420 Magazine Background

Noob's First Grow: Indoor, Coco, 4 Plants

The Bard

Well-Known Member
Hello!

I've been exploring this website for several weeks now, and have learned so much - thanks to all of you that have shared so much of your wisdom and experience. Cannabis became legal (to an extent) in Canada recently, and so I thought I would try growing some. I've been a pretty successful gardener in the past, including a pretty special orchid collection (also grown indoors, in coco), but this is my first attempt at cannabis. My main goals are to:

1) Over time, learn to be a (moderately) successful grower, just for the fun and accomplishment of it.
2) Have a good quality, reliable, home-grown supply of material, which I will use primarily in edible products (already been doing some recipe development).

The Set-Up:

Tent: Vivosun 48”x24”x60” (would have liked a tent that was taller than 5 feet, but the low ceiling in the basement forced this choice).
Lights: 3x HollandStar “Full Spectrum 1000W LED Grow Light” (each drawing about 180-200W according to specs, but I haven't measured)
Hanger Clips: Vivosun 1/8” 75 pound weight each (for adjusting the high of the LED lights, as needed)
Circulating Fans: 2x Vivosun 6” oscillating desk/clip on fans
Media: 60% coconut “regular” coir, 20% coconut “chunky” coir, and 20% Growstone
Nutrients: General Hydroponics Micro/Grow/Bloom, along with Cal/Mag, Rapid Start, B52 (B-vitamins), Voodoo Juice (microbe solution)
Exhaust Fan: Vivosun 6” 440 CFM Inline Fan w/controller, carbon filter and pre-filter
pH and EC: Ronoa pH meter and Health Metric TDS/EC meter.
Temp and Humidity Controller: InkBird IHC230
Containers: Vivosun 3 gallon, non-woven fabric pots
Miscellaneous: extension cords, timers, etc.

Varieties: (four total, one plant of each): Green Crack (Fem/Photo); Girl Scout Cookies (Fem/Photo); Purple Kush (Fem/Auto) and Train Wreck (Fem/Photo). Originally, I had a White Widow (Fem/Photo) planned, but it didn't germinate, and so I pulled out the Purple Kush seed to fill the fourth slot. I am less excited about the Auto aspect, but it will still be a good learning experience.

I started the seeds on Monday, March 4th. Germinated using the "damp paper towel in darkness" approach. Three out of four had nice tap roots within 48 hours. I let the 4th seed go for another 48 hours, with no sign of life - so no White Widow in this grow. As a fallback, I launched the understudy seed (Purple Kush), which put out a root quite quickly.

As soon as the root was about 1/2" long, each seedling was moved to a small rock wool cube (pre-soaked in RO water with a small amount of Rapid Start, pH'd to 5.8), and placed in a humidity dome. The dome then went on a warming mat placed very close to fluorescent tubes. Very little water (RO/Rapid Start/5.8 pH) needed over the next few days as the humidity was, of course, very high. Each day I opened the air vents on the dome a little more, and then removed the lid completely around day 7 as I thought that they were hardened off sufficiently.

As a root appeared out the bottom of each cube, I moved the plant into a Solo cup with a little coco coir at the bottom of each, and returned the cup to the warming mat and fluorescents. [I was thinking that I would share more about how I prepped the coir, and the mixture that I am using, in a later post, if that is of interest.] I intentionally planted them low in the cup, using a trick from my tomato-growing days. As the plant stretched towards the light, and became leggy, I gently tucked more core medium around the stem. Each day more coir was added, until the medium was level with the top of the cup. By doing this, I believe, the newly buried part of the stem puts out additional roots. The coir also provides support to the wimpy stem at this stage. I also had a very small fan placed a few feet away, gently blowing over the little gals, both to strengthen the stem, as well as for fresh air. While in this early stage, the seedlings got watered very lightly, with RO water and Rapid Start, heavily diluted, pH 5.8.

Once all four plants had one set of "true" leaves, they got moved, still in the Solo cup, into my tent. I have had only one of the three LED units turned on, directly over the plants, and started at a distance of about 36". Every day or two I lowered the lights by about 6-8" until it was about 12" above the plants.

I am able to control the temperature with the InkBird turning on the exhaust fan. Maximum temp that I have seen is 77F; the low that I have seen is 69F (when the light has been off for several hours). Most of the time temperatures are about 72-74F when light is on. The InkBird also controls my mini-humidifier. The house is very dry these days because of the furnace running. RH low in the tent has been 47% (when tent is warm with light on), and RH high of 59% when light is off and temperature has declined. I am amazed at how much water gets used keeping the RH at the right level. Of course, there is "leakage" of moist air out of the tent. Much later in the project, I will be able to swap out the humidifier for a mini-dehumidifier, once in the flowering stage. I can change the InkBird over to dehumidify function at that point. By that time, the furnace will not be running, and so the ambient air in the house will be moister. I understand that mildew can be a problem in flowering, and so I want to be prepared to avoid that. By that time, I will probably have the exhaust fan running almost constantly to keep temps down.

My plan is to transplant them into their final pots (3 gallon fabric) later today. I will take photos to share (wish I had thought to take pics of the earlier stages to post here).

I would like to post some additional information on two other topics that I hope might be of interest and generate some discussion: first is the process I used to prep the coir; the second is the approach that I have been/will be using for nutrients.

Since I am still so new to this - both the growing, as well as this "journal," I would really appreciate any comments or suggestions that anyone has.

Thanks again to everyone for all the helpful posts and journals that I have been able to study and learn from.
 

Old Salt

Member of the Month: Apr 2019
:welcome:to the forum...

My first three grows were in a 5' tall tent. It's tough controlling the plant height with anything but a SCRoG, although I did use NugBucket's Mainline/Manifold method.

You will need to watch for symptoms of light burn with that much light. I have a King X6 Dimmable 1800W COB LED Grow Light, that draws 300W from the wall, but probably could use a little more light in my 2' X 4' tent.

I don't mix and match nutrient manufacturers. All of a single product line by the manufacturer are designed to work together. I do use General Hydroponics' CALiMAGic and Flora Trio as my base nutrients. Rapid Start, KoolBloom, and Floralicious are the supplements I use. I suggest starting at no more than 25% of the label strength and letting your plants tell you if they need more or less than that.
 

The Bard

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the comments back, Old Salt. I've seen your name pop up on many of the threads I've been reviewing.

Yes, I have been spending some time recently studying up on different training/pruning techniques. I have found @Asesino85 quad-lining approach really interesting. But height will definitely be limiting factor.

It will be interesting to see if the LEDs that I got are really as "intense" as the numbers suggest. I am a bit skeptical. However, they were fairly inexpensive, fit nicely for the size of my tent, and I can always remove one of them and redistribute the remaining two.

On the nutrients, you are right, it is a bit of a patchwork of different brands. I'll post a little more about how I was thinking about using them later today.

Thanks again - hope that you will continue to chime in to help me on this journey!
 

dirt mcgert

Nug of the Month: Dec 2016 - Creme de la Creme Photos: Nov 2016

Chris Scorpio

Member of the Month: July 2018
Pics or it didn't happen...lol

We love pics

I didn't see any talk about pH or watering schedule/habbits

I use the GH Flora Trio as well, great stuff

I start at 1/4 strength in my DWC and stop at half strength ish
 

The Bard

Well-Known Member
Thanks, guys, for the comments, questions, suggestions, and likes. I'll try to respond to some of the points you raised. But first, yes, @Chris Scorpio things are way better with pics! And so let's see if I can figure out how to do this.

From largest to smallest, here are my four plants (all are in Solo cups, and will be transplanted into 3-gallon fabric pots this evening or tomorrow):

Girl Scout Cookies




 

The Bard

Well-Known Member
Train Wreck
This was the "understudy" seed that replaced the White Widow that never germinated, and so it is about a week behind the others. As I mentioned in my first post, normally I would continue topping up with coir as the seedling grew and became leggy. However, I guess because the lights are pretty intense, this one is just getting bushy, not leggy. It will also get transplanted tonight.

 

The Bard

Well-Known Member
So that is what my little ones look like right now - it is about day 21 since I started the seeds. I would love feedback on what other more experienced folks see when they take a look. To my beginner-eyes, I think they look pretty good. Green colour is not too dark, and no signs of yellowing or other problems. I am a bit surprised at how short and flat they are - when I look at photos from other growers, they seem much taller, with leaves spaced out more vertically. Is the way mine look a problem? Maybe they aren't stretching to get closer to the light? Positive or negative, would genuinely appreciate comments.
 

Chris Scorpio

Member of the Month: July 2018
Like I asked about

I didn't see any talk about pH or watering schedule/habbits

I use the GH Flora Trio as well, great stuff

I start at 1/4 strength in my DWC and stop at half strength ish
 

Edzzed

Well-Known Member
I too will sub, I am also from Surrey BC and have 2 Purple kush, 1 chocolope and 1 white widow going right now. Day 38. I was gonna go with coco too but at the last minute went Fox Farms Ocean Forest soil. No regrets there but am using Cocotek nutes. Designed for coco lol.
 

The Bard

Well-Known Member
Like I asked about

I didn't see any talk about pH or watering schedule/habbits

I use the GH Flora Trio as well, great stuff

I start at 1/4 strength in my DWC and stop at half strength ish
Thanks Chris. Yes, was just working on a reply to the questions you had asked - was just happy I got the photos to post!

I mentioned in the original post the various brands of nutrients and supplements that I am using, including the Flora Trio. I have been holding the pH in the range of 5.7-5.9, with a slight variation each time I made up a new batch, as I understand some small moves in pH is a good thing. Since the seedlings went into the Solo cups, they have been water at least one a day, often twice, with a diluted nutrient mixture.

I have been following the NPK ratio schedule that appears on @Asesino85 journal here. I built a simple Excel spreadsheet with the NPK values for the various nutrients (listed on the bottle labels), and then can apply a "weighting" until I get the NPK ratios that are recommended. For example, for Week 4 of Veg, the table calls for 3:2:2. To get that ratio, it takes 100 parts of Flora Micro, 80 parts of Flora Bloom, plus Cal/Mag, a few drops each of Voodoo, B52, and Rapid Start. I say "parts" as opposed to mL or teaspoons, as the cool thing about that nutrient schedule is that it can be scaled up or down depending on the batch size. I measure to get to the PPM/EC suggested on the link I shared.

How I mix my nutrients - right now, a 1 litre batch size works well for me, and lasts for about 4-6 days. By Day 6, I am starting to think about the next weeks batch, which usually has a shift in the NPK ratios, as well as the PPM/EC.

1. I start with RO water, with an EC of 0.01.
2. Add Cal/Mag to get to 0.2-0.3 EC
3. Add Micro and Bloom in the ratios (by volume) I calculated in the Excel spreadsheet until I get the PPM/EC for that week. I actually end up higher than the EC called for on Asesino's table, because the Cal/Mag is not included in his numbers. I use the Cal/Mag since I am growing in coco.
4. Add a couple of drops of the other supplements, e.g. B52 and Voodoo - they don't seem to have an impact on NPK.
5. Let sit for a few hours and then adjust pH down to the range of 5.6-5.9 or so.
6. I apply with a squeeze bottle in a ring around the plant, about an hour after lights come on, just until I see a drop or two of run-off. I might do a second watering an hour before lights off if the cups feel light - always with the nutrient solution, never plain water. I've been moving to two waterings a day over the past few days as the plants seem to be drinking more as their size has increased.

So that is the approach that I have been using so far. It sounded pretty good to me - in theory! - but it would be great to hear what you and others think!
 

The Bard

Well-Known Member
What does it mean when people say subbed??
I'm totally new, but I think it means "subscribed" - i.e. they signed up to "watch" the thread and be notified when new comments are added. But others will probably know better!
 

The Bard

Well-Known Member
I too will sub, I am also from Surrey BC and have 2 Purple kush, 1 chocolope and 1 white widow going right now. Day 38. I was gonna go with coco too but at the last minute went Fox Farms Ocean Forest soil. No regrets there but am using Cocotek nutes. Designed for coco lol.
Awesome!! Nice to see another fellow Canadian. I was used to working with coco from my orchid-growing days, and I loved it then. So far so good now as well. I am jealous that you have a White Widow going. That was supposed to be part of my first grow, but I only had one seed, and it didn't germinate. Would very much appreciate any feedback or suggestions you have. Thanks.
 

The Bard

Well-Known Member
Subbed up. I run 2x 2×4×5 tents so I deal with the height restrictions too lol. I try to keep them low with lst, topping, manafold/mainline, cause 3 feet for the plant gets used up quick. Here are a few different pics of some of mine. First 2 are in 4 gal 3rd is in a 5. Any questions ask away.


Thanks Dirt! Love the photos. I think you and @Old Salt will be great resources (if time permits for either of you) in helping me keep the height down on these plants. I just posted some photos of the four plants a few minutes ago - I am thinking that they are ready to move to their permanent home (3-gallon fabric pot) tonight. Leaf-span is just reaching the edge of the Solo cup, and I see one very small root tip extending out of the bottom of the cup. Is it time to move?

I understand that transplanting is stressful on the plants, and so not to do anything else to them for a few days. But based on what you see in my photos, do you think I can/should start training after they have settled in to new pots? Maybe later this week/weekend?

Do my plants look kind of short and stocky to you? Or will they "stretch" in the veg stage as they really get going? I am happy to do whatever I can to keep the height down, so not complaining.

Thanks again!
 

Asesino85

Plant of the Month: May 2017, Sept 2017, Jan 2018, Apr & Aug 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: Oct 2018
Subbed! Honored you chose my feed schedule and possibly my training methods. Due to some recent changes I am not as active as I have been in the past but I will do my best to follow along and answer any questions you might have. They look like they are off to a good start!

If you do end up quadlining there is a crew of good people who usually join along and they are all great growers. They can answer any questions you might have along the way as well in terms of training. Height restrictions do fine with the quadline, you just have to keep training the plant wide during stretch. My White Rhino was a quadline and ended up like this...

Either way there is already plenty of good growers that have already joined here and you clearly have done a good chunk of research. Plus you are on the best weed growing forums around so I think you'll be very successful. Good luck!
 

The Bard

Well-Known Member
Subbed! Honored you chose my feed schedule and possibly my training methods. Due to some recent changes I am not as active as I have been in the past but I will do my best to follow along and answer any questions you might have. They look like they are off to a good start!

If you do end up quadlining there is a crew of good people who usually join along and they are all great growers. They can answer any questions you might have along the way as well in terms of training. Height restrictions do fine with the quadline, you just have to keep training the plant wide during stretch. My White Rhino was a quadline and ended up like this...

Either way there is already plenty of good growers that have already joined here and you clearly have done a good chunk of research. Plus you are on the best weed growing forums around so I think you'll be very successful. Good luck!
Thank you very much, Asesino! I have spent countless hours reading your various journals - both for your own commentary and advice, as well as so many of your "co-conspirators" using the quad method. I've been especially appreciative of the contributions from @newty @TheMadDabber @Bilbobudkin420 @DobeWan @Derbybud @Dutchman1990... I am sure there are others that I have neglected to mentions - they all seem like really friendly, knowledgeable, helpful folks!

Yes, really like your feed schedule, as I think that the NPK ratios on a weekly basis make a lot of sense, and make it so that one can use other brands of nutrients (even though I know you don't particularly endorse that approach). The combination of NPK ratios, plus PPM/EC, make it kind of a rosetta stone for translating from one brand to another. My hope is that in the future I will move to pure, dry form of nutrients (e.g. NPK RAW line is one that I have found) and mix my own - more flexible, and much less expensive than buying what is mostly water.

I still am in awe of the photo that you shared here as well - I've seen it appear several time in your journals, and I think you won an award for it? Well deserved. The symmetry and artistry is really impressive. Not to mention, it looks like a huge yield! And so quad'ing is in my future. Hope to earn the "quadsquad" badge of honour at some point.

So again, thanks for all that you have posted and contributed in the past, as well as for dropping by here (once in a while, as your schedule permits) to share some insight.

Regards,
 

Derbybud

Photo of the Month - Mar 2018
Hey bard, I know you are looking for Ase to come in but I just want to throw my 2 cents in on quad lining. It's so simple and gives the plant a good structure to help hold its weight. If you been by my journal you'll find I'm all about simple and easy. That's why I quad.
 
Top Bottom