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Snack420's Coco Blue Dream Journal 2014

snack420

Well-Known Member
Hi all,

I've been lurking on the site for a month or so now and think the community is great. There is some really excellent information here, which is totally awesome. :reading420magazine:

So, I'm gearing up for my first grow and am initially hoping for some tips about my shopping list and proposed setup, which I'll detail in a moment. First, some basic background info though. I have a space in my basement that I can dedicate to a grow and would like to grow just enough plants to provide for my own needs, nothing huge, so probably 3-4 ounces of bud per year would actually be plenty. :bong: I have enjoyed blue dream in the past and have some feminized seeds of that strain to start growing. I figure probably the best way to do this is to get a tent and grow 2-4 plants there. I realize that sativa dominant strains like blue dream like to grow tall and have more spacing between the branches, but I am hoping to keep them shorter by using one of the techniques like LST and/or supercropping. I figure since the tent is 6' in height (the ceiling is only 6.5'), and I'll need room up top for the lighting, fans, and carbon filter, I was thinking I'd grow the plants in the veg stage until they're about 2' tall, and then start the flowering phase. I'm guessing 3 plants would be a good number for this size tent, but I'm totally open to other ideas too.

I've visited one of the local hydroponic shops and spoke to a grower with relevant experience growing cannabis. I told them I can allocate up to a 6' high X 3' wide X 3' long tent and we chose the following for the setup. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to mention brand names so to be safe, I'll try to leave them off, but will also show the approximate pricing. It would be great to hear if this setup sounds reasonable for my goals and if I'm forgetting anything.

Thanks in advance for any comments!

tent - 3x3x6 - $200
convertible ballast - $180
6" AC reflector - $90
400W sodium bulb - $30
400W MH bulb - $30
charcoal filter - $65
4" inline fan 200 - $155
air duct 4", 25' - $18
duct clamps 4", pair - $3
Cocogro wrapped - $17
Flora Nova Simple Nutrient Package - $105
active air inline fan - $130
hygrothermometer - $20
ph control kit - $20
pipette 5ml - $1
syringe 100ml - $6
3x 5 gallon buckets - $15

My plan is to buy my equipment in the next couple of weeks and then start my grow. Assuming I can get the plants growing, I'll then update this journal with pictures to share my experiences and hopefully learn a lot too in the process.

Thanks for any comments. :tommy:

:peace:
 

Teldren

New Member
Good deal welcome to growing! Gotta love some blue dream. My journals got the first 3 Blue dreams I flowered without the screen. Second set is 3 that I super cropped, topped, and LST'ed that I will harvest this weekend. Last journal has 2 BD's, 3 OG Kush's, and 1 Bubba Kush. I used stone in the bottom of the buckets for drainage. Also you will want a thermostated fan controller for your exhaust fan. Itis really dusty here in Colorado so I built a intake box with a #10 hepa furnace filter.#10 blocks dust, pollen, and mold spores.
 

snack420

Well-Known Member
Cool Teldren, I'm checking out your scrog journal now. Wow, just the pictures on the first page are blowing my mind! I'll read through it and I may have some questions for you, if you don't mind. Your journal is good inspiration for sure :goodjob: I'll look into a thermostated fan controller. Thanks for the tip!
 

snack420

Well-Known Member
So, it's been a couple of months since I started this thread and I've been busy reading, talking to folks at the grow store, and buying a bunch of equipment to get things rolling. I have a 4x4x6 tent (length x width x height), which is a little shorter than I would've liked, but I'm limited by the ceiling in that room. Anyway, for my first grow I wanted to start with just 2 plants, but so far only one has sprouted so I might just go with that one to try and get it right and learn in the process without wasting too many seeds as I only have a few, which came from a seed bank. I'll post a few pics from today... I guess my main question at this point is about watering. How much should I be providing? I went away for 4 days right after transplanting the one seedling from rapid rooter into the coco pot, and a guy at the grow store suggested a watering system which is basically an attachment for a plastic bottle. You can see this in the first photo. I like this approach because, in theory at least, the right amount of water for the plant should be released into the growing medium as the bottle attachment sensor dries out.

Today, I filled up a 1 liter water bottle and added some Cal-Mag (1 mg per 2 qts), and some FloraDuo A (1 tsp per 2 qts) and FloraDuo B (1/2 tsp per 2qts). I am not endorsing any brands or anything; I just thought it would be helped to mention this stuff so someone who knows more than me about nutrients can possible provide some useful feedback. I bought most of my stuff based on suggestions I read about on this site and by talking to folks at the hydro store.

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I have the 600 watt metal halide bulb approximately 25" from the top of the container.

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The temp was 81.6 F and the relative humidity was 19% when I came back after a few days. The tent was closed but not zipped at this point and the 1/2 liter bottle of water (pH ~ 6) was empty.

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Here's a closeup of the seedling. Should I be worried that it is bent with 2 right angles? I didn't get a chance to transplant it as soon as it sprouted, so it had a chance to get a little long in the rapid rooter for a couple of days.

2044-seedling-closeup.jpg


I read that good temps to go for are 70-75F so I opened the tent and I also understand the rh should be a bit higher, so I put a bucket of water in the tent and this helped bring the rh up to around 40%.

2046-tent-open-water-bucket-added-temp74-rh40.jpg


So, does this seedling look like it has potential? Am I doing anything glaringly wrong? I'm open to any and all constructive criticism and suggestions.

Thanks in advance.
:peace:
 

snack420

Well-Known Member
I read in the FAQ that in soil (not sure if coco is in that category) that one should only water once every 1-2 weeks. Will my simple auto-watering system (shown above) provide too much constant water for the plant(s)? Any advice about watering would be appreciated. Unfortunately, I can't be there every day to necessarily check on them so I like this solution, but if it's going to be a problem, then I can modify the setup and schedule. Thanks!
:rollit:
 

snack420

Well-Known Member
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So... she's nearly a month into the vegetative stage now. I transplanted the rapid rooter into a pot of coco on 5/27. Now she's looking very healthy and I fim'd the 4th node and am not exactly sure about how the colas are supposed to develop. I'm just seeing new leaves growing where the ends of the leaves look clipped, and clearly this if from the fimming, but they don't look like new branches/colas (yet). Does that happen more in the flowering stage? I'm also interested in keeping the plant shorter and bushier in order to maximize yield, so I was planning to bend over the separate branches, once they become evident.

My other question is how to deal with a situation where I am going to be away for a week during the late flowering stage. Is this alright, or could I run into a situation where the branches grow into the lights and kill the plant, or worse, start a fire? I'm not sure if that is a likely scenario, or really even feasible, but I'd like to avoid any similar problems. When it's in late flower, is it likely to drink more than 2 liters in a week? Is it likely I'll need to be trimming it at any stage to keep it from getting too tall?

Also, since the tent is only 6 feet tall, I only really have around 3 feet of usable space for the plant, (so 6 feet minus a foot for the lights, a foot for the coco pot, and a foot for the space between the plant and the light. If I want the plant to get to 3 foot tall max, when should I switch the lighting from veg to flower?

Thanks for any suggestions &
Peace!
 

Teldren

New Member
OK first off don't do a auto watering system. Weed likes a dry period. I prefer to water by hand because it will give you a idea of how much water they will take and how often. Your RH is close to mine so I would say for the smaller 2 gallon or so pots every 3 or 4 days. My 7 gallon smart pots dry out so they get watered in flower about every two or three days. My 7 gallon pots in veg go about ever 3 or 4 days between watering's.If you have to leave for a week try to get someone you trust to water for you or in the least then use your 2 liter auto water or make a drip system from an IV. What I do is I insert my finger into the soil and if it is moist then don't water if dry then water. Some people use a "lift pot"method and they lift the pot dry and use that to tell if pot is heavy with water but my finger works best.....if I wash it first! HA! In time you will just know how much water they need and how often. What I would suggest is just water slowly until it just start to trickle out bottom and that is good and will be your limit.

Sorry been busy I'll keep an eye out on your journal if you need some help pm me if it's an emergency and I will see it.
 

Teldren

New Member
If you leave for vacation just raise the light a bit. They shouldn't grow more than a foot probably in a week. As far as topping or fimming that is up to you and how you want to shape your plant. I prefer to open up my plants and force them to grow horizontally. I tend to top them shortly after they go from clone cups to pots. Few days later I top them at a node where there are two branches forming so I can get a nice Y split. You can top at any time in veg remember that when you flip the plant to flower that it will stretch upwards of three times its size now so that timing is dependent on your room size and light. Your other question they will drink alot more than 2 liters each a week. I used 5 gallon buckets and they used 1/3-1/2 gallon of water 3 times a week each bucket when in flower. My White Rhino journal has some examples of LST where I top and FIM my plants from clone if you need any ideas. Those funky leaves are normal from FIM. Also tie back any fan leaves that block under shoots. My rule is: If it don't get light it don't grow and if it wont grow it's got to go.
 

snack420

Well-Known Member
Hi Teldren,

Thanks a lot for your tips. I was starting to wonder if anyone was reading my thread at all because I didn't get any replies after my May post, but I guess the pictures at that time weren't particularly impressive :)

Next time I think I'm going to do what you do and start them in smaller pots during veg and transplant them to larger pots during flower. I understand this can help promote better root growth, and in turn, greater overall growth. :woohoo:

I was wondering about the FIM technique because it doesn't appear to have generated a Y formation or multiple main branches as I had hoped. Does this mean I didn't cut it close enough to where the new node was starting? This is my first attempt and I'd like to understand what I might've done wrong so I can try harder to get it right next time. Any thoughts on that?

Also, I was curious, what is the advantage of using smart pots? I've seen them mentioned a few times but don't know much about them.

Another thing that I've found a little challenging is trying to get the pH close to 5.8 or 6. I usually add the nutrients and then test the pH right after mixing and it is often a little too high (or maybe it's low?). Anyway, I use a 1 ml dropper to add some pH down and then when I check again, the pH is much too low (in the 4.x range). I add a drop or two of pH up and then it's too high again (8.x). Is it normal to have trouble getting the pH in the sweet spot? I'm thinking of maybe getting one of those devices to test the pH so it's more accurate than eyeballing the color code on the pH liquid testing kit I have. But even using that device, is it normal for a single drop of the pH up/down to change the pH value so much?

Thanks again for any and all suggestions!
:peace:
 

snack420

Well-Known Member
Teldren, I took your advice and put the blumat auto-watering thingy aside. I am now worried that this may have contributed to the droopiness issue my lady seems to be facing, but I'm honestly not sure. I started a thread here https://www.420magazine.com/forums/problems-pests-disease-control/223733-watering-issue.html to ask for advice in the Problems forum and hoping someone can help. Since this is my first grow and I really want to get it right, or at least flower, I'm kind of freaking out a little because it seems to be less than healthy.

Any input about the health of my plant would be great! Thanks in advance!!

Here is how she looks now:


This is about an hour before going into the dark period. She seems droopy though, right???
 

Teldren

New Member
First off smart pots are cloth pots that help with getting oxygen to the roots so they can breath better. Down side I have noticed is they dry out faster. The Fim is basically just like a topping except that you leave just a small amount of the growth tip about 10% or so. It makes the side branch nodes near the tip you FIM catch up to the tip and forms two or three smaller tops from it. You may not of cut off enough or done to much. Some people use a curved razor blade and cut it in a U shape but I found pinching it works best for me. It does look droopy but it went from water all the time (which would of eventually root bound you and if stays to wet to long root rot would occur) to getting it back to normal schedule. If it droops like that give it a little water but try to cut it back where you should only have to water every two or three days. Also when you do water you should give it enough (go slowly at first till soil gets a little moist so it will take the water and not just run out of pot) until water just starts to trickle out of the bottom of your pot. I have found basically for me that is 1 gallon of water in each 7 gallon pot. or 2/3 gallon for my 5 gallon pots.
 

Titangoddess

New Member
Your girl is very nice. Your last photo suggests, as Teldren said, they are too dry. The general rule of thumb is to put your finger into the soil and see how far down the moistness starts. You want it at the first to second joint in your finger. If it is not moist it is too dry. You don't want them wet but you do want them moist. I grow in water indoors but started an outdoor grow in soil. I've had the same problems keeping them wet but I use the finger guide, lol, now and it works. I live in a very very dry climate so I water every other day to every day. I also have mine in smart pots/fabric pots. I love them. You can't over water them in those pots. Or at least I haven't :) Looking forward to the rest of your grow.
 

snack420

Well-Known Member
So, it turns out that it looks like the fungus gnats were the most likely cause of the drooping. I applied a soil drench of SNS 203 on 7/9 and already the plant is responding quite positively, which is good news. Here are some pics from today...

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I also believe I was using pH'd water a bit on the high side 6.5-7.0, where for coco I really should be using more like 5.5-6.0. So, I've figured out that by using a larger batch of water I can more accurately tune the pH, and the watering since 7/9 has been using a pH of somewhere in the 5.5-6.0 ballpark and 1/2 of the recommended nutrients.

My main question right now and why are some of the lower leaves showing some brown spots and edges? I'll include a few pics to show what I mean.

july12-lower-leaves-brown-spots-4.png
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snack420

Well-Known Member
Quick update: I switched to the 12/12 flowering cycle on Sunday night and also switched to hand watering and used some SUPERthrive in my last batch of feeding to help her recover from the fungus gnat incident. I will update this journal with pictures and more details later this week or weekend. Thanks for all the feedback and encouragement!

:thanks:
 

snack420

Well-Known Member
So, I have a couple of questions for the expert growers out there.

First, I realized today that I forgot to switch from the MH to the HPS bulb on 7/13 when I switched the light to 12/12. I'll plan to switch the bulb to HPS when I'm back there in a couple of days, but should I expect this oversight to cause any problems or delay the flowering cycle?

Next, I'm noticing that my electricity bill went up a fair amount due to the excess air conditioning I've had running to help prevent the tent from overheating. I am in a climate where it can get into the 80s and 90s during the summer, so keeping it cool for the plants requires AC. It occurs to me that in order to save on electricity bills it would probably be more beneficial if I timed my grows to happen in the spring and fall, instead of the summer. This should theoretically make it easier to regulate temperatures without having to have AC going most of the time. One question I have from that pondering is, if the ambient temps in spring and fall are in the 40-60 F degree range, how much heat should I expect a 600W MH/HPS air-cooled lamp to produce in 4x4x6 ventilated tent? I'm kind of hoping that with some upfront planning on planting dates, I can try to optimize with the natural weather so that I won't need air conditioning during future grows.

Thanks for any comments about this!! More pictures coming this weekend :rollit:
 

Titangoddess

New Member
I am not an expert grower, don't think there is even such a thing actually. But I have experience, four years straight. You're plants will be fine with the oops. Don't worry about any long term effect. It's still way early and you have loads of time to make all the other mistakes we all make... don't stress :) Are you doing the indoor in water or dirt? Either way, it doesn't matter. I have found that growing indoors with water does increase the temps. I'm assuming its because of the added humidity. To fix your air problem the answer is simple, grow them at night. Switch the cycle from 12 on during the day to 12 on during the night. You will not mess up your plants doing this at this stage. They are still in the beginning stages and are very well adapted to change. They are, as we all know, weeds. Ive only killed one plant in these 4 years and that happened recently. It was over heated in the tent. It got in the mid 90's and some strains do not like heat. I had a Girl Scout Cookie and a Gigabud. The Gigabud did fantastic in the increased temps She truly loved the heat. The GSC did not and died. No coming back no fixing it nothing. GSC are a really hard to grow strain. I wish I would have known that before :( Perfect growing temps for all MMJ are 83-87. Make sure there are no other lights in the same room as the tent. I have a tent inside that is the same size as the one you have. I use the heck out of it but may get one a big taller. I had a veg grow going and the tent light not to mention the clones I had under t-5's. Way too much heat in one room. Once I turned off the veg and the clone lights the temps dropped to 80 with no cooling element. I also grow in my basement which is cooler to begin with. I have two fans in my tent and a air cooled hood.
Went off a bit but the point is that flipping them to run at night may be the answer you are looking for. It will be cooler and you won't use as much a/c in the process. Just do one day with 24 hours of HPS. It will not harm your plant. Make sure it does the night cycle and get a timer to run it at night. Let me know if this helps you out a bit. If you can't get the temps warmer you may just want to run more of them during the winter/spring/fall months. Depending on when it gets cold there. You can also have some stunting of the growth if the temps are too cool so keep that in mind. Happy Growing :)

Forgot to add I use CO2 now also and that also made the temps much higher. Keep that in mind if you use CO2. I didn't know that.
 

snack420

Well-Known Member
This is good info, :thanks:

I think switching things so the light cycle is during the night and the dark cycle is during the day is a good idea and I considered that, but I was nervous about changing the cycle at this point in time because I heard that any extra light during the 12 hour dark cycle will screw up the flowering. If that's true, then won't a 24 hour cycle of light, in order to swap the light/dark cycles, mess up the plant?

As far as heat goes, I'm trying to keep the temperatures under 80F, because almost everything I've read suggests that the idea temps are from 70-75F. It sounds like many strains do alright in the 80s too, but getting up into the high 80s and 90s seems to be very bad news for them. This is my first grow, so I'm really just going by all the threads I've read about that.

Thanks for the input. Always appreciated!
 

Titangoddess

New Member
The change won't screw it up, promise. The most that will happen at this stage is you will startle the plant a bit and probably not enough to notice. For your girls, you won't get much effect. I read that all the time about interrupting them. And eve though it can happen when you are further along you won't this early. And what it does is not even that bad. It may make your 9 week flower turn into a 10 week but that's all and if it is getting the nuts it needs than that even won't effect it. You can unplug the light for a couple hours to cool the tent off and then switch the lights back on if you are worried about stress. Growing inside is insane sometimes so make it as simple as possible and make sure the light cycle is on during the day for a short time so you can do work, take care of fert and basic daily care. Happy Growing, can't wait to see your outcome…
 

Titangoddess

New Member
Oh and one more thing, I haven't heard anything about 70 degree weather as being the best. This is a weed, grows in the desert on it's on. If everything is okay with the climate then I'm not sure any large jump in temp will effect it. I lost mine due to heat but there was other factors along with that. Not enough humidity, too much humidity, other lights.. a whole plethora of other things go with that. So the heat does't have to be that low. Maybe you can turn the a/c down and not run it as much but your temps are very low and can go up at least ten degrees :) Mine are running at 80-85 right now. I ran an entire cycle at 92 for the gigabud I had. The GSC didn't like it but boy that giga loved it. It's the strain that makes the call on the temps. If the temps are too hot, do what I should have done and add a humidifier. It does help. Will not drop the temps but it will make it where the plants don't dry out. But baby steps for now. Just change the cycle and see how it goes. you may even be able to turn off the a/c :)
 
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