastic buckets that I use for just about everything. Took one and cut it down to what I thought was an appropriate height, drilled a mess of holes in the bottom and lower sides, then washed it a few times. first with hot water and dish soap, then wiped it down with vinegar, then filled it with HOT water (hot off the stove) and 2 cups of bleach and let that sit a few hours. While that was stewing, I searched my salvage pile and found some roof shingle vent - looks sort of like a super-thick scotchbrite pad - soaked that in the bleach solution too... this I cut to fit the bottom of the bucket as sort of a drainage filter so the soil didn't risk clogging (or coming out) the holes.

Made my mix of FFOF, Perlite & Vermiculite and put in the bucket, then transplanted the weak plant into it and gave it a thorough watering, put it in the cabinet and left it alone for a day and a half on 19/5 lighting. When I checked on it next I couldn't believe how it had bounced back! Since then it seems to be growing at a pretty decent rate compared to what I've seen around. About a week ago I started giving 3/4 strength FF Grow Big every other watering and it seems to be loving it. no odd coloring of the leaves and growth seems to be going well.

I FIMed the top main a few days ago and have at least 3 new tops... and 2 tiny nubs that MAY turn into tops also - will see in a couple more days. Just yesterday I FIMed 2 side-shoots and, though it's way too early to tell just yet, they seem to be doing good as well.

I was having camera issues at first, and was debating even making a journal, but now that I got that worked out, figured I'd start it while I'm still in Veg.

My lighting is 8 CFLs... I started out with 8 23w 6500s, because that was the highest I could find at Homer's in 6500.... just recently, I swapped out the 4 center ones for 42w 2700s, so my total wattage right now is 260.... once I flip to flower, I'll replace the rest of the 23w for 42w to make 336w in flower. The reflector is just a couple pieces of aluminum flashing material bent and duct-taped to the fixture.

also, don't know if it shows up in the pics too well... but since this cabinet is in my garage, and I live in the Northeast, and my garage is UNheated, AND it's now October and I'm basically just starting this grow - I have a small heater in the box... got it at Wally's for really cheap - like $15 or so, and so far when the night temps in the garage itself have been in the upper 40s, I've had no problem maintaining upper 60's-low 70's in the cabinet... and I currently have the heater dial at a really LOW setting, so I'm confident that even as it gets colder, I should be able to maintain a reasonable temp inside. Humidity is the bigger problem. Currently have a Sham-Wow hanging from the wall with the bottom in a container of water right behind the fan... I also have a metal cup filled with water positioned directly in front of the heater. my RH is currently in the low 40s, but it's been coming up slightly as the plant grows..

Finally, I've just begun LSTing (you can probably see the white wire hoops in the pics.... I took some spare electrical wire (again, from my salvage pile) and stripped the sheath so I could separate the conductors... then cut them into 10-12" pieces. While it's still short, I'm just bending them into U-shape, putting it over the branch and sticking into the soil. as it grows out, I'll probably drill holes around the sides of the bucket top to hook the wires into.

sorry for the babble :p a few more pics taken today:




Thanks for visiting
 
Hi garage grower,i see lot of stuff in there might be good thing to remove all the unneeded thing in the box it will help air circulation .Dont give the bugs a chance, if garage is unheated bugs will try to find a way to warmest place, keep it real clean.

Watch water with electric stuff not good mix .

good luck
 

Obi Wan

Well-Known Member
Subbed.

Looking good!

/Obi Wan
:peace:
 
Thread starter #4
Seem to be recovering nicely from the FIMming and starting to full out a little. Also as I was adjusting the LST wires I got a STRONG whiff of the sweetness to come. got a strong smell already - LOVE it!

A few pics from just a few minutes ago. a couple of them seem to have a washed-out yellowish color, but that's because I accidentally hit the setting wheel on the camera and it messed with the aperature setting - and that close to the CFLs sort of bleached the photo.













 
Thread starter #6
Humus? as in what vegetarians and hipsters eat? lol
no, that's hummus - AKA: mashed up chick peas (garbanzo beans) ;) I imagine humus would be pretty nasty to eat, while most hummus I've tried is rather tasty

humus
[hyoo-muh s or, often, yoo-]
noun
1.
the dark organic material in soils, produced by the decomposition of vegetable or animal matter and essential to the fertility of the earth.

hummus
[hoo m-uh s]
noun
1.
Middle Eastern Cookery. a paste or dip made of chickpeas mashed with oil, garlic, lemon juice, and tahini and usually eaten with pita.
 
Thread starter #8
no pics today, but it's growing nice. so much so that I had to trim down the bucket today. When I checked on it at lunchtime (I work telecommuting from home) it was filling out VERY nice, but the bucket was completely filled up and the leaves were hitting the edges, so I cut the bucket down about 2" so it's JUST above the soil line. now the branches are free to extend beyond the walls of the bucket. All my FIM spots are filling in nicely with tiny new tops coming out. I'm contemplating doing another FIM once it grows another node or 2, since I'm only growing the one plant, and it's only for personal use, why not see what I can do to maximize yield with the space I have available? ;)

Can't go in now because it's sleeping... I've been running 19/5 lighting since she went in the box, but I made the initial mistake of having "night" actually BE at night, so the temperature swings have been a little wider than I would like. I DO have the tiny heater, so they haven't been TOO bad, but all the same, I'm slowly shifting her "night" to be from 11am or noon til 4 or 5pm.

I'll post a pic or 2 tomorrow when I check on her
 
Thread starter #9
half day from work due to afternoon appt, so I had time to get a few more pics before lights go off at 3.
Watered/fed this morning FF Grow Big 3/4 strength & adjusted tie-downs.
All FIM locations seem to be recovering/growing well.

FIM at top-center:


some of the side FIM locations:


one from the top:
 

Obi Wan

Well-Known Member
Holy crap, man. Nice.

/Obi
:goodjob:
 
Thread starter #12
between yard work around the house and my shifting the light schedule, I couldn't get in there today until just now.... and good thing I did - the soil was DRY as far as my finger would poke in. I was planning to water/feed tomorrow, so I just chalk it up to the fact that as it's growing it'll need water more frequently.

Filled out a LOT in the last day and a half. I had slight thoughts of defoliating a couple of the huge fan leaves, but opted instead to follow Antic's lead and just tuck them under and bring the newer growth to better exposure. Did a little more LST, this time with the black wire, just to sort of help me keep track of what I did and when. I also rigged a spreader wire just to spread the outer tops a bit to allow better exposure to the inner tops.

pics... some before added LST & tucking, some after:














;)
 
Thread starter #14
I'll chalk it up to beginners luck... while I haven't flipped to 12/12 yet, today marks 28 days in veg... I'm thinking maybe another week - week and a half before I flip it, but other than the initial slow growth problem with the bad soil, this thing is doing AWESOME! good color, filling out very nice, the nodes seem to be SUPER close and it's bushing up very well without a huge jump in height. Gave it a feeding just now - 3/4 strength FF Grow Big, adjusted the tie-down wires slightly and raised the light a little.

Took a few pics to show overall growth... a side shot and one from above:


and a couple inside to see the stem (stalk? trunk? whatever it's called) and the node spacing.:


Of course, I'd love to have some smokeable bud RIGHT NOW, I'm otherwise very pleased with the progress so far. ;)
 
In my opinion, due to your limited headroom, and the fact that you will lose some of it to the space needed for the lights, You should flip at no higher than 12-14 inches tall. You can keep using LST and possibly even a screen if you are up to it to keep her under 12 inches and vegging her horizontally, then you can flip her whenever you wish. Being an indica, she has very tight node spacing so you could achieve an incredible amount of tops with minimal height. Then you could just focus on the tops and trim away all lower growth and have an amazing harvest!

I see great potential in that girl of yours, you are doing very well man :bravo:
 
Thread starter #16
well I originally wasn't going to, but some of the HUGE fan leaves seemed to be doing more harm (light/air blocking) than good (energy production) so I have her a haircut a few days ago, as well as FIM/top a few more spots and added some tie-down wires. Went to visit my dad for a couple days and came back to a beautiful plant. though it did gain a wee bit more height than I expected and got a very slight touch of light burn on one of the fan leaves that was touching the CFL coil. Nothing shattering though.

Gave her a good watering/feeding, adjusted some of the tie-downs and readjusted the light.











;)
 

Obi Wan

Well-Known Member
There's just nothing more to add, lol. Your pictures say it all!

Brilliant job.

/Obi Wan
:high-five: