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Help perfecting my grow plans - Almost ready to start!

vyserage

Well-Known Member
First off, thanks to anyone and everyone that helps!

I'm about to start my first time grow and i have looked up a LOT of things and ordered some decent starting gear. The first thing im going to do when i get my tent/light is start my seeds.

My plan:
The seedlings: i'll use your basic red party cups and poke some holes on the very bottom underneath. 4 holes should do? Germination looks super easy so im good there.
For the first 2 weeks i dont plan to feed it. i will only water it. This is planned because of the Soil i will get should have all the starting nutrients it needs, or atleast i hope it does. The soil ill be using is Roots Organics: Roots Organics Soil (1.5cf) | Planet Natural
From my understanding, ill water it only when the soil is all fairly dry and not damp, water it until water comes out bottom of cup and stop watering until soil is all dry again in so many days later (however long it takes to go dry again). pH level of 6.2-6.5 is what im shooting for i believe.

After 2 weeks have ended ill transplant to 1 gallon grow bags. From this point onwards i will be feeding every other watering (water/feed/water/feed/ect), starting at half strength from the charts (Foxfarm nutrients trio). Before i feed it ill check to ensure correct pH and if acceptable in the 6.2-6.5 range, ill feed. With the runoff when it seeps all the way down, ill measure the PPM to make sure its in the early veg stage (300 - 400 ppm) and minus the plain water's ppm from that total from before i added the nutes. If in that range or close to it, im good until the next watering.
If not: i water again and measure runoff to see the increase of ppm? Not sure exactly how people get their ideal/acceptable ppm if it didnt reach. Or perhaps they add more nutes to the jug of water and refeed then measure again?
Alternatively, if its just a watering time and its say down 100ppm from ideal range, i should feed it a little to get it back up in ideal range?

If everything is within optimal/acceptable values (pH and ppm) for its current stage of growth, i just sit back and let it grow. I do plan to top it once after it has 5 or 6 nodes. I also plan to bend it to keep it all around a nice canopy so it all gets equal lighting. After im a good 1 month in its lifetime (2 weeks after i already transferred to 1 gallon) ill transfer it to the final 3 gallon and do some defoliation only to the point of where light/air can freely get through the entire plant, i wont overkill on the defoliation. If i like the size of the plant by the end of the 5th week of veg (from seedling to this point) then ill go ahead and switch over to flowering. At this point ill lolipop it and snip the lower layer's of the plant off since they wont be getting much light, but as long as i have a good canopy going on, most of the colas should be up towards the top and not much going on in bottom. 3 weeks into flowering ill do 1 more defoliation to ensure light is getting where it needs to go, and then ill just sit back and relax until harvest time in 60 - 64 days. I will of course do a flush 1 week before harvest (I just run a bunch of water through the plants a few times over then im done completely with flush?)

What do u guy's think? Does it sound like i have an ok handle on what to do? I'm a little nervous and excited!
 

Scientific

New Member
Hi -- A few thoughts:
Solo cups: A plant 1.5" tall can have a 6" long tap root that has already hit the bottom of a Solo cup and started circling. If you must start in a small cup, be ready to transplant in a week. (Using a clear cup can help to see when you're in trouble.) Or just save yourself and the plant the trouble of transplanting and skip the cup. (That's heresy, I know.)

Holes are cheap so make a lot. The easiest way to make them is to snip the bottom edge with scissors to make vertical slits.

Seedlings like humidity and are a little fragile. Don't soak the soil but don't be afraid to keep it a little bit damp. The idea is not to drown the roots and to make sure they get plenty of air. A humidity dome over seedlings can be helpful for about a week.

Go easy on the PPMs at first. 200 might be better than 400.

You didn't say anything about your water, so I'll guess RO purified or naturally very low PPMs. If so, be absolutely sure to supplement with Ca/Mg.

That's all I've got. It sounds like you've planned well, but there are always surprises and f*ck-ups.

Good luck and have fun!
 

vyserage

Well-Known Member
Sorry guys ive been so busy putting everything together and getting the last of the little things i need like extension cords and such!
I have the 600 wat LED viparspectra. I'll be hanging it at 34 inch from top of soil (is that correct for seedlings?)

At what point do i move the light closer? I know vegetation is like 24' ? and flowering 15-18'. So im thinking after a week of its life, i move down to 24' and then when i begin flowering after a month or 2 i move it down to 18. Sound about right?

Tent is 4x4 apollo 48'x48'x80'

I'll be using plain tap water (I still need to check the ppm's to make sure its acceptable otherwise ill just use filtered water (1 gallon jugs from walmart)

Any other tips? Thanks guys!

Also, which Ca/Mag should i buy? If im doing filtered water i imagine as stated above, i need it. I cant find distilled water at walmart, they are always out so ill just use the filtered water in jugs that they have.
 

Scientific

New Member
Hi vyserage -- Getting the water right is really important. I assume that by "filtered" water you mean reverse osmosis or whatever, but water that is processed to be essentially 0 PPM, right? Worth verifying if your tap water doesn't meet the mark.

I use General Hydroponics CALiMAGic Ca/Mg supplement, but I suspect they're all pretty much alike. One thing to bear in mind is that usually you want to add Ca/Mg to your fertilizer water before anything else (for GH nutes, it's Ca/Mg, then Micros, then anything else, I think because those two are in alkaline solution and the others are acidic. Check with the manufacturer.)

You can save yourself some money on electricity by starting you seedlings under small fluorescents or household LED bulbs (i.e. white light LEDs).

Follow the manufacturer's recommendation to get started with height. Beware that light under LED panels is not perfectly even so you can blast plants that are dead center under the unit.

It sounds like you're in good shape. Be sure to start a grow log to share your adventures!
 

Mayne

Well-Known Member
Yeah, i was going to suggest the small under CFL even. Need those blues and not so much red in those first weeks of seedling. Something about the blurple that dont start seedlings to well, in my findings anyways.

Dont use distilled. RO water ( reverse osmosis ) or tap. But tap should be left out to evap chlorine. If RO, I always like to get my water to 120 PPMs before adding anything, with Cal-mag. Then, add your nutes, just like Scientific stated above. Just wanted to throw the "120ppms" thing in there.
 

vyserage

Well-Known Member
Yeah, i was going to suggest the small under CFL even. Need those blues and not so much red in those first weeks of seedling. Something about the blurple that dont start seedlings to well, in my findings anyways.

Dont use distilled. RO water ( reverse osmosis ) or tap. But tap should be left out to evap chlorine. If RO, I always like to get my water to 120 PPMs before adding anything, with Cal-mag. Then, add your nutes, just like Scientific stated above. Just wanted to throw the "120ppms" thing in there.
i am going to order the cal-mag soon, when i start feeding nutrients to my plant, i can mix it with the trio nutrients correct?
 

vyserage

Well-Known Member
I have the CALiMAGic Ca/Mg on its way. Is it safe to mix in a jug of water with the foxfarms trio nutrients already added? Or is it not safe to mix those together in a jug of water with the nutes?
 

Jackalope

Well-Known Member
Hi -- A few thoughts:
Solo cups: A plant 1.5" tall can have a 6" long tap root that has already hit the bottom of a Solo cup and started circling. If you must start in a small cup, be ready to transplant in a week. (Using a clear cup can help to see when you're in trouble.) Or just save yourself and the plant the trouble of transplanting and skip the cup. (That's heresy, I know.)

Holes are cheap so make a lot. The easiest way to make them is to snip the bottom edge with scissors to make vertical slits.

Seedlings like humidity and are a little fragile. Don't soak the soil but don't be afraid to keep it a little bit damp. The idea is not to drown the roots and to make sure they get plenty of air. A humidity dome over seedlings can be helpful for about a week.

Go easy on the PPMs at first. 200 might be better than 400.

You didn't say anything about your water, so I'll guess RO purified or naturally very low PPMs. If so, be absolutely sure to supplement with Ca/Mg.

That's all I've got. It sounds like you've planned well, but there are always surprises and f*ck-ups.

Good luck and have fun!


Don't go with the clear cups. Algae will grow on the inside of the cup because of the light. This could cause problems. Stick with the red cups or start in a larger pot as suggested.
 

Scientific

New Member
Don't go with the clear cups. Algae will grow on the inside of the cup because of the light. This could cause problems. Stick with the red cups or start in a larger pot as suggested.
With respect, what I'm saying is that the tap root can hit the bottom of a solo cup by the time the seedling is an inch and a half tall. I'm not so much advocating using clear cups as saying that if you do, you'll see that tap root circling, and that despite that fact that the community love love loves Solo cups (happy memories of keggers in the woods?), the seedling should be moved out of them so quickly to avoid a circling tap root that it's arguably an unnecessary and even damaging step. I know that's heresy, and again, that people love Solo cups, but I grow autos that start to bloom at 21 days, so I don't want to do anything that limits my grow. And a circling tap root and unnecessary transplanting can do just that. If you believe otherwise, that's fine, but this just seems like common sense to me.

Algae can be an annoyance and some of them (blue-green algae for example) are kind of gross and smelly, but they're harmless. And if you follow my advice, you'll have the seedling out of the cup before algae has a chance to get started anyway.
 

Scientific

New Member
Im planning to use normal tap water if i can. I tested it, it tested 0160 ppm, is this good enough to safely use for all water source going to plant?
160 PPM means there is a lot of stuff in there, too much probably. Municipal utilities always have websites that report about water quality. You might want to check that (though sometimes it's hard to interpret the results). You could even call them and get a nice water chemist to help you.

If in doubt, with 160 PPM water, I'd go with reverse osmosis purified water. That much mineral content can even affect the fertilizer (some manufacturers make "hard water" versions of their products for just that reason).

I have the CALiMAGic Ca/Mg on its way. Is it safe to mix in a jug of water with the foxfarms trio nutrients already added? Or is it not safe to mix those together in a jug of water with the nutes?
Yeah, you can mix is all up, but only in diluted form. Never mix the concentrates. Like I said, add Ca/Mg first and check with the manufacturer for their mixing instructions/sequence. Or call them/write them if its unclear.
 

Mayne

Well-Known Member
if there is a dollar tree store nearby, they have black plastic mugs, they are 36 oz and work freakin awesome. Heat a screwdriver on the stove, and melt your drain holes in the bottom. You could also create a air pot by melting more holes 1/4 of the bottom of the mug. They could probably ride for a while. I have a plant in one now, and its like 2 ft tall and flowering. experimental.
 

vyserage

Well-Known Member
All great tips! I'll be using the clear cups and likely transplant after a week or atleast 1 1/2 inch tall. I'm still stuck on the water a bit, i would really like to just use tap water for convenience sake. I thought 0160 ppm was rather low compared to other people's post's ? Cant i still use it and just subtract that from my range of ppm i want to get with the nutes? (So for seedlings say im shooting for 200ppm and it reads 360, thats 200 from nutes and 160 from water, correct?)

If i must, i can use the distilled water i purchased from the store. A 1 gallon jug of it and it reads 0001 ppm. Or maybe even a mix? Like for the first 2 weeks of its life, i use distilled water with nutes if the soil water runoff reads less than 201, and after its 2 weeks i use tapwater as well as a new reading for low veg state for ppm. ?


Finally, my seeds have been sitting in water for 25 hours and 21 minutes as of right now. i noticed a couple of the 5 seeds total have cracked open so thats good, but the rest have not cracked open yet. What do i do, leave them all be for a while longer? Take out just the cracked open ones and begin wet paper towel transfer?

Once i have all the little details down, i can begin recording my steps! and make a post about my journey! haha
 

Scientific

New Member
I discussed H2O in post 13.
You need to get those seeds out of water so they can get some oxygen. Move all of them to wet paper towels so they can have a little air as well as water. You should do that immediately.
 

vyserage

Well-Known Member
I discussed H2O in post 13.
You need to get those seeds out of water so they can get some oxygen. Move all of them to wet paper towels so they can have a little air as well as water. You should do that immediately.
Ok! Seeds are now in a wet papertowel. How soaked or damp should i keep it, just keep it soaked for the duration (not enough to where there's sitting water but enough to where papertowel is plenty wet) ?
 

Scientific

New Member
The technique I learned at the Crop King Seeds website that has worked well is a water soak followed by wet but not soaking paper towels, paper towels that are wet but that also expose the seeds to air. They caution to check often so it doesn't dry out.

Have fun. Sprouting seeds is always exciting! :)
 

vyserage

Well-Known Member
One last question before i continue, does it matter if my seeds that are in the paper towel are in darkness or must they be in light? (Im referring to the light being on or off in the room its placed in)
 
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